Our Family

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

Monday, April 24, 2017

Year 2, Day 113: We Sick

That's what I get for having a two year old around the house: I talk in two year old sentences like, "I sit.  I sick. I need wa we! (water).  I need to go potty!"  Lol, anyway.  Yes, Abishai was sick on Friday, Leah and I both woke up today feeling sick.  I'm not sure what kind of illness she has, but I have a spring head cold.  Pretty typical of me to get one in the spring and one in the fall.  Especially when I have a toddler in the very large church nursery.  We have one of the cleanest church nurseries I have ever known with toys being cleaned constantly with great cleaning lysol type cleaning cloths (most likely NOT a blend of essential oils, but ok fine).  But, still, it's not uncommon to be at church on a weekend and be sick within a couple of days.  Anyways, I couldn't sleep last night because of too much caffeine a little bit too late, a little bit of day dreaming (where on earth am I going to put my school stuff at this new house we've got an accepted offer on?), and not being able to breathe.  I'm actually surprised I'm still upright.  I did have a little nap today.

Meanwhile, Abishai has played harder and made bigger messes with having the other two kids around again.  (And where am I going to put a new playroom?!  I NEED both!  No seriously, these are two major things that bug me constantly: toys under our feet in the living room or being stored in the living room, and either having school on the dining room table, or in bins around the living room in the way.  Anyway, I digress.)  Abishai is obsessed with following Justin around and doing everything Justin does including taking off his shirt when they come home.  Justin often changes into shorts as well, so now Abishai thinks he needs to take off his pants and run around in just a diaper.  It's a good thing it's a mutually loving relationship because Justin missed Abishai a ton (and always does when he's away).

For the first time in awhile, I and my four "little" ducklings walked out of church tonight together!  "Eenie, mini, minee, and mo."  All four in every size and shape in all stages of childhood.  CRAZY!  What's also crazy is watching the pre teens and teens every week pass us in the hallway on Sunday evenings and realizing we knew a good 1/4 or 1/3 of them as infants and toddlers.  They feel like they've grown a ton, but we were gone for 4 years and didn't watch them grow week to week like we do now.  I am left wondering what each one is like now.  Is this one still shy and quiet?  Oo, that one is now a little too full of himself.  Wow, that one loves mission trips!  Again, I'm sure families that have known the Johnsons were the last 25 years there say the same thing about Jared and Aaron and our families now.  "Wow, Jared grew up and now look at him!  It's not a snotty kid anymore!"  Jared was never a rotten kid, but he did keep to himself a lot and I think some viewed him as stuck up.  Actually, once again, Benaiah is going through the same thing.  Benaiah is louder than Jared was, but Benaiah does have his own little clique and because Benaiah talks with his teachers and such, some view him as stuck up.  He does talk "down" at some kids sometimes, but he's been working on it.  Anyway, I'm just always struck at how kids simply grow up no matter how involved you are in the process or not.  Even in spite of your possible over-involvement (speaking to myself here).  They just grow.  It's an amazing process that God created that we, as parents, get to be a part of it for almost 20 years.

But back to today's reality.  Keturah is excited and yet exhausted from singing all weekend.  And she gets to do it again next weekend with a dress rehearsal, a last run through right before the performance, and then the performance!  6pm in the big auditorium at Indian Creek.  Can't wait to see it!  She'll even have a special face mic too, just like Grandpa!  Woot! Woot!

Putting the final touches on the scenes with just the actors and actresses.

"I just woke up!  Don't shove food at me!  I don't want it on the plastic lid, I want it on the floor!" - Abishai, who had to wake up quickly in order to make it to church on time for Justin's youth group.

But when he did fully wake up, he was Mr. Crazy man running like the Kid Flash - a blur!

Sometimes, sigh.  Parents forget to make sure their kids have a water bottle, jacket and have been fed before they leave for church or choir rehearsal.  Whoops!  So, Momma to the rescue between actor rehearsal and full choir rehearsal.  It's a good thing I had gone grocery shopping and bought a big pizza as we normally do on grocery shopping day!  Cold pizza for dinner!  Yum!

This is a mass of pre teens.  And it's not all of them either.  I'm talking about 6th-8th graders, and probably 1/2 of them?

The one who looks like a combination of a dinosaur hunter on Jurassic World and a photojournalist - Benaiah - wearing his father's outdoorsy shirt with a gazillion pockets!  It's Benaiah's new "I'll never take it off because I like it so much!" shirt.  Kid, you have plenty of clothes, but I'm glad this vest is getting a ton more use.  I think Jared wore it once or twice.

The guy that is jumping on the other guy is named David and he's been Benaiah's best friend since their baby days.  BTW, Benaiah didn't move an inch after David jumped on him.  He's a solid kid and David, is well, the skinniest kid ever.  Lol.

A whole church full of youths and this kid chooses his Bible Bowl friends and Pokemon' over the rest.  Well, I'm glad they aren't interested in girls and guys yet.  The two friends are actually brother and sister and the youngest of a very large 9 kid family.  We love them and their friendship though!  Still very innocent and naive kids.

Keturah had an extra long rehearsal time tonight, so we had to stay until 8pm.  But, the party hadn't shut down either like it normally does.  I think people were excited to see each other.  Anyway, B's in there somewhere.  Oh, and the floor is covered in rice and soy protein.  Why? Because volunteers from the church and the community packed over 275,000 meals for Haitians this weekend.  A whole semi trailer full!  Way to go Church!  We didn't participate because Keturah had all the extra singing and Benaiah was doing the video switching, and then there's Abishai's nap, etc. etc.  We simply cannot do it all.  I have to be careful with what I can handle, and I knew this weekend would be full of getting the kids back into routine, finishing up some school work for tomorrow (which they did with only a little complaining and we are NOT behind at all!), and the back and forth with Keturah.  We definitely serve in many other ways.  Both Jared and I are certified child safe by the church now and have our badges to prove it, so we'll be able to volunteer for the nursery or kids' things more easily.  I think those count as those "name tags" that were started last year that we decided not to get right away because we weren't sure if we were staying here.  But we are, so now, we've got our CS badges, I'm starting a homeschool group and the church is now our home away from home.  That's nothing new for me.  I think I was at one church or another 3 or 4 times a week for my whole childhood.  And now Benaiah volunteers nearly every day backstage, Jared works there all week, we are there on Sunday and Wednesday evenings.  Yup, it's home, once again.

Last minute words so that they are ready by 8:30am on Saturday morning for dress rehearsal.  Because of having Saturday evening services and making sure the stage is set for that, the children's choir must do their dress rehearsal on Saturday morning.  Then the stage can be put back into worship mode by 4 pm.  Then that will be put away and the childrens' choir set up will be put up Sunday afternoon.  Anyway, I'm super excited to see my girl in action!  She's not afraid, to be up there, just like Benaiah wasn't, and she's very concerned about listening well and doing everything Mrs. Christy says.  She's so big now, my almost 9 year old!

Then there's the 11 year old, who would forget his nose if it wasn't attached!  This is a sweet moment where Justin was saying good night like he always does (sometimes with a hug and kiss for his mother!), and I asked him in a little kid voice if he wanted to read with Daddy, too.  He said yes!  Aww.....But here's my story from earlier.  We were walking out to the van to leave for church this evening, and I had given Justin the task to throw away the dirty pizza box.  Sometimes it's not dirty and can be recycled, but I used to put the pizza back on so I could it properly and it was soiled.  Anyway, Justin dropped off the other bags he was carrying in the back of the van and then waved around the pizza box asking where it went.  "Well, dude, where do you think it goes?" I responded.  "Uh, I don't know," he said.  "In the trash!" "Where's the trash?" "Justin, where the trash always is!"  Then he looked around and I had to say, "In the garage!"  Come on, buddy!  Think with me here!  He was confused because, like I said, sometime we recycle it.  And I actually hadn't specified where it was going.  But still, it was just one of those blank stare pre teen moments that drives me nuts when I'm in a rush!  So, the inside joke is now "Justin, where's the trash?" instead of "Justin, where's your nose?"  We have a great laugh over this, although it frustrates both Justin and I.  He doesn't mean to be so distracted.  It's just his wires haven't been reconnected yet in his brain.  He's a dreamer.  And that's perfectly fine, except when I need to be somewhere.  At least we can laugh about it this time around.  It wasn't funny when we went through it with Benaiah.  We just didn't realize it's a normal part of growing up.  But, it is, and it's all good.
 P.S. Whoops!  Forgot to download these first:

Abishai was extremely upset when Daddy and Keturah left very early this morning.  I mean, he kept running over to Jared to hug him.  And when the door closed, he sat against it, balling.  I had to pick him up and rock him for a bit.  Poor little guy.  H'es got a very special relationship with his Daddy already (thus he choose Daddy to read to him tonight instead of Mommy).  Oh, and Abishai drank a whole cup of cold whole milk today!  Previously, he hasn't liked that it's cold and not as sweet as Mommy's milk.  But now that we''re done with that, and the temperatures are warming up outside, he seemed to be ok with it today.  Yeah!  More protein and vitamins for Mr. Picky Eater!  And an ultra smooth transition.  I'm not sad about this.  It's time to move on.

The poor car in front of me probably thought I was taking a bunch of pictures of his license plate or something.  But no, I wasn't, and I purposefully tried to keep his license plate of my pictures!  I was trying to capture the Goodyear Blimp that has arrived for Race Month! It's right there near the pole in the middle of the picture.  We were on our way home from the grocery store.  Which, I didn't want to do alone with just Justin and Abishai, but we got through it ok.  It was a big load of mostly fresh/frozen veggies and meats and a few snack foods for traveling.  I still spent our whole food budget for the week though.  We go through a ton of protein and I'm trying to get more veggies in everyone's diet.  Because Jared and I don't eat many carbs, we don't go through as much of it like some families do.

Abishai's new favorite TV show is about some colorful city buses that talk.  It's called "The Little Bus Tayo," which is one of the names of the buses. The animation is ok.  I haven't seen enough storylines yet, so I don't know if it's twaddle or not.  I think it's geared towards toddlers/preschoolers.  But it definitely scratches Abishai's bus obsession/itch.  This, obviously, is on Jared's account on the PS4, so it will show up in his YouTube history.  But the kids also use the tablet now to watch YouTube and the only account on there is mine.  So, when I pull up YouTube on my computer, I can see all the videos they have watched.  They don't know how to delete videos from the browsing history yet.  So, among the videos I like to watch, I have recommendations for clips from kids movies like "Sing" or "Moana" and Thomas or Tayo or Robot Trains or Berenstein Bears.  Oh well, it's best this way!  And actually, Keturah has been very good about avoiding shows after we've realized that they aren't that great.  Things like Barbie and My Little Pony.  She does like some preschooler shows though like Shimmer and Shine on Nickelodeon.  Again, being more sheltered than some, she's pretty confident and not worried that her friends will think she's dumb for watching little kid shows.  Justin isn't embarrassed either.  We all enjoy them, to be honest.
Phew!  I guess I needed to get out my 10,000 words for the day!  That's actually what I noticed when the kids came home from vacation.  They all wanted to tell each other their stories!  Benaiah was telling Grandma and Grandpa stuff about church and school and the middles were trying to tell him all about Florida.  We are a family of talkers!  I try to listen to them a little bit, but when they go on and on about pokemon' or a video game, I tell them I just don't have the brain space for all those details.  You can keep talking, but don't expect me to remember it all.  And what they have memorized is important. And that's why, I think we are going to head in a new direction with our homeschooling next year.  I'm pretty excited to change it up a bit (actually, it's going to be more than a bit different).  Now if only I could figure out a new school area in the new house!  Don't worry, Jared and I are on the same page and are discussions are going well with how to set up our new house.  We have the same goals, and I'm grateful for that!  Ah!  Can't wait to move!  And have a yard!  And be close to church!   Woot! Woot!

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