28 June 2016

Our Happy Place

Jen gave me the brilliant reminder to have the kid's write sentences when they misbehave. By mid-morning each kid was busy writing sentences. Amelia whacked Phillip with a crutch, Phillip screamed in Everett's ear, and Everett kicked Evelyn. The kids had to copy sentences based on age and ability. Everett quite enjoyed his punishment. Now when he earns more sentences he gets excited. Amelia wrote quite a few sentences this week. The whining is at an all terrible high. I have a plan in place to put the kabash on that little trait. Just waiting for FHE on Monday. I had an early morning photo session with a little 12 month old. She was so funny about getting her hands dirty with cake and frosting. Jen watched the kids while I worked on the session. I picked up a couple supplies on my way home to make lollipops. The kids were quite excited to make lollipops at home. The kids each helped measure out an ingredient (sugar, water, corn syrup). We made 4 different flavors and colors after the syrup was at brittle stage. I think we made strawberry, watermelon, pina colada, and raspberry. One flavor tasted really gross, I think it did not get mixed up enough. Phillip enjoyed putting sticks on all the pops. Soon the kids all had a sugar rush in time for the afternoon. We played in the yard to burn off energy. My little batch of seeds are finally coming up! We had a lesson outside on whining for FHE, yep, that was an off-the-cuff lesson. Everett lead the game of mother-may-I followed by a dance party in the yard. Good times right there.

I don't remember much from Tuesday. Probably full of whining, fighting, and crying. Yah know, summer tempers in full swing. I imagine we went swimming, yes, yes we did. Amelia went with Lily and we met up with her after an hour and a half. Amelia's sunburn was rubbed raw by her swimsuit. Poor kid had raw skin on both shoulders. Justin picked up Solarcaine for future use on a whim. Well, we used it on her shoulders. I have never seen a kid howl as loud or long and Amelia did when Justin sprayed her shoulders. I had to hold her still while he sprayed. She yelled about it stinging. After a couple minutes she realized the pain was gone and stopped crying.

Wednesday we wandered up to Subway for lunch just to get out of the house. Amelia can cram down a full sandwich! The kids love playing on the train visitor's center up on the hill. They had a fun game going on playing train conductor. We went to Walmart after to find items for our family photos and a swim shirt for Mia. We went swimming for a couple hours after that. Each kid picked out a bribe toy they could open AFTER family photos. My ploy worked for the older kids. Evelyn and Everett chose cheap gumball machines. Evelyn carried around her bribe package moaning until it was opened. We endured family photo torture, had to document the newest arrival to our family. My friend Michelle Rognon took the photos. They left town a couple days later for their new adventure in Idaho. We managed a few family groupings, not sure what we will end up with. Thank goodness for photoshop! All the kids got mosquito bites from our jaunt to the field for photos. The kids are all allergic to mosquitoes. Phillip woke up with three huge swollen mounds on his head. Everett had four large angry welts on his back. Even Evelyn had a swollen bite on her elbow and leg.

We tried to make bouncy balls with glue, food coloring, glitter, and water mixed together. Those ingredients are put into a solution of corn starch and borax. Pretty much the same directions as slime but different amounts of the ingredients. I would say the experiment flopped. The mixture did congeal but when rolled into a ball it left cracks, folds, and craters that caused the ball to splatter when bounced. Phillip's turned out the best of all. Even with the flop the kids enjoyed being outside and working with measuring cups, spoons, and forbidden items (food coloring). Evelyn especially was excited to measure and stir.

Nebraska is getting some powerful storms due to the heat, humidity, and wind. I saw some colossal cumulonimbus clouds last week. It rained pretty hard Thursday evening. It was my turn to take photos of the Rognon family but the weather forecast postponed it. Good thing too, we had 6 inches of rain pour down in 10 minutes. The sun was shining when the rain started, the rain was quite pretty as it sparkled down from the sky. A double rainbow also graced the sky for 10 minutes or so.

I met the Rognon's at the same field at 6:45 am for their family photos. Their kids were well-behaved after a good night's rest. Maybe early morning photo sessions are the best idea ever! Friday's dinner was a total flop. I pan-cooked up a pork steak with teriyaki sauce and veggies. The veggies tasted like freezer and the pork meat tasted rancid. I about cried! Justin made dinner instead... meaning we went out to eat at Oya Grill. The nurse that helped deliver Phillip, Everett, Evelyn, and Josie was sitting behind us! I enjoyed introducing the kids to the nurse that held them each for the first time. That is a perk I quite enjoy about small town living, meeting folks who mean something to you and share life in a small town. I got to chat with my dad. He told me about a side project he's working on. When I told Justin about the project we both felt the spirit quite strongly that someday we might be involved with the project. I am keeping it vague on purpose. I am grateful to the Lord for those moments when His spirit is felt so clearly, leading us in the direction he would have us go. I have no idea what the future holds but I felt so clearly that whatever comes next the Lord will be involved. It was a much needed reminder.

Saturday morning we spent cleaning up the clutter in our house. I lined up the kids like military recruits and gave them standing orders while at attention. Amelia was assigned to clean the bathroom. Everett and Phillip were assigned to clean the living room. Naked Evelyn was tasked to use her little potty when she had to go bathroom. The troops did well in their tasks. The boys ended up earning a second chore due to excessive whining. After cleaning time the troops stood once again at attention to receive commendations. Everett earned tackle tickles, Phillip earned exploding hugs, and Amelia earned creeping tickles. Good times! We spent the rest of the day down at Bridgeport Lake. Like last year the water is high so the beach is perfect for wading. Justin set up our new Sportbrella to provide shade. Phillip and Amelia collected several handfuls of shells. I caught the kids playing shark and mermaid on occasion. Everett created a sand punch by piling sand on his fists and punching the so fast the sand flew in the air. He has amazing moves. Amelia showed off her mermaid swim moves. Josie even spent a chunk of time floating on the water in her little infant floatie. I totally lost mom points when I let Evelyn take off her floatie after I told her no. I should have stuck to the guns until the next time she asked instead of changing my mind. I was thinking, "well, I'd rather know her floatie is off than her taking it off and drowning when I am not watching." Ah well, I will do better next time. She was sticking her face in the water and swimming underwater for a few seconds at a time by the time we left. The kids were freaked out when a snake glided through the water near them. I totally love the peace and laid-back feeling at the lake. So nice to just let go sometimes. We finished off the evening with twist cones at the ice shack. Yum.

Amelia threw a royal tantrum Sunday evening. I can't remember why she got so upset. I probably asked her to stop playing with her toy and help out. She flew off the handle and turned into a sea witch. To rejoin the family she had to spend time in her room writing 40 sentences (I will not whine). Unfortunately, I had to leave Justin with the sea witch mid-tantrum to go visit a couple ladies. I whisked Josie away with me to visit Jenny Elliott and Judy Vannatter. Justin reported that Amelia went ballistic. She ripped up her sentences notebook, ripped the cover to shreds. She finally returned to humanity and wrote her sentences. She was human again by the time I got back. Little stinker. She will get to use her ripped up notebook until that thing is full.

I am formulating a plan of attack to wipe out the whine-o factor in our house. My new motto is: I will not negotiate with whine-os. Har-har-har. I crack myself up.