Our Family

Our Family
Benaiah, Justin, Melinda, Abishai, Keturah, and Jared

Friday, December 30, 2016

Day 364: Resolutions don't work.

First, wait, tomorrow is the last day of the year, and it's a leap year, so it should be Day 366 tomorrow....so why is today Day 364?  I must have misscounted somewheres.  Hm,....

Meanwhile, Ok, it's been an interesting mental day for me.  I've honestly been struggling again with bad eating and sleeping habits, which leads to my body rebelling, which leads to me feeling guilty because I should want to take my kids out to do fun things, like walk around the mall, and I feel like I can't.  I know my kids understand and they are happy just to watch TV all day, but I know in my mama's heart that it isn't the best for them.  I tried reading a book to them, but was dozing off, so I handed it to Justin to keep reading.  I was fully asleep in about 3 minutes since we were reading on my bed under the blankets.  I don't know how much longer he read, but eventually they asked to go watch a movie, and I obliged.  They did well yesterday not bugging me about electronic time, so I didn't mind.

That was this afternoon.  Back up to this morning and soon after breakfast, they were putting on a movie for Abishai, which turned into Tron Legacy because it does have cars in it, which turned into us doing nothing all morning but sitting there.  Well, I did get to take a shower.  I did feed and clean my kids.  I did got over their state abbreviations for their history class.  Justin vacuumed and Keturah wiped the door handles and lightswitches down with Lysol.  I like to be "productive" but productive doesn't just been chores.  For me, because it's a hard thing for me to do, productive means to actual play with my kids.  Or to just "be" with them.  So, in a way, I was productive today.  And when I feel like this, I do explain to them why and that I was tempted and fell into bad habits, and that it's a bad cycle.

I say resolutions don't work because I constantly promise myself that I will do better, and then I don't.  I had to remind myself today that it's just about making the next RIGHT choice, just like it was just about taking the next step when you are grieving the loss of a loved one (or other tragic event).  One step at a time.  I love goals, but they don't need to be set at a specific time.  I need to put some hard and fast goals into my life, but at the same time, life happens, right?  So, I no longer wait until January 1st to make resolutions.  I set tomorrow's goals the night before and if I have time before I get out of bed to think and pray for a few minutes, I review those goals so that my day has direction.

I set a goal to get out today, but didn't meet it when my body is rebelling hard with the bad eating and sleeping habits.  Plus, Keturah now has allergy eyes, a cough, and runny nose.  So, we couldn't go swimming or ice skating or even to the mall just to check it out.  We'll try again another day.  It's also been hard to keep motivated because Jared is at the other house.  We definitely have a relationship where "iron sharpens iron" and we urge each other on in doing good.  I know he's been getting a lot of work done, and even said he enjoyed filling a book order and getting it in the mail, so I'm grateful for that.  We do plan to spend some time tomorrow evening so we all can ring in the new year.  Good bye to this not so fun year of 2016 and hello to a new, very hope filled 2017 year.

I didn't take any pictures today.  It looked sunny outside for a bit, and I know the temperatures are right around the freezing mark, so it wasn't bad out.  We could have bundled up and played outside or something.  Maybe tomorrow.  Tomorrow is a new day, and I am grateful for that.  Try, try, again, and pray, pray, pray for help and strength.  Take the next right step.  That's all it takes for things to change.  Good night.

Day 363: Stir the crazies!

Yes, we aren't snowed in, but we are definitely stir crazy!  We don't want to be out with the crowds at the Children's Museum or at the ice rinks or indoor pools.  We also don't want to be out spending a bunch of money either, i.e. 3 trips to Meijer in 24 hrs hits the bank account hard.  I probably should have bundled the kids up this morning and went outside to run around the parking lot for awhile, but I've had a wicked sinus headache (or sugar headache), so I didn't.  So, Jared relieved me of the two youngest and took them to Meijer to run around for awhile.  He had taken the older boys to Meijer twice yesterday.

Because of my headache, and trying to stay involved and available if the kids wanted someone to play with (which they hardly ever want to play with Mommy), I didn't work terribly hard on house projects today.  I did wipe down every surface with Lysol today to get rid of these nasty germs.  I plan to get just the countertop, doorknobs and lightswitches every day until we kick this thing.  Thieves oil cleaner is good for that, too, or lemon and vinegar.  But I have the Lysol, so I'll use it up.  I don't normally wipe everything down because I want to allow the kids' immune systems to build up on their own, but this cold is ridiculous, going from one person to the next, to the next, and then back to the original person.  I'm tempted to call the doctor and ask for everyone to be put on antibiotics so that we can all get over it at once.  Mine is definitely a sinus infection because of the color of the nasties.  SO, all that to say, I cleaned and I'm tired of being sick.

When you've got a somewhat picky eater, you let him (reasonably) pick out his own breakfast.  In this case, it's goldfish, raisins, and a cookie, with a side dish of egg casserole.  He really likes the goldfish/raisin combo.  I do offer him string cheese, hot dogs, veggies, bagels, etc. but he will just shake his head.  He did eat some ham tonight though, and tomatoes.  He loves fruit like grapes and oranges, but his rear doesn't like them much.  Oh, which brings me to the funny of the day!  I let his little bum air out for about 20 minutes, meaning he went diaper-less during that time.  I told Justin to keep an eye on him in the other room in cased he peed on the floor.  I told Keturah to stay in her room while Abishai was running around diaper less.  Well, Abishai comes into my room, gets close to me, and proceeds to pee on my slippered foot!  What?! He just peed on me like a dog might! Hilarious!  I knew he would probably pee somewhere, but I didn't expect him to hit my foot perfectly! Oh well, it's just a sign of what's to come when potty training rolls around.

Yeah, the Simpson chess set got some use today!  Abishai enjoyed playing with the figurines that weren't in play anymore.  I told the kids that they couldn't have any electronics today just to give their brains a chance to think about other things.  And to my surprise, they didn't complain and they did well finding things to do.

Yeah, sissy's bed is the best place to nest!

He had me put all the stuff from his bed up to her bed to get comfy cozy.

I let Abishai have a few minutes on the Leappad too give myself a break.  He pointed to the earphones, but he didn't want them plugged in or on his ears.  He wanted to use the end of the earphones as a "pen" to tap on the screen like the pen that is actually attached to the leappad!  What?!  How smart is that?!

Then there's these two crazies.  They had a blast calling each other names, making Justin laugh until he almost coughed up a lung, and throwing money at each other.  We talked about where Benaiah could go to college (yikes!) and his current grades, and homeschoool vs "real" school transcripts (which aren't different by the way).  It was a nice reprieve from listening to a 2 yr old whine all day.

Then I showed Benaiah what Keturah had done with the label maker, and demonstrated how it worked by printing this sign out: Benaiah's Brain.  Yup, he''s goofy.

Then Justin grabbed the label maker, punched in "I am smrt" (from a Simpsons episode), printed it out, and ACCIDENTALLY put it UPSIDE down!  Oh my word, pre teens really are illogical, emotional, and have temporary ADD or something (no offense to those with ADD, but the forgetfulness and low attention span fits the category).  We had a great laugh over it.

After the littles came home, I let Abishai have a couple of MM's. First of all, he's always about having a bowl for any food, and says the word, "bowl."  Second, he took the MM's out of the bowl and lined them up!  Seriously?! I have two messy/creative kids (Benaiah/Keturah) and two very perfectionist/Type A/orderly kids, Justin and Abishai.  It just cracks me up!

Mmmmm.....MM's....just like Grandma Johnson and Mommy love!  Too cute!
I told Jared I would post this picture he sent me plus share what he wrote about it, so here goes.  He said, "I hear a low rumble, like the fabric of the universe ripping or the ground beneath about to open up...."  Bwahahaha!  We tease each other and say something like this: I'll say something about "Will the world explode if you washed the dishes/fill the water picture/get your dirty kleenex into the trash can/refill the toilet paper/put your dishes in the dishwasher" etc.  And usually the answer is, "Yes, the world will explode if I do those things."  So, this picture proves that yes, the husband can do the chores he doesn't like to do and the world doesn't explode, lol.  I don't know why he didn't use the dishwasher, but at least the dishes got done, right?
And finally, I have a fun story to share.  I was looking up what was the oldest email that my email server has saved.  I usually keep important emails from Jared ever since we started sending emails to each other while we were dating.  I would print them out, too, and I'm glad I did, because the emails only go back 15 years!  Yes, I have some emails in my email account, that are saved, from 15 years ago!  I've had that email account for probably 17 or 18 years!  So, when I opened up the folder of emails from Jared that I saved, I found this one was one of the oldest:

It was sent to our college age small group called 24/7 a few minutes after another email about the group itself.  The title of the emails was NEWS and it was sent on Monday, October 22, 2001.

Here's the message Jared wrote:

i woulda put this in with the last message, but it needs to be seperate. we announced this to class yesterday, but since many of u r gone, i have a request to make. anybody wanna start a kid's ministry for 24/7? CUZ WE HAVE A BABY!!

BJ (Baby Johnson; i know it's goofy but still better than calling a baby "it") is due end of may or early june...same time as Amy Case! mel has 2 appts in the next 3 wks for this, 1 with a nurse & the 2nd w/ doc.

any suggestions for a 1st name to go w/ a middle name of Elisabeth?


Awww, I totally read this and hear Jared's voice and how excited he was, and how, wow, our life is going to change!  We were the first ones married in our group, and to have a baby.  Fun times!  And that little "bean" was Benaiah of course.  And that little BJ is the big brute of a man child you see today.  From this:

Benaiah at age 6 months.

To this handsome guy at 14 years old.  And he still has time to grow bigger! Wowzers!  Kid, you were wanted and loved from day 1! Although, it was a tiny bit difficult to sit through college classes with you kicking inside me!  Thanks for making me a Mom, Big B!  We love you!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Day 362: Too Many Words

Among other things today, I wrote a 5 page typed single space letter to some friends.  Who knew it would take that many pages to give just a few details about each family member?!  I might also be a little chatty because I don't have my best friend around to use my words with.  (Insert sad face).  But Jared and the boys had a fun day going to Home Depot, Meijer (twice), and playing video games on the gigantic TV screen at the in laws.  I heard they also did some reading and working.  Meanwhile, I went and got some bloodwork done and then took Keturah and Abishai to McDonald's.  And to my surprise, it was the McD's with the huge playplace we used to go to for MOPS playdates! I totally had forgotten that fact! And it was incredibly clean with very friendly staff.  Score!  After some playing, I dropped off our reverse advent giveaways at the thrift shop and headed home.

We messed around a bit and before we knew it, it was 2pm!  We had gotten up really late this morning, but still, Abishai was going to have a very late nap.  Whoops!  I think he's ready for us to push his nap just a tad further into the afternoon anyway.  But he's still sleeping 2-3hrs, which means he didn't wake up until 6, which means bedtime will be later and the cycle continues.  Oh well.  That's the way the cookie crumbles.  Then Jared brought Justin back and poor Abishai didn't understand why Daddy couldn't stay very long.  He's really missing his Dada.  It's pitiful the way he will scream "Dada!" every time he hears the phone ring or the door open.  I'm glad he's very attached to him.

That's about it for the day.  The kids opened up two more movies today, Inside Out and Captain America: Civil War.  I wish I had time to sit and watch with them, but I've got a ton of other things I should do, like write letters, mend pants, and prepare food (and clean it up again.)  Speaking of pants, I lost a few pounds over the past few weeks.  How?  I really don't know.  Maybe it's because I can't eat a lot of the food at most holiday get togethers.  Not anyone's fault, it's just a fact of living with food sensitivities and I'm always prepared with a snack in my bag if I need it.  But that means, I could fit into a smaller pair of jeans today!  Wahoo!  The goal is to lose weight and keep it off, even if it takes a long time to get there.  I've been eating a little chocolate/sugar every day, so it perplexes me that I lost weight now, because when I was doing no sugar at all, the scale wouldn't budge.  Hm,....

I did take a few pictures today, so, here they are:

The rechargeable batteries arrived today, so we were able to start using the label maker!  I let Keturah go to town with it, and boy did she love it!

Keturah labeled lots of things in her Lego hotel like the pool and bathroom.


Kitchen - it's crooked and she tried to reposition it with her "little fingers" that could "work it."

Abishai loves Justin's new Ninjago Lego set and was very, very careful with it.  He slowly maneuvered the moving parts, including the wheel tracks.

Not even two years old and he can play with Legos.  Impressive!

Abishai missed his baba Justin and couldn't wait to play Legos with him.  He even tried to put the minifigures on the right way.

Abishai's new spot for cars and trains to line up.
Grandpa Johnson (or Grandma) bought these cool pom pom type balls that look like snowballs!  They have them at the Children's Museum for the kids to throw around.  Abishai LOVES them!

Mama is down a pants size and can wear these pants again!  Hard to tell, yes, but things do fit a bit better.

Breakfast after having to fast for bloodwork.  Don't worry, I didn't go overboard on food.  And yes, the hat that Keturah hardly ever takes off.

I think this is Abishai's first full kids' meal.  He looks so toddlerish here.  He ate all his chicken nuggets before he went off to play.  Then he polished off his juice afterwards and finished his fries at home.  This kid can eat!

This is why Abishai slept so long today.  He played hard going up and down the huge play place by himself.

Check out that hair do!

There's my babies way up high!

I think that companies are trying to make bigger profits.  So, I asked for and received this label maker for Christmas.  Put there was no power cord in the box.  You have to buy it separately.  Or put 6 AAA batteries in it.  Wouldn't you know, I don't have any adapters of this kind anymore because I was a good girl and got rid of them.  But the batteries from Amazon came today, so we were still able to mess around with it.  I think it cost something like $40 for the label maker and about another $40 to get enough supplies to keep it going for awhile.  Sheesh.

"Do Not Enter" Yes, we get it Keturah, however, the rule is NO CLOSED DOORS unless you are changing your clothes.  That rule has always been in place, but Keturah is notorious for disobeying it.

Oh, this generation can figure out anything electronic so easily.  Keturah found the symbols on the label maker and made all kinds of signs like this one in her room.  Label maniac.  It's a good thing the label maker is stored in my desk!

The first label I made was for my "Pencil Bouquet."  Awwww.  It's so pretty!  Cute borders, too.  It's going to be a fun tool to have for sure.  Thank you for getting it for me Mom and Dad!
Phew! Because of Abishai's late nap, he was hard to get down for bedtime.  It was after 9:30pm when he finally was ready for bed.  I'm glad I started this post earlier as they were running around and taking baths.  Tomorrow is a new day, without electronics, maybe a little more shopping at Meijer.  And who knows what else.  Maybe the kids will actually want to play a game with me or something.  Hm,....a Mama who loves board games can wish, right?

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Day 361: Slight motivation

Another quiet home day, except for the kids feeling bored without 809 hrs of electronics.  Yes, we are to that point.  I can suggest all kinds of things, and I do have crafts, books, puzzles, games, etc all available to them.  I have books with suggestions of what to do when you're bored sitting out ready to be read.  I know I'm not the kind of mom that sits down and really plays with the kids.  My mom wasn't either, but somehow, I managed to use my time wisely and played and read and listened to music and read read read.  So, I know kids can do it.  Because of all the bickering, I'm declaring tomorrow and Thursday no electornics days.  I'll have to engage them more, but that's ok.  I was able to do some of my own projects today once I got up out of my desk chair.  I'm not very motivated at times either.

I do have a lot of pain most days, so either I'm sitting at my computer or I'm up serving the kids something to eat or doing daily chores.  So, to do anything else physical, even sorting papers or tidying up the school year can become source of quick energy drain.  But, I still got up and once I got started, I got a few things done.  I read someone's blog today who read 122 books last year and 36,000 pages and it's very inspiring to me to try to read a book a month, that isn't a virtual book, podcast, or online blog/article.  I need to be a better model, and I need to do more read alouds with the kids for fun.  So, I've set the goal as a type.  One chapter book a month with the kids and one decently sized book for me per month on any subject.

I do like the fact that I came to this house knowing I wanted all the art supplies and games and puzzles available to the kids.  I was tired them hiding out in the basement of the previous two homes.  It's also a reminder that the knick knacks I decided not to display this year, could be whittled down even further.  I won't be living in a bigger house ever, so I need to stay on task and keep chipping away at these little things.  I do have several boxes from our reverse advent declutter that does equal what came into the house for gifts this year, so that's great!  Just as long as you are counting space that each object takes up and not the sheer number of literally 3,000 new Lego bricks that entered our world here.  Yes, no joke, 1,500 pieces just for Keturah's set alone, plus the set she bought with her own money, and Justin's 5 new sets, plus the 3 new sets he bought right before Christmas.  My kids are great about keeping their Legos picked up, so I don't get mad if I find a stray one here or there.  We use cookie sheets to keep things contained.

Anyway, the youngest two did play with play dough tonight while I was tidying up the dining room and Abishai used his color wonder markers that only work on special paper and doesn't mark up anything else.  Keturah got out her new Chinese art book and spent a good 30 minutes working on things she learned at the children's museum.  Benaiah has done his assigned reading from me and Grandpa.  It's Justin, who is going through puberty right now, that is having trouble finding things to do or getting frustrated at himself because he can't control his temper.  Benaiah did the exact same thing, so I need to find different ways of helping Justin through it.  He's trying, and I need to give him more grace for his efforts.  Just think, I'll know so much about the changes during puberty that Abishai will get to benefit from all that knowledge!

So, there are no pictures for today.  I instead got all the way caught up on picture and video uploading to the internet, and on dvd's, and deleted off of cameras.  Wahoo!  My process of uploading is complicated, but worth it.  Now I'm off to write a letter or two and get to bed.  Tomorrow is a new day!

Day 360: The Aftermath

Actually, it's not that bad of an aftermath today.  With some planning and learning to let go of things, I haven't had the full on rush of Christmas as I have had in the past.  It was just Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but I was prepared for it.  And ready to recover today.  Actually, it felt like we had skipped ahead about 6 months because it was 63 F degrees!  That's June weather on PEI!  We had the patio door and a couple of windows open.  It was also drizzly.  Blech.  I'd rather have snow to look at and play in.  So for me, that's been a bummer already this year.  But it was a bummer when we lived here before, so it's nothing new.

Meanwhile, yes, movie watching, Lego playing, car playing, picture and video uploading, etc.  Typical day "off."  I meant to get to the school room, but I'm trying to recover more quickly to this head cold than the last one, so I choose a nap instead.  When I'm tired, I have no motivation to tackle projects.  I used up a whole big box of kleenex today.  I can't take antihistamines unless I want to sleep away the day.  And since Jared and Benaiah were gone taking care of the dog and errands, I needed to be awake for the other 3.

Keturah kept busy all day.  Abishai wasn't as clingy and even smiled and laughed some.  I don't mind picking him up once in awhile, but I need to retrain him that I can't always play with him and hold him.  I hold him much more than I did the others and I take time to play with him.  I've learned my lesson on that one.  But, he has to learn that I have other duties as well or we won't have food on the table or clean clothes, etc.  Justin had a rough day today because he wasn't allowed to build his other Lego sets and he couldn't come up with something creative with what he does have.  He's showing some more teenager behavior of anger and full of complaints.  I had him write down 10 things he was thankful for, and he had a hard time doing it.  He almost used exactly the same words as Benaiah did at that age, so it doesn't bother me as much this time around since know it's just a preteen thing.  It's still annoying to watch him mope around and be bored.  Sigh.  Teenagers.

I missed Jared a lot today because I'm just so used to having him at home.  But I have to get over that quickly because hopefully he'll get to move into the new office space for e2 the first week of February!  Now we'll have an excuse to visit both him and Grandpa at church once a week!  Wahoo!

I walked away for a few minutes and Abishai had reached over and grabbed the cheese popcorn from the popcorn tin to eat for breakfast.  At least he got it in a bucket that I had given him for raisins.  Goofball.  Keturah ended up eating the rest of it.

The first floor is fairly stationary, but the upper floors can be reconfigured, including the elevator!

Little boy wanted to get in on the action, too.  Thankfully, he just wants to play with the set as it's supposed to be played with and doesn't intend to destroy it.

63 F degrees outside means we can play in our ballpit!

Completed over 15 hrs of hard work!  Way to go!

The elevator on the left goes up and down and everything!  So many thoughtful details!  I love Lego!

Oh that heartbreaking smile!  He started this in the last few days of lining up cars on chair or couch arms.  And laying down on his tummy to play.

So many cars.

Justin's display of Imperial Forces.  Kylo Ren, Tie Fighter and guys, and Captain Phasma.  He'll aid the AT-ST walker in the coming week.  Plus he has that Po Dameron X-wing set from last year.  Quite the collector!

Nothing better than Lego mini figures, is there?

You can't do much rebuilding and reconfiguring with these sets.  They are more like technic sets with very special pieces.  But they look cool.

And they can shoot stuff.


And finally, the long awaited for Grand Hotel set rests in it's prepared spot on Keturah's dresser.  I think I'll be buying a new cookie sheet since she stole this one, lol.  Gorgeous set, as always, Lego!

I found these photos on my phone from the last few days.  Jared and I have this debate going on with this footwear.  Shoes or sandals?  I say sandals.  He says closed toe shoes.

Yum, when did I get replaced in the front seat?  And when did my baby get so big?  On our way to Grandma's house, and Abishai can tell when we are in their neighborhood and he starts getting excited.

Cousins at church on Christmas Eve.

I want to join the big kids!  Although, he really didn't sit through any of the service.  But he looks cute!

Abishai joined me at my desk this morning with his cars.  He called the white one, "Mama," the truck was "dada," and the red emergency vehicle was "wawa" probably because of the blue on the top.
Like I said, way too warm for December 26th.

Doors wide open on Boxing Day (which is only observed in Britain and the Commonwealth States like Canada).

A highlight of my day was being able to wear my new t-shirt without covering it up with a sweatshirt.  Stephen Amell does not benefit from this campaign.  And those numbers were doubled during this year's campaign.  I bought in honor of my mom, but also because it does have Stephen Amell's name (but not his face, thank goodness) on it, with an arrow, so I'm doing my fangirling thing.  If you didn't know, the DC Comics show "Arrow" on the CW is one of my favorite TV show right now and Stephen Amell is one of my favorite actors.  I'm glad I got a bigger size, too, because they run really small.  And.....

Today was a big end of year sale for Lilla Rose, so I was able to get the Arrow Flexiclips in several sizes (and some other things to restock my inventory) for a big discount.  Then I received this email less than 8 hrs after I ordered saying they are on their way!  I should receive it within 3 days!

I was going through videos I was checking on a CD so I let the kids watch them.  Abishai tends to respond to things we have said in the videos like "Say thank you" and he'll do the action.  Or I think he was trying to blow on the screen when the video of him blowing on the fire came up.

Ok, now I'm caught up on posts.  Tomorrow will be more of the same, or we'll go out to mail things, or I'll clean up something.  But for now, good night!