29 January 2017

County Spelling Bee

I can't wait for this week to end in 9 hours. We've caught almost every winter ailment known to this town: flu, stomach flu, fevers, ear aches, headaches, diarrhea, head colds, runny noses, coughs, chapped mouths, and such. Friday night every person in our family ended up with the stomach flu, even the baby. Plus side is half the kids have clean bedding thanks to this week. Everett was sent home from school after puking his lunch all over the floor in his classroom. Amelia and Justin stayed home on Friday with headcolds that turned into the flu. I've never felt so depleted in my life. Gah, can't wait to be over this. We ate lots of broth soups, chicken soup, egg drop soup, miso soup, and fake Pho soup. Sick of soup! Seems like we mostly just survived this week. My head is about to break open due to a newly developed migraine. Evelyn is finally feeling better today, she is raring to go and play while the rest of us want to lay on couches and sleep. She took the lapse of parental eyes to her advantage. She made several real dishes on her toy kitchen (berry smoothies, something with marshmallows, soup, and eggs), she colored the legs of several pieces of furniture with dry erase markers, emptied her play food several times, dumped out drawers of clothes, unmade the beds in her room, and made piles and piles of small messes.

We got a nice smattering of snow on Tuesday morning. The flakes came down nice and fat. Evelyn really wanted to play in the snow so she and I went out for a bit. Josie watched from the front window, more like washed the window with her tongue. Evelyn was quite proud of her snow angel she made. She lasted about 10 minutes outside. Josie was quite content to stand at the window and smile! That girl loves to stand.

Thursday Amelia participated in the county spelling bee. She was most assuredly the smallest person up on stage. She competed against two other 4th graders, three 5th graders, 3 6th graders, and the rest in 7th grade. I got to attend the competition thanks to Jen for watching the little girls. We practiced spelling words off and on for the past month. She was the first one out, but I think the proctor was partially at fault. The proctor said her word was a homonym of prune, the word is croon. Course Amelia spelled it crune, just like a homonym would be. The rest of the words were pretty easy. The contestants dropped like flies in just two rounds to words like ballerina, hurricane, science, and such. We enjoyed the rest of the match sitting side by side spelling the words to each other. She rocks and spelled most of the words correctly. She has an incredible ability to spell! So proud of her for making it to the county bee. I loved watching her sit on the chair, her feet did not even touch the floor. She had to stretch up to reach the microphone, the older kids had to bend over to speak in the mic. Adorable.

With most everyone home on Friday I decided to take advantage of the extra child care and paint the hallways and front door. The entry is now cream and looks so fresh and open. I also hung a few photos and decorations over the week. The rooms are finally looking complete.

We all stayed home from church this week. We had a nice family meeting at home. Our theme was Choose the Right. We sang hymns, had prayers, and a lesson by Phillip and I. We played a CTR board game based on questions from the lesson. When asked who tempted Jesus in the desert while he fasted he responded, something like Ishmael. We all laughed over that.

Josie started surprising us with her presence. I put her down in the basement to play while I washed the girl's hair. Next thing I know she startled me after pulling on my shirt. I whipped around to find her grinning at me next to my side! Now I catch peeks of her around a corner as she scoots about. Mom suggested I put her in a pie tin so her pants don't get ruined! Good idea.

22 January 2017

Rediscovered Window Light

After a weekend with the minty green color I decided it was not going to work for me. I'd end up needing to change my entire color scheme, accents included. Early Monday morning the girlies and I headed back to Walmart for another gallon of paint, this time a lovely shade named Soothing Green Tea. By 4 pm the new color had 2 fresh coats over the 8 existing coats of paint. My name is Jenni, I like to paint. Cutting in the shelves and fireplace area was a bit exacting. But my hand is steady so I did so without the hassle of blue tape. Ha ha ha. After the kids were in bed I painted the cream color on the rest of the shelves and the mantle, plus the surrounding walls, and one coat on the remaining blue wall. The next morning I put another coat of paint on the blue wall and painted the wall facing the door. Justin helped me paint the long wall and the wall with the window after the kids went to bed on Tuesday. By then the living room was a disaster. The kids took advantage of the chaos to make blanket forts, scatter lego blocks and toys in every available space. It looked like a mine field. Wednesday I bleached the curtains and slowly moved furniture into place. The room was clean and spacious by the time school was out. I've never hesitated over decorating and pounding new holes into the walls for frames. I am going for simple this time so want to hang less photos, use less decor, and make the room seem brighter and larger. I did order some updated prints for my large frames, once those come in tomorrow I can hang those central photos and spin off them. I am quite pleased with how the room is coming along.

Our neighbors welcomed their new baby girl, Sophie a month ago. Amelia, Phillip, and I got to visit with them and hold sweet Sophie. Amelia even got to feed her a bottle of milk! She begged me for days to give Josie a bottle, alas, that is not an option for me. We gifted them a couple cute photos of Sophie. Phillip asked when our new baby brother is coming. Ack, really?!

Josie now sleeps on her belly. I love when babies discover how to move during sleep. She is all over that crib now. About time baby girl! This week she really started scooting around. Her technique is quite different from Everett's. He put his feet together and moved his legs like a frog. Josie spreads her legs in the splits and wobbles one leg into a bent position then scoots her hips a bit. She can get up on her knees sometimes. She is most happy dancing in front of the dishwasher on her short little legs. Today I was cleaning out the fridge. Soon my little friend scooted over and emptied the salad dressing shelf. The lid was not quite secure on the Blue Cheese dressing. She removed the cap to discover something delicious in the lid. Her little finger dipped into that lid many, many times as she tasted her discovered treat. She dripped some on the floor, so scooted back and flopped over to lick up the remaining dressing. Josie is also dancing a bit mostly with her shoulders waggling back and forth. She fell head first into a bin of toys today after pulling herself up to see inside. Next thing I know her legs are kicking in the air. I pulled her out, she joyfully clutched an impressive handful of toys! The uncovered front window spills in amazing light now. I love the glow it brings into the room. Josie also loves to stand at the window watching outside, her lips making spit art on the glass.

We met Justin for salads at Della's (the best salads in town) for lunch. Evelyn insisted on wearing her leotard, tutu, and ballet shoes with her hair fixed up in a bun since she had lessons later on in the day. Yep, she was adorable. Everyday she asks if that day is a ballet day. I think she loves it!

I made a delicious dinner of Bulgogi, marinated Korean steak strips, eaten with a large leaf of lettuce, rice, spicy sauces, and shredded carrot/cucumber in Asian vinegar. I had the house cleaned up, like all of the rooms at once instead of one clean room and the rest quite questionable. The kid's rooms were also freshly cleaned. We won't mention the basement at this time. Upstairs, I should have gotten a medal of honor. The missionaries cancelled on us last moment. They were stuck in Cheyenne for an over long Zone Conference and interviews. I was a bit annoyed at first, then enjoyed the clean house and delicious dinner.

Friday the city decided to smash up ice sitting in the gutters. No naps for us! The dump trucks, front loaders, and skidders made quite the racket for several hours. Instead we played games inside until Justin came home. Amelia and I miscommunicated over a tea party her friend Lily insisted we host. I asked Lily's mother if she could come over, but Rose had a full weekend. I told Amelia maybe another Friday would work better. She came home from school dragging Rachel asking when the rest of her friends were coming. Fireworks. Yep, fireworks. We finally settled that Rachel could stay since her mom was already at home and unable to come back until after dinner. Guess we are having a tea party next Friday...IF she gets her work done. Amelia and Rachel held a Ball in our living room. Everett dressed up as the Red Ranger was the gentleman in demand. Phillip would have nothing to do with dancing and girls. Evelyn was quite excited to dance with Rachel. The music was provided by the girls humming as they danced. I was giggling like the girl I am as they played.

Friday night was quite ugly. Evelyn, Josie, and I all got a nasty flu, stuffed nose, headaches, fevers, and sore throats. Evelyn was up most of the night with a runny nose and tummy troubles. She was not up out of bed for more than an hour when she tossed her cookies for the umpteenth time. She fevered around 101 for most of the day when not on pain reliever. Poor kid was exhausted and finally succumbed to sleep on the floor for a couple hours. Barbie-Q was happily perched next to her head. The girls and I stayed home from church to keep our germs away from the public. Before church Amelia and Everett played "Elf on the Shelf (cabinet)" Basically, Everett sits there while Amelia bosses him around. Then she sleeps and he makes a mess then hops back on his shelf. Crack me up.

Jen came over for a moment Saturday evening. She looked for me in the basement. Duly, she was appalled at the condition of the basement. The kids worked for an hour water painting beautiful works of art for a show. After baths and the art show the kids helped us clean the basement. The kids were tired. Amelia was mad the art show with subsequent music show did not go as planned. Those darn brothers always do their own thing. Getting tired and mad kids to clean was "fun." I took a photo to prove it was clean. Less than 19 hours later, thanks to sleeping and church, the kids had the basement destroyed again. They played school and unpacked the joy school box of supplies and stuff.

I am sorely disappointed and saddened over all the ruckus over the Presidential Inauguration. Riots, folks protesting, crass signs, folks wailing in the streets, and general babyish behavior. Get over it! Trump is President! Many LDS people were involved in all the celebrations, like the MoTAB, Piano Guys, Lexi Walker, and General Authorities. I sense a fresh wind of much needed change. Seems like Trump is surrounding himself with leaders who will make changes this country needs to see. The day after the Inauguration a country-wide women's lib movement decided to walk in "silent" support of Women's Rights. So many photos of naked torsos, foul posters, and strange ideas about what women need to be doing in order to be liberated. Good gracious. Being a woman is hard enough, trying to be a woman with men's responsibilities, no thank you.

Phillip is making us all smile with his new trend for long, prolific prayers. Couple nights ago he prayed that we would not turn out like dogs who have bad owners, the next night that the entire world would get better if sick, especially those in Sidney. Tonight he prayed that we would all return to Jesus as the spirits we really are, to see Jesus. Even the bad men who kill other people, that their spirits would change and see Jesus. So tender, heartfelt, and endearing. I love to see the gospel through his eyes. Saturday he was singing Book of Mormon stories. He came to the last words, "and they lived in the land Righteous League" and stopped. Then asked, "Mom? Am I part of the Righteous League, like the song says? Cause it reminds me of the Justice League...I like them." Yes, Phillip you can live in the Righteous League!!

15 January 2017

Painting Party

We returned to our normal schedule this week. All the afterschool activities and homework madness is now in full throttle until the end of the school year. I found a voice teacher for Amelia, we just need to set a date and time! Amelia is quite excited to start voice. All week she's practiced songs to the Moana sound track. The rest of us sing along and dance. We think Justin's made up lyrics to Shiny are exceptionally silly since his lyrics are based on his shiny head. Phillip is also quite interested in starting piano lessons, his teacher Mrs Hokema is also a piano teacher.

Monday we fed the Elders for dinner at the last moment. I made Thai curry over brown rice. The newer companionship we have is a bit picky over food. I feel a measure of anxiety making food for them. Thankfully, the both gobbled up several servings of the curry. They taught us a FHE lesson on being reverant in church and listening during the sacrament. For FHE activity the kids demolished their gingerbread houses with butter knives and forks. Jen happened to be over for a while so witnessed the destruction. She was close to freaking out, especially since the mess what unfolding right before us. The boys cleaned up their mess as best they could. I did happen on stray pieces of gingerbread here and there throughout the week. I even found one floating in the fish tank. Jen is having issues at home so is staying at friend's home. We left a mattress out in the basement in case she wanted to sneak in and sleep. Instead the kids spent the week jumping on the mattress and playing house/school with the mattress as the nap area. She did stop in several times to use our shower this week. It was a great reason to make sure the basement bathroom was clean.

Tuesday Justin and I decided to hold our first Family Council. The kids are using physical retaliation far too much when mad, sad, or upset. Justin and I pow-wowed during the day and came up with a plan. Our council was pretty good. Amelia sulked most of the meeting, her mind set that we were holding the meeting solely for her hitting issues. Indeed, she is the worst abuser. The boys were quite anxious to try out the shirt consequence, two kids stuffed into a shirt until they are friends again (or 5 minutes). I asked for help on FB and got a lot of good advice, my favorite from Sister Michaels: A grandmother's counsel...There is no discipline in the the whole world like the discipline of love..it has a magic all its own. Girls start to make some changes about this age.. and irritability goes along with this process. Maybe a special mother daughter time together where she has just time alone with you..maybe this time together you could visit with her and find out some of her deep feelings. Sometimes they just need time alone...you will know what to do..the Holy Ghost will guide you. Things will work out..they always do. Her consel rang the truest. As a family we made a goal to be more loving and kind. To learn how to be angry without acting mean. Justin said something that was pretty darn good as well, he said: motion changes emotion. Often times just moving and going changes the way we feel. I am grateful to the HG for helping us with ideas for this special meeting. Amelia and Everett were the first contestants to win a turn in the shirt. Everett stuffed his head through the arm hole. They thought it was pretty silly, their amusement quickly diminished as the consequence went on. I am very happy to report my hand has not smacked Phillip's bum all week. He did earn one root knocker for not using his ears and ignoring me more than 3 times in a row.

Evelyn looked so, so cute on Wednesday for ballet. She talked about dancing in ballet with her friends all day long. She let me fix her hair in a ballerina bun. I had to smile when she insisted on bringing a purse...with two applesauce packets inside. She is growing up way too fast. This week we were driving to Walmart when I heard her exclaim, "Mom! I did IT!" She finally made three fingers with the thumb and pinky clasped together, a rather hard thing for a kid. She insisted on wearing a supergirl costume off and on all week. She found a headband and the dress on Tuesday. She watches Everett shooting imaginary weapons in some game in his head. Lately, she started copying him. I hear her shooting bad guys with her blasts. A few minutes later she is making eggs at her kitchen for her baby dolls. She recently named her favorite barbie doll, Barbie-Q. This week she is obsessed with Lipton noodle soup. I am not so keen on it since I actually have to cook the soup on the stove. She eats it for breakfast, lunch, and would for dinner as well.

I sold my fish, tank, and supplies to a lady out in Big Springs. It was harder than I thought to get the tank ready to travel 90 minutes away. I've had those goldfish for 7 years! Quite miraculous they lasted through 3 toddlers. I need the wall space and hate cleaning the tank. I've run out of precious time. The fish left after the kids were in bed. It actually took them all two days to notice the fish were gone. I told Everett earlier on Thursday the fish were leaving. He started to cry, whining that I gave him too many chores, so many that he did not have time to play with the fish. I advised him to spend time right then with the fish. He dried his tears, watched the fish for a minute. He piped up, "Mom? How to I play with fish? They are kind of boring!" Then wandered away.

I had a funny conversation with the boys about choosing between cheerleading at a BB game or participating in the Missoula play auditions. Phillip drolly said, "I don't want to be a caterpillar again. I was soooooo bored." Everett muttered as he rubbed my side like a dog, "I looooooove caterpillars!" When I told Phillip the play is Rumpelstiltskin this year, he decided being in a play with a goat midget would be pretty cool. They both decided it would be way cooler to try out for a play with Rumpelstiltskin.

Josie is now on the go. She scoots on her bum when sitting, and scootches while on her tummy. She spins in a circle like a champ. Her new favorite post-dinner time activity is to help with dishes by standing at the dishwasher resting her hands on the lowered door. It is just the right height for her short, stumpy legs. She delights herself pushing and pulling the rack, removing silverware, and banging items on the door. She started making some silly faces this week. The fish pucker made a reappearance. She learned how to make a surprised face as well.

Saturday was a gorgeous, warmer than usual day. We took a family walk to Oya for Justin's cheat day celebration. Everett ordered shrimps, rice with cheese. He ate it all. Everett quite loved the new music selection at Oya that afternoon. He got up after eating and started dancing, white boy style. All herky jerky. The waiter was laughing so hard he called the cook and kitchen guys to come spy on Everett's move. His crotch got a bit itchy so pulled a bonifide Michael Jackson move, pure instinct. We were rolling!

I finally busted out the paint supplies and started painting. I got the kitchen accent wall and living room accent wall painted. Justin helped keep the kids out of the paint. Everett was so excited he touched the wall three times. He got paint on his shirt and ended up with paint on his skin. That kid is so absent-minded sometimes. He was watching me pour paint into the tray, so he leaned his hand and arm on the wet wall to rest. Justin removed the fireplace screen. He tediously taped off all the glass door areas then sprayed the entire screen black. Bye-bye sketchy brass coating. I made a paint wash with 1 part paint 2 parts water using the new wall color (water chestnut). We washed the bricks with the mixture. I think the bricks look amazing! Definitely more subtle. After a day with the new paint color I am pretty sure it needs to be changed. The color looks more minty than neutral green. It would work IF all the accents pieces I have were repainted. That might cost too much extra money for spray paint and such than a new gallon of paint. My designer friend Meagan is making up a color scheme I can work with. The project is on hold until I decide on a new color. Jen came over to watch the kids while the adults went to see Passengers at the theater. It was a huge disappointment. Boring. Should've watched the other movie instead.

I started taking vitamin D and lexapro, stopped taking zoloft. I am curious to see if the Lexapro helps me better than the zoloft. I've felt curious the last year with so many changes. I think it's safe to say I don't feel much of anything. Just tired and cranky most of the time. Justin is thinking about making some medicinal changes as well. Gah, depression stinks!

Today's Sunday school lesson was quite a bit of fun and ever so touching. The topic was teaching others about God. The scriptural references were from Alma/Korihor; Ammon/Lamoni; Aaron/King. Instead of another round of reading the spirit inspired me to make skits using the scriptural words as the dialouge. We had fun practicing lines, using sparse costumes, and then delivering the skits. My favorite was Korihor dressed up with a Darth Vader mask. Bishop was behind Quinn breathing like the dark lord. It was hilarious. Yet, in spite of the hilarity the spirit shone through and taught us all that we are God's children. Sister Peters bore her testimony as a convert how learning about God helped her join the church. I could not have asked for the spirit to be stronger in that room than it was earlier today. We are so blessed to know. So blessed to feel. So blessed to be challenged to act in HIS ways.

My brother Jared got his mission call to Johannesburg, South Africa! He leaves in April! Yet another miracle this week.

08 January 2017

SNOW!!! Finally!

We had a great week to finish up Christmas vacation. Justin went back to work on Monday. Amelia got to spend an entire day with Ella out in Dalton. Alison picked her up at 8 am, I hear the girls got to pick out donuts for breakfast at Safeway! Spoiled. I did not hear much about her day, just a fun day with friends. We picked Amelia up in Gurley at 5 from Ella's basketball practice. The rest of us spent a few hours at the Markum's home in Kimball. Phillip begged for a playdate with his buddy Conner. He made him a bead and pipe cleaner friendship bracelet the night before in anticipation of their play date. He was so very excited. We let Josie take a good morning nap since she is still teething and quite restless at night. As I pulled into the road I looked back to check on the kids. A blue faced chicken head was staring back at me. Everett had pulled a glove so far down on his head the glove was hooked to his front teeth. I about lost it as I laughed. Course, I HAD to pull over and document his nerd face. The boys played a long intricate game with Legos, fake boogers from some board game, and Doc McStuffins. Evelyn was quite content to play with Regan and Shaylee's toys. Playing with new toys you don't have is the same as a kid in a candy store. I enjoyed a nice visit with Karissa. We stayed until Karissa had to leave for her kid's tumbling class. We drove straight to Dalton, the backtracked to Gurley. I about froze my face off when the van door opened. It was then I noticed the temperature was a frosty 9 degrees.

Everett spent the day with his friend Zachary the next morning. I dropped him off once Josie went down for a nap. Evelyn and I ran a couple errands after dropping Everett off. Her idea of an errand was grabbing a quarter to get a gumball at Safeway. My idea was depositing a check and getting some more bins at Walmart. A skiff of snow smattered the ground. Nothing of consequence, except to create ice. I worked on packing up Christmas the rest of the day. I also removed the rest of our living room decorations. It took me a couple more days to fill nail holes, wash walls, and clean up the room. Now the room looks completely bare...well, except for the toy messes and furniture. I am inspired to paint and update the room again. Maybe I can last another few years here with a new view. I am trying to decide on a new accent wall color, some shade of green. Phillip immediately started to cry when he noticed the green paint samples taped to the wall. He hates the color green. He hates change as well.

Wednesday Amelia invited Katelyn over to play. She is a really fun friend, inventive, polite, and silly. The girls holed up in her room playing American Girl Dolls with their horses. I found a 24" horse and foal for American Girl dolls on our local for sale site. She named the pair Vanilla and Pudding. I was so proud of her for sharing her foal with Evelyn. Snow! Snow was finally falling, beautiful, fluffy snow was falling straight down instead of horizontal. By lunch time we had a couple inches with more coming. All the kids were quite enthusiastic for an afternoon of sledding. Sledding while snow is falling seems magical. I dropped the older kids off to sled then took a few photos of Josie in a vintage velvet coat and bonnet during the storm. She was not so keen on the idea. It was pretty darn cold, temperatures hovering around 5 degrees. Mostly the girls and I stayed in the van watching the kids play. Once the older kids reached their frozen limit they stalked into the van to get warm. Evelyn ventured out twice to catch snowflakes on her tongue. She is not keen on the idea of sledding, it looks scary to her. Instead the amuses herself stomping on ice and catching snow flakes. Our white chicken chili soup dinner that night tasted so warm and delicious. Justin and the boys bundled up after dinner to clear the driveway and walks of snow.

The kids went back to school on Thursday. I was scoffing over the school district starting school on Thursday. In all reality, it was so nice to ease back into school. I am sure the teachers were grateful as well. We quickly got homework completed then played with Christmas toys after school. Everett read me an entire level 1 reader for homework! He is pretty good at anticipating what words come next.

Poor Justin came down with the nastiest of nasty sinus infections. He was up several time past midnight with stuffed sinuses. He's hacked, coughed, and moaned all week. I seriously almost sent him to the man-cold emergency hospital. If Sidney had one I would have checked him in. Snicker. No, in all seriousness, he was pretty sick and not feeling well at all. Seems like he is on the mend now. Thursday night Josie pulled another all-nighter. I was so tired as well, after 4 previous days of attending to her at night I had Justin take a turn. She was just awake and ready to play. We were both exhausted on Friday. I took a nap with Evelyn snuggled next to me watching Cinderella. Friday we had record temperatures, a low of -21 with a feels like temperature of -36. In WY one town reported a low of -56! I think Alaska had warmer temperatures than we did this week. Brrrrrrr.

I need to take a moment to rave about Amelia. She brought home her 2nd quarter report card on Friday. That amazing child earned straight A's again! She finally found her groove with spelling and grammar, gets the darn packets done three days before they are due. She reads about 3-4 books per week. We are busy studying for the spelling bee the end of this month. We are so proud of her, especially her hard work.

Saturday afternoon the kids spent a happy couple hours sledding at the park. I dropped them off and ran errands with Evelyn. Justin stayed home to nap with Josie. Evelyn and I went to Salvation Army, Safeway, and to clean out the van. We checked on the sledders every 20 minutes. We got to sled for a bit before we left. I got to sled down the hill a good 10-15 times. The mini-luge sled is wicked fast and so fun. We teamed up a couple times to make a train sled! Everett had to pee, I helped him with all his snow clothes. The little dude peed all over his coat, pants, and snowpants...and me. He is not very talented when it comes to pottying outside the toilet arena.

Today in church I was quite in demand. I played the organ in sacrament, the piano for Sr primary, and taught Sunday School. Phew. We have a new RS presidency as well after 4-5 years. Brother Haley was also called to serve as 1st Counselor. I can imagine that Bishopric meetings will be quite amusing with Grunig, Haley, and Franken as attendees. Those three will have fun and get the work done. We are so sad to lose the Hill family. I was in tears as Brother Hill bore his testimony. Shoot! We did gain a new family this week, they bought the Hill's home. After dinner I played a primary song on the piano. Phillip sidled up to me and started to sing, then laid his head on my shoulder. It was such a sweet gesture. Melt my heart.

Josie turned 11 months old on Friday. She weighed 16.2 lbs on our home scale, and measured 27.75 inches (a tiny weight at 7.9 percentile in weight and 18.1 for height). Seems like she suddenly grew out of tiny baby mode. She is not much for snuggling lately. She just wants to sleep on her own, no pre-bed rocking anymore. Boo Hoo. She is a distracted nurser. All she wants to do is try to scoot around. She is making strides on her belly and trying to crawl. Once in a while she pulls her knees up but then launches herself forward. A new favorite this month is learning to make animal noises. She can make a dog, horse, monkey, and cat sound. Mostly, just cute noises that she thinks replicates the animals. Her favorite toys are books and toys her siblings leave on the floor. She also says Hi and flexes her fingers and waves. Little cute stinker!

06 January 2017

11 Months

Josie is such a happy, content little human. She is happiest when hanging out in my arms like a tiny spider monkey. She tolerates floor time IF mom with within reach. I am unsure of her weight this month, seems like the same as last month. Josie absolutely loves to stand, she can cruise a bit around the coffee table. She loves to stand and help clear out the dishwasher. This month she learned to roll over and sleep on her belly. I find her stretched out on her tummy now in bed. She now sleeps without the sumo wrestler suit. I let her wear it much longer than normal because it was cold in her room and she did not roll about. Josie still does not enjoy her tummy but will tolerate it for a bit and even tries to plank and assume the crawl position.

Josie loves to imitate word sounds, especially animal sounds like monkey, dog, and bear. She can wave bye and hi, even blow kisses! The best is when she tries to boss the dog or kids around with a gruff voice. She can clap when I say "yayayay." She plays peek-a-boo with blankets and with her bare hands. Her left nostril is a constant source of entertainment. Spit bubbles and babbling are also quite entertaining.

01 January 2017

Post-Christmas Apocalypse

Justin stayed home this week from work. It was so relaxing to have him around, we all got more naps than usual. Pretty boring. He is really talented at motivating the kids to clean up and go play outside. He had the kids outside making an ice fort one day. Each day the kids went out with him to chip ice off the sidewalks and enjoy the sunshine. I took the kids sledding down the banks at the park. There was barely enough snow, thankfully, the grass was almost frozen so the sleds still went down at a decent clip. The kids loved the sled Jen handed down to up, a zipfy, that sled really goes fast. Evelyn was not so keen over sledding down a hill with brown grass poking through. Instead she had fun breaking up the ice in the gully. She also found a broken piece of pink plastic, she used it to poke the ice and make sweet footprints. Josie and Evelyn were done sledding after 30 minutes. I left the older kids at the park to run home and put Josie down for a nap. Justin was helping a family move so he went to the park soon after I left. Nothing better than an afternoon of fun in the snow!

Monday and Tuesday felt like extensions of Christmas Day. We basked in the aftermath of Christmas chaos for a couple days. I finally had enough and cleaned up the main living spaces a bit. We put the first batch of rocks into the new rock tumbler. I am excited to see the results...in a month.

Wednesday we drove out to Cheyenne for a day away from our mess. I heard of a newer facility with bounce houses we wanted to try out. For $20 the kids bounced to their heart's content for 3 hours. We'd catch a grinning face speed by every so often. A couple times Everett got hurt but he was letting other kids take advantage. Once the kids started whining we left to go check out the mall. There is a small play area there. Justin and I took turns sitting with the kids to check out Bath and Body and other stores nearby. The kids were quite excited to visit the pet shop. Amelia fell in love with a cute 10 wk old puppy. Cute, but no thanks. Phillip and Everett wanted to try out a photo booth so we crammed into one. The selection buttons were jammed so we automatically won a photo strip with Happy Hanukkah decorations. Evelyn was more than pleased to ride the carousel. We dined on the best pizza this side of the Rocky's for dinner. How an Italian guy ended up in Cheyenne is a pleasant mystery.

We all had dental cleanings Thursday! Justin went early in the morning by himself. I took the older 3 and myself at 1 pm. Justin dropped by Josie and Evelyn on his way to help a new family move some belongings. All the kid's teeth look great. I have terrible tooth luck, me...the one who flosses 3-4 times each day and brushes after every meal. So not fair. Grandpa Baerwaldt gave me his terrible teeth gene. I get to return next week for a small filling in my back left molar. I felt clever tricking Dr Shaw during an appointment for medication refills. She asked the reason for my visit, I said, "well I might need a pregnancy test." Her face betrayed her. I rolled on the floor laughing. Unbeknownst to me her nurses played the same trick on her earlier that morning as the reviewed her morning schedule of patients.

Friday Justin and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary! YAY! We went out for dinner at Sam and Louie's. Justin bought me another pair of boots, snow boots this time, instead of flowers. Lucky me! The last time I bought snow boots was a week or so before we moved to Sidney. I am excited over all the boots I have now: ankle boots, brown furry knee boots, black knee boots, Sperry calf boots, and now new Columbia snow boots. I wear a lot of leggings, so the boots go well. I wear leggings with too-nics, makes me laugh to say too-nics. Good gracious I must be a stay-at-home mom. Justin celebrated our anniversary with multiple naps, I tried hard not to get too steamed. The boots and pizza helped and the vacation from the kids for a few hours.

The boys made us all laugh hysterically when they shoved blue medical gloves over their heads. I about died laughing. Everett looked like an exotic Asian with his eyes all stretched back. Amelia was in a foul mood, nothing was going to make her smile. She grimaced over their antics while the rest of us enjoyed soul food. She had a conniption fit over lunch at Sonic (we were really bored, so eating out is an easy, short outing). After eating a couple bites of her lunch she turned back into a normal girl. She and I went grocery shopping after lunch. The one-on-one time helped turn her attitude as well. She was a huge help fetching items and loading up the conveyor belt at check out. She had a 6 hour playdate with Avery Hill the day before. Maybe she just had too much fun. The girls spent most of their time in Amelia's room making Lego videos and other mysterious things almost 10 year old girls do. We learned the Hill family is moving to Omaha soon. Brother Hill is leaving in a couple weeks, the family will follow in March. So sad, so so sad. We celebrated New Years Eve with a huge bowl of fresh shrimp salsa, chips, and dips. That was dinner and snack. Amelia and I played Scrabble for the first time together. She played relatively well on her own once she understood how the game is played. We were adventurous and let the kids stay up until 9 pm. Yah, rebels. Justin had a nasty sinus blockage that kept him up the previous night, he went to bed soon after.

Evelyn is now a Sunbeam. She showed up to church in style wearing an owlette hoodie. She only went to singing time this week and for the next couple weeks until a new teacher can be secured. Phillip thanked HF in his prayer that he got to see Evelyn in Primary. That was so sweet. Josie had a massive poo-cident this week. Clear up to her neck. She started sticking out her tongue this week, a dainty, tiny tongue barely peeking out. We are quite amused with her apparent attempts to mimic what we say. Her attempts sound like growls and reflections of the sounds we make. She tried to tell Vader to "Stop IT!" last night.