Monday, August 18, 2014

House never cleaner, hubby never happier

Today, my daughter said to me, "I love when we are trying to sell a house, because it is always so clean!" And, my husband fairly squealed with delight when he saw that I had removed all the appliances from the counters in the kitchen and toiletries from the counters in the bathroom. (This reaction is, of course, an exaggeration, but not all of you know my husband personally, so I thought I should clarify. He does not, under any circumstances, "squeal with delight.")  Technically, we have not put our house up for sale yet. We are simply trying to get some pictures taken that look like we don't really live here. Which is super hard. Because, we do, in fact live, here. And, work here. And, school here. We are here all the time, except when we are running kids around to various activities. Southern Living, it's not, folks. I do truly wish I could produce this level of joy in my family members all the time. (The ones that care, I mean. Because there are those, it seems, that actually prefer the mess. Or, at least, they work extra hard to ensure that the messiness is a constant.) But, as there are still only 24 hours in a day, and as I can only do so much, I guess we can simply be thankful that we move as often as we do, so that there are a fair number of days that the house is truly clean and clutter-free.

Friday, August 15, 2014

7th, 3rd, 1st and Pre

We survived completed our first week of school and can officially say we have students in 7th, 3rd, and 1st grades and a preschooler! It was not an unflawed week, but I'd say it actually went remarkably well. You'll notice an abundance of electronic devices in the pictures, which hasn't ever been our normal MO, but we're practicing this year for the "roadschooling" to come during our upcoming round-the-world travels. We sent all of our textbooks to a company called 1 Dollar Scan and had them digitize everything and send us back the pdfs, which we then downloaded to all our devices. It's not a perfect schooling system, and it takes a little getting used to (especially if you are a lover of actual books), but so far, we are very pleased with the quality and convenience and feel it will serve us well while we are traveling. Don't worry, we are still trying to work in some real books and some hands-on stuff so we don't turn into complete screen zombies.

Here are the schedules for this year's students:

Ruth (7th grade)

  • Math (Algebra I)
  • Latin
  • History
  • Spelling/Vocabulary
  • Literature/Writing
  • Italian
  • Logic
  • Science
  • Music (Voice)
  • Ruth is also participating in Challenge B classes, which is the 8th grade level of CC. She will engage in weekly discussions with other students and a trained tutor, and they will cover topics in Math, Science, Logic, Latin, Literature/Writing, and Debate. She will get to put together a large science fair project and participate in a mock trial, among many other interesting and educational activities. 
Weston (3rd grade)
  • Math (working in the 5th grade book)
  • Grammar/Writing
  • History
  • Spelling
  • Latin
  • Science 
  • Reading
  • Weston will be in the 8-9 year old class at CC, where he will gaining knowledge in the areas of Math, English Grammar, Latin, History, Geography, Science and a chronological timeline of the world, as well as participating in weekly science experiments, presentations, and fine arts projects. 
Max (1st grade)
  • Math (just about to start the second grade book)
  • Reading 
  • Writing
  • Spanish
  • History
  • Science
  • Max will be participating in a CC class for 6-7 year olds, which will cover the same topics I mentioned for Weston. 
Clay (preschool)
  • Pre-reading skills
  • Numbers
  • Pre-writing skills
  • Sitting in on any class with older siblings he can get away with and spending lots of time being read to by his teachers.

Spanish--first day of school

This boy LOVES to read!

electronics everywhere

ooey gooey science

proud of his blue non-Newtonian fluid

young scientist

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

And just like that, summer's over…mostly

We arrived home on Sunday afternoon, thinking we were the masters of a perfect endless summer, only to be met EARLY yesterday morning with a heaping dose of reality, as summer came to a screeching halt. Even though it was my birthday, it was also the first day of school for us, the first day of football practice for the boys, and the last meeting of Ruth's summer youth Bible study. For good measure, we also threw in a doctor's appointment, a trip to the mechanic shop to pick up our now-cooler (only in the temperature sense) van, a business meeting for Jeff in Austin, an attempt at healthier eating, and a little exercise. (But I'm not complaining, because the day also brought happy phone calls, abundant social media birthday wishes, gooey brownies, gorgeous flowers, tasty sangria, sweet birthday cards, spendable gift cards, and many heartfelt hugs! Not to mention a party with my favorite people on Sunday.) So, unless you count Jeff and I camping out in the air conditioned upstairs storage closet on the air mattress, due to our main air conditioner being out downstairs (yes, it seems to be epidemic amongst our possessions), as some kind of wild and crazy summer sleepover, I'd say summer is really and truly over. Except downstairs. There, it certainly seems to be the summer that never ends.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Campmeeting and The Ranch

That's our cabin up top, on the left. Don't let the fanciness overwhelm you.

These little visitors were plentiful

Rain, glorious rain

I couldn't post that last one without posting this one. 

Flying baby

dirty, adorable face

Lots of love

Max and Victoria enjoying the homemade dollhouse

Getting in some porch time with Mimi

The girls

So much sweetness

Knocking them dead with his stand-up routine at the talent show

The Davis Mountains

Pirates like tea parties, too

Sharing some of the history of the Burnet Camp with the rest of the campers,
to commemorate the 125th year of Bloys Campmeeting

The gang's all here

family photo op

Setting up the free farmer's market on the last day of camp

Quirky Quail

Watching Grandpa and Uncle Alan shoot the guns

driving lesson

Trying to escape

There is nothing like the west Texas sky!

Full Moon

swapping tales and cooking s'mores around the fire pit

Thursday, July 31, 2014


At some point this summer, the Internet made us aware of a list of movies kids should see before they turn 13. And, since we always do what the Internet tells us, and since Ruth just turned 12, we decided we better get on it. Many of the movies were produced back before I turned 13, so it's been a summer of watching the movies of my own childhood/young adulthood, which has been fun (and somewhat shocking, when viewed/heard through parental eyes/ears). We've seen Pee Wee's Big Adventure, The Karate Kid, Titanic, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Sandlot, Big, "Crocodile" Dundee, and Back to the Future I, II and III. We've laughed at 80s fashion and learned some wonderful new lingo ("I know you are, but what am I"). But, mostly we've just enjoyed the opportunity to spend some quality time together in the evenings, staying up late and drinking in every moment of this sweet summer.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

"I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list"--Susan Sontag

If you've been following this blog for any length of time, you have probably realized that our little family has serious nomadic tendencies. We absolutely love to travel. To go and do. To see and experience. It's kind of what makes us tick. We get a little restless when we are settled in one place for too long, knowing there are so many places out there we haven't been yet. And, we believe there is an education inherent to travel that is unequalled in any other arena. That's why, after much discussion, we have decided to take this show on the road. This next adventure is a big one and will take us around the world and back again. We plan to visit Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia (and New Zealand) and some of the parts of North America we have less experience with. We will take a leisurely pace, so as to make the most of the experience, and we will make up some of the itinerary as we go. The plane leaves on May 5, 2015, but the adventure begins now, with piles of research on every topic you can imagine (and maybe some you can't imagine)! We are so thankful for and excited about this opportunity! We hope you'll stick around for the journey. Please feel free to share ideas with us about places to visit or tips from your own adventures. Let's do this!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Potty Party

Clay managed to keep his undies dry and clean for a whole week*! Clearly, this was cause for a party. The deal was if he didn't have any accidents all week, we would take him out for frozen yogurt. Today was party day!! We are so proud of this big boy!

*Clay did have a little accident a few hours after the party, but it seemed as if he was on his way to tell us and just didn't make it in time. We decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. We are still very proud of his potty progress and are thankful that our diaper days appear to be almost at an end!