Our Family

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

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Year 2, Day 56: Quiet Weekend

It's always hard to come with material for the blog when we have quiet, sabbath type days.  We LOVE it though, when we can just be home for most of the day, doing this or that like today.  I told the kids and Jared yesterday that today was a catch up day from the week to do some quick decluttering and clean up.  And that's what we did.  Kids took baths.  The floor got vaccummed.  Launrdy from two days ago got folded and put away.  The books on the school table were restacked, extra stuff was removed, and book bags are ready for Monday.  Dishes were done.  Jared and Justin played minecraft for 3 hrs straight.  Although I do get somewhat annoyed when Jared plays with the kids via screen time (video games or youtube), instead of doing the things I want him to do (like bring in a certain box), he definitely deserves that downtime as well.  It's something I need to get over, but it's still hard.  And he did bring in the box I wanted tonight, after I loudly said, "I hope you got that box!" without even looking to see if he did.  Whoops.  I said I was sorry, don't worry.

I could have done so much more today, but just didn't push myself.  I caught up on some YouTube videos myself and played around with some of my own games.  But, that's ok.  I will try to do more tonight and tomorrow, which is another stay at home day until the evening.  Of course we had church tonight and we have youth group and choir tomorrow.  Nice and easy and normal routine.  I'm looking forward to being at church for 2 hours tomorrow because I can spend 1/2 hr to 1 hr walking around inside the building for exercise and then the rest of the time is for reading and cross stitch.  Oh man, I've become my mother!!  She would sit at my sister's swim practices or at our youth group meetings and knit or sew small quilt pieces, and maybe she read some, too.  But I don't remember that.  I do know that Grandma Howell and lots of the other moms at youth group would meet in a class room while us kids did our thing and prayed for us and for each other.  My mom would pray with her eyes open and her hands agoing on her knitting.  And I KNOW that their prayers made a difference because we were a pretty tight knit little group and most of us, if not all, have continued to remain in the faith and have strong connections with the church wherever we ended up living.  I'm still friends with the moms of my friends and my friends, if only to see how their kids are doing on Facebook.  Great memories.

Meanwhile, my little introverts are reading machines!  Well, I'm not sure if I wrote about this before, but here goes.  Back when Benaiah was starting to learn to read, Grandpa Johnson voluntarily told him that he would pay Benaiah $0.05 a page for his reading.  Well, that tradition has continued on with the other kids.  When Keturah reads, she's to come tell me about what she read.  Justin did that as well, but now he has to write book reports.  Thankfully, they both read books for pleasure that they don't report on, so the focus is not all on the money.  I forget when Benaiah stopped doing this little incentive, but it probably was when he started mowing and snowblowing for money.  We've kept track over the years, but I only have a document that goes back two years.  So, here are the current stats for these two: Keturah has read 4585 pages and has earned $229.25.  Justin has read 9418 pages and has earned $470.90.  That's crazy!  All for just reading over the last two years!  Now, we have always insisted that they give 10% to the church every time they have paid, so they have.  But, the problem is that we have also let them spend every penny of the other 90%.  Most of the time, it has gone to Legos.  Keturah did buy her $50 cd player with some of her money.  Therefore, from now on, we are encouraging/insisting that they do their 10% tithe, save 50% for LONG term savings (more than a year) and then they can spend the other 40% however they like, even saving it up for a year and buying a bigger Lego set or something.  We are so proud of our kids for being such great readers.  And sometimes, I have to remind myself, that wow, I really did teach them all to read, didn't I?  It was more like guiding them and drilling them and them being willing to learn, rather than me being a great teacher.  Cool!

Speaking of teaching, we have a ton of Jenga blocks and Justin and Keturah like to make two Jenga towers with them.  They call this version, "The Twin Towers" game after the Twin Towers in NYC that fell on 9/11.  I have no problem with this because at least they are remembering something we learned in our history lessons!  And they aren't being disrespectful of what the event was, like they are not laughing hysterically when the Jenga towers fall.  That's pretty neat!

Another neat thing is that we got information back on whether or not we can get a mortgage and if we can get one at a decent rate.  And we were amazed at how well our credit score actually is and what we can "afford" and what rate we can get!  Praise the Lord!  So, that's one more step closer to making Indianapolis our permanent home again.  I know that there is the "perfect" home out there for us.  We are looking every day and so is our agent.  We'll know it when we see it.  And it will be all because God put it there and it will be in His timing, just like the Beech Grove home was and our rental in Charlottetown.  Now onward to putting together everything I need to get the taxes done!  It's very intimidating, but if I can get out there and do Zumba and meet new people and try new homeschool methods, I can certainly put my hand to the plow and get these silly taxes done!

We went from 70 degrees to 30 degrees in one day!  We woke up to a bit of snow on the ground and it was freezing cold walking into church tonight.

Jared pointed out that the snow fell on the east side of the buildings and cars this time, which is unusual.  Most weather in the midwest comes from west.

The camera is facing north, so the right side of the picture is the east.  See the snow on the cars?  Cool observation!

Fast forward about 10 hours.  After church, we went through the car wash with the van.  Jared had bought a bunch of car washes a couple of months ago to use this winter.  Abishai was very scared when we all went through the carwash.  He had watched Grandma's car get washed, but he wasn't actually in the vehicle.  Keturah thought the car wash stuff was hysterical.  I don't the kids and I had been in the carwash in over 5 years!  Anyway, right across the road from the carwash was Chick-Fil-A.  Jared teasingly told us not to look, so of course we did.  The kids didn't ask for it, but Jared had another craving for some.  So, we wait in the car and he walks in not knowing what he was going to get.  He thought that maybe if he got the party tray it would be cheaper (but it actual wasn't).  He didn't really know how many nuggets he would get and such either and how much it would cost!  Whoops!  He just had this huge sheepish grin on his face when he got back in the car.  And he didn't get anything for me.  Boo!  The kids enjoyed their bedtime snack once we got home and I had a spoonful of the honey mustard sauce.  There is nothing like Chick Fil A honey mustard sauce.  Believe me, we have tried every kind of honey mustard out there.  Jared has his nuggets with a fried egg.  And there's leftovers for breakfast! 

Abishai loves to read, too.  So I pulled over Grandma Howell's childhood rocking chair and put in front of a braided rug that was hers or her mom's, in front of the fire that Daddy built.  Abishai does ask for books a ton.  And he has a big stack that are his favorites. He was even "reading" this one to himself and pointing out certain things on the pages that I usually point out.  Then we read some more in the other room in our favorite yellow nursing chair.  Books, books, and more books.  Perhaps in the new house I'll be able to get them all out again.  I just knew I didn't want to get out everything and have to repack it all a year later.  I need to go through and donate some to a poor community or something.  I do think about how some kids don't have access to books because their parents can't take them to the library and can't afford to buy them.  And it puts a huge disadvantage in learning for them.  Maybe instead of toy drives at Christmas for poor folks, we need some book drives.  I think next time I will donate books instead of the toys.  Or like at the toy store when they have a bin for the Salvation Army or something.  Sigh.  We are way blessed and can't possibly read everything we have.  I'm so glad that all my kids love to read and I tribute that to their grandparents and their Daddy reading all the time.  I don't read many physical books anymore, but I do "read" a lot of articles and listen to a lot of podcasts to keep learning.  Grandma and Grandpa Howell would be very pleased with this picture, and I know Grandma and Grandpa Johnson are also very proud of all their grandchildren's successes in academics and good habits/character/morals.

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