Saturday, February 27, 2010

Our mini vacation

Well, Grandma's visit came to an end this week, as she boarded a plane back to Arizona. It was a wonderful visit and we enjoyed every minute of it. Anytime we have a family member visit, I always feel a bit down for a day or two after, not because the visit was not good, but the sadness of seeing them go, knowing it will be months before we see them again. Oh how nice it would be to be within a few hours drive of family! Unfortunately, that is not the case, so we deal the best we can with the distance between us. We jumped right back into school after a week off, and we were all feeling a bit lazy about doing work, I think! Time off having fun can do that to you! I'm sure we'll pick up the pace again this next week. The big girls and I had a "girls day out" today, courtesy of my sister. She sent all 4 of us tickets to Cirque Dreams at the theater downtown for our Christmas present. It's by the same company that does Cirque de Soleil (did I spell that right?), but it's a little different. There were lots of lights and acrobatics-pretty neat. The girls just loved it and were tickled pink to be sitting in a real theater. I think we need to have more days out with the girls in the future! We finished off our day with a nice walk, enjoying the beautiful weather here and letting everyone get some exercise. Wow, between the weekend and Grandma's visit, I feel like I've been on a mini vacation. I think a little R&R did us all a lot of good!

Monday, February 22, 2010

More visit updates

This weekend, my 7 yo daughter participated in the district spelling bee in the Houston area. This was just for the younger kids and was considered just for fun, as they don't advance to the regular scripps competition. She did well and placed 10th. There were a lot of really great spellers there-they spelled some words that many adults wouldn't be able to spell! Here she is just before the competiton. We're so proud of her!

Later that day, we took Grandma out to the Forbidden Gardens, right near us, which is supposed to be similair to the Forbidden City in China. We just finished studying China in school, so it was a good field trip.

Here is a replica of the terracotta soldiers that were found buried with the Chinese emperor, who thought they would defend him in the afterlife. Obviously not true, but interesting to see anyway. Originally there were 8,000 lifesize soldiers found. These are a 1/3 replica and there are about 4,000 of them.

Another small scale version of the palaces. The detail was incredible.

On Sunday, it was church-we were proud to have Grandma as our honored guest. Here is a picture taken directly after. Isn't it beautiful?

Grandma will need to check her suitcase before she leaves-she may have a little stowaway in there!

Friday, February 19, 2010

A long distance visitor

This week we have a very special visitor-Grandma! It truly is a blessing when she visits and the kids look forward to it for weeks. So what kind of fun things have we done? Well, not a whole lot-the kids really just enjoy hanging out and being with Grandma-no special field trips needed! Grandma did bring a bingo set with her for the kids, which they love. So they played a couple games of that, taking turns being the announcer...

And of course, there has been plenty of snuggling, reading books time in the recliner.
Do you think she can fit anymore on her lap?
We were able to take advantage of the nice weather and gather everyone up for a walk. Grandma pulled the littles in the wagon all the way!

The kids loved riding their bikes, too.

This visit will go quickly, like it always does, but we enjoy every minute we have with her. We love you Grandma!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Life almost back to normal

After having sickies for over a week, it looks like we may be coming to the tail end of illness in our house. The baby started feeling a bit sick today with some bad diapers, but most everyone else is feeling better. The only one who was spared is my oldest son, but he may be next. Life has been getting back to normal. School is going on pretty much as usual. The oldest boys are back into biology, this time dissecting a new little critter-a crawfish. They were able to open it up and see the brain (which is quite tiny), the reproductive organs, and all the other glorious inside parts. I've never eaten crawfish-and really don't want to after seeing it like this-but the insides looked incredibly similair to chicken. Don't know if the taste is the same!

My oldest has been working lots of hours at his job lately and was called in today. However, when he came in, someone else asked to work his shift who didn't have many hours, so he gladly obliged. I was happy to have him home because I needed someone to put together our new office chair. Our other one had seen better days-it had a hole ripped in the seat and was in need of replacing for a while. Here he is, working away! I'm so happy he could do it-if it were left to me, it would still be in the box.

So there you have it-life back to normal at our house!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Life in the infirmary....

If you've wondered why I have been absent from blogging this entire week, I can sum it up in two words: Sick kiddos. Yes, again. We are not normally this sick in any given season, but this winter has been one of the worst for us. This particular virus is more of a stomach flu, so it seems that much worse, given the consequences of it. So far, we have had half of our crew get sick with at least some version of this illness, which means we could potentially have 5 left who could get it. In case you're wondering, yes, I did get it. Friday was my day and I literally spent all day in bed, from 7:00 a.m. until almost dinnertime, sleeping nearly the entire time. I felt exhausted and nauseated and ran a slight fever-yuck. Fortunately, by Saturday morning, I was feeling much better, though my stomach is still telling me to take it easy. Our kids didn't fare as well as I did. We have been up probably 3 or 4 nites this week, cleaning up vomit from bedsheets and floors, and giving little kids showers to wash off the mess. We haven't had more than one vomiter per nite, which I am thankful for. I know there are a lot of things I will probably miss about having little kids as mine grow older-the little handprints on the wall, the legos left on the floor, the noisy voices. But let me tell you, cleaning up puke at 2 a.m. is NOT one of them! With Dad leaving for a business trip and Grandma coming for a visit in the next few days, I am hoping this week shows itself to be very uneventful. I've got my eyes on spring-and it can't get here a moment too soon!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sleepy time

Little guy decided to get up at 5:15 this morning (!) much to mom's surprise. By 7:30 a.m., guess what happened......................

Sleepy time!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Weekend relaxation

Oldest boys got a new tent this week to replace the one that leaked on the boy scout camping trip last week :-( This one has a nifty rain guard, so hopefully it will keep out any and all moisture! Nothing like being sopping wet in a sleeping bag to dampen your spirits! This one's nice and tall, too. They tried it out and it fits them both-and best of all, it's a snap to set up. Cool, huh?

Also, last nite hubby took 4 of the boys to the Monster Truck show downtown. No, they're not necessarily into that kind of thing, but when the tickets are free, you take them! Most excited was my 5 yo. He talked all week about going to see the monster trucks.

Unfortunately, his attention span is about 15 minutes long, so after that time, he kept asking when it was time to go home. It was quite loud, too, so in the absence of ear plugs, dad shoved some wadded up napkins in his ears. It did the trick. They had a lot of fun and saw some cool monster truck tricks. Fun!
Today my boys are gearing up for the Superbowl. One of the biggest days of the year for them. Sadly, neither of the teams favored in this house made it this far, so they had to pick a new team to root on today. If anything, it's a good excuse to cook up some yummy pizza, wings, and snacks. Yum!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Homeschool happenings

I haven't been consistent in my blogging this week at all-I guess you could say that life happens! And it most certainly does at our house! This week, my big kiddos had a dissecting project in biology. The poor victim? A big earthworm. They got to see all the inner parts and intestines and were just slightly grossed out by it. I actually thought it was pretty cool.
Next up will be a long-legged frog and a crawfish! Geez, my kids are soooo excited! Elsewhere in the house, my little ones were busy building a 3 story luxury home out of gears.
They said it was for their reindeer, but when they went looking, they found that he escaped-or ran away. The new tenant? Mr. Mole. I think he fits in there quite nicely.
In other exciting news, someone very important came back to stay at our house.....
Yes, it's Mr. Bosch! He was truly missed during his 2 1/2 weeks at the factory getting an overhaul. Like I say, only I can break a machine like this that's not even 2 years old. It is such an essential machine in our home and gets used everyday, so you can imagine why I was jumping up and down, ecstatic, when he came home.
I did develop quite the arm muscles from hand kneading during his absence. And shared some fun moments of bread making with the kids...
Awwwww....maybe we'll have to put the machine away every once and a while!