Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Getting Back-sided, Surprise Children, and a Late Night

We still exist! We have not disappeared for forever! Just for most of July, but...  Allow me to now begin to catch you up on all that has been going on with us.

Days in the Life...

Monday was the Fourth of July and we didn't do that much...

I had off of work, Chloe and Christian had no class, Gabe did not go to gymnastics.

So I did a full day of studying and chores and ironing (I was sooooooo excited that Dad had stuff that needed ironing) and other stuff that needed doing.

Here I am sporting red, white, and blue. 
I recommend alternate methods for sporting red.

Dad worked and tried to fix our septic system as it was clogged and about to overflow. Of course, no plumbers were answering their phones and Dad could not figure out how to fix it. So we began conserving water. 

We all took turns going next door to beg to be allowed to use Nana and Grandfather's shower. 

In the afternoon Chloe made an apple pie and after a non-typical Fourth of July dinner, Nana and Grandfather snuck in and swiped the pie joined us for ice cream, pie, and "Tammy Tell Me Truly." 

The others stayed up to watch the fireworks again, but I was exhausted and went to bed. Mom and Dad tried valiantly to get to sleep before they started, but it was too late. 

Tuesday was another more laid back day for the most part. The plumber came to fix our septic tank and Chloe and Christian went to class. My car needed some work so Dad and I took it in to the shop in the morning and then went back to get it before dinner. 

In the evening I went to babysit a little girl. 

We played dress up. 
It is actually very hard to see through those glasses. 

Wednesday it was back to work, back to class, back to gym, back to normal. 

Gabe actually spent 7 hours at the gym, though, and after I got home from work we all got to have an adventure. 

Mom had just left to go get Gabe from the gym and I had literally done 30 seconds of my workout when Christian called Dad from Chloe's phone about 5 minutes after they had texted they were on their way home from class.

Right away I could tell something was wrong.

They had just been involved in a hit-and-run accident and Chloe "was in no condition to make the call to Dad."

Dad made sure they were okay and that they were not still on the highway. Christian said they were not hurt other than both their necks being really sore from being jerked. They had pulled into a gas station and the back bumper was still on the highway.

Dad told him to call 911 and then called Mom to reroute her from the gym to go be with Chloe and Christian.

The girls and I then left to go get Gabe after running next door to let Nana and Grandfather know what had happened.

Ava and Mia ended up giving me directions to the gym since I had never been there before. We found it just fine and got to watch the end of Gabe's practice. Then in the car I carefully worded the story of what had happened and why Mom was not picking him up. (Gabe is our worrier and can get very worked up about things. He was okay once he knew they were not hurt and that Mom was with them.)
Gabe lined up with his class. 
(He is the one in navy.) 

Back home I was able to read all the text updates. Grandfather and Dad had left to go get the car and Mom was driving the kids to the chiropractor. 

Christian had made the 911 call just fine and the police officer arrived sans sirens. Once Mom arrived a bit later, they all went in to the gas station to talk. 

Christian was able to tell the officer the make, model, and color of the big pickup truck that had hit them at a red light. The bumper had not fallen off the car and the reason Chloe was not able to call was because she was so angry and was still yelling at the long gone driver. (Christian was yelling too, but he calmed down first. Also, he is a bit dramatic and so the ordeal ended up sounding much worse than it actually was when he first called Dad.)

What happened was they had stopped at a light and were waiting for the cars in front of them to start moving as it had just turned green. The truck that hit them apparently missed that the light had been red .46 seconds before and so never slowed down but rammed right into the kids just as Chloe took her foot off the brake. Christian had been leaning forward when they got hit and so was slammed into his seat which hurt his neck and shoulder. Chloe's neck was also so violently jerked that her sunglasses flew off her face, all the stuff in their laps and on the dashboard got thrown on them and the floor, and the sunroof cover (which is nearly impossible to open) was shoved open a good several inches. 

Chloe drove through the light and then tried to move over a lane because they were in the middle of the highway. As she began moving over the truck that hit them swerved around them and almost hit the driver's side, then raced off. Christian missed the license plate, but was able to collect all the other information. 

They pulled into the gas station and then "let it loose." (To quote them both.) Christian calmed down first and tried to comfort Chloe who continued yelling and threw her phone at him saying, "call someone." 

So he called Dad, Dad told them what to do and called Mom, then called them back and made sure they knew they were to just sit tight and wait for the police and Mom to arrive. 

By the time I got home they had reached the doctor's office and Dad and Grandfather were on their way home with the car. (They were driving a 20+ year old Honda Civic so no airbags went off.) 

I was supposed to get dinner with one of the ladies in our church, but I wasn't sure if Mom and Dad would want me to stay home. Mom said I should still go, though, so I rushed to help Ava make dinner and then showered and raced out the door myself, passing Dad on my way out. 

The others arrived home and rested and ate dinner and watched a "Tammy" movie. 

I had a really nice time at dinner and enjoyed finally getting to relax and breathe after such a long, crazy day. (Work had it's "fun" moments too... Like arriving and finding out that in addition to watching the three I usually nanny, I would be caring for their cousins. So, the ages of my charges for the day, 6, 5, 4, and 3 years old, and 18 months. One girl. Four boys. One me, who was not freaking out externally. Six loud hours.) 

Back at home I got to hear the whole story from Chloe and Christian. That's when details like "no we weren't crying, we were yelling" came out. They were both already joking about it and seemed in good spirits. Chloe was excited to write a blog post about the adventure and I highly recommend it! Her post is here

Thursday I was already planning to take Mia with me, but adding her to the five I already had was.....interesting. The day actually went relatively well and Mia had fun. 

And yes, that would be Mia reading to them. 

Meanwhile, at home, we finally had concrete poured!!

Chloe got right back on that horse and drove our truck to class. It was her and Christian's last day of their Learning Frameworks class and they both finished with solid As. 

Mom and Dad went to dinner with Aunt Cendei, the kids watching a movie after dinner, and I had an adventure of my own. 

I was planning to finally put up my feet and do something that did not require much brainpower or energy, but I felt like I should at least log onto my college class and make sure I didn't have any emails. 

Well, I had one. 

And it said that, surprise, all the deadlines had been moved from Sunday night to that night and I had less than 5 hours to write three 300 word essays, two 250 word posts, and six comments, do a "dress for success" type assignment thingy, and take the final exam. (I had blocked off all of Friday to finish all those assignments.) 

So I took a few minutes to freak out. 

So I prayed, settled down, and got to it. Trying not to cry. 

I ended up having a few small issues like, "Oh, you no longer have any available space and so we are going to delete your essays," and "We'd rather not convert your pictures to an acceptable format," and "Now we won't allow you to submit your assignment because it's going to take 45 minutes to upload," and "Well, now you have nine minutes to take the final." (That would be my laptop and the class site talking. *wink*) 

But I made it!

I turned everything in and was able to complete 2/3 of the final before midnight. Because I didn't finish the final my grade went down by 2%, but that just meant I finished with a grade that was slightly better than Christian's. I'm not complaining! 

So that's how I finished my first college class! According to all those who have been through college, having that late night meant I am officially in college now. Afterwards I was very glad to have it done and my Friday was way more relaxed, but I was excited about not cutting it that close again. (Pay attention to that key word "was", it's important for reasons revealed in coming posts.) 

Friday I slept in. 

Then spent the day catching up on random little things I needed to do before leaving for Aunt Lauren and Uncle Phil's place. 

Chloe and Christian got to work on their other school and enjoy saying that they now have college credit! 

The rest of the week I'm not entirely sure what everyone else did. I know they went to church on Saturday, but other than that, I have no idea. (Or memory.)

I beat the Dallas traffic and arrived safely for my birthday weekend. Aunt Lauren and I got to visit until Uncle Phil got home. Then we went to dinner and returned to watch the first half of a BBC period drama called "North and South." In case you were wondering, that is not a comedy. At all. You will cry. A lot. 

Saturday we all slept in. Then Uncle Phil prepared a yummy brunch meal for us. Aunt Lauren made chai tea lattes and we had our quiet times until she and I could leave to go get pedicures. 

Upon our return, we had orange smoothies and sweet maui onion potato chips. Then we all went to a thrift shop. 

We felt like crying some more (not, but we were anxious to see what happened) and finished "North and South" with popcorn. 

After dinner and deep conversations we voted (unanimously) for a comedy and selected "The Glass Bottom Boat". 

Sunday Uncle Phil left early to go practice with the worship team and Aunt Lauren and I went to Starbucks until it was time for church.

After church we got burgers and returned to their place to read for an hour or so and then watch "Sweet Home Alabama."

We thought the pool was going to be finished by that afternoon so Aunt Lauren and Uncle Phil could come swim with us, but it was not. I returned home late afternoon and got to catch up with everyone and watch more Olympic trials.

The Herd: Quoted 

"They got back-sided?!" -Gabe

"I feel like this is the week of year of accidents." -Gabe 

"For the record, being rear-ended is not a pleasant experience." -Chloe 

"Last I checked, I am still an animal-loving bookworm." -Chloe

"Story of my life: 'No, I wasn't slowing down so you could turn, I was anticipating your foolish decision to turn in front of me at the last possible moment.'" -Chloe 

Note- Chloe was wondering why she wasn't being quoted as much. So I stalked her records to find some quotes because I can't remember any other quotes from four weeks ago. Hope y'all enjoyed! She is a very cleaver one that quiet girl. *Smiles with sisterly pride* I did not teach her everything, y'all know... 

"That's not my mom, that's my sister!" -Mia to the kids I nanny.

"I am made of frenchies and frost-eyes." -Me trying to say frosties and french fries. (That's what Mom craved when she was pregnant with me. I have only actually eaten that myself a couple of times.)


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Heartburn, the first was good, wait until you see the sequel!

Days in the Life...

Monday Dad worked. I went to work. Chloe and Christian went to class. Mom and the littles had a movie marathon all afternoon and evening. Don't worry, no one was sick. Gabe did not have gym and the pool was still not done, so they decided watching three movies would be fun. I think the only time I ever maybe remember having a movie marathon as a child was while I was sick.

Mom and the littles did some productive stuff in the morning, then put together snacks and created a bunch of comfy spots to sit in the living room. After the first movie, "Follow Me Boys", they worked together to make pizza to go in the oven later for dinner.

Chloe and Christian arrived home and finished their work quickly to catch the next movie, "The Thrill of it All."

I got home and exercised and did laundry and cleaned and studied until I left to go babysit.

Kate's little sister has arrived and I got to hold her for over an hour while babysitting! Baby Blaire has already stolen my heart. I wondered how I would be able to love her as much as I love Kate, it's not hard.

The sunset was absolutely stunning! 

The others completely missed it because of their movie. 

When I got home there was some yummy pizza left for me and they were finishing up the last movie. I did more class work, then went to bed not too long after the others, although we all ended up having a late night.

Tuesday I was the first one up by a long shot. After the later-than-usual night, the others ended up sleeping in past 8:00! 

I spent pretty much the entire morning working on my class and Chloe and Christian left for their class as usual. 

In the afternoon I exercised and then left to go get coffee with one of the ladies in our church. 

We had a really good visit and then I stayed to write at least something in my neglected journal. Throw a new nanny job, college class, 5-day workout routine, and a load of stuff to process all at me at once and something's going to fall by the wayside, even if that thing ends up being something I love.

Writing, even just for 15 minutes, felt so good.

Back at home we worked on preparing for engagement group. This time it ended up just being us and one other family! We still had an encouraging time together and received reports from others so we could pray for them. 

Mia dressed up and requested a picture go on the blog. 

Wednesday all the usual things took place, except that Gabe was at the gym from 9:00 until 4:00 to make up for no class on Monday. Mia still had her class around lunchtime after she and Mom went to the library and Seven Mile Cafe. Ava stayed home. 

For the rest of us it was a normal day. 

In the evening we watched men's gymnastics and Gabe, who had spent 7 hours at the gym already and had come home exhausted, dropped down to do 52 good form pushups. 

After the competition was over, we spent some time in prayer for a family we know whose son was care-flighted after a terrible car accident. 

Thursday I went to work, Chloe and Christian went to class, Gabe had gym, and the wifi went out. 

The wifi went out in the morning and was still out when Chloe and I came home both needing to turn in projects for our classes. 

So, around 5:00, we gave up and headed to Starbucks to get our assignments submitted, because, of course, the deadlines were for that night. Thankfully we were able to get everything done pretty quickly and by the time we got home the wifi was back on. 

Because the first movie was so good...
*drum roll, please* 

Friday morning Mom and the littles went to the hospital to visit the family we are praying for. Then they met friends at Chick-fil-a for lunch and finished by going to Costco. 

I had coffee with a friend in the afternoon and Chloe met Gramma to work on a project. 

Saturday was very quiet for everyone as far as I know. 

We finally had work done on the pool again! Because it rained so much weeks and weeks ago the patio guys got super backed up. We kept getting pushed further down the list of jobs and so it was over a month between the last time we had anything done and when they arrived to get everything set to be poured. 

It was so hot for the men. When we cut a watermelon and set it on the porch for them they were so grateful. 

Ava and I left to go to church early. The worship and prayer service was wonderful, as was church afterwards. We all stayed pretty late after church to eat and visit, then to help clean up everything. 

Sunday everyone slept in (there was actually a lot of sleeping in that week) and then we worked on brunch and listened to the CD done by our favorite live singer in Maui. 

Pretty quick after the kitchen was cleaned up everyone except Mom and Chloe loaded up to go swim at Gramma's. 

Meanwhile Chloe got a roast in the oven for dinner and and Mom napped. Then they both read to their hearts' content. 

On our way home from swimming we stopped to see the progress on The Dream House. It is gorgeous!! 

Everyone showered and we ate dinner, then watched "Tammy and the Bachelor." 

As the movie finished, the fireworks began. 

The others went onto the porch and I went up to sit in my room in the dark. The fireworks were good; we could see at least 3 or 4 different groups setting them off in different areas, but the lightning was even more impressive to me. 

I sat for over an hour and eventually forgot about the fireworks. The lightning was going off on rapid-fire and was all across the sky. I could see bolt after bolt touching down on the horizon. God's creation is far more impressive than anything made with human hands. 

Dad's toe is lovely- ahem- a lovely shade of blue, black, and ouch. He can walk and drive fine now and the pressure is pretty much gone, but it would not be pleasant if it got bumped or stepped on. (Although if anyone steps on your toe, crushed or not, it still hurts.)

Also, at some point this week, a snake got in and ate our duck's beautiful nest of 14 or more soon-to-hatch eggs. Chloe wondered all week why eggs were slowly disappearing from the nest, but didn't know what was getting them. Well, she finally saw the snake (not until after it had gotten the last of the eggs, of course) and instead of running screaming for Christian to save her kill it, she marched over to the tack room herself to get the killing instrument shovel. But the snake got away. Chloe is now on the watch for revenge.

I've been Pondering...

I'm at 5 weeks of weightlifting and the calluses are beginning to form again. 

Sometimes the hard things that make us stronger also give us rough spots. 

I don't mind rough spots on my hands, but I would mind rough spots in my spirit. 

When God allows me to walk through something hard in order to make me stronger, I want to remain soft. 

It could almost be thought of as the opposite of forming calluses. Instead of those hard things working in my life to form rough spots in my spirit, they are working to soften me and rub away the calluses that want to make my spirit rough. 

Reverse callusing. 

Lord, please continue sending me the hard things so that as I lean on You, walking through them, I can be made stronger in You, and the rough spots can be smoothed over for Your glory.

That moment when...

You receive a Facebook message from a foreign man saying, "You Babe beauty, little rose."

You are trying doing a side plank and your braid falls off your shoulder completely knocking you off balance.

Three children are sitting in your lap at the same time, telling you you are "squishy," and pulling on the end of your braid to tickle their faces.

The Herd: Quoted 

"My hair comes like all the way to here." -Christian pulling his hair over his forehead after the girls were saying how far down their backs their hair falls.

"Oh, I think I remember this!" -Ava about a dish at dinner.
"Well, that would be interesting since I've never made it before." -Mom 
"Oh. Never mind!" -Ava

"We will have a paper to write about what we learned. I can say, 'Well obviously nothing from you!'" -Chloe joking as she told us about her online professor who has not responded to any emails or provided any lectures.