20 July 2020

Jump Creek Falls, Princess Dance Camp











Princess CAMP! The little girls were following the calendar for a couple weeks counting down the days until Monday evening. I signed the girls up for a fun little dance camp with a Princess theme. The girls could come all dressed up as their favorite Princesses and dance their little hearts away. Evelyn was so ready for camp, she spent a good while on her make up and outfit...then she spent another good while getting Josie ready! Lately those two are playing and playing together, warms my heart to see them interact positively. The girls had 5 evenings of dance as Cinderella, Ariel, Elsa, and some repeats. I quite enjoyed watching the girls dance. During the first session the instructor asked the girls to put their noses near their toes...Josie took that literally and planted her toes on her nose. Wednesday Josie was too tired to dance so she spent half the lesson with me watching the girls. Evelyn has natural flair and grace that will carry her far. It's time again for dedicated lessons once things calm down. I got information at the rec center for home-schooling PE (yes! Mia moaned at that thought) and gymnastics.

Our Monday crafts were a dismal failure. I took the kids to the Dollar Store to get cheap art supplies. We stocked up on paper doilies, shaving cream, glue, color books, toothpaste, shells, paint, and other such items. Everett kindly bought Phillip a present, and Phillip returned the favor. The boys even spent their own money to get the girls a little treat. Mia lead the pack making several failed batches of slime, toothpaste slime, glue slime (the glue was terrible), and some other form of slime. Bummer. I spent the evening cleaning the clutter upstairs and in my bathroom. Justin is not happy about our later bedtime. He was miffed we had scripture devotional yet again at 9:50 pm. As a family we made a goal to hold devotional at 9 pm instead. Let's do it!

Tuesday morning we left at 8:15 to head over to the Palmer's home. Esther was out painting the last few coats on the trim for the morning. I painted the garage trim, the porch, and door trim white. Esther was up on the roof burning her legs as she tried to paint the roof trim. We had fun listening/singing to music and talking. The kids kept amused watching a bit of TV, swimming, and playing in the yard. I worked until noon then headed home to clean my own house. Thankfully, we did a family clean session so most of the cleaning was just the mommy stuff like mopping the floor, deep cleaning bathrooms and the kitchen. The kids did an excellent job cleaning up the yard clutter with Justin after dinner. John, Courtenay, and kids stayed the night with us on their way to Oregon for a family reunion. We quite enjoyed their short stay! Had a moment to show off our new home, learn how to do twisty ponytails, and get some exclusive cousin time. I ended up with a 3-day migraine, kicked my booty to the moon and back. My Great-Uncle Mel passed away early Wednesday morning with his family surrounding him at home. I teared up over the flag display the Boy Scouts put in Aunt Mary's yard. I will never forget his candy handshakes and kind words.

Thursday we beat boredom by swimming for a couple hours at Lincoln pool with Ambree and a new friend for Evelyn, Scarlet. Her friend Ellie was gone so I walked to another neighbor with a girl near Evelyn's age, knocked on the door and asked if we could take Scarlet swimming! I'm grateful her mother said sure and lent me Scarlet for the afternoon. Mia and cousin Clare stayed home doing whatever teens do for fun: reading, slime making, bracelet making, music listening, and gotcha life art. The kids and I got a little crispy at the pool! We went at noon instead of 3 pm plus I ran out of sunblock. Josie and I were a bit pink, the boys just under their eyes. Most of my kids have achieved summer skin so don't burn much anymore, just pale Josie needs extra sunblock. It felt great to reach out to an unknown neighbor! We both needed our kids entertained outside.

Friday we headed to Jump Creek for the day. I miscommunicated the time to Sarah Ostler earlier in the week. She said afternoon was better but I said morning was better, she literally meant the water was warmer in the afternoon since the sun passes over the pool area after noon. We went in the morning. Esther and kids met us up at the pool as well. We hiked in with a picnic lunch and drinks. The water was chilly! Did that stop the boys? Nope! The boys literally jumped right in whooping and hollering all the while. Mia and Evelyn eventually got wet. Josie and I were content to wet our feet in the frigid pool. Josie and Eli made piles of rocks and sand. Josie was moving huge rocks half of her body weight! There was a fun little rock perch next to the waterfall, everyone present vied for that exclusive spot. Evelyn scraped herself a couple times while we played Floor is Lava. She earned a nasty scrape on her thigh. I was surprised Evelyn was brave enough to swim out to the waterfall, the water was quite deep out there. Esther and I captured a couple crayfish much to the kid's disgust or delight. Mia insisted the sand made her skin glow stick glowing! Justin and I went on a little date for pizza! That was nice to get out.

Saturday we were all tired, it was a busy week. Dog Vader peed and pooped inside the house several more times this past week. So, I put up an ultimatum: dog door or the dog goes. I ordered a dog door and found someone to install it next week. Guess he gets to stay. Evelyn bugged me for a week to update our 74 hour kits. She was thrilled I finally got out the packs. The kids are in love with the stuffies inside their packs: Aurora kitty, derpy cheetah, Sir-Hops-a-Lot, and White Dog Vader. My main objective was to update the clothes since a couple years had passed. Basically Phillip's pack is Everett's now, and Evelyn's is Josie's. We made a trip to Goodwill for clothes to fit Mia, Phillip, and Evelyn. I wanted to check out an Army Supply store. There was one in downtown Nampa area we went to check out. Turns out it was an Apocalypse themed gun store. We were all impressed with the inventory of Trump hand guns and America is Great themed guns. The only surplus items carried were a few boxes of MREs. The kids each picked out 2 meals and warmers for their packs. So fun. Our living room area is cluttered with stuff as I figure out the best way to update our emergency preparedness. The older kids all need larger packs, more food, and more supplies. The evening project time table is now looking like a longer project. Most of the SOS bars will expire next year, some expired a couple years ago, so those need replacing as well. Let's get this project finished! Everett had a spiritual experience connected with the 72-hour kits. He prayed about what we were doing and felt like we will need the packs in the near future. Today he prayed again today and felt like April 7th (year unknown) will be the date in question! He wrote down his experience in his devotional journal. He was thrilled to finally have an experience with the Holy Ghost. He was quite emotional and very sincere...who knows? Regardless of the date we will be ready. 

The boys and I are reading book 2 of Fablehaven. Last night we read about the revenant with the thorn in his neck and Seth getting swallowed by the demon glutton. As I was leaving their room Phillip started discussing how revenants got their nails. He supposed maybe there is a cursed nail gun popping random people into zombies. Ha ha ha. Those two boys stay up past 11 pm most night chatting away in the dark.

13 July 2020

Trampoline Park, Lake Day 2
















My cute little garden is coming along slowly but surely. The temperatures are much cooler this year so most of my plants have yet to grow like crazy. Don't you love the cute pink and purple flowers on the pea plants? I thought maybe I accidentally planted sweet pea flowers, but no the pea pods are forming. We are all anxious for the tomatoes to ripen. All the kids love to help me water the garden, snip off tomato suckers stems, and pick fresh chard to munch on. 

We made more fun epoxy stuff for our Monday crafts. The week prior I found cute buttons at Walmart to use in the larger molds. Mia and Josie made the cutest little necklace charms! I found an ABC mold and now want to cast 3-4 batches of letters for the girls to use for spelling manipulatives. Phillip sported his lovely glitter ring and bracelet for a couple days! So fancy. 

Justin got us all ready for a decent family bike ride. We biked a good 6 miles together! Evelyn was the star of the show keeping up with all our larger wheels and biking a decent pace. We stopped halfway at a fun little park for Evelyn to rest her legs. Her chain popped off a few times, those second-hand bikes can be a challenge. I think Justin adjusted the chain/wheel after our ride. Towards the end of our route we stopped again for snow cones! Such a fun way to exercise and earn all those calories back. Evelyn was all ready to ride again the next day. Amelia tried to ride her bike around the the block but her sit bones were too sore the next day. Ha ha ha. I know that feeling. 

Wednesday was a Dr appointment day. I went to the chiropractor for hip adjustments again, darn hips get all wonky after a while. When I came home there was a dead bird on the driveway. A couple hours later it was gone. Thursday afternoon I spotted a white paper towel resting near our tree. Sweet, thoughtful Evelyn buried the dead bird under a paper towel surrounded with rocks to keep it covered up. She was thoroughly disgusted that the ants were eating the eyeballs. 

Mia had a Perthes check up on Wednesday. We met with Dr Showalter at the St Luke's Orthopedic clinic in Meridian. He took a couple updated x-rays. Mia got to wear fancy blue shorts for the occasion. We met with the Dr who looked quite confused, he said I see no trace of Perthes! Indeed her hip x-rays showed both femur heads looking quite similar. The only real discrepancy could be found in her hips tiled 2 inches higher on the left and the distance between the iliac crest and acetabulum is short, could cause her muscles to ache more than usual. Mia is going to try a month of a higher dose anti-inflammatory then not take ibuprofen for a couple months! The Dr literally said, "What we are looking at here is a miracle! To go from a group BC diagnosis to normal is not possible." There are groups of severity: (Mild) A, AB, B, BC, C (worst). I think she still experiences pain due to the power of the brain to create pain, her x-rays indicate her leg is about 95% the same as her right leg. We will do a round of PT to help her stretch the muscles on the left and strengthen those muscles. Pretty exciting stuff. 

Thursday we went to Defy! trampoline park with the Ostlers. Luckily, it was nearly deserted! We pretty much had full run of the facility. Sarah was performing flips and such! Go girl! I was hobbling about with my hips all wonky. I did lose my socks several times in the foam pits. That was quite exciting. I played dodge ball with the kids, Everett was frustrated that I would not follow the rules. I had a fun time nailing him every chance I got. Next day we were all sore in places we forgot were part of our bodies. 

Mia spent Friday afternoon with a family in our new ward. I hear they enjoyed painting nails and making macrons in three flavors! The rest of us cleaned up the loft area and worked on messy bedrooms. Justin took me out on a date. I was more excited about not cooking dinner! We tried a Hawaiian BBQ place for dinner. It was ok, still on a hunt for a favorite date night joint. We found a ceiling fan and light fixture for our bedroom, the light we have is weak...WEAK I tell you. Next we stopped at Fred Meyer for lake day snacks and a supply of washable masks. 

Saturday we drove back to the same spot past Arrowrock dam for a day of kayaking and fun. The water was about 15 feet lower this time and 15 times more chocked with people shoving water toys into the lake. So many boats, skidoos, rafts, paddle boards, kayaks...all with competing music blasting for dominance. The kids wanted to take the dog. I was annoyed at the creature for barking at everything and everyone. We discovered Dog Vader can swim but hates the water. I splendidly tipped over backwards with my bum stuck in a round floatie...got a nose full of lake water and stuffy ears for the effort. I'm sure that was an America's Funniest Video moment. Evelyn put her life vest on upside down like a huge diaper. Soon all the kids sported diapers and played a very silly game called Diaper Children. Mia and Phillip adopted rocks named Bock-bock and Rocky as part of the game. I forgot bread to make sandwiches! We made do with just meat and cheese rolls. I enjoyed taking my camera this time. 

My Great-Uncle John Robert was buried on Saturday. His casket was a beauty! I hear all his kids burned their brands into the coffin before it was laid to rest. I pray for comfort on the Hicken family. This week uncle Mel is near death's door. David and Shanae made it to Utah beforehand to say goodbye and help out with his last hours on Earth. I've not heard any updates today. 

06 July 2020

4th of July 2020




























Monday was forecasted as rainy and cold. The forecast was correct! It was a cold 50 degree day with constant drizzle and rain. I whooped for joy because the weather gave me an excuse to paint my bedroom. I was able to remove the decor, paint two coats, and update the decor before the end of the day. I had a sudden inspiration towards 4 pm to paint the door used as a headboard a fun shade of reddish pink. The door turned out so cute! Justin was shaking his head thinking my plan was strange, did not enjoy the color...until it was all put together again the next day. I think it all looks fun a fresh. I am delighted at the changes a bit a paint can make in a room. The kids tried several times to go play in the rain, Phillip and Everett ended up on the tramp and then the pool for a few minutes. I am unsure how they can stand that cccccold water. While the paint was drying after the first coat we made epoxy jewelry for our crafty Monday. Let me just say that epoxy is MESSY, sticky and impossible to clean without copious amounts of rubbing alcohol. I cannot find rubbing alcohol in stock at any of our local stores. 

Amelia was gone Tuesday at a fun Stake Girl's day held instead of girl's camp. She had a fireside Monday evening via zoom. Next day I dropped her off at 8:30 am. I was a bit miffed about the entire situation. Amelia was getting emails about the event but had no reason to open her email so never got the information. I asked for my address to be added to the email list a couple months ago, guess that never happened. I learned Monday about all the details, like we were supposed to sign a waiver and pick up a packet with t-shirts and info on Saturday morning. We figured it out but all this could be avoided by emailing mothers AND daughters not just daughters. Amelia quickly found Clare her cousin so had someone she knew. The rest of us took Justin out for lunch just to get out of the house for a moment. The kids and I ate our lunch at our little community park. This time it was packed with kids there for the school lunch program. The kids were excited to have other kids to play with for the first time since February. 

Wednesday my Great-Aunt Nancy invited us out to their home for raspberry picking. The kids were thrilled that Uncle Richard kept 4 horses in his corral. My kids soon convinced him to punch up a horse and let the kids ride. All my kids were naturals up on the horse. Before long Mia, Phillip, and Everett were directing the horse (Remington) around the corral. Evelyn caught another horse with a lead attached to its bridle, she egged the horse around the pen with a fist full of hay and some coaxing. I think she was treating the horse like an over-sized dog. Esther's family was also there so we had kids running all around the yards. Nancy started a fire for roasting hot dogs for lunch. Nancy and I had a fun conversation about books we love to read. She had a little book for recording her favorites, reviews, and such. We had a wonderful day out in the sun and fresh air. Josie went with me grocery shopping after we got back home. She is such a funny little imp! 

Thursday morning the kids donned their 4th of July clothes for our yearly tradition of photos for mom. It was all quite a mess as the kids just wanted to play and not pose for me. I resorted to a gas station treat as a bribe. It is easier to decorate the kids instead of my house for holidays! I took the kids swimming to a new community pool for a couple hours. Amelia refused to swim, she sat bored reading her nerd book. I get it, getting your hair wet is a nuisance...gotta wash it, brush it, dry it, all just to play for an hour. Mia's hair is especially sensitive to chlorinated water, she has to use special shampoo right after swimming or else her hair turns into a nasty tangled mess. The pool was also quite small with only a handful of people swimming. Josie amused us with her baby shark imitations. The boys both passed a swim test to jump off the diving board and swim in the deep end. Towards evening the kids agreed to take some sunset/silhouette photos with the flag. I was in heaven, especially when the little girls found some wish flowers (dandelions). We stayed at the culvert until the mosquitoes started to bite. 

Justin had the day off on Friday for the holiday. He took the middle kids out in the truck to explore the southern Sawtooth mountains. Sounds like the kids were bored due to the amount of driving to hiking ratio, in favor of driving. I had several hours of quiet to edit photos with just Mia and Jojo at home. That was a nice change. 

Happy 4th of JULY! I spent an hour in the morning baking the crust for fruit pizza, over-baked the first one...and the second one as well. Everett was salivating over the crock pot of baked beas! It smelled divine. The little girls went to Walmart with me to find some cool slingshot fliers the neighbors had, no such luck. We celebrated with a fun family swim session at the same pool we went to earlier in the week. The other community pool only had 5 openings when I checked, the other one had 89 openings...so yeah, the boring pool won. Josie exclaimed, "this is the best day ever, I love the slide!" She went down the little water slide about 40 times in a row. That girl is so close to swimming, she does it in shallow water but won't try in deeper water yet. Justin grilled chicken thighs with BBQ sauce to go with fresh corn on the cob, and the beans. We watched "Hamilton" after dinner with Mia and Phillip. It was quite entertaining. I hate how they took creative license to add in a harlot scene and extortion. Stupid. Take a good story and add in unverified stories to make the play "better." As dusk approached our street turned into a war zone. I am sure most of America was under fire due to all the shows cancelled thanks to 'Rona. We added in our measly collection of ground flowers and tanks as a minor role in the night's show. Justin amused himself with the blowtorch and bug spray, whoomph! Evelyn, Ellie, and Avia all hid in the garage for a couple hours wearing "boom protectors," they were not appreciative of the noises. Evelyn even refused to try out the long sparklers. We stayed out and enjoyed the scene until 11 pm. The booms did not stop until well after 3 am. I enjoyed chatting for a moment with one of our homeschooling neighbors! Found out her family is from Morgan Hill where they just went camping for a reunion a week or so ago. 

We were quite sluggish the next day. Somehow lost track of time until Mia announced it was 11:40 and church started at noon. Evelyn and Everett were still fast asleep. We made it to church with 5 minutes to spare! Even found time for Josie's marshmallow cereal and to brush hair. Towards the evening we drove out to Richard and Nancy's to pick raspberries and pal around with the animals. Nancy wanted to chat with Justin about his family connections in Heber. We enjoyed fresh, creamy cherry ice cream from the cherries we picked a few weeks prior. I used the left over cherry pie filling as the ice cream base. It was delicious...and very rich. We were able to finish listening to Fablehaven while driving there and back. Justin stopped putting the girls to bed at night since our nights are quite late recently. We usually switch back and forth, I read out loud to the boys on my nights with them. Since we are missing those I've started listening to the books when we drive places.  Josie was very excited to get eggs from the chickens! She even ate her eggs Monday morning for breakfast. Yum. 

I am quite saddened that Great-Uncle John Robert Hicken passed away at 10:30 pm July 4th from complications of the Corona Virus. He caught the virus at a family event some weeks ago, several in their family got sick but he did not recover. I am sure their family is just heart broken they could not be near his bed while he was so sick. Once again this virus stinks...I even postponed our Utah trip until after summer is over. 

I watched a series by Jodi Stoddard Signs and Wonders presentation. I've always loved the mysteries in Daniel, Revelations, Isaiah, and in the scriptures. I never realized until several years ago how literal most of these prophesies are in relation to the second coming and millennium. I feel very strongly that the hinge point mentioned in April General Conference was heavily significant. I feel we need to be prepared for the other half of the years of tribulation, now and not later. I feel quite excited to be part of these events and pray to have myself and family prepared for what comes next. Seriously, so cool. Get ready and buckle down.