Evelyn is terrified of thunder and lightening. All the fireworks last year turned her into one cute scaredy cat. She hates storms but loves, and I mean loves, when a rainbow comes after the rain. Sunday evening after a really nice storm the last rays of the day shone through the watery air and made two amazing rainbows. Evelyn even dared to step out into the misted rain to admire the sight. She jumped for joy and danced to her own rainbow dance. The boys admired the rainbow for a moment, the water in the gutters held greater sway. Justin yelled at Everett to take off his nice Sunday pants before getting wet. So he did just that. Off came the pants, on stayed the undies, and that boy was off making waves. Amelia ventured outside for a bit to enjoy the calm after storm. Phillip carefully carried a brimming bowl of ice cream into the livingroom. He asked if I wanted to hear a joke...sure...yes! What does a boy eat on Sunday? A SUNDAY! Hahahahahahaha. He was quite proud of his own joke. Justin seemed to feel a bit better Sunday evening after a very hard day.
Memorial Day came and went without too much bluster. We rallied the kids to help us clean the house before the Calls arrived from Virginia. It stayed clean for a couple hours. Mostly, Justin and I worked on the garage and little things around the house and yard. I cleaned out the coat closet, keeping only one set of winter gear per child for the odd visits to snow territory during the winter. I started a yard sale (slash) donation pile in the garage. The kids and I went to Walmart for some food and a couple necessities. The grandparents arrived around 3:30. Evelyn was in awe, she was certain Santa came to stay at her house. When she first saw Grandpa from the front window she yelled at me: "Mom! Get the cookies, milk, and carrots for Santa! He's HERE!" She warmed up pretty quick, the beard helped immensely. A while later she called him Santa-pa-pa. Having the Calls here was quite the miracle for us. They wanted to fly but ended up driving, the timing worked out to be the best possible for Justin. No one had any idea that God's hand was present in a simple graduation trip out to Utah. They extended their stay from overnight to 3 nights. What a complete blessing for us to have them during a time of need in Justin's life. Just shows that God is aware and will provide a way, laying down the path months in advance. We enjoyed grilled burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, and chips for dinner. The boys got all the luggage from the car down to the basement, happily helped in fact. Phillip was more than happy to show off his huge muscles.
Tuesday we all went to Walmart again then off to Cabela's to shop for stuff. We got a disc-o bed and three air mats for camping. The grandparents were enthralled with ball caps and wrap around sunglasses. While the baby and other adults napped I took the kids swimming for the first time this season. Evelyn insisted on her Mermaid tail suit, I tried to convince her to wear the top over a swimsuit, nope...that was not happening. She went with her mermaid boobies on, I'm glad she kept the boobie covers on. I chucked all my swim tops last week so did not have anything to wear. The kids were just fine swimming while I watched. Evelyn and Everett are quite the little swimmers. Amelia was on the bored side since she could not submerge her left leg at all. She helped me watch Evelyn. Phillip disappeared into the depths of the lazy river. I enjoyed the mild weather and some time in the sun. Evelyn would carefully gather up her tail around her waist when she went down the slide. What a goof ball. I took a couple quick photos of Katelyn's sister (Kiera). She has the most amazing green eyes and blonde hair on a child. I needed a creative outlet, we convinced her to model for me against a lovely snowball bush in full bloom. Sigh! The photos turned out exactly as I imagined. Think garden fairy. Grandpa scared Everett pretty good. Everett tried to sneak up on a napping Grandpa, Grandpa took advantage and made Everett jump 5 feet into the air he was so startled. Phillip and Evelyn tipped the Power Wheels on one side. Phillip wiggled his foot under the body to press the power button. Evelyn filled the empty tire wells with rocks. Phillip pushed the button to make the rocks fly out of the wheel. He said they were playing rock pottery wheels. All fun and games until someone gets beaned in the noggin.
Justin went back to work after 3 days off for Amelia surgery and Memorial Day. The kids were bored. All of a sudden Phillip got a bee in his bonnet to do a Lemonade Stand. He got the table out to the curb, enlisted the kids to help him gather chairs, cups, drinks, and signs. Pretty soon our corner was a busy enterprise. The Grandparents and I watched as the kids collected money after yelling at the tops of their lungs until someone stopped! "Lemonade!!! $0.25 a cup!" The kids offered lemonade, raspberry lemonade, and pink lemonade. Grandpa offered the use of a cooler to keep the drinks cold. After 3-4 hours of work the kids earned $30 after paying me for supplies. Not too bad for a morning's work. When Justin got home from work the kids donated all their money to him. Made Justin cry! They knew Justin was worried about selling our home and buying a new one. Everett made tracks up and down the block as the lemonade runner on his new scooter. At one time the police chief stopped by for a cold cup. He sent the rest of his officers on duty to spend a quarter on some juice. Bless their hearts. Small town living is a very good thing. Evelyn wanted a ballet bun in her hair, so I fixed her up all pretty. Grandpa took the kids to Old McDonald's Farm for lunch. Josie got fast handful of ketchup when I was not looking. She looked like a vampire baby. Josie showed off her crazy couch skills to the Grandparents. She gets a wild look in her eyes to match the smile on her face. She runs up and down the couch, flops down, stands up, and repeats. She made an uneasy truce with Grandpa. He coaxed to sit with him while I took a shower. He read her some books and made animal sounds. She let him hold her for a bit. That is progress. After lunch the kids closed up shop. Katelyn came over to play for a while shortly before lunch. The kids played on the slip and slide while Grandpa watched. I worked on sorting through two hall closets and Josie's bedroom. The kids were quite excited to have Bulgogi (now called Korean Tacos) and introduce it to the grandparents. Such a delicious meal, fast, and healthy! This time around I used a different marinade for chicken. After dinner Grandpa gave Justin a father's blessing. I think we all had teary eyes after the first few words. Justin kept track of the blessing, it was wonderful and gave him many personal reminders. My favorite was when Grandpa reminded him to call on those who passed on when he is unable to cope. Justin often thinks of his cousin who passed away. What a gift! We can ask for Heavenly help from those who passed on before us, I know I often forget this option. We all talked way too late. Evelyn crawled into Grandpa's lap to seek shelter from a lightening storm. She feel asleep as we talked away. I think that little creature asleep in his lap was quite a delight to his heart. Sure made mine feel all cozy.
I was lazy (not) and slept in past 7:50, the grandparents pulled away before Evelyn could say goodbye to Santa. She was all shades of unhappy, luckily they were not too far away so came back for a hug from us all again. We sure enjoyed their visit.
The rest of us quickly got ready for the day so we could head to Scottsbluff for Amelia's ortho appointment. Her retainer needs replacing so we wanted to get that done before we leave town. First off we got the van's oil changed. It was only a couple month's past due, yikes. Normally, Justin changes it but the move has made things a bit crazy. The kids were starving since it was close to lunch. I made the kids pile into one of the "party carts," ya know...the extra long ones that seat 3 kids. Well, I fit 5 kids into the cart and we trekked across the parking lot to get sandwiches. Amelia was soooooooo embarrassed. Score 10 points for mom! I lost the earned points 20 minutes later. I called the clinic to get their new address, during the call we realized the appointment was actually in Sidney. When making the appointment neither the receptionists or I confirmed the location. I headed to SB because they can only make impressions there. She scheduled me for Sidney since they were in town the next week. Doh! I regretted the lost time needed to sort and pack stuff up, regretted it for 3 minutes. Instead the kids and I enjoyed a lovely afternoon at the zoo (per Evelyn the Zoom). The main attraction was the splash pad. Even Josie got some action in! I caught her several times standing up on her own, ever so pleased with her little self. Our favorite animal was the large Bengal Tiger. He was pacing and growling much to our delight. One little raccoon put his paw on the window where Phillip's hand was resting. He was pretty stoked. The afternoon was warm but not overly hot, the cool water and breeze cooled us down. Phillip and Everett requested summer haircuts after dinner. Everett looks like a bald eagle now with his fuzzy head and brown eyes.
Friday was quite stormy. Amelia invited Lily over to play. I think the girls emerged from her room a couple times to eat food. They had an elaborate imaginative game going on all day. I found the boys outside with the hose trying to wash Justin's truck. Thankfully, the windows were closed. I have many fond memories of playing outside with the hose! It was fascinating. Phillip washed off his bike, the front door, and the picture window for 25 cents. The kids enjoyed another jaunt in the rain when the clouds finally started to let loose. It rained off and on for a good couple of hours. Everett wanted to earn some money as well. He let Phillip make up a card, he signed it and drew a picture on one side. He came up to me with puppy-dog eyes, a hug, and a sloppy kiss. I accepted his gift, after which he asked if I like it. Of course! I love it! Well...then can I have a quarter for all my hard work? Oh gosh. I gave my melty chocolate boy a quarter for his efforts. I had to run a couple afternoon errands. The Salvation Army, my storage unit, and the library. My tire ran over something between the storage unit and the library. My tire went flat in less than 2 minutes. I called Justin from the library (because of course I left my phone at home). We jogged the 7 blocks home. Evelyn cried the entire time because a storm was brewing, lightening and thunder galore. Just as we reached our front stoop the rain thundered down. I arranged to have someone meet me back at the library once the rain stopped. He jacked up the van and took the tire to the shop. I few minutes later he called to tell me the tire was not repairable. Grrrrrr, I had to buy a new (used rear) tire. Turns out a piece of wood cut into a triangle, 1.5 inches wide, 2 inches tall caused all the damage. Dude. That was a gnarley tire accident. After dinner we loaded up the van to get Justin's car. It was KSID Crusin' Night! One of our favorite nights in Sidney. We drove up and down main street with the kids out of seatbelts, on laps, bouncing up and down with the novelty. This year I drove while Justin manned the radio and tackled kids. Josie is a pretty good driver. She liked to stand up, her hair was just spiky enough to get in my way. Still she giggled and laughed. Evelyn is also a good driver. She was content to sit on my lap and help steer. Phillip really wanted to drive, alas, his request sort of scared me. Once the rain stopped the windows came down and kids faces started to appear. The kids got some cotton candy to snack on. Such a lovely night to enjoy out on the town.
Saturday we worked pretty hard. Justin found an app that keeps track of items donated (like to Salvation Army). At first it was overwhelming to enter in the mountainous pile of stuff I collected in the garage. Once I caught up it was pretty easy. I opted to donate instead of hold a garage sale. I love to garage sale shop, but hold one? Eh, not my style. I balk at pricing everything, sorting, and taking the time to have one. With the app to help me I collectively donated $876 dollars (estimated tax deduction), much more than a garage sale would bring in. By Wednesday the next week, I finished sorting the upstairs areas. I am a bit excited to see what I can donate in the basement. Muhahahaha. Justin cleared out the attic, so we could sort that stuff. So much stuff! It is crazy how much stuff accumulates when one is not moving every few years. We went to bed tired, dusty, sweaty, and totally worked through. The best kind of feeling there is. Justin chopped down some bushes on the north side and also mowed the lawn. The boys donned gloves to help drag yard debris over to the truck. Phillip wore one black weight lifting glove for a couple days. He reminded us of a white Michael Jackson. We have a meeting with the Real Estate Agent this coming Monday afternoon. I was motivated to get the house whipped into shape in case she decided to list it right then and take photos.
Josie turned into quite the jabber monkey. We love to hear her sweet words as she explains what is going on around her. She is teething two more top and two bottom teeth! Four at once makes for a cranky baby and mommy. Still, she is happy as long as she is clinging to me somehow. I spotted Evelyn admiring herself in the mirror, posing like a model, flipping up her hair and blowing air kisses. Ha ha ha.