Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Week In Review

This has been a busy week.
I have all but abandoned the
curriculum that had me 
giddy with excitement a few weeks ago.

After getting into it
and reading through 
the materials
it is just not me.

There are many reasons,
but suffice to say - 
the hunt continues!

I told you last week that 
R had written a letter to his old school mates.
At the request of one of my sisters...
we are adding letter writing to our weekly
So aunts and grandmas...
be patient and 
check your mail!
Each week a letter will be written to a different person.
It is an exciting addition to our lessons.

We officially signed A up for dance.
We chose the "hip hop/cheer/tumble" class.
Well actually, she did. 
And she LOVES it.
I captured a few pictures
through the glass.

They aren't the best, sorry.

(warm up laps around the studio)
notice the shirt!!  
Go Pack!!

stop for a couple of jumping jacks

 more jumping jacks

standing on their "x" spots

touchdown move!

We had a birthday this weekend.
 A turned the big 3!!
We started the day by getting up 
SUPER early to have everyone at 
another 8am basketball game. 

Then on to a football game.
Couldn't find a jacket that fit little man...
so we borrowed brother's.

He got a lot of laughs and giggles when I let him get down
and walk around a bit.
Makes me think of ET.

Let me out....

For those interested in keeping count

After this past weekend:
Blue Jays Basketball is 2-1
Wolfpack Flag Football is 2-1

We came home briefly to regroup. 
Then went to an eat-in theater to watch 
a private showing of
Beauty and the Beast.
(oddly no one else showed up to watch the 2pm showing)
That was a first
cause we could let the little ones wander
a little.

Then we took Ms. Priss to 
a habachi restaurant
which was NOT
like the ones back home
and it will probably be a one time visit to that one.

She passed out on the way home.
Then we had to wake her to do her cake
and presents.

Kitty pony tail holders that didn't make it through one church service without falling apart.
I stuffed the errant bow in daddy's pocket without telling him and he gave me the oddest 
look later when he found it.  (yep, he is a daddy of a little girl)

Everyone helped open gifts.

Hello Kitty (of course!!)
Made my your's truly!!
Strawberry Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream - YUMMY!
and a great way to KILL a diet!!

T is trying to figure out where his candle is and why he didn't get one!!

Looks like he is ready to dive in!!

Sunday we did a little "Sunday driving"
and stumbled upon this pretty site!!
This is a river on the other side of the 
Medina Lake Dam...
you will see what is left of Medina Lake below.

This is Medina Lake.
The white all around the edges is where the water USED to be!!!
Apparently they drained the lake right before the drought down here
to do some work...

If you look closely the "debris" on the far side of the hill are:
docks and a pontoon!!!

We actually looked at some property out this way.  
It was beautiful!!
6.33 acres
in a planned subdivision 
with a pool and clubhouse...
wonder what will become of this.

Then Monday we got some much needed rain.
I, personally, LOVE the humidity when it comes.
Feels more like home!
We got a nice steady soaking most of the afternoon.
The kids and I actually sat doing their school work
at the kitchen table with the back door open listening to
the rain.
Then as I started dinner, they wound up on the covered back porch.
And silly me, uttered the words...
"Don't get wet!"

Yeah - fat chance on that one!
I wish I would have taken more pictures, but I didn't 
want to encourage them in their blatant disobedience.
But I witnessed my 
two oldest boys
using coolers and anything they could find
to fill up
the babies' empty turtle sandbox
then they hiked their pant legs up to their knees
and proceeded to stomp and squeal with delight 
as they took turns in the turtle sandbox that they turned into a kiddy pool.
(as much as a 7 yo and 5 yo boy squeal with delight anyways)
All daddy and I could do was just sit there and watch.
Eventually the baby girl got chilly and came in.
Then things got crazy and the boys
asked to go on the 

Hopefully I got some cool mommy points from the boys for this. 
I remember the joy of playing in the rain
when I was a kid.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pizzas, Putt Putt, PE & PenPals


We have added a new lunch "activity"
make your own pizza! 
How simple and how yummy!!
And the kids love it!!!
And if you get
whole wheat (with fiber) english muffins
2% mozzarella cheese
pizza sauce (no fat, no sugar)
turkey pepperoni
its actually GOOD for them too!!

Our first go at it...
I let the boys make them for everyone.

(yes the boys need haircuts)

Mommy: "Smile"
L: "Cheese"

Mommy:  "Try again, smile, please"
L:  "Cheese"

Mommy:  "Ok, this time open your eyes please"

(Argh! Forget it!)

Whatever - you guys get the point!
The kids all enjoyed the pizzas.

So much we did it a second time and I let L
make her own this time:

Next up...

Putt Putt

We went out to Canyon Lake to explore
took in a quick game of Putt Putt.

T helped retrieve everyone's balls.

Yes - that is a STEEP hill. 

We kept trying to get her to turn the club head around
but eventually gave up and let her do it her way.

Look at that form!  :)

Checking out the hole...

J telling me how much fun that was and
that he was going to do it again.

The ball retriever...

And the ball thief!

Do you know how hard it is to play
Putt Putt with a ball
obsessed 1 year old?

We had a good time - daddy and mommy were playing
in the beginning but
gave up quickly cause it is too hard to keep up with the 
chaos of 
4 little ones
3 swinging clubs
6 loose balls
and a 
1 year old who
decides he needs to 
be in the 
of all of it!


The older 2 participate in a 
Homeschool PE class that we found.
We go almost every Monday 
and the boys really enjoy it.

There is a "coach" who leads all
the games and activities 
and then they get to have free time
before and after
the organized class.

And the cool part is it is 
all different ages (4-14)
all different skill levels

Here are a few pics from freeplay.
Its with my phone so they aren't the best
but if you look really closely
you can see the joy on their faces!!

 and finally...


When we left NC and R left his old school.
His teacher mentioned that he could write to his class
and they would write back.

So as a language arts exercise,
we took her up on that idea!

R made a list of the things he wanted to tell his class about.
Then he wrote a letter
using his best handwriting
and paying attention
to spelling, capitalization 
and punctuation.

I am KICKING myself for not scanning it in 
before we sent it!

I asked him what he wanted to tell them about
and fresh on his mind
was the roller coaster he has been going on
at SeaWorld.
I also suggested he tell them that we are homeschooling
and that I am his teacher.
He told them a little about what we do
and then I used this as an opportunity
to ask him if he liked homeschooling
(so he could put it in his letter, of course)
he said he did (phew!)
so he wrote what he liked about it.
His number one reason for liking
Its a whole lot shorter than normal school!
(whatever, I'll take it!)

I got an e-mail from his teacher today 
and the class enjoyed his letter.
Some of the students are even writing him back!!

One final note...
Daddy introduced the boys to chess about a year ago.
It is a "belt loop" you can earn in scouts.
So daddy took that as an opportunity to teach them.

Since then - they have BOTH caught on amazingly.
And they were gifted with a nice wooden set
for Christmas.
J is way more into it than R though.
I have attempted to avoid learning.
Last night, my 5 yo roped me into a game though.
I told him he was going to have to teach me
and he was MORE than happy to do so.

He did a great job and was very informative and very patient with me.
I told him he was a great teacher.
He got a kick out of the fact that 
I was "his student".

And giggle profusely when I did made a move without considering
the consequences and he took my...
I have no idea what he took to be honest
but he thought it was hilarious when I took his (something)
and then he told me that wasn't a good idea 
and immediately took my (whatever).
I was all excited about my move
til he swiftly took my (whatever), 
in return
and I said 
"well that didn't last long"
and he busted out in a total sly giggle fit.
Wish I would have had a camera!

And yes - I got "schooled" at chess by my 5 year old!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Almost Like Home...

So you know the boys are playing sports.
R - Flag Football
J - Basketball
For the time being - the kids *have* to pick
ONE sport to play each season.
Yes - we make them,
much to J's chagrin!
He is not quite as aggressive
as R and doesn't seem to enjoy it
as much as R,
but then again - 
not many kids do!

Daddy is coaching both teams.
Team Names are:
Team 2
Team 4

Yeah - the Y got REALLY creative with those!

coach took it upon
himself to name
the teams.
The flag football team, of 7-8 year olds, had no choice.
The basketball team, of 5 year olds, got to vote.

At the last practice,
J's basketball team
all got to bring to the table
their suggestions...
their jersey colors are
Duke Blue.
So the 5 year olds came up with:

(after the local pro basketball team)
(no explanation needed)
Blue Dragons
(no explanation available)
Blue Jays

They widdled it down to:

Blue Dragons
Blue Jays

then they got to vote.

Blue Jays won!
(there was one vote for Blue Jay Dragons)

So J's team is the Blue Jays.

R's team...
like I said
the kids had no say.
Because coach is an 
NC State grad
and has given way too much
of his money to the 
NC State Athletics dept
over the years.
Coach requested
red jerseys.
Then "TOLD"
the kids that we were the Wolfpack.
Figured there wouldn't be many
of those out here.

Our first flag football game,
I am sitting enjoying watching the 
boys in red and hollering 
for the Wolfpack
(quite a different experience than what we are used to - 
I have been to literally almost every single 
NC State Wolfpack  
home game in the last 
15 years!!!!!)
So here I am hollering for 
my replacement 
Wolfpack Football
when the parent beside me starts hollering
the Devils...
then a few minutes later
he yells for...
the Blue Devils
I about jumped out of my skin
with excitement!
(I know, it doesn't take much!)
So here I am
in Texas
1500 miles away from 
and of
the team names these
kids on the other team
could have chosen...
they chose 
the Blue Devils.

So, of course,
I had to share my 
with the parent hollering
for the Blue Devils.

Then today,
we were playing a different team
and I overheard a conversation behind
The coach of the Blue Devils
was relaying the events of the previous week
to another parent and 
I heard him talking about
our "new"
Wolfpack team
and how he
had heard that 
the coach (my hubby)
had recently moved from 
NC and were grads of
North Carolina State 
(sounded weird when he said it like that)
And, yes, I spun around and said
"that's me!"

So even though
I am 1500 miles away

I still get a little piece of home
while hollering for my Wolfpack
as they play
the Blue Devils
twice this winter.

Flag Football Wolfpack

Basketball Blue Jays

Here is a picture of the Wolfpack in action last week.
I forgot the camera this morning so no pics of the Blue Jays yet.
4 kids and an 8am game - I am lucky I remembered all the kids!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Girl Stuff and Boy Stuff

Girl Stuff...
Our daughter is growing up in a house full
of stinky BOYS!
She plays with 
Monster Trucks
(pink ones)
She was addicted to the 
SpiderMan cartoon
(thanks to her daddy for fueling it!)
for a bit.
But we are trying to even out
all the testosterone in this house
with a little extra dose
of estrogen.

Her latest obsession
Hello Kitty 
(I think I have discussed this previously).
She was inundated with
Hello Kitty items
for Christmas.

So we have finally decided to start her in 
dance classes.

Luckily the studio nearby
has allowed us to try 
out their two classes for
her age to see what she likes.

She did the ballet/tap/jazz class 2 weeks ago.

Then yesterday we took her to the other class at this studio:
Hip - Hop/Cheer/Tumble.

This one was WAY more energetic for our little
"wild thing".
But it was WAY more crowded.

Didn't get any pics of that one - it was a bit chaotic with
all those little girls in there and 
parents in the waiting area.

Then I captured this gem at
Jackson's basketball practice 
a few weeks ago...

I really have no words for this picture.

Now on to the 
Boy Stuff

The boys got a set of Kinects for 
Christmas a few years ago from their 
They hadn't played with them too much
til we moved out here
and started this whole 
"homeschooling thing".

So they got a 
Roller Coaster 
set for Christmas too.

They have been 
build it.
Daddy and I have been resisting because it says it is 
for 9+ years
and just knew that it was going to require
adult assistance.

I finally gave in and R worked DILIGENTLY 
at it for a couple of hours in one afternoon.

Then when R was at football practice, 
J decided to try his hand at it...

Yep - 
this is my 5 year old
constructing a roller coaster
said to be for 9+ years!!

I had to help a *tiny* bit with the track.  But
unfortunately with the help of 2 younger
we lost the last piece of track, so we
were never able to actually see it in action.
(And I haven't taken the time to scour the
laundry room and playroom for it.)
And since then, it has been slowly dismantled 
by said younger siblings.

We will try it again in a few weeks and hopefully locate that last piece.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Incompetent Nincompoops & My Inner Redneck

One of the perks of this move to Texas
has been the opportunity to do 
things with the kids, we have not
yet had the opportunity to do.

My mother-in-law flew
in for a visit.  
Wound up being an unexpected
short visit
but we packed more fun and 
into this weekend.
My husband said it was like a 
and we put poor
Grammy on the plane
But those are the
best kinds of visits,

Our Friday started off with a 
visit to a new urgent care.
We have visited a very highly
recommended pediatrician
but it is a 30 min trek
and I just CAN'T do that.

So we had to hit up the new urgent
care around the corner when
the baby had a coughing 
fit at lunch due to all the crud in his sinuses
and drainage.
We checking into the urgent care shortly after noon.
In my concern for his breathing,
it never dawned on me to 
sign my daughter, A, in
while we were there 
and have her ears looked at.
Since she was complaining the day
before but hadn't since.

REALLY long story short...
2 hours and $100 later
we walked out with them
faxing 2 prescriptions
to our selected pharmacy.
Daughter had massive double ear infection.
Baby had minor ear infection.

Went to the pharmacy and somehow 
they only received one of the prescriptions.

So I picked up the one I could,
then had to go back to urgent care to get a hard copy.
Cause for whatever reason no-one there could
talk to a pharmacist!
Defeated the WHOLE purpose of faxing.
Got back to the pharmacy only to find out
that the incompetent nincompoops at the
urgent care wrote the WRONG name 
down for the baby.
No wonder the pharmacy couldn't find
the scrip for MY child...
there wasn't one!

After all of this - I couldn't wait on the second scrip.
So we decided to come back and get it later.

After we got Grammy from the airport,
we grabbed a late dinner
we went back to the pharmacy to get the 
baby's meds.  
I am not a pharmacist,
but when they are diagnosed with the same
thing and the baby's meds are more
than my daughter's...
it raises a flag.
Come to find out
the wrong dosage had
been prescribed to my daughter. 
She was prescribed 1/4 of the 
dosage she needed.
2.5 ml vs 2.5 tsp
minor typ-o 
consequences when it comes to 
It took 30 minutes to straighten this out with
the urgent care staff!
Once again -
incompetent nincompoops.

So after all that fun on Friday.
Daddy and the older boys were
up and out of the house by
7:15 Saturday morning
headed to J's 
first basketball game.
Daddy coaching by default.
They won.
Then home to get the rest of us
and off to game #2 for the day.
R's first flag football game.
Daddy coaching by choice.
They won.
(Daddy likes to say that he is undefeated.)
Then later that afternoon
Daddy and I took the older two boys
to our first ever
Monster Jam!
I have to admit that
a little of my inner redneck came out!
(I only have a little - promise!)
First and foremost it was
see the shear excitement 
in those boys eyes as
lit up 
 the total joy.

Here are a few pictures 
of the excitement.

R's Favorite Truck

J's Favorite

Mommy's Favorite
(cause I found out a NC boy was the driver!!)

Chick driver!!!  Whoo hoo!!!

You should have seen the entire (sold out!)
arena get on its feet and holler when 
this truck flipped over.

Yep - I got all dressed up to go to the Monster Truck Rally!!