We invited over the Russo family for FHE on Monday. We had a short Passover meal to kick off Easter. Our lesson was short, based on tasting the Seder plate and talking about the symbolism. I had a nasty headache so my focus was gone. Brother Russo made a loaf of Challah bread, yummy. The kids went off to play right after the lesson. The best part was drinking grape juice.
Phillip roped me into making Cager a sleeping bag with extra flannel I had lying about. He helped me measure, cut, and design the sleeping bag. Everett then wanted a new sleeping mask. Amelia has a pillow and blanket planned out to sew up as well. I worked on sewing a dress for Marianne and a tunic for Amelia last week. Amelia found cute unicorn fabric at Hobby Lobby she "had" to purchase. I only have one more dress left to sew. It's getting hot in the garage, my time is short!
Evelyn thinks it is getting hot enough to swim. Each day after school she puts on a swim suit and begs to swim. I finally got the kids signed up for swim team and diving lessons! They are excited to have activities this summer. Evelyn will start ballet on Monday through the city.
Wednesday night Evelyn woke up after 30 minutes asleep screaming and crying. Nothing would console her. When I finally checked her out she had tiny white worms all over her bum. Oh gross! Gross. She somehow contracted pin worms from preschool and incubated a set of worms on her own. I removed as many as possible with wipes and lots of hand sanitizer afterwards. Justin stayed up with her while I tracked down a Walgreens still open at 10:40 pm. I found one closing at 11 and barely made it in time to check out with a bottle to dose the little ones and cream to kill the ones bothering her right then. Justin and I felt all sorts of shades of wiggly that night.
The kids had Friday off from school. I told them there was a surprise coming that day, Amelia is a stinker and read my text messages, suspecting what the surprise was. I erased the texts and had bogus texts sent. Our surprise was a morning at Urban Jungle! We arrived a bit after 9 am and spent 2 hours bouncing and running about. I barely saw Everett, the other kids would check in every so often. The place blasted toddler music since it was technically toddler time. Josie was in heaven. We were starving after so we headed to cheap lunch at McDonald's as the remainder of our surprise. Ha ha ha. I desperately needed to food shop so once Josie was napping I left Amelia to babysit until Justin got home from work at 2 pm. I went off to pick up an Easter Bunny outfit and food shop at Walmart. The big surprise was a visit from Auntie Jen. I was so excited I forgot my phone in the bathroom, thankfully I realized that before leaving the store. I picked up Jen at 3:30 from the airport and headed home, both of us bursting with anticipation. Jen donned the bunny suit while I went to park the van. Amelia immediately tried to help me unload the van, sweet thing! I asked her to wait for a bit. Soon the doorbell rang, Evelyn answered the door to find a very tall bunny waiting. She screamed for the other kids to come look. Soon we were all crowded on the porch with a silent Easter Bunny. Everett was excited about candy in the the basket. A few moments later Jen took off the mask. Took the kids a moment or two before realizing who was in the outfit. Josie was not a fan of the creepy/scary bunny or Jen for that matter. LOL. We had a great time planning and executing the surprise! Life was a bit bigger, fuller, and extraordinary with Jen around. Even our hair got bigger! Wigs?! Whodathunk?!
Saturday the Calls came over for the first session of conference. Jen got some funny expressions from Renae, who was not expecting our tattooed guest. The solemn assembly was amazing. I'm so grateful to sustain Russel M Nelson as our new prophet. Elder Soares (Brazil) and Elder Gong (Asia) were named as the new Apostles. There were so many changes made this conference. The quips from the speakers were so funny. Seven new temples were announced. Home and Visiting teaching retired and replaced with "Ministering." High Priest quorums are now combined with the Elder's quorum, combining experience and age. Phew. Lots of fun changes. I was surprised the Boy Scout program was not nixed and replaced with a church version of the program. Jen was not impressed with conference, it was too boring. She is used to rock concerts for church-based praise. Ha ha. Guess we are sort of boring and quiet. In between sessions on Saturday we went on walks, ate lunch, and colored Easter Eggs. Josie was so cute as we colored eggs. Her favorite color right now is pink, mostly because she can recognize and say the word. We colored eggs out on the back lawn in perfect spring weather. Phillip enjoyed soaking eggs long periods of time to make super saturated colors. Everett decided he was not feeling well so put himself to bed right after coloring eggs. We took the kids out to the park near their school for a lovely picnic dinner. Phillip and Amelia rode their bikes while the rest of us went to get sandwiches at Jimmy John's. Jen had not tried the unwich yet, so we introduced her. Sister Christensen met us at the park as well. Josie was acting very cranky and ran a fever for three days with no other symptoms. She broke out with welts on her lips, hands, feet, legs, arms, torso, and bum. She came down with hand, foot, and mouth disease. Oh my gracious! What else?! Amelia was embarrassed to play because three boys from her advanced math class where also at the park. She is the only girl in the math class so got embarrassed to see them. Melanie and I tried to answer Jen's questions about why we don't drink coffee, tea, and why caffeinated drinks are allowed. I must admit answering her questions were a bit challenging since she does not take surface answers. I am not talented at verbally expressing my feelings and beliefs, written? Better than verbal. We ended our evening with ice cream cones from Dairy Queen for those eating sugar (aka kids). Justin reported the big news of the High Priest and Elder's Quorum.
Sunday the Easter bunny dropped off Easter baskets for the kids outside. Somehow while the kids searched for baskets he hid eggs all over the back yard. Josie was so cute with her expressions once she spotted her basket! Amelia helped the girls put their basket toys together. Jen gave Phillip major kudos for sharing his eggs with Josie and Evelyn. He helped the girls search instead of finding his own eggs. Sometimes Phillip just amazes the socks off us. Poor Everett was feeling even more sick. He took several naps when he felt tired, his face was quite pale, and he ran a little fever. He told me his tummy felt like it hated the taste of Gilbert water. Not sure how to interpret that. The same three kids sick again as when we were on vacation. I'm tired of sick. I did not sleep well while Jen was here because Josie hollered so loudly she kept Jen awake one night. I slept through 2 hours of Josie yelling. The next few nights I slept on her floor so she would not keep up our guest. Little stinker can cry and holler for hours without fail, night after night after night. Most of the time I just let her duke it out. Justin took a huge, long nap from noon until 5 pm. After the last session Jen convinced us to take a bike ride. I loaded up Everett, Evelyn, and Jojo on my bike (and trailer). We headed out to explore our neighborhood. We cleaned up stray lemons from a tree on the oval to use in our water. The kids wanted to show Jen the park so we headed that way. The park was so crowded it was crazy, families parked shade tents feet away from another family, portable BBQ grills littered the park along with tons of playing kids. Josie got trampled on the play structure so we left. Jen saw the little amusement park area was open. I would never fork out money to take my kids on a ride, the dinky train alone was $40 for us all. Jen insisted on taking the kids on the train and the carousel. Talk about spoiled kiddos! Evelyn and Josie were in heaven!!! At home a mess of rescue vehicles were surrounding our neighbors home. They had an Easter celebration going on for their church goers. One of the little boys had a massive psychotic episode that landed him in an ambulance. Poor guy. Our kids were invited over after the ambulance left to play with the other kids on the large water inflatable our neighbors rented. We took the invitation, it was an excellent way to get to know our neighbors. She is a pastor at their local church. She has a huge personality! I also met another mother who recently started homeschooling her son. She is using the k-12 online system, which turns out is free if done in conjunction with a school district. Everett put himself to bed without dinner at 5 pm. Kassie and Nelson finally got engaged. They asked for some engagement photos asap since their wedding date was set a mere 4-5 weeks from Sunday. We went to Nichols park for a few photos. The park was flooded on the western end which made the photos spectacular, trees, grass, throw in a few ducks, and overflow water! Kassie is quite photogenic so photos were over the top easy.
I am so grateful for this Easter season. Conference was so wonderful this April. I am already listening again to the talks as it is challenging to concentrate. I can't wait to get photos of all the new prophets and apostles for our walls, I plan on having the kids write down what each spoke about during conference. Our manner of worship is not very exciting, but it is soulful and introspective.