Thursday, September 22, 2016

Happy 6th Birthday, Thomas William!

Tommy turned 6 this week and had a fun birthday! We let him open presents in the morning and take breaks during the homeschool day to play with his toys. His favorite was the Iron Man Lego set. Daddy came home early and then we went over to the nearby bowling alley for pizza with some neighbors and the family. We'd grabbed a few Iron Man decorations and favors the night before. A great day for our big boy!

The big 6 year old!

We did FaceTime with Daddy at work while he opened presents. 
I thought I was just getting a screen shot of the birthday boy!

Bowling fun!

Thomas was a pro with the ball ramp

With neighbor friends Archie and Andrew

Birthday boy by the table setup

Ready to sing!

And the "after" of faces after that bright icing!


Monday, September 19, 2016

Monday Musings

Well, I'm still having a hard time keeping up with the blog. I also haven't picked up my good camera in weeks. But I'm still getting snapshots on my phone, and we are slowly getting into the groove of our fall schedule. So here are some updates about what's been a-happenin'...

Back to School!

We started back to homeschooling on Monday, August 29th, and the girls started their online classes that week too. So we're on our 4th week and things are starting to normalize a little. We're still enrolled with the Mother of Divine Grace School which offers a consultant, customizable lesson plans, lots of support, and online courses. It's a good fit for us. The kids are in 8th, 6th, 3rd and 1st grades this year. We're mostly following their program by-the-book, except for using All About Reading/Spelling and Math U See in some of the younger grades.

There was a pretty big jump in workload for almost all of them, so it's been a bit of a hard adjustment. Mary Clare has three online courses (Math, Latin, and History) and Ellie has two (Latin and History), and this year we've been able to schedule them only on Tues/Thurs again which is nice. But the middle school courses have been a jump for Ellie, and Tommy is getting used to having a lot more work than in Kindergarten. The History, Science, Grammar, and Saxon 5/4 Math for Steven have all been a big adjustment for him, and for me! But I'm happy and confident with where we're at and our choices for books and curriculum. The kids are staying on track even when we have a day at the science museum or at their Friday homeschool clubs. We're trying to enjoy it all before we have to really scale back from outside activities when Mary Clare starts 9th grade next year.

Here are some photos from the past few weeks...

Last minute HEB run the night before our first day

Instead of a special breakfast at home we opted to go to The Egg and I restaurant at 6am on the first day!

Thomas reading away

Steven hard at work with his new math program

The first week was our First Friday Mass and Park Day for our homeschool group.

We always make a cupcake rosary and pray a decade of the Rosary to celebrate the Blessed Mother's Birthday.

The kids had fun playing soccer at the park day

A slow morning where the little ones were all playing blocks instead of doing schoolwork...Slow mornings turn into late afternoons finishing our work, but some days just go that way.

My youngest student playing dress up with her silver purse and crown and her pacifier that has been getting some more use these days. She's been struggling a bit with all the attention going towards homeschooling.

But on this day I was sitting with a bunch of books and a toddler and no students to be found...

Math is fun!

Daddy's Birthday!

Steven had a big birthday this year. We celebrated with a special dinner (Shepherd's pie), his favorite German chocolate cake, and some black decorations. His family sent a bunch of funny birthday cards. I think he got about 30 in all! We'll be celebrating with a weekend at the beach next month, but I think he had a good day on his actual birthday too :) Next birthday on deck is Thomas turning 6 this week!

All his cards on the fireplace

Watching a fishing contest before dinner

With the kiddos (except one who was at ballet)

Other fun activities

We had our first day of classes at the science museum last week. The kids had a great time. Mom was exhausted, but I survived with a little help from Amazon Video on the iPhone for Katie when I couldn't walk the museum anymore. We saw a Safari IMAX where Katie and I got a little nap before the drive home.

SJ and his buddy watching the pendulum

Lunch picnic outside the museum

We started back to our twice monthly homeschool clubs and had our first 4-H meeting here last week. We have  also had some fun times hanging out with friends. We had our 2nd annual chair assembly night (with wine and appetizers for our helpers)! We got some new kitchen chairs from Amazon after 4/6 of the IKEA Ingolf ones had broken in less than a year and had to be returned. We've watched some Aggie games with friends, had a nice pool/lake party with our pastor and local friends, had some girls and cousins over for a Saturday play day and burger lunch, and the girls attended their first middle school social night for rosary and pizza (while the moms hang out). The girls are enjoying ballet, and the boys start their little league baseball this week. Oh, and Sunday School is in full swing at church, so we are back to busy Sunday mornings too.

New chairs

Silly Aggie baby

Friends over to play on a Saturday

BOL Middle School Virtue Club

Sneaking a peek at the end of ballet class one evening. They're working on a lovely dance about Heaven for a performance next month.

Tommy heading to his big boy CCD class. He's moved out of the Montessori Atrium and is going to the First Communion class, even though he probably won't receive until next fall.


I can't end without a baby update. Our little guy is 28 weeks along now. He's moving a lot and keeping Mommy nice and tired. We have two top names, but haven't made an official decision and likely won't until baby is born. We're known to change our minds at the very end! I'm making visits to the doctor every week now for my progesterone injections, and every other week to see the doctor. This week I'll get to see baby on ultrasound. 

Always lots of waiting at this doctor office! I end up sitting in the chair because my back can't handle sitting up there for sometimes an hour while I wait!

I'm starting to get a little nervous about going into labor over Thanksgiving when my doctor is not available. I'm just praying that it all falls into place as it needs to. A dear friend had an emergency delivery of her baby girl today, due just two weeks before our baby, so she's a tiny little preemie born at 30 weeks gestation. Every day with these little lives is a gift, so I'm trying not to get too far ahead of myself. I am having some contractions here and there, so I'm trying to lay low and keep from walking or lifting too much. We've all been dealing with an annoying head cold, so I'm just ready to get rid of that! I did order a couple newborn sleepers for our little guy, which always makes things start to seem real. I'm hoping to be holding him in about 8-9 more weeks!

Cute baby clothes!

Well, Daddy and the ballet girls are home so I guess it's time to eat some dinner and settle down for the evening. I will hopefully be back soon with some photos of Thomas' upcoming birthday!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Farewell Summer! My Sunday Best and some updates

I missed Seven Quick Takes which I intended to do, so I'll do my own little blogging update tonight...

Linking for the first time with Rosie to share My Sunday Best!
25 weeks along with baby #6
"Nicole" dress by LuLaRoe

Yesterday morning I hosted a LuLaRoe Pop Up shopping party at my house. I've been eyeing these clothes online for months, but I knew I needed to try them in person. Some friends I've known since elementary school just became consultants (Mel & L), and offered to drive in and do a party at my house. Now that's the way to shop. Brunch food, friends, racks of clothes, and the ability to try them on in my own bedroom with input from friends! The clothes are comfy, colorful, and modest and I know the moms were especially grateful to find some modest church dresses and skirts for our tween and teen girls. I'll have to get a pic of MC in her adorable "Amelia" dress; it's so cute! And I love their leggings! I'm not usually a leggings gal, but they are so soft comfy just like everyone said, perfect for maternity clothes.

LuLaRoe leggings and "Irma" tunic 
(with a ponytail trick to tighten it in the back)

Baby Update

Little man is 25 weeks, and moving around a lot. I found out that I passed my glucose screen which I took last week and was so happy! This is the worst shape/weight I've been in out of any of my pregnancies, I haven't been eating well, and I am often on the borderline each time I take the test, so I was very grateful to not have a GD diagnosis! Since I'm having some Braxton Hicks contractions already, my OB advised that we go ahead and start the weekly progesterone injections to help prevent preterm labor. They don't hurt so bad, but going to the office each week is hard since it's not a quick visit. I still have to wait for a room and sometimes that can take awhile. But whatever we can do to ensure that this baby stays cooking until mid-November is ideal!

I started a Catholic C-Section Moms group on Facebook around last summer, and it's been such a great source of support for me during this pregnancy. There are quite a few moms on there who've had 6-10 c-sections, so they are a wealth of knowledge and encouragement. I'm starting to get more anxious about the surgery, so I'm working on praying through some of those fears as I get closer and closer to the inevitable!

Homeschool Year Begins

Tomorrow morning begins our new year of homeschooling. I'm ready for some routine, but not looking forward to all the work with teaching four kids! This year we will have an 8th, 6th, 3rd, and 1st grader, plus a 2yr old and new baby coming soon. We're continuing to follow the Mother of Divine Grace program, with full enrollment and some online courses for the girls. We'll be doing monthly science classes at the museum, our 4-H club meetings once a month, and our twice monthly homeschool clubs where the kids study virtues, outdoor adventures (boys) and homemaking skills (girls). The girls are back to ballet classes as of last week, and the boys will be starting baseball soon. I'm not sure we'll be able to squeeze in piano right now, but am hoping we can add it back in at some point. I'm hoping for a successful school year as we have our last year before we have a HIGH SCHOOLER! Crazy! We had a BBQ with friends last weekend, and I have a little surprise up my sleeve for tomorrow morning...

Katie Grace 

Little Katie is now officially 2 1/2 and has quite the personality! She is now known as the family singer and dancer and loves to perform her songs for everyone as she plays an "air guitar." She's getting used to saying baby boy instead of baby sister, and is constantly telling people that I have a baby growing in my tummy. She holds my face and says, "I love you so much." She loves going to HEB, to church, and to see her little friends. She is making it through most Sunday masses without having to go to the cry room, which is so nice! She loves alfredo noodles, spaghetti, pizza, chicken, rice, and strawberries.  She likes to dress in her Cinderella costume or her tutu and loves to carry a purse. Mary Clare took some photos of her last week which I love! I haven't picked up my camera much this summer, but these adorable shots are motivating me to start taking some pics again...

I intended to type up seven updates, but I think four are enough for tonight! Hope everyone has a great week!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Daddy Daughter Dance June 2016

The girls and Steven went to the annual Daddy Daughter Dance for our homeschool clubs in late June. This time I was asked to help photograph, and Steven Joseph was asked to help the older boys lead the games and such. Katie was so excited to attend, even though we didn't plan on her being a part of it!  Tommy waited for me to take some pictures, and then he and I went out for a special pizza date, just the two of us! It was a fun evening.

The dads get a corsage to give to each of the girls.

They come down the stairway and the dads introduce their daughters.

Then it's time for games, dinner, and dancing!

They did a pretty good job with the toilet paper dress game. I think Ellie won!

Siblings got a little wild as we were cleaning up!

Selfie from our Mommy Tommy date at Crust Pizza

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