Our Family

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

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Year 2, Days 224-225: Crying Over Macroni and Cheese

First, a certain 15 year old hasn't shared with me yet the link to a certain video I will share with you hopefully sometime this week, so you'll have to wait for that.  But, let me set the scene for this morning:

Abishai woke me up around 7:40am.  No big deal, we could still get to the library on time for Toddler Time, right?  Well, after some snoozing, the morning started to crumble.  The teen went to bed at 1:30am again.  How do I know that? Well, because I did.  But Jared has a solution to fix that problem for both of us.  Stay tuned for that.  So, he didn't want to get up at all. Fine, that's normal, you can stay home.  Then I go to the 9 yr old daughter who seems to be going through her rebellious stage a bit early to wake her up, and takes a good 30 minutes just to get a grunt out of her.  She stayed up with Daddy watching a movie until at least 9:30pm, but really not settling until 10 because of the boys and their noise.  The 12 year old seemed ok to start, got through breakfast, and then said he has a headache.  And when he gets a headache, the only thing that helps is throwing up and sleeping. But I didn't want to leave him with the teenager who was clearly incapable of getting up until 11:30am today.  Keturah wanted macaroni and cheese for breakfast, and I thought I had the water on to boil, but it wasn't high enough.  I come back and the macaroni isn't cooked yet and we have to leave in 15 minutes.  Great, so I try to hurry that along.  Meanwhile, the toddler overheard that there was macaroni and cheese to be had, so he starts asking for it.  He already had breakfast and I told him he could have it when we got home because I needed to change his diaper and get his shoes on.  Well, he flipped out.  But I thought it was because I was forcing him to put his blanket in his diaper bag instead of potential dragging it on the ground.  So I got the blankie into his bag, picked him up and placed him over the threshold so I could close the door and lock it.  I left him there, sobbing, while I put the bags in the van.  I walk back up to him and he literally turned the other way towards the glass door and thrust himself upon it.  Like, "how dare you tell me to leave my precious macaroni and cheese on the other side of this door!" Screaming mad.  I finally get him into the car and as we drive down the street, Keturah and finally figure out that he was talking about macaroni and cheese the whole time.  Meanwhile Justin's headache is worse, and I'm developing one.  We get to the library, and Abishai refuses to get out of the car.  So I send Justin inside to make the exchange because I know they don't like kids to be unsupervised but he's old enough that they don't care as much.  When he comes back he says the meeting room where the Toddler Time meets is dark and no one is there.  So, we rushed out of the door and actually were on time for nothing?! Sheesh!  It doesn't end there though.  I kind of wanted to see Jared and the guys today because they were filming and the other guys hadn't seen the kids before.  So, I turn into the church parking lot (the library is 5 minutes from our house and then the church is 5 minutes beyond that) and Abishai starts throwing a fit that he just wants to go home.  Usually he doesn't mind and even wants to go to Daddy's office.  But this time, it was different.  So, I don't even undo my seatbelt and I turn the car around and go home, defeated.  We get everyone in the door, Abishai gets his macaroni and cheese and some TV time so Justin and I can deal with our headaches, and we all take a deep breath.  The End.

But I did have some Thanskgiving trip prepwork to do.  And Justin nursed his headache all day only emerging to eat a little or throw up again.  Keturah and Abishai were loud, per normal.  And the teen finally got up and got to work around 1:30, still stating that the mower didn't work.  Then he spent 6 hrs in his computer chair working on his aerospace homework designing a workstation pod/sleeping/living pod, came to dinner for 5 minutes to gulp down food and went back.  Granted, he was watching TV shows the whole time too, but that's just how he rolls.

At least I got my stuff done.  I've been working on doing Facebook "lives" and building momentum towards the Lilla Rose Black Friday sale.  I had an online boutique/party to do on Monday night, so I had some follow up today to finish with.  It went really, really well, including me being live on Facebook!  That means, wherever I decide to broadcast from, either in the event, or on my personal or business pages, someone can see me and comment on the video feed and I can respond to them.  I don't see them though.  It's pretty neat and it's getting really popular now.  I think the "lives" started about 1 1/2 yrs ago, so they are fairly new.  Instagram has them, too, but they have to be kept shorter.  Think of a FB live as a webinar of sorts.  It's perfect for doing parties long distance or sharing tips and news to everyone around the world that are your friends or customers.  And then the videos can be saved and posted and shared later as "replays." They are great for introverts that want to share something but might not want to go to the work of leaving the house.  And it's especially great for those with chronic illnesses.  Anyway, the party went well, and the hostess and I are just waiting for the sale to happen as that's when her friend's will order.  We both highly encouraged them to wait and do it then so they will hopefully spend a bit more.  I enjoyed doing it and it's been fun putting into practice some things I've been learning lately.  Yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks.

And now, it's Thanksgiving and soon it will be Christmas.  Life moves on.

This was yesterday when we stopped at Daddy's office and they wanted to be there.

No, Daddy, I don't care how sticky it is, I just want it in my hand first so I can put it in my mouth!

I finally had my PCP appt with a new doctor yesterday!  She was nice, gave me the normal speeches, etc.  But I think I'm doing ok, at least in these numbers, right? I got some blood drawn and she did give me a prescription for the pain medication tramadol that I've been out of for months.  But, she didn't write down her doctor number nor the right phone number for the clinic, so I'm thinking that they do this one purpose because of the drug addicts out there.  Urgh.  Do I look like a user? So I left a message for her yesterday and the pharmacy called her today.  And we probably won't get it resolved until Monday or until I go in and ask about it myself.

There's always someone wrestling someone in a house full of boys, or "man child's." It's easy to keep this kid down because he's so ticklish!



Too cute with the glasses.  He didn't like that Daddy was hurting Benaiah though.

Yup, Jared pushed on the door and squished Benaiah against the other one.  Crazy men.

"I'm doing homework!" Um, ok, maybe, not sure.  But your grades are fine, so I'll leave you alone mostly.  He is super frustrated because how do you put a bed and other rooms in a round building? I told him to go look up diagrams for an igloo or other dome shaped homes.  I told him that each room needs to have several purposes to it.  I told him to go look at the tiny houses and see if he gets some ideas from there.  Nope.  Won't listen.  Why reinvent the wheel? Anyway, they have to design, build, and then use it like astronauts would for 48 hrs.  Their teacher works for NASA or something like that.  Pretty serious project for 15 yr olds!

Using a protractor! No computer engineering here!

He choose to get all his stuff to snuggle in while Daddy built a fire.  He wasn't asleep, but he was pretending to snore!

All the kids just chillin'  Benaiah has the week off from school, and we had to take it off because of appointments and Thanksgiving prep.

This kid knows how to fake his own death complete with his tongue hanging out and pushing his mask off like it would fall off if he fell down!

Um, yeah, this kid can swing a huge wooden sword no problem!

I'm the good guy!

Oh my goodness!  Too stinkin' cute!

"Ready, set, go!" pose! He was also so loud with his bus today that I finally had to put in time out.  Then he promptly got another big car and pushed that around, which I promptly took from his as well.  He's pretty fast so even if I lean forward to "catch" him, he slips away and it takes me a minute to catch up.  Then he picked up a kids' broom, ran so fast until the fireside room and nearly jammed the brush part of the broom into the raging fire!  I'm literally sitting here, laughing so hard I'm crying, because it's just so hysterical!  We laugh, but he does get punished.  He's such a handful.  It won't be funny if he keeps doing this as a teenager, but for now, we need the daily laughs.  The rest of us 5 bond by watching his antics and commenting on it.  God definitely knew we needed this bonus baby!

And now it's time for bed!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Year 2, Days 320-223: When Momma Gets Sick, but Life Keeps Moving Forward

Woah, nellie! Between a frozen shoulder and a headcold, I've barely made it through the past 4 days.  Well, actually, I'm fine, but I did take it slow, just doing the next thing.  I purposefully forgot about taking many pictures or preserving funny stories and what not.  I focused instead on capturing this once-in-17-years trip Jared and I took and made sure I got that story out clearly and with great detail.  That's right, we might not LEAVE the house or kids much, but we definitely put our relationships with God first, and then our marriage.  I'm ok if I offend the kids and make them mad when I know it's something that is in their best interest, but if Jared and I don't come to an agreement on something, it haunts me for days and weeks.  And sometimes that agreement is to disagree, like say, on whether or not buying MORE trees for the backyard are an absolute necessity or not.  (The jury is still out on that one).  But seriously, if I don't have God, and then Jared by my side, I will lose it.  That's why this past week was actually more about me having head space, and Jared coming along for the ride.  I wanted to be away from everyone except him.  We are to the point in our marriage where no matter where I stand mentally, spiritually, emotionally, physically, I can throw anything at him and he is able to be that solid rock and just stand there and listen.  No judgments, no Bible verses, no cliches'. He's just there. And hopefully prayerfully there for another 60 years.

So, I'll let this be the "catch you up to date" post.  Here goes.

Re entry into family life was ok. Jared stayed home the rest of the afternoon on Wednesday, and I went over homework with the kids while Abishai napped. I didn't snap like I usually do, although I was pretty annoyed over the whole school work not being done thing. I was in a lot of pain, too, which makes it harder to keep my temper. The boys had Bible Bowl, so Jared took them to that, and Keturah and I kept working on stuff at home. The last couple of days have been used trying to free up my shoulder and work through this nasty head cold I now have, among other stressors. We've also had some appointments to keep. Last night, Thursday, I was in quite a lot of pain and my eyes were watery from my sinuses being all stuffed, so Jared took Abishai and Benaiah grocery shopping for me. And you know what? That man got 95% of the things I would have bought! I didn't give him a list. His only requirement was to get some gluten free pretzel sticks for me. And he remembered. And because I wasn't there, he did spend a lot less than I do. I will have to go back for some stuff for Thanksgiving but I was pretty pleased to know that going altogether as a family to the grocery store has paid off! 

Friday was more of the same, catching up so we don't have any leftover homework to do next week.  We are taking the whole week off because we have back to back appointments, I need to gather and prepare food to take with us to Thanksgiving, and I have a Lilla Rose online boutique to host on Monday night.  Ethan stayed with us Friday night, while Keturah went to a friend's house for a birthday sleepover.  On Saturday I picked her up and finished up the grocery shopping for Thanksgiving.  I have spent a good deal of time in the last few days waiting for my computer to talk with the internet so normal things, like watching a TV show or uploading pictures or getting through a mountain of emails and keeping up with my online boutique have proved challenging.  I'm not sure what it is either.  It's not the internet because all the other devices in the house are fine, including my phone.  My iCloud is now super full again because I took so many pictures on it this week, so I've had to go through those (remember, I triple backup any and all photos I take).  I'd like to get to some other home projects this week, but we'll see.

 And now it's Sunday, and we are about to head back to church for Crave and choir.  At least I did a Facebook live video about how I was still able to use a Lilla Rose flexiclip even with a frozen shoulder.  Which, by the way, my frozen shoulder is nearly gone!  It's been 5 days though of constant stretching.  Same goes with a the constant blowing of my nose.  But I'm on the mend, folks, just in time for a crazy week!

For the final word of the day, it's Leah's birthday! She got to have the Sunday off from cooking as we took her out to Dale's, a local restaurant managed/owned by a fellow Creek member.  Yeah!  Check below for the unique card Jared made her!  Happy Birthday, Leah/Mom/Grandma!

Taking after big brother watching other gamers play video games and playing his own video game.  This guy is about to buy his very first electronic all by himself!  He has saved, he has researched, he even calculated tax, shipping, and a protection plan!  He plans to buy it during cyber Monday.  Benaiah bought his first iPod at age 10 and now at age 12, Justin will be buying a 2DS XL or something like that.  Great stuff!

I'm trying to find time to teach Keturah some handicrafts.  We borrowed a sewing book from the library that has simple projects so she can learn how to handle a needle and sew a few straight stitches through felt.  Here she is cutting out the felt hearts that she's going to string together to make a banner.

Stop, drop, and roll!  Someone, aka Justin, sprayed a frying pan with cooking spray and then turned up the heat to high!  Whoops!  We usually keep it right at medium.  So, we laughed and made it fun by practicing our stop, drop, and roll techniques.  Then Daddy came to our recuse and opened up windows and put fans out to pull the smoke out of the house.  The house is so old that there is no hood or vent above it.  Yup, another project for another day.

We found Abishai reading his books under his blanket.  Too cute.

He might be 7 years old, but Socks still has plenty of energy left in him.  He actually played tug of war with Keturah!  Socks hasn't been into toys that much since he was 1-2 yrs old.  And he certainly wouldn't pull anything out of a child's hands until they were bigger than him.  So, it surprised me when he actually tugged back!

Little guy sitting like his big brother and Daddy.  They like to lift their top leg/foot all the way up to their stomachs instead of leaving them on their knees.  It's hard to explain, but Abishai is very much a copy cat.

This area is rearranged daily in Keturah's room.  It's actually her dolls' room.  And I love that she can do that!  She even took her doll to a sleepover this weekend.  Keturah does have some great organizing skills when she puts her mind to it.  She decided to sort out one of the drawers full of stuff in the craft bins, same as I did when I first put them in there.  She's definitely growing up and learning new things!  She watches a YouTube channel called "SevenSuperGirls" by 7 girls a little bit older than her that will give tips and tricks like "My Saturday Morning Routine" and then they will also do a "room tour."  It's obvious that they all come from families with some money and I think they live in one of the big cities in California.  However, in some of their recent videos, they weren't sassy at all.  They were matter of fact, spoke well, are organized, and their clothes were appropriate.  I told Keturah that it's ok to watch them if she realizes that we will probably never be able to give her a fancy room like that.  She can do what I do and just take the tips and tricks and apply them when and where she can.  So, we'll see how she does with that.

Abishai and Daddy making a birthday card for Grandma.



I have the privilege to be part of the launch team for our friend Laura Dingman's new Bible study.  That means I get to post on social media all about the study and I get to preview it and share my thoughts on it, etc.  I'm excited to dig in because after reading Laura's e-newsletter for the past 2 years and attending one of her Wednesday night classes, I feel like we have a lot in common in that we are both the oldest and perfectionists.  Laura is director of creative arts at our church.  Her mom was one of my mentor moms in MOPS.  Very exciting!

I'll try to capture a similar picture with Abishai in the shirt Justin is wearing for comparison, but check these cuties out! I already miss that couch, by the way.  That's Benaiah in the background and then Keturah is just five months old here, making Justin 3 years old and Benaiah 6 years old. I miss the arches in the Beech Grove house as well.  Sigh.  I think everyone misses their first home as a couple on some level.

After being gone for a good part of 3 days, Abishai was quite clingy.  I think Jared was, too.  Abishai has also started to carry around "doggy song" which is the blue dog that plays some music when you pull a string in its' back.  I'm trying to break Abishai of the paci, so I don't mind him having both blankie and doggy song.  In fact, he hit his head pretty hard on the concrete floor of church tonight and then he immediately reached for all 3 things.  I think it was the first time doggy song had come with us in the diaper bag.  And wa-we, aka his water cup.  We all need things that give us some physical comfort here on earth, right?

Genius!  So, we are trying to get the house to be warm more evenly, so Jared took some cardboard and blocked the vents where we didn't need so much hot air, like in the kitchen and the hallway.  That forces the air to move past that vent and maybe travel down to the bedrooms.  You see, there's a 10 degree difference between the front living room and the sunroom or bedrooms.  I have to have a secondary heater out in the sunroom.  Life hacks!

Abishai insisted on bringing the chair into the living room to eat his lunch one day.  He pushed the chair all by himself of course.  This kid has a very "can do" attitude.

Who needs to buy a souvenir when you can make one?  Yes, this piece of wood came from Turkey Run State Park, and yes, we know you aren't supposed to rob the forest of it's items.   It was from the tree that had fallen and broken the foot bridge we had to squeeze through on.  Free lodging, free food, free park, free souvenir.  We just paid for gas and the little bit of food we brought with us.  Yes!

We didn't buy these, but we are pretty sure Justin would love them!

Helping Daddy start the fire!  Abishai has a very healthy respect for fires and even the stove.  He will step back when it gets too hot and listens when I tell him to stay back when I open the stove.

Jared traced the trail we did on the map.  So many other trails to explore and they should all be easier than the one we did!  All except the one with 140 stairs!

Yup, we did trail 3, "very rugged."  I guess next time we can try #9, which is the other "very rugged" trail.  I love the warning as well that says, "parts of these trails may be impassable during high water and should be considered closed during such times."  And, "Ladders are part of Trail 3. Ladders can be hazardous for visitors with some medical conditions or disabilities. Hikers with small children and pets should use alternative trails."  Lol! Abishai would LOVE the trails with ladders and very rugged terrain.  He would "nail" it as they say and conquer every obstacle.  We will have to take all the kids back there someday and see what they can do.  I love that the trails are actually not that long.  Somehow it makes it all seem more doable.

Crazy, sweaty hat head developed some curls on this kid!  Oh how I wish my kids had wavy hair like their Daddy did.  I know the boys need a haircut, so we'll get to that soon.  But for now, I'll enjoy looking at and playing with their longer hair.

Cheese!

Keturah playing pie face at her friend's birthday sleepover party.  She had a wonderful time!  Her friend Sarah is a very quiet, introverted person, so she and Keturah get along so well.  And we only live 5 minutes from them.

I just love this picture!  I can't believe how grown up Keturah and Sarah look together.  Tweens!  Sarah turned 10 years old.

The girls and their dolls.  I love that Keturah brings her doll to her sleepovers, complete with a small bag for Joanna's stuff.  I dreamed of doing that, but never had an 18 inch doll like the American Girl dolls.  I should really spend some time just playing dolls with Keturah. She really wasn't into the baby dolls when she was a toddler/preschooler.  But now she has a friend hanging with her at all times.  I love it!

The church's decorating crew brings out all the Christmas decorations after services on the Sunday before Thanksgiving so that on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, everything is good to go.  Abishai started carefully poking and prodding the tree, checking out the fake snow, and recognized it as pretend snow.  He was very cautious, so I let him continue to explore.  I'm glad he knows not to plow through things and is very observant and careful.

"I hide!" I actually encouraged him to hide between the trees. Too cute!

Mini me much?  Oh my goodness, during dinner out for Leah's birthday, Abishai did several cute things.  He helped Grandpa cute his fried chicken.  He put lemons in his sprite cup.  He stood up and sat done and just kept himself busy.  He didn't bother anyone and wasn't loud.  He also thanked the waiter for taking his plate away.  Oh, and he said the prayer!  "Jesus, supper, family, Amen!"  Adorable!

Another mini me combination.  Keturah is a mix between Leah and I.  And when Keturah was a baby, people would say she looks like Grandma.  Sweet!

Benaiah texted Grandma his birthday greeting, but Justin, Keturah, and Abishai all wrote a hand written note for Grandma.  I texted.  And then....


Jared's "card" made from scrap wood.  Wait for it....
My husband is such a sarcastic genius!  Do you get it?  There's usually a picture on the front of the card, and in this case, there's a yellow stain from the saw blade he was using on the wood.  And then yes, in the card, there's typically a message in the middle of it.  So technically this is a card.  Leah loved it!

Playing tic tac toe while we waited for our food, which came pretty quickly.  The restaurant was quiet and the food had big portions and was yummy.

Keturah got a burger from the adult menu.  AND she ate the whole thing!  She took home some of the fries.  Benaiah ate all his fries and ate half his sandwhich, and I think Justin did too.  Abishai ate all his chicken and most of his fries.  I had BBQ nachos and the sauce didn't agree with me, so we brought half of it home.  But boy my kids can eat!

Mr. Crazy under the table at the restaurant.  He wasn't ridiculous, but he did want to check in with Mommy.
Hiding out in Daddy's cubbard at the office, our home away from home, lol.  Yes, that's two containers of cinnamon.  He says one of them is almost empty.  But that kid's smile is a heart breaker!

After bumping headlong into Daddy and falling straight back onto the concrete floor, Abishai had a nice goose egg on the back of his head.  So Daddy got some ice and rubbed it on the spot.  And Abishai wanted to o the same.  Most kids shy away from the cold therapy, but this kid, again, imitating us, try to take care of it himself.

So we were in the e2 office and I check my Instagram and this "live" video was happening!  Bwahaha, I'm in the same building as this "live" event.

So I took the 30 seconds and walked over there and captured a "live" photo.  Oh technology!  It's like when I text Benaiah or Jared when I'm two rooms removed from them at home.  Crazy!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!  At least at church.

My FAVORITE tree at church is the one in the ladies' bathroom!  I LOVE themed trees like this!  Maybe someday we'll have two trees so I can do some themes, like "ornaments from our childhood" and "ornaments from our marriage forward." Lol.  My parents could have had a "Star Trek" tree or a "Crayola ornaments" tree because they purchased most of the ornaments in those series from Hallmark.

Speaking of my Mom, it was cold enough (below 32 degrees F) to pull out the sweater my mom made for me.  She gifted me the yarn one Christmas and presented the sweater to me the next Christmas.  It's super, super warm, and in my favorite colors, and I don't care if it's not "fashionable" I where it when I just need a hug from my mom.

Abishai wanted to try out his knife skills at home.  He refused to use a kid plastic knife.  Nope, he needed to use a grown up knife.

So I handed Abishai his drink from the restaurant when he got up from his nap, thinking there was maybe a couple of lemons in it.  Well, he drink whatever pop was left in there, and then got a bowl to put the lemons in.  He then threw away the cup and started to chew on the lemons.  Say what?!  Abishai is very resourceful and tidy.  And has more many manners than most of us.  Oh that kid.  And the others.  Stay tuned because on the next post, I'm going to be sharing something very special from the 15 year old.