Thursday, September 29, 2011

My life is hilarious

To someone. Not necessarily me.

So, I've been without a washer and dryer since we moved into our new house. I'm not really sure how a shipping company "loses" something as large as a washer and dryer, but, whatever. So after much ado, the new washer and dryer were delivered today. And left stacked on top of one another. Curbside. (Actually in the driveway, but still a ways from the house). While I was at CC. And my husband is out of town. We knew it was a curbside delivery, but these much-anticipated appliances were supposed to be unloaded into the back of my husband's big, bad truck, which he left at the curb--blocking half the driveway--for just this reason. When I arrived home, around 6:30 this evening, I found the washer and dryer staked on top of one another, as I mentioned before, on the ground, right behind that big, bad truck. Just as it was starting to rain. And the baby was crying. And 2/3 of the older children were losing all control of themselves. Knowing I couldn't even begin to move the machines (especially with a dolly with two flat tires), I set about trying to wrap them in tarps. In my teacher clothes (flowing skirt, ruffly, white blouse, but, thankfully, not the high-heels I had worn to CC). With no way to avoid the little mesquite tree right by the driveway. As the rain started to come down harder and my skirt continued to get stuck in the tree, I realized that what I really needed was another set of hands to secure the bungee cord. I ran up to the house, to find that my instructions of "take a bath" had, for once, been executed without the least bit of hesitation. Slick, naked children, I surmised, were not going to be all that helpful, after all. So, back out into the now somewhat heavy rain I went, all alone, to face this beast in my driveway. Finally, with my white shirt soaked almost completely through and graying from the constant brushes with the nearby truck, I inadvertently snagged one end of the bungee cord on the truck, which allowed me to reach all the way around and secure the tarp. What must the neighbors be thinking?! As soon as I got back in the house, the rain stopped and hasn't returned yet. (Though it is making sounds like it could). Absolutely hilarious.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Out and About

Outing #1

On Wednesday, our CC group had a two-part field trip. The first part was to H*E*B. And when I told the kids that's where we were going, they commented, "H*E*B?! Really?! We always go there, so how is that a field trip?" I think they were pleasantly surprised. We toured the store with some of the staff, and we got to pet a lobster, check out some of the more interesting items in the meat case (chicken feet, anyone?) and receive some goodies at the end of the tour. Plus, we received some good reminders about nutrition and hygiene.

As the only kid who had ever actually tasted (and loved) cow's tongue,
Weston couldn't really see what all the hubbub was about
The beautiful H*E*B princess
Cheesin' it up!

The second part of our field trip was to the Pogue Sculpture Gallery and Foundry. It was really impressive to see this local artist's studio and to have his apprentices walk us through the process of bronze sculpture making. It was absolutely fascinating--for kids and adults alike!

Everyone's favorite--the clay horse model 
Finished zebra sculpture
(You can see the model for this below the horse's front hooves)

Outing #2

Thomas the Tank Engine was in Burnet today, so we met up with grandparents for lunch and then made our way over to say hello. The crowd wasn't nearly as large as it was last year, so the kids got to do more of the things without waiting in lines. Max especially had a good time.

Thomas the Tank Engine 
Max is happy to see Sir Topham Hatt

Posing with Toppin Hat (as Max likes to call him)

All the boys are ready to ride

My lovely seat mate

Working in a game of golf

One of Max's other passions: climbing

All the way to the top!

Time to climb

Thursday, September 22, 2011

You know what happens when you ASSUME, don't you?

Okay, I've never built a house before or moved into a brand new one--not by lots of years. So, I didn't really know where to set my expectations. Unfortunately, I set them a little high in a couple of key departments. First of all, I thought, "Everything is new, so it must all be in working order." Not necessarily. My repair/replace list is already pretty long. My second thought was, "It's brand new, so it will start out clean and will, therefore, be easier to keep clean." Wrong again. There is a tremendous amount of dust and debris, and I haven't even gotten anything truly clean in the first place yet. So, I am now entering a phase of resetting my expectations. I'm definitely not disappointed with the house. I love it so much and am so very happy to be here! I'm just changing the way I think about my brand new house. I'm also realizing I might have been a bit hasty to offer to host Mom's Night in October. Hopefully, my girls will overlook the flaws and we can just enjoy hanging out--whether the windows are clean or not.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Little Bitty Baby

This has been my nickname for Clay since he was born, and at his (late) four-month check-up today, I found out that it is justified. He was in the 50th percentile for height (25 1/2 in.), but only 10th percentile for weight (12.15 lbs.). At this age (and actually closer to the true 4-month mark), Weston was the same height but weighed 3 pounds more, and Max was an inch shorter but weighed 2 pounds more. Dr. Madrigal wants to monitor Clay's weight to make sure he doesn't fall below the 10th percentile, but otherwise she couldn't have been more pleased with Clay's health and accomplishments. And, she and her assistant both commented that Jeff and I make very pretty babies. I didn't disagree with her!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

So it must be rain

It looks like rain.

And, it tastes like rain.

So, it must be rain!!

So thankful for this wonderful blessing today!

Friday, September 16, 2011

He gets my vote, too

Today, Max was at preschool, Jeff had taken Ruth to the doctor and Clay was sleeping. So, Weston and I were having lunch together without the rest of the group. We were sitting next to each other at the bar, and pretty soon, Weston leaned over and said, "I kind of like that it's just you and me here, having lunch together. It's kind of like a date." He expressed several more times during lunch how cool he thought it was that we were getting to have lunch together--just the two of us. Then after lunch, eyeing the apples in the fruit bowl on the island, Weston stated, "Today just seems like the perfect day to make an apple pie." So, the next thing I knew, we were in the throes of pie-making. And every few minutes, Weston would say something like, "It sure is fun making an apple pie, isn't it?!" or "I really like making an apple pie--especially with you." It was just pure sweetness and melted this momma's heart! I savored every minute, knowing that my moments like that are fleeting. Kid of the Week, indeed!

wearing sister's apron and hat, peeling apples

the finished product

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Kid of the Week

Our CC campus has a "Kid of the Week" every week. Parents and tutors are always on the lookout for especially good behavior from the children, and when they see it, they can let the director know that they think that kid deserves to be kid of the week. The kids receive a little certificate and are recognized in the morning assembly. Today's "Kid of the Week" was Weston. He was actually nominated twice, by two different moms, for outstanding behavior last week. Our director was kind enough to share those nominations with me. And, now, I will share them (braggingly) with you. I'm very, very proud of Weston!

I have been meaning to write about my Kid of the Week pick. Weston is my pick. While all our children have wonderful manners, last Thursday Weston went beyond the rest. While some got excited about the coming snack or activity, Weston never forgot his please and thank yous. He was exceptional at waiting his turn and raising his hand to speak. As we moved through the auditorium, he kept quiet and did not speed through, and he opened the door for others. Plus, he keeps a wonderful smile on his face the entire day.

I recommend Weston Watts for kid of the week. He listens well, is helpful, plays well with classmates of all ages, and is a good sport. He participates in discussion, and does not follow others when they forget rules or to be respectful, instead, doing what he knows is right. I appreciate his understanding temperament. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Picture this

Okay, picture this:  A cow tried to slip into my garage tonight, so I rushed out--baby in arms--to shoo it off and close the garage door. The shooing works, the garage door closing doesn't. Still, I consider it a victory and head back inside.

But then, picture this:  I see another cow darn-near up on the front porch munching on one of the boys' plastic bulldozers.

Now, picture this:  This city girl rushes out the front door (sans baby), newly confident in her shooing abilities, only to find that this cow is not to be shooed. She just stands there, looking at me, and munching on the bulldozer.

And, finally, picture this:  The city girl, in her flip-flops, running through the dirt and sand and brush and cacti, after the cow that stubbornly refuses to put down the toy.

And not a camera in sight. But, I swear, there must have been a hidden camera somewhere. When that big, brown cow finally dropped the dozer and I was able to fetch it, I laughed out laud all the way back into the house. I absolutely cannot believe this happened, not only in real life, but in MY real life.

Monday, September 12, 2011

One month down

We have already completed a month of school for this fall semester. Wow! Time certainly does fly when you're having fun! And even though we moved during this month, we tried to stick to our school schedule as much as possible, just to keep things flowing. That is not to say we haven't had interruptions. But, one of the things we enjoy about homeschooling is the flexibility.

Ruth has had the opportunity to do some interesting cooking and craft projects for History, as well as read some fascinating books. At the moment, she is working her way through the Civil War, a time period that really captures her attention. She has done some wonderful creative writing and written some beautiful poems in Writing. She finished a Spelling workbook leftover from last semester, putting her a couple of books ahead of where she "should" be. She has done some neat experiments in Science. She has been very focused in Math, vowing not to get behind like she did last year. She is reviewing her Latin from last school year, in order to make sure she has a really firm foundation before starting the book designated for jr. high and high school students. And she is doing her English Grammar lessons almost completely on her own, without the least bit difficulty. She is also enjoying her piano lessons, and just today she began a Martial Arts class. And, of course, she loves our one-day-a-week CC classes. Instituting a timer has made her a very good manager of her time, and our school days move along at a brisk, but thorough pace.

Weston still has days where he enjoys his school days more than others, but he is making progress daily. His favorite classes are Writing and Spanish. I am using the Writing with Ease book with him this year, and it's really perfect for his needs and abilities. And, it is all literature-based, so he has even been inspired to explore some books and stories that he had not been interested in before. For Spanish, we began the semester with some simple vocabulary books from the library, which he absolutely loved. In the last couple of weeks, he has moved to the computer-based Rosetta Stone program, which he also enjoys, but which has a bit of a learning curve. He finally finished his 18 poster and has gotten to move on to Great Illustrated Classic books. He is on his first of these now: Swiss Family Robinson. He does a good job in Math and is capable of doing more and more of the work on his own. He is also really enjoying his CC classes and looks forward to them every week. And, today, he started Cub Scouts, which he has been eagerly anticipating for months. (Plus, Weston has had on-site training in plumbing and masonry, since he has taken it upon himself to pull up a chair and ask all kinds of questions when these guys have been working here at the house).

We are super-proud of our kiddos and all that they are learning and doing! And, we are thrilled to be part of the daily process!

Ruth's Wednesday schedule

Westons' schedule

Ruth's "Crystal Palace"

Los Colores--Weston's very own book

An experiment in air pressure

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Check the pantry for critters

When I came home from a meeting tonight, I had the munchies, so I stepped into the pantry in hopes of finding a snack. This is what I found instead:

I guess we are going to have to call an exterminator!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Meet the neighbors

I spied these two about 20 ft. from the kitchen door 
This was taken from the living room, facing our main driveway
This ol' girl just came right up to the house!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Four Months

I'm not sure how this happened, but Clay is already four months old! He continues to be super-happy and even-tempered. He sleeps well and eats well, and he rolls and scootches all over the place. He has just started reaching out for objects and people he wants, and he puts EVERYTHING in his mouth. He still wears size 1 diapers, and he just started wearing 3-6 month clothes. He is very social and loves to mimic the sounds he hears from the people who are playing with him. He is so much fun and super-cute! We think we'll just keep him.

A happy, blue-eyed boy

Most common position: hands or other objects in the mouth

Thursday, September 01, 2011