17 June 2018

Making Cookies, Father's Day

Our Sunday walk this week was a bit different than most. Josie had the kids collecting rocks for her. We started out the walk with Josie "walking" meaning she stopped every step to crouch down and whisper, "what's dat?" Her joie de vivre is so vibrant and contagious. We caught up to the rest once she was ensconced in the stroller. She decided rocks are cool so had the kids running about collecting cool rocks for her stroller tray. Some she rejected, other rocks she crooned over. So funny and cute.

We had a fun Make it Monday this week. The kids chose their favorite cookie and I helped them make the cookie from scratch one-on-one. Evelyn went first making chocolate chip cookies. She loved measuring the ingredients and working the mixer. Amelia made no-bake cookies all on her own, just needed a bit of vocal support and clarification of the recipe. Yum! Everett made peanut butter cookies. His favorite parts were turning the mixer on super high and measuring out the dough, rolling it, and smashing it with a fork. Phillip finally decided to make root beer cookies with frosting. He was the least interested in the process but did really enjoy rolling out the cookie dough. By noon we had platters and platters of fresh, warm cookies. I caved and enjoyed some dough while baking and a cookie or two after baking. We played in the community pool, thanks to the Smith family for sharing their pool key! The kids loved the pool because it had a kidney shaped concrete slab in the center of the pool. For FHE we passed out plates of cookies to all our closest neighbors. That was the best part! Sharing the cookies.

Tuesday Evelyn was so excited for Island Princess dance with her two new best friends. She got to wear fun flower bracelets and a lei for her class. Phillip was quite embarrassed I forgot a shirt for him since I picked the boys up from swim team right before dance. He stood outside the center for 30 minutes refusing to come in. I finally persuaded him to come in, a desk lady immediately targeted him about his missing shirt. I don't think he will forget a shirt next time! I dropped off my camera for cleaning and to calibrate my sigma lens since the focus was soft. Across the street from the camera store was a bread outlet. All the kids were "starving" so we went over to the store for a moment. The boys about died, so many options for ding dongs, cupcakes, twinkies, and candy. It was carb heaven for my deprived children. They each chose a favorite treat. I added in some bread and other treats we could enjoy later. After paying the clerk let me choose 3 free items so Phillip grabbed 3 bags of bagels! What made me laugh was the look of pure surprise to walk into a store that only sold bread items. After dinner we introduced Justin to our local library. He was able to get a library card after almost a year of living here. The kids love the play area and especially choosing books. Kids choose books much differently than adults do. I am so picky and take forever to choose a book. My kids choose books by just swiping a book here and there without barely a glance at the title.

Wet and Wild Wednesday consisted of visiting a pool we passed on the way to drop off my camera in west Chandler. It was not a close pool but had more amenities than the ones closer to us. We had a lovely afternoon swimming in the sun. The temperature hovered near 110 so the air felt scorching when not submerged in the water. Normally the pools blast radio station music, the Nozema pool was tuned to a Show Tunes channel! I was in heaven singing along to songs most folks have never paid attention too. Josie practiced submerging her entire head underwater this time! She has learned to hold her breath underwater! Good job baby! She still hates her floatie and wants to swim all on her own like Evelyn. Evelyn can swim well enough to not need any floaties, even in our deep pool. Her swim teacher is teaching Evelyn to side breathe now instead of flipping on her back! She is a quick study.

Thursday was a long day for us all. We started the day bright and early with swim team, the boys stayed until 9:30 and got a ride home with Sister Seebach. I hear they got breakfast at the Jr High and played UNO with her son Fox. I taught piano lessons from 8:30 until 9:30, the reason the boys needed a ride home. Right after lessons we loaded up in the van and drove to Scottsdale for an hour of play at AirTime trampoline park. All the kids loved the foam pit, Josie let me throw her into the pit over and over again! She had so much fun playing in the dodge ball room, mostly following around the balls and yelling out the ball's color. She had to give up the room once enough kids came in to play actual dodge ball. We met Justin for lunch at 11:45 since we were only a mile away from his office. We all loved seeing him during the day for an hour. Once at home I put Josie down for a nap. Chloe came over to spend the afternoon with Mia. Chloe and Mia babysat Josie for me from 1:30 until 5 pm. I took Phillip, Everett, and Evelyn over to the Payne's for the afternoon. I got to attend a temple session from 2:30 until 4:30. Our stake temple conference is this week and so the stake reserved a temple day on Thursday. Justin got to attend a session after work. I am so happy we could both go, although at different times. The photo posing challenge this week was to pose 2+ children in such a way as to see all hands, feet, limbs that can bend be bent, diagonal posing lines, no shoe soles, no creepy hands, and connection to their environment. Not daunting at all! I had some models lined up but they had to cancel last moment. I asked our neighbors Ranae and Warren if I could pose my girls next to their pool in their swim suits. I threw in the boys on a whim and somehow captured something amazing! All my kids looking cute with their summer sun-kissed skin and smiles. Our neighbors invited the kids to swim for the next hour in their pool. Ranae provided the kids with watermelon and towels. Jacob and Chloe also swam with our kids at the neighbor's invitation! The last time they had kids in their pool was back in January! Ranae swears she loves hearing the sound of kids playing! Bless her heart. I enjoyed chatting with Warren about his accomplishments in life. He owns numerous restaurants in the mid-west. He started the pizza parlor and video game (think Chuck-e-Cheese) back in the 80s in Colorado. His new combination started a fire of new pizza parlor and game houses popping up all over the country! The kids swam until 8:30 pm. They also swam in our pool before and after dinner, tramp park, evening swimming, and a couple hours in the Payne's water slide. We were a bit tired on Friday.

Ok, I was a bit more than tired. I was exhausted. No one responded to my call for Art class this week so I went ahead and cancelled it. Course after I did that two families texted me. We ended up just making some art with just my kids. That meant I did not need to clean the entire downstairs and make the kids help me. The kids wanted to make rock daddy art for Father's Day and fill out some questionnaires for Justin. I enjoyed just spending some art time with my kids. Phillip, Evelyn, Josie, and I went to Walmart for groceries. On a whim I stopped in to the vision center to get Phillip an appointment. They had a slot open right then so Phillip got his eyes tested. He squints now and then so I wanted to get him tested. His vision is fine, the optometrist gave him a prescription for +.5 reading glasses for when he reads or does homework. Phillip got his eyes dilated, he scored some fancy roll up sunglasses! He looked so silly. Today he walked out of church wearing his baptism suit, a ninja turtle shell backpack and his roll-up glasses. Good gracious, he owned it! Phillip is over the moon excited to get glasses. After the optometrist we had to run fast to get groceries before naptime. We watched Wrinkle in Time as a family after dinner and a swim. LOL. The movie was pretty disappointing, I was hoping Disney would finally do the book justice, nope.

Saturday we woke up to sprinkles of rain. We had no idea rain in Arizona means a holiday! Neighbors came out of their homes to wonder at the miracle of rain. Josie acted like rain was a new phenomenon. She pointed and jabbered about the rain. We headed out to the front yard area to find our Indian neighbors also enjoying the rain. Before long all the kids were soaking wet. They enjoyed jumping in shallow puddles. Riding bikes through the puddles. Filling cups with the rain drops, and running amok with umbrellas. The temperature was so agreeable yesterday! A lovely 85 degrees while the rain lasted. After so many clear-sky days it was a welcome relief to have two overcast days in a row. After the rain stopped the party ended. It was like the holiday ended as well. We made the kids clean up the family room. I worked on washing the floors up, they were positively gross. I made Phillip's baby book, something he's bugged my to make for months now. I still need to make Evelyn and Josie's books. We treated Justin to Thai food for lunch in honor of Father's Day. Thankfully, two plates of fried rice and a family bowl of soup was enough to feed all the kids! Ha ha ha. The kids organized a dance contest boys vs girls. Amelia and Evelyn spent the time to make Shimmer and Shine headbands and bracelets for their performance. Each group danced to two songs. I was the judge. The boys danced to Shiny from Moana and One Foot. The girls danced to Shimmer and Shine theme song and Cheap Thrills. The girls won, they had organized choreography, costumes, and even fake money to throw around. Justin attended the training meeting of Stake Conference. Elder Mathias Held attended our conference as the general authority seventies. He is from Columbia but is of German descent!

Today we attend Stake Conference at the Greenfield building. We chose to attend in the RS room, which ended up being an unwise choice. There was too much freedom to move about in that room. Josie unplugged the broadcasting cable once, Everett another time. The kids were constantly at the chalk board. Josie played the piano more than once, got tangled up in the curtains, and cried loudly whenever she was made to sit down. Next time we will be in a pew, at least the kids are more reverent in a pew. The kids were so excited to share their Father's day gifts with Justin after church. I have a lovely steak dinner planned! We are grateful to have such a good dad! He is so reliable and diligent at providing for us all.