Sunday, November 23, 2014

A lot to be grateful for

Thanksgiving is coming this Thursday. Yesterday we drove the nine hours to Arkansas to spend the holiday with Matthew and Lauren Bush. It feels great to have a little break from school and the normal patterns of life in Texas.
On Friday before I left, I took our four pets and six kids (our five plus one of Elia's friends) around town dropping off the pets at various friends' houses who agreed to let sit for us. It was quite the full load. Since I don't have too much to share this week, I thought I would give updates on what everyone is doing:
Elia: piano, tennis, gymnastics, loves geography (knows all fifty states and capitals), likes making things (jewelry, etc) and reading. 
Ethan: can usually be found making intricate and sophisticated lego creations. Including flying objects with multi-rotational wings. He also carries a backpack with him with essential supplies for outdoor survival such as duct tape, blankets, spy gear, rope, etc.
Kara: is usually drawing or creating something artistic. Her drawings are amazingly detailed... With objects covering most of the paper and everything highly decorated.
Sophie: typical of a two year old... Very independent and opinionated but extremely adorable. She loves candy and her "banket".
Taggart: highly mobile seven-month old. Crawling, pulling up on things and tasting things are his hobbies. He has a homing beacon set on the dog food. Here are a few extra pictures from the past month that were stuck in my phone.
Grampy and Elia at the museum of natural science
Morning bathtime for tagg and sophie is frequently in the big side of the kitchen sink. Tagg will play and splash for a long time in there. Sophie loves her toys-- cookie cutters and measuring spoons and cups.
Ethan and his friend Ethan making hot air balloons at science class.
I don't have a good picture of kara, so that will be my goal for next time.
Really we have so much to be grateful for. Great grandparents for our kids, a beautiful and comfortable house. Money to pay for a new furnace and to fix our car and garage door (all of which broke these past few weeks) and still be able to take a trip to visit friends. Good friends who will open up their house to our "big" family for a week. A family that will be together after this earthly life and kids who are amazing and (mostly) try to be obedient. Great, secure employment and good health. I am not sure it is fair to ask for anything more for myself... Though in all fairness, I sure would have liked to get that organization gene. Oh well, we can't have it all.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

November: When it rains it pours

We are half of the way through November... Jen's dad came to visit for a couple weeks and then Eric's parents came for a visit. We did a bunch of field trips: to the museum, the marine mammal stranding network field trip (where we saw whale teeth and learned about dolphins), and went to the Renaissance festival.  That was really fun. We saw a bird of prey show, a fire-whip demonstration and a sword "school". The kids loved the jousting too. We shared funnel cakes (it was delicious) and watched a woman make a glass vase. 

The kids are doing well in school. Kara has a great kindergarten teacher and is so excited about independently writing and reading. She is very good at sounding words out and amazing at coloring... She will sit for hours making detailed drawings. 
This year, Elia and Ethan are in a co-op called Classical Conversations. They learn history, science, art, math facts, plus, Elia is doing a grammar and writing class. It has been fun to meet new people and friends. 
I can't believe Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away and despite the fact that we had to get a new furnace, our car is making funny noises and our garage door is malfunctioning, our lives are so blessed. Eric went back to work for PROS Pricing filling a marketing roll which is new and interesting for him (though the commute will take some getting used to).