02 May 2017

Amelia's Birthday, Field Trip to the Zoo

Sunday we fed the missionaries spur of the moment style. I had enough notice to prepare falafel and tahini sauce. Poor Elders are always at the mercy of my strange dishes. Who else could say they ate falafel in the middle of nowhere Nebraska? Well, these two Elders can now say that. The dish turned out quite well for the adults. The kids were not so enthusiastic about eating green hockey pucks. Either the Elders really did enjoy the falafel or they were extremely polite. I was in heaven, it's been many a year since I last noshed on falafels. We made tasty sandwiches with pita bread, tomato, cucumber, hummus, and tahini sauce. After the Elders left I let the kids dye Easter eggs...after Easter. Miekka was not up to the challenge of dye baths in her kitchen or even patio. My kids did a great job of keeping the mess on cardboard that covered the table. I love to dye eggs, trying to out do Justin in achieving the deepest most vibrant colors. He always wins as he is more patient and ignores the kids clamoring for that particular color dye cup. Dyeing eggs is such a cheap, fun way to have fun and practice art skills. We ate a couple eggs, made egg salad, then forgot about the eggs in the garage fridge. Yikes, I better go trash those little buggers before they become stink bombs.

Monday morning Everett made me laugh and giggle, off an on all week. He wanted a home lunch of Spaghetti O's in his furnace. Me, on the tired side and with a slow brain, tried to decipher what he was asking for. I knew that furnace sounded like the object he was trying to ask for. Took me a second to recall the actual word of thermos. Well, thermos, furnace...same thing. The way he talks reminds me of the stories I hear about myself as a kid: always saying things just a little bit off. Monday only Phillip had a soccer game. Everett was quite delighted to play around and tease Evelyn with a soccer ball. I feel happy that all these after school commitments are finally coming to an end. This was the last full week of piano, ballet, soccer, ballet, soccer, and gymnastics. Amelia was quite sure her birthday presents were stuck in the mail. She asked me the wrong questions starting the previous weeks. After school each day she'd ask me, "Did my presents come today?" I'd reply, "No." In my mind I'd reply, they came last Tuesday. She went to bed an ornery cur. I snuck into her bedroom that night and taped 5 packages of Reese's Cups (10 total cups) from her bunk bed.

I heard her confused squeal when she got up through the vents in my room. I was grinning from ear to ear! She shared her precious treats with all her siblings, even Josie. Amelia was quite excited to wear her Unicorn dress to school, complete with a horn headband. I remade her cake since the first one was ruined when Evelyn slammed the oven door mid bake, the entire center collapsed. She requested a chocolate cake. I made a chocolate cake, with melted chocolate chips to boot. Her cake was frosted in gooey marshmallow frosting. The girls and I took Amelia out of school for a fun lunch date at Della's cafe. Justin met us at the cafe as well since he lunch meeting had not started yet. Amelia was so excited she chattered away snatching bites of clam chowder. I dropped her back to school and raced home to pack up ice cream sandwiches, wrap her gifts, and finish the frosting. We met back at her school around 1:30 pm for homeroom time. Evelyn was Queen of the insulated bag, she wanted to pass out treats and be in charge. While the kids snacked on the treats Mrs Roach turned our visit into an interview. The kids are working on a project learning about different occupations. My interview started out as the kids learning about being a photographer. I rather enjoyed the fun, quirky questions the kids asked. Somehow the conversation expanded into other areas that I taught myself skills. I told them about teaching myself to play piano. The kids were quite astonished that people still could learn from books and teach oneself a skill set. I rather enjoyed myself. Amelia brought home Rachel and Katelyn for an afternoon/evening play date. She requested nachos for dinner. After dinner Jen showed up for a few minutes. She finally got to open gifts: a Webkinz froo-froo fox, hair spangle strands, princess/villain design book, Mermaid pillow, unicorn statuette, a stool from Katelyn, and coloring stuff from Rachel. The girls helped decorate the cake. We sang, ate, and made a mess with frosting. It was a very good day. Her birthday ended with a fun collection of stories about Amelia as a newborn and baby. I love that tradition. Now we have a feisty 10 year old. Watch out world, she's in double digits now.

Wednesday was a nice day. I finished up laundry, cleaned the house up, and tackled the basement. I got out the rice for Evelyn to play with sometime Monday morning. The kids went a bit overboard in their exuberant play with the rice this time. Phillip kindly moved the play kitchen to the rice area. Evelyn had every container she could find filled with rice. The kids had rice stuck in places I've never dreamed possible. I love that the kids played for long periods of time. Every so often I went down to straighten the rice blanket and collect the rice back to the middle. Tuesday while I worked on dinner the kids started fighting, next thing I know rice was flinging from side to side. Sigh. They cleaned up a bit but still it was MY turn to clean the basement. Took me the entire morning to suck over 5 cups of rice from the play areas. Everett filled his pockets with rice then went on a lovely jaunt around the house. Rice spilled from his pockets up the stairs, down the hall, snuck into the couch, even ended up sprinkled on the bathroom floor. I used the mess as a much needed excuse to finally vacuum the basement stairs, sweep, and deep clean the bathroom. Shhhhh. I still have not vacuumed under the couch cushions. I'm saving that chore for Everett.

Jen arrived early Thursday morning to watch Josie from 7:45 until 2:30 pm. I left the baby for the first time since birth for more than 1-2 hours. My mind was a bit addled worrying over the unknowns all night: would she nap, would she cry the entire time, etc. I knew she would be totally fine but still my brain was worried. Josie did just fine. I dropped off Evelyn for a fun playdate with Elliott and Aria. Jenny had coloring pages ready, before I left her she was happily playing Doc Stuffins with Elliott. She even got to run around at the gym for an hour. Jen took the girls to McD for lunch once Evelyn was dropped off at home. At Phillip's school I was assigned three boys: Phillip, Javier, and Cayson to chaperone for the school day. We loaded up the bus around 8:35 then headed to Scottsbluff. Phillip and I sat in the worst seat...it had a heater under it. My feet, calves, and legs were blistering hot. The heater almost melted my phone as well, since I had it stowed in my backpack on the floor. I've never felt carsick before, but with that amount of heat I about died. To amuse ourselves during the ride we read books from a crate of books Mrs Hoekema brought along. The boys played a game of Pokemon with empty water bottles as well. The weather was cold and drizzly. After arriving we got to explore the zoo first while the other class went to an educational meeting. My group of boys was quite loud. They hooted and hollered in strange imitations of the animals. Most of the animals were out and busy that morning, maybe animals enjoy the rain?! The boys loved the tiny yellow and black marmoset monkeys. Phillip made such a strange new noise at the sleeping lion, the beast actually cracked open one bright yellow eye at him. During our turn at the educational meeting we got to pet a tortoise and the softest female chinchilla. I loved how Phillip described her: like petting marshmallow air. The curator taught the kids about animal habitats. After the meeting all the kids kids ran outside to play in the rain on the play structures. Most of the kids congregated under the dino dig pavilion. We drove to a park behind the zoo for lunch. By this time the rain was coming down steady and fast. Still, the kids downed their lunch then played in the glorious rain. All the bus windows were steamed up from all the moist clothing and hair. Bliss. Phillip and I snuggled on the way home and read more books. The two of us enjoyed the best day ever. He is such a funny, quirky, lovable kid. I walked into the house to a joyful Evelyn....and a pristine kitchen. It was gleaming. Jen had deep cleaned every corner of the space, moved stuff around, and polished all the surfaces. Dang, my eyes leaked a couple tears of joy. Thank you my friend.

Friday morning I took photos of Jen's new "grand" baby, Kyah. Haley and her boyfriend Koby brought over their tiny baby, a mere 6 lbs at 2.5 weeks old. Haley lived with Jen for quite some time so they are quite close. Haley is graduating from HS this month, but finished school in December. Kyah was a very alert baby for her size. I struggled to get her into poses, especially transitioning her into other poses. In fact there was no transitioning for this little beauty. She also was quite the little pooper, I had to change my clothes 3 times! Getting all my stuff out of storage and back into storage was quite the feat. Thankfully, with my kitchen gleaming clean I could spare the time to get it all and set up.

Saturday we got to have Ella over to play. The girls and I picked her up at 10:30, we ran to the post office for Allison, then ran to Walmart for white ballet tights. After all the ballet madness we rested the rest of the day. The boys were still in PJs at 4:30 pm. Saturday was a perfect day to stay in PJs and enjoy a lazy day. Justin and I managed to clean off the dresser top in our room. Can I just say it was gross? Yuck. We walked to Oya Grill for Amelia's birthday dinner. The girls finally got to play a bit after dinner. Mostly Amelia, Evelyn, Ella, and I were on the go for the day. I spent our down time to make a unicorn horn for a lady who really wanted one for her daughter.

Amelia read a scripture during Primary. I could hear her reciting the verse over the PA system in the Primary room. She opened up her scriptures and read the first verse she found. The verse was quite strange and did not mean anything without context. I should have helped her find a better verse. Mom fail. Evelyn was tasked to give a talk. I wrote one out that Justin read while Evelyn hid her eyes behind the Primary pulpit. I stepped out to get a drink of water during singing time. I could hear Evelyn belting out I Love to see the Temple. She was almost yelling the song. Love it!

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