Monday, July 25, 2016

Of the Rocky Mountains and Stolen Sugar

So...hi's been a while.....

This is what happens, when Hannah gives up the internet. I told myself I was going to wake up at 6am before Josh leaves for work, and get some free wifi and a mcmuffin at McDonalds once a week to post, but it didn't happen. Mostly because I preferred clutching my pillow until the kids come and lovingly climb all over me requesting breakfast. (This is going to change. Basically every “Five Steps to Organizing Your Life and Conquering the World” advice on the internet says I should wake up before the kids. So, it must be true. I'm going to do this and conquer the world...Also, because I've missed writing up the cute things the kids did here.)

We went on a camping trip to the Rockies. 

Many adventures happened, one of which I learned is that it is not a good idea to forget your mechanic told you to change the ATF fluid 10 months ago, and drive it up mountains, to then discover that the transmission fluid is black as mascara.....
But, other than that, it was a good vacation. Lots of rocks, trees, stars, campfires, and loving grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

Also there was dirt. Lots and lots of dirt. Gloriously amazing dirt, that could be stretched out and wallowed in. 
(Isaiah found this irresistible. As soon as my back was turned, he was rubbing it into his face) And no running water (as in, we had to drive 5 miles down the mountain and fill up 5 gal containers). There was a mountain river, roaring with record snowmelt. I just couldn't stick the kids in that, so the result Josh's words, (borrowed from Trumpkin the dwarf) “Uncommonly Grubby Mancubs.” 
But they were happy grubby little mancubs. Really happy.

Jenny has been experimenting with the power of words. She had knocked over the kitchen trashcan, and came to tell me about it.
“Mom, there was a twashcan accident. The twashcan accident happened to Jenny.”
Later, I found Isaiah holding his juicebottle and crying.
“What happened?” I asked.
Isaiah just wept fresh tears, overcome with the tragedy. Jenny helpfully explained “There was an accident”
“What happened?” I asked
“The accident was, I took a sip”

She has also had a very strong interest in theology, asking me about God's love, the nature of the Trinity, the structure of the universe, and other such things that have me scrambling to explain. The other day, she asked to have some tea. As I checked the cabinet, I saw we were out of herbal tea, and explained we didn't have any. She pointed out the teabox. I tried to explain it wasn't her special (non-caffeinated) tea.
“No Jenny, thats regular old black tea for mommy. I need to get you the special tea”
With deep emotion in her voice, she explained to me, “Mommy, you are speciawl. Because Jesus makes you speciawl. Because He woves you”
Later, she observed, “Mariam Hope....that is her name from God. Hope is from God. That is where Hope comes from”
Jenny keeping a grip on Hope
Aunt Cathy has been teaching the kids on Fridays, and it's obviously sinking in, as Isaiah observed, right after we turned out the lights for bed, “But I need to be nocturnal!!”
He is learning a lot, as we watched him count on his own, up to fourteen, “eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen....TWEVEN!!!” His favorite number is still Tweven, which stubbornly exists despite grownups' explanations to the contrary, and which evidently can make its joyous entry into multiple places in the numberline.
But overall, Isaiah also has a firm idea of order, and how the world ought to be, which can result in much weeping when someone else messes with it. Jenny had jammed a doll dress onto a toy dragon.
Isaiah was distraught. He tried to pry it off, but as Jenny was playing with it first, I intervened, and said Jenny could do it. Still agitated, he blurted out “Becuz the dragon doesn't wear a dress!! He's a man!”
Isaiah fixed everyone "icecream cones"

The kids have been playing together more lately. They swing at eachother with their toy swords, with surprisingly little casualties. Even 10 month old Mariam picks up her little Anduril ruler, and bats at the big kids' swords with it.
I watched Keziah go up to the toybox, and then toddle back, wearing a helmet, wielding a sword, and holding out a sword to offer to Daddy. Josh took it, and they began to spar. 
Isaiah got excited, and started looking for another helmet, but was having trouble locating one. Kuzzles saw he was having trouble, offered him her helmet, and continued to spar, bareheaded.
When Puzzles is not throwing 6 tantrums a day (Broken crackers, too hot eggs, too cold eggs, the world was full of sorrow that day...) she is so sweet that my chest aches from the cuteness.

At one point Isaiah was assigning roles “Dese are duh good blue Israelites” he motioned to me and Mariam, “And dese are duh bad red philistines!” he motioned to himself, Jenny, and Keziah. Jenny who was sitting in a laundry basket full of stuffed animals (as she is wont to do) declared with conviction “DESE ARE NOT PHIWISTINES. DESE ARE MY FWENDS”

We had fun making cookies together. I let them all help (before I put in the eggs)
Here are the industrious children.

Later, as I and the three older kids were shaping them, we heard a thump from the kitchen. I was distracted, and didn't think much of it, until I returned into the kitchen and found this.
She had evidently managed to use the broom handle to knock the sugar tub down, and had been quietly enjoying the fruit of her labor for the last 5 minutes.
Mariam continues to be the most joyful little person I have ever met. If things are slow, she starts to laugh to liven things up a bit.
Once, all of the others were in active melt-down, sobbing over broken graham crackers, lukewarm snacks, seconds on juice, and other such tragedies. Mariam alone, among the wails, looked me in the eyes, and grinned. I can almost hear her little cheerful voice in my head, saying “Turn that frown, upside down!”

I have been trying to get the kids to help put away toys. So far, I haven't had much luck, despite the promises of great glory that are sticker charts and MacDonald's ice cream cones.
The other day, I had sat down on the couch to nurse the baby, and Jenny picked up 2 stuffed animals, and put them in the toybox. She then came up to me and said with genuine and complete moral indignation “Mommy, you need to cwean up! I cannot do aww duh work myself!”



  1. I'm so glad I was just there and can visualize everyone and your home!

  2. Welcome back online! You were missed.

  3. Check out the Gnomist. I think she is your kindred spirit!