Friday, July 31, 2015

Benadryl, Gymnastics, Research, and a Scorpion

Ava took a trip to CareNow with Mom Wednesday morning. She has had a fever for several days and a cough for at least two weeks I think. She is a real trooper, but Mom wanted to find out what is wrong. They gave her an antibiotic and said if the fever didn't leave in four days to come back. 

I had work, then I went right back home to keep working on the project. 

About the time we finished working we discovered Ava's eyes were swollen almost shut and that she had hives on her torso. Mom called the doctor and they said to give her Benadryl which we happened to be out of. Mom was going to send me to get some at the pharmacy in Ponder (yes, we actually have our own pharmacy!). I suggested she make sure they'd give it to me since I'm under 18. They said they would so I ran up there. "Ran" as in drove. In the car. Actually. 

Upon my arrival home we discovered we actually did have one tablet on hand... Two additional doses and many hours later, the hives began to go away and she could see mostly. Mom didn't want to leave her, though, so I took Gabe to his gymnastics class. Mia got to come as well. 

On the way there, Gabe gave me driving directions. I was very impressed. (And trusting.) I did know how to get there, but he told me to go a different way. (We were only two or eight minutes late.) 

I discovered something, Gabe is a little showoff! 
He isn't boastful about it, he just does everything better than everyone. 
So that everyone is sure to see him. 

His pull-up skills are astounding!

The three of us finished his class and then went on a wild goose chase even though Mom did her research before sending us to Walmart for something they didn't have. 

By 7:30pm we were hungry and what do you know, Chick-fil-a was in the same parking lot. Sort of. Okay, it was across the street. And I got us lost trying to get to it. Never mind, we aren't going to talk about that. SO we ate at Chick-fil-a. Big surprise there, I know. *Wink* 

Thursday I went to work then came home and took a glorious two hour nap laid down to take a nap but failed miserably got a million texts couldn't because there was noise around it was too bright in my room but it didn't work out, so I exercised and took a shower. 

I listened to music and practiced flipping my hair while made dinner. 

Mom had things she was trying to finish up before Dad, Chloe, and Christian came home. The rest of us made Root Beer Floats and did important research. Studied. Worked on the play. Okay, fine, we watched "Princess Bride." BUT I was taking notes for our play. Mental notes. On when I'm allowed to smile. 

The flight was delayed. It was originally scheduled to arrive here at 9:00pm but didn't land until 10:30 or 11:00pm. But they weren't complaining because last year, their entire flight was canceled and the unnamed airline spelled with the letters forming the word "Frontier" refused to a) find them a flight for the same day, b) pay their hotel expense, c) put them on a different airline, and d) refund them for the canceled flight. The arrangement they did make wouldn't have them home for 3 more days meaning the kids would miss their first day of class. So Dad had to rent a car and drive home. 

Mom left to go get them with Mia while the rest of us watched "That Darn Cat" to stay awake. They didn't make it here until 12:15am, but there was no way I was going to go to bed and miss their reaction to our big surprise. (Post to come.) 

Here is the reaction: 

They of course wanted to talk (and so did I.) Christian hounded me until I told him all about what happened when I got hit on. I think it was about 1:30am when I got in bed and then could NOT fall asleep even though I had been yawning every .2 seconds for the past two hours. 

This is my I slept-less-than-5-hours-last-night face.

When I got up at 6:30am to then leave an hour later, everyone was asleep. And then still asleep. The weekend is almost here. It's almost here. But I'm so grateful for the times when I know I definitely don't have the energy on my own to walk though the day, so I am more reminded of Who is my Strength. 

It is definitely louder here now. Definitely. 

 The Herd: Quoted

"You know you have long hair when you lean over and put your hands on your bed to hop down. Then realize you just pulled your hair because it got between your hands and the bed." -Me to Mom.

"I know how to get there faster." -Gabe on the way to gymnastics.
"Oh? How is that?" -Me
"I'll just tell you as we go! Go straight until I tell you to turn right." -Gabe in all seriousness and with a commanding air.

"This time I'm 100% sure of where we are going! I won't get us lost again." -Gabe
"We weren't lost, I just didn't know how to get where we needed to be for a second, so it took a few extra minutes..." -Me

"I'm pretty sure this is the wrong way." -Me

"I think I probably broke my toe on my way upstairs, so yeah that's what's going on right now." -Mom

"Mom, I think it is time we got you to bed." -Mia

"There is dust all over your back, Mom." -Me
"What? No, that wall I leaned against couldn't possibly be dusty." -Mom in mock-horror. 
"Is my back covered in dust too?" -Me
"Honey, your back is hidden by all your hair, so no." -Mom laughing.

"He is going to get home and be like 'did y'all sleep at all?'" -Mom
"No!" -Me responding to did we sleep. 

*Mom cries out*
*I am in the hall* 
"Wha-" -Me
*I scream before I see anything*
"It was a dead scorpion! I thought it was a leaf so I picked it up." -Mom
"What?" *Looks* "Oh that is tiny. Don't scream like that, you scared me and made me scream about nothing!" -Me
*We both start laughing*
"Oh, yeah, I saw that in there earlier and left it there. I thought it would freak you guys out." -Mia very matter-a-factly. 
"Well it's too bad I flushed it or I could have put it in your bed!" -Mom

"I told Dad that you and I are going to need pedicures and lunch on Saturday." -Mom to me. (I agree.)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Guess how old Mom is! (Sorry, answer not in post.)

Saturday morning Mom and the littles continued work on the project while I went to have coffee with another friend. 

That afternoon we left for church early to stop at Sprouts and Hobby Lobby. In the car the kids quoted Pirates of the Caribbean pretty much the whole way. It amazes me how incredible their memory is and how well they can imitate the voices! 

Mom and Ava did the grocery shopping and Gabe, Mia, and I conquered Hobby Lobby, walking pretty much the entire store. There is definitely a difference between shopping with kids and shopping by yourself. Neither is bad, but there is a difference. 

In the church service both Mia and Gabe lost a tooth! Mia kept asking Mom to pull her's and Mom finally reached over and took it out so she could actually hear the sermon again... 

Back at home there were chickens to feed, food to put away, and dinner to eat. After we all took a turn talking to Dad on the phone we headed towards bed. Saturday nights are usually late no matter what, but we typically get to sleep in as late as we want on Sunday mornings. 

In honor of Mom's birthday on Sunday we took her to breakfast at her favorite place- Seven Mile Cafe. She drove. And paid. We gave her cards and gifts though! 

Mia says, 
"Happy Birthday, Mom. Hugs and kisses, I love you Mom and the way your joy spreads. 
Oh, one more thing,
A Ticket to Six Flags, and a meal at Six Flags. You pay for the meal I pay for the tickets." 
Or something to that effect... 

This is Ava's card:

Gabe gave Mom his little stuffed bunny. 

A lady stopped by our table and told Mom happy birthday and that she was so glad she could spend time with all her kids. Mom didn't have the heart to tell her that she has two additional kids. 

Mom's pile of gifts.

My "Monkey Bowl" breakfast.

And heart latte. (Mom got one two, but her's didn't have a heart...) 

On the way home we stopped at a garage sale. There were multiple ones around, but we only had enough cash to go to one. We picked a good one though! Everyone found something and it was nice stuff! 

The plan had been to have a few friends come that evening to celebrate Mom with pizza and a movie, but they both were sick. So we went to an antique store for awhile. 

That moment you find YOUR childhood tricycle in at antique store. 
I'm only 17! 

Mom left us to go get pizza and I took the other kids to Kroger to get ice cream, root beer, and shampoo and conditioner. 

On the way home Gabe fell asleep. 

Pizza and brownies and-  *squints real hard* -oh yeah, vegetables. 

The movie we watched was called "Darby O'Gill of the Little People." The 60's computer graphics terrified Mia and Gabe to the point that it was almost comical. They weren't scared of the zombies in Pirates of the Caribbean..! Mia got over her fear rather quickly, however, and began to comfort Gabe and tell him to tell himself "That was SO fake. So fake. No way is that real. At all." She is such a darling. 

She then walked him upstairs to his room. 

My Instagram post for Mom. 

Monday Ava came down sick. 

I went to work and then went to get an oil change in the afternoon. I was so grateful for the woman there also getting an oil change who helped me figure out what I was supposed to do even though it was her first time there as well. 

Normally I would have gone to babysit for the small group, but that night I wasn't needed so I got to go have coffee- I mean tea -with another friend. With work I hadn't seen these three girls I've met up with in at least 3 months so getting to reconnect with them was really nice. I love how God places different people in our lives to come alongside us and "do life." We get to encourage each other, grow together, and share how God has been working in our lives, in addition to just having fun. That doesn't mean it's always easy, or that you don't have to work at those relationships, or that you always agree, or that you don't sometimes get hurt, but working through all those things will draw you closer for the glory of God. 

Tuesday we had planned to all go to Hurricane Harbor as therapy for my Kate- withdrawal since I didn't have Kate again, but Ava still was not feeling well so we had a home-day. 

I made this canvas for my room. 

As a reflector of the light of Christ, this is my motto. I would have no light to shine outside of Him and I want to let that light He has given me touch every person I meet so that they will see Christ shining through me and desire the same light in their own life. Sure, people can produce a flicker maybe, a tiny spark, a dim, fading shine, but it won't last like the sun's powerful, lasting, warm light that boasts of the joy a life given to God produces. 

The Herd: Quoted

"And I practice 40 hours a day so when I meet a pirate, I can kill him!" -Mia quoting Pirates of the Caribbean with perfect emphasis. Over. And over. And over. 

"Is this your method for not spending too much money?" -Mom in Hobby Lobby 
"What?" -Me
"Not getting a cart?" -Mom
*Looks down at my full arms* "I guess so..." -Me

"I don't think that is how you eat bacon, Gabe..." -Mom watching Gabe use a knife and fork to cut and eat his bacon. 

"I'm not sure you understand the nature of Six Flags season passes and food passes." -Mom

"I just realized, the guy at the Kroger checkout took a really long time to check out my four items. He was being very nice and talkative." -Me 
*I go on to relay the conversation* 
"Lydia, he was interested in you." -Mom
"What!? I just thought he was being nice!" -Me in absolute shock.
"No, he found a way to ask how old you were and then made you guess his age, he was hitting on you." -Mom

"No one hit on you while you got your oil change?" -Mom
"No, they both called me sweetheart, but they were older, like 30's at least." -Me
"They were men?" -Mom
"Yes..." -Me 
"Oh my..." -Mom 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Don't worry, I still blog.

*Sighs long and hard because of all the catching up that needs to be done. Checks battery power on laptop. Slaps forehead because there's only 12% charge and guess who forgot to bring a charger and won't have one for the rest of the afternoon. Decides to stop moaning- ah down to 11% -just gonna start writing...*

What day is it even? Oh yeah! *Flips back to Friday and...*

Friday I had the day off! The two year old I watch, who I've been watching for *checks calendar* almost two months, actually turned two on Friday, so I didn't have to watch them that day. (I guess I technically shouldn't have been calling her two for the past two months, but...)

I haven't gotten to see many of my friends since I started working (aside from the few friends I see almost every week for work, or the play, or church) so I was really excited to get to spend the morning with a friend at Starbucks. (Where else when we both love coffee?!)

It was so wonderful to get to catch up with her and encourage each other. Plus my coffee was free! (I've actually gotten a lot of free coffee. For some reason the guys working at Starbucks like to give me extra or just a free cup. Then they get in trouble with Grandfather. Sort of. *Smile*) This time though, it was just a free for all(?). Before I went up to order one of the guys called out, "First come, first served, free vanilla something something at the bar." No one got it, so after a bit I decided "If I don't like it, it was free!" Of course, it turned out to be really, really good, and I have no idea what it was.

Mom and the littles swam at Gramma's that morning and where finishing when I arrived about noon. Gramma invited us to spend Friday and Saturday with her so Mom and Dad could have some time to themselves. *9% battery power* For there Mom went to Town Talk and then home to enjoy the quiet house.

Meanwhile, we ate lunch and after rest time Gramma pulled out all manner of amazing Pipe-Cleaner craft supplies. The animal creations the kids made were way cooler than the little fuzzy glasses Chloe, Christian, and I used to twist together at their age.

In the evening we got to go visit a park that Dad used to play in as a child. It was in the shade and there was a breeze, so it wasn't overly warm.

Saturday morning the kids went to another park and when my laptop is charged again I'll get one of them to tell me about it so you can hear about it in their own words. And also about how they didn't get to swim...

In the words of Ava...

Okay, so we got up, ate breakfast, got ready to go and when we got there we went down a ginormous- er no- big slide. Then Gabe climbed to the top of the jungle gym first. He got there first because I didn't get to it before he did. And Mia got scared so she only went up some. It was really hot so I sat on the swings for a long time. And then we left!

What I only got knee deep? So Mom and Dad said we weren't supposed to swim without them there. We could only get on the steps. (No, they weren't supposed to get in the water at all.) Really? I don't think so. Mia got all the way in though. (No, she stayed on the steps.) I saw her get all the way in, at least once. (Ava is speaking, but reading everything I type, hence the reason she is responding the the content of the parentheses.) Gabe stayed only on the second step, but still got soaked. I didn't but I was still on the same step.

We met Mom and Dad at church that night. *Remembers I really need to write about our church*

Even though we weren't planning to go eat out that night, when the service ended we were all hungry, Dad especially, since he forgot to eat most of the day. (That's where I get it from.) The time eating a visiting at Rosa's was very sweet.

As I have been out of the house more for work, I enjoy more and more the times I get to talk with my parents about anything and everything. When we are all together, we don't have to work as hard to keep a good relationship because we are never apart and always know what each other is doing. If anything, being away some has only made me love the time at home even more and has deepened the relationships because I have to be purposeful and work for them even more. Relationships are messing, and hard, and take work. But if they weren't they wouldn't be worth anything. All that's to say, I enjoyed driving home with Dad that night and getting to just talk.

*3% battery power. Decides to finish later.*

And we are charged again! Only 24 hours later...

I don't think I ever really woke up on Sunday. Everyone else did though!

Grandfather joined us for the pancakes I amazingly was able to make just fine, while half asleep, even though it was half a recipe. He was able to eat the extra egg that I made for myself even though I only meant to make one. Can't do the simple stuff here, like make eggs and speak words in the order that is more correct for out loud times when you speak.

We went swimming that afternoon, "we" being all of us except Mom. Me and the littles enjoyed playing "Sharks and Minos" and then making up our own special jumps off the diving board. I think our favorite was the "Karate Jump." Dad slam-dunked a perfect "Jack-Knife" and then died when I jumped next trying to imitate it. What killed him was when I told him I was trying to imitate him. It was that bad.


And water-logged

Chloe and Christian arrived in Montana several days ago and still are managing to keep me up late through texts and phone calls at 11:00pm. (Its only 10:00pm at that point where they are.) Saturday and Sunday night I told them I was about to go to bed when they first started. They told me it was their goal to keep me up until midnight. Both times they succeeded. Why is it so easy to loose track of time when you are having fun? Now I just don't answer if I'm going to bed when they contact me.

As far as I know they are having a great time! Someone thinks they have a boyfriend picked for Chloe, but she's not having any of it. Neither is Christian. Or Grandpa. Hopefully.

The only not so great thing besides that is that Chloe has the seriously annoying cough that she gets wherever she has to sleep in rooms with other people she commonly develops while traveling. Grandpa offered to take her to the doctor in the middle of one night even though they are in the middle of nowhere, have no wifi, and are an hour away from a semi large ish not really town, but she said she could wait until morning. It's just everyone else who isn't okay because she doesn't have a problem coughing for hours on end at night. I know the cough is annoying, but Chloe is a real trooper, and Grandpa has got it covered.

Monday afternoon's episode of "Lydia Fails at Getting Gas" had me praising the Lord. Monday morning I had planned to leave with enough time to get gas on my way to work. But that didn't happen. Of course. I knew I'd have enough to get there and then back to a gas station, so I didn't worry about it.

That afternoon I stopped at Bev's to fill up my basically empty car...and there was no gas. I didn't realize that until after I had put in my debit card though, so I canceled the payment and left. A few miles from home I decided if I went all the way home I probably wouldn't have enough to get to a station, so I turned around and prayed the whole way to Justin that I'd have enough to get to another gas station. Because everyone loves to be stranded on a lonely country highway when it's 97 degrees outside.

I made it to one of the stations in Justin! Thanking the Lord, I climbed out and put in my card. It was declined. I tried again thinking I'd pressed the wrong buttons. (I had.) But it still didn't work. I tried again and it told me to go inside. I told the slightly scary looking guy what my problem was and prayed that I could trust him when he told me to go fill my empty tank while he kept my debit card.

I'm thinking I just don't know how those clicker thingys that hold the handle for you work because I always pull into the pump that has the broken one. So I held the handle for myself and filled my car. Back inside I slid my card. Declined. Again, declined. The man turned his screen so I could see "no funds." "What? I just filled this card last week and I have only used it for one purchase since then." I told him. He shrugged and asked if I had another card. I didn't. I pulled out all the cash I had and I was still $3.00 at least short. I asked, "I don't know what to do. What do you want me to do?" And he said, "I've got you covered, you can go." I thanked him trembling (and the Lord) and went to the car to call Dad.

Blessing on top of blessing, Dad was literally ONE block away on his way home from a meeting! He was able to go back in with me to finish paying. Then we headed to the bank.

I was concerned someone had drained my account, but it turns out gas stations can remove a sum of money from your debit card and hold it for up to three days, just by you sliding your card in their machine. So when I tried to fill up at Bev's they withdrew $75 meaning they emptied my account. If you didn't know that, you're welcome. Glad I could take that experience for you.

Back at home Monday afternoon I had cleaning and laundry to catch up on and I was planning to blog, but obviously that didn't happen. While taking care of everything else I joined the club that Chloe started several years ago and that at least Christian and Nana had joined since- the scorpion-stung club. I had been hoping I'd avoid membership there.

I barely saw the 3 inch creature, but had fast enough reflexes to trap it after I realized what had stung my leg. Dad walked in the room just then and was able to kill it while I hopped (literally) down the stairs to slather Thieves, Lavender, and Purification oils all over my leg. The sting was pretty painful, not enough to make me cry though. I was amazed, between prayer and oils, within a few minutes the sting was almost completely gone!

Thankfully the rest of the evening was mostly normal, which I was very grateful of since I was babysitting 2 and 3 year olds for small group. Snuggles and a movie suited me just fine.

Tuesday I did not have Kate again and so I got to head-up a huge project for Mom and Dad which will need it's own post to explain and will likely appear late next week.

That night we hosted our small group. What do you think? Is a trip more about the destination or the journey of getting there? A lot of the moms agree that its best to drive somewhere as fast as possible with as few stops as possible, whereas several of the dads are firm in their belief that "it's all about the journey" and "you have to check up every rest stop, the first one is always different from the next."

Wednesday Mom and the littles stayed home. I worked and then we all worked on the project. That night we met all the Linns and Floyds  at On the Border for a dinner celebration for Gramma's birthday.

Thursday was much the same other than Mom taking dinner to a family in our church.

And  Friday was also consistent with the last few, days only Dad went by way of a plane to Montana to join Chloe and Christian.

Now we are finally current! And it's only taken me four afternoons to get here...

The Herd: Quoted

"We aren't going to do stuff for people who are perfectly capable of doing their own work." -Dad
"Thank you! Wait... That actually doesn't sound so nice to me..." -Me 

"I never actually knew what a Jungle Gym was. All I knew was that Uncle Adam was not a Jungle Gym." -Me

"Gabe, what are you doing?" -Me in bed at 11:30pm. (I had been asleep, don't worry.) 
"I have to get oils. We always get oils." -Gabe
"Are you awake?" -Me
"Yes." -Gabe
"I don't think you are..." -Me mostly to myself. 

"Gabe, I think you have a little, dark storm cloud kind of hanging over your head. And there are rain drops falling. And you have a sack of rocks tied to your shoulders, sort of dragging you down. Oh and there are two beetles pulling the corners of your mouth down..." -Me starting to laugh because of Gabe's comical, very melancholy stance.
"Ah, she got you to smile!" -Mom to Gabe

Friday, July 17, 2015

Ice Cream is Always a Good Idea

Chloe and Christian left Wednesday morning to drive to Montana with Grandpa for a fabulous fishing trip. Dad will join them later, but will go by plane.

After work Wednesday I took the never-ending drive to the Munsell's house again for a practice. This time I took my flip-flops off while driving so I could pretend I was at the beach.

Since I was the only Linn actor(ess) there we worked on all the scenes with Wesley and Buttercup. (Those are easier to practice without Christian around anyway...) Abigail and Rebekah were great at watching all the problems we were having, particularly with blocking and timing, and telling us/showing us how to fix them all. Who knew blocking would take so much confusion to figure out. Or maybe I was the only one confused? Probably not a good thing since I wrote the script and stage directions...

I think we have a better sense of how it should go now, though, so it was a successful practice. Some people, who thought they knew their lines pretty well, learned that when you are in the moment it is harder to remember them, and others learned that if you don't know your lines at all its even harder to figure out the blocking because you are holding a script in one hand and let Buttercup fall to the ground instead of helping her over the rock with two hands.

The kids are doing well! Gabe got to go to his gymnastics class Wednesday night and is definitely the strongest, most coordinated student in the class. The fact that he is one of the smaller ones has nothing to do with anything. He can not only do one pull up (where as the other kids aren't able to do even that), he can do three before the teacher pulls him down so the others don't feel bad.

Mia has done very well all week and is even more chipper than usual because she is almost completely better as well. We are so grateful that no one else caught it and that the kids have endured the week so well.

Thursday afternoon I had about 30 minutes before I needed to start dinner and then after that I needed to shower and pack for a weekend at Gramma's. So I did the only logical thing I could think of and pulled out my sewing machine and grabbed the pale blue queen sized sheet I'd purchased at the thrift store for $4 and began making my Buttercup costume. If you know me, you know that I do NOT like to start a project and then put it all away unfinished for another day. That is why this was such a logical idea.

I took a break to make dinner, eat, talk with Mom and Dad, and eat ice cream then went back to sewing.

Whew! That was a process. Another thing you know if you know me is that I never use patterns. I come up with a design in my head, some times I'll draw it out (but not usually), and then I just start cutting. Most of the time I'll end up with something pretty similar to what I started out envisioning, or it will be even better. There are the few occasions, though, where I totally just don't make something good at all. All that's to say, I did a lot of problem solving during the making of my dress and lots of adjustments, but what I ended up with (at 9:00pm) is gorgeous and just about perfect! I'm very pleased and will post a picture later.

After all that I did the other stuff I needed to do...

The Herd: Quoted

"Look at you, doing a second workout just after you finished one tough one!" -Me
"Yeah, but I'm already dying." -Dad panting, but doing well.

"Hey, since we are just like sitting here talking, shouldn't you be making ice cream?" -Mom to Dad.
"Of course!" -Me to Dad
*Dad laughs and moves to get it started*

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Every Move You Make

Murphy's Law, I think, yes. The days I figure, yes, I actually will be able to get to bed on time and sleep for 8 hours are the days stuff snowballs or Chloe and Christian decide to throw a party in my room. At 10:00pm. For two hours. 

Sunday night was one of those nights. They are fun, as long as you are good at being teased and slightly creeped out and don't mind all the blonde moments you inevitably will have as a result of the conversation. We joke that if anyone ever heard the stuff we say and talk about during those times we'd either end up in jail or a nut house. Actually they say that and I say they are crazy and they say I am blonde and thats the way it is. 

I love these memories we are making together and they are all the more sweet because I don't know how much longer we will all be in one house. It could be several years, or only one or two. Well ugh, I just choked myself up, let's move on, shall we? 

In my quiet times right now I'm slowly reading and breaking apart 1 Peter. Along with that I've also been reading C.S. Lewis's "Mere Christianity." If you have not read that book, DO IT NOW!!!! please read it. One chapter at a time though, think about it, let it simmer throughout your day in the back of your mind. So good

Monday on my way home from work I successfully filled the car with gas by myself, finally! I knew I probably could do it if I needed to, but I'm so glad it wasn't an emergency and went just fine. I have managed to always pull into the spots that the clicker-hold-the-handle-for-you-thingy is broken, but my hands do work, small though they may be, they are strong. Maybe I should just leave the font italicized, I keep emphasizing everything.... Or not. 

The kids were learning about Leather-Back sea turtles the other day. Below they are showing how big those creatures can get- 9 feet by 6.5 feet and they can weight up to 2000 lb! On top of that, they eat twice as much as their body weight in jellyfish every day. Both Dad and Christian pointed out, that would be a lot of waste. Yuck! But SO amazing! What an incredible Creator we have! 

Because the kids have been sick, Kate did not come this week. That meant I got to have the day off Tuesday. I really missed the darling, but it was good for me to catch up on some sleep... I do love Chloe and Christian very much, but getting only 4 hours of sleep because the conversation lasted late and then had me so creeped out I couldn't sleep...yeah. *Shrugs shoulders* 

Dad had errands for me to run for him late morning. First I walked around an entire neighborhood, taking pictures of every house and trying very hard NOT to look suspicious. Don't worry, the neighborhood only had one big looped street and the job took less than 20 minutes to complete. We won't talk about how hot it was at noon on that sunny Texas day in July. 

Any run to Staples for copies can take a little while, but it definitely will take longer if you leave the debit card in the car, just so you know. Y'all probably had that figured out already though. You seem like smart people. 

Starbucks stops are pretty much mandatory if time allows when I go to Denton. (I learned this fact from my Grandfather and I highly recommend it. If you don't like Starbucks...please go with me sometime so I can show you how great it actually is. I'm serious. And if you do like Starbucks you can still go with me, I like spending time with people, especially with coffee.) 

I decided it would be a good idea to wear shoes while running errands, turns out, it wasn't. (Shoes being, things to put on your feet that are not flip-flops, which is what I normally wear.) Blisters that make you walk like you broke both your ankles but are too busy to do anything about them are not pleasant limp through Mardel's are not all that fun. 

Driving back to Ponder I took my shoes off. If I could, I would seriously go barefoot everywhere, but apparently that is kind of sort of bad manners if you don't live at the beach. However, running in at the Ponder Post Office and Library I decided it wasn't that big a deal and left my shoes where they were. (The concrete isn't too hot if you run/skip on tip-toe.) 

Christian desperately desired to do something outside the house with me and Chloe Monday night but I had to babysit. So Tuesday we tried to come up with a plan for that evening. After a lot of ideas being thrown out that either cost a lot of money, would not be very relaxing, or would have us out very late, Mom finally suggested we dress like cows and go to Chickfila for Cow Appreciation day. (If you dress from head to toe like a black and white cow you get a free meal on this particular day.) 

If you're gonna do that, you have to do something creative in my mind so we each came up with our own advertisement signs to wear, stapled ears to hats, put on black and white, donned black footwear, and got something for a tail. 

Mia and Gabe almost cried because they couldn't dress up as well, but we were able to take our Chickfila cards and get them free chicken too! Between that and everything we were able to get, all us kids ate dinner from Chickfila completely free. 

Walking in there and seeing all the people dressed up I heard in my mind Grandfather saying "This is what people will do for free food, look completely ridiculous." (Or something like that.) There were some pretty crazy looking get-ups or ones that were more like I'm not sure you really tried there... But I thought the four of us looked cute! (I'm only a tiny bit biased. But you can judge for yourself.) 

This is Ava's sign.

My sign, with my braid labeled "tail." 

I didn't get pictures of Chloe and Christian's signs, but they both said something to the effect of "Thou-t must eat Chicken" and "Thou-t must knott eat Beef." 

Note- We didn't eat at Chickfila nearly this much until I started blogging and we do eat other places, we just haven't really done that recently... Normally we don't eat out very often at all actually, maybe once or twice a month at most. 

We brought our Chicken sandwiches, fries, and root beer home to share with the others and after eating together, split up to watch the movies we picked out at the library before going to get the food. 

Christian, Chloe, and I watched:

I was LOST. I think we got about 30 minutes in and I had no idea what was going on. I did, however, totally call one plot twist before Chloe and Christian figured it out. I still don't really know why it went the way I said it would, but I did call it! Turns out we should have seen "The Avengers" first, but I'm not all that sure it would have helped me get everything. I am the girl though, who had to watch "Cars 2" three times before I understood it... Chloe and Christian LOVED the movie and were semi-patient about trying to help me "get it." 

Our "baby girls" are not very small any more, but they are still absolutely precious when they are asleep. 

I had a few extra minutes before I left for work earlier than usual Wednesday morning that I was able to take a few pictures outside. I love early mornings, once I'm fully awake and out of bed. The actual getting up and out of bed at 5:30 part is what I don't love so much. 

I freaked Christian out while he was texting me at work because I was accurately predicting each thing he was doing while typing. I know him too well. The nice thing about being the firstborn is you can point out that you have known all your siblings their entire life, while they have only known you for part of your life, so of course I can accurately tell you what you are going to do, I have been watching your every move since the day you were born. (Okay, almost every move.) 

The Herd: Quoted

"What goes on after 10:00pm, stays after 10:00pm." -Christian
"Well, except for that, because I'm putting it on the blog." -Me
"Better make it 8:30pm, or Mom and Dad will put a stop to these amazingly fun late night talks in which we tease you to no end and make you feel so comfortable. Not." -Chloe 

"Uh, yeah he had a crush on you, everyone knew he did, it was sooooo obvious." -Christian
"Well, apparently I still had no idea. I just thought he was annoying and tolerated him very sweetly I guess since he didn't go away." Me 
(From our late night party conversation. One of the tamer, saner exchanges, less on the creepy side.) 

"What? No! That means there is a 3rd one and I don't get anything of what just happened in that one, but that can't be the end!" *Looks up trailer* "Ugh! It doesn't come out until 2016? How about I never watch a Marvel movie again." -Me as Captain America and the Winter Soldier finished

"Next time we watch a Marvel movie it will be in Christian's room without you." -Chloe joking.
"Yeah, we had to pause that every 10 minutes to try to make you get it." -Christian not joking. 

"I know you too well, I know exactly what you are doing while you text me even though I'm not there." -Me to Christian 

"The sheets are done!" -Mom
"Yay! It's time for the bed-making party!" Dad sort of enthusiastically...ish. 
"Um, I'm sorry, I can't make it this time..." -Me 
"My phone just dinged a whole bunch and I was there for the very lonely sheet-washing party..." -Mom
(We were all being silly, fyi.) 

"Are you bored?" -Mom to me.
"No, just thinking." -Me

"Are you bored?" -Dad to me not long after ^
"No, just tired." -Me 
(Okay, well Chloe and Christian are gone, but I'm not bored yet. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Our Sunday Traditions

I bought my first ever baseball hat. 
Chloe says its adorable and I should wear them more often. I have never worn a hat. 

Update on the kids- apparently I spoke too soon, Gabe and Mia got worse last night. This morning, however, they were back to where they were earlier. We are praying they will be on the up-swing from here on out. The rest of us are still fine though. 

Finally, here is the long promised post- Our Sunday Traditions. 

Thinking about it now, we have maintained almost the exact same routine for the past, I don't know, 8 or 9 years probably. Sure it has adjusted some, but not much. 

For many years, church was early Sunday morning, as in, service at 8:00am. Now we attend a Saturday evening service. When church was on Sunday, the afternoon held naps for everyone, but not so much any more. And in the Summertime we will often go swim at Gramma's. Today, our day usually looks like this:

Normally we all sleep in Sunday morning. This varies depending on the person. For Gabe, Ava, and Mia sleeping in is like until 8:00am. Dad will often get up around the time they do. Chloe and Christian wait until closer to 9:00am, and I delay rising until as late as possible. (I try to be up by 10:00am.) Mom may be up at any time, but she pretty much stays in her room resting, reading, having her quiet time, talking to Dad, etc until 10:30am. 

Dad and I are the resident brunch makers. Others help sometimes, but mostly he and I work in the kitchen together. His specialty is hashbrowns from scratch, as in, shred the potatoes and everything. While he works his miracles in the three skillets it takes to make enough for all of us, I make oatmeal chocolate-chip pancakes, also from scratch (and memory, because I have been making these for the past 6 years at least). To those we add sausage (from a package, we aren't that adventurous), skillet vegetables, and eggs from our chickens. 

Yup, it takes a very large bowl. 

(The day I took these pictures he wasn't making as many.) 

48+ pancakes later...

Brunch takes upwards of an hour to prepare and then we gather at the table to eat together. Conversation topics of course have altered over the years- today we talk of anything from movie quotes, to plans for the week, to things we are grateful for, to the sermon from the pervious night, to things Mom, Dad, or I have noticed in our quiet times, to our all time favorite-how many days are left until we go to Maui again and what we are looking forward to doing there. 

Everyone helps to clean up. Sometimes Mom will read aloud, our we will play games. Often I will slip away to play the piano. 

Early in the afternoon we will all scatter to our respective rooms for at least 2 hours of rest time. For each that has a different meaning. For Mom and Dad it still often means a nap. Or they will talk about the week. Or Mom will read while Dad sleeps. I may be doing any number of things- reading, writing, working on a project of some sort, drawing, or whatever else. Chloe is always reading, 100% of the time. Christian reads or listens to a baseball game. Ava likes to read as well, or listen to a story while knitting, much like I used to when I was her age. Gabe listens to history stories and plays with legos to his heart's content. And our genius, Mia, reads chapter books as of the past 3 months. 

Some will remain in their rooms all afternoon, others will venture out as soon as the minimum time of confinement has passed leave to do other things like play games, talk, etc. Christian will often come and have lengthy conversations about all manner of random things with me. (As he did today.) 

Dinner is much lighter and casual on Sunday evenings. Sometimes we even eat in front of the tv. But either way we all gather in the living room to watch something as a family. Other nights we might split up to watch stuff more tailored to our ages, but Sunday we always stay together. We may not all like the entertainment choice, but we stay together. Truth be told, its is Sunday evening and a movie is on as I write. I wasn't interested in the choice (White-Fang), but I wanted the homemade ice cream and I like being near my family. So I am half-watching while I write (and I eat ice cream). 

We are Grateful

I'm grateful for homemade ice cream. -Dad 

I am grateful for healthy children, that your bodies are able to fight off this infection and we are not sick very often. -Mom

I am grateful for gorgeous sunsets. -Me 

I'm grateful that I am not sick. -Chloe 

I'm grateful that Lydia was able to take us to the thrift store the get the things we need for Montana. -Christian

I am grateful for good food. -Ava 

*Long silence* That I am almost done with my pain. -Gabe

I'm grateful that Gabe and me are getting better. -Mia

The Herd: Quoted

"Do you want to play Apples to Apples the right way or the wrong way?" -Ava 
"Which one is easier?" -Gabe
"Well, probably the wrong way." -Ava
"Which way is the wrong way?" -Mia

"And I got this to put my planner and everything in." -Mom
*I make a aw-man-why-didn't-I-think-of-that-before-you-closed-the-order face* 

"Dad, we found a house!" -Me
"Y'all crack me up." -Dad
"Mom and I are the same, we get an idea and start figuring out how to make it happen right away, we have to jump on that ball and get it rolling!" -Me

"How about you don't hurt yourself." -Christian
"I just pulled my hair, I probably should be used to it." -Me
"Yeah, you probably should." -Christian

"When I go stay at the "blank's" house you don't have a problem." -Me
"Duh! Cause I'm match-making!" -Christian 
* I Facefloor* 

"And by the way, that was mostly in jest." -Christian
"Then you probably shouldn't jest with me because I always believe you." -Me
"It was 27% jest." -Christian 
"That's not mostly!" -Me
"We need to talk about percentages..." -Mom laughing 

"I was up at 6:45 this morning, and out on the porch having coffee by 7:00am. Just so you know. But you are right traditionally..." -Mom reading this post 

"Captain America: The First Avenger" Review

From Google

It was around the time I got my Pinterest account that Marvel was exploding all over the place. Of course, since I had no idea what "Marvel" was, I completely disregarded everything. I may have seen a few trailers, but all I thought was, "Super heroes. Yeah. Ok. Cool. Moving on."

It was when many of my friends were deeply into Marvel, and would not stop mentioning it, that it finally got my attention. So when Lydia, who normally watches stuff like Batman and Mission Impossible with her hands over her eyes, saw Captain America before I did... I had to see it, pronto.

The next day, Lydia stopped by at the teeny-tiny library, found it, and checked it out. Christian and I watched it that night.

The good:

WOW! Those stunts were amazing!

The casting was very well done.

The story was very well written, it kept me on edge, and made me want to see the next one.

I was glad that they gave Cap a team instead of letting him do everything by himself.

The bad:

There is language, there is a reason why it's rated pg-13. That was the only issue in my book.

The ugly:

When Schmidt pulls off his mask, I know that Lydia covered her eyes, I didn't, but some people might not want that image in their memory.


Wow, Elrond, I like you way better with longer hair, and when you have your mask on.

Thanks a bunch for leaving the movie at a cliff-hanger. -_-

I must see every Marvel movie. Except, maybe the rest of the Spidermans, but that's a different review for later.

On a scale of 1-10 I'd give Captain America: The First Avenger a 9.


Saturday, July 11, 2015

"Big-Kid" Time

Friday morning the kids were the same, no worse, maybe a little better. Only Gabe and Mia have gotten Hand Foot Mouth, everyone else is still fine! For being sick, those two have had lots of energy and been very cheerful while playing and making huge messes, but who cares about that they are having a good time. We are so thankful they seem to only have a light case! 

Dad, Chloe, and Christian joined some people from our church at Aunt Cendei's farm to demolish a barn. 

It was hot, there was a breeze, it was not very windy. Despite the fact that Hand Foot Mouth is going around our church a few families still made it, but some of the tools didn't. So we were able to take down part of the roof on a very small barn and get it stripped of metal and get it torn up. That was with the help of a very nice tractor of course. Then after that we went and had lunch and visited and went home. -Chloe 

After another late day at work I went to the bank and then came home to pick up Chloe and Christian to go to Denton Thrift. They leave next week for a fishing adventure in Montana with Grandpa (Dad's dad) and needed some clothes that can get ruined if needed. I was on a mission to find curtains and remaining costume items for our play. 

Christian discovered a couple of metal baseball bats and accompanied me to the men's aisle to find black clothing for The Dread Pirate Roberts. Despite the fact that I have absolutely no idea how men's clothing is sized, I think we found some good pieces. We went for pants that would be slightly too long for me and had whatever numbers we were told to look for. Hope they work! On top of that, though, I found an awesome pirate-y looking belt! 

I own like zero t-shirts so Chloe and Christian picked out a couple...from the guy's section. "The bigger, the more soft and comfortable!" According to Chloe. 

Christian first agonized over the fact that our shopping was taking too long, then at dinner despaired when Chloe and I "took forever to eat." It was a lot of food, okay!? To get us to leave Christian even confiscated my milkshake. 

I have a new name: 

He asked for extra whipped cream: 

That is a lot of food, isn't it? 

As siblings born within 3 years of each other with pretty close relationships, it was inevitable that the entire outing turned out to be full of laughter and conversations that most people (okay and me some times too) would call weird and awkward. We don't mind though, we have fun together. Between me being a blonde who lacks the ability to be intimidating and come up with harsh or sarcastic comebacks, Chloe being a sarcasm professional, Christian remembering a million random facts like "so and so liked you (Lydia) two years ago," and both of them being expert teasers, you can only imagine the types of exchanges we often have. (Actually, a lot of quotes come from those times, so maybe you do know a little bit about what they are like!) 

At home the other kids were lounging in the living room viewing "Swiss Family Robinson." (Did you know they are called the 'Swiss family' because they came from Switzerland?!) 

Chloe, Christian, and I set up in Chloe's and my room to watch "Spiderman." Christian had seen it, but us girls hadn't. We liked it! Chloe more than me probably, but it was enjoyable. It did make me jump several times though. I can't remember if I screamed or not... I probably did... 

Today the kids are about the same and we have been doing random chores around the house. At least some of us should be able to attend church tonight. 

The Herd: Quoted 

"He did smack his face, but he did not run his hair through his hands." -Me
"Run his hair through his hands?" -Chloe
"Yeah, what's wrong with that?" -Me
"I think you mean hand through his hair." -Chloe

"What really bugged me was there was only one kiss." -Christian telling us what was wrong with Captain America. 

"Oh! I get it now! I bet they are called 'suitcases' because they were first invented for carrying men's suits while they traveled!" -Me
"I'm going to pretend that was not a revelation for you." -Dad laughing and shaking his head in disbelief. 

"Into The Woods" Review

Lydia and I had been wanting to see this movie ever since it came out, a very long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away a long while ago. The family finally watched it a few nights ago, but was a bit disappointed.

Please keep in mind, we bear no hard feelings to any of the cast or crew for making it.

The good:

The sets were amazing! The lighting was stupendous! The cast was perfect! The stories were all woven together excellently!

It was all relatively easy to follow, there were a few parts that took some pondering, but I think that everyone understood what happened in the movie.

Whoever edited the scenes was truly gifted in that department.

I did like that they referenced David and Goliath, by having Jack kill the giantess with a stone to the forehead.

The bad:

"Choose what's right for you."

Wait, what? Are you kidding me? No! That's like, a huge fallacy of some sort. I learned about it in Philosophy, but I can't remember exactly what it is called.

"I'm supposed to be charming, not sincere."

Charm is sincerity! Anyone who says any different it selling something.

Why did Cinderella keep going to the festival to dance with the prince if she would only run away from him in the end?

Why did the witch need the magic beans to live?

The ugly:

Prince 'Charming' you are already married to Cinderella, why are you trying to have an affair with the baker's wife? And why isn't the baker's wife fighting?

When watching this part, I practically yelled at the tv screen, telling her to hit him. But she went along with him anyways. Grrr.

The scenes with the witch were almost funny, but she really wasn't very nice. And that scene where she dissipates into a puddle of goo was a bit anti climactic. She had just finished singing a very dramatic song, and then *boom* she's a puddle.

On a scale of one to ten, I'd give Into The Woods a six.