Tuesday, June 30, 2015


For a few glorious seconds when I woke up I rejoiced in the fact that it was finally Friday. Then I realized it was only Thursday. It was a great start to the day. 

I got to deal with researching the bite on my ankle once I got to work. With the help from a friend and  Google I figured out it was most likely a spider bite and I would probably not die. My friend did a lot to put my mind at ease. As long as I kept it up (slightly difficult to do while watching a 2 year old and a 3 year old) it didn't sting or itch too badly. 

Home from work we visited with Gramma and her friend. They got a tour of the house and then took Chloe with them so she could spend the weekend (ish, close enough) with Gramma. Then I decorated a couple binders to make drawing and writing portfolio type things. (For those of you who don't know, I am an artist and a writer. Okay the latter is actually obvious, but I'm also a blonde. And that is probably obvious as well, or you can tell I'm writing after 8:30pm. Anyways...) 

This one is for drawings:

This one is for short stories and poetry:

 After dinner we went our to our friends' house for dessert and a visit. Their seven kids had a blast with the 4 younger ones of us and I greatly enjoyed sitting in to hear the adults' conversation and make sure no bad stories about any of us were being told behind our backs.

 Mom and me:

Me and Mom the past week:

Thursday night texts between me and Chloe:

On the real Friday morning I traded breakfast for sweet visits with my parents over coffee at 6:30am. Totally worth it, FYI. (Dad did not have coffee. He and coffee don't get along well. Truly the problem is completely with Dad, coffee has not done anything to him except be itself, but still Dad does not care for the substance which Mom and I greatly look forward to enjoying early in the morning.) 

Then I took some "artsy" pictures before having my quiet time, kissing my sleeping siblings, and then leaving for work. 

After work I went home to catch up with Mom. Ava then accompanied me to the bank for both me and Dad and then we went to the tiny library in Ponder. I think between the two of us we maxed out the number of books we are allowed to borrow. 

That night we had a family of 8 over. They also have 6 stinkin' adorable kids ages 9-1, 5 boys, 1 sweet girl in the middle. The parents went out to dinner and left poor hobbling me with my spider bite to attempt to keep 10 kids alive the 11 of us at our house. When I signed up for this Chloe was going to be there too, but ya know... I really wasn't worried about it, though, and everything went almost perfectly. The kids played upstairs and I prepared sandwiches for everyone with a baby on my hip (as usual). 

After dinner and a surprisingly easy clean-up, we all settled comfortably in the living room to view "Wreck-it Ralph" (which thoroughly confused me). Just as we cleaned up the living room, the parents arrived home...in perfect time for dessert. (I think they somehow knew we were about to get that out and came back at the opportune moment on purpose. They never pass up on cookies and ice cream.) 

Saturday Mom and Ava went out for the morning, Dad hung gorgeous curtains in our schoolroom, Christian did yard work, Gabe and Mia knocked themselves out playing, and I accidentally almost slept until noon. 

On the way to church:

It was scare Lydia to death night. It is extremely easy to startle me and it's usually pretty funny for everyone who sees me momentarily freak out. (I'm great at laughing at myself too though, so I see the funny side almost every time.) I've at least gotten a lot better about not screaming... Unless you throw something at me, or pretend you are going to throw something at me. 

I thought we were praying when a blinding flash of light hit my closed eyes. I was looking up fast enough to know it was actually time for communion and I had not been paying attention so the plate got tilted at just the right angle to reflect the light on my face. 

After service Ava a child, who shall remain unnamed, snuck up behind me and ran her little fingers up my back. Apparently I jumped really high and my face made those in front of me laugh, as well as myself after I was sure of who had come up behind me. 

Often times a majority of the church body will go to Rosa's Cafe for dinner. This time neither us, Aunt Cendei, nor the Smiths were going to go with everyone else. So we all went to dinner at Rosa's that night. Our family was the first to arrive, as usual, and we got to work setting up a long line of tables. The adults usually sit there and all the kids 15 and under (ish) sit in booths right next to that. That night we set up 7 tables and used 4 booths. 

Behind me someone dropped a plate and terrified me. Several of us lost it at that point (and almost choked). If I'm going to get startled I want to be able to laugh in the next moment, because even if getting startled isn't my favorite thing, laughing is pretty high on the list. 

Sunday morning Gabe came and woke me up, then Ava came and woke me up again, then Dad came to check on me right after I got up, and on my way downstairs Chloe ran into me on her way to make sure I was up. I only slept until 10:30am... 

Evidence of a night well spent: 

After breakfast/brunch for all of the rest of us, and lunch for Mia (she explained because she had already eaten and we hadn't), we all got ready and left to go swim at Gramma's house. Mom and Chloe opted for a quiet afternoon at home. Ava and I drove down in the car I drive and followed the rest in the truck. 

Halfway there they had to turn around and go back for the towels and food that no one had thought they should put in the car... Meanwhile, Ava and I had a failed experience getting gas. I'm not very good at this job yet... *sigh* I did manage to get 1/2 a tank before I had issues though! 

The water was plenty warm, almost not cool enough to be refreshing, but it was lovely all the same. That was my first time to swim this year, maybe the latest into the summer I have had to wait my entire life and that is no exaggeration. 

Dad went to Sprouts for us afterwards and I took everyone else home. I was so excited to make it there and back without GPS and without any wrong turns. I wasn't necessarily confident of where I was or where I was going the whole time, but I still did it!

I'm always so impressed by my siblings. They didn't get a sunburn, again! I kept checking to see if I was pink while in the pool, but I was always fine. It wasn't until I got home that I saw I was, in fact, burned. The lack of hot water by the time I got my turn in the shower worked out okay, though, as the  ice cold super duper freezing cooler water felt nice. That feeling when the heat is literally rising off your body is so weird and kind of cool. I feel like one of those sun-charged outdoor lights whenever I get a sunburn. 

After dinner Mom made popcorn and we watched The Willis Clan all together. Later there were ice cream sandwiches. 

Monday morning saw coffee in my small hands and a few more "artsy" pictures. It was a normal work day for me and Dad and everyone else did school and other Monday things. I ran errands for Dad in the afternoon and made dinner after that. 

Christian and I had a squat competition. (His idea.) To save him, I will spare you the details. I won within the first 3 minutes, but kept going past 5 minutes just to be sure because he claimed he was still going at 3 minutes, but he kept stopping because his knees hurt. He kind of sort of was doing them with very very terrible horrible form...

The Herd: Quoted 

"Forgot I had to actually wear shoes." -Me

"Did everyone see the missionary jar I set up?" -Gabe
"Yes, and it already had $10 and a few cents in it." -Mia 
"Where did the $10 come from?" -Mom
"Me." -Mia 

"I really don't want to go to Egypt, they might make me into a mummy." -Mia in all seriousness. 

"China, that's where all the deserts are, right?" -Mia 

"A lot of the funny quotes come from me." -Gabe 

"Bedroom doors stay open, but if you are using the bathroom, make sure the door is closed." -Mom's instructions before time at a friend's house. 

"My sore throat makes me sound emotional when I sing." -Christian 

"And one of them was painted by my great great great great great grandma!" -Mia
"No, just your great gramma." -Mom

"Well, all muddy legs is a lot better than all broken legs." -Mom when a child is reported to be a bit messy. 

"How much is it to get the best kind of worst kind of guitar?" -Gabe 

"I don't know who Andrew is!" -Me earnestly. 
"Uhuh..." -Christian 
"I don't!!" -Me
"I'm agreeing with you, sarcastically!" -Christian 

"You have to arm wrestle with Noah? He will eat you for breakfast...lunch...and dinner! And he'll hurt your arm." -Christian 

"She said to you, "Your hair looks amazing like that!" and I said, "Why thank you, I think my hair looks pretty adorable with gel too." -Christian 

"I won't tease you if they start showing off." -Ava

"I love boys!" -Mia

"I know karate, judo, tae kwon do, and a whole bunch of other scary sounding words." -Chloe

"I don't hang out with 17 year olds, ever." -Christian 
"Um and what am I?" -Me

"Guys don't use conditioner in the shower, it's optional." -Christian 
"Well, not until they decide they want someone special to like running their hand through their hair."  -Me
"Like while kissing? The proper way to kiss is for the guy to have his hand on the girls cheek and the other around her waist. Then the girl has her hands either both around his neck or one hand on his face and the other in his hair. I'll show you later." -Christian  
"NO!" -Me 
"Yeah using conditioner could save a relationship I guess." -Christian
"You mean like a girl would say they don't like them anymore because of their hair?" -Me
"Yeah like they start kissing and she feels his hair and screams 'you're hair is rough, this relationship is over!'" -Christian 
(Yes it was a rather awkward conversation now that I think about it...)  

"Ah! Who did that? It's chocolate!" -Mom
"What! Don't you like chocolate?" -Me 
"Not on my carpet!" -Mom

"Hm, what word should I choose for this week?" -Me
"Hot." -Chloe 
"Well thank you, I don't feel particularly attractive at the moment but..." -Me

"You really need to learn that Pirates of the Caribbean song." -Chloe
"What? Up is Down?" -Me
"No, the one by the guy with the talented butt." -Chloe 

This is what she was talking about:

"I remember when his voice was high and it sounded so cute!" -Chloe 

"My legs are the most ripped out of you, me, and Christian though." -Me
"Yeah, well mine are pretty ripped too, they're just hidden!" -Chloe
"With fat?" -Me
*We both laugh* 

"Mia, what are you grateful for?" -Dad
"Um...all I can think of is things I'm ungrateful for, like being sick." -Mia 

"I have serious doubts about this being a good idea." -Christian 

"If we are both still going in 10 minutes then it's a draw." -Me setting the rules for our squat challenge.
"Oh we will definitely still be going in 10 minutes." -Christian 

"They are leaving in a few weeks." -Mom
"Wait, they are leaving in June?" -Me
"Um, this is June, July 1st is on Wednesday, Lydia." -Mom
"What month is it?! I'm totally lost." -Me
"You just lost a month, it is almost July." -Mom
"I'm so confused." -Me doing a *face table*

"I'm so excited for tomorrow morning because I can have coffee again." -Me 
*Mom laughs* 

"I guess I better pause it." -Mom
"Yeah that was enough *dings* in a row. How many texts just came through?" -Me
"Seven." -Mom

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Breaking My Wrist

Wednesday's highlight was probably our second play practice. 

That morning and early afternoon I worked, then, when I got home, the Munsells came to work on "The Princess Bride." 

This practice went much better! I gave everyone a job and then passed the title of "Director" to Abigail, so I could do my acting. This time we just worked on acts one and two rather than trying to go through the whole thing. (Sorry, no pictures this time...) Everyone is getting more familiar with their lines (ish). We at least tried to do it without holding our scripts and rather had someone remind us if we forgot. My hair was in the way, a lot. But it has to be down for certain reasons that have to do with humor. (Getting pulled, however, is not supposed to be part of it.)

Gabe, our Giant, has a perfect accent and is very strong. He is going to do fabulously! 

Mia can say "Inconceivable!" very well and is learning her lines super-quickly.

Christian is getting there...!

If I'd learn my own lines in addition to everyone else's instead of just learning everyone else's that would probably be good... I'm looking forward to running all my acting questions by our awesome Uncle Phil, who is our professional help for this production.  I also have got to learn to stop smiling so much. (It's a natural reaction for me, actually a natural face, that and very extremely confused. According to Christian, both are cute.) 

We had some time after the practice to play and talk. Someone accidentally started playing love songs on the  guitar. (My hands are too small to play Christian's guitar, so it wasn't me. And the owner of the guitar was not playing it, so it wasn't him.) Ava was joking about the fact that it was a love song. The player protested and his sisters realized that actually it was. We all laughed about it and then the guitar was quickly put away. 

After dinner we watched "The Willis Clan" and headed towards bed. 

Chloe and I decided to have an arm wrestling rematch. We started with our left arms. I actually won!! I was pretty excited. Both of us kind of sort of did a lot of screaming during the match. Then we did our right. (We are both right handed.) I said, "ready, set, go" and screamed and she won. That was because she almost broke my wrist. Apparently...and I totally just forgot what I was going to say right there. *Sigh* At any rate, I'm fine now, so she didn't hurt it too bad. 

Having a sister close to my age is pretty amazing. (We are 11 months apart, I was born a week late, she was born 3 weeks early. For 3 weeks of the year we are the same age and love confusing people who ask if we are twins, because we get asked that all the time.) I don't always love it, but 99.9999% of the time I do. We shared a room for the first 12 years of her life, had our own rooms for 3 (ish) years, and now we are back to sharing. Often we will get pretty silly at night talking (before we go to bed, when the lights are out we both know we aren't going to talk anymore) and have the random-est conversations that usually include blonde moments for me, sarcasm on her part, lots of movie quotes, breaking out into song, mild to high teasing on her part, a lot of *face floors* for me, funny stories from our day, brilliant one-liners, etc. 

Mia did this the other day in one sitting. 
I did this same exact exercise when I was 12 and it took me weeks of hard work. 

The Herd: Quoted

(A lot of these are from me, because I wasn't with my family a whole lot that day... They need to start recording quotes for me to use since I'm not there to do it myself.) 

"Don't pick your nose. Oh...you put rice up there... Why did you put rice in your nose? No, I can't help you get it out, use your finger." -Me 

"You can't touch her at all, that is too much physical contact." -Christian 
"Says the boy who calls me 'Babe' and kisses my cheek." -Me 

"If you know my lines, but I don't, and I know your lines, but you don't, maybe we should switch characters." -Me during practice to "Wesley." 

"What? I thought you liked it when I worship the ground you walk on!" -Me practicing weeping at "Wesley's" feet. 

"Ouch, ouch, you're pulling my hair!" -Me all during practice. 

"This was bad... I was eating lunch and I had to tell Sadie to finish her bite and stop talking. My mouth was full. I guess that's why parents cover their mouths when they correct their kids with their mouth full. I did it out of habit and then realized what I'd done. Oh the irony." -Me telling Chloe about lunch time at work. 

"Smart people will take advantage of the letter of the law and smart people will obey spirit of the law." *pause* "It's two different kinds of smart people." -Me explaining letter of the law and spirit of the law to Chloe 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Our Impressive Strength and Another Birthday

Starting the week strong I overslept, but still made it to my nannying job on time! At 7:30am I left the house for the day and didn't arrive home until 8:45pm that night. It was a long day. At home everyone else had a normal day as far as I know. 

When I finished at work, I left to sit in stop and go traffic for 30 minutes on my way in to Denton. Road construction is so much fun. (If you are like me I'll clarify, that was sarcasm.) 

When I finally made it to one of my favorite places, Chickfila Starbucks, I ordered my drink. (If you are like me and Mom, after a certain length of time, your brain starts shutting down...) Settled at one of the few remaining tables (What happened? Usually this Starbucks is empty, but lately it has been crammed full!) I pulled out my Bible, notebook, and pens and other thingys and began reading in Hebrews. At the table right next to me, two elderly men were also involved in Bible study! Every time I overhear those types of conversations at different places I feel so blessed and encouraged. 

Chloe began texting me after I had finished that and begun blogging about the weekend. The conversation below was a total blonde moment for me.

I ran a few errands after finishing the post and doing some schoolwork, then headed back to the house I'd been working at earlier to babysit for their small group. That night they had a pool party so I volunteered to be the baby holder. (No, I was not trapped into doing that and when I say I'm good and don't need a parent to take their baby, I'm not being nice. Okay, well I am being nice, but not nice in the sense that I'm only saying I'm fine, I actually am fine. If any of that makes any amount of sense.) 

When I entered the door at home I was informed that Gabe had just done 20 perfect pushups in a row. I went to join everyone else and he dropped down to crank out 31 MORE!!! Next Mia tried and was able to do 10 good ones, followed by Ava, who did 5. I was very impressed! Christian stepped up confidently and...fell on his face. Chloe also was unable to do one. I was already sore from doing pushups earlier, but I was able to do 5. We aren't even going to get into how many Dad can do... And Mom is pretty impressive too!

Next I challenged Christian to an arm wrestle. I won twice with my left, and twice with my right. I'm right handed, he is left handed. Chloe also beat him, but when she and I did it, it ended in a draw. However, today she is extremely sore and I am perfectly fine. I know I don't look like the strongest one, but whatever. 

Tuesday I got to stay home and watch Kate again! The days I have her are among my top favorite, although this time I was slightly sad because I missed out on celebrating Gabe's 8th birthday at Hurricane Harbor Six Flags with everyone else. On the one hand I was excited to have her and a quiet house all to myself, but on the other hand I missed getting to make that memory with my family. The joys of becoming an adult! (Everyone was very kind and said they missed me terribly and it wasn't the same without me and told me all about everything they did.)

If you remember, having baby means you only have the use of one hand for 50% (if you want a round, approximate number) of the time. Last time I went with a simple breakfast, but I stepped it up Tuesday and made eggs, bagels, and a green smoothie. And yes, I did it with one hand. I'm actually not totally sure how I was able to do it, but I was!

Ava and Mia came to me for hair braiding before breakfast. Before they all left I barely held Kate at all. My family LOVES babies so much. When they left, Kate actually started pouting. It was pretty cute. 

After breakfast Gabe opened a few gifts from his siblings. Mom and Dad take each of us out to breakfast on or near our birthday in place of gifts. I can't speak for everyone, but I like this arrangement. (Quality time is one of my top love languages, though, and gifts is almost the very last one, so that would be why.) 

He didn't look anything like any of the rest of us as a baby. 

My Instagram post for his birthday: 

Kate and I had a good day. She wasn't super excited to drink any of her bottles this time (well actually she didn't want anything to do with them), but she ate her food well and I kept her hydrated by letting her suck on ice from my hands. (Apparently that was a brilliant idea according to several people, so feel free to use that method if you would like. There is no copyright yet.) 

She took great naps today and we did things like play piano, read my journal/diary from 2011, watch the hilarious videos over and over and over from our play practice last week, drink strong coffee (me not her), work on laundry, make everyone dinner, and dance and sing. 

I was surprised that my family did not arrive home more sunburned than they did! They told me all about their fabulous day and stole my charge from me as soon as they were out of the shower (and dressed). Believe it or not, I was not tired of holding Kate and protested mildly when they took her. 

Another birthday tradition is that the birthday child gets to choose the movie for the night. Pretty much ever since us big kids watched the first "Pirates of the Caribbean" and quoting it nonstop the littles have been begging to watch. Normally that would be a terrifying movie to them, but they've been asking for so long, Mom finally gave in. THEY LOVED IT!!!!! And were guessing the plot before stuff even happened! How can they be so smart? I jumped and got scared more than they did and that was my third time to see it... (Part of the reason Mom gave in is because that is one of her all time favorite movies...and it's one of her favorites because Jonny Depp and Orlando Bloom are both from the Beautiful Man Store.) 

The Herd: Quoted

"Tomorrow morning, 5:30am, sit-up contest with me?" -Me
"You'll win." -Chloe
"Why, because you'll still be sleeping?" -Me
"Yes, but you'd win anyway." -Chloe 

"I am desperate to taste my toes." -Mia 

"What kind of movie do you want to watch?" -Christian
"Um, pretty-girl action movies." -Gabe

"Are you sure you want to do this? Are you sure?" -Gabe at Hurricane Harbor. 
"Uh, yes, but you can chicken out!" -Ava 

"Ooh! I want to ride those!" -Mia about the biggest slides at the water park.
"Uh, how about we find something a little more tame than that..." -Dad's very wise response.

"If they all refuse me I'm going to sing Agony." -Gabe talking about the 6 girls he is looking at for future brides. 

"I'm half inclined to just let them watch Pirates so they will stop asking." -Mom
"So we can watch it?" -Gabe 
"No, that means you have to convince her to let you." -Me

"Trust me, I can handle skeletons. I will be fine." -Mia with GREAT emphasis. 

"We could watch Into The Woods!" -Me 
"It's rated PG." -Christian 
"Into The Boobs?" -Mia 
*We all clap our hands over our mouths*
"That would be a whole new rating." -Mom 

"Gabe, Aunt Amy is calling to talk to you." -Mom
"Hello? Who is this? Oh, hi Aunt Lauren. Oh you're Aunt Amy?" -Gabe 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Dessert and a Pool Party (ish)

Exciting occurrences on Saturday included lots of dessert and a snake.

We missed Gabe!!!!! It always sounds so ridiculous when we say the house is quiet(er) whenever one of us is gone, but truly, it doesn't seem to matter who is missing, it does get quieter. Gabe is constantly humming, whistling, or singing. And if he is not...something is seriously wrong.

Chloe got into the kitchen and made a HUGE mess and we all got super upset because she wouldn't clean it up and did some amazing baking! First out of the oven were some of the best biscuits ever! Then she made some not very healthy, but oh so yummy, peanut butter peanut butter chip cookies. (It is a tiny bit confusing, just think about it for a second.)

While we stuffed our faces with those enjoyed those treats with butter and honey (on the biscuits, not the cookies), Dad and Mom and the little girls hauled out the ice cream maker that we had never used and made peanut butter ice cream! IT ONLY TOOK 30 MINUTES TO MAKE IT!!!!! And yeah, there wasn't a whole lot left over 15 minutes after it finished... Ok, we really miss Blue Bell ice cream and this helped some so...yeah, we were excited. All of us.

Now as for the snake... Our cat found it. It was venomous. The cat died. Something is wrong with the typist right now, please excuse her mistake. What really happened was that Mom found the cat with the snake. It was venomous. The cat almost died. My goodness. OKAY! The cat found the snake. Mom found the cat. The snake was NOT venomous. Grandfather was the hero and killed it. Everyone lived to tell about it... Well, not the snake. (Your blonde typist apologizes.) There was no screaming involved because I was not present.

We arrived at church all matching again.

Sunday, Happy Father's Day! Our family loaded up in the truck about 10:00am, give or take 15 to 20 minutes. Most likely give... We were the first ones to Gramma's house though!

In the car Mom read aloud to Dad because she can not watch when anyone is driving. Ava and Mia and Christian all greatly enjoyed the thrill of hearing about healthy food stuff sat quietly as they have been taught. Chloe and I stuck in headphones and worked...on the play...okay, sort of...we watched all the videos Chloe took during our practice...to help us know what to work on next time. We mostly did a lot of silent laughing though.

Sadly, the wet ingredients for our pancakes sort of kind of spilled and got all over everything in the cooler... Oops. On the positive side, nothing else was ruined by that and I have the recipe memorized so it was relatively easy to remedy the situation.

Dad's family has three children. He is the oldest, then Uncle Dan, and then Aunt Sherry. Uncle Dan married Aunt Candice and they have sweet little Brennen. Aunt Sherry married Uncle James and they have Peyton, Cameron, and Blake. Both Gramma and Grandpa are so proud of their family. With all of us that totals to roughly exactly 18 people.

We all very much enjoy spending time with our family. Topics of conversation included mail theft, things people just should not say, houses, funny stories about all their children, hail damage, movies, nights spent in hotels with young kids, etc.

Brunch was delicious! The spread contained, fruit, yogurt, pancakes, egg casseroles, sausage, and bagels from Panera Bread. Most everyone had seconds, if not thirds.

Gabe joined us mid-afternoon and Mia especially could not wait to finally see him! She really, really, really missed him. That girl has soooooo much love for everyone she meets, but especially her family members.

While about half the kids went swimming, the adults not supervising outside settled down for naps to visit in the living room on the couch that screams take a nap. Aunt Candice graciously offered to help Chloe and I with our laptops and the three of us spent several hours attempting to be "techy" and fix all the issues we've been having. As I am currently blogging, those of you who are a lot smarter than me probably figured out that we got mine fixed. For those of you like me, I got it fixed. Somewhere in there ice cream was served. No Linn family gathering is complete without ice cream and a family picture. Silly picture included.

And yes, that is Christian giving me a big wet kiss. 

Later in the afternoon those of us who could read, write, and desired to participate, played an "I Spy" game. Basically we all were given a pen and spreadsheet with the letters of the alphabet going down and numbers 1-5 across the top. Seated in one spot for 14 minutes, EXACTLY 14 minutes, we were to write down as many nouns that we could see. After the 14 minutes passed (Remember, 14 minutes, no more, no less. Not 15 minutes. And not 13 minutes, unless of course you processed to 14 minutes directly after reaching 13 minutes. It's very precise.) we went around reading off our words completing a letter before moving on. If anyone else had the same word, everyone who had also written said word down had to cross it off. So the goal is to come up with unique words, but sometimes the most basic things like "wall" are skipped by everyone, so you can occasionally get easy points by being extremely boring.

This was a shocker, I won! I almost never beat Mom at a game, much less Aunt Sherry! Everyone protested my word "hashtag" because I thought one of the toys on the ground looked like a hashtag, but it actually wasn't that shape at all. With or without that word, I still won by 5 points. (Mom did get second.)

After the game we ordered pizza and post the long and endless job of cleaning up after roughly 18 people once many hands had made short work cleaning up, we said our goodbyes and headed home.

The Herd: Quoted

"What'd you do with the spatula?" -Dad 
"I licked it." -Mom

"We don't even need blue bell!" -Mom (that is a little bit of an exaggeration, but it was good.)

"Who needs Babe's!?" -Dad about the biscuits and I agree on that one. 

"And Lydia looks away because she is smiling. And the fact that she just choked means I was right. And now she is laughing so I definitely was right." -Christian 

"The lighting is just bad and your face needs to be fixed." -Chloe during a night time photoshoot with me. 

"She isn't that old, I mean she's younger than us." -Dad
*Mom grimaces obviously hating the fact that she is a little bit older, but not old*

"Uncle Phil let me ride in the front! I've done it lots of times before...okay a few times...actually just once." -Gabe 

"I saw a naked turtle." -Gabe telling about his weekend.

"I'm going to kiss Gabe two times!" -Mia

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Eight of Us (Minus Two) Go To Six Flags

While I went to work and Dad stayed home also to work, Mom took all the other kids (who don't have to work at all) to Six Flags. She'd been watching the weather all week and it finally stopped flooding raining and was cooler (ish) enough for them to go. Apparently they had a great time with short lines and awesome adventures.

Mia- Well Gabe didn't get to go on the ride that we really wanted to go on, but I went on Runaway Mountain with Chloe and Christian. We were practically in the back of the ride. I went on..um..the slide thing. Oh, the Bob Sled! And I went on Gun Slinger with Christian too. And we went on The Mine Train. My head started hurting because it was banging me again the seat. And Christian's back started hurting a lot because it was starting to get wanged into the seat. (No idea what "wanged" means, but that's what she said.) mkay, let me see… That's all.

Ava- Um, lets see. Mom didn't ride any of the rides. Oh yeah, she went on the roller coster. Someone passed out in one of the lines. She had to go home. She hadn't eaten anything that entire day so that's why she fainted. They finally dragged me on the Mine Train. (She did want to do it.) That's about it. Oh and I had a whole milkshake and we had a challenge for no one to scream on the Log Ride and we did it. I didn't scream on the Bobsleds. Mia was the only one who did and really loudly and she almost hit her head on the side.

Christian- Oh goodness. Headache. We got there and went straight to the Bobsleds and there was a short wait. Highlights huh? We rode the Viper, Gabe wanted to do something that was too busy. Mom, Mia, and Chloe went and rode something designed by a skate boarder and I thought it was nuts. So I took the others to lunch at the All American Cafe. And they had about a 45 minute wait. Then the others ate. Then we did, I think it was, lets just say, the Mini Mine Train and the others did the Runaway Mine Train. Then Gun Slinger, which I had never done before and I found it unenjoyable. From there we did the Log Ride, then Runaway Mountain. And it was way more scary then I remembered.

Chloe- So first stop was the bathroom. A girl fainted and I almost did later. I rode two roller coasters that I will probably never ride again. Gabe stayed with Mom a lot of the time, which means he didn't really ride very many things. The Mine Train was open so we finally convinced Ava to try it out. It wasn't very crowded. We had milkshakes for a snack. Then we left the park and went to drive through the Hurricane Harbor parking lot. To see what it looked like, but we were running out of time, because apparently some people were having a bit of trouble getting in. And then we drove home.

Mom- We had a great day at Six Flags! It was fun to see the kids ride some things for the first time. Mia is especially brave and wanted to ride all the rides. It wasn't overly crowded which meant we were able to split up some and do different things. I am so glad to have kids old enough and responsible enough to be able to do that! I was so blessed talking to a sweet older lady while sitting on a bench waiting outside one of the rides. She was sharing her love for God with me. Precious. May I learn to be that bold and yet humble.

What Mom does while her kids are screaming on rides:

I think they are a bit worn out. 

Practice #1

So…yesterday's play practice… Whew!

Ava- What play practice? It was crazy. I forgot my lines even though I had a script right in front of my face. The torture "machine" wasn't working. Everyone's accents were almost perfect so that was good. Kate kept looking at Noah. Christian got very..um..what would you call it when he got all upset about you and Noah laying on the ground (because it was at the bottom of the hill after they fall)? Lets see… I'll just say it was a very funny play practice.

Mia- Gabe and Jed kept getting all crazy and I kind of got a little crazy too. I don't really remember anything else except we were drinking Izzies and fighting with (toy) guns and swords. Noah kept getting so close to Lydia's face (NO HE DIDN'T) only 3 feet away… And we used a vacuum cleaner thingy for the torture machine.

Christian- They got here one minute late (the Munsells). But we chatted for about maybe 10 minutes. Everyone getting back to remembering everyone else. We went inside and tried to get the main people scripts so we could just start figuring it all out. We started the play practice; it was a little bit crazy because of me and the little kids helped some. I was told I make a really good drunk. That's probably a bad thing. I have a terrible Spanish accent. We finished and then they left. After Noah threatened me with his knife. (Why were there knives!?!?!) NOAH I STILL HAVEN'T TALKED TO YOU ABOUT HOW FAR AWAY YOU HAVE TO BE FROM LYDIA AT ALL TIMES!!!!!!!!!!!! (I was forced to write that.)

Chloe- It was hectic. SOME people were very excited to see the Munsells. And had some trouble focusing… I think we did pretty good considering it was our first run through and some of us hadn't seen our friends in two years. So hopefully the next practice will go better. That's it.

Don't ask me why Noah had a sword stuck in his back pocket. 

The Albino. 

Miracle Max with a protesting Noah I mean Wesley. (He was supposed to be dead.)

Not sure what was going on here… 

70% of the Princess Bride cast. 
Chloe, Jed, Christian, Noah, Lydia (me), Abigail, Rebekah. 

Screaming Chickfila Movies (please insert commas)

Whew! So Thursday I went to work and the others went to Six Flags and If you read the other posts you know all about that. If you didn't go read them, if you want to. Obviously you don't have to, I just thought I'd lay out the options. 

Friday *long pause to breathe* Dad worked and had meetings. I worked and only had one child to care for. The afternoon's plans were up for discussion for a long time before they finally were determined. 

Gabe is spending the weekend with his awesome Aunt Lauren and Uncle Phil for his birthday gift from them. (He will tell you all about it when he gets home. Every. Detail. That's how he does it.) 

The rest of us kids left at 3:15pm, plus 10 minutes, minus 4-6 minutes. (Somewhere in there) Our first stop was gas so Christian could show me how it's done, because I failed at getting it on my own earlier in the day. (Yes, I know, I should know how to get gas by now. Turns out I had reason to think it didn't look right when I was doing it alone and he got to show me the right way, so now I will be fine. And I had plenty of gas still so there was nothing to worry about.) 

Don't worry, the rest of the afternoon and evening were a lot more exciting than getting gas for the first time without an adult. 

Our mall in Denton has a dollar theater and it finally got the new "Cinderella"! We all saw it in the real theater when it came out, but I loved it so much I definitely wanted to see it again. Chloe, Mia, and I got tickets for that, while Christian and Ava went to see "Home." Of course, right after we bought the tickets Mia changed her mind and said she wanted to see "Home," but it was too late. 

I haven't seen "Home" so I personally don't have a recommendation for it, but my siblings who have seen it all enjoyed it, so have at it! "Cinderella," on the other hand I personally for sure recommend! It is so beautifully done and I love every minute. 

Our movies were over by about 6:30pm and it was off to dinner we went. If you had just one guess as to where we ate you'd probably nail in on the first try. *Drum roll please* Ding ding ding! Chickfila. 

As usual we shared everything. Although we had *gasp* three large drinks (we never get that much) I think we maybe finished the equivalent of one soda between the five of us. (Root Beer and Sprite were the drinks of choice.)

The final stop before home was Target. I was getting rather worn out, so I paired the others up and went to shop by myself. (If you have ever been responsible for that may people out in public for several hours you will understand how I felt. The rest of you, go try it…or just use your imagination. The latter would definitely most likely not be as much fun, but it would be a lot easier…)

I think we arrived home about 8:30pm. Mom and Dad said they had had a productive time at home and were glad we'd enjoyed ourselves. 

I slept 11 hours straight that night. 

The Herd: Quoted

"Y'all are making me scream way too much today." -Me
"What's wrong with that?" -Christian 

"I would have screamed because it would have scared me!' -Me 
"Well apparently someone opening their eyes even scared you so" -Dad reminding me of the events of the morning.
*We laugh*
"Okay, I'm going to say 'Boo!' now… 'AHH!!'" -Dad mimicking me, because I scream even when someone warns me that I'm about to get startled.

"Why is he so big and older?" -Mia about our friend Noah whom she'd not seen in almost two years.
"Because he grew up!" -Me
"Did he finish school? And is he living at his own house? He isn't married is he?" -Mia 
"No! Not yet! He is just older." -Me

"I keep saying we should become a musical family, but mom always says 'no'." -Gabe

"You should just run a baby daycare out of our home, Lydia." -Mom

"I feel like we are passing drugs around every time we share our Root Beer." -Chloe 

"Hey, pull up your pants! You are wearing a belt for a reason and it's not just for a fashion statement." -Chloe to a random guy on the street that we passed while driving. 

"Oh no, I didn't come to Target all by myself, I brought four children with me." -Me

Christian and Crawfish

The adventures of crawfish-fishing..! As told by Christian and typed by me. Because otherwise this would take all day.

Wednesday when I was doing my trashcan job (post to come about that) I was headed up a hill that had a big puddle at the bottom of it and found a crawfish. I grabbed an empty bottle and put it in and then I took it to my friend's house so I could get a bucket with water. Then I finished my job. After I had finished, I took it home and made a sort of homemade thingy habitat with water, dirt, rocks, and sticks. A couple hours later I went out to get more. I used a string with chicken on it and three of them got away. Then we found a huge one on the road again. We tried to get more but they kept stealing the bait, so I went home. I put fresh water in and left them for the night with chicken. The next morning they were fine.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Darling Little Vampire Child

You know those days when you go and go and go and by night time you still have energy? I don't think I had that by 10:30 last night. Thankfully it didn't hit until 10:00pm though. Up until that point I did have energy. So guess what? I'm normal! (At these in one arena…) 

My day looked like this:

I left the house at 7:30am. There I read the same three books to my charges for an hour and a half. (Not half an hour. Half an hour plus a whole hour, so 90 minutes.) I got to read my own book while supervising upstairs playtime. The three of us ate a very leisurely lunch. But they ate well, which was a first! When nap time arrived I blogged.

Chloe is attempting to get a job at Chick-fil-a, which makes no sense whatsoever since we didn't eat there hardly at all on our trip… So I went in there and talked to three different people trying to figure out how to get her an interview. We are hoping they call the phone number I left with the people who didn't know what to do… 

My happy hour arrived when I settled at Starbucks to read about poetry for school. 

At home my sweet wonderful Mom had finished my laundry for me well she kind of needed the washer and my stuff was in the way. I put it all away, began preparation for Tuesday, ate quickly, and left with my grandparents to babysit at their small group. 

Last night there was me, the one babysitter, and 10 kids. All 3 years old or under, with 4 of them being less than 1 year old. I had a wonderful time!! During dinner I held two of the babies (not at the same time) and then took the ones that could walk upstairs to play during the lesson time.

By the time I arrived home around 9:00pm I was extremely worn out sort of tired and very happy with my day.

As far as I know everyone else had a normal day at home. I'd like to start asking the others to tell me about their day so you get to see more than just my life. I know I'm super duper interesting and all that…but everyone else is way more fun I'm sure. One thing I do know is that Chloe put together another video. Here it is- "Just Bloopers 2":

And if you are interested, here is "Just Bloopers":

Tuesday Dad woke me up when I should have been in the car headed to my job. Oops. I'm so talented I turned my alarm off in my sleep. (NOT a good talent in case you were confused.) With the help of my incredible family I rushed out the door not too long after that and had enough time to stomp on a 3 inch scorpion with my flip flop before reaching the car. I felt like that was a pretty cool move…

My job went well…except for the fact that the three year old decided he wanted to find out what I'd do if he disobeyed or just didn't do what I told him to do. It didn't work out too well for him. 

When I arrived home my amazing Mom had a healthy strawberry chocolate frosty thingy all ready for me! I took care of a few things and headed out the door again, this time with Mom, Christian, and Ava for orthodontist appointments.

I just was there because I'm "just so sweet" they just like to tell me I have to come in every few months they wanted to see that yes, indeed, my teeth still look good since I got my braces off almost a year ago. (That long already?!) Christian is now ready for his bottom braces to go on and we discovered that Ava will be starting braces as well next month unless we are okay with her looking like a darling little vampire child.

At home we prepared the house for small group.

Between three families we had 17 children and that is actually fewer than is normal for our group! Everyone had a very nice time of visiting, eating, encouraging, and praying. With a side of laughter, crazy kids, and everything else you would expect when that many kids are together.

I got to stay home today! Even better I got to stay home and care for sweet Kate again! On top of that, our friends the Munsells came again to work on the play, only everyone else was here too so it was quite a bit louder and way way way just a tad bit crazier.

Included in the morning were the adventures of catching a crawfish. (Post will follow about this event.)

The afternoon was filled by our time working on the play (or at least trying to. We actually did way more on it than I expected, but boy do we have a loooooonngg way to go…). I watched some, acted whenever I was needed, and cared for Kate a majority of the time. Ava was a fabulous helper. She will be a marvelous mommy someday. I think I'll get the others to tell you about our practice. It will be more humorous from their perspective, I'm sure, as I am still trying to calm myself and regain the ability to think straight…

Upon asking Mom the plans for the rest of the day she said, "I think we are planning to chill-out." That sounds great to me!

Random pictures from the week so far:

Mia dressed up before small group.

Then they decided to dance, too cute!

Darling Kate helped me with my schoolwork. 

Mia- 5 going on 26.

She learned her first piano song! Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

Too much adorableness!

Mom and Mia reading time. 

My little helper, Ava.

She let me rock her to sleep. Melt. My. Heart. 


The Herd: Quoted

"Having a boy tell you 'I need you! I need you to hold me...' Is super awkward...unless they are three years old, which he was." -Me 

"I ran into the wall a lot on purpose at bubble land. Noah said whoever didn't do it was crazy, so I did it and it's actually fun now!" -Mia 

*Gabe whistling Christmas song loudly* 
Hey Gabe, want to pick a CD to put in?" -Me
*Gabe still whistling* 
"Gabe, want to get a CD?" -Me
*Still whistling*
"GABE?" -Me
"Oh, yeah?" -Gabe
"Can you pick a CD, please?!" -Me
*Gabe picks the worst CD in the history of ever*

"Don't tell me we're having eggs again!" -Ava
"The Munsells are coming later." -Me
"Well we have to eat them" -Chloe 
"The Munsells?!" -Me

"Her lips are like the size of a bumble bee." -Gabe talking about Kate.

"Yeah cause I'm practically a teenager." -Mia 

"I didn't know you were engaged, Lydia!" -Ava 

"You have to be at least 10 feet apart." -Christian during the practice making a very unrealistic demand.