Friday, July 21, 2017

VBS and Austin

We had a full week with VBS this past week. I woke up at 5 am the first morning of VBS and wondered if Mrs. Tina (the children's director) had gotten any sleep that night. I was a regular volunteer this week, but I feel for those who are in charge of things like this!

Jonathan was a Group Leader; he had a group of 10 or so kids that he stuck with throughout the morning. I helped with registration and then wherever needed: nursery and crafts. I enjoyed both of those. I'm a task-oriented person, and they both provided plenty of tasks.


I've been listening to a podcast by CiRCE called Close Reads. It's a book club discussion done by three people (mainly). They sometimes have a guest on. Anyway, I found out they were going to do a live recording at the CiRCE conference in Austin, TX. They were sold out of tickets to the conference (I couldn't have attended the whole conference this year anyway), but they answered on Facebook that locals could attend the live podcast. So I got to go! 

The above is Angelina Stanford and Andrew Kern.

And these are the three main podcasters: David Kern, Tim McIntosh, and Angelina.  

It was so much fun to be there! I started fading towards the end because it went for two hours and it was past my bedtime. But I was so glad I got to go. There were several things I had considered doing this summer that were "homeschool mom/planning/encouragement" type things and this one won out. 
I bought a mug to commemorate the event. 

The book we were discussing is Brideshead Revisited, by the way. I'd never heard of it before. I got  so much more out of it listening to their discussion. 

I'm googling the motto on the mug there, and I'm coming up with "Wisdom and Virtue," "Wisdom and Courage," and Wisdom and Power." So they either want us to be virtuous, courageous, or powerful...... Anyone with Latin knowledge, please chime in. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

TX State Aquarium and Malaquite Beach

Alisa and I adventured to Corpus Cristi with eight kids in tow. This was the Gores first time to an Aquarium; we went to Corpus Cristi to the beach a few years ago. The kids have been hankering for some beach time.

Surreal jellyfish. 

Dolphin Show.


I think we could pet starfish and stingrays here.

Looking down into the shark tank.

Garden eels. So cool.

In the Shark Movie Experience. Harrison freaked out!

Emily and H in the garden eel bubble.

Phoebe and Harrison.

These were pretty cool jellyfish.

See the octopus? 

To the beach! 
It was perfect. We were there about 3 hours, so we didn't get Too burnt.

H was especially excited about digging a hole with Emily. They also buried Westley in the sand, but my phone had died by then, so I didn't get a picture. (Pic by Alisa)

Saturday, July 8, 2017

4th of July Week

We checked out the Espada Dam on the San Antonio River one hot afternoon. I thought we'd be able to get in the water, but it really wasn't an area for that. So for a little while we waded in the water flowing over the rocks, but it was awfully hot.

This little kitten saved the day when she showed up hopping through the tall grasses beside an arm of the river. Liz texted some friends to see if they wanted it, and they said "yes!" It took about 20 minutes to catch her (she wasn't scared; she was very playful; that makes us think maybe someone dropped her off; we didn't find any other kittens or a momma around). And we took her to the Kirby Farm where Liz' friend immediately fell in love. She is Fiona Biscuit now. 

Liz got to see Fiona again when we dropped the friend off after a morning at the Guadalupe River.

I tried out corn fritters for the first time for our lunch meal on the 4th of July. It was a hit with most of the family. Phillip said I could make them anytime. They were a bit fussy to make; they're not quick at all. But I definitely will make them again. (This was the corn fritters recipe from Cook's magazine, Elayne.)

These are the tarts I made with the fig preserves that I made from the figs given to me by a couple from church. The guy is from Louisiana not far from where I grew up. He always plants fig trees wherever he moves, and he was giving away a lot of figs in Sunday School. For the filling, I took the preserves and blended them with plum preserves that we had (some recipes recommended apple jelly, but I didn't have any in the moment). This gave it some tartness that I wanted. The preserves I had made were just a little too sweet. I used the fig tart dough recipe from a Cajun cookbook Momo had given me years ago. It was really soft, I had to add some more flour after I filled the trial tart and found I couldn't transfer it to the pan because it would fall between my fingers. 

I was going for fig newtons rather than fig tarts. I definitely needed to add more filling. I love this filling more than others I've made, so that's a keeper. So far I'm the only one around here to enjoy them. Even my little neighbor friend who eats kale with me will not eat these. *shaking my head* They just don't know what they're missing.

One lazy day, I got the boys to help me put together a new world map puzzle from Crocodile Creek. Neither wanted to do it at first, but once we started going, they didn't want to stop till it was finished. 

The rubber egg experiment done with the younger ones (specifically Harrison). You know, the one where you cover an egg in vinegar for 3 days and it eats away at the egg shell and rubberizes the outside of the egg so that it will bounce (bounce it lightly!), but will also break after a while (the inside is still raw). This is another one of those things that I did with the olders and then forgot about it because I had "crossed that one off my list." 

Dad wanted Elizabeth's homemade french fries, so he was on potato peeling duty. 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Camp 2017

Three down, one to go.

This was Harrison's first year at camp! It was a weekend camp with a parent. Phillip got to have the special weekend with his son.

I dropped Jonathan and his friends off at camp and a different parent brought them home (yay for carpooling!). I don't know why my camera took this weirdly-colored photo. Maybe it was overheated from the long drive. 

Phoebe and Charlize have been camp buddies for 3 years now. The first year, they didn't talk to one another for months after camp was over. I'm chuckling to myself over this right now, knowing the two of them. But they worked it out eventually and have been close friends since then. 

Harrison and the neighbor's slip'n'slide. I love this neighborhood because everyone shares what they have. The trampoline next door, popsicles or juice drinks, basketball goals.... 

Liz will be going to CIY in a couple of weeks. She'll be the last camp-goer. 

Our prayer for the kids while they're at camp is that they will learn something new about God and make close friends (and be friends) who point one another to God.