Thursday, September 18, 2014

Shopping, Dodgeball, Canning, and Water

Here are some things. That's right- some things.

Homecoming- formal or informal/Prom dress shopping freaks me out. Last Friday night I took Audrey and Luke to Des Moines to look for an outfit for Homecoming. Ballard's is informal but nonetheless as soon as Audrey was in the changing room, I started texting both my sister and a friend. Why do I do this alone? Why can't I arrange a group shopping event? We found a couple cute dresses and a necklace. For shoes, I suggested she wear cowboy boots with the dress because I think it would be darling. She thinks not. As far as I know she might be going barefoot. Apparently I've upped my stamina and can shop for about eighty percent of the outfit in one day now. We find the clothes and either the jewelry or the shoes but not the entire thing. I've got two more years to get it down. 

Luke had to come with us because Bill and Ben had a youth group party. Luke is a good shopping participant because he generally gets special treats like his own bottle of pop, maybe a toy and gets to play the iPad while Audrey is in the dressing room. He's a very good sport until the last half hour. Then his goal is to get us out of the store as fast as possible. This is usually motivated by the fact that he hasn't gotten his toy yet and Target closes at ten but I'd rather take him than Ben any day. 

Back to Bill and Ben. The youth group event involved pizza and dodgeball. This is the text conversation Bill sent us while we were shopping.

Bill came home with athletic tape wrapped around one fingertip. Ben was fine. 

Speaking of stamina, I have two days a year of canning in me. Maybe three tops. Last week I canned 6 half pints of candied jalapeƱos, 12 pints of red salsa, 4 pints of green tomato salsa, and 2 1/2 pints of green tomato pickles. The jalapeƱos were one day and the rest were another day. I'm so proud of my efforts. I listen for each melodic pop as the jars cool and seal and then later cradle the jars as if I'm some sort of preserving champion. Then, just like that, I'm done with canning. As in so done that I can't get rid of the fruit flies, giant pots and pans, canning paraphernalia, and dirty towels fast enough. And I have air conditioning! Serious kudos to all the women who canned quarts upon quarts of everything without air conditioning.

In other accomplishments, I flooded our laundry room earlier this week. I had turned on the water in the laundry room sink to soak the boys' riding clothes and walked away because it takes a while to fill up. As duly noted, it does not take an hour plus to fill the sink unless you want to count how many towels you have and see if the basement storage room is water-tight. It's not.

In fact, not only is our storage closet not water tight, neither is the rest of the basement. In a separate incident but still within the same 24 hours, Audrey commented to me (on her way out the door in the early am because once again, eleventh grade is busy) that the carpet in her hallway was squishy and that she could see her footprint in it. This prompted Ben to comment the same thing about the carpet by his bedroom door. Bill bolted out of bed and discovered that the sump pump and the battery back up pump both failed and we now had a water sensory play area covering portions of our basement.

In a matter of hours my sister and Valor and a friend were over helping me as Bill managed the sump pump situation. People, my husband is a pro at this kind of stuff. He really shines at analyzing a problem, coming up with the solution and executing it all without emotional breakdown. Beth and Jenn boxed our basement belongings swiftly while Valor held open doors, rode the plastic tractor in the garage, and carried in some lunch groceries. 

To the boys, having the basement void of any obstructions, otherwise known as furniture, is basically the best thing ever. Too bad three dehumidifiers and many fans were floating and drying out the carpet. I daresay if you are going to be building soon and have the necessary means, leave one large room free of anything other than carpet. Your kids would be more than entertained. It's been one of Ben's biggest complaints about our house- it has furniture. Also entertaining for them is the fact that the boys are sleeping in the camper until we can be back into the basement. Audrey has commandeered Luke's room.

I would like to say that I handled the whole ordeal gracefully and with a cheery smile but really I was buffeted around most of the day. I've still got a heaping helping of pride that my friends knocked right through. I don't give myself enough grace when it comes to handling my now noticed shortfalls. On my run this morning, I was about to lament all this  over again to God when He grabbed my heart and said "So what? I know all this and I still love you. You are always in relationship with me even when you don't feel like you have been. I am still here. I am always faithful. That is who I am."  

My sister called today to see how things were going and I said I hadn't flooded anything today so it was looking good.

There ya go, friends. Have a good and, hopefully, dry day.   


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