13 November 2016

Unexpected School Vacation

























The varsity volleyball team won to the state level last Saturday night, so.....school was cancelled Thursday and Friday while the girls traveled to compete. Hey, I'm not complaining over unexpected days home with all my kiddos. We enjoyed our time together.

Mr Zane turned two last week. Kelly invited us over to celebrate with cake and a little party. My kids raided her yard and played hard and long in her backyard. She has quite the fun yard with lots of nooks and crannies to play hide and seek. Plus the chips, dip, and salsa captivated the kids. Zane was napping when we arrived, he was a bit disoriented to find so many hyper kids racing around his toys. He soon joined in and had a blast. Evelyn managed to find a marker so colored her face and Everett's church shirt. The marker was not washable so the shirt is ruined. Grrrrr, this is the 6th shirt she's ruined lately. Josie was delighted to stand up by the fence and chair as her supports. She quite enjoyed rides around the yard in a push-able car. We miss having good neighbors behind us.

Monday at FHE Amelia taught our lesson. She teaches short, lively lessons that her siblings enjoy. We might have her take over as the family teacher. She is prepping for her Christmas piano concert. We love to hear all her practicing! She knows the songs so well she races through them way too fast.

Daylight saving was not as bad as I expected. I forgot that falling back is easier than leaping forward. The kids are waking up at 6:30 or earlier for the time being. Everett woke up at 4:30 Tuesday morning. He made a nest on our floor and played with the toys I have for Josie. We kept waking up to the sounds of a monkey hooting. I convinced him to turn off the monkey toy and try falling asleep. All the kids are pretty darn crabby today. I think they had too much fun and not enough sleep.

Tuesday was election day! Justin and I teamed up at lunchtime to vote at the fairgrounds. We had classic bubble sheets to vote on. I voted for Evan McMullin, could not stand to vote for either Republican or Democratic choices. It was quite the anguished process as I chose and voted. All day we heard polling numbers and the crass opinions of the press. To our utter astonishment Mr Trump won the electoral vote! Hillary Clinton barely won the popular vote. It seems the public was fleeced by the press as far as Mr Trump. I am still unsure about his ability to lead our country, still I feel better to have him over a Clinton in office. As the days stretch past the election results more and more folks are going crazy. Protests, mud-slinging, complaining, students not going to class, and general cruelty abound. I found it funny that the Times had already published the front cover with Hillary as Madame President. She lost. I feel somewhat exultant that the press could not predict what the average American was feeling. They were so wrapped up in themselves that the election was grossly misjudged. I've never felt like NOT voting, I seriously debated not voting, but the sacrifices of our predecessors changed my mind. After voting Justin, the girls, and I enjoyed a lovely salad at Della's cafe. Jen watched all the kids while Justin and I watched Dr Strange at 7 pm. That is a rare occurrence, usually we go at 9 if at all. Course the one night we go the projector quit working, we waited it out for 35 minutes. It finally started, Jen had something to do at 9 pm, I was anxious she would miss her appointment. We came home to find Jen snoring in Josie's room with Josie snuggled in her arms. We totally loved the movie. Next time we need to watch the post movie teasers.

We had a park day on Wednesday. The girls and I spent a couple hours at the park with a picnic and friends during the afternoon. Evelyn fell asleep on my lap right around the time she as supposed to go to ballet class. She woke up so cranky I knew going to ballet was not going to work. I tried anyhow, dressed her up and went to ballet. Yep, she completely refused to stay at dance. We decided to play at the park with all the kids until the sun faded to dark. Justin brought home a roast chicken for dinner since I was too busy playing to cook. Evelyn looked pretty silly in her tutu and leotard. I found a sweater and hat in the van to wear once it got too cool outside. Josie gnawed down a full bowl of mac n'cheese for dinner!

The kids have outgrown their shoes. Finding decent second hand shoes for their age range is not so easy. We drove to Sterling for shoes, Mexican food, and swimming. Everett dressed himself with his pants on inside out, I pointed out that fact, and he nonchalantly said: "Mom, it's no problem, I can get two days out of these pants because tomorrow I can wear them the right way." He wore the pants as is for the day, flapping pockets and all. The kids love Mexican food, Amelia pounded 3 tacos, a serving of rice, and a serving of beans. We quietly dined at Santiago's for lunch. Quiet may be a misnomer. I vividly remember my Dad lecturing us before we stayed at Uncle Fred's home: flush the toilet, no whining, don't ask for food until offered, etc. I find myself doing the same thing. Problem is my kids do exactly what we did: disregard the rules of public behavior. We stood outside the shoe store. I asked the kids not to yell, shout, run, or be a general nuisance. I guess playing hide 'n seek was not part of my lecture therefore, admissible. Sheesh, so embarrassing. I was grateful the store was empty of other shoppers. Phillip was timid to try on shoes, he hated the cool shoes (like vans or converse) but loved the cheap shoes with characters. We compromised and found running shoes and a pair of character shoes. All the kids walked out with a new pair of kicks. Evelyn was pleased with pink "Minnie Mouse" shoes that sparkled and twinkled. The pool opened at 3:30 for open swimming. We stayed until open swim closed at 5 pm. Josie loved the water! She made her duck noises until she got too cold. Evelyn continued her daredevil streak in the water, refusing a floating device. She discovered jumping into the water was much more fun and wading until her feet floated off the floor. Amelia passed the deep water test by swimming unaided from side to side in the deep end. After the test she could jump off the diving board! No hesitation for that girl! So proud of her bravery. It was dark and cold on our trip home, nice to arrive home with the lights on and Justin waiting there.

Friday morning we drove out to my friend's home past Gurley to play with their kittens. Halfway through the drive I glanced back to check my rear view. I was startled to find Everett staring at me with a vacant look and a strange sticker covering his mouth. I am quite enamored with country living right now. I love the appeal of sending kids out to play without the normal worries of living in a city. Too bad we could not sell our home at this stage, too much uncertainty. Ryan brought out their kid jeep for the kids to play with. Evelyn was cackling along as she took her turn to drive. We had lunch at a new place for us, a fast food chain called Runza. They specialize in cabbage burgers, a Nebraskan delicacy. The boys were impressed with the small kid burgers and twist cones that came with their meals. Justin was gone all day until 8 pm for business down in Denver. I took the kids to see "Trolls" by myself, well, I hired Alia to watch Josie until Justin got back. Evelyn lasted much longer this time, maybe she was tired. Everett was freaked out by the bad trolls so sat on my lap jittering. Evelyn started a dance party in the aisle during the last song and credit roll. She loved how her shoes light up while she danced. Josie was not in love with idea of staying with Alia. I hear she cried the entire hour she was away from the parental figures.

Saturday we went back to Sterling and repeated our Thursday. I discovered the shoe store sent me home with two left shoes in different sizes for Amelia. Grrrrrr. I thought they checked such things before sending folks home with shoes. We went swimming again this time with Justin. Justin amused the kids with back rides and bopping the kids with soft balls on their noggins. Evelyn loved having Justin around to show off her moves. Amelia jumped off the diving board again and learnt how to dive into the deep end from the side of the pool.

This morning the kids noticed Evelyn eating her customary breakfast of chicken noodle soup from a can. Amelia and Everett wanted to try a "strange breakfast" so ate leftover spaghetti for breakfast. Sunday mornings seem pretty crazy around these parts. Just as I reversed out of the garage Everett shouted that he got the wrong shoes. He grabbed two right shoes. We were almost late, stopping to locate the right shoes made us a bit late. Evelyn had a tantrum because I would not allow her to wear makeup. She insisted on wearing lip-tick. She often requests lip-tick with cute kissing gestures and lip puckering.