Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Recapping Things

It's been a bit of busyness the past couple of days here.

On Saturday, Mandy wanted to go down the mountain to a little store where they carry some items she likes but can't find at the bigger stores -mop heads! Yeah, imagine going shopping for one of those replacement heads for your mop at a gas station/outlet type store on a very small scale. But while there, I found a few things that I wanted too - among them lime juice concentrate, smallish bottles of olive oil so I wouldn't have to shell out a larger chunk of change by purchasing a larger bottle at the big chain stores, and some ice cream toppings - hot fudge and caramel -by Smuckers -and both priced at $1.00 a jar! Yep, I was very happy with my lot when I came across those items.

After leaving there, we were heading on down the mountain towards Milesburg when all of a sudden Mandy smacked the steering wheel with her hand, grumbling because she hadn't been paying attention and had zipped right on past the house where she had stopped last year and two years ago as well for their big yard sale. (She really likes this place because they apparently have a little girl just enough older than Maya that each year, Mandy can practically refurbish Maya's wardrobe from finds at this yard sale. And apparently they have a little guy too, also just enough older than Kurtis that he will fall in line now too for getting some nice "almost new" clothes. The really neat thing too is that these ladies price the kids clothing dirt cheap and almost all the items are big brand names of kids clothing as well!)

From there, we went on to the Plaza where I used to work and had a nice supper there. I tried one of their new items on the menu -an open-faced omelet, with lightly browned hash brown potatoes on it, topped with sausage gravy and slices of Polish sausage. Reading the description on the menu didn't really entice me but when the prep cook mentioned it to me, somehow it made the combination all seem more plausible so I decided to try it -my breakfast for supper meal - and was really glad I ordered it as it was quite tasty!

Sunday, I was the only one in the family who made it up and out the door for church services. Later in the day, when Maya realized it was Sunday, she was -again - quite put out because Mommy didn't get her up and they didn't go to church. She told Mandy "We not go at church" and at first Mandy thought she was just adding church to places she didn't want to go or things she thinks she doesn't want to do but then Mandy realized she actually was referring this in the opposite way and kind of chiding Mandy then because she had been derelict in her duties of waking Maya up, getting her bathed and dressed and out to services.

This is all such a change for us with Maya and attending church though and truthfully, I don't think either Mandy or I has fully become accustomed to the fact that Maya now enjoys attending church with us. Although we had taken her to church from the time she was only two weeks old and as she grew, she generally did fairly well, behaved at least half-decently for the first two and a half years. That is until Kurtis was a baby and we decided to attend a Thursday evening service with both the little ones in tow. That night, Maya had started to whine and fuss a bit when we pulled in the parking lot and she hadn't been all that happy about getting out of the van to go into church either. But that still didn't prepare us for how she acted that night! As soon as she set one little foot inside the narthex area of the church, she went into a massive meltdown! She threw herself on to the floor, laid there kicking like crazy and screaming -actually shrieking -like a little banshee and there was no way to get her to calm down so Mandy had ended up leaving Kurtis and I there at church and taking Maya back home. She then came back about an hour later to pick Kurtis and me up.

After that episode, anytime we drove by the church she would get upset and perish the thought of how she would carry on if we pulled into the parking lot. From May of 2006 until June of 2007, we took Maya to church with us once and that was only because we HAD to take her because it was the Sunday Kurtis was being baptized so all of the family wanted to be there. Well, it was a disaster, big time as Maya began to go into meltdown as soon as the bell rang! I didn't even wait to try to calm her down, just picked her up and went out to sit in the narthex behind the glass windows where I could at least watch most of the service. I did that while holding Maya in my lap, her clinging to me for dear life and sobbing, unrelentlessly, through the ENTIRE service! After that episode, I tried making excuses for things I had to run out to the church to pick up something or drop something off and would take her with me so I could take her inside the church and maybe show her, when it wasn't packed with worshipers, etc., that it really isn't a scary place.

But it wasn't until last June when Katie and a friend of hers had to participate in the Youth Group doing the service one Sunday that we were actually able to convince Maya to go to church with us -and behave like a semi-civilized little person too!

Since then, she has gotten better and better with each service we attend and actually looks forward to going church with us now. The next step will be to indoctrinate Kurtis into this procedure but that's going to take a lot more effort. So far, he doesn't have this massive fear, no meltdowns from that anyway, but his behavior leaves a lot to be desired right now. He doesn't understand words like "Quiet" -has no "inside voice" either AT ALL and sitting still for longer than 2 minutes unless he his wanting and willing to go to sleep, just isn't going to happen for a while yet I think.

But anyway, Sunday afternoon and into the evening, both kids were really on the obnoxious side with their behavior. Maya was really enjoying tormenting Kurtis at every turn along the day -from just touching him, taking away any toys he happened to pick up and then, to flat out pushing him over and then, standing there asking Maya and I "Wah happen a Kurtis?" Gee, I dunno other than the fact he was trotting around very nicely until you put a hand out and gave him a shove, which resulted in his landing with a big splat on the floor!

This went on most of the afternoon and into the evening hours! About 8:30 or so, my son stopped by having just gotten home from his week's runs and he brought the big and beautiful "Bon" with him. He brought the dog into the house on a heavy duty lease and then, decided he was going to go upstairs and talk to Maya -who by that time had been sent to bed because she was misbehaving so much. When Clate went to go upstairs, he handed me the lease and started to the steps only to have Bon decide he should follow his new master too and in the process, pulled a little tug on the lease that ended up being a strong enough tug that it pulled me, in my computer chair, half-way across the living room floor!

Then, the son-in-law decided now was a good time to let Jorge come back into the house to take care of her babies -a move that really excited good old Bon and put Jorge's hair straight up along with giving a really high arch to her back as the two of them stood there, basically face to face -ok, a couple of feet maybe between them - but they had a major stare-down contest going for a while. That is, until Mandy got worried and got up to pick Jorge up and carry her out to my room and put her in the box with her babies. Even though she was very safely ensconced there, it was obvious Jorge was still on the alert with the dog here as she got up on the top of the wall that divides my room from the foyer and perched there, watching Bon's every movement from on high until Clate decided to return back to his house.

Mandy and I also decided when Clate left that we needed a major breather from the fits these kids were having all day and decided to go up to Clate's house where we could sit as his bar and enjoy a couple long, cold mugs of draft beer! Yay! Yuengling, on tap! Really tasted darned good too -it surely did!

Last night, Mandy, Maya and I ventured down to Bellefonte to watch the elementary school's band concert. And, the highlight of that, for us, was seeing my older grandson do a solo on his trumpet of "Yankee Doodle Dandy!" He's been taking trumpet lessons for the past two years but this was his first band concert as well as his first ever solo performance too! And he did quite well although I'm betting before his solo, his stomach was totally full of those nervous butterflys!

And now, just for your viewing pleasure, here's a couple pictures -maybe I'll even post a video too of the band concert although the videos are very dark - so much so that you can barely see most of the kids because of the lighting in the auditorium. Wish they'd have had a spotlight to put on the kids who had little solos during the concert as at least then, you'd have been able to actually SEE the child performing!

This was my grandson's solo performance. The only area that had lighting was the middle to back portion of the stage -the rest of the place was darkened. You'll have to take my word for this but my grandson was standing at the far left of the stage -as it faces the audience -while playing his solo. We were seated up in the balcony area and it was difficult for us to see a lot of what was going on due to the darkened area of the auditorium. So my apologies for the video as far as viewability, but at least the sound of his trumpet came through loud and clear!

This is after the concert - Maya and Alex -just outside the school building. Maya was so happy to see Alex -and then, to do "smiles" with him (her term for taking pictures) and I especially liked this picture because it had both of them smiling so nicely!

This one, taken Sunday late in the afternoon, of Kurtis and Maya as we were heading out to take a little walk up and down the street here. This was a special request from Mandy that Grammy take the two hooligans for a walk so she could run the vacuum cleaner! Kurtis goes into meltdown whenever he hears the vacuum cleaner running - along with the portable mixer, the food processor and the hair dryer. Hearing the lawn mower running when Bill -or my son -happens to be cutting the front portion of the grass is also another noise Kurtis has a severe aversion to as well!

And last - but definitely not least - here's the big and beautiful Bon, resting his bones on the floor while Clate, Mandy and I indulged in a couple draft brews. Just look at those wrinkles on his forehead and tell me it doesn't just make you want to reach down and pet him, scratch him a bit behind the ears while you're at it? In less than a week's time, Bon has learned a few commands now and responds very nicely to Clate -also is becoming familiar with the sight of daughter Mandy and me, even the kids, coming by to say hello to him too!

And that's it for this morning!

Hope everyone has a really great day and that everyone is also getting their Peace Globe ready to fly tomorrow too now. That's the day to do that ya know - Dona Nobis Pacem for June 4, 2008.

A great day to behold!


Sandi McBride said...

My dear Jeni...I do love to come in and see you because it's so much like home...busy busy busy and no time to slow down and getting ready for Church only to find yourself alone going out the door and children misbehaving...wow...wears me out...but it's home, and it's grand...and I love it...thanks for sharing

Dianne said...

I love calling taking pictures "do smiles" - that's adorable!

and Bon looks so comfy and at home!

terri said...

Your grandson did a great job with his solo. It is too bad we couldn't see him during the performance but it sounded fantastic!

Shelby said...

Oh this was special! Sounds of the loved ones.. always grand :)

Sylvia said...

The kids are so cute. Just adorable.