28 February 2021

Sledding Part Dos


I actually felt excited to get up and exercise on Monday...until I got up and went to the gym. Drives me nuts that I feel so blasted tired all the time. Tired when I sleep in, tired when I don't, my curse in life is tiredness. I was happy to shut off the TV for the week! The kids sluggishly finished their schoolwork each day. 

All the kids accompanied me for grocery shopping on Monday. It is not as stressful as it was several years ago. I sent the boys to fetch dog snacks, Mia was off shopping for prize favors, and later the kids all went to check out the toy aisle. Of course they ended up spending allowance money. The boys bought cheap guns to play with. Josie found a llama that walks! Evelyn was insistent she wanted to buy a set of LOL dolls. All the kids had Christmas money so they spent that, Evelyn cleaned out her allowance. The best part was having 10 extra hands to load groceries! Monday night for dinner was a loud affair. We took to talking in "B" replacing all main consonants, even Justin participated in the fun. Ban Bou Bead Bhis Benbence? BOB (aka lol)

I took Josie in to see Dr Aldous about her frequent throwing up issues. He wants to start with a radium drink x-ray to see if her intestines are moving correctly and properly attached. A problem with either of those would be the most serious. Check those off first then investigate at a slower pace. That sounded like a good plan of action. I started her on a good probiotic and doing better at giving her daily vitamins. Josie was quite happy to avoid shots after her most recent Dr visit. 

Tuesday morning the girls all had haircuts at Sister Young's down the street. Mia and I were laughing as Josie raced the Minnie car down the hill with Evelyn grabbing grass and twigs from passing landscapes. Josie skidded to a stop and jumped out of her car yelling, "I'm ready for my haircut!" She got a cute shoulder length a-line! At first she was unsure about it but everyone is raving about her cute hair so she loves it now. Much easier to brush and maintain. Evelyn got a trim of 1.5" off the ends. Amelia got a trim but then asked for some short layers to blend in the bottom. We both gasped when Sister Young started cutting long, deep layers into her hair. Amelia walked out knowing her hair was a disaster. Her bangs were cut at least three inches shorter than the rest of the hair, it is so stacked and strange looking. She tried hard not to cry most of the day. I think her hair looks cute but she wanted her hair back, it will take a year to grow back. It's just hair right? 

The kids nabbed 4 large boxes on Tuesday and made dog kennels. They spent the week hiding out in their boxes stuffed with blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals. Ambree was here for 6 hours as the kids carved, decorated, and played with their boxes. They brought down the nugget couch to use as a corral. My favorite part was the hole on top where the kids could stick their heads out to nab a snack waiting on top of their box. Later that day I picked up over 25 fruit snack bags littered around. Those boxes are going soon, enjoy them while you can! 

Mia and Jocelyn planned the YW activity for Wednesday night. They planned a bake-off event. Each YW brought a main dish or dessert to share, judges decided the best recipes, and three winners chosen. Mia made lemon pudding ice cream! We shopped a couple times (to Walmart and then Dollar Store) for prizes. 

Wednesday I had quite a mind shift, one that has been in the works for months. I've felt the need to delete FB and Instagram for quite a while. Those dang dopamine rushes are addicting. Tuesday and Wednesday I watched the Social Dilemma on Netflix, a documentary about social media. I knew on the surface most of what was said, but the documentary revealed much more than I wanted to admit. A few main ideas prompted me to act: if you're not paying for a platform then you are the product. If you are not using an app as a tool then the app is using you. Social Media is a big part of the miscommunication issues humans are having. I can still access FB for my business needs and for information (like on the homeschool page) but used as a tool. I was at the point where I mindlessly scrolled for 5-10 minutes at a time, adding up to hours in a day especially at night. Another point that sunk deep was if a platform is showing a "different feed" to each individual person than the risk is made that no one has an anchor point. It's like having a personal dictionary entry for each person, no one has the same definitions anymore. I told Amelia I felt like the Heavens were applauding...she clapped for me. Justin also deleted his accounts a couple weeks ago. Next week Brother Wadsworth is coming over to chat with my kids about Social Media and the dangers of pornography. 

I went to bed with a raging headache on Wednesday night. Next day I felt even worse! Took all my will power to get through school, even took a 10 minute nap just to rest my eyes. After lunch I started feeling queasy. I took a garbage bag along just in case it was needed during gymnastics. I barely made it home before I finally succumbed to the tummy flu. Had to cancel Activity Days because I was feeling so awful. Took a 3rd nap instead! Let the kids watch until Justin got home. We enjoyed cold cereal for dinner. I watched Roger and Hammerstein's Cinderella blast from the 1997 past with Josie. That was "nice." 

I felt much better the next day! Took the girls and the Ostlers to swim lessons. Evelyn and Josie are doing well in swim lessons! The girls leveled up last week. This week they learned the backstroke. We stopped at the Lakeshore Store for sight word flashcards and multiplication games. I am determined my boys memorize their tables. Determined!!! Justin took the day off for a much needed rest. His team filed the 2020 report Wednesday night, hooray! 

Saturday we drove up to Steamboat gulch again for sledding. It snowed off an on all week so we were hoping the runs would be more exciting. Nope! Still harder than rocks. Justin said I looked like a blueberry racing down the hill in my puffy coat. Good news I cracked my tail bone in such a way it actually feels better. Nothing like a good bouncy sled ride to adjust one's back. We almost gave up after a hour because our green saucers were not working and the kids were fighting over the 1-2 sleds that worked. Instead we started digging holes into the snowbanks. A 10 minute snow squall sent most families running back to Bosie. We stayed and discovered an isolated icy hill that the kids could slide down sans sled. Later that morphed into using the sleds with caution, then without abandon. So much FUN! Hooray for fresh mountain air, beautiful snow iced trees, and family fun. We're all aching from pulled muscles today! 

Evelynisms: "Mom, can I have a spitachio?" "Mom! You have three new nocifations"

21 February 2021

Snow Princess Evelyn




This week was an absolute black hole. We were due to leave for Utah on Monday. I got an uncomfortable feeling that I shared with the kids, we decided to delay our trip a day. Lots of snow fell between here and SLC on Monday. Most of the passes were terribly slick and some even closed. Towards the end of the day we had some sunshine boding a better day to travel. 

Tuesday we held out hope for our Utah trip. We packed our bags and were ready to leave Evelyn woke me up at 12:30 am spewing barf from her room to my bathroom very early Tuesday morning. Some folks are graceful barfers, some are not. Josie is a graceful one. She uses her bowl and just does her thing. Evelyn graced the carpet, the walls, the floor, the entire toilet area with her decor. She promptly got a shower. She then spent the next 3 hours loudly vomiting every 30 minutes or so. She finally got up at 5:30 because sleep was evading us. Poor kid then puked so hard she pooped her undies. I asked her to wait while I fetched some clean undies and PJs. Did she wait? Nope. I then got to clean up dirrhea off the toilet, the floor, her clothing, and the kid. She got another bath. She puked in her hair soon after (even though I braided it after the first shower). Sigh. Josie slept through me stripping their bed sheets with the light on.  I postponed the trip for another day hoping no one else got the tummy flu. Instead we got more snow and lots (and lots) of TV. I think the TV was on 16 hours a day for the next 6 days. 

Next day Josie also got the nastiest sulfur burps, like I still feel nauseous thinking about her burps. Her tummy was not well so we delayed another day. She was dead asleep by 10 pm when Josie reared up in bed and let out the largest sulfur-laced man belch. I excused myself from their room, grossssssss. Evelyn was feeling better by Wednesday morning. Amelia came down with a head cold and a headache. By this point I gave up hope for our Utah trip, cancelled it just because everyone was feeling under the weather. We made a couple of excursions out for grocery shopping, the boys went to gymnastics, and to the gas station for gatorade. 

Saturday we were plagued with barf again. The boys came down with the tummy flu. Phillip was a graceful barfer (surprise!). Everett was not. He barfed a trail down the back of the couch and trickled a puke trail to the bathroom. He exploded, not pretty. Not pretty at all. I was surprised Justin manned up and helped clean up the mess. Everett did his job as well and wiped up the bathroom. Phillip desperately wanted a nap but felt too dizzy. I had him lay down in front of the sliding door so the cool air would refresh his face. That helped! He was able to take a nap. 

Justin had another very busy week. He looks so tired! He's earning that salary wage right now. I worked on editing a slew of photos I took of Josie and Evelyn just for kicks and giggles. Friday I had another newborn session! The boys were banned upstairs. The girls were feeling well enough to attend swimming lessons with Mia to help them out. I lysoled (that is a verb now) the open areas and made sure to use a ton of sanitizer. The mom told me baby Luna did not sleep and was afraid I would not get any good photos. Luna slept like a champ because Mom followed my preparation instructions. She was darling! I got the family out the door before the girls returned home from swimming. 

I was feeling down in the dumps. We really wanted to get out of town for a couple days and enjoy cousin time. Instead everyone was sick and the TV was on almost non-stop. I cannot wait for a new week! I do love sleeping in but honestly I don't feel any better or more energized. Strangely, I'm looking forward to getting up for the gym, making the kids work hard at school, and saying "no devices!" 

Our country experienced record snow and ice this week. Boise had the 8th snowiest record since the 1892, the last time Boise had this much snow was 1949! Texas had terrible ice storms that left parts of the state without power for days. I cannot imagine living in a place where folks are used to light winters only to be plunged into the ice age. The Hornbargers reported their house temperature in San Antonio was 41 degrees inside!   

16 February 2021

Snowmageddon 2021


What a week! I'm happy to report no one lost their eye sight or fainted this week. Josie did cut a hank of hair off her head during devotional on Tuesday. She took a bath so had cute brushed hair. Little stinker sat on my lap when I noticed a large chuck of hair falling over her eyebrows. She cut a length of 5 inches, nearly half her hair length. It mostly blends in! She denied cutting her hair even after we found the evidence. I'm at least grateful she did not cut her hair down to the scalp! 

The kids enjoyed the new Jeep toy car this past week. Amelia made all the kids Driver's Licenses using silly photos and information. Josie loves to drive around the block, she takes the walkie talkie so I can monitor where she is at. She was complaining to me from the garage that her car was stuck and she didn't have the muscles to move it. I replied, "maybe if you ate your lettuce, you would be stronger!" Josie replied, "Mom! DON'T TALK TO ME ABOUT LETTUCE!" Her quick response it still making me laugh. She was chatting about a bird while on her drive, it was random words about birds and flying. She came home with a "leopard" feather she found on the ground. Amelia is wondering if driving the Minnie car counts as Driver's Ed hours. Ha ha ha. NO. The hoverboards were attached to the car already for a load of fun. The weather was amazing until Thursday!

Wednesday I organized a fun Valentine's party for homeschoolers and others in our ward who wanted to participate. That morning we took time out of our school to make Valentines and pick some cards up at Walmart. Everett fell in love with a largish sloth he claimed with his allowance money. Now he has a sloth suit, sloth socks, and a sloth buddy named Mr Cuddles. The kids practiced writing their names 16-20 times which was excellent for Josie and Evelyn. Amelia and I gathered lots of art supplies to decorate Valentine bags at the party. We used part of the gym for our activity. The kids brought scooters, hover boards, cute stuffed animals, and balls to play with. The kids could decorate a bag if they did not make a box/container beforehand. I manned the glue gun for the kids wanting gems, pom-poms, and doilies glued on. We made so much noise! It was a happy, joyous noise. Half way through the kids lined up their bags/boxes so they could deliver their Valentines and candy to each other. Josie was so excited she forgot to deliver her cards! She did her best after the fact. Sara brought her fun parachute as an extra activity. Amelia was quite hesitant to attend but she later reported that the activity was SO MUCH FUN! Yay! It's hard to impress a teenager sometimes. Phillip went to his first combined activity...he reported it was strange to have girls around. The kids decorated cupcakes and ate a ton of sugar. Amelia said she was acting crazy with her friend Jocelyn, Ambree and Phillip were completely ignoring them and refusing to play around. 

Thursday I hosted Activity Day girls. We practiced our song we're singing on the 21st, Josie made a video of the girls singing...they sound so amazing!!! The girls decorated sugar cookies using copious amounts of frosting and sprinkles. After washing hands the girls decorated three plates of cookies for three members of our ward who need some cheering up. The girls made a happy picture as we trooped across the yard to Sister Titus' home with her plate of cookies. We thoroughly enjoyed her gratitude and smiles.  

The snow started coming down on Thursday with no accumulation until after 8 pm. Friday morning we woke up to a lovely spread of 3 inches. The kids went though all the gloves, boots, scarves, and hats we own as they played outside. Josie once again had the tummy flu so was not feeling up to going outside in the morning. It was warm enough that the sidewalks and driveways stayed relatively clear. Sara and I braved the roads early Friday morning for swim lessons. Josie was beyond distraught she had to stay home, she ended up throwing up several times while we were gone. Evelyn is doing well in lessons. She is learning to float and use her arm strokes. The Goldfish swim center had quite the set up! They have showers to rinse off right away with shampoo. Dressing rooms, hair dryers, and swim suit wringers as well. Fancy, fancy...no wonder it costs both my arms. I finally persuaded Josie to try sledding with Evelyn. She still had her swimsuit on under her snow clothes. The snow was so wet and heavy our saucer sleds did not slide well down the hill. Instead Josie enjoyed swimming in the snow and making a snow fort with snowballs to throw. The kids started making an igloo. 

Aunt Nancy hosted a really fun girl's weekend to celebrate Denise's birthday! All the sisters (and laws) gathered with the teenagers in tow. I dropped Amelia off to Esther's so she could hang out with Clare. I had a pile of editing work I HAD to get done over the weekend. We woke up to a blizzard! Holy heck it was snowing so thickly it was hard to see more than 15 feet in any direction. I put on my big girl pants and drove out to Nancy's in the truck. I am a good driver, even in the snow...not worried about that...I am worried about the other crazy drivers. The freeway had 2-3 inches of snowy slush that made the drive quite tense. I turned on some music to help keep the tension down. Evelyn's playlist was on by default. At the thick of the storm "Let it Go" started playing. As cars were spinning off the road the the song Dynamite and Squishmallows played. After I got off the freeway we had to stop because of an accident...ironically Beep, Beep I'm a Sheep started playing.  The comic relief from the well-timed songs made me laugh. I arrived safely thanks to 4 wheel drive. I think 6 inches of snow fell in less than 3 hours that morning. Amelia was very excited to tell me that the girl's went to a steak house slash saloon the night before for dancing! She was asked to dance by a couple of polite boys just for the fun of it! The girls enjoyed a couple hours of country music and dancing! Amelia saw drunk folks for the first time, the girl tossing her cookies in a trash can made an impression. The snowstorm thinned out an hour after I arrived. Denise wanted to do some shopping so we headed back to Nampa to shop at Savers, DI, Target, and Costco. We stopped for lunch at Costa Vida. Amelia and I left after Savers and lunch to head home. I found a darling pink coat at Savers I wanted to use for photos of Evelyn. She kindly agreed to brave the snow and cold. That was fun for me. Everett spent several hours outside forming a snow cave. He made the cave large enough to fit two kids inside. The kids shoveled Sister Titus' driveway just for fun. 

Sunday was Valentine's Day. I had plans to put out my Valentine gifts the night before. Yep, didn't happen. I got up extra early to fix masses of hair (curl Amelia's, heart hair for Evelyn, and a bow for Josie). The boys left early to shovel the walks at the church building. Josie was super whiney all day. She refused to attend Primary unless I went with her. The kids cleaned the school room while I arranged my Valentines. That was a stroke of genius. So many delighted squeals over the newest squishmallows! Amelia got Otter the Seal, Phillip got a dragon he named Celebrant, Everett got a taco named taco, Evelyn got a bee she named Buttercup, and Josie a koala named Blueberry. In their buckets the kids got a Japanese soda, chocolates, and a couple cute favors. Justin got European chocolates! Yum. Justin picked up carnations for all the girls and roses for me. He had the boys surprise the little girls with bouquets of flowers after dinner on Friday. My eyes were burning something fierce so I rested my eyes for a bit after lunch. Amelia rallied the troops into making an igloo complex all afternoon. The kids were outside playing for 6 hours. Amelia was a task master only allowing 10 minute breaks to get snacks and dry gloves. I kept the dryer running so the kids had dry clothes. By evening Everett's cave turned into a large complex with two tunnel entrances, two sets of stairs, a sledding hill, and a main bunker! Phillip manned the shovels and wheel barrows to schlep snow from the other side of the driveway. Amelia had Carson, Ambree, Everett, Phillip, and Evelyn all busy as bees. By dinner Amelia's leg hurt so badly she could hardly walk! We enjoyed a candle light dinner of grilled steak, parsley potatoes, and green beans. Thanks to Justin for grilling outside in the snow! Josie was absent from our dinner, she ended up having tummy barfs again from dinner until 11 pm. Poor kid fell asleep on the bathroom floor on her koala after barfing before dinner. 

I am not sure what is happening with poor Josie. Justin was sick all week with digestion issues and terrible nausea. He worked from home the entire week. Sunday marked the 5th time Josie had the "stomach flu" since late November. Usually she is the only one who gets sick. I felt sick Saturday after eating pizza for Josie's birthday, nausea, diarrhea, etc. supposed it came from food poisoning. Justin had leftovers on Sunday which made him sick the rest of the week. It is so hard to determine if Josie is suffering from the flu or an entirely different issue like allergies, Krohn's, etc. Now I am unsure if she really had the stomach flu this time because Evelyn came down with a terrible bout of diarrhea and vomiting between 12:30 am and 6:30 am this morning (Tuesday the 16th). Poor kid was vomiting so hard she pooped her pants. I gave her three showers during the night. She is not a graceful sickie! Josie just uses her bowl and is fine. Evelyn explodes...everywhere except the bowl. So much laundry today, so many carpet spots to scrub and clean. Josie was so tired she slept through me turning on the light and removing the bed clothes at 1 am. 

I planned a trip to Utah this week since we have Winter Break from school. It snowed again quite a bit yesterday so we delayed our trip. We had everything packed to leave this morning. Except BARF. Hopefully, we are in the clear. Here we are another day spent burning our brains out watching TV and being completely bored. 

07 February 2021

Josie is 5


Five years ago on a stormy, snowy, ice cold night my water broke all on it's own. An hour or so later Josie zoomed into this life. She is such a blessing to our family. Josie is cute, sweet, a snuggle-bug, shy, spicy, and has an infectious joy of life. I lost the stats for her 4th birthday due to a very stressful move and distance-parenting situation as we faced a move to Idaho. Josie is working hard on preschool skills like cutting paper, glueing, drawing, reading books with mom, and lots of imaginative play with Evelyn and Oliver. She loves to be home in her pajamas. Josie is learning her alphabet but has a hard time remembering which letter is what. She does know "J" and "O" since she can spell her name with the first J backwards and the second J correctly. Her alphabet song has us all in stitches, "ABCDERKHWDJZXW." She recently started spending time at the piano making up songs and tunes. Josie is improving her gross motor skills through gymnastics, swimming lessons, and riding bikes. Josie often talks like a baby, which drives me crazy. LOL. Nothing is better than when Josie crawls into your lap for a cozy snuggle. 

On February 1st she weighed 36.6 lbs (28.6 percentile) and measured 41.75 inches (37.3 percentile). Yes, she is skinny and nearly regular height. She is wearing size 5 clothes and size 9 shoes.  Her favorite show at the moment is "Izzy's Koala World." If she could own a baby koala she would sign up first in line. Her greatest ambition in life is to be a koala and snuggle. She wants to be koala trainer when she grows up. Her favorite books are Creepy Carrots and Creepy Underwear. Her favorite toys are of the soft, stuffy variety. Josie still refuses to eat fruits, vegetable, anything with flavor (according to Evelyn), and say the prayers. She's only said like 5 prayers in her entire life. It's a mystery why saying a prayers is so terrifying since no lettuce is involved.   

Josie's Surprise Party

Our week started out quite slow. Evelyn wanted to try out the IRI reading test on Monday morning so she could earn a milkshake and make elephant toothpaste! I quite enjoyed her enthusiasm to get the hard stuff out of the way first thing. Her experiment went well! She helped me measure out the ingredients, add certain ingredients to a bottle, food coloring, and mix up a separate reaction mixture. We did the experiment outside in case it got away from us. The kids were expecting a large scale reaction. Still the small foamy reaction was quite fun! It really looked like toothpaste about halfway through the reaction time. Phillip spent about 3 hours working on the writing portion of the ISAT test. He did his best and I am so proud of his effort. Everett took the math practice test this week, he said that was easy peasy! Hooray! This week the boys worked hard in science and social studies. The boys learned about the Constitutional Amendments on Wednesday. Phillip busted out 4 lovely sentences regarding his favorite amendments. Evelyn is busy memorizing sight words and lots of imagination play with Josie. Of course the academic machine Amelia is going strong. She missed Tuesday because of a yucky tummy but caught up before the week ended. Phillip and I worked on a science experiment trying to float paper clips on water. That was a work in frustration! After a google search we tried floating the paper clip on a paper towel first then gently sinking the paper. That worked once. Water surface tension is a delicate balance! Phillip added soap which changed the water's polarity so the clip sank...all that hard work. Fun, fun!

Josie had her well-child on Monday. She is growing fast! I was surprised she's not at the bottom of the growth charts! I love when pediatricians ask kids to show off their skills like balancing, counting, hopping, etc. Josie checked off all her target skills except for eating fruits and vegetables. We were joking the other day that she started life off so fast she fainted and only revived with a dose of sugar and carbs. Guess she got hooked on the good stuff right at birth! Ha ha. Josie was super brave about getting her kindergarten shots. Her arms were too skinny so she got two shots in her legs. I just wish the shots were not a soup of 4 different inoculations, spread the shots out and take a bit more time. She got a lollipop for her bravery. We made a special mommy-daughter trip to Fred Meyers for Valentine's day candy. She grabbed several cute squishmallows for our growing collection (a corgi for Mia, an elephant for Josie, and a rock n'roll llama for Evelyn). Josie used her allowance and Christmas money to buy her elephant and a toy. She also picked out 3 small toys for her birthday. The Krakengard incident happened while I was away. Read the separate entry. Phillip also had a visit this week with Dr Aldous. We decided to try him back on Adderall for the time being.    

We really needed to get out of the house, talk about feeling trapped and stir-crazy. I took the kids swimming for several hours at the recreational center. Ambree and Everett's friend Flynn came along to play with us. We actually stayed long enough this time for the rope swing to open! Everett and Phillip were very excited to finally try it out. Josie worked hard on swimming without her floatie. She does quite well putting her face in the water and kicking! She just doesn't really use her arms, makes sense because the floaties restrict her arms. 

Wednesday was Justin's 16th year anniversary as a CPA! We took him out for a celebratory lunch as a family to Cafe Rio.  It's not common these days to only have 1 career, Justin is almost to 20 years as an accountant. That is impressive. This week was especially difficult and trying at work. The draft was filed on time but they had an essential employee quit with no notice and lots of other pressures. Hopefully work will even out again in the next month or so. We are sure glad he works hard so I can stay home and raise our hoodlums.   

Thursday I busted out my sewing machine to make a moon shaped pillow out a gray velvet. Sewing is nice! Wish I had more reason to sew. Josie hates the itchy seams so refuses to wear my creations. Evelyn fits into Mia's old dresses so the urge to sew is next to null. I spent the evening prepping for two early morning photo sessions of a 3 month boy and newborn girl. One of my clients from last year is referring my name to anyone she knows having a baby! I am grateful for the business. So far she has referred 6 names to me, 4 are still expecting. I gifted her a free session for all the referrals. Amelia creatively directed the kids into making a movie trailer using iMovie. She was introduced to it the night before at YWs. The kids made a funny trailer about Killer Koalas. They started another trailer about zombie dancers but didn't finish it. 

Friday was a busy, busy day. The little boy was crabby and refused to smile like mom wanted him too. We tried for 30 minutes with little success. The next three hours were spent in the newborn session. That ended 10 minutes before 90 minutes of piano lessons. I had enough time to shovel some late lunch into my mouth. Right after lessons Diego came back for another try at smiley photos after a long nap and feeding session. It took a bit but he finally delivered some sweet smiles. I cleaned up my large mess before and after dinner. Justin and I had a date in the Ostler's garage assembling Josie's pink Minnie Mouse car. Sara helped us out, that 3rd hand came in handy since Justin was tired and let us take over. He read the instructions while we did the hard labor. He took me out for an ice cream sundae. 

Saturday was Josie's BIG day! She's counted the days down since Christmas day. She woke up to find 5 hearts on her door, she loved her "notes." We cleaned up the house before lunch so we could have cupcakes with the Ostlers. Justin was absolutely trashed so we pulled him out of bed around 11:20 for lunch. Josie asked everyday for weeks to have her birthday lunch at Jimmy John's! Away we went! She brought along one of her birthday gifts to open during lunch. We sounded really good singing "happy birthday!" Josie went to play with the Ostler's while the rest of us set up the house for Josie's Koala Surprise Party! Amelia was the party planner extraordinaire. She had a typed list of decorations, food, games, and party information. Evelyn and Phillip stuffed the pinata. Amelia, Clare, and Fallon decorated the front room and table. I made butter cream frosting and finished up decorating the cupcakes. Justin and the boys worked on dog poop duty and the backyard. Once all her 4 friends arrived Sara escorted Josie over with her koala sleeping mask on her eyes. She was so surprised to see all over her friends! The gift table was the first thing she noticed. She went right over and started ripping open a gift. Amelia showed her the big chungus Koala (now named Twinkle) in the front room! That gift was the biggest hit. Josie chose to do the pinata first. All the big kids were raging for a turn, mad that only kids 8 and under got a try. Josie was the one to knock down the Koala...intact. The kids beat the koala open. Phillip turned it upside down to shower down all the candy and stuffers. We had to do a little redistribution to ensure all the kids had some candy and favors. Amelia organized a game of Duck, Duck, Goose; Pin the leaf on the Koala; and Simon Says. Josie opened her gifts next, so exciting! Every kid should have at least one birthday party in my opinion. We sang Happy Birthday and ate cupcakes next. There was still 40 minutes to burn so the kids played outside, played with balloons, or jumped on the tramp. I was exhausted by the time the party ended. Once the party was over Justin and Phillip snuck her new pink car into the garage. She asked me 100 times that day where her car was. She was quite confused it was not waiting for her! It was fun surprising her a second time with the car. Evelyn stuffed the car with all her new koala toys for a very silly car ride. Mia spent the evening with snuggling puppies at Clare's house. The puppies are so big, nearly 3 times their birth size. Josie was happy to eat pizza for dinner. She enjoyed seeing Grandma Debbie, the Call Grandparents, and Charity via FaceTime. The night before I shared Josie's birth story. We reminisced watching cute baby videos. Phillip reminded us about her silly duck laugh that only Phillip could make her do. We love this kid with her joie-de-vivre and sweet nature. Josie was quite intent about lining up all her gifts and admiring them. She made a line of toys then laid on her huge Josie-sized Koala and sang Happy Birthday to herself! Charity called right after Josie opened a giant Hershey Kiss! CHOCOLATE!!!! BAAAAAA! She was hyped up on goofy balls. Grandma asked Josie if she had a party. Josie replied, "no, Amelia had a party with her friend and invited little kids!" I'm unsure she realized the party was for her organized by Amelia. Poor Mia! All that work was not wasted. Promise. 

Today Phillip was set apart as the Deacon's secretary. He wanted to know what his calling was about. When he learned what secretaries do he was a little bummed but excited to try something new. I subbed for singing time in Primary today. Busy week!

The Krakengard Experiment

 This story deserves its' own entry. Monday I was at the clinic with Josie for her well-child check up, Amelia was home in charge. She called me in a near panic saying that the boys were freaking her out by making each other faint. I had visions of the boys holding their breath or going upside down for long moments. The story came out over the next few hours. 

Saturday Justin made a short Walmart trip for aftershave. Everett came home the proud new owner of his own body spray. I hear Justin lectured the boys on how much to apply (one spray) and that this was a big responsibility. Fast forward: Amelia was in her room listening to music while working on art projects. Ambree was over to play. She went into the boy's room and mentioned the strange funk was especially funky. So the boys pulled out their new body spray and started infusing the room with Old Spice Krakengard. After a couple minutes Everett started feeling light-headed, did they stop? Nope! Continue with the fumes. Eventually, Everett fell down in a dead faint, his eyes rolled back in his head. Ambree suggested they spray more to wake up Everett. Phillip took up the gauntlet and sprayed more. Everett snapped out of it. They sprayed more. He fainted twice more, apparently it is hilarious to watch your brother's eyes roll up into his head. Ambree started feeling funny so she had the sense to get out of the room. Phillip rushes to Amelia's room asking is she wants to see something hilarious. She was like, "what?! (teenage style, heavy sarcasm). Phillip said "we're making ourselves faint on purpose!" She rushes in to find Everett passed out. They drag Everett to the school room for fresh air. He revives. Amelia yells, calls me to report. The boys and Ambree go out to the tramp with the body spray. They continue to experiment with fainting on the trampoline. Everett succeeds three more times.   

I report to Justin once I hear more of the story. We are both laughing so hard it hurts. Do the boys really not have enough brain cells to realize they are depriving their brains of oxygen and inadvertently "huffing" in their room. They are quite goofy for several hours. Everett was overly grumpy, testy, and had a headache the rest of the day. Geeze, I wonder why? Towards bedtime Justin had a (hilarious) chat with the boys about the dangers of breathing aerosol products and why Everett was especially susceptible to fainting (he had severe pneumonia as a toddler). All body sprays are now contraband and can only be sprayed by mom or dad. 

Make sure to spray your face each new day with aerosol chemicals if you need a pick me up. Krakengard is especially potent. 

31 January 2021

January Blahs


Seems like there is always a week in January that is utterly blah. That was this week; so normal it hurt. We worked on taking the practice state tests just to get a feel of what we need to work on the next few weeks. This week the boys took the entire ELA tests, next week we will focus on the math tests. Phillip will also have to take the science test. Evelyn agreed to take the IRI reading test for a milkshake. Amelia is settling into her second semester classes. Apparently, we have a week of winter break coming up! Yipee! We might head down to Utah for more cold weather. 

Evelyn made herself a golden beard out of masking tape during Temple Table this week. She was all hunched over then popped up with the beard. Totally squashed the spiritual moment but the laughter was worth it. Phillip ended the lesson early by bending one of my new chairs in half. Thankfully, it was bent back but I'm sure the structural integrity is compromised. 

Most days we stay in our pajamas since we rarely leave the house anymore except for the Ostlers...they wear PJs as well. Josie and Evelyn now have koala ears and tails. Each morning I attach tails to pj'd bums for a day of koala-ing. Josie really wants her own baby koala...like a real one. Well, that's a no go. I found Josie perched on top a pile of cushions with a crown, koala ears, a squishmallow, blanket, and a scepter holding court. 

Amelia finally got her slime order from Kawaii Slime Company. We were all delighted with the cute box, packaging, and especially the awesome slime. Josie now wants her own box of slime for her birthday. I think Josie wants everything. I introduced Amelia to Korean marble soda. It tasted like juicy fruit and sprite! Amelia got a cute new chloe (hoodie), I looked over at her to find her in super spy hoodie mode. She looked very distinguished with her nose sticking out.   

Nampa had a fair amount of rain, wind, and snow this week. The wind blew over the Ostler's grill and broke off a wheel. I was relieved the trampoline was still in our yard. Josie enjoyed 20 minutes in the rain with her cute galoshes and umbrella. We had one day with sun and slightly warmer temperatures. The kids had a veritable party on the tramp. Everett found two clamps he turned into gun weapons. 

Thursday I hosted Activity Days at my home. I invited the Primary Chorister to teach the girls a song to sing in sacrament meeting. We learned "We are Children of God" by Monica Scott. Sister Young was impressed we learned the song in less than 20 minutes! The girls played a rousing game of "guess what" and enjoyed muffins for a treat. 

Josie and I caught a bug this weekend. I was fighting a nasty sinus infection. I was able to fend off the worst of it keeping my sinuses dry with Sudafed. Josie is having a repeat of her nasty tummy virus she had a month or so ago. She is not keeping anything down, we're on hour 36 now with nothing staying down. I'm just religiously feeding her teaspoons of pedialyte. So stressful. Our prayers are with Jana (and family), Jeffrey, Sally, Shawn, and those others in our family who came down with COVID. Someone at Grandpa's funeral unknowingly contracted COVID and got several people sick. Jana is having quite the time since Rudy left for two weeks, it's not easy to hole up with two small kids and seasonal depression. My heart goes out to her. 

Justin had a terribly busy week. We hardly saw him at all this week. He left home around 7:30 and arrived back home between 9-10 pm. The good news is the draft is filed so things should settle down a little bit this week. He is taking a much deserved Sunday nap. 

*Funny Josie story: Evelyn ripped off her blanket fort from the bunk beds. Josie was crying and said, "Evelyn you are making my feelings sad!" So cute.  
*Last week Everett created his own song inspired by the stars in the night sky. It was so cute and very U2 inspired.