Saturday, October 15, 2016

Sunrise at Comanche Lookout Park

Jonathan has really gotten into hiking up Comanche Lookout near our house. He planned an early Saturday morning for him and Harrison (and me as the driver) to get there and see the sunrise and then play for a while with their army gear. 

We got there a little after sunrise, but we still got to see some pretty oranges and pinks. And there was a little group there praying. I love that. 

There were a lot of people there actually ~ jogging, walking dogs. I fixed my hair and had some breakfast and read the Bible while the boys played. 

Harrison is so enamored with his big brother. Jonathan gets a little irritated with him at times, but he also takes a lot of time to play with him and take care of him. The two of them are a picture of brothers dwelling together in unity. That makes my heart happy.

A neighbor came over for lunch last week and brought us a beautiful vase of flowers. Liz has used them in her baking pictures and to make a flower crown. She makes good use of a bouquet. That also makes my heart happy.

A little picture of what my teenager is into these days. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Make Room for Phoebe

Phoebe and I enjoy going to the annual Evening of Spiritual Harmony at our church. It's kind of a fundraiser for Southwestern Christian College. Several acapella groups come from all around (the furtherest this year came from Oklahoma), and do they ever bring it, baby! 

I love to watch good music. I don't always pay attention if I just listen to it on the radio. But when I watch it live, it washes over me ~ I feel more a part of it. And it always makes me long for heaven. I want to be a part of that singing one day.

Phoebe's story, The Quest to Save Rainbow Planet, tied for third place in the FenCon Young Author Story Contest. This was for a cash prize, so it was super exciting for her. She comes up with the zaniest things sometimes, but it's always a laugh. When she catches Phillip and I hugging, she'll squeeze into the middle and peep, "Make room for Phoebe!" 

Elizabeth has been wrapping trees in knitted tree sweaters down at the library. People ask her why. I tell her to look really sarcastic and teenagery and tell them in all seriousness, "Like..... because it's art," and then put her nose in the air. She could take the sarcastic approach or the ditzy artsy approach or the snobby artist approach.  Any of those works. Anyway, one young girl stopped her one day to tell her she loves it and she always looks to see if there are any new ones. 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Some Time with Mom

My mom took the Greyhound down to San Antonio to stay with us a few days before heading to Louisiana to spend some time with her dad. 

The kids haven't been able to spend a nice chunk of time with her before, so we really enjoyed this. 

We hiked Lookout Mountain and watched the sunset. The water tower in the distance is near our house. 

Sunday afternoon we watched Anne of Green Gables. We used to watch this at Grandma's house for the holidays; it's been a favorite for all us girls to watch together.

The youth group was having a Nerd Night Sunday evening, and my mom and I helped serve the supper. Harrison made an awesome little nerd.

We explored a new park. The kids liked it but they said, "Can we come back in the winter?" 
It was a little warm.

Nana made chocolate chip cookies and snickerdoodles with the kids. We played several rounds of Uno. Had good conversations. We cooked meals together, did dishes and laundry and shopping. Lots of normal together while she was here. I enjoyed it immensely. 

Then we drove Mom over to Louisiana and spent a couple of days there. The focus of this trip is spending time with Grandpa. He's almost 90.

And, of course, we have to go to the Alligator Chateau at Oil and Gas Park in Jennings and hold baby alligators. Grandpa had never been there before,
 although he's seen it many times from the highway and wondered about it.

Bubba cooked okra gumbo for us. It was delicious! Chicken and shrimp and lots of okra ~ rice and potato salad. We saw Mrs. Aline and her family, stopped at Scratch Local Boutique and bought a few things (some friends just opened this shop in Crowley and it is lovely!), had supper and good conversation with Teressa and Jayda, visited several other people, and had donuts at Ruddock's Bakery with Uncle Gerald. A lot packed into a little space, but I feel full ~in a good way~ when we're driving back home to San Antonio. 

Saturday, September 3, 2016


We are four weeks into school and it's going very well. I'm surprised at how well, actually, and that scares me a little. What's around the corner? 

The older kids can all do a little more work on their own than they were doing last year. Harrison is quick with math. (Math is one of the longest subjects around here.) We've combined more of the kids for more subjects. We're using more age-appropriate books than we've used in the past. This year I was finally able to pull away from AO with their too-mature books for my students. I am using AO, along with several other websites, as a book-list resource. They recommend some really great books, but I'm finding I would use many of their titles a year or two later than what they suggest. And since they are aiming for close to free, many of their suggestions are older public domain and not as accessible to a young one, in my opinion. 

I find this year that I'm not rushing through readings like I used to. I have time to enjoy what we're doing. I'm very thankful for this ~ thankful for my husband and others who encouraged me to simplify; thankful for the internet and all the blogs and advice and resources out there; thankful to God for answering prayer and caring about school schedules.

Selfie at church.

Harrison's bubble beard ~ inspired by Phoebe, no doubt.

Swimming at the Travis' after Taylor's baptism.

At Oak Haven park with Charlize, sweating and spying out deer. We probably saw 50 at the park and driving around the neighborhood.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Harrison's Cotter Tens Fractal

Well. The best beloved, the last child in our home has reached the Cotter Tens Fractal in his math book. This has been kind of a milestone for each of the kids. I had never heard of the Tens Fractal until doing RightStart, so it's been a novelty for all of us. You can see Elizabeth's, Jonathan's, and Phoebe's by clicking on their names. 

I get to a point like this and am a little reminiscent, a little sad, and a little happy that I won't have to do that again. There are certainly some things I will miss about each age of homeschooling, "Winnie the Pooh" being one of them. But math is quite an accomplishment around here because it's not always easy for the teacher or the taught. RightStart Math has made it fun for me though. It's interesting every single day, and it would be a drag for me if it wasn't at least interesting. My kids might not agree about the interesting part, but that's just because they don't know any different. 

Goodbye, Cotter Tens! We've enjoyed you. 

By the way, if you want your own preprinted triangles so that you don't have to color and cut them all out yourself, you can get the ones my husband made for us here: Preprinted Fractals. What we've done is have each of the kids make one of the tens triangles on their own so that they had a hands-on learning experience with one. And then we reuse the preprinted ones that we cut out for Jonathan so that the job is not so cumbersome.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Jonathan Turns 12

Jonathan is our very social one. He enjoys inviting lots of people to his birthday, so we had eleven boys in our home last Saturday to celebrate Jon turning 12. 

He wanted brownies for his "cake." 

The goal was for them all to join a Minecraft world (or something like that) and play together on Minecraft. That couldn't quite happen like they wanted, but they all joined different games and groups and were able to connect online as they all sat around the living room together.  

They did also play a little Nerf War outside, and I believe some of them caught some Pokemon's (or whatever you call them). 

A couple of neighborhood boys, a couple of friends from church, and the Travis boys (they win the prize for most siblings ~ it was quite fun to have all four boys here). 

A couple of boys that are friends Jonathan met at Tanglewood Christian Camp traveled somewhat far to be here. I thought that was very sweet of them to make that effort.

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Last Couple Weeks

Liz went to work camp with the church on this week. This was her first time. They get together with other churches and paint houses in town. They're gone all day but get to sleep at home at night.

We visited the Japanese Tea Gardens a few months ago and Phoebe's continual words since then were, "I want to go back early in the morning when no one else is around. I want to go by myself." So we dropped Elizabeth off at work camp one day and went to the Gardens alone. There were only a few workers there feeding fish and working in the shrubbery. She chased cats and we walked all around and I sat back and watched her wander off a bit. I think she enjoyed her time alone.

Swimming at Lady Bird Johnson pool. 

And we were blessed by a neighbor who had season passes to Six Flags and invited us on Invite a Friend For Free Day to go with them. This was all of our first time at Six Flags. Liz was at CIY during this week, so she didn't get to go with us.

We rode one roller coaster which scared the kids off anything else that sniffed of scariness. I didn't particularly enjoy it either. It didn't go upside down or anything, but it was really fast and went sidewise and I lost my sunglasses. 

Mrs. Adeba took Harrison on this little ferris wheel while we rode the roller coaster.

Waiting for VBS to begin. 
Harrison was so excited this year! He has had some trouble in the past with being away from parents or siblings. There was a time when he cried every Sunday morning in Sunday School. I think it became a habit for him. But this year he had no apprehensions and had a great time. 

We found this ox beetle in the playground. It looks like a June Bug but is much bigger. This is the female; the male has three horns. It was huge! 

We have one more week of summer and then we begin school! I've got a couple more things to figure out, but we are mostly ready.