Tuesday, December 10, 2019

More Pumpkins: The Zoo Edition

This first picture is from after we went to adoration at our church during a school day.

This was a different day when we made time to use our zoo passes before they expire.  Pumpkins everywhere!  The boys all picked out a few animals to go visit and we took a bunch of pictures.

If you look closely, you'll see a lizard staring down Drew.  He came from the back when he saw us at the window and walked right up to look at us and give us the eyeball.

Isaac did nearly all the carving this year.  I just carved Bobby's after he came up with the design idea.  In fact, Drew and Judah also came up with their own designs as well, but didn't want to do their own carving yet.  Genevieve carved her own, and Hannah, as usual, didn't carve hers.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Second Best

One day while getting into the van, Bob asked for milk.  I didn't have any and he asked me why I didn't ever have any milk in the car.  I said, "Because I'm a terrible mom."  

Drew replied, "No, Mom, you're not a terrible mom.  You're the second best mom."

I asked who the first was, and he and Judah answered in chorus, "Mary!"

Melt my heart!

These pictures are from the bank.  The boys love these things where they can put their faces on someone else's body.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Last Beach Pictures of 2019

Oh boy!  I'm so far behind again!  This was in mid-October.

The last week that my mom was at the beach house, the three home-schooled little boys of mine and I went down early and stayed with my mom to get in extra beach days.  Why?  Because I can home-school anywhere!  That's why!

Then on Friday, Brian brought the rest of the crew and my sister came with her kids.  Our family moved to a different condo for the weekend.  We had a cold day on Friday and Saturday, but my big kids were out of school the whole net week and so we were able to stay a few days longer to get in some more sunny days.

While we were there a good family friend who also stays at this condo every year with my mom had her 90th birthday party.  That was on Saturday afternoon/evening.  Her family was in town for the festivities and so there were lots of kids for our children to play with.

On the chilly days, we played lots of games and tried out the beach without going in the water.  Although the boys were hard to convince to stay out of the water.  They'd insist on going in and then be freezing within 15 minutes.  Of course, then we had to go inside because the wind is so much colder when you are wet.  So there was a little in and out action going on.

Since we had to stay out of the water more, we went on some walks and discovered a sno-cone truck down the beach a little ways.  

Eventually, we got too close after scooting closer and scared it away.

Bob, Brian, and I saw this giant pelican while walking back from the sno-cone stand.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

My Pumpkins

After Mass, we picked and bought us some pumpkins.  Bob sad he was going "to sleep" on his in this picture, so that's what he is doing.

Friday, October 11, 2019

First Two Homeschool Field Trips of the Year

I am the one in our homeschool group who chooses and arranges the field trips.  That means that I get to do what I want pretty much.  The first one was at a splash pad park in downtown.  We met in the morning and had a picnic lunch together before leaving.   Fun start to the year!

I think maybe this means he was having fun, but I'm not sure.  ???

The second one was volunteering at the Food Bank, working in the Urban Garden.  The boys and I had so much fun doing this before summer began that I knew it had to be on the list.  It was a great experience for the kids again.  We picked up trash and weeded a big field ready for planting.  Then we got a tour of the animal, hydroponics, and aquaponics section of the garden.  We ended with feeding the goats and sheep.  So much fun to work along side friends and to practice corporal works of mercy.  And it even cooled off for us just in time for this field trip, into the 80's.

In front of the hydroponics system in the greenhouse.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

The Story of How we Acquired Luna

Meet Luna!  She's a miniature (only 8 lbs) wire-haired dachshound who is probably about 2 years old.  She's got a lot of pep in her step.  She's house-trained and crate-crate trained.  She sweet as can be with  kids and LOVES (a little too much) other animals.  She was found nameless, collarless, and micro-chipless in a neighborhood by a big dog lover friend of ours through the kids' charter school.  All neighborhood apps and Facebook pages have turned up no owner.

I rarely check Facebook, but I happen to be looking on the school page for something specific and saw this post about this sweet dog.  I showed the post to Brian, expecting to be shot down, and told him just to think about it because we obviously can't have a bird or any other prey for Trinity and if we wait until we have land and are settled, the girls will already be out of the house.  He gave me half a dozen reasons why we shouldn't get a dog, and I said, "Just think about it."  

The next day, I get a text while homeschooling that showed me another puppy for sale that had been neutered, house-trained, etc in the neighborhood.  I was shocked because I thought he'd never give in, and here he was bringing it up to me.  I immediately asked him if we could just go meet these dogs, and he agreed as long as we didn't tell the kids about it yet.  

Turned out the puppy was $300 to adopt and Brian nixed that one, so we only went to see this stray dog.  Brian picked her up and immediately fell in love with her...more so than I did.  He was all about doing it, and I was the one saying, oh no, what if this is a huge mistake and too much for me to take on.  

The kids met her for the first time before we brought her home.

She's a huge fan of riding in the car, so she usually goes with us for drop off and pick up.
Overall, she's a very good dog.  We definitely have some things to work on, but she is already sitting very well, and I taught her to ring a bell on the back door when she needs to go out in less than a day.  I am somewhat regretting this because she is a very curious and busy little lady, often asking to go in and out and in and out way more than is necessary.  Her biggest issue is barking at people or animals, and she has made marked improvement with that already in just two weeks.

This is from after Drew's camp out, he came home, showered and crashed with her on the couch.
Trinity came down once the first day when we got her and hissed at Luna who just wanted to be friends and has refused to come downstairs ever since.  We tried forcing the issue, leaving her litter and food in the pantry where they already were, but after one peed on bean bag, I quickly moved the litter box up to our bathroom.  I tried still to leave the food, but when she hadn't still ventured down to eat in three days, I caved and moved it all upstairs.  We currently have a gate at the bottom of the stairs.  Luna gets the run of the downstairs except when we are gone or at night when she goes in her crate.  Trinity can come down whenever she feels like it, but two weeks and she still hasn't.

Naming her was fun.  I wanted a literary name that had a religious tie in.  Hyacinth was from a book and also a saint name.  Trinity wasn't from a book, but has the religious theme while still making light of her three leg situation.  Mr. Bubbles was named after a character in a book. So we had the following list...

1. Merrylegs, nickname Merry (from Black Beauty and has tie in to Mother Mary)
2. Ladybug, nickname Lady (from Lady and the Tramp and has tie in to Our Lady, plus ladybug is our family's favorite word in German, Mariankefer, translating directly as "Mary Beetle")
3. Hildegard, nickname Hildie (no literary character, just a German saint name for a German dog for a family that has lived in Germany) *Brian really pushed for this one, but not many others really liked it.
4. Luna (from HP and has tie in to Mary because she is often referred to as being like the moon and reflecting the son's glory, plus it's a Spanish word and we got her in San Antonio)

We did many votes, even trying out some different weights to the adults votes and still it always came out against Hildie.  So Brian relented and her name is Luna, with nicknames Lulu, Lou, Luna Love, Loonie Bird, Loon.  She's learning it.

Dog beds are expensive, so I made her a quick one for the time being out of spare fabric and old socks.  It was such a quick project.  I am going to have to make her a nicer one with her name on it when I find the time.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Family Beach Trip

Every year my mom rents a beach condo for a month during off season.  Last year we went every weekend because we had a free place to stay for three of those weekends.  However, this year the other condo wasn't available so we rented a place at her location to split with my sister the first weekend and rented a cheaper place across the street for the last weekend.  The second weekend, no one else was going down there and Brian had three of the boys on a camping trip, and so the girls, Bob, and I went down and stayed in her place with her.  

Judah was playing with his newest cousin, Savanna.

This was after Judah hyper extended his knee when he stepped into a big hole in the sand, under water.  He was limping around a little bit after that.

Bob had a grand ole time playing with Turner.  They especially loved trying to surf the waves on boogie boards.  They would get all ready, standing on their own boards just outside of where the water was and wait for waves to comes and make them "surf."  It was quite amusing to watch them fall off every time a wave was big enough to lift the boards.
One night we all went to a restaurant and took some pictures, but most of the time we ate at the condo so everyone could swim and play on the beach as much as they wanted.  Hannah really doesn't hang out too long on the beach, she just doesn't like the dirtiness of it.  She will swim a little longer in the pool, but still she is happy to hang in the condo most of the time.

Isaac was stung by a small jellyfish and Dylan was stung by a bee.  Both Turner and Judah hurt their leg and were limping part of the trip.  It was an eventful trip, but the most eventful moments involved Drew.  Drew had had his retainer to move his upper jaw forward for a little over a month when we went to the beach.  I have been super attentive with teaching him to be responsible with it and never take it out unless he's putting it in it's case either on the dining room table or the one in my purse.  He's a pretty responsible kid actually for an 8 year old boy, but still this is worth thousands of dollars and I wasn't going to just trust him on this one.

However, all that said, I made a huge mistake and did't make him take it out when he went swimming in the ocean.  It had never fallen out, and I figured "What could happen?"  Well, one morning I took all the boys and Genevieve out to the beach ahead of everybody else.  Drew and Dylan had gone out in the ocean as far as I said they could go to jump the waves.  They come running in and Drew tells me his retainer fell out in the ocean.  Wait.  What.  Tears immediately filled my eyes as I jumped up and tried to find the spot I thought they'd been in.  They didn't even have the thought to stay where they were and call for me.  The waves were so rough that whole weekend.  I plunged my hand into the water and lamented.  This is Corpus Christi, not Hawaii.  You can't see anything in this water.  I said to Drew and Dylan, who are standing with their mouths open and their eyes wide watching the crazy mom/aunt cry and panic, "There is NO WAY we'll ever find it in this water, and we don't even know exactly where you were."  Then I turned to Drew and grabbed his shoulders, almost growling, "Pray to St. Anthony!"  

I turned away from him and said aloud, "St. Anthony and St. Jude, pray for us!" and in the next breath, I stepped on something hard.  No, it couldn't be.  I reached into the murky water and pulled out his retainer.  If that isn't proof of the saints being able to intercede for us, I don't know what is.  We celebrated all day!  It was amazing!

In case you don't know, St. Anthony is the patron saint of lost things, and I perpetually freak out and forget to ask for his prayers.  St Jude is the patron saint of lost causes, and I threw him in there because this seemed like pretty much a lost cause to me.  Plus, he is near and dear to my heart, probably because I tend to feel like lots of things are lost causes, pessimist that I am.  

Somebody got so worn out, that he was asking for naps in his hideout.

I made a pyramid in light of our ancient Egypt studies while Genna tried to make a deep volcano.

Bob helped me make this castle.