narrated by: Benjamin
It’s been snowing like crazy, which leaves the girls feeling very pent up. Mostly it just means they are cranky, but in the case of Isla, it equals pestering behavior. If she isn’t jumping on the sofa, or antagonizing Ainsley, she is picking on Hatty.
Unlike Tillie, who is very gentle-spirited, Hatty is quite vocal when she’s been wronged. I don’t know why Isla seems to relish getting into trouble, we pay her large amounts of attention; she has never ignored or over-looked.
Strong words don’t even effect Isla, I say them and begin to console Hatty and she’s already gone on to the next activity, completely oblivious of everything that just happened. Grace reminds me to just focus on the fact that Isla and Ainsley are behaving more like friends these days than not, which is a huge positive, I just wish it’d trickle down to Hatty too.
We can’t keep going away to the mountains to get her to bond with each family member, it’s asking a bit much of our wallet and time.
Grace’s salon has been going fantastic with customers, but has been bumpy with the new hires. She’s spending about two hours of her time on the phone dealing with questions from her staff on her days off. It’s usually when Isla decides to really act up.
On my day off, I decided we had to burn some energy so we bundled up for the outdoors. Usually this mean the girls are crying to go back inside ten minutes later, but I offered hot chocolate at the end if they could tough it out, and spend the afternoon outside with me.
Isla destroyed Ainsley’s snowman in a fit, then stormed inside to make her own hot cocoa.
It ended the entire plan for the afternoon, and Ainsley was very upset over it all, then I got called into the station a few hours early after one of the guys got ill.
I hate leaving Grace when the girls are such a handful, especially when she’s had the day off work. We would have never thought but work is actually a welcome break somedays.
She did an early bedtime that particular night, then sat around in the living room texting me and feeling bored having the house quiet and to herself. Outside of a certain amount of health risk, she really dislikes the long twenty-four hour shifts that my career demands.
Her old dog, Murphy started growling at the window that night, and Grace panicked. I told her to call her Dad who is just outside of Millwood in the country, that he’d be happy to help check out the house while I was at work.
Grace doesn’t want to acknowledge that Murphy is getting up there in age, and is likely a bit senile without mentioning his lack of senses. Even with the sweep, Grace still felt insecure being home with the girls, especially with Ainsley and Isla sharing a room on the main floor by themselves. So her Dad volunteered for Elias to spend the night.
He’s a good kid, graduates high school in a few months. His parents aren’t planning to help with any tuition, which they didn’t with any of the other kids ether. He’s hoping to get some scholarships or he doesn’t think it will be worth the expense. I know zilch about farming and whether it’s sound thinking or not.
Once Julius paid off his debt, and had their parents robbed, apparently he didn’t just cut ties, and Elias can see that he’s still involved with selling stolen goods. Looks like they have him pawn the stolen items, and rub off serial numbers to hopefully keep from getting caught. Emma had always been a bit wild, but never in a criminal way, other than underage drinking.
Grace told him that he absolutely had to tell their parents, especially with the people knowing where they lived, and already breaking into the house. He had to in order to keep the family safe, and get Julius help. But he was very adamant that he could not, would not rat his brother out.
I’m not sure why he was so against the idea, if Julius had something on him, or if he was just spineless. Irregardless, if Grace doesn’t approach them, then it’s my duty to do that. Not that firemen are generally known for being involved with crime, but he’s my kid brother-in-law.
In the mean time, I talked Grace into getting a second dog, we aren’t really a two-dog family, but Murphy is on his way out, and I think the bonding will be harder after he’s gone. Oliver’s girlfriend’s Mom breeds large dogs, and live out in Millwood next door to George and Mandy.
We visited, and let the kids go wild testing out the dogs, only Grace was aware of the ulterior motive here, and was resigned the process. My original hope was that the girls would all agree on one dog, instead they each gravitated towards different ones.
Ainsley was heart-set on a gorgeous dog with similar markings to Murphy, but none of the other girls liked him at all. They were insistent that our family needed a girl dog. No one was thinking, ‘hey Dad is the only guy besides Murphy, maybe we should give him another boy’.
In the end, the girls decided on a Nova Scotia Duck-Tolling Retriever, cause that is not a mouthful at all. From henceforth Darby will be known as a retriever. Even Ainsley approved of her, and they named her Darby. She was even great when Tillie was squeezing her airways shut, which Murphy does not tolerate.
The entire exchange went well, Brooklyn’s Mom had us sign a stern contract that we wouldn’t breed Darby, that we would never put her up for adoption and instead return her if it wasn’t a good fit, and that we only feed her premium dog food, only purchased at the local pet store, not any grocery store.
It was a bit overwhelming for us, we’ve been used to just feeding Murphy any old bag of food, and we left out the table scraps the the girls feed him. I’m pretty certain she would have added, ‘no table scraps’ to the contract if she had known.
All in all, Darby has been a good dog, she’s got a much worse bark than bite. She pretended to go after the mailwoman, but turned tail to run as soon as she finished putting the mail in the box.
She is much more playful than Murphy has ever been except maybe his puppy years. None of us are used to the extra energy that Darby brings into the household, but all the girls are absolutely smitten with her, even Isla has a softspot for her, and she’s never been fond of Murphy.
At the end of the month, Oliver had arranged a tour of the firehouse for the first and second grade students, which happens to be Ainsley and Isla’s class. They were mostly interested in the exciting things, and tuned me out when it came to safety at the station as well as fire safety. I’ve been working with Mayor Grimsley to start teaching fire safety again in the schools, but I’m not sure this age-level would really appreciate such knowledge.
While I got to see Ainsley in action with classmates, and I was rather proud to see her sharing in a secret with Elodie. The young girl has tried on numerous occasions to break in with Ainsley, but they are both extremely shy that it’s never developed much. I think it’s safe to say that they are slowly working towards friendship these days.
The youngest Gavigan boy, Ezra found his way towards some suggestive pictures on the wall, and was pretty excited over the discovery.
All in all, I believe it was a successful field trip, perhaps a future firefighter is amongst them in the crowd, we sure could use some more willing to join the fight.
I got to come home from work, just in time for bath time, probably my favorite parenting duty. The girls have such a fun time in the tub, and it makes the younger girls very tired afterward that it usually means some alone time with Grace. Maybe next year we can go out for Valentine’s Day, because it seems we forgot about it entirely this year.
Notes: Isla did destroy the snowman, then went inside for some cocoa. And she was tormenting Hatty on her own constantly. She left Tillie alone because they’ve managed to become friendly after all these years.
Murphy was barking and growling at nothing… which I thought gave a great opportunity for Finn and Elias to come check out the property, and Elias to spend the night, and finally share what has been happening. Can you believe these twins graduate high school in a few short months?! I’m very excited for my first baby boom to graduate high school, and see where they all go from here. Summer birthday post is mega huge too, cause Mavis, Dax, and Evan are aging up along with college graduates. Seriously huge.
ROS: Field trip for Elementary school, I just did the first/second grade class. I didn’t see a future firefighter in this particular crowd, hoping that someone in grade school will be interested in it, Benjamin can’t do it forever. I likely have a candidate in the teen group.
Thanks for reading!
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