26 December 2017

The Pre-Christmas Lull

Seems like this week was sort of boring with lots of candy crusted faces and hands! Our Nelves tend to drop off little toys and candies more often the closer we get to Christmas Day. The best treat of the week was bubble gum rolls. Poor mom had to scrape numerous piles of gum from off the floor and carpet. Naughty Nelves! They need some training on proper gifts for little kids.

Monday afternoon Evelyn, Josie, and I met with Mrs Melichar, Evelyn's new preschool teacher. She and I went through a mound of paperwork that outlined Evelyn's IEP. We decided to make a decision about Evelyn and kindergarten once school comes to a close for the year. Mrs Melichar said she would give me her best and honest opinion about Evelyn's readiness for school. That felt like the best decision: wait and see. Paying Evelyn $4 after a week of using the bathroom by herself was the best thing ever. She asks me once or twice a day to help her use the bathroom, I respond: "Sure! I love to help you but it will cost a dollar! Show me your dollar and I will help." Evelyn usually huffs off and does the chore on her own. I smile to myself loving the sway of a dollar. Evelyn started crying when we arrived at Sonoma Ranch, she wanted to attend her OWN school, not the same school. Inside her new classroom she quickly had a change of heart. The toy stations were totally awesome. The kid-sized bathroom was amazing. We saw Everett and Phillip on our way back to the van! I stopped by the main office to finish completing all the paperwork for her enrollment. I can't find the immunization records I worked so hard to obtain from the hospital in Sidney. Poof, GONE. Grrr. Since Monday Evelyn has talked excitedly about going to school with her own backpack and a water bottle. "The new Monday" cannot come soon enough for her. Evelyn's most recent fascination and conversation topic is: "Mom? Why do we have mouthes?" We talk for miles about why humans have mouths. We determined having a mouth is quite important.

Phillip earned his Bobcat and Wolf badges Tuesday! He was so embarrassed to wear a furry tail pinned to his shirt. Even more embarrassed to eat a bowl of dog chow (chocolate cereal) for his wolf badge. On top of those two badges and the Cyberchip Award he earned these belt loops: Coucil Fire, Collections & Hobbies, Howling at the Moon, Grow Something, Call of the Wild, Paws on the Path, Running with the Pack, and Duty to God. The boys had a fun white elephant gift exchange. Phillip came home with a Pokemon trading card mat. I earned two pins for my new Scout collection.

Most evenings this week I spent wrapping gifts after 9:30 pm. Even though the kids did not get as many things this year the multiplication factor results in quite the haul to wrap up. Justin worked on assembling bikes while we watched Netflix together.

The littles and I enjoyed a trip to the mall this week. We went to a couple stores to window shop then played at a little play area for toddlers. Josie loved the slide, but kept ramming herself into one little girl who refused to move from the bottom of the slide. Jojo earned a goose egg for her sliding efforts.

Everett came home Tuesday so excited after attending a field trip to watch "Go, Dogs Go!" The highlight for him was sitting on the balcony at the theater! I love that kid and his simple enthusiasm. He is the best helper and the one who complains the least when it comes to cleaning and helping. The boys started wrestling around on the floor this month. Most of the time it is friendly, but this week is starting to end in tears.

Mia and Chloe worked hard for a month studying jellyfish for their Genius Hour presentation. The girls would get on Google Classroom and work on a PowerPoint presentation on their topic. They rehearsed via FaceTime and text making changes and such. All the teams presented their topics the few days before Christmas break. I got to watch their Genius Hour presentation on Wednesday. The girls did amazing! Answered some hard questions after their presentation and took some insightful criticism well. A couple hours later Amelia, Chloe, and Abby teamed up for Battle of the Books. They named their team, "The Three Unicorns." I found cheap unicorn horns for the girls to wear during their battle. The horns gave them luck since the girls scored perfectly during their battle! After dinner and work we loaded up the kids for a short Walmart trip. I wanted to show Justin a grill the store had in stock. I found a combination propane/charcoal grill for a very reasonable price. We stuffed it in the van, after we paid for it. LOL.

Evelyn had a dentist appointment. She started wailing loudly as I parked the van, screaming, "I HATE DENTISTS!" She would not listen to reason, that the dentist actually helped heal her mouth better. The new x-ray went well. Once in the room she started to cry again. The dentist allowed her to sit on my lap while her torso rested on his knees. He probed her teeth, was dismayed her right incisor is still very wiggly. He applied some topical antiseptic to her upper gum and lip line since it was white with infection. Evelyn recovered nicely at the reception desk where she earned another sticky hand from the prize box.

Mia held down the fort later that afternoon while Josie was napping. I got to shop at Walmart alone for food and a couple Christmas items still on my list. I'm so grateful she can help out.

Friday morning the kids had to clean their rooms before 10 am. The incentive was a shopping trip for their sibling gift exchange. They got the job done before 9:45! Yes! Minimal complaining as well. Shopping for 5 kids at the same was not a brilliant idea. I helped each child while the older kids kept Evelyn busy. We hid their gifts with jackets we brought along. The older kids convinced Everett to buy giant squishies with his allowance money...if they paid him back. Amelia got a taco, Phillip a burger, and Everett a pizza. They played with their little doohickeys for the rest of the day. The best game was convincing Josie to play fetch as they threw the toys on the ground from the truck. Justin about lost his marbles and patience as he tried to help the kids wrap their gifts to each other.

Saturday morning we walked over to our neighbors house for breakfast. The kids admired all the naked Roman statues decorating their house. I enjoyed getting to know them better. All week I watched Guido cut wood incessantly. Turns out he was making the most intricate crosses for those who ordered them! Phillip, Josie, Everett, and Amelia all caught nasty colds/coughs/sneezes for a nasty soup of sickness. The lack of sleep is wearing me down. Each night one or more of the kids needs help or is unable to sleep.  Evelyn helped me with a photo session at Riparian Preserve. She was the honkey pig holder. We took photos of the Bishop and family! Bishop Price is a very jolly guy. Evelyn enjoyed the individual attention and time to explore the preserve by herself (near to me of course). We worked on sugar cookies for Santa after dinner.

Our choir performance this morning was so amazing. We worked diligently together to produce a lovely performance. All the men sang a song about the Innkeepers who turned away Mary and Joseph, "Let Him In." Chills! I feel relieve to have my little flute performance over with. Our Primary kids sang "When He Comes Again/Joy to the World." Gracious, the kids sounded like angels. Glad that pressure is over as well. Yahoo! We did it.