Sunday, December 12, 2010

Max and Santa

Santa came around this late afternoon. His sleigh pulled by Rudolph the Pick-Up and escorted by the fire engine.

Emma, Lucy, Ben, Tristan and Max all sat on Santa's lap. I need to go make enchiladas for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe but I *must* share these pictures of Max first! Believe it or not, we didn't know Santa was coming and Max just happened to be wearing this outfit and I pulled this hat out of the back of the closet this morning. I couldn't have planned it better:D

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Hazards of a 4 year old sister...

that is learning to read and write.

What a sweet baby boy, all ready for his nap....

but wait, look, there is something on his hand.

just in case anyone forgot his name, Lucy labeled him.

Monday, November 15, 2010

What a week looks like at our house...

could also be titled, "How many miles Karen puts on the van every week."
People often wonder what homeschoolers 'do' all day. This is what our week looks like excepting book/study.

Sunday-Mass. The rest of the day we relax at home. I try take a nap and it is usually a fairly quiet day.

Monday-Emma has Odyssey of the Mind. In other years we have had anywhere from 1-4 children participating and sometimes I was a coach or co-coach. This year it is just Emma. PHEW! Odyssey of the Mind is a creative problem solving competition and looks like this:

In this photo is a sheep, a radish, a farmer and some mice. Can you find them? Of course they are there "OM style"
This is a photo from the middle school team, OM 2009.

Tuesday- Katie goes to volunteer at the .Institute of Texan Cultures
and Jack and Ian have Civil Air Patrol.

Wednesday- Grace rides. She usually rides this horse, Tequila. Tequila is a quarter horse/thoroughbred cross. I like her, she has spunk. Grace likes her too. Mr. Scott? Thinks she is a pain in the neck :D to put it nicely. She has been riding for over three years and is getting pretty good. It is amazing what riding can do for a child's confidence.

Jack, Katie, Emma and Ben have taekwondo on Wednesday afternoons. I love our TKD school! Their teacher, Ginger, is a home schooling mom of 7 and black belt and grandma, although you would never think she was a grandma :D She is patient and firm and sets the bar high but works just as hard as the kids do to get them to that next goal. I am so appreciative of her influence on the children and the closeness of her home/school to our house! :D

Thursday-chess club for Jack and Ian. It is a community chess club run by a local lawyer. They play every week and go to tournaments every couple months.

Friday-Jack and Katie go to math tutoring downtown. We are very blessed to have good friend from CAP, Cindi, who is a math major at UTSA who tutors Katie and Jack in math for FREE. Grace has piano lessons with Ellie.

Classical Spotlight: EP Rachmaninoff from Classical Spotlight on Vimeo.

Saturday-sometimes Grace rides in the morning, sometimes we have a chess tournament, sometimes Chris needs to go set of rockets for CAP, sometimes we actually stay home and get caught up on housework and yardwork.

How many miles do I put on my van in a week? About 350

Friday, November 12, 2010

Look who has arrived!

"Look who has arrived!!" Ben announced as he brought me Max this morning. Ben likes to check and see if Max is awake in the mornings. Max is about 16 lbs now and pretty sturdy. When Ben carries Max he kind of holds Max around the middle and Max tips to either one side or the other. It looks precarious (it isn't) but regardless of what awkward angle he is tipped at, Max has a huge smile on his face. Max is one super happy baby in the morning. I don't understand. We had the same amount of sleep approximately and I am not one super happy mommmy, I am barely awake mommmy and that is after 16 oz of coffee.

I am not one of those ultra-organized homeschooling moms, much to my mother's and husband's chagrin. I don't ring a bell at 6:30AM or wake my kids with the scent of freshly baked scones. My kids kind of trickle down the stairs between 7:30 and 9AM (or later) they stumble into the kitchen and get some breakfast, then get dressed, then on a good day we get going with school, we'll save what a bad day looks like for another time. Somewhere in there, with just about all of them, even the big boys, they stop. They stop and say "Good Morning!!" to Max and get a big gummy grin. The girls usually stop and play with him for a few minutes and squish his yummy cheeks and tickle him to get a belly laugh. I sometimes get a little melancholy watching Katie with him as I know/hope that at this time next year she'll be gone and won't have the same relationship with him that she has had with the other kids. Usually, I watch and appreciate the fact that they are all home and get to watch him grow and develop and love on him. They don't just see him a few hours or minutes a day here or there. I'm trying to adjust to the fact that our family is entering a new time in our lives. Our older children will start into adulthood and won't be around as often, either they'll be at school or have jobs. Even if they are living here, they won't *be* here. For the big kids and I, them missing out on the littlest ones growing up will be sad. Somehow I think *Queen Lucy's usual morning greeting, "I said, make me cereal, NOW!" will help soften the blow.

*Lucy has informed us "I am not a princess, I am the QUEEN."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thanks for the responses

While I have no intention of writing a novel for NaNoWriMo, although sometimes I dream of writing a novel about a midwife but that is neither here nor there, I will make an effort to write here more frequently. I have some 'deeper' posts planned, we'll see if I have the guts to publish them :D

We've been pretty busy, shocking, I know, that a homeschooling family with 9 children would be busy. Chris' Oct trip to Paris was canceled which ended up being providential as the radiator on the van blew up and he spent all day one Saturday replacing the radiator along with a serpentine belt and pulley. Jack and Katie worked at the local county Republican Party Headquarters cold-calling registered voters. They enjoyed it and it was a real eye-opener in many ways. We're working on school, and college apps for Katie and getting Jack ready for dual credit classes next Spring. Halloween came and went and we are now looking forward to Thanksgiving....I think. We had our first taekwondo tournament of the year and Katie, Jack and Emma competed. Lots of trophies and lots of fun, except the hard kick to the ribs Jack took during sparring but he got back up and finished the match.

I took 6 of the kids to the zoo while I was stuck downtown between a drop off and pick up. The SA Zoo is misery in the summer but an absolutely lovely place to walk around on a beautiful fall weekday.

Max is 5 months old today and I can't believe how time flies. He is rolling everywhere and frequently must be rescued from under tables or jammed up against the fireplace. He is getting up on all fours and I don't think crawling is more than 6-8 weeks away at best. No teeth \o/

See? No teeth, not even a hint of one. I love it!!

This is what Trick or Treating looks like in our 'hood. Trucks and tractors pulling trailers with hay bales and 5-20 kids on each.

Gorgeous picture of Max and Lucy that KATIE snapped.

Daddy and Tristan doing Tristan's absolute favorite thing in the whole world, riding in the trailer of the John Deere.

Grace, Emma, Ben, Lucy and Tristan on the lion statues at the San Antonio Zoo. Yes, it is permitted to climb on them. The ears of the statues are this lovely polished bronze from all the little hands holding on to them.

Katie and Jack. They are teenagers. 'Nuff said.

More Max....

My ridiculously photogenic neighbor, Martha, with Max on Halloween. That is the same clown outfit Katie wore 17 years ago.

Tristan two fisting lollipops in his soldier costume. He loved trick or treating. As he left houses he hollered back "Bye people!!!"

And I leave you with just a little MORE MAX!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

If I got back to blogging regularly...

what would you, my three readers, like me to write about?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Corpus Christi Trip 2010

I took some of the kids to Corpus for the weekend. We had a great time and I realized that staying on the Bay is much less stressful for me than staying in Port A/Mustang Island. No big waves, no undertow = easier to watch 5 kids in the water.

And one random picture of the kids playing in the rain a couple weeks ago.

Click for a full size version

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I'm published....sort of

I have a story in this book:Stories for a Homeschool Heart

To be honest though, while the story is mine and I did write it out, Theresa 'fluffed' it and edited it to the point where I have to say it was co-written.
I received my complimentary copy from the publisher today and read a little while at Fantastic Sam's with the girls. It is a lovely book. I look forward to reading more!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

3 months old!!

These last three months have FLOWN by. Amazing how the last three months of pregnancy draaaaagggg but the first three months of a new baby are gone in a blink of an eye.

I am just tickled to be three whole months old!

I haven't missed many meals.

My brother, Tristan,

shares his "Smith" with me.

I go outside and sit on the porch with Mommy when it isn't too hot.

I am a bit confused by one thing though. There is something soft and orange that always seems to follow me around.

Here I am with sister:

but look at who else is sitting with MY sister!

and then when I am cuddling with Mommy IT shows up again!

I mean REALLY!