So.... No guarantees - I'm just typing as they enter my mind.
Paul made an unexpected trip to Colorado the first weekend of February. We were informed January 27 that Paul's 88-year-old grandfather had been admitted to the hospital with leukemia. Paul was leading a Men's Encounter launch from our church, so he couldn't go out immediately with his dad. He flew out the following Sunday (the day after he returned from Encounter). By the time he got out there, Grandpa had digressed startlingly, and pretty much slept the whole time. Grandpa passed that Tuesday, the night before Paul was to fly back home.
We had planned a community worship night for the next Sunday. We went ahead and did it as scheduled, then our family and Paul's sister headed out immediately afterwards, driving all night to get out there.
The service was a wonderful tribute to Grandpa's life. I enjoyed the stories of friends and neighbors, and the Honor Guard was the best I've ever seen.
We tried to get his house cleaned out and ready to sell. All of the family lives out of state, so they worked hard to get it done while we were all there to help. (Not that I was much help with a 9-month-old explorer and a sick boy.) Paul inherited all of his grandfather's wood-working tools, and it ended up taking a rental truck to get them back to Kansas.
When I searched hotels closest to the house, I found a bed and breakfast 5 blocks away. It was a bit more expensive than a hotel would have been, but it was like a home away from home. We pretty much had run of the house, so we could spread out, and the innkeeper came each morning and fixed us a yummy breakfast. It made the trip so much less stressful on me. We were close enough that we could walk back and forth. It's called Inn at City Park, and I highly recommend it. The innkeeper, Tara, went above and beyond - not only seeing to our every need and fixing breakfast for us, but entertaining Zadie so I could eat my own breakfast in peace.
Jacob got sick during our trip, and started running a fever the day we got there. I suspected an ear infection, but he kept saying his ears didn't hurt. He was pretty miserable the whole trip home, and only slept less than an hour of the 12-hour drive. I got him into the doctor the next day, and even though they pegged him as having the flu, I was right - ear infection. I'm going to stop letting them do lab work on my kids. Our insurance is decent for doctor's appointments, but sucks on lab work. We owe $70 for that little unnecessary influenza test. I should have had them check his ears first, then let them stick that rod up his nose.
I warned this would be rambling:
So, we just had our third blizzard in a month. I talked about the others in this post. Spring started on Wednesday, and over the weekend, we got 8 inches of snow. Lovely, drifting, pelting snow. Church was cancelled Sunday morning. We had a little church service at home. Since it was Palm Sunday, Paul read the Triumphal Entry story from the Bible, and we sang 3 praise songs around the piano. The boys were so cute, singing their little hearts out on the songs.
We have cats in the cellar. (Is that like "bats in the attic"?) Grosses me out. I thought I had sealed up their entrance, but apparently not. Now I hear them jumping on the furnace and vents. So disgusting. I put three trays of rat poison out (just in case they're not cats - a thought which I don't even want to entertain). Maybe the cats will eat it, and we'll be rid of the problem.
Paul and I celebrated our 9th anniversary on Wednesday. We went out on a date on Monday, going to see Oz, The Great and Powerful at our local cinema. Grandpa and Grandma (Paul's parents) kept the boys overnight, so we only had one Munchkin interfering with our sleep schedule. :) Paul spent Tuesday at his parents' working on a bath remodel. When we got home from practice and Bible study, he asked if I wanted to watch a movie.... at 10 PM? He was supposed to work on Wednesday, our actual anniversary, but smiled as he told me he'd taken it off.
Wednesday, we decided to go spend some money on the house. We need to replace a couple doors, but figure we need to get the house leveled up before sinking money into improvements. We went to Home Depot and bought 4 jack posts to put in the cellar, to support the floor joists. We decided to go out to lunch, because it was, after all, our anniversary. I wanted steak, so we went to Longhorn Steakhouse. With all 3 kids. What were we thinking? But it was so nice. Granted, we were there after the rush, but service was great. The kids were all well-behaved, no whining, wandering, or otherwise. It's nice to see the beatings paying off. (J/k.) (Mostly.)
Nathan is 6 lessons away from finishing his Kindergarten math. We should probably just end school early, but I'm insane, and we're going to charge right in to 1st Math. We'll probably end up doing school sporadically through the summer, just because at this age, it will be easier to just stay in the groove. Something has clicked with his reading, and he's really seeming to "get it" when he reads words. He has one little book that he can read on his own. I don't have him read it often, because I want him to be able to read it, not quote it from memory.
I originally was going to wait to start Jake on his preschool at the first of next year, rather than in the fall. But he's farther along than Nathan was at the same age. He can count to 10, and identify numbers 1-5. He knows a few letters, all his colors, and most shapes. He's more interested in coloring and cutting than Nathan was at the same age, but I suspect that's because he's been exposed to it more. So it looks like he'll be starting in September.
Little Miss Zadie is talking now. She has words for different things, but they all sound the same. "Da" is for Dad, that, look at this, and anything else she wants to point out. "Mum, mum, mum" is for Mom, more, yum, and anything else food-related. Okay, so really, we have no clue what she's saying, but she is definitely becoming more vocal. She's walking as well! She does it more when no one's paying attention to her. I keep her in footie pajamas most of the time since it's been so cold, but I think they've been hindering her movements, when her feet won't stay in the feet. Surprising how much better she moves in actual clothes and socks!
Anyhow. My laptop battery is about to die, so I'll post this much and return later for everything I missed.