Friday, June 28, 2019

Summer Break Week 4

Tornado sirens sent our group into the bathroom Sunday afternoon. Ty was pretty unsettled so I added chocolate. Chocolate makes everything better but this photo amuses me. Erin using the toilet as a desk to continue writing a speech is absolutely Erin's style. And Ty hiding in the bathtub? He was over it.

Ty took this shot. I am impressed!
Kate has campaigned for at least a year for a hedgehog and word got out via Makenna to someone who needed to re-home a couple of classroom pets. This is proof I have lost my mind. Meet Pip and Penelope. Kate is in love.
Friends from Houston headed home this week and I will miss our late night chats on the deck and coffee shop gatherings for another year.
This dog drives me crazy. A few of us were talking at the table and someone assumed her presence was necessary. Clearly, based on the look on Kate's face, she was taken by surprise. I had my phone in hand or wouldn't have taken the time to capture the image before scolding the darn dog. I live in a zoo.

Ty had a buddy spend the night for the first time and his friend had never slept anywhere without his parents before.  He was a polite and quiet guest but sleep was seriously lacking, leaving my son in the grumpiest of moods the next day. This is fun, they say.

I was able to appreciate some authentic conversations this week about parenting and the unique challenges that accompany the young adult years. It is somewhat refreshing to learn my perspective isn't skewed, but that out of privacy for those young adults, we as parents tend to keep our frustrations and concerns under wraps. This season, like all parenting seasons has some "growth opportunities" alongside some very rich rewards. I think we need a support group for parents of young adults and older teens. When a lab tech we met this week mentioned an irritable teen at home, I proposed my support group idea and she was ready to sign up but suggested we pass an offering plate at meetings so bond money would be available for those accidentally punch their sons in the face. I roared with laughter. Her approach was a little bolder than mine but sister was having a lot of feelings. I get it. I really do.

In unrelated news, Erin was able to be approved for a mortgage this week after finally locating a condo in her budget and desired location. She is quite excited about this next chapter in her life. Greg and I are grateful for loan officer friends we trust to take care of her too. Her new condo is going to be the perfect location and size for her.

Our grandson got some art supplies this he not the cutest? However, he feels the same about playdough as his Aunt Erin did. I love this baby and can't wait to kiss his sweet face.

A quick movie night to get out of the heat and wait on Greg to get home from a business trip was in order Wednesday night. Ironically we saw We Bought A Zoo for the first time with two cats, a dog and two hedgehogs.

After this shot, I handed my camera to a friend for safe keeping and took care of business. I am glad my friend kept shooting.

Thursday we spent the day with friends at a local lake with a beachfront and had a great time. I suspect we will return again this season. And that evening, Penelope went to live with a new family. A teacher in our neighborhood has been searching for one to have in her classroom and her little girl fell in love with Penelope. Kate, realizing how much work maintaining two was going to be, decided to let her go before she got attached to Kate. The mom in the house is relieved.

Friday was full of laundry, doctor's appointments, housework and grocery shopping. Greg and I wrapped the week with steaks on the deck; no kids allowed. The weekend holds a few celebrations for friends and two church gatherings as well. We are wrapping June as busy as ever but in the best way.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Summer Break Week 3

I have had a recurring dream this week where I am in a chopper, holding tightly to the hand of someone I need to care for. This person's identity is never revealed but the chopper loses control and starts spinning above a raging ocean at night. As it goes down, we plummet into the ocean and I am still desperately trying to hold onto that hand while my lungs burn and I gasp for air. Each time I break out of the water, I am knocked back down by a powerful wave until the chopper explodes and I am thrown from the water and the hand is ripped from mine. I then wake up with a heavy chest and unsettled feeling. I am no expert but I am fairly certain one isn't required to interpret this nightmare. Life is a little crazy at the moment and whereas I am still enjoying the small things, journaling, exercising and eating well, I am not in total control and this is apparently the rub.
VBS increased his daily sugar intake by 100%

This week contained a full VBS schedule, two major doctor's appointments with two of my kids, the revelation Kate's knee pain has reappeared and a friend flew in for a visit from Texas. It wasn't a bad week by any stretch, just a very full week. I was able to laugh until tears ran down my face Tuesday night with a friend at the Jen Hatmaker and Heather Land show. Jen is quite relatable for me as she too has five children in different walks of life and we share a similar perspective of the parenting years. My girlfriend's visit was timely as well. Nothing settles a heart like wine on the deck with friends who know you and all your junk but love you anyway.

And then we made a quick round trip to Dayton Saturday for the Baughman family reunion. Ty loved fishing for hours and was happy to meet a cousin just a year younger than him who also loves fishing. The reunion was rather uneventful but we all located some engaging conversation, which is a drastic improvement over past experiences with this same crowd.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Father's Day Weekend

Smoked pork belly for Sunday brunch. The man is too good to us.

His wife has an odd sense of humor but this cracked him up.

Apparently an unusual sense of humor runs in the family. Erin bought this for her Dad.

And again, that sense of humor. Makenna insisted we get photos taken with the mugs they have purchased us for previous Father's Day and Mother's Day. They know mom isn't a fan which makes them love these gifts more. Sigh.

The flourless chocolate cake went over well.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Summer Break Week 2

We started our week with Kate's private baptism after church on Sunday. It was quiet and exactly what Kate wanted.

Monday we went to the zoo and was surprised by how few others were there given the 75 degree day and Monday being the day we all got in free with our Summer Cultural Passes. A neighbor boy joined us and at one point, they asked to play in a playground. Within minutes, they had every child there involved in a giant game of tag. It was a perfect day at the zoo.

Lauren is often calling with "is this normal" parenting questions. Austin is thriving and yet she worries as most first time moms do. He loves his books and has discovered how to use them to help him communicate. One picture dictionary book may have to be banned because the "I" page has a picture of ice cream. Austin finds the book, locates that page and brings the book to his parents jabbering as he leads them into the kitchen. He knows what he wants and is very disappointed when they can't or won't entertain his request.

They went to dinner with friends the other night and Austin was sitting on the friend's lap coloring when Lauren asked what was on the kid's menu. Austin started excitedly pointing at a picture and shaking his head yes. He was certain he was having ice cream for dinner.

And to top that off, the little guy has decided to start using the potty this week. He is fifteen months old. I realize I am biased, but he is pretty smart and rather cute too.

Tuesday we planned to visit a historical farm but instead dealt with a clogged drain that flooded my laundry room and kitchen.  When I text my husband about needing to rent a plumbsnake, he claimed to have installed an indoor pool for our anniversary and complained I am not a happy recipient. Sometimes I wish that man was half as funny as he thinks he is. Anyway, Kate babysat for friends for a few hours and when I picked her up, we headed to the local orchard to pick strawberries instead. I am excited to have arrived on the first day of black raspberry season too. They are my favorite and I haven't successfully picked them in years because the season is so short and I usually miss it.

Superman ice cream from the creamery was in order after all their hard "work". I am thrilled they haven't outgrown outings like this. I will always want to visit with my camera in hand.

We made a trip to the Bernheim Forest with our cultural passes on Wednesday to meet some friendly giants. We all loved the unseasonably cool day exploring nature and hiking together. 

Some of us were worn out afterward but quickly recharged in time for another adventure closer to home. I recently discovered we have an old cemetary that served as a final resting place for recently escaped slaves in the late 1800's. It's clear some efforts have been made to restore some elements of it but I am hoping to find out who is running that program to see if our family can contribute. Both Kate and Ty learned a little about that era and are both interested in serving where we can.

On Thursday my parents visited for the day. We had salads out for lunch and then picked up someone's early birthday gift. He bent the rim on his old bike and had outgrown it so a replacement was in order. Given how much he rides, he got it a month early.  

A few years ago I started  working on a mantra. Respond vs React. It has served me well and I have made great strides in my responses to life, in that I no longer have emotional meltdowns and can quietly process more thoughtful answers. However, recently it has occurred to me that this feels very much like praying for patience, which as any Christian can tell you is a bad idea. You see, when you put these prayers out there, God has a tendency to let you practice. A lot. All this to say that life feels a little overwhelming and I am realizing that responding looks a lot like internalizing and perhaps that isn't the healthiest approach either. One would think that by age 45, I could have it all worked out but I don't. I am losing my mind one kid at a time because in a house as full as mine, if it's not one thing, it's three things. 

When I learned Noah was off work on Friday, I planned to knock another item off our Summer Bucket List and took Ty and the neighbor boy to the firehouse. They LOVED their personal tour. 

Kate, who waived the firehouse stayed behind and played with a flourless cake recipe because her dad is missing baked goods. He has joined my grain free diet and lost ten pounds on top of feeling better. So a dessert that doesn't break the rules was in order.