Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Children's Museum

We'd been wanting to take a trip to the downtown Children's Museum for quite awhile. I think the last time we were there was when Mary Clare was around 2 years old! I scheduled a group visit with some homeschool friends and other old friends and we had a great time! Here are some of the favorite activities...

Ellie is quite the "poser" these days :)

Steven Joseph making a molecule

More fun in the science area with the moving gears

Trying to cross over the bridge of rubber blocks!

Pulling in some fish after a big catch!

Riding the motor bike through the streets of Vietnam!

Doing their own face art

Some mirage activities

a fun pulley lift

a ball maze

I got it!!! Yay!!! (Notice how wet he still was ~3 hrs after playing in the outdoor water play area. I didn't get photos of that part because the camera was malfunctioning and I was on my phone with Nikon tech support!)

Concentrating hard on another ball game!

I got it!!! Yay!!!

And the favorite place of the museum "Kidtropolis." The kids got a bank card and had to get a "job" and earn money to go shopping, after depositing their paychecks into the ATM machines. They loved the grocery store, but there was also a Vet Clinic, Bank, Bike Store, Restaurant, Art Studio, News Station, Ambulance and Police Station, and more that I'm forgetting! We could have stayed there all day!

a photo through the store window of Mary Clare acting as "cashier"

Hanging with SJ in the restaurant. He kept busy with the pizza cutter!

Ellie showing off her "cash"

SJ driving the ambulance

We made a quick stop in another section where the girls climbed through nets and Steven Joseph played in the exercise room.

Finally around 2:30 I'd had enough and Stevie was ready for naptime. The girls were so upset. I had to drag Ellie out the door sobbing. They want to go back very soon, hopefully with Daddy's help! An exhausting but super-fun day!

Park evening

On Saturday evening I convinced my poor hardworking husband (who is working crazy hours these days) to go on a little outing. At 7:30pm or so, the park is bearable, so we went to one of our favorite ones on the local lake. I'm still having issues with my camera and may have to send it for repairs. I need a saint for camera issues to intercede for me that it will somehow last through our California trip! Here are some favorite photos from the evening...

Friday, June 25, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday

Friday's nearing the end, but I'll go ahead and add my weekly "takes!"

We've completed 7 days of homeschooling! This is a huge accomplishment for me; it's a big battle with every subject for one of my pupils and I am trying my hardest to stay the course. The lesson plans are great, and I'm hoping my reward program works...a special toy for completing 10 days and special outing for completing 20 days of school. We'll see if we can get that far by August! My other pupil is doing fantastically, and really both of them are progressing really well. It's just getting past these battles and trying to be consistent, which is always hard for me. Steven Joseph is so cute looking for his "coolwork" each morning, usually a tractor or dinosaur coloring book :) Oh and he learned to button his sweater today (handmade by my aunt, so it has big buttons and button-holes)! We were so impressed!

This was our first week without having swim practice or dance class. I am getting stir crazy. I keep looking up things for the girls to participate in, but we've missed most of the deadlines. In July, we will spend a week out of town and we might try a week-long morning dance camp at their ballet school, so hopefully those will help us make it through July! Next week I've planned a Children's Museum field trip which should be fun! We did spend an afternoon at our local YMCA pool one day this week, which I should probably do more often. We love the pool!

I had my 24 week appointment on Monday and I PASSED the 1-hr glucose screen! I am thrilled since I've failed it during two of my pregnancies and had to take the miserable 3-hr test (which I passed both times). My belly measured a little big, but Baby's heartrate was great. I got my first weekly Progesterone shot, to try to ward off any unwanted contractions. I haven't had premature labor with the other babies, just a lot of painful Braxton-Hicks contractions in the last two months with SJ. But in preparing for a 4th c-section and thinning uterus, we've decided to take this precaution. The shot didn't hurt too much but I did have a sore backside the rest of the day!

We're starting to get really pumped about our big trip to California!!! Steven wants to wait to tell the girls until it gets closer, although they know that we're going at some point. This will be our first big family vacation and first time the kids will remember flying in an airplane so it should be a big adventure! We're planning some special outings to the zoo, beach, and Disneyland...I can't wait! I just hope that Baby cooperates and I don't have any issues while traveling. My OB was a little upset to find out I'd be traveling so close to his 28-week flying deadline. Prayers appreciated!

My sweet girls are still dancing up a storm. I think Ellie had on about 5 different costumes yesterday, and they even had Steven Joseph dressed up in a little romper, sweater, and hat. It was hilarious! I've been watching a lot of "So You Think You Can Dance" so they're playing and dancing to the music.
Quote of the day:
When asked if they were picking up the living room,
Mary Clare responds, "No, actually we're doing contemporary right now."

For a belated Father's Day celebration on Monday, the girls made decorations, cards, a pinata, and a cake. They were so excited to surprise Daddy that evening when he got home from work. I keep laughing when I go into the bathroom because Mary Clare put the pop-up card and little gift she made on the windowsill in the bathroom since that's usually the first place Daddy goes when he gets home from work! It's still there making us smile!

I feel very spiritually dry right now. Any good books to recommend? I was doing pretty well at praying the Liturgy of the Hours each day with my iPhone for awhile, but now I'm just feeling blah. I am continuing to work through the emotions and sadness about the scandal related to the lay movement I was a part of, especially as new, disturbing information continues to come out. I know my days would go more smoothly and I'd be better able to discern what to do in our continuing disciplinary battles if I was in more of a spirit of prayer. I'd love any advice!

Have a great weekend, friends! And see Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 3 of New Braunfels

On Friday I took the kids to a wild animal park that was only about 10 minutes from our condo. We had a great time! Steven will have to fill in the animal names; this was definitely a spot where we really missed Daddy; I had no idea what many of the animals were!

Entering the "safari"

Bison and longhorn cattle


I think he said these were wildebeests


Girls and dolls having fun feeding animals!

This was a beautiful overlook of the hills of central Texas, something we don't see much in our neck of the woods!

Ostrich being fed from someone's car. We were the only ones who weren't feeding the animals by hand! I did not want an ostrich beak in my face, no way!


The rhinos were behind a fence

As were these camels

Steven? Not sure what this was

More ostriches

A giant llama bidding us farewell!

and we say goodbye to the giraffes as we drive away!

There was also a petting zoo, but we needed to get back for checkout at the condo. NeNe and PaPa had everything ready to load and leave. But about 10 minutes down the road I realized that I forgot my iPhone charger cord and we had to turn around!

We spent at least half an hour searching for a restaurant. We ended up at the Red Rooster, a fun big antique store with fabulous restaurant! We got to browse while we waited for our food.

Anyone remember these from the old days at McDonalds? Outside they also had one of those burger-climbers, where you climb up into the hamburger with bars around it.

NeNe and the kids before we hit the road!

We had a peaceful drive home until we were about half an hour from home. We had made a pit stop to stretch our legs at McDonald's and got back on the highway. All of a sudden, something hit under the car and we were driving with a horrible screeching metal noise from the side of our car. I thought we had popped a tire and were driving on the rims. But it turned out that my dad ran over a piece of metal, something like a crow bar and it wouldn't dislodge. Thankfully we were able to quickly exit the freeway and turn into a BMW dealership that was right there. They put the car on a lift and got the metal out. Praise God! We were all a little shaken up.

Then we hit a rainstorm, but just as we were about to turn into my parents' neighborhood we saw a rainbow in the sky! A beautiful end to a fun trip! Thanks, Mom and Dad!
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