11 October 2017

It's Faux Fall

I busted out the Halloween shirts last week. I was so happy to welcome October, just for an excuse to wear some different cute outfits, rather dress the girls in cute outfits. We excitedly brought the pink tub of Halloween outfits. It was 98 degrees outside that day...nearly all the outfits were long-sleeved. Fudge knuckles. I thought about busting out my scissors and cutting sleeves off to accommodate our new climate. Instead I went with a gentler option of rolling sleeves up a bit and pairing with shorts. Maybe melting pumpkin spice scents in my candle warmer will help. Eating soup just does not sound appetizing, salads it is.

Josie is a camera butterfly. She loves to look and smile right at me at least for the time being, I'll eat it up. Compare that to Evelyn who snarls and tips over to show me her bum..."mom! You a poop emoji!" Next second she is hamming it up begging for photos. Our lime tree seems to provide a nice backdrop for spur of the moment photos, light seeping through leaves and lovely open shade. Our poor apple tree died so that fruit is gone, the shade slowly burning away.

I should have biceps the size of a body builder's. Alas, no. Seems like I push the girls for hours on the swings hanging from our patio. Josie's constant pleading: push?! Evelyn yelling, "You working on it, Mom?!" When she asks me to push her higher I must say, give me a moment I'm working on it. I should have triceps tight and lean from all the laundry, dishes, vacuuming and mopping I get done. Nah, flabby as ever. Homes should be gyms, that is convenience right there.

Evelyn gave me a hickey or two this week. She thinks it is funny to suck on my neck. I never know if she will just give me a peck on the cheek or a red mark on my neck. I made the mistake of laughing the first time since it tickled so much.

Friday evening I got to attend a RS retreat in Strawberry, AZ with several ladies from our ward. I drove up with Reghan Rohner around 5 pm. I did not tell the kids until a few moments before I was due to leave. They did not have time to worry about me leaving, or me worrying about leaving them. Prepare yourselves. This was the first time I've left overnight alone since I had Amelia...10.5 years ago. I expected to feel a bit strange but a nasty headache just made me tired and a bit cranky. Still the drive up chatting with Reagan was pleasant. We grabbed some fast food dinner in Payson then heading to the cabin another 30 minutes away. I learned how to play "9s" from 3 darling vintage ladies. We stayed up talking about this and that until midnight. Some left and went back home. About 20 of us stayed up at the Wolford's cabin. I nabbed a nice clear spot of floor space and settled down on a camping pad and a comforter. Seemed like everyone was waiting for the first person to actually fall asleep and start snoring. I waited as long as possible mostly because my headache was making my eyes stay open. Dang mommy radar went off at 5 am, when a few of us got up to hike around the mountains. I joined since my eyes were open and my hair was ready to party. The exercise felt so nice. Breakfast included egg casseroles, fruit, and granola. Simple and delicious. The Wolford's roped us into playing badminton and horseshoes. I am totally allergic to nets, balls, rackets, and hoops. Since all the other ladies were also sport-challenged we made up silly moves like badminton ballet and the strangest ways to serve a birdie. The best part was being outside and not burning up. It was nice a cool. I rode with Melanie Christenson back down to the center of Hades. We stopped off at a honey stand. A tub of amaretto honey butter mysteriously made it home with me. Shoot, ok, I was aware my wallet came out and purchased it. Dang, it was worth the splurge. Honey and almond flavor?! Heaven. So glad I chanced the night away to work on making some friends.

The kids survived, course they did! We've got good kids and a wonderful dad to care for them. Josie has not napped since I came home unless she is in my arms. It's kinda nice and kinda annoying. Justin got the coins out of the van DVD player! Hooray! When he hooked the system back together (he had to take apart the dash to get the coins out) it all went kaput. It's strange to not have any music, radio, or movies to watch. Yikes, we might have to travel the old-fashioned way...sans digital entertainment. This will be interesting.

Sunday a new gospel doctrine teacher taught for Sunday School. He was quite riveting. This brother taught at the MTC while he was studying at BYU. He challenged us to read the Joseph Smith story and then pray for confirmation about it. I was so overcome during class I took up the challenge that night. I read and prayed. Nothing. Argh. Sometimes I feel so close to Heaven, the next so far away. I'm not giving up. I might have the account memorized again, this time in English before the challenge is confirmed (again).

Amelia earned her first warm fuzzy reward. She got a warm egg McMuffin on the way to student council meeting Friday morning. Her smile was huge as she set off to school. Man, that girl is something else, someone amazing. I am pretty sure the boys finally met the goal. Phillip had two wet nights between 12 dry days. He was so close to earning that hamster. I compromised with him and added another 5 days instead of 2 more full weeks. He can do this.

The first full day of fall break is here! We worked on laundry, cleaned up, and the kids got to burn out their brains on electronics for a bit. We went food shopping at Winco. The bulk food section was a huge highlight! Each kid got to choose a favorite candy, bag it, and label it. I got some blood drawn for some tests. Josie was fast asleep on during that adventure. We ate lunch at McDonalds since my blood draw was at 12:30 I was fasting and ravenous. The kids got hilarious face masks of Transformers or My Little Pony. Evelyn is still wearing hers. We enjoyed a freezing dip in Bishop Price's pool for a fun activity. Evelyn decided to swim towards the deep middle, she almost made it back. I got to jump in and help her back to the surface.
Phillip and I worked on his Bobcat, specifically the sexual abuse pamphlet. I realized our kids were a bit naive about the subject. We talked about it a long while ago when Amelia started school and in her 1st grade year. For FHE I taught a lesson on the Family Proclamation, focusing on why males are males and why females are females. Gender, body parts, functions, and such were all discussed. We talked about boundaries and abuse. I told the kids parts of some experiences I had as a girl related to sexual abuse. Talking was not as difficult as I felt it would be. Those part of myself are quite private. I'm not sure Justin had even heard the story I told. Amelia started crying. We had a good talk about what kids at school are teasing her about (hairy legs, being smart, not wanting to play gross games) and what makes her uncomfortable. Looks like I have some action items to follow up about with her teacher.