Meet the Fam: Jude

Last in age but first in personality, I now present to you Jude the Dude.

Jude is six years old (as of yesterday). He will be going into first grade this fall.

Being a child in the golden age of technology, Jude loves YouTube and video games. If the YouTube channel is super annoying, Jude probably likes it. He loves to play Terraria, Roblox, and Minecraft. Spoiled as he is, he has his own Nintendo 2DS, an XBOX One to share with his brother, and two laptops to share with all of his siblings. Oh, and he just got a new tablet for his birthday. 

If you asked me to describe Jude in one word, it would be attitude. He talks back. He screams at people. He ignores his parents when we ask him to do things. He talks smack to his video games.

Speaking of talking, this kid talks just to hear his own voice. If no one is listening, he will talk to himself. The only time he stops is when he’s sleeping.

He is such a silly boy! His favorite superhero movie characters are the villains. From Avengers, he likes Thanos the best. Joker is his favorite Batman character. He is actually pretty big on Joker recently. He *thinks* he wants to watch the new movie, but I think we are going to pass on that one. It’s a liiiiiiittle too disturbing for a 6 year old.

Meet the Fam: Jameson

Jameson is our fourth child – and first boy. He is seven and will be starting second grade. 

As far as school goes, Jameson is like Gabby. He had the same first grade teacher she did (the only 2 to have had her so far), and she had him doing “challenge” spelling and vocabulary lists. 

Like his sisters, he can be a little quiet. Also like his sisters, he is obsessed with YouTube. 

This kid is all about video games. He loves to play Terraria – especially with his brother and his dad. He also really enjoys Minecraft, Pokemon, Animal Crossing, Plants vs. Zombies, and Roblox. As for toys, Jameson loves Legos, his skates, his bike, and Nerf guns.

He wants to play football, but he is very small for his age. He is the same size as his little brother, and he recently saw the pediatric endocrinologist, who determined that Jameson has the bone age of a five year old. So, pretty much, he will be two years behind his classmates for growth until puberty (which he will probably hit two years behind his classmates too). However, his dad has been trying to foster his interest in softball and baseball. Just something with less contact.

The cats aren’t super fond of the boys, but Jameson doesn’t mind. He loves the dogs more, anyway. When Lucy gets to sleep with Dixie, Jameson always asks for Roxie to sleep in the boys’ room (even though she tends to poop in there and chew up their toys). 99% of the time, the dogs aren’t allowed anywhere near the kids’ bedrooms. 

Jameson loves to play outside. He enjoys skating and riding his bike. He just learned to skate this year; we got the kids all skates or rollerblades this spring. He took to it immediately! He loves to go as fast as he can. He also just learned to ride his bike without training wheels. 

For his 7th birthday, he got a bunch of (cheap) drones. It was just in time for our trip to Texas at the end of last summer. (We actually left on his birthday.) He loved flying them in Texas, and he loves when his dad takes him to the park to fly them. 

Meet the Fam: Lucy

Lucy. Lu Lu. Lucy Goosey. Moose. Moo.

Lucy is our true middle child and youngest girl. Monday, she turns 9.  She will be in fourth grade next month. It’s crazy to think about how big she is getting.

Lulu’s loves are: Roblox. MeganPlays Roblox. Roblox. Socks (our cat). Cats in general. Roblox. MeganPlays Roblox. And Roblox. (Are you seeing a trend here?)

Quiet and small for her age, Lucy’s teachers are always trying to get her to come out of her shell a bit. She is a good student, so they always try to have her be a group leader and do things that kind of force her to interact with the other kids in her class. She has friends, but she is a little shy. 

Last year, Lucy watched a YouTube video about that Momo thing, and she started having sleep issues. (I tend to think she really exaggerated it because the video she actually watched was a BBC News spot stating that Momo was a huge hoax.) Anyway, she didn’t want to sleep alone (even though all three girls share a room). Neither of her sisters wanted to share a bed with her, and we quickly grew tired of her sleeping in our room. Finally, we compromised and allowed her to bring Dixie in her room at night. (The dogs had just started sleeping in their kennels at night again because Roxie chews things up at night.) Even now, if both her sisters are away at sleepovers for the night and she is the only girl home, she asks to have Dixie in her room. (Even though Mittens is the meanest, baddest pet we have AND already sleeps in the girls’ room.)

Lucy is also our only child (so far) to have glasses – even though Gabby has wanted them for a few years now. She got them shortly before Coronavirus hit the US. (One kiddo has yet to see the optometrist because of COVID-19, but that’s another story.)

Black Hills July 2020

We now take a break from our regularly scheduled “Meet the Family” posts to share with you about our 4th of July weekend in the Black Hills.

And we didn’t even go to see Donald Trump. (Or have to see him. Yay!) Except for this…

A Trump Pence 2020 poster we saw in Keystone, SD

One of my sisters lives in Montana, and the Hills are about halfway between where they live and where we live. And the 4th was a long weekend. That’s all.

My sister’s family at Mt. Rushmore
Left to Right: Matthew, Casey, and Amanda (with strangers in the background)

So anyway. We excitedly headed to the Hills Thursday afternoon. We arrived kinda late in the evening, and we just had dinner, put the kids to bed, and chatted at the campfire with some beers. Only my sister and her son were there when we arrived because her husband actually had to work Friday.

Friday, we planned to go to Bear Country and the Dinosaur Museum. We started with Bear Country because it closed two hours earlier than the museum. Jason and three kids were in our Expedition, my sister, her son, two of our girls, and I were in my sister’s Acadia. We followed Jason. Early on, I noticed fluid on the ground, but it started far out in front of the Expedition (although our car was adding to the stream). I determined it was condensation from everyone having their air conditioners on in their vehicles. However, as we progressed, the puddles under the Expedition were getting bigger. When we reached the mountain lion exhibit, I called Jason to tell him something was dripping. He said the temperature was increasing, so he turned the car off for a bit. When we started going again, the car kinda resisted. So we stopped in the bear exhibit. We called the park staff for a tow, and they brought the Expedition to the parking lot for a tow truck to pick it up. We piled into the Acadia and went back through the park to see the things we had missed. By then, it was closing time, and we just headed back to camp.

Our Expedition (AKA Beauty) being towed out of Bear Country because we have the worst car luck ever

Friday night, the winds kicked up, and the tent broke, collapsing on Jason and the kids in the middle of the night.

The tent Saturday morning. Two rods had snapped, and one of them had punctured the rain cover.

Saturday, my brother-in-law arrived and brought their tent. We visited Mount Rushmore and Keystone before catching a few fireworks on the way back to the campground.

Being a holiday weekend, we had to leave the Expedition in Rapid City. It will either be towed home early in the week or looked at by the shop there later in the week. (The leaking liquid was transmission fluid. Oy!)

So, this morning, my sister and her husband drove us back home, going way out of their way and WAY above and beyond! We are super grateful! It was a bummer that our typically bad car luck had to ruin our fun weekend with them. But it was still a good weekend, overall. And super nice to see the little nephew!

Meet the Fam: Gabby

Gabrielle (Gabby) is our second child. She is 11, one year younger than her big sister to the day. She will start middle school in the fall. 

Gabby is our academic overachiever. She scores super high on her standardized tests, and she impresses all her teachers. She reads all the time and takes part in the school Book Battles. (Each team member is supposed to read one book, but she has been known to read the books for the whole team because her friends didn’t do their parts.)

Gabby, too, has a YouTube channel: Girly Gab Gab

Unlike Issy, Gabby likes sports. Last year, she tried soccer. She really enjoyed it, but she disliked having to spend 2 hours driving to and being at practice twice a week after school when she wanted to play with her friends. This summer, she was supposed to get to play softball, but it was canceled due to coronavirus. That is a big bummer because she has been waiting to play softball for a couple years.

Where Issy is jeans, dark colors, and boots, Gabby is leggings, bright colors, and Converse sneakers. Sporty.

Going against the grain, Gabby is outgoing with her hairstyle too. She has dyed it blue, red, and black. She has had a side shave several times. Currently, her hair is in a bob with a side shave that she has decided to grow out. Gabby is our only life-long natural brunette, but her siblings are all slowly turning brown too. Ha!

She’s also somewhat more helpful than her siblings when it comes to chores. Somewhat.