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. 

05 July 2020

Lake Day with Justin


















Evelyn can snap her fingers. She snaps loud and fast when she is angry! I hear her snapping fingers all around the house. Snapping makes me smile, especially when she doesn't realize what her own fingers are doing. Everett has not learned how to snap, drives him crazy that Evelyn can!

I got a distressed phone call around 1:50 pm. Amelia was due to land at the Denver airport. She got terrible motion sickness on descent. Poor kid barfed all over herself, the seat, the floor, etc quite suddenly. Her seat pocket didn't have a barf bag for her to use. She was quite distressed and embarrassed. Some kind soul gave her a pack of wipes to clean up with. The flight attendants gave her some trash bags to put her soiled items in. She had sufficient time to clean out her hair with shampoo in the terminal bathrooms. I got another call from her standing at the top of an escalator scared to ride it with her carry on plus several heavy trash bags. She made it down the escalator with a flight attendant cheering her on. Amelia had to change planes in Denver so was quite anxious about finding her way (I was anxious as well). Once off the escalator she found her gate nearby with plenty of time to spare. The same flight attendant who cheered her on was also on her flight to Boise. An answer to my prayers. Amelia made it home in one piece around 4:30 pm. I met her at the gate to escort her out of the airport. A mom hug and vanilla slushie lifted her spirits some. She was not quite her usual self until later in the week. Chloe's house is very quiet...ours not so much. Chloe is quite a night owl keeping Mia up until after 3 am most nights. So lots of sleep helped to restore her energy.

Tuesday and Wednesday we all went to Esther's house since her sister Carla was there visiting. Aunt Nancy came down for a bit to visit. All the kids had a roaring time swimming, enjoying a large slip n'slide, and of course airsoft wars. Mia was left alone since Clare was gone for the day babysitting. Esther got out supplies to make epoxy jewelry! That was so much fun! The boys were completely converted to airsoft. Hyrum, Sawyer, and Carson let the boys suit up and play airsoft in the back yard with them. My boys were woefully unprepared in the art of warfare! It did them good to play with older boys who work hard. The kids all earned delicious slushies from the slushie shack. Everett even walked to the shack with his older cousins. We went back the next day to actually help paint the house. This time Clare was home to Mia went swimming with the kids. Later she helped Clare make another art project. September arrived shortly after we got into the house painting with her 3 cute kids. The boys played air soft most of the afternoon. 

Everett got a tennis racket for his birthday. While at the recreation center a month ago he noticed an advertisement for tennis lessons. I signed up the middle kids for a tennis clinic from 6-7 pm Monday-Thursday. The kids learned forehand and backhand strokes, foot work, hitting the ball over the net, and lots of fun exercise. It was quite hot on the courts but the kids didn't seem to mind much. The coach even had Phillip running here and there fetching balls. The last two days the kids scrimmaged against each other. Everett was quite mad the boys lost to the girls, he stormed off with tears in his eyes. Justin watched the kids play on Wednesday. Mia, Josie and I went to Hobby Lobby to buy epoxy supplies! 

Justin took Friday off so we headed to the lake for a day of relaxation. Esther let us borrow a couple kayaks, paddles, and life jackets. Justin led the way around Lucky Peak Lake. It was a bit crowded so we drove past Arrow Rock along a very dusty road to a more deserted stretch of beach. The final location was quite perfect! We had a good stretch of beach to ourselves, plenty of room to paddle around on the kayaks. Mia and I found a large flamingo floatie at Albertson's, the little girls thought that was pretty amazing. Justin used his power tool inflater to blow up the flamingo and a cute little boat I found for $20. The boat was stupid, it was row boat style which meant none of us could really steer the craft. I pretended to know the ins and outs of rowboat paddling, Amelia and Justin had to rescue me several times. Amelia and Everett accompanied me across the lake to the distant shore. Everett hopped out to climb the rocks for a moment. It was hard work paddling across the lake, harder coming back since the currents were against us. Both kids stuck to it and made it with good time! Josie was the cutest tooling about in the kayak. She naturally took to the craft and intuitively paddled about. Evelyn struggled with steering her kayak, needed help to get back to shore several times. We snacked on sandwiches, fruit, and slurped down lots of yummy drinks. The kids were quite taken with a cute duck leading her duckling back and forth our stretch of shore. We stayed until 7 pm when more folks started to arrive with their fancy camping trailers. 

Saturday Justin took me and the boys out to a local gun range to shoot some of the .22 weapons in our arsenal. We got to shoot a fun little kid's rifle, the .22 rifle, and a .22 pistol. Everett was quite the good shot. He made the most contact shots out of us all, until the larger rifle came into play...I pounded his score into the ground. If Justin had shot more he would've sunk my score. Phillip held his own as well once he got the hang of aiming the different weapons. Mid-way through our adventure a family pulled up next to us and set up an impressive array of weaponry. Good gracious...sounded like a brigade of cannons going off. Justin took the off-road way home jerking and jumping along a little dirt road made for dirt bikes and crazy men driving 4-wheel drive trucks. Amelia is so going with us next time. Evelyn and her new friend Ellie had a late night on Saturday. We stayed up until past 11 watching the new Trolls movie. The girls sure love to trash Evelyn's bedroom. It gets all shades of crazy up there.