Saturday, February 6, 2016

Phoebe Selfie, etc.

Love my beautiful Phoebe. She likes to take crazy selfies. 

She wanted to work on a sewing project together so she could learn the sewing machine. At first she wanted to sew a dress, but that seemed a bit advanced. Elizabeth helped her find easy pajama pant patterns online. I helped her, but she did most of the work and they turned out really cute! The material is little foxes on a black background.

Our neighborhood has been active outside with this awesome weather lately. They're teaching Jonathan how to throw a football and play soccer. Since our family is not especially sporty, I'm glad he's getting some exposure to The Sports. 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

South Texas Visit

We went to visit Mimi and Papa for Phillip's birthday. 
That's a nice thing about homeschooling ~ you can rearrange the school schedule whenever you want or need to. 

The kids opened their Christmas gifts from Mimi and Papa. The gifts gave them something to do while hanging out for a couple of days.

We went to see the Iwo Jima memorial in Harlingen, TX. It's the original full-size plaster model of the famous bronze sculpture in Washington, DC. There was a short movie about it, and Papa told us some stories that he'd heard from men who had been in that battle.

A delicious Mexican restaurant. 

A farmer friend of Papa's invited us to his citrus orchard to pick grapefruit, oranges, and lemons. He often sends down bags of fruit when Mimi and Papa come to visit, and so we are blessed with lots of fresh citrus!

He had some stories to tell us too about dealing with thieves who will come fill the back of a pick-up with the fruit and then sell it at farmer's markets. 

He told us about these cutter ants that like the leaves and some of the fruit. He said they're fine for older trees, but they can destroy young trees. The ants were marching in a long line and we followed  them to their nest. They have big squarish heads and spider-looking legs. Quite industrious little folks. 

Harrison and Emily the day after we got back and had to start right back to school and HAAC day. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Christmas Time

I've had some trouble accessing my photos this past month, so there are quite a few pictures here that have been saved up. They are not necessarily in order, but that's okay. They at least belong mostly to the month of December of 2015. Good enough for me.

My mom has been in Louisiana the past 6 months settling Momo's affairs (selling the house; allocating possessions to family members, etc). We received two wooden chairs and these figurines. The wooden chairs are from my Great Grandma Emilie (Momo's mother). My mom said she had these chairs in her welcoming room. It was like a tiny parlor where visitors would sit when they came visiting. If you know Cajuns, you know they like to go visiting. Mom thinks the chairs have to be a hundred years old. They're great quality ~ very sturdy. I'm blessed to receive them. 

I remember the boy and girl figurines being on Momo's shelf from earliest memories. Mom isn't sure where she got them. The little bell is a wedding favor, it seems like. It also came from Great Grandma Emilie. The little tag reads, 
"Wedding bells are ringing! As our hearts are singing! A celebration has begun! For two hearts are joined as one! Ring the bell to wish the Bride and Groom a lifetime of Love and Happiness."
Perhaps it was an alternative to throwing rice as the bride and groom left the building. I believe Grandma liked collecting bells and Momo received some of them (or all of them?) when Grandma passed away. Momo kept them on a wooden shelf in her house. This was the only bell that had a clapper left in it.

I wanted to keep track of these little stories about the antiques we received, but I knew if I wrote them down, I would lose the paper in a shuffle. Perhaps they will survive better on the blog and my kids will know the stories behind these family treasures.

Phoebe's bonnet that she requested for Christmas. 
She bought the apron at Pioneer Farms this past year.

Elizabeth's Archery Lessons that she requested. 
The discovery class was only $10, so I went ahead and took it with her. Feels pretty awesome to shoot a bow and arrow.

Christmas day in the morning!

One of the two family chairs from Grandma Emilie.

Selfies at church in Louisiana. We sat in the back, so it's okay.  

Christmas day in the morning. 
Harrison and his 3-foot shark. He calls it Long-Shot because it's so long.

This was so neat ~ I had mentioned to my kids and a neighbor that it might be fun for our kids to carol to one of our elderly neighbors. Well, the kids were not thrilled with the idea, so I let it go. But then on Christmas Eve, Phoebe and Charlize knocked on our door and sang "Jingle Bells" to us and it was very loud and sounded really good, so I asked them if they would invite some other neighbors and go sing to the Cokers. They did (Mr. Coker gave them each a dollar). Then they went to more houses. At each house, more kids joined the caroling group. One family passed out festive hats for them to wear. Most of the families gave the carolers candy. And just about everyone loved it. (One lady, who I believe is Jehovah's Witness, asked the kids to stop because she was on the phone.) It was really neat to watch the kids plan and accomplish this on their own. And this might seem silly, but it was something I had prayed about happening to cheer up our elderly neighbors, but had dropped the idea. And then it went and happened without me needing to make it happen. I love that. 

Christmas Eve watching of "A Christmas Carol." 

Another neighbor who is from Trinidad. 
She wanted a picture of the kids in front of her tree. She decorates her tree with poinsettias. It makes a vibrant decoration for a home. 

At church in Louisiana. 
My dad was there to pick up my Mom and we were all able to sit together in church. Uncle Gerald even sat with us. I did not get a picture of Grandpa Black, but he was also at church and we ate lunch with him at Golden Corral and we went to visit him right before we drove back to San Antonio. So we got to spend quite a bit of our time with him. Such a neat story; I'm grateful he's now in our lives.

Our meal for Christmas Day. 
We were home for Christmas and then traveled Saturday morning to go to Louisiana. We came back Sunday evening, so it was a quick trip. But our Christmas meal was simple. The rolls did not rise to the occasion like I would have liked, but they were still okay. Edible at least. :-) The vanilla crumb pie was tasty, but I had to make the custard part twice. And the crust was not that great. I have never been able to get the hang of making pie crust. That'll give me something to keep me busy in life though; something to continue aspiring to. The kids all liked the cornbread casserole this year. Their taste buds are maturing! 

Another caroling picture of Charlize, Phoebe, and Kaia. 

This was a gift for Phoebe. 
She had mentioned maybe wanting a certain tea set that you decorate, but didn't seem particularly thrilled about it (she was listing off gift possibilities for us). Phillip said maybe we should get her a real tea cup and saucer since she's getting older and might appreciate that more. So I went to a thrift store close by to see if they had anything neat. I saw this one and loved it. It's made in England which made it even more desirable since Phoebe loves to listen on Librivox to stories that take place in England ("Little Princess" and such). I asked the store owner if I could just purchase those two pieces since I could tell the set was already incomplete. She didn't want to sell just the two pieces, so I told her I only had $10-$15 to spend on this gift. She thought about it and then said I could have the whole set for $15. So Phoebe got 7 pieces for her Christmas gift, and I was thrilled that I got a deal. (This is a big deal to me because I'm not great at making deals!)

We tackled gingerbread houses again. 
The last time we made gingerbread houses was 5 years ago. We made the gingerbread ourselves and it took several days and it was a huge mess. This time we bought kits and it was so much better! The candy tasted gross (this is a great thing if you don't want the kids to keep eating the candy!), there were plenty of materials (I thought for sure the kit wouldn't have enough frosting), the gingerbread was well packaged (I also thought for sure there would be some broken pieces when we opened it up). And I'm pretty sure we spent less money with the kits than when we bought all those different kinds of candy. Nonetheless, here's to another 5 years before we do that again!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Star Wars Week. It's a Thing.

So we have some Star Wars fans in our household. 

I saw my first Star Wars movie in the theatre with my parents and siblings when I was 17 or 18. "Return of the Jedi" was the only one I had seen until Phillip and I dated, and it was kind of a requirement that I watch them before our relationship could proceed. (JK. It wasn't that bad. But he was definitely holding his nerdiness back until we were married.)

The new movie has been much anticipated this past year. They watched the originals leading up to release of "The Force Awakens." And then we took Friday off of school to go see the movie that morning. (Thank you to Uncle Cory for the Christmas movie gift card!)

We all highly enjoyed it. It was kind of overwhelming to watch it on the big screen. There's a lot to take in. The new characters were so much fun. The old characters were familiar and comfortable. It was classic Star Wars. A good story, good action, great dialogue. J.J. Abrams did not disappoint. 

We've been taking walks at night to get some exercise and found some trees in our neighborhood for the kids to climb. Bunch of monkeys.

Phoebe has been creating doll outfits for her rag doll. She's spent quite a bit of her money on sewing notions and material lately. I need to get her on the sewing machine soon.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Elizabeth is 14

Fourteen red balloons for Elizabeth.

Phoebe made this formation out of math tiles to celebrate her sister. Jonathan bought some music to share with her on her birthday. Harrison..... I think he was just cute on her birthday. Oh, he shared his sandwich with her at Firehouse Subs.

She wanted a store-bought cake: Black Forest. We had a simple family gathering: ate at Firehouse Subs, had cake and gifts, played Scrabble, went for a crisp evening walk; and then she wanted to go with her dad to "In the Heart of the Sea" in Imax when it comes out next week. 

My dad made her these wooden spoons she can use to cook and bake with. They're gorgeous! She's using birthday money from Mimi and Papa to buy a record player and records as well.  

And since it's officially December, we're "allowed" by certain persons in the house to put up Christmas decor. 

This was a wedding gift from someone at Memphis, MO. It's a favorite Nativity set for the kids to set up. 

And I love this little scent warmer fireplace that my mom gave me a long time ago.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Visitors and Boxey Pets

Mimi and Papa stopped to visit on their way down to the Valley. It's always a fun time with Mimi and Papa! 

Mimi pulled Elizabeth's hair back to make sure her granddaughter's face could be seen. :-) Thank you, Mimi! It's a beautiful face. And now she's probably embarrassed and won't let me post pics of her again for a couple years. I'll keep you posted as the drama unfolds.....

Several years ago, Elizabeth made these neat little paper toys that she called Boxey Pets. I cannot find a picture of the ones she made, though she made quite a few for people. But they were window boxes with little pets inside attached on three sides to paper strips that you could pull on to make the pet move. 

 Jonathan and Phoebe and Harrison decided to re-launch the line of Boxey Pets but made them a little different by attaching the pets to sticks that go up through the bottom of the box with neat backgrounds inside. Kind of like puppets, I guess. 

Jonathan made an ocean scene.

 Phoebe made a deer in the forest.

 Harrison's is an underground squirrel.