Friday, January 03, 2014

7 Quick Takes

Working backwards from yesterday with my iPhone photos from the holidays!

Mary Clare turned 11 yesterday!

We planned to go and get her pointe shoes, but the store was closed and so we made an appointment for today. 

Instead, we went to Barnes & Noble so she could use her Christmas and birthday money and get some desserts for dinner time.  The girls are so excited that the new American Girl Doll of the Year is a dancer!

We also had a fun, but crazy lunch at Chickfila and dinner with Daddy at Cheddars. She is hoping to celebrate with Houston friends later this month when we head back for the Baby Wait. 

Happy New Year!
We spent three nights with our good friends the N family who have just moved to a beautiful home on a lake. C and I (and the barking dog) were the only ones who stayed awake and enjoyed watching fireworks out their back window. Everyone else was snug in their beds, many still recovering from various sicknesses. 

The boys may have been sleeping on a UT blanket at this Longhorn house, but the Aggies gave us an amazing game on New Year's Eve! Gig 'Em Aggies, and thanks to Johnny Football for some real excitement this season!

Birthday Boys! Having two kids with birthdays near Christmas is pretty hard, but eventually we were able to celebrate Steven Joseph and his friend J's 6th Birthdays. Their Army Man party was on Monday. I'll share some photos from my good camera but here are a couple snapshots of the boys. 

Christmas craziness!
We spent Christmas Eve relaxing at my parents' house, but Christmas Day was filled with activities! We had our traditional Christmas evening celebration at Steven's parents' house with food, fun, and gift exchanges. 

And we managed a quick family photo!

That morning, Daddy couldn't handle the noise in the car. We have loud kids!

And here's beautiful Annunciation Catholic Church in downtown Houston decked out Christmas morning!

And before all that was a fun early morning Christmas for the kids!

I guess I could've split those up for more takes, but I'll use these last three for some updates!

The girls both had some headaches and lethargy the day before and after Christmas. We went to visit friends for a few hours on our drive home the 26th and Mary Clare started to "crash" in the middle of our visit. By the time we got home that night I was feeling bad too and ended up spending the next two days in bed with low fevers on and off and a bad head cold. The cough is still lingering a week later, so I'm hoping that spending today in bed will recover my energy a bit. 

Thankfully the boys in the family never got sick aside from some coughs and sniffles. I'm so glad I was well enough to travel back to Houston and celebrate the birthday, see my OB (and refill my prescriptions that I accidentally threw away), and have a fun New Year with our friends. But the idea of facing back to homeschool, ballet classes, and co-op next week has me a bit overwhelmed! 

I had high hopes for our Classically Catholic Memory co-op here, but unfortunately we're losing several families at semester and excitement is waning. Some of this is due to external factors and the ages of kids (the program is for K-6th but many brought their middle schoolers who didn't get as much out of it). Most families also haven't practiced the memory work at home, which is really a requirement to successfully follow this program. And overall it just seems that activities here have pretty low attendance after the initial excitement. The same thing happened with the Nature Club. 

There are still a handful of families wanting to participate, but we will have to recreate the schedule, assign new teachers, and all this when I'm about to be gone for 1-2 months for the baby's arrival. It's somewhat discouraging that every activity or friendship I try to build here seems to fall apart, but I'm recognizing the need to focus on my family alone and be sustained by God's grace and my many friendships back home. Maybe it's time I check out some of the Protestant homeschooling groups too, they may offer some other activities and friendships that just haven't come together in our two years here. Thankfully we've also made some friendships at the ballet school which gives us another social outlet and time to visit with other families. 

Anyway, no need for continued sob stories, but if you have a spare prayer for God's will for our little co-op, that would be great! 

Baby News
Our little girl is growing and kicking and keeping me on my toes with my continued little symptoms, weekly shots, and frequent appointments!  We're getting a little closer to deciding on her name and now have a few new outfits for her to wear that aren't 11 years old!  I need to order a few things like a car seat, and make a bag of the things we'll need in her first days. 

We've found an apartment complex that will allow for temporary housing while we wait for her arrival, and in the days after she's born.  We'll be across from a Catholic Church and very close to some good friends who could help in a pinch. I know it's still going to be a difficult situation being away from home, but I am trying my hardest to trust that God's hand will be over it all and two months from now we'll likely be gazing at our sweet newborn daughter and knowing it was all worth it!

Thanks for visiting my blog, and for your prayers for our family during this time!

Check out more Quick Takes over at Conversion Diary!

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