Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summer Days

Summer for us usually means we see hubby less than we normally do. Between the afternoon rains, which we loving refer to as bill payers, and the havoc they play on the phone lines, summers are busy time for him. But, on the occasion he actually gets home at a decent hour, this is what we like to do.

We love having him home with us. We are not afraid to put him to work. Somebody has to toss the kids around in the pool and it might as well be him. Besides, they get great air when hubby tosses them. Not so much with me. Hope your summer is awesome!

Have a great day.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Into the Groove

It begins. All the school year prep, all the extra's prep, all the questions about how much is too much. Can we do dance and piano lessons? Should we? Can we work one more thing into the schedule? Ready or not, here it comes.

Our school year, at least the first couple of weeks, is planned. We are starting late for us. There is much to be accomplished this year. Isn't there much to be accomplished every year? This year, although we are still doing some subjects together, I have a feeling I will be teaching three different maths. The baby is a 2nd grader, the boy a 5th grader, and the big girl is an 8th grader. The big girl's math is on disc, but that doesn't mean she won't need help occasionally. She's starting Algebra. I am so excited, regardless of whether she is or not. I like the upper level maths. I need to work closely with the baby and make sure she understands the concepts presented. The boy is a math genius. He will do fine, but I still need to keep an eye on him. Some of you may not know this about my boy, but he tends to get in a hurry. Sometimes he trips when he runs ahead, sometimes he whacks his head on a battleship (that's a later blog), sometimes he makes silly addition and subtraction errors. Those last ones will mess up his school work something fierce.

History this year is a series of unit studies and lap books. Our first one is about colonial times. I'm trying to focus more on American history this year. They all come with a list of books and additional resources. I've made a list of books I want to request from the library. I even checked to make sure the library has the ones I want. I told you I'm a freak. I did the same thing for our science. I'm adding an official reading time to our day. That way I know the kids will actually read the books I check out.

We are using a general science concept this year. I have a great experiment book we are using for science. It breaks them down according to concept. The first section is heat. It explains what heat is, then there are 6-8 experiments showing different ways heat works. Pretty darn cool. And, of course, there's all that additional reading. I've made a list of supplies and books. The other topics covered are air, gravity, water, chemistry, and a little physics. I also have a ton of experiments that I down loaded for free. We are going to do at least three experiments a week. If we get them all done in one day, bully for us. If not, we don't. Which ever section the kids want to do first, we'll do. I'm rooting for the kitchen alchemy section. That's kind of my concept for making dinner. Throw a bunch of stuff together and see how it reacts. As long as it doesn't explode, we're all good.

All of the kids are taking a spelling course I downloaded. The big girl doesn't really need it, but it wouldn't hurt for her to take it. I like the way it's presented. It's quick and simple, but I think effective. We'll see anyway. The baby is going to work on reading comprehension as well. She has great skills, I just want to make sure she keeps them. The boy is going to finish the grammar and reading comprehension from his LifePacs from last year. The big girl wanted to do some creative writing. She has always been a great writer and I like that she wants to develop that talent more.

I'm adding arts and crafts this year. The kids have all expressed an interest in origami. I think that's awesome. Because I'm a sucker, and I want to learn about origami as well, I ordered a book. I've been looking at them for awhile, and I finally found one I like. I found a book of origami fashion. You can make dresses and purses and shoes and who knows what else. They're not life size. That's not the one I got. That would drive the boy straight out of his ever-loving mind. I just thought it was cool. I think I might see if I can find an origami unit study somewhere. There's an idea. Who knows, maybe we'll start an origami club. Hmmm...

I see my crock pot being brought out from under the cabinet more often now. It is starting to feel unwanted. When we quit all of our extras, when we thought we were moving, it didn't get used much. We were home. I was unfocused so to get me to remember to put something in it and have it ready for dinner was not happening. I am excited that we are going to dance again. When we get registered, I will see if we have time and money for piano lessons. There is an opportunity, maybe, for a girl scoutish type co-op for the girls. I may see if there is interest in a boy scoutish co-op for the boy. No camping, though. Not enough Hilton's or Hyatt's around here. We still have book club once a month for the boy and the big girl. The kids want to start going back to chess club. Add that back to the schedule. Of course, there are field trips. I have lots of ideas for those. What was I saying earlier? How much is too much? I guess we'll find out.

Have a great day.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Some Favorite Vacation Pics

Darn it, it happened again!! The last time was the camera, this time my phone. I seemed to have lost all the pictures I took on my phone. I am very unhappy. The bright side is they were mostly of the USS Alabama. But there was a great family pic with us standing by a huge bullet thingy and me firing the big guns. Anyway, until I get half a minute to breathe, here's some of my favorites from vacation. You'll probably see them again.

 My big girl with her cousin, D. D is the oldest of all the kids. She is amazingly talented and intelligent and beautiful. She gets that from her Auntie.
 Look at this little face. This is the birthday girl, my niece N. Her party was the first time we got an invitation and were able to make the party.
 I called this the great frog hunt. Long story that will go into the birthday party blog, but suffice it to say, the boy got the offending amphibian.
The rodeo!! This was the entance parade. All of the participants and beauty queens and dignitaries ride in. Not the best picture in the world, but I think because you need to see it in person. Lots of horses, lots of people, lots of fun. Well, except that one part...
Mermie with most of her babies. This was standing in line for $7 hamburgers. At least the company was great.

I have a lot going on the next couple of days. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to blog Saturday. I loved spending time with my friends and my family. The time flew by way too quickly, but isn't that the way?

Have a great day.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Home, sweet home. What a great feeling that is. We had a great time, that's for sure. OK, after a while the boy was not having a good time. But when you are the only boy surrounded by 6 girls, you wouldn't have a great time either. I feel for him. The best part of coming home was sleeping in my own bed. The beds I slept in were very nice, don't misunderstand. Mine is just better.

Tonight we actually sat down as a family to have dinner in our home. That was a long 5 weeks, but the burrritos and the company were so worth it. Hubby and I couldn't stop smiling. That's one of our favorite parts of the day.

My heart is heavy since we left. I miss Mermie and I miss Big Sis. I miss my sweet, beautiful nieces. I miss driving those roads. I was driving when we merged onto our last interstate. It was about 2 to 2 1/2 hours to our exit. I missed the way Texans drive so much, I drove like one. Probably because I am one. I tell you what! I made it in 1 1/2 hours plus a little. At one point, I actually said, out loud, "I just spent 5 weeks driving in Texas! You don't scare me!!"

I'm almost done getting the pics loaded. I'll start blogging as soon as I get it all straight. I cannot wait!!

Have a great day.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Quiet Time? What's That?

I don't have a clue. Supposedly, at Mermie's, every day between 2 and 4, quiet time happens. Have you met my children? Some days, when Mermie isn't feeling well, it's just easier to take my kids somewhere else. They start to feel cooped up after awhile and like to go outside and run and play. Ok, not so much the big girl. Give her a good book and you won't see or hear from her for hours. She gets that from her mama. I got it from Mermie, so really, it's just following the line. We've seen movies, gone to the pool, eaten our weight in ice cream, driven into town and explored, or just hung out together. One of my very favorite things to do is spend time with my kids. Lots of people say that, but have you seen them with their kids? The only down side is that hubby isn't here.

Hubby knows what quiet time is. He hates it. It's too quiet at the house. Nobody greets him when he gets home. Nobody fussing and fighting. His wife isn't screaming at the kids when he gets home (I love my kids, but that doesn't mean they don't annoy me from time to time). He also doesn't have me nagging to him about his honey do list. He misses hugs and kisses and eskimos and, and, and. He misses us something fierce. We miss him right back. He's slept on the couch every night since we've been gone. No wonder his back hurts. 

At Big Sis's house, there is no such thing as quiet. The kids have stayed up late, we've stayed up late, and the noise at times can be deafening. I love the chaos of it all. I can't help it. I'm a freak that way. Between 7 kids and 3 adults, we can make some noise. I'm just glad the cops haven't shown up yet. If they did, I would just challenge them to a dance off. And I'd win. My niece says she likes the smack talk that comes out of my mouth. As long as I can back it up. I have two words, baby girl. Bring. It. See, more smack. That was just for her because I love her.

Our vacation is winding down. Big Sis and I can't even talk about it. Makes us cry. Where did all that glorious time go? I have absolutely loved being at her beck and call. Can you help me...? Will you do me a favor and...? Yes, I will and I can. I think I'm gonna cry now just thinking about it. We're going to go swim in her pool because my BIL worked so hard getting it clean for the birthday party yesterday. It deserves to be used.

I know I haven't taken nearly enough pictures. I have tried to lead by example, failing miserably sometimes. I have tried to love on my family as much as I can. I know that hasn't happened nearly enough for my liking. We have had a great time and gone on many adventures. Too soon, though, it will be back to reality. I'm just storing up treasures until next time. Rose colored glasses, anyone?

Have a great day.    

Monday, July 4, 2011

Dusty Trails

I like the saying "You can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl." I didn't really grow up in the country. I did grow up in a sleepy little town on the edge of Ft. Worth. It is not so sleepy anymore. My mom didn't even lock the doors until Big Sis and I moved out. Really, what was the point? People in and out at all times of the day and night. We never knew who was showing up or when.

Living as close as we did to the big city, I was more of a city girl. I like fast cars, nice clothes, and my idea of exercise is running to the opposite end of the mall for a spectacular sale on shoes. That doesn't mean I can't appreciate the way a cowboy looks in his jeans. I learned to drive on interstates and interstate loops. I drove fast and furious to keep up with everyone else and not get run over. I have an appreciation for the finer things. I can't afford them, but I appreciate them.

All of that to say: I really dig the roads where Mermie lives. They are dusty and gravel and some are filled with potholes and poor asphalt. I don't like the potholey ones so much, but I find myself flying down these back country roads like I was born to it. Most people that drive minivans don't drive them like sportscars or pickups. I can't help it. Get me on the highway and look out. Get me on these back country roads and it's all over but the screaming. Ok, you can hear me screaming. I'm the one hollering "Whoo hoo!!!" So much fun, so little time.

I have found my way around the little town where Mermie lives, the bigger town next to it and the one about 20 miles up the road. It really would be down the road since it's south of here, but whatever. I'm liking it. I'm liking it alot. Pretty easy to maneuver in. Except this one section by Wally world in the town down south. A man must have designed that. How do you get lost in a parking lot? I had to take a minute and regroup. I made it, but it was touch and go there for a second. It has all been a great adventure. I love adventures!!

We only have a couple of weeks left. I don't know where the time is going, but it needs to slow down. I don't need it speeding by like me on these dusty roads. But, the reservations have been made for the return trip. I miss my hubby more than anything in the world. I am going to take advantage of every opportunity I have while I'm here. One day this week, I'm going to Big Sis's house and spend some girl time. We are going to lunch, then huddle back in her room and watch the DVR while we eat delicious cupcakes. Then maybe, a movie. City girl gone country gone city. Look out world. I'm on an adventure!!

Have a great day.