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Mid Summer Madness


Clutching a blood soaked towel to his hand, he stumbled into the room, exclaiming accusingly, “You shouldn’t have given me that knife!”

Sounds dramatic, doesn’t it?  And, somehow, my life is full of said drama.  This actual scene occurred yesterday afternoon at my house.  Will gave each of his groomsmen a really nice knife with their names and a Bible verse engraved on the handle.  Well, yesterday afternoon, Ben flicked his open and then tried to shut it, slicing his thumb up instead.  Will happened to be at my house when this occurred and Ben knew just who to blame!

After I got him all bandaged up he informed me he didn’t ever want to “see that knife again!”  I put it nicely on his bookshelf and told him it was a special gift from his brother as a reminder of a super special day and he didn’t ever have to open it – he could just look at it.  Nope.  Later, Ben showed me how he hid the knife underneath his prom king hat on the top shelf of his bookshelves.  “Now it can’t hurt me again!”  he told me.  Sigh…

And the other night he exclaimed, “Mom, I was in your bedroom and I got so freaked out!  You had a whole bag of pills in your drawer!”  They are a bag of OTC antihistamines.  The lid to the bottle got lost a long time ago so I put them in a ziplock bag.  He went on, “If you take all those, you’ll die and I don’t want that to happen, so I took those pills and put them away!”  Really, Ben?  I’m assuming this is autism at work. 

Speaking of death…the kids had swimming lessons this week.   They all passed their final test today, the last day.  Sam was relieved.  He has been fighting a cold all week long and told me last night how concerned he was that he would not pass.  He’s typically my anxious one, although Ben is edging in on him at the moment.  So we talked about how it would not be the end of the world if he had to do the same level again next year and then we prayed about it.  So, he was a pretty happy kid today after lessons.

Earlier in the week, Ellie informed me that during her lesson she “drowned two times!”  Sam looked at her disparagingly and said, “Well, actually – you can only drown once.”  Ha, ha, ha!


I’m back home now from wedding #3 – in as many weeks.  I really still do not enjoy weddings that much.  And attending receptions with Ben and my little people is enough to almost make me stay home and just send a nice card.  But then I remember how nice the bride and grooms are and how they and their parents have showed up for me and for my kids’ stuff…and, so I go.  Last week’s wedding and this week’s had their bridesmaids in different colors and different style gowns.  Last week’s wedding had 8 attendants, this week had 3.  I’m not so crazy about that.  I don’t mind the different color gowns so much as I do the variance in styles.  It just bothers my love of order and symmetry, I guess.  I am probably making the eyeballs roll of every twenty-something bride out there now!

Last week’s wedding was almost 2 hours away, in SE Iowa.  But I wasn’t going to miss it.  The bride is apparently really into Disney. There were little touches of it everywhere.  She walked down the aisle to the theme from “Beauty and the Beast.”  The reception was another half hour away but it was in a really neat venue.  Somebody took an old barn and completely remodeled the inside and yard around it.  All the wood was stained and sanded inside and a gorgeous chandelier hung from the ceiling.  They had wrapped white lights around a lot of the beams and it created a neat, country ambiance.

Today’s wedding had a brunch catered by Hy-Vee.  My kids were marveling over the “long” bacon.  One of these days they’ll figure out that I cut our bacon in half for easier frying!

One nice thing – all 3 brides were all modest in their dress choices.  Maybe that’s becoming a “thing” now, too.
We had a really nice fourth of July a couple of weeks ago.  The girls were involved with the Pville Dance performance so they got to ride on the float.  So, I got them to town early enough for that and then Sam and I staked out a spot for the parade.  Boy, was it hot for that.  Right before the parade started, I got a call from the owner of  Ben’s cab company saying the guy that was supposed to pick Ben up for work never showed up and they didn’t have a way to get him.  Grrr….and I couldn’t get him either because I was at the parade.  So I called Hy-Vee and explained that Ben couldn’t come in.  And then I tried calling Ben to let him know but his phone was dead.  Double grrr…

So, Sam really cleaned up on collecting candy – an entire bag full.  Then, I raced home to let Ben know that he wouldn’t be going to work.  Then I raced back down to Pville to make sure the girls got to the high school gym to practice their performance.  Then, I discovered that the girls weren’t leaving for lunch, like I thought they were.  So then I went home again to eat and then had to turn right around and drive down to the gym for the dance performance.   I sure was glad to finally get home!

Later that afternoon, Will and Arien came over, which was the first time I’d seen them since the wedding.  They told us about the honeymoon and showed pictures.  Then, we grilled out.  The neighbors were shooting off fireworks at the park so we walked down there for awhile and Will and David shot some off. 

A weird/sad incident happened while we were there.  One of my neighbors pointed out to me that across the street, a child was crying in a house and the sound was coming out into the street.  That immediately made me sad because it was a really  hot day and if we could hear a child crying that means a window was open, which means the occupants don’t have central air.  So, my neighbor asked me to go with her to the house to make sure everything was ok.  We stepped into the porch and the filth and smell – it just made you want to gag.  How can people live like this?  We knocked on the door and my neighbor told the lady that answered that we could hear a child crying somewhere in the house and wanted to make sure that all the firework noise wasn’t the culprit.  I don’t know if this lady was under the influence of something but she just looked at us kind of blankly at first and then sort of laughed and said that, oh, she hadn’t heard anything.  If we could hear it clear across the street how could she not hear it in the same house?  My neighbor and I just looked at each other, baffled.  As I told her, as we crossed back over to the park, as a mom, you are specially tuned to your child’s cries.  But maybe she wasn’t even the child’s mother.  It’s kind of a transient household.  Something’s not right there, that’s for sure.

As it got closer to dark, the kids and I, Will and Arien included, went down to the Pville park and watched their amazing fireworks show again.  The only thing that would have made it a perfect day would have been if Paul could have been there with me.  Celebrating anything without him is still kind of lonely.

We were in a store a few days after Ellie’ birthday and Ellie informed the clerk that she had just had a birthday.  The clerk dutifully asked her how old she was now and Ellie replied that she was 6.  “Ooh,” exclaimed the clerk, “You’re getting old!”  Ellie looked at her seriously and replied, “No.  No, I’m not.  Seventy is old and I’m not seventy.  I’m only 6!” 

And then a few days ago I had bought some shorts for Ellie for her dance show that were an extra small size.  They were still too large for her and I made some comment about her being “skinny” as I prepared to sew tucks in them.  A little later Ellie asked me, (thankfully, not in her sister’s presence), “You said I’m skinny.  Does that mean Lizzie is fat?”  I assured her that her sister is definitely NOT fat.  Ellie persisted, “Well, what is she then?”  I said, “Lizzie is just right.”  Ellie looked at me for a moment and then asked, “Does ‘just right’ mean ‘fat’?”  Oh, that little booger.  She is so mean at times! 

She, Lizzie, and Sam visited the Merritts a couple of weeks ago and Jen was astonished at how well Ellie can read and made this huge deal about it.  I assured it’s only because of how hard the school pushes the kids – all these benchmarks the teachers are required to get their kids to before the end of the school year.  But Ellie took that it and ran with it, drawing attention to herself loudly for several days about how “smart” she was and making a point to plop down in front of me with chapter books in hopes that I would notice her reading them.

Of course, all this pridefulness makes me want to ignore her accomplishments.  And we’ve talked about it, but it feels like I’m getting nowhere.  I have heard other RAD parents talk about how they don’t dare ever compliment their RAD kids because they can’t handle praise and they immediately sabotage their good behavior with bad, as a result.  Ellie just seems to feed on praise, though, and gets her head so puffed up.  I suppose it’s the same root, but it kind of makes me want to never praise her about anything, ever again.
For the past week, I’ve been working on recipes for Will and Arien.  When they made the 2 hour trek to last week’s wedding they took along my recipe book and Arien read all the selections to him and he told her which recipes he wanted.  I was surprised at how many he wants.  I must be a better cook than I knew – it’s kind of flattering! So I’ve spent the last week typing out recipes, printing them on cardstock, and then cutting them into 4X6 rectangles so they will fit in her recipe box.  It’s a lot of work.
I’m well into my newest class.  It’s all about Ray Bradbury and Emily Dickinson.  It’s a total self-study class, so there are assignments, but none are actually due until the last day of class.  It makes a little harder to be self-motivated, especially when I have so many other things pulling for my time!  I’m liking the biography about Bradbury more than I like his actual writings.  He kind of bordered on science fiction and that’s my least favorite genre.  Plus, his writing makes me think.  Emily’s makes me feel, which is a lot easier than thinking!
 Lizzie is having a friend spend the night early in the week and I’ll have to do some grocery shopping one day towards the end.  Other than that, I don’t have a whole lot planned.  Maybe I can get more done on the basement.  It has been in an uproar for the past week as I have been painting the floor.  That is a big job!  I’m working on the laundry room tonight – so much dust.  After I get done with the floors then I have some minor wall painting that needs to be done.  After that, I’ll paint the laundry room.  And then that basement is done!  Will and I may be starting on the main room ceilings this week, too.  At least, he was supposed to go look at Menards for possibilities for me sometime this week.  We need to get cracking on that.

I feel like I am still recovering from the wedding.  As the mother of the groom, you wouldn’t think I should feel so exhausted. It’s not like I took on the bulk of the work.   I did have a couple days of a head cold this week, which didn’t help, either.  But, I was talking to my friend, Debbie, whose son was wedding #2, a week ago, and she was expressing how tired she was this week, too.  So maybe it’s not just me!
Well, I need to start steering those kids toward bed.  I want to get a couple more coats of paint on the floor and I was planning to bake cookies and do the dishes.  But that may have to wait. 

I think we are at the mid-way point of summer now.  We’ve been at this about 6 weeks and school starts again in another 6 or 7.  I’m not ready to send them back to school, but I am ready for some more sleep and maybe figuring out what normal is going to look like for rest of the season!


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