BJ writing here...
So, last week we mentioned our speculations about the missionary broadcast. I was right about some things, but not everything. (Surprise!) But we're excited about the changes. It makes sense to let missionaries contact people online, via Facebook, etc. And they had a few videos that showed missionaries using an iPad to do various things. A digital area book makes so much more sense than the old paper ones. Being able to see a map of what members live closest to each member, for example, would be awesome. Honestly though, Jessa, we're not sure how much of the changes will even be applicable in your mission, where it's such a poor region. I'm not sure I can see them giving you all iPads there.But for other areas, it will be nice.
They also encouraged members to become Facebook friends with the missionaries in their area, which was cool. But the most unexpected thing (at least to me) was that they're going to be opening meetinghouses for public tours by the missionaries. I think it's an awesome idea; a great way to get people comfortable in the church without the pressure of everyone seeing them come in and all the expectations that will set. So yeah. Exciting stuff.
End BJ, start Tianna
So, this week it was officially decided that I am insane. I'm sorry to inform you that your nieces are being raised by a crazy person, but, alas, it is true. Let me explain why, and you can decide for yourself.
Thursday I decided I wanted to can some more chicken broth. I only had one pint left. Normally this isn't a big deal. But one chicken only gives me 7 pints of broth. And where some recipes use up to 3 pints, I go through them fast. Plus, my canner can can (wow, that was a lot of cans all together) up to 18 pints, so I wasn't letting it live up to its full potential. So I asked my neighborhood group if I could borrow some crockpots. I got 5 (including my own). So I went to Smiths and they happened to have whole chickens on clearance. So I bought 8 (read: all that they had on clearance). Because I'm insane.
Now, this wouldn't be such a huge deal, except that night was Grandpa's viewing, the next morning I had a presidency meeting at 9, then the funeral at 11 up in Riverton. Then that night was our mini-float parade that we helped build the float for (we ended up not going). The next morning was the grand parade that our float was in and we were in charge of walking with our float, then Saturday night the family went fly boarding with Nick. So… somewhere in there I was supposed to fit in 8 hours of crockpot, picking chicken of bones, straining broth, and canning. Hahahaha. Yes, I'm insane. I know.
I got everything but the canning done before the viewing. We went up to that where Kessa squealed with delight at getting to see Chelsea again (first time since New York) and Abby wanted nothing more than to wander the halls. We came home, BJ put the girls to bed, and I started canning. While the broth canned and the girls slept, BJ and I started to clean up the messy kitchen. BJ worked on washing 5 crockpots and the other misc. dishes that had piled up. I decided to take the 3 chickens I didn't cook out to the freezer in the garage to cook another time.
And… our freezer had decided to stop working. It was completely warm. One roast, one steak and 3-4 stew meats completely defrosted. And all the blood had dripped down to the bottom, making a nice pool. And all the subsequent drops of blood splattered all over the walls, doors, and shelves. Just what I wanted to see at 11:00 at night when I'm already exhausted and know I have to wake up early. So I spent the next hour scrubbing down the freezer and throwing things away. The chicken went back in the fridge. [sigh]
I'll tell you about the funeral and the parade later, but there's one other thing I wanted to note in this section. So, that was all Thursday night, right? Saturday afternoon when we got home from the parade, BJ happened to notice something disconcerting. He pointed over to the door and wall leading to the garage where I noticed that it was completely splattered with what appeared to be dried blood. Jessa! I have no clue how that happened! If it was from the freezer, which is the only thing that makes sense, I'm at a loss. I did most of the scrubbing down in the garage. The few things that came upstairs with blood still on them were two shelves and a bag of bread (I know. Sad.) and I can't fathom how those items could do so much damage. The shelves didn't have that much blood. And I don't recall fanning any of those items at the wall/door. Some of those drops of blood reached as high as I could reach to clean up while on my tiptoes! IT WAS INSANE. The other ridiculous thing about this theory is that it means that we went two days going in and out of that door without noticing. At all.
The only other option that I can think of is that some creepy person broke into our house while we were at the parade and did something creepy to splatter blood all over the door and wall (but not a drop on the floor or ceiling!) This scenario is far too creepy for my liking, so I'm forced to believe the first scenario, even though I have no logical explanation for it.
Also, it's now Sunday and my freezer still doesn't work. :( I'm going to have to call in a repairman to figure it out. Luckily it's still under warranty.
I'm sure your family will tell you more details about the funeral. My favorite part was Cher's talk where she bore a very strong testimony about the Spirit and the gospel. I was in tears. But as you'll get better details from your parents, instead I'm going to tell you more about it from Kessa's perspective.
When Grandpa first died, I told Kessa. I told her that Grandpa and Heavenly Father had decided it was time for Grandpa to come live with Him again. She accepted that without thinking. But when I told her that he died, her eyes got really big and concerned. Probably because we talk about all the things Abby shouldn't do (or Kessa shouldn't do to Abby) lest she die. I had to explain to her that we all die and that Heavenly Father tells us when it's our time and then it's ok. That it was happy for Grandpa to die because he had been very sick and had been wanting to go home to heaven for a long time. And then she was ok with it.
On the way to Riverton (the girls stayed with a babysitter at your mom's house during the funeral) we were trying to explain the Plan of Salvation to Kessa. We were explaining that while our spirits go to Heavenly Father, our bodies stay on earth. So we have a funeral to honor the person, and then we take them to a cemetery where we bury the body to protect it until the resurrection when our perfected bodies and our spirits come back together. Kessa asked, "Protect them from what?" "Umm. From animals." "Yeah. Like from bunnies. When the resurrection comes, there's going to be piles of Grandpa Goddard and bunnies!"
Later she told us, "He couldn't take his body because he couldn't climb the stairs to heaven!"
After the funeral we went back to your parents' and got the girls and took them up to the cemetery for the graveside service. We were running a little late, so I was watching everyone on Find My Friends. Resa's flight didn't come in until 1ish, so we were hoping she'd make it to the cemetery. As I watched, I noticed her getting closer to the cemetery so I commented that she would probably make it there about when we did. Kessa piped up from the back, "We are so lucky!" Confused I asked why. "Because we get to see Resa!" Awww.
So, remember how I told you that we got called to our float committee? Well, it's finally done and over! Except tearing apart the float. We haven't done that yet. We ended up staying at your parents' house after the funeral and playing a game with your mom (we didn't get home till 10 pm!) so we didn't go to the parade on Friday night, but as we were in charge of walking with the float on Saturday, we figured we should probably be there. So Saturday morning we packed up the girls and headed out in 100º weather to walk a mile or so in a parade. Great fun.
Kessa got to ride on the float (she was the only one on her side) and wave (very shyly) to everyone. It was cute. And she did great! We had to remind her to keep waving a couple of times, but overall she did great.
Abby got to ride in the stroller while I pushed it behind the float, which she was happy with, as she was tired and hot and thirsty (so she guzzled her sippy cup the whole time) until about 1/4 mile or so from the end. Then she cried and flailed until I took her out and carried her while pushing the stroller. Great fun. :D
And BJ got to help pull the float. (Our floats had to be man-powered.) And sometimes dance. Yes, dance. Let me tell you about our float.
The theme of the parade was "You saw what?" We interpreted that to be YouTube. So we made a computer, complete with keyboard and mouse, then printed a sign that looked like a YouTube screen. We cut out the actual video portion and put a mirror behind it, so as we went by the crowd, it looked like they were on YouTube. Then we played 45-second clips of three popular YouTube songs (such as Gangam Style (sp?)). One of our YM leaders danced like a crazy man as he walked along, and eventually recruited BJ to dance with him. (After BJ tried his best to hide from him, but eventually failed.) After awhile of that our bishop happened to be walking by me and saw BJ in front dancing and commented, "Wow. BJ is dancing without any inhibition!" Next thing I knew, bishop was up dancing with them. Then some of the youth. It. Was. Fantastic.
Jessa! Our garden is SO HUGE! We get comments on it all the time. It strokes my vanity wonderfully. (Hey, at least I'm honest.) But mostly it just makes me happy and giddy. Especially after last year's failure. We've already eaten two yellow squash and a zucchini and given two more zucchinis away. And both are growing at least a half dozen more right now. We've got lettuce, spinach and kale coming out our ears. We've got tons of basil, parsley, green onion and sage (though the sage is mostly just for pretty). We've eaten one giant cauliflower (I believe I put in a picture last week?) and we've got another big one out there now and another on the way. Plus some broccoli (though not as big.) Our strawberries are finally starting to come out of shock (partly) and we're starting to get strawberries growing. Kessa's already eaten one. But they have awhile yet till they look like they're doing well. I got four blueberries off our bush yesterday! I walked over to check it and found them just laying on the ground. They were tasty. :) Though, a couple were still a little tart. Hooray! AND, I got pictures this week! Yay! You can tell that part of it is the soil we used (Miller's Mix) because we planted two of the exact same tomato on the same day, maybe 3-4 feet apart, but one was in our garden box with the good soil and one is just outside (I ran out of room). They both get watered by a drip line on the same station. But the one outside is still tiny and the one inside is huge. (The top right picture below. The tomato in front is the small one and the giant bush behind it is the big one.)
Kessa has had a hard time with potty training. We started a year and a half ago and I'd say, for the most part, she's pretty darn good. But she still has accidents. A lot of them. Probably an average of once/day. Some days are a lot worse and some days are a lot better. She's even gotten to the point that if she has an accident, she'll go upstairs and change her clothes without being asked. So what motivation is there to not have accidents if cleaning up after herself doesn't bother her?
The other day I had a brilliant idea. I think that part of her problem is that she doesn't recognize the need to go potty. I'll ask her if she needs to go, she'll say no, then literally two minutes later has an accident. So I found a way to help her recognize that need.
We set up an experiment.
Whenever I think she *might* need to go potty (either from how she's acting or length of time since last potty trip), I ask her to think about her body and what it's trying to tell her. Then I have her give me a guess (hypothesis) as to what her body is trying to say. Then she has to go sit on the potty and find out if she was right or wrong.
Unsurprisingly, the first several times her answer was no. And then she would be genuinely surprised as she sat on the potty and realized that, "I was wrong! My body was saying yes!"
Soon her answer was no, then partway to the bathroom she'd change her mind to yes. "Mommy! I thought it was no, but then I just felt it and it's saying yes!"
Every once in awhile her answer is, "Yes, no. That means maybe."
But more and more often, her answer is yes. And when her answer is yes, she will willingly go potty. It's a miracle! Seriously! I'm so happy!
Yesterday she told me that she didn't want to do the potty experiment anymore. She wanted to do a different experiment. I told her we could do other experiments, too, but I wanted her to keep doing the potty experiment until her guess was right every single time. I figure that by that point I can trust her answer when I ask. And that if the answer is yes, she'll recognize it and just go on her own.
We can always start up the experiment again if we need to.
On Saturday we all went down to Utah Lake to try out Nick's Fly Board. Kessa was thrilled to see Chelsea, and BJ was excited to try out the Fly Board. I stayed on the shore to keep track of Kessa and Abby, and got some craftiness done. Everyone seemed to have a lot of fun.
Here's a video of BJ on the fly board. This was his first run—he did pretty well.
Kessa really wanted to wear my heels. Rather, she wanted to wear heels, so she came and asked me if I had any "this tall" (which was probably 12-18" tall). She decided to settle for my approx. 1" heels. She wore them all over upstairs for probably a half hour. So cute.
Abby is SO NOT Kessa. She is way more adventuresome. For example, One of her favorite things to do is jump from the hand chair to the bean bag. Now, Kessa does that, too, but I doubt she would have done it with this abandon at 17 months. (video below)
Speaking of Abby being Not Kessa, I'm gonna let BJ tell you about going to the park.
So, the other day, I took Kessa and Abby down to the "yellow slide park," creatively named after the fact that it has three yellow slides. There's a small, waist-high one for little kids, a ~12-foot tall spiral one for most everyone, and then a ~18 foot tall tube spiral, where you're fully enclosed as you're going down. Kessa's our usual cautious child, but has finally become comfortable with the 12-foot open spiral one.
Anyway, we walked down there for a quick park trip. Kessa went down the spiral slide, and Abby just wanted to follow right after her. So I followed Abby up to the top. When she saw the slide, she was a little nervous, but I took Abby down on my lap, and she loved it. We got to the bottom and she immediately ran around to go again. This time, I sat her in front of me so she was actually on the plastic, and she loved it again.
The third time Abby went down, I didn't even go up with her. I reached up and held her hand as she was going down, and I even let go of that halfway through. She loved it. She was dying to go again, but it started to rain, so we had to head out.
So yeah. Where it took Kessa until age 3.5 to get comfortable with that slide, Abby is doing it at 17 months. Crazy.
Kessa lounging after the parade
Goofy family pic
I think I put these last as a reward for reading all the way through. We'll pretend that you can't just scroll to the bottom. :D
- Me: Who do we learn about at church?
Kessa: Jesus!! [pause] Bird poop.
- Me: You're a punk.
Kessa: No I'm not. I'm not a witch. I'm a Kessalyn.
- Me: What food should we have for dinner?
Kessa: You're going to have health food and I'm going to have cereal.
- I snapped at Kessa tonight before bedtime. When she said her bedtime prayers, she prayed to have Jesus give me more patience.
- BJ: No, we can't go to the park on Sunday, because we want to do things that help us think of Jesus
Kessa: We can think about Jesus while we are at the park. We can think about him while we're on the slides and while we're climbing, and all the time. And we'll think about Jesus and how he got dead and came alive again. And we'll think about Grandpa Goddard and God and Jesus.
BJ: (flummoxed for a bit, but eventually recovering…) But it's not a reverent activity.
Kessa: But we can go down the slide and the swing, AND fold our arms while doing it.
- Me, pretending to be Kessa and blocking BJ from going down the stairs: Nope, I'm a gate and go clear to the ceiling. You can't go through.
BJ: And what if I jump through the fence?
Me: You might knock it over and break it.
BJ: oh. That wouldn't be good.
Me: Nope. Maybe if you say the nicest words you can think of, it'll open.
BJ, after a long time thinking: Paprika.
He totally fails at this game.