Chris' ordination was last weekend, and since that time we have spent the last week resting. Just resting. It is one of the most restful periods we have had in all of our relationship and marriage so far, which is strange to think about.
When we were first married we were living in different states, and I was going to college full-time and working two different jobs in different states. Chris started seminary a month after we got married. Into our second year of marriage I started graduate school. We bought a townhome that was more or less a fixer-upper. Had our first baby. Moved again. Long story short, over the last almost decade we have been in school, moving, doing internships, having babies, doing home projects, navigating military leaves... and often some or all of those were overlapping.
This past week, we rested. We still worked, and did school for the girls, but it was different. There were less of the "extras" that were necessary extras. We did more fun extras.
I am relishing it because starting probably in the next couple of weeks Chris has a long application to fill out for his endorsing group for the military, and then is going to a conference, during which I'll have jury duty (potentially, if I get called) for two weeks, and after that a trip to Utah, and we have to tile the rest of the basement once it warms up just a touch more, plus moving our bedroom downstairs... Yes. I am going to enjoy this period of rest.
This weekend Chris and I took the girls to the Crayola Experience at the Mall of America. I've heard good things about it, and yeah, it was pretty cool. They have a station where you can make your own label for the crayon and write whatever you like on it, plus it prints the date on it, a station where you can put yourself into a coloring page, a clay modeling area where you pick out your own clay color, an area with melted crayons to color with, another area where you spin the paper and pick crayons to melt onto the paper, you can melt crayons into molds, there's a big playground...
The girls really seemed to enjoy it. Especially the clay molding and the indoor playground area. Afterwards we asked the girls if they had fun at the Crayola Experience. Sophia gave an emphatic, "Yes!!" and said she can't wait to go back again. Heidi gave an emphatic "NO!" and said the slide was scary. At the indoor playground area, there was a two-story slide (pretty high up). Heidi doesn't have any fear of heights and she climbed right up that play area. She was stumbling around looking for a way down and found the slide. She did not expect it to be so long, and so dark. The darkness seemed to really freak her out. When she got to the bottom she found Chris in a state of panic and basically refused to play on the play area again. instead, she played with Bethany in the one for smaller kids. The rest of it was pretty cool.
When we got home the girls had fun playing with their blocks. They have a lot (too many!) toys and so they go through phases with them. They just recently rediscovered all of their various block types so they have been all building with them. Heidi was downstairs building for a while and the other two and I had gone upstairs. I think I was preparing dinner, and Heidi came up to ask me to follow her downstairs because she had a "surprise" for me. She had built a castle for her princesses - and she explained to me that there was a ball, and that only princesses could attend. I asked her why only princesses and she said, "because boys might wreck the decoration." She may be onto something.
One thing we have been really enjoying is our fireplace. This was the frustrating thing I mentioned a few weeks ago but didn't say anymore about because we didn't know at the time if we would be ending up in court. The short version of the story is that the previous homeowners intentionally covered up the fact that there was a large crack in the flue, presumably so that we wouldn't ask them to pay for/repair it, etc. Purely 100% by God's grace and providence, I called a chimney guy (with a groupon!) to come clean our chimney because we had been having a lot of smoke from it and we wanted to make sure if wasn't blocked/dirty. He happened to be the same person who had inspected the chimney before we bought the house and he asked me if the previous homeowners had showed us the crack in the flue. We approached our realtor with the new information, and she reached out to them through their realtor. We asked them to pay for the repair and were hoping it would go further than that. Again, by God's grace they agreed and we had the repair work done last week. Over the past week we have been able to use our fireplace and it has been so nice. Chris, especially, really missed it.
Who knows, the next time I write, I may be starting tile work all over again. But for now, I am loving the small break that we find ourselves able to take. Onward, upward, to the glory of God!
|Sophia's story, with a title: "The hen. The red hen woct [walked] to the nut. The hen rand [ran] to..."|
|All the girls|
|Bethany holding onto Sophia's waist and following her around|
|Heidi colored the yellow rocket ship - and got to see it appear on the screen|
|Making a snake|
|Chris perfecting his snake|
|Bethany playing in the kids area|
|Heidi picked a smile face and a heart for her shapes; Sophia named one crayon "Sophia Pink" and the other crayon "Geode"|