04 May 2020

The First Teenager

Staying home is hard to do! I miss going out, especially the ability to visit with other humans. Social distancing makes it difficult to make new friends in a new town. School at home continues to be a challenge. BUT we are settling into a schedule that helps maintain my expectations and the kid's teachers expectations. All the kids have morning zoom meetings with their teachers. We miss the meetings most of the time because we are still snoozing when the meetings start. It is quite difficult to convince the kids into bed at 9 pm when it is still light outside. So our Arizona bedtime of 9 pm is the new Nampa bedtime at 10 pm. Makes for later mornings for us all. Evelyn always makes her meetings at 10 am, hers are by far the longest meetings since her teacher does an entire hour of lessons. To stay entertained Amelia and I tried our hand at making Macrons. She tried one batch all on her own, tasted yummy but were quite lumpy. We tried again together with better results, still not professional level but tasty. The raspberry buttercream was delightful. Amelia convinced me to drag out my sewing machine to make face masks. So far we've tried 3 different patterns with no success.

The heating coil on our dryer burned out. Justin successfully repaired the dryer after waiting 9 days for the part delivery. He found a mound of burnt dryer lint that most likely started a small fire. We felt very lucky it did not start a larger fire. Amelia and I visited a local laundromat to finish drying all the wet clothes on hand from washing day. The last time we were in a laundromat together she was barely 2 years old! Some treats from Family Dollar helped pass the time.

Monday evening Amelia and I went out for her birthday photo session. We found a lovely field and stream on a family walk a few days beforehand. She was quite exuberant! She brought along Mr Moo-Moo and Octavius for kicks and giggles. She chose a cute dress for her main birthday outfit from an online store. It looked so adorable. Can you tell her favorite color is yellow? She is such a goof ball. She discovered a tiny baby squirrel living in the tree we used for one of her photos. The little guy kept peeking over the log! Mia had her heart set on a post-session treat. Amazingly, we found an open ice cream shop still open at 7:50 pm, we ordered gourmet ice creams and a brownie to share. We walked about the downtown area licking down our treats. Yum. I really wanted to try the doughnut ice cream sandwich, but the store was out of doughnuts. Next time!!!

The kids were so bored they actually started a game I suggested! Grandma Debbie used to make ant villages for her playtime outside, James and I used to do the same while waiting for the school bus. The kids started an elaborate village made of mud, rocks, and plants. Mia mixed cement for the kids to form the village. They all gave up after a couple days. Phillip made a replica of the Grand Canyon as part of his village. Everett wanted to know how long it would take to dry his mud into bricks, wish I knew the answer to that! Lots of mud...my new floor shows every speck of dirt and mud. Lovely.

The ice cream truck insists on driving through the neighborhood a couple times each day. We finally got a treat one day since the kids finished their school work early. That was quite fun for the kids. Evelyn and Josie get especially excited when the truck drives by. We are learning how to save our money for other things besides expensive frozen treats.

I found some office cubicle desks for sale that worked perfectly for the office and upstairs. I dreamed of having a wall of desks for the kids to work at. I was excited to find long tables that fit the exact dimensions! I finally got the office cleaned up and organized a bit. I need to find a place for my craft corner. So far there is no perfect spot for me to work. The best candidates are my closet or the master bedroom.

Mia twisted her ankle on the tramp just in time for her birthday. She hobbled about on crutches for a couple days. She's graduated to an ankle brace. Stinks because one of her gifts was a scooter. Apparently, she often reaches her birthday with some sort of injury. This year was no different.

Jeremy, Yulz, Pasha, and Ksenia came for the weekend! They needed a change of scenery and we needed to snuggle some babies. I hear the drive up was quite dull...I was glad of that. Pasha took advantage of our extra space to finally start walking about. He went from crawling to walking in one evening! We loved how his one big toe poked out of his sock. Phillip developed quite an affinity for Pasha, he enjoyed playing with him. Ksenia looked like a tiny doll snuggled in Justin's warm arms. Our ward hosted a virtual Primary talent show. Phillip and Everett showed off their embroidery creations as their talent. Evelyn had big plans to wear a Princess dress and sing, "Sacred Grove." We ran out of time and gumption.

Saturday Amelia woke up as a 13 year old! Say it is not so! I decorated her door with 13 hearts and some chocolate. Our day was quite boring but also busy. Justin worked on the lawn. I took lots of newborn photos. There was not enough room to bring my bean bag so used the kitchen table as a substitute, it worked quite well. Mia chose Jimmy John's for lunch. We had plans for Noodles and Co for dinner but the stars did not align. Jeremy and Yulz took Mia and Evelyn out for a treat at the gas station. I had a number of little helpers to wrap birthday gifts! Pasha unwrapped as quickly as I wrapped. Mia's only surprise gift was a box of chocolates from the Lances and a set of Harry Potter perler beads from me. We wrapped up the evening with delicious cheesecake and fresh strawberry compote. Happy birthday sweet Mia. She introduced her new Archie Axolotl to her squishmallow gang.

Sunday we had a short church meeting because the Lances were heading back to Utah. I am finally getting our family back on schedule with our Come Follow Me. We've done it most days but it was more spur of moment. We had our first Temple Table lesson in Idaho! Yay! The kids all griped about it...that is music to my ears.

Monday the 27th we enjoyed lunch at Noodles and Co for Mia's birthday. I ordered via phone, picked it up, then met Justin on a near by patch of grass for a picnic. We were close to Sodalicious so indulged in a fun drink treat as well. Birthday celebrations are so much fun.

The rest of our week was a blur of outside play, school work in PJs, playing with the neighbor kids, and lots of sunshine. Justin declared war on the dandelions. He is winning armed with weed killer. I purchased a new over-sized chair and footstool off of a gal on FaceBook. We had to remove the door to stuff it through our bedroom door. Now only half of our room is decorated and filled! Friday the Govenor started a plan to reopen business in Idaho. Select stores are allowed to open if operated with Social Distancing guidelines. Restaurants, theaters, and churches are still closed for another month. The little girls and I went thrift store shopping on Saturday. The boy's bikes are in horrible shape. They are borrowing the neighbor's bikes...yikes. I found a really nice bike for Phillip at the Yard Sale Place. Evelyn spotted an almost new 20" bike for herself at Goodwill for $4.50! Score. She talked all the way home about how scared she was to ride her new bike, talking about how much Dad needed to help her, etc. Little snippet hopped out of the truck and right onto her new bike. She was so excited she forgot her fears and went riding down the sidewalk without any help. She was racing around the neighborhood after just 5 minutes...all without any help at all. Way to go Evelyn! Everett decided to spend his saved money on a new bike. We went to Walmart in search of a bike. I was quite sure all the bikes were sold out. There were only 6 bikes (1 for boys) in stock. The one style of boy's bike was exactly what Everett wanted. He wanted a bike with gears! Lucky him! He bought that bike with 7 whole gears on the back sprocket. So exciting. He spent the rest of the day practicing on his new bike gears. He reported that level 7 is his favorite. Justin and Phillip fixed up the flat tire on his new ride. So many excited kids in the house right now. Phillip earned quite a lovely sunburn from all his time outside.

Yesterday we had dinner with the Palmers. Decided it was time to get together in spite of Social Distancing. Esther and David smoked chicken and made dutch oven potatoes. I brought along some potato salad. The kids went crazy in their humongous backyard. Josie cold roasted her marshmallows, she stuck marshmallows on her stick and carried the stick 4 feet away from the fire. They taste good like that.

Funny story: Justin enlisted the boys' help to mow and edge the lawn on Friday evening. They worked hard and got it mowed. Everett strutted in, declared: "We're MEN now!" Guess that spot of hard work qualifies him as a MAN. Bless his sweet heart.