Our Family

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

Friday, March 31, 2017

Year 2, Day 89: Terrible Two's

Wow!  We've always said the 3's were harder than the 2's, but I think this last baby is proving that theory wrong.  Abishai had many moments of unhappiness or craziness or "my way or the highway" bits that just purely exhausted me and had me caving in to his wishes just so he would stop fussing.  Yes, I am that mom.  I can only wrestle a 23 lb snake so long before my aching fibromyalgia body starts throwing a fit.  It started with the cereal and only wanting the marshmallows out of it.  Then, after playing hard for an hour at an indoor playground, Abishai wanted his water and Mommy forgot his sippy cup.  We offered him a water bottle, and he would not take it.  Nor did he want to go play.  In fact, he tried to put his shoes on so we could leave to get it.  And leave we did because he wouldn't settle down.  And because home was further away from the golden arches, we went to McD's to get a drink with some Happy Meals.  (It was close to lunch time).

We had two other errands to run, the library and the grocery store, and both were about 20 minutes away from the playground.  Abishai then was stir crazy at the library when I was trying to herd Keturah and Justin in and out of the library (Justin is another whole paragraph worth of crazyiness).  We then went into Aldi's with a "short" list of groceries, which ended up being half a load.  But Abishai didn't know if he wanted to be in the seat of the cart, or in the big part of the cart, or sitting or standing, or sitting forward, sideways or backwards.  Thank goodness Aldi's is a small store and I don't have to make many decisions as to what brand to buy and which is the better deal.  When we finally made it home, it was after 2 pm, and Abishai beyond done and ready for a nap.  We got the groceries in, while Abishai said hi and bye to his cars (and put Keturah's new mini Barbie down for a nap, too.  See pics below).  Thank goodness for naptime!

We were able to collect ourselves after Mommy had a time out and the middles had Bible class.  Then we waited for Daddy to get home so we could have movie night.  I couldn't sit still through it, especially with Abishai would definitely wasn't sitting still.  We borrowed the new, live action Jungle Book from the library.  The others had seen it, so it was really just me watching it for the first time.  I saw most of it.  It was a pretty impressive movie. I have seen the original, but only a few times and a very long time ago, so I don't know how it compares or what the "easter eggs" were, etc.  I just kept thinking, "how much of this is computer generated?"  Most of it, I think.  I miss old fashioned movie magic, but that's a topic for another post.

Ok, Justin, I have no idea what I am going to do with Mr. Spacey!  I went to check out books at the library and told Justin and Keturah to finish and follow me.  Well, they didn't.  Justin didn't even realize I had walked across the library.  I then told him to check out his books while I went back to look for Abishai's McD's car.  When I couldn't find it, I went back to see if Justin was done and I literally said, "Justin, did you check out your books?"  He said, "Huh, what?  I didn't!"  Then he tried checking them out and, get this, he couldn't because he ALREADY CHECKED THEM OUT!  What?  Clueless!  Totally clueless!  I guess I was a bit spacey when I was his age.  Benaiah wasn't this bad.  I know it's a phase, but it's quite annoying.  It's like he has a severe case of ADD (no offense to those who really do have that diagnosis).  I will tell him ONE thing to do, and he'll go to do it and....SQUIRREL...he gets highly distracted.  It's frustrating, but also intriguing at how someone can be so clueless but knowing it's because his brain is changing.  I'm a people watcher, so I do find this interesting, now that I know not to panic about it.

I didn't see much of Benaiah today because he was doing yard work for Grandpa.  And Keturah just came along for the ride and did her homework.  Sigh.  I think God gives you kids to refine you and grow you but boy is that growing hard!  I'm exhausted!

The kid can climb up the side of the chair and through the arms.  He thinks he owns the place.  And well, he does.  I'm really enjoying this "last kid/baby of the family" fun.  He's so spoiled and we know it!

The playground we found is at Brookville Road Community Church.  They open it for almost all day every day to the public for free!  It was super busy today but it's the last day of spring break, so I'm not surprised.

Abishai did a great job climbing today!

He insisted I climb up and down the slide with him.  We tried the places where there were nets, but his foot would have gotten caught so I didn't encourage it.

Go, Baba, go!

These blocks were a bit slanted, so I really thought he wouldn't be able to do it.  He proved me wrong!

Monkey see, monkey do!

Keturah, too!

Lots of cubes with bubble windows and netting between them.

Peek a boo!

Toddler area!  He head to learn to be patience and so did the other toddlers.

At least at this age, toddlers like to be helpers.  He put in about 1/3 of Justin's books for him.

Yes, Justin read this many Pokemon books in two weeks.  No wonder his Bible Bowl studying has suffered.  We had to have a little chat about that.

This picture is blurry, but it proves that Abishai really does like helping.  The bag is actually empty.  We only had 4 books to pick up this time, instead of 50!

Head in the cloud of Pokemon.

Sleepy baby!

Yes, I bought a 5 lb bag of Enjoy Life brand of Dark Chocolate chocolate chips, not to put in recipes, but to just eat as a snack.  They are soy free and dairy free.  So, overall, they aren't cheap, but I think they are cheaper buying them in bulk on Amazon Subscribe and Save.  I LOVE having Amazon Prime and being able to buy specialty foods online!

Abishai loves watching the vloggers I like with me.  He and I were watching a video this morning while we ate our breakfast.

Cutie on the counter.

Keturah got a mini Barbie at McDonald's and gave it to Abishai.  He was playing with it, and I told him to put it night night so he can go night night.  I then grabbed a few things from the make believe kitchen box and he proceeded to put "blankies" on her.  One time, it was like the "Princess and the Blankie (instead of the pea)" because there were 10 dish rags on her!

Then we put his cars night night, too.

Keturah's creations today.

Pokemon battles.

Abishai is definitely an extravert/relational/caring/big hearted kind of guy.  He loves playing with doll houses and role playing.  He notices babies and gives hugs.  He gets upset when he hears the door open and close and Daddy doesn't wait for Abishai to come over and say goodbye again.  (Yes, that happened today and Abishai cried for 5 minutes afterwards!)

And another blankie.  Which, later on, he tried putting on Justin when we were watching the movie.

Night, night cars!
I think Abishai and Justin both have big, caring hearts.  But, Abishai is definitely more extroverted.  Again, I love watching how he interacts with people and his surroundings, copying the real world.  I'm sure the others did it, too, but I think Abishai has more examples to follow.  I love family dynamics!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Year 2, Day 88: Catch Up Time

Yup, I knew I'd hit a snag this week.  I tried to get into the taxes this morning, and started to feel overwhelmed again.  I just wish I could stay up to date on the business side of life so I can really enjoy actually spending time with the kids instead of choosing to play one day and work another day.  But, this isn't a daycare, this is home where Mom where's numerous hats, and I just have to be content that I'm doing enough and God got the rest.

I just can't wait to really settle in to a new house, where it really is ours for the long haul so I can set it up with better routines and permanent places for things like files and Christmas wrapping I'm still kicking at near my desk because why move it now when it will be moved again in less than 2 months?  I can't wait to unbox everything, and over time, rehome everything into pretty spaces.  Ok, maybe not everything, I probably will purge again at some point.  Point is, I have a lot of dreams, but no physical stamina.  I have to choose the very best to focus on and forget the rest that everybody else seems to be able to get done in any given week.  Completely frustrating to a doer like me.  Sigh.

Meanwhile, yup, life was pretty much the same today as the rest of the week.  If I can get moving a little faster tomorrow, I'll give the indoor playground space at that church a call to see if it's open and head over there with the kids to check it out. And we have to get to the library again because we have more books to pick up!  Oh, I do have to say, after my frustrating morning, I was on the edge of blowing up, the kids sensed it and backed off and were very obedient this afternoon.  Yeah!  That was very helpful in calming me down, at least for our lessons together.  We had a decent dinner and playtime aftewards.  But boy did it rain like crazy!  A few weather warnings, too.  I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.

We got a letter from our sponsor girl last week!  We have a girl from Kenya, that is about Keturah's age.  We haven't written as often as we should, but we have done it a couple of times.  Just look at how great her handwriting has become!  Sweet!

Postage from Kenya!

We were greeted with this fun bug inside the house today.  Yuck!  Justin got one of Abishai's sticks and was able to get the bug to crawl onto it and then just throw the bug and stick over the porch railing.

Math time! Geometric shapes brought to you by a very old toy from the Howells.

I made sure Keturah knew that an Egyptian pyramid had 4 sides and a square base.  I know it has a particular name, and so does a three sided pyramid.

Pretty pattern!

Abishai was actually afraid of the storms!  Every time he heard a big roll of thunder, he would come running to us prancing and scared.  But he doesn't mind watching the wawee washing the cars.  "Wawee, wash, vroom!" he said many times over.  He's fascinated with how the rain seems to wash everything, like the houses and grass and trees.

Wow, scary fast clouds!  But we didn't have that much thunder and lightning.  Soon the sky was all the same shade of gray and it rained and rained.

These clouds were between the downpours today.

Keturah is still light enough and small enough for Daddy to pick up.

She, and I, were a tad scared when Daddy got close to the railing.  I literally shake when we are close to edges when we are high off the ground.

Abishai on his "throne" made by Daddy's arms, just watching the rain and the vrooms getting washed.

Awww, this is the life, watching the rain.  The simplest things bring the greatest pleasure to wee ones.  Why do we have to grow up and ignore the simplest things and focus on the complicated things?  We all need to enjoy a good thunderstorm once in a while!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Year 2, Day 87: Another Great Day!

Some might think that a great day, or a fun day, would mean going out and doing "stuff" all day.  That's not true for us.  A great day for us is being able to stay home, do our bookwork at our leisure, taking a 1 hr recess, spending as much time as Mommy wants us to on history (or little time!), having just enough screen time, and THEN going out for activities in the evening.  And that's what we did today.  I just love how Keturah and Justin like to stay home.  I have asked numerous times if they want to go out and do something or if they want to play a board game with me and they often say no thanks.  Both of them got started on their work right away this morning after breakfast without being told.  Poor Justin had trouble again today because he had to blow his nose numerous times during each math problem or chapter he was reading.  I finally gave him a 24 hr allergy pill and it seemed to slow his nose down a bit.

And Abishai makes every day, great days or bad days, a better day.  He is faster than Lightning McQueen and barely makes a pit stop to eat.  Thankfully his naps are still pretty long.  Tonight at church, he was running so fast, I had to a jog to catch up to him before he went from Kidustrial Park all the way down the ramp to the East Hall.  He makes lap after lap after lap.  Some laps included a white laundry basket on his head, or he put his blankie and paci in it to carry around.  He also used his sippy cup as a soccer ball!  Thank goodness Gerber brand is TOUGH stuff!  I've had their sippy cups, their utensils, and their small bowls with lids for 14 years and they are still hanging on strong.  (Unlike those nasty sippy cups with the straws that mold even when they've been cleaned out well).

At recess time, he listened well, and when he saw or I told him that a car was coming, he pedaled his bike up into the grass from the street we were on without being told!  He recognized the danger!  Yeah!  And we got to hear and see the big ladder fire truck while we were outside.  We were still outside when it finished it's run, so I waved to it and yes, they did honk their horn at Abishai!  Sweet!  Keturah got the bubbles out which was fun, and Abishai got the chalk out.  Keturah left Daddy some drawings on the garage floor (that I had just swept, thank goodness).  Abishai even got to meet the little yappy dogs because they came running out their back door.  They licked at Abishai's hands and Abishai didn't mind it.  Their owners were grumpy though.

Benaiah scored a (not full sized) keyboard at church tonight that they were using as a prop and is going to see if he can fix it up.  He did ask me to find the piano books, which might take a bit though.  Besides he and Justin should be studying their Bible Bowl material in preparation for Saturday with every spare chance they get.  Jared and I may tag team that so that I can do a Hop and Shop event in the morning with the two younger ones.

I told Abishai we were going outside and he nearly screamed "Bice! Bice!"  He loves his bike!

Keturah drew a big circle where Daddy's truck should go.

She practiced her cursive in chalk!  I won't let her try new letters without me being around though, because even when I did watch the boys do their penmanship, their handwriting still has many issues.  These are very lovely letters though!

Chasing bubbles!  I'm so glad Abishai is a bit older this year and can do these cute toddler things.  And yes, I did hear a lawn mower out there today because look at all that bright green grass!

A boy and his sticks!

Look, Justin, at the bright green helmet and jacket the biker is wearing! 

Today's car line up brought to you by Abishai, who gets very upset if you try to mess with any of his cars.

I told the kids I would be with them within 5 minutes.  20 minutes later (because Mom got distracted), I get over to the school table and find this.  A wall of cups with Justin hiding behind them.  Oops.  At least he was creative while he waited for me! 

Keturah set up her Barbies in her school area while she waited for me.
Oh, weatherwise, every day seems to get a bit warmer and we are hovering in the 55-60 degree F mark.  Mostly clear days, with a day or two here and there of rain.  It doesn't look like we'll get any more snow this year.  I'm sorely disappointed to say the least.  We'll have to make plans over the next 16 years when Abishai is under our roof, to make an effort to go to Michigan to go skiing and see the lake effect snow, not the fake stuff at Perfect North or other ski places in Indiana.  Anyway, happy spring!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Year 2, Day 85 & 86: Quiet Week

Wow, 4 days of go, going, and gone have really taken it's toll on me.  I was in a lot of pain yesterday, and was still pretty tired today.  I'm glad that I am able to plan quiet days in between busy days.  The middles appreciate it, too.  It was good to be back at co op yesterday, but at the same time, I was so exhausted from the weekend that I just wanted to lay down somewhere and sleep.  I did get to lay down while the kids did their math and goofed off a bit.  Today was a great day.  I wasn't as sleepy, and the kids did most of their homework without complaining.  Actually, they were both digging in while I was getting breakfast without me asking them to.  Keturah and Justin are really beginning to become more independent.  They did fight a bit today, but was able to reign in it when told to.  They got their screen time while I rested.  I wanted to nap, but couldn't.  I still laid down though.  Tacos for dinner, picked up/packed up some of the extra toy car paraphernalia, and found all the t-shrits and pants that were missing from Justin's drawers!  They were all hidden in another drawer!  I just KNEW there were more clothes somewhere!  But now, Jared's missing several pairs of gym shorts.  I think there's a black hole in every closest in our house!  Sheesh!

We don't have any plans for the week, so we'll tackle school and maybe get outside if it's nice.  There's Bible Bowl competition this Saturday, and normal Bible Bowl practice and choir practice and youth group.  Grandpa is even putting Benaiah and his friend to work in the yard on Friday!  Spring is definitely here!  And that means those taxes need done!  I'll get there.  My brain has been in fibro fog mode so I couldn't tackle it even today.  Maybe tomorrow.

Playtime during math class.  Every week, Keturah asks if she can have a dollhouse like this one.  She has these take along type Barbie "rooms" that kind of are like a house, but she has never had a full house.  I'm glad she can play with this one though.

Why yes, I'm some crazy person from the west. - Justin

I've never seen a duplo set with a twisty slide and wooden bridge that teeters back and forth!  So cool!

A Duplo hopscotch and swing!

He took his oranges out of the bowl I put them in and set them up like this.  Yes, of course Abishai did.

This is what he wants for lunch, English muffin, raisins and mashed potatoes.  Ok, you can have the raisins and I'll give you the English muffin IF you finish your cereal from breakfast.

Aw, Baba is teaching little one all about Egypt, at least for a few minutes.