Friday, May 29, 2015

Frozen According to Shepherd and Lydia

You might have heard in the news that we here in Oklahoma have been getting a lot of rain. When you have a 4 year old and a 2 year old, a perpetually muddy yard and never-ending downpour of rain can quickly drive a family to insanity. So to help keep us all in tact, we've been really having to stretch our imaginations. During the girls' nap time the other day, I temporarily emptied one of my kitchen cabinets and made Shepherd a "room" in which to play. Since then, he has hardly left his cozy little nook.

Lydia, like any little sister, has lurked nearby wanting to play with her brother. They have managed to come up with several games involving the cabinet, but since I'm always busy with dishes or laundry or Violet, I haven't paid too much attention to the details. The other day, I stopped long enough to listen and watch from around the corner. Here is what I witnessed:

(Shepherd in his room and Lydia squatting outside the closed doors)
Lydia: Shep-ud, do you want to build a snowman? (repeats 3 or 4 times)
Shepherd: (coming out of his room) Yeah, Lydi, I want to build a snowman!
Lydia: (laughing exuberantly and jumping in circles) I Olaf! I Olaf!
Shepherd: I'm Iceman and I'm going to freeze you with my ice vision! (Starts glaring at different objects in the kitchen with a strained, constipated look while Lydia continues to giggle and declare that she is Olaf)

After a few minutes of Shepherd freezing things and Lydia being Olaf, Shepherd returned to his cabinet and the whole game started over from the beginning. While I do really like the original Frozen, I'd say this version is pretty entertaining as well.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Gensic Pirates

Saturday morning, we were all bored. So we made a boat out of a box. It has proven to be a pretty awesome toy.  Here are a few snap shots of my little pirates. There might be a few extra shots of Violet, but it isn't because I love her more. It is just because she really likes getting her picture taken.

Perhaps the best thing about the boat is hearing the stories Shepherd concocts around the boat. The enemy pirates are the "Philistines." As you can imagine, BJ is beaming with pride over that one. And Gus, of course, is a whale. Here is a picture of our primly groomed whale.

And for anyone who ever thought Oklahoma isn't beautiful, look at our front yard.

Friday, May 22, 2015

A Tornado South of 70 and West of I35

Like a veteran with war stories, every Oklahoman has a few tornado stories to tell.  BJ and I racked up our first one two years ago in Norman, Oklahoma. Tuesday evening, we acquired our second.

Tuesdays are game night for BJ and his college buddies, so he was at the computer killing trolls or something (I actually have no idea what they were doing), and I was relaxing after getting the kids to bed by watching the season finale of a reality show I am too embarrassed to admit I watch. Throughout the broadcast of my unmentionable show, the weather man kept popping in saying something along these line: "A slow-moving, tornado-producing storm is coming to eat the people residing just south of 70 and west of I35." Guess where we live.

Since it was moving slow and still a ways off, we kept an eye on the radar and hoped the storm would deter to somewhere NOT south of 70 and west of I35. After a while, it became patently obvious that this storm was steadily and unerringly moving our direction, so we woke the kids up and headed to the storm shelter across the street. I should also mention here that BJ had not backed up his most recent doctoral work, so we were also toting a brief case with a lap top and multiple books on St. Ignatius of Loyola.

Our storm shelter services a sizeable RV resort, so there were a lot of people (and their dogs and their cats and their hedgehogs (yes, you read that right)) sitting in a large box under the ground waiting for the slowest moving storm in history to blow over. Every 10 to 15 minutes, 50 smart phones would chime in to tell us that the tornado warning had been extended and that, yes, it was in our neighborhood, and, no, it was not planning on leaving anytime soon. After over an hour of sitting in what felt like a sauna with our three groggy kids, all the smart phones told us it was time to leave and we headed home.

It only took us the distance of crossing the street to realize that all the smart phones were wrong. Hail started falling, the wind and rain suddenly and ominously became horizontal, and our cell phones started getting multiple texts from concerned church members telling us a tornado had just touched down around our address.

We quickly turned around and drove back to the storm shelter. We were able to park close, but we still had about 25 yards of torrential rain and hail to run through with three kids and a dissertation. I took the girls and put a blanket over their heads for some protection from the hail. BJ took Shepherd and the brief case. With a prayer, we set out running.

The wind was incredible, the hail (by the grace of God) wasn't too big, and the rain was so thick I couldn't see the door to which I was running. To God's credit no doubt, the door became visible at the exact moment I needed it to, I opened it, and we all blew in drenched to our skivvies.

For BJ and I, this was, to put it mildly, a pretty crappy evening. In the eyes of our children, it was an incredibly exciting event. Despite all the fear of the evening, one story will be the one I take away and remember and tell and retell over the years. As BJ ran through the devastating rain holding Shep in one arm and his briefcase in the other, Shepherd clung tightly and repeatedly yelled, "You're awesome, Dad! You are so awesome!" Where we adults got stress and anxiety out of an evening, our four-year-old son got an adventure with a super hero. So that's our tornado story.

And just in case you were stressing about it, the dissertation did make it through the storm completely unscathed.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Let Summer Begin

Shepherd had his last day of school Friday, so today is our first day of summer break! We decided to kick it off with homemade play dough. Shepherd wanted gold, and Lydia wanted purple. Yay for summer days!