Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Sisters' Day

Create a brand new holiday.  Think of food, activities, and decorations.

"Sisters' Day will be a day for everyone to celebrate with their sister.  And you get to go see a movie.  You get to go somewhere real fancy to eat.  Most important, you have to spend time with your sister, like Rebecca and Kate.  Then you can play a game out of your game closet, like Dominoes or Sorry, any game that you can do two people.  And the decorations are hearts with two sisters in the middle of them, and it says Sisters' Day.  You hang them all over the house, and then there are pink and red Christmas lights because you love your sister, cause it's Sisters' Day.  And they will have pink and purple sun umbrellas, and everyone will wear matching dresses, so no one gets separated.  Everyone has a fun time."

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

My Broken Tooth

Guess where I went today? I goed to the dentist. And I got my tooth fixed kinda like magic, but it wasn't. First I got in the room, then I got in the thing, and they lifted me up a little bit. They put lots of stuff in my mouth. It was soft but kinda feeled weird. Then they put water in my mouth, but not with a cup. But with something else, and it was a little water gun. He used it more than one time.  He had some blue and white soap. And he did a magic trick and shined a blue light on it, and it wasn't good anymore it was hard. After they fixed my tooth, them give me a balloon made from a glove. Then I got to see my tooth with a mirror. Me said, "ohh that WAS magic." The end.

The Day the Toys Came to Life

What would happen if your toys came to life? Write about it.

"I remember it like it was yesterday, I woke up and saw that the toy that Poppa J gave me was gone!  So, I looked and what I saw on the floor, was cars driving everywhere - hot wheels, happy meal toys, old trucks, and the tank.  I looked outside, and my super team was gone!  And on the back porch, everything was moving - legos, transformers, and the Super Team.  Everything was moving.  The toys were climbing up the Christmas tree putting presents at the bottom, and on the tree where there were no ornaments.  There were 5 presents at first, but by the end there was 28 all together, but there were none for Britt, Ruth or Rebecca. The toys got breakfast and drank some orange juice.  Then they sat on Ruth's bed tickling her, trying to wake her up.  Others were playing on Rebecca's back while she was asleep.  They asked the Church mice what their names were, but they didn't answer.  Optimus told them that they were just Christmas decoration, and couldn't talk.  Then, I found them doing a race to see who could get to the bottom of the outside freezer and back first.  The winner was a 4 way tie between Sideswipe, Optomus Jr, and Joey.  But when I woke up Ruth and Rebecca they only found toys sleeping on them.  Then we woke up Momma and she was surprised and woke up Daddy, and he was surprised and woke up Kate, and Kate saw them too.  But the next morning everything was back to normal.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

A Ghost Story

Britt, Ruth, and Rebecca's Ghost Story

It was a stormy night (sound effects) at a castle in a dark, dark forest. 
There was a graveyard with tons of gravestones and ghostes coming out of them.  And when it came morning, the ghost all went back in them gaves.  The castle had a sharp, sharp fence around it, and the top was very pointy.  So there were crows all around with 50 towers on one house, and the other half has 50.  But in the middle there was the tallest one of all.  There were witches living in every single one.  There were metal knights to guard them, and some mummy too.  And when it's night, all of them go out and check for little children in the forest.  So they see if they can turn them into ghostes or mummies.  And then when they turn into ghost they can pick to turn into a witch, a wizard, a vampire, a mummy, or a guard knight.  And the wizards lived in the long long tower.  So then, there were also cats, and owls, and snakes, and lizards.  Those were the witches' pets.  At morning before the sun comes up, all the pets go outside.  When the light shines on them they are turn into stone, but at night they turn again back into animals.  There is also a three headed dog that guards the gate.  One of the heads bites a kid dressed like a witch, another one bites a kid that dresses as a mummy, and the other head bites one dressed up as a ketchup man, so he scared all the kids away.  It's tail was a snake, and it had wings as long as two Christmas trees!  It also has spikes on it's back, and horns on it's head.  It can also breath fire.  There were also vampire bats to guard if you snuck by the three headed dog.  It has a giant snake to help it too.  There are also whomping willows planted along the back of the castle.  The biggest one of all is golden because it is the king of all the whomping willows.  And the castle is dark pink, but the biggest, longest, talllest tower is black.  Red blood drips from the roofs.  A moat of tar and quick sand surrounds the castle.  But, once a while, whomping willows dem have help of monsters.  But, and, the evil angel comed and sang a beautiful song, so all the children would come to all the bad guys.  Then they take the children to feed them to the witches, and the witches turned them into some mummies, some ghost, and some bad guy guard knights.  Some people had gotten into the castle in the past, but they all died, so there are dead bones everywhere.  Some people say that you can still hear the children's screams.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Fall is in the Air

I love fall, it's always been my favorite time of the year.  Moving back to S. Florida has meant that I don't have to deal with blasted winter, but it does mean I'm also without fall.  Nevertheless, I have pulled out all the stops inside to make it feel like fall.  Just a couple of days past the official start of fall, the kids and I decided to do something out of the ordinary and head out for some fall decorations first thing in the morning.  We headed to the Dollar Store, where it appears most anything can be located for a dollar.  We scored some wonderful decorations among other things.

First, I pulled out my fall wreath that my cousin made for me a few years back, some of the pumpkins on it have lost their coating, so I touched it up with some paint for now.  I also drug out my fall garland for around the door.  Then off we went to town.  I knew I wanted something for the table, but it needed to be cheap.  I picked out some flowers, a scarecrow and got a piece of styrofoam.  I already had the vase at home and the fake leaves, from previous year's craft projects.  We still had some little fake candles that worked.  But when I saw the pretty fall glasses, I had to get two.  When we got home I let the girls help me assemble the flowers.  Nothing as pretty or fancy as we use to make at Michael's or my talented brother would whip up, but the girls were very proud of their work.  I think I should have added a bit more purple to it though.

In the living room, I had more of the leaves and fake candles, for a couple of dollars I got two bags of pinecones and fake pumpkins for my pottery bowl.  Britt found the squirrel that he thought we couldn't live without, and like that I had some decorations for the entertainment center, where all my beautiful one of a kind pottery sits.

And apparently I need have Rebecca re-dust in here tomorrow, as she obviously did a sub-par job today.

By the front door, I got a candy jar, for $5 from Walmart, my most expensive purchase of all.  Grandmother always had little candy jars around the house and I think their cute, even if I have to ration what's put in it or watch the little heathens like a hawk.  With some of her money Rebecca got a Halloween bug, I think it's creapy, especially since it has lost an eye, but I let her put it by the candy jar as decoration.

By my chair I hung up the wreath I made when we were back in Indiana, and I added a little glitter jack-a-lantern that lights up different colors.  The kids were so excited, when they saw it, that I had to get it.

Near the fireplace, I added a couple of little heavy ceramic pumpkins, and moved my pumpkin pie candle on top of the mantle.  I finally have a picture up of Katherine in her frame now too.  Of course the candle just makes me wish I was home having Mother's pumpkin pie with Daddy, with a generous amount of Cool Whip on top.

And apparently I need to fix Ruth's crooked frame.
After skipping it the last two years due to moving, I put up our thankful tree early.  We normally put it up the day after Halloween and add to it all November.  I thought since we would be going to Alabama for 10 days, we'd start it earlier this time.  I stole the trunk idea from Sis. Lydia, since I was low on brown construction paper.  Its the brown wrapping from an Amazon box.  I stamped the leaves, with some old stencils I got when the Michaels I worked at closed.  I like how it looks so well, I'm debating putting the Christmas tree somewhere else this year, and leaving it up a while longer to keep adding to it. I have a pretty leaf bowl, another Dollar General find, holding all the leaves and things for adding to it, along with one of the candles we got in PA.  Only a few of them are still working, but they still look so pretty.

Other than that, we've decorated pumpkins in the last week.  The kids all got a free pumpkin when we did our pumpkin patch field trip.  They all decorated them with Mario scenes on them.  They got put with my Pumpkin Patch sign, yep you guessed it, Dollar General.  Then last night, we made glitter pumpkins with 5 more that we picked up in Belle Glade.  I think they turned out really nice.  Britt chose gold glitter, Ruth pink of course, Rebecca purple, I used some white on Abigail's, and teal on Kate's.  As long as Rebecca and Abigail were, I opted to just write Kate, since I was sure I wouldn't be able to read all of Katherine without turn the pumpkin alot.  Ruth wanted to write her own name in print, while everyone else asked me to write with the glue in cursive.

We also carved a pumpkin.  Miracle of miracles, the kids had already looked through the two books I have, and picked out a single design.  I was anticipating having people upset, because I was only going to carve one pumpkin.  They worked awhile pulling out guts, Daddy worked much more at it, at my insistance, and I carved the pumpkin.  Everyone was thrilled with how it turned out and asked me to add BOO at the top.  I'm taking no chances though, and leaving it in the fridge during the day.  So long as I don't fix up a crock pot meal early this will work just fine.

All yesterday evening we did some baking.  Ruth made pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese icing.  She's getting better at being able to handle baking.  I'm still laying out her supplies and measuring cups and things, and I have been reading the recipes.  Though we both agreed to have her start attempting to read them.  But other than helping her break the eggs, and putting things in and out of the oven, she pretty much handled it all herself.  She let us all have one of them for desert after supper, but is carrying the rest of them to Church.  Rebecca took our pumpkin seeds and made up two batches of roasted seeds.  One with butter and salt -popcorn pumpkin seeds according to the recipe.  Another with spices and brown sugar - Halloween pumpkin seeds according to the recipe.  She had great fun, and after I melted the butter for her, since even with the stool she can't reach the microwave, she was able to put one scoop of everything in.  Then mix it up and help spoon it over the seeds.  Everyone tried them, and everyone hated them.  Rebecca decided the popcorn seeds weren't too bad, she wanted to keep them for her own snack.  I told her that would be just fine.  Britt made Pumpkin nut bread, with fresh pumpkin.  Of course we got to the end and he decided since he doesn't like nut, I couldn't put nuts in it.  I was so let down.  But he did it all with no help, other than reading the recipe and putting it in and out of the oven.  He's really proud that he made a loaf of bread for breakfast.  He helped me make grits and toast this morning too, to go along with the eggs and bacon.  I suppose I need to spend more time with him in the kitchen, but I hate being in there, and it only makes everything take so much longer.  I do imagine I will have plenty of fresh pumpkin to cut up, cook, puree, and freeze for Kate after Halloween is over next week.  Let's hope she likes it since I have 8 pie pumpkins that I can process.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Love Letter to Abigail

Today we were asked about what our passions are and today to write a love letter to our angel. I'm not sure what if any passions I have.  I deeply love the Church and my family, but I'm not sure what I'm really passionate about.  There are things I like to do, but I don't know about passionate.  A love letter, well I can always write one of those.

Dear Abigail,

You are a big sister now.  Her name is Katherine Hope.  She has really big bright eyes, and watches everything like a hawk, reminds me of how observant Britt was at this age.  She has a happy and joyful personality.  Ruth things that is just like her.  She's so beautiful, Rebecca says, "She's cuter than me" and it doesn't bother her a bit. Even though she looks mostly like Ruth and your Daddy.  There are times when I almost see a little of me and Rebecca in her.  She's rubbed almost all of her baby hair off this week.  She was already losing it, but it's so thin now.  The new stuff sometimes looks red in the light, it's not red, but perhaps it will have some red highlights to it.  I like to think that in that, she looks like you and me.  When babies are born, everyone in the family is eager to find bits of themselves in them, as they grow they look for the best of themselves in the child.  I sometimes find myself looking for glimpses of you in her.  Though it's impossible to know...

I miss you every day.  I miss you when it's still and quiet.  I miss you in the bustle of our daily life.  Yesterday I found myself in the store with five children, we had a friend along for the trip.  All I could think is that this should be normal.  I didn't mind it one bit, for a bit I could pretend you were here.  It's still hard to see your absence everywhere.  Britt said you could have been Birdo or Yoshi for Halloween, since everyone else is going with the Mario theme.  I have 3 identical dresses hanging in my bathroom for Christmas, two very close in size, with one much smaller, the size that should fit between them is still back in the store.  When I line them up, there is a stair step missing.

It's not that I begrudge you Heaven.  I know it's a wondrously marvelous place.  I know you are your best self, in a way you could have never been here.  I know that you are happy beyond measure.  It's just that I have never felt the eternal longing and depth of emptiness that I feel for you.  I sometimes read the writings of a loss father, a man with deep faith.  Today he described it is a role unrealized.  And that really resounded with me.  It doesn't matter that it's totally ridiculous to want you here with me, I have a great and unrealized desire to be your mother - to do more, to actually get to mother you.  I can bring along your bunny, and decorate your stone, and dust your memory box.  I can year after year write these post hoping some how someone out there will be impacted in a way that has a lasting impact.  But I can't mother you, just guard your memory, and tell others you were here and that you do matter.

I wish I could see you with your little sister.  Wish I could let you have a turn picking out the day's onesie.  Wish I could hear you beg to hold her, and 4.3 seconds later tell me you are done because she's too heavy and squirms too much.  Wish I could watch you discover the world, and beg for school books and complain about chores.  Wish I could watch you sit in your Daddy's lap watching baseball games, sucking your thumb, dragging around a well worn bunny.  I wish I could tell you how much you are loved and missed.  It's a good thing that I don't write too many of these letters to you, they always make me cry, but they say that tears are the language of grief, and great grief is the price we pay for great love.  And oh we do love you, and we all look forward to seeing you again one day.


A Sad Chicken Story.

Why did the chicken cross the road?  What do you think?

"Hey that's one of my jokes, I tell you.  Because he was going to the doctor office, cause he had got ran over by a car.  Because he crossed the street and the road!  There was two chickens crossing the road when they got run over.  Their names were Daddy and Momma (that was you and Daddy).  You call the Momma chicken Dan-YELL, and the Daddy chicken was called Daddy Boo-key.  If you and Daddy turned into a chicken and got run over you'd be a flat chicken.  Britt and Ruth also turned into a chicken, and they got runned over by a car.  They turned into a flat chicken like you and Daddy, then cause I was alone a bad guy would come and killed me.  The end.  For real."

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Universe Miraculous

For the photo challenge we were asked if we had any regrets and for the assignment for Capture Your Grief we were asked to find the beauty, the miraculous in the world around us.  I mostly regret that we didn't go ahead and call "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep" to take pictures.  We emailed and they were on standby.  But when she arrived, I didn't think that they could get any good pictures of her.  I wish I had tried though.  I wish we had more than one photo that I could share.  Sometimes, I wish I had let the kids see her.  They ask so many questions, Ruth and Britt were mad at me last weekend, when they couldn't tell anyone at the event anything about Abigail, because they hadn't seen her.  I thought that it was good for us to spare them seeing her like that but now, I'm not sure.  I know I'd been livid if someone had tried to keep her from me.  I mostly regret that the doctors didn't notice the test results and she hadn't died in the first place.

But it's easy to see the miraculous these days.  I nurse her and I hold her. I feel her soft, soft skin.  I see her big round eyes and I look at her amazing smile.  Then we sit on the porch and watch the sunset.  We admire the half moon by the trees.  And I marvel all over again that the God that created this entire world, who knits us together in our mothers' wombs, loves us.  There is plenty of wonderful and miraculous things to see in this world, if we only slow down long enough to look around and see it.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Me and Hocus Pocus

One day an elephant followed me home from the circus.  I saw him standing in our front yard...

"I would feed him peanuts and teach him tricks.  I would make my own circus, but I would only have one show an elephant with a really big ball.  Then I would give it a gigantic blanket.  I would have to sew little pieces of cloth together to make it though.  And then I would give it water with Kita's old water bucket.  If the circus wanted it back, hmmm, I would some how have to convince it to go back home.  Actually I would keep it because I like animals.  I would tell them to get a different animal that it likes me.  If they still wouldn't listen, I'd tell the animal to decide who it wanted to be with the circus or me.  And it would pick me because I'd take better care of it.  I would ride and do some tricks with it.  I would name him Hocus Pocus.  The End."

Superhero Britt

If I were a superhero I would...

"I would be a super hero with an orange cape.  I would have blue and red stars with a giant double sided battle ax.  My power would be super strength.  So I would pick up my battle ax and go "huhhh."  Ruth would be the bad guy, trying to take off my mask and reveal my secret identity.  It would be blue with two eye holes and a mouth hole, but I would stop her every single time.  I would work alone."

Indestructible Heart

10-27, Sunset

The photo challenge for today is "wishlist" and CarlyMarie asked us about our indestructible heart.  I'm going to include her entire writing prompt today:
As bereaved parents we hear things like “You are so strong” all the time. Interesting how many people do not feel it though. The truth is, we are pretty resilient. If you are here to read this, it means you have survived every difficult, horrific, tragic day of your life. That is all kinds of mighty. But we can be more than survivors. Charles R. Swindoll says “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” We have power here and we can change at any time. You are the author of your own story. How are you writing it? You have the power to live a beautiful life. What are you thoughts on this subject?
Today marks 2 years and 2 months to the day that Abigail was born.  My wish list is always the same I wish she was here.  It doesn't matter that she's living in an infinitely better state I wish she was here.  I'm infinitely selfish.  I'd like to wake up from a world post baby loss, and go back to a world where that little test equals a big happy baby  in 9 months.  It's quite impossible though, but sometimes you can't help but dwell on it.  In lieu of that, I'd like some really scientific research on a large scale into what causes loss, and ways to prevent it.  I'd like to see knowledge of PAIL month as big as breast cancer awareness month.  I'd like to see research dollars poured into this, and some really prevention as a result.  Most people I talk to in the community have no idea what happened.  How in 2017, can we be content to say who knows what happened oh well.

I don't feel strong, but one of the verses on the bracelet I have is 2 Corinthians 12:9 "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."  In what has been without a doubt the hardest times in our life.  Harder than all the unemployment harder than the cross country moves, harder than leaving home when I got married.  When I have continually felt at my lowest, at my most pathetic, without even the ability some days to crawl out of the bed except to refil the cups of small kids and change the dvd.  In the days where I function at top notch, but feel numb and detached.  In all of these aweful times, the strength that people have apparently seen, can not be explained as anything other than the power of Christ.

I'm not sure how I feel about the idea that we are the author of our own story that we can write it.  I think things happen much beyond our control.  The biggest lesson all the months of unemployment taught me, is that even though I wish it were not so, something are simply out of my control.  And sometimes there is nothing to do about how I feel about it.  I have often told Gary I wish he could just "fix me" I hate the seasons of depression.  He has often remarked that there is nothing to fix.  Sometimes you just have to admit this is what you feel and get through it.  I like to think despite all of this, that I have made the best of a bad situation.  I like to think that we have seen beauty from the ashes.  I like to think that we have been able to find positives along with the grief.  And it is true that while I wouldn't volunteer to be here, that I selfishly want her back to cuddle with on the couch, I have grown as a person because of it.