Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Santa Says What?

Today Sue, Avery's OT, shared a funny Avery story. She said she and Avery were doing some Chirstmas role playing and Sue asked Avery what Santa says. Avery said, "Ho. Ho. Ho." Sue said, "Merry?" Avery replied, "had a little lamb."
Merry Christmas!!

Tomorrow were heading down to Angelton to spend the day with my Grandmother. She is moving in with my Aunt Jean after the new year so this will probably be our last visit for a while. With both of my brothers getting married in the Spring, I'm sure Holidays next year will be a lot different!

On Thursday, Walter and I will attend the dental prom. I'm not sure why they call it a's more like a Christmas party with free beer and appetizers.

On Friday we will do all last minute crafting and wrapping. I still have to make Dad's and Brooke's birthday presents. Reese's and Brooke's Christmas presents are almost done. Walter needs to work on Avery's and MeeMaw's Christmas presents.

On Saturday we will get all of the laundry done and clean the house from top to bottom. I guess Ill have to find the stockings so we can hang them up on MeeMaw's fireplace!!

After church on Sunday, we will deliver gifts to the family our Sunday school class adopted.

On Monday we will head to San Antonio. We will stay the night there before heading on to Roscoe on Tuesday. I'm not sure how we are going to get all the gifts into the car...we will probably have to give Avery her gift early and leave it here. There will more than likely be suitcases in the backseat between the kids...maybe that will cut down on some fussing!!

I don't know when we'll return...but we'll be back soon!
Have a safe and wonderful Holiday!!


Wednesday, December 3, 2008


When I was asked to consider homeschooling for Avery, my gut response was "No way!". I started looking into modern homeschooling. I read books, met with other homeschool moms, found a homeschool store, and surfed the web for real homeschoolers. It didn't take long to convince me that homeschooling was just what Avery needed, but I still wasn't convinced I would be able to teach her all she needs to know. My aunt is a 27-year veteran to teaching Kindergarten. I asked her a lot of questions and she showed me/explained to me how she teaches in the classroom.
I threw myself into preparing to teach. I made up a calendar showing what units we would cover weekly. I broke up our day into subjects. I had art projects, science experiments, and all sorts of fun things to do with the first few units and was planning out the rest of the year in my head.
Week One. Avery quickly informed me that I did NOT do things like she did in preschool. I assured her that we were now in Kindergarten and things had to be different. She half-heartedly participated in the activities I had planned, but refused to follow my time schedule. I evaluated our week, and decided to keep trying because things would get better as she learned the schedule and got excited about being in school.
Week Two. On day eight of her reading lessons, I threw the book in the floor and gave up. She was bored to tears. I asked her to grab Charlotte's Web off the shelf and she listened as I read. Later that week I gave up on the time schedule and decide to do subjects on Avery's time-table.
Now. All the workbooks and curiculum are on the shelf. If Avery wants to use them, she can at any time. I have latched onto the theory of unschooling. It is child-led learning. If I find a project that looks fun I tell Avery about it. If she is interested, we try it. She helps me do our daily chores in the morning. Then we play together or she plays alone in her room. She has several "educational" games to play on the computer and frequents and Some days we turn on the Wii and play each other. Her favorite t.v. shows are SuperWhy, Sid the Science Kid, and Little Einsteins.
I have finally set aside all of my preconcieved notions of what a homeschooling mom should be like. After reading several articles, I think Avery and will definitely enjoy the rest of the school year more. I think I am fully "Deschooled" and am ready to embrace learning instead of teaching!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


After Avery's OT appointment today, we went to McDonald's. We have gone to this McDonald's at least once a month since Feb and today I noticed that there is a Lifeway Christian Bookstore in the shopping strip behind McD's. So, after a healthy meal of chicken nuggets and fries I dug out the stroller and the kids and I went shopping.
Josiah threw a fit in the store and we ended up leaving without purchasing anything...but we'll go back next week!!! I changed his diaper and his dispostion improved greatly!!!
The Dental Prom is coming up on December 18th. I have a great dress, but no shoes. So, next we went to the K & G next door to the Lifeway. Their women's shoes start at a size 7, so we went further down the shopping strip to Shoe Cents. They had some great shoes, but alas they were also all too big.
They have just opened a JoAnn's that I couldn't pass up!!! We bought a few random craft supplies that I need in order to finish several different projects. The new store is so bright and clean...a big change from the other local stores!!! I even found the employees to be friendly. The employees at the JoAnn's closer to my house are either a.) Totally Clueless b.) Totally Grouchy c.) Totally Clueless and Grouchy!!!! One lady reminds me of Ouiser on Steel Magnolias, "I'm not crazy, I've just been a very bad mood for the last 40 years!".
Avery wanted to go into Ross. I have been on a quest to find some black boots, more pointy than rounded toe, 1"-2" heel, and that are comfortable. Not that I'm picky or anything!!! Today I found them!!! Nine West cowboy style boots. They were originally marked $169.99, and I got them for $15.99. My math is a bit foggy but I'm pretty sure that it's a great deal!!!! Unfortunately that didn't have any fabulous dress shoes, so I'll keep looking! While trying on shoes, a lady peeked around the corner and said, "You guys are a hoot. I bet you never get bored!" I'm not sure what we said that she found funny, we were just having a regular conversation...I guess we are more entertaining than I knew!!!

On the way back to the car, I noticed a Hearing Aid store. I stopped in and made an appointment for a free hearing screening next Tuesday. The man behind the desk seemed surprised that the appt was for me. I guess I'm a tad younger than his regular patients :). I have tried to find a hearing center closer to my house. This weekend I found a dail-a-hearing test. I called the number and promptly failed the test. I let Walter call the number and he passed. His question, "Could you not hear the low tones?" Um...if I heard them I would know if they were low or high, but then I would have passed the test. However, I FAILED. I don't know which tones I didn't hear!!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

No Energy

Avery cracks me up. She has quite an extensive vocabulary, but she often uses the "almost right" word! Today I was running the water and was getting ready to jump in the shower when she burst into the bathroom. "Mom, the energy left the computer."
Me: "Huh?" "What energy?"
Avery: "I was on and the computer lost it's energy. Everything went black."
Me: "It lost electricity?"
Avery: "Yeah."

So, after my shower I went to investigate. I figured she had inadvertently hit the off switch on the power strip. That wasn't the problem...hmmm. So I called Walter and left him a message to call me with instructions on how to find the breaker box. (Does it worry anyone else that all breaker boxes are made of think they would be made out of something that DOESN'T conduct electricity!!!) After he called back, I went outside and pried the breaker box door open. None of the breakers had been tripped. I went back inside and decided that maybe the power strip had gone bad. I have an extra one and was going to switch them out. When I unplugged the strip I realized the outlet is a GFCI. I hit reset and voila...the energy came back into the computer!!!!

Josiah refers to himself as Baby. So the whole time I'm working on the computer he's saying, "Momma...Baby. Momma...Baby." After I got the computer working again I turned to ask him what he needed. "Baby. Mark, Mark." Translation: I want to use the markers. So I popped him in his high chair and gave him some paper and washable markers and it made him SOOOO happy.

We put the christmas tree up on Wednesday (SHATTER PROOF ornaments only) and hung the wreath out on the door. I bought the wreath last year on clearance and today I decided to wire some ornaments on it to make it more colorful. When I opened the door to get it, Josiah took off outside. So, I took the gate off Avery's door and put it on the front door. He could look outside but not escape. Both kids were very interested in the ornament wiring and were right in the way...I mean, right by my side while I worked on the wreath. I hung it back up and went to make some lunch. Josiah started taking ornaments off the tree and throwing them outside where they bounced happily down the sidewalk. I gathered up the ornaments and put them where they belong. Now, the gate has been apprehended and put back on Avery's door, and the outside is once again closed off to Josiah!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Costumed Cuties

The kids went to a Halloween party sponsored by our neighborhood association. They had candy, bubbles, popcorn, and puppies...what could be more fun? The kids had their first apple bobbing experience and there was a costume contest. Avery met a six-year-old that's also named Avery and now they are 'best friends'. Josiah was super interested in the colored cupcakes and in trying to catch a neighbor's dog. I tried to get some action shots to show how much fun the kids were having and to show off their cute costumes!

Monday, October 13, 2008

New Chapter

Well, we're entering a new chapter in getting our children to sleep. Yesterday Josiah figured out how to escape from his crib. He quickly climbed out as soon as we layed him down last night. Walter and I heard his feet hit the floor and both said, "let him cry a few minutes". He cried, and wailed, and banged on the door for about 20 minutes. When he got the popper/vacum toy and started ramming it into the door, Walter went and picked him up. Somewhere in the midst of his fit, he had stopped and put on some shoes...he was pretty cute in his shirt and his dress shoes (on the wrong feet)!! Walter ended up holding him until he went to sleep and then layed him in the crib. I don't want to get in the habit of holding him at night to sleep. We've already had to break that habit once and it was NOT fun!
Avery and I made two more necklaces today (sorting, pattern making, and fine motor skills). Afterward we used the necklace to 'write' out her lowercase letters. She isn't too keen on handwriting lessons, but she had fun spelling with jewelry. I'm always glad when I find a teaching tool that she loves!
On Friday, Avery drew me a picture. I asked her to tell me about and typed out the story she told. When I printed it out and put it along with the picture in a binder, she got so excited. I think it made her realize that her stories won't disappear. She told me several more stories to print out (both kids are OBSESSED with the printer and fight over who gets to pick up the freshly printed page).

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Almost there

Okay, so learning the Pledge to the U.S. flag and memorizing John 3:16 on the same day isn't the best idea. It comes out something like this:

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have Liberty and Justice for all."
(Almost there baby girl, almost there!)

I'm an AWANA volunteer this year. It is so amazing that these teeny, tiny five-year-olds can memorize so many verses. It is so sweet to hear their precious little voices saying Bible verses!!! Now I understand why parents, whose kids are long grown, are still volunteering. It is an awesome responsibility to teach our children to love God and to hide his Words in our hearts...I'm really glad I volunteered!!!

Homeschooling is going really well. We are having so much fun that it barely seems like learning!!! There have been many times already where late in the afternoon Avery asks when we're having school today. I tell we have done school already. When she doesn't believe me I point out things like we made truffles (physical science/fine motor skills/math). We sorted beads (pre-math). We read some books and you sounded out some of the words (reading/litereature).

I started working on the kids Fall Festival outfits. The patterns have been cut out for over a month, but I'm just getting around to the actual sewing! Josiah is going to be the most adorable little clown ever. I need to add a few details to his suit and make the hat, and then start on Avery's costume. She picked up a flowery/fairy costume pattern to make, we're just omitting the wings so she can be a flower! If I get the costumes made in time, I'm going to take the kids to ZOO BOO. I got an e-mail about the activities the Zoo is having this year and it looks like they would have a lot of fun.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Josiah is talking more and more. His favorite phrases include, "Oh Wow!", "Hot Dog!", and "Oh Man!" This past week he started adding "Amen" to the end of our mealtime prayers. This Sunday he came home from the nursery saying, "La-la-lu-lu." We've decided he's saying "Halleluia". The nursery worker in his new class keeps telling me he is just the sweetest little boy. I'm so glad we have such a great church to raise our children in!

Friday, September 19, 2008

IKE: glad we're back

The kids and I got back into Houston yesterday afternoon. We had left the previous Thursday in order to avoid Hurricane Ike. Walter stayed here and braved the storm and says he is very glad we didn't have to go through it too. Our house had electricity restored on Wednesday, but there are many people who are not expected to regain electricity until next week. Our house had no damage, but the neighborhoods trees were not so lucky. The roads are barely passable because after a week of cleaning up, there are still broken treesbranches everywhere. Our biggest trees were the hardest hit, they lost several very large/long branches. We went grocery shopping yesterday and had to go to two different stores in order to find a variety of foods. None of the stores have anything in the frozen sections...and very little in the dairy or refrigerated sections. Walmart had some fruit. We had a hard time finding Lactaid for the kiddos. I filled my gas tank up in Katy so hopefully by the time I need more gas, there will be more available!
The Dental school has been closed all week, so we took advantage of the beautiful weather today and took the kids to the zoo. (The temperatures have been in the low 80's all week.) They have changed the zebra exhibit and you can actually see the animals now...Avery is very excited. She says her favorite animal is the zebra...or the giraffe...or the elephant. The kids rode the carousel for the first time today. I was a bit worried about Avery but she seemed to love it. Both of the kids love to pet the goats in the children's zoo!
Maybe this week we can get back to normal. We are so glad to be home!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Stepping Stones

We are calling our home school Stepping Stones Academy. If we have a name and official nametags, then I can recieve a teacher discount at several stores. I have found a great Home School Store that we pass by every Tuesday on our way to therapy. The science books I bought yesterday are linked to the Internet so Avery can learn even more online.

This week our unit is on insects and we're going to the Cockerell Butterfly Center on Friday. For a math project we made some beaded jewelry becuase Avery loves to sort and make patterns! She did a beautiful red necklace and bracelet (I did the clasps). We talked about how insects are very colorful...some to attract mates and some to announce, "Hey, I'm poisonous. Don't eat me!"

On Monday, Avery had her teeth cleaned for the first time. Walter said she did really good but she really didn't want to sit still. She keeps asking me if Poppa cleaned my teeth when I was little and I've explained to her that not everyone's Daddy is a dentist...I'm not sure she believes me though!
Best of All: I have lost one clothing size on my Body-for-Life for Women challenge!!!!!!!!! When I started I thought it would be very hard to give up white bread, but it has been much harder to give up French fries!!! We went to an Astros game with Les and Kellie on Monday and she was MUCH more excited/supportive/encouraging than Walter! I have picked out (and bought the pattern) for a really awesome dress to wear to Brittney's and Brady's wedding in April. Between the dress and Kellie's cheering me on...I'm hoping to lose two more sizes before I need to start fitting the dress!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wow! It's Been Over A Month!

I 've had a busy summer but, I can't believe I've gone so long without posting anything. Recap of last months activities:

July 17- Ringling Brothers Circus "Bellobration"; go to San Antonio afterwards
July 23-Go to San Angelo and eat at Mathis Field Cafe. Drive on to Abilene to visit Papa John in the hospital. Drive to Roscoe to stay at MeeMaws.
July 25-Walter takes Board One in San Antonio. In Roscoe we celebrate Avery's, Boaz's, and Reese's birthdays.
July 26-take pictures of the cousins in the boat...tip the boat!!!
July 28-Drive back to Houston, with Mom. Stop in Llano to look at antique stores. I bought a set of china and Mom bought a Hotel Mail Cubby.
July 29-Happy Birthday Avery
Aug 4-Eduard expected to make landfall in the morning. We leave for San Antonio that afternoon.
Aug 5-Take Dad's pick-up to Llano to get our things from the store!
Aug 6-Walter and I go to Washington D.C. while Mom and Dad keep the kids.
Aug 7-Go to Navy Medical Center in Bethesda to meet with Dean of Graduate Dental School program. Get information about residency programs.
Aug 11-fly back to Texas
Aug 12-we bring the kids, and Peanut (my brother is giving us his mini dachshund), and all of our stuff back home to Houston
Aug 18-Walter goes back to school. Avery and I start homeschooling.

On Monday I also started the Body-for-Life for Women 12 week challenge. I'm having trouble remembering to eat every 2-4 hours but am otherwise doing well. I wish they had some pages in the back of the book for you to use as your Mind/Mouth/Muscle Journal.

Avery is doing well with Homeschooling. She wants me to do things the way her Beehive preschool teachers did, and she is learning that all people teach a little differently. Our first Unit is All About Me/Family. Josiah has a doctor's appointment tomorrow which will be a good way to transition to our next unit, Doctor/Dental/Human Body.

Monday, July 14, 2008

That's So Toile!!

Here is what I've done so far (with Mom's help) in Avery's room. Mom sewed the head board/foot board slipcovers and a pillow. I hung the curtain and changed out the bedding. I painted the mirror and the miniature dollhouse furniture. The mirror will go up over the desk, but Walter's out of town for a few weeks and he is the official "hole in the wall" maker. I also have a cute hanging lamp that is awaiting Walter's arrival. The decoupage medium on the clock finally that Houston humidity!!
There is still a lot more to do so keep checking back on our progress. I'm having fun doing all of these projects and keep looking for more to do!!!
(You can see the inspiration room in my June 30th posting.)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Orcas, Penguins, and an Octopus

Today we celebrated Avery's birthday with a Sea World themed party.

Before church everyone pitched in and helped blow up balloons. A living room full of balloons is a lot of fun for all kids (big and small)! Brady, Britany, Avery, Walter, and Josiah were having a blast hitting the balloons, tossing them in the air, and bouncing them off each other.
I set up a killer whale sign, a penguin sign, and an octopus sign to lead the way into the backyard. There we had a sprinkler, a slip and slide, a baby pool, and a pool at the bottom of the slide. Even with the slip and slide lubed up with Baby shampoo, the kids couldn't really run and slide, I guess they are still too young. However, the kids had a great time in the water. I think their favorite thing was the slide into the pool!!! It was not unbearably hot outside, so the adults enjoyed themselves as well. (That was my biggest concern in planning an outdoor party in July--in Houston!) Avery's cake was so cute, we had it made at Hoffman's in San Angelo...worth every penny!!! Walter painted us a Photo shoot Shamu...doesn't Brady look so cute??? Avery is such a sweetie. She would thank people for giving her a gift, before she even opened the present!!! Tonight when we said our prayers, she thanked God for the blessings of her family. So thank you everyone, for coming to the party and making Avery feel loved!!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Nine Years!!

Today is mine and Walter's ninth wedding anniversary!!

Love Of My Life LyricsArtist(Band):Sammy Kershaw

You are the love of my life And you are the reason I'm alive And baby baby baby When I think of how you saved me I go crazy

I've never known love like this And it fills me with a new tenderness And I know I know I know
You're in my heart you're in my soul You're all I can't resist And I need to tell you The first time I held you I knew

You are the love of my life I spent a lifetime waiting Always hesitating until you I was lost so deep inside my shell 'Til you came and saved me from myself Now all I really know Is I need you

And you are the love of my life All the joy and tears that I cry And baby baby baby You don't have to say a word I see it in your eyes As we stand together I promise forever' Til the day that I die

You are the love of my life I spent a lifetime waiting Always hesitating until you I was lost so deep inside my shell' Til you came and saved me from myself Now all I really know Is I need you

You are the love of my life You are the reason I'm alive

Monday, June 30, 2008

Do ants sleep?

Hobby Lobby has 80% selected home accents. Avery found a small metal ant and, since her initials are A.N.T., we bought it. On the way home she asked me if ants sleep. My answer, "I don't know. I've never really thought about it!" So we came home and looked it up on the Internet. It seems that ants at least go into a rest phase, if not real sleep...some for up to 7 hours a day. Isn't it great that we can just type in "do ants sleep" and get instant results???

We have been working on re-doing Avery's room.
This is our inspiration room, and I'll take pictures of Avery's room once I'm finished! Her room will have some touches of pink as well, but we're pretty much sticking to the lime, black, and white color scheme. I bought an ugly clock at Hobby Lobby and some black/white scrapbook paper. I colored in some of the white with a lime marker then decoupaged the clock.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Day Three and Day Four!!

Day Three:
We started in Dolphin Cove. We fed the dolphins with our left hands and we're able to pet them with our right hands. Avery was leery of the teeth and didn't reach out to pet any of the dolphins. Then, she cried for thirty minutes afterward because she didn't get to pet a dolphin!!!
We walked over to the Sharks/The Coral Reef building. We learned about the sharks first. The kids were all fascinated with them! We had shark dress-up time and snack before going to the coral reef section. The kids picked their favorite fish from the exhibit and then tried to draw them. Avery chose a yellow and blue striped fish...and did a very good job of drawing it. Then the kids had a salt-water fish dress-up. A boy and girl both had sparkly outfits!!
Then we went to the clydesdales. They are so big and beautiful. We got to pet a male named Andy, and took pictures as a group.
Ater camp was over Avery and I went back to the dolphin tank. We stayed there until Avery worked up the courage to pet one. The amazement on her face was worth the tears and the waiting!!
We went to the Believe show and each time I see the orcas perform, it is amazing! Avery wanted to ride the Ferris Wheel so we did, twice. Then she wanted to ride the Orca roller coaster. We got in line and a little girl behind us was looking for a partner to ride with. So, I got out of line while the two girls rode together!

Day Four:
We spent the day behind the scences at the Zoological research facilities. We observed a bull shark and two nurse sharks. The kids were all very good at following the rules! Then we were able to play with the (de-barbed) sting rays and brown manta rays. They would swim right up to our hands and wriggle their bodies as we pet them. Avery would only pet the small ones, but we both had a great time! Then we learned about the transport boxes and I'm afraid I would be claustophobic if I had to ride in one very long. We pet a Bamboo shark. I think Avery would have jumped right into the shark tank if we would have let her, she really was mesmerized by them. We met a Monk seal that was hoping we had food, and saw some more bottlenosed dolphins. On our way back into the park we passed by some flamingos, scarlet ibis, and spoonbills. There is also a lemur back there!
Then we got to go behind the scenes at the Shamu theatre. Shamu is a generic name they use for any of the adult orcas. There are currently four orcas in San Antonio: Kyuquot, Keet, Unna, and Tuar. Then the kids made shamu costumes out of paper bags. They were so cute. Lea gave us a cirtificate saying we had completed camp, complete with our group picture from the day before.
We stayed in the Shamu theatre and watched the Believe show. Cameron and her uncle Matt had to leave, but Sophie and her Nana stayed. We had lunch/snack with them and then let the girls hang out together. They rode the orca roller coaster twice, the ferris wheel twice, and the paint can ride once. They played in the Water works, Then we went to Lost Lagoon where the girls swam in the kiddie pool.
Avery bought four stuffed animals, one for each day of camp. We now have Sarah the seal, Emily the beluga, Candy the orca, and Cindy the dolphin. I purchased some education material that we will use this year in school. We had such a fun time, Avery is already asking if she can go to camp again next summer!!!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Shaky Start

We were late to camp today because Avery got sick last night and threw up again this morning, actually both kids threw up! Luckily it was just a bug or something and they appear to be better.
Today was a lot of fun. We started by comparing the length and weight of dolphins, beluga whales, and orcas. Orcas grow from 18-22 feet and weigh 12,000-16,000 pounds. Beluga whales get up to 12 feet and about 3,000 pounds. The Pacific White Sided Dolphin is 6-8 feet long and weighs 300-400 pounds.
We went and looked at the beluga whales, we were only a few feet away from where they surfaced! Then we had a question and answer session with one of the dolphin trainers. The kids were asking basic questions like how cold is the water (67 degrees), how many dolphins do you have (7), do the animals prefer one trainer over another (sometimes), and other relatively simple things. Avery raised her hand and waited several minutes to be called on. When it was her turn she simply asked, "Where is the Daddy dolphin?" The trainer said that was a very good question. The dad, Jump-Jump, is on loan to an aquarium in Chicago. Zoos, aquariums, and parks around the world work together and trade semen samples to keep gene pools varied. He said that sending sample through Fed-Ex is much simpler than trying to transfer the animals across the country or around the planet!!! Have you ever tried to explain artificial insemination to a bunch of 4-5 year olds? Obviously the trainer hasn't either! It was pretty funny!!!
We had some time to spend before the Viva! show. It was the perfect time for snack. Then, we made some construction paper tadpoles. I didn't realize that Sea World had a frog exhibit, but we got to see it today. Most of the frogs appeared to be wax figures, you had to look very closely to observe them breathing.
After the frogs, we went back over to the Viva! stadium and Anthony got to dress up as a beluga whale. He had blubber, fins, a tail, and a humped head. The kids offered explanations for why a beluga has the hump on his for when he bumps the glass, stores water like a camels hump, or helps them float. The real reason is for echolocation.
All of the Small Wonders campers got to see the Viva! show together. This is an acrobatic show with Beluga whales, dolphins, synchronized swimmers, and high-jumping divers. It is simply amazing how high out of the water the dophins can jump!!! They don't just jump, they also twist and flip and spin!!!! WOW! Avery was impressed with the beluga whales pushing the trainers around the pools. After the show one of the Beluga trainers came over. He said the animals started out nopt wanting to cooperate, but the show was successful in the end. The kids wanted to know if it hurt the whalews for him to stand on their noses. He told them no! Whales are much bigger and stronger than humans and they just feel pressure when the trainers are on their noses!!
I'm really enjoying Sea World camp!!!
After camp, Avery and I went to Lost Lagoon with Cameron, her uncle, Sophie, and her Nana. They floated a while in the Castaway River. All appeared to have a good time, and I enjoyed relaxing by myself! The others stayed in Lost Lagoon to have lunch while Avery and I went over the Shamu's Harbor. There we rode the Orca roller coaster. Avery really enjoyed it, even going on it again by herself!!!! She is growing up too quickly!!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Campers

Today was our first day of Sea World Small Wonders Camp. Avery's group is called the Killer Whales. There are 10-12 kids in each group and only three girls in the Killer Whale group: Avery, Cameron, and Sophie. The girls quickly sought each other out, and by the end of the week I'm predicting they will be great friends!
We started at the Penguin Encounters. We looked at the Penguins then had a question and answer session. We learned that the penguins must have fresh snow shoveled into the exhibit several times a day or the penguins can get a disease in their feet! Then we looked at the Puffins. We compared and contrasted the Penguins and Puffins. While they do look very similar a major difference is Puffins can fly.
Each day of camp the one child a day will get to dress up as a sea animal. Today Avery was chosen to dress up as the penguin. They discussed the adaptations of a penguin as they dressed her. Blubber is for warmth. The black and white coloration is camouflage for protection. Flippers and webbed feet are for swimming. Today's story time was also about a Penguin's adaptations.
We had a snack of animal crackers before going to feed the seals and sea lions. We saw some American otters on the way to the Seal and Sea Lion tank. Once there, an educator told us the differences between Seals and Sea Lions. Each camper received a small container of fish that we threw to the animals. The seals just sat still and hoped you threw the fish directly to them, the sea lions were pushing each other, barking loudly, in order to compete for the fish. We did a seal craft before getting to meet the sea lion trainer. We met the trainer and Dylan, a sea lion. He, the trainer...not Dylan, told us that it takes about 5 years for a sea lion to learn all the tricks and cues for the performance, The Cannery Row Caper.
The last activity of the day was to walk to Alligator Alley. Over at the alligator pond, we met Remi...a baby American Alligator. All the kids had the opportunity to pet Remi!!!

Avery and I stuck around for a while. We wandered through the Clydesdale Barn, strolled over to the Dolphin Cove, and saw Believe. Then, we went to McDonald's for a chicken nugget lunch. Avery slept all the way to Lakehills. I think it was a great first day!!!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Dinner Story

We are so lucky that my Mom doesn't have to work this summer. She came to Houston to visit us for a few days. Avery brought over a Diet Dr.Pepper for my Mom to drink. My mom told her no thanks, she didn't want a hot soda. Avery took it to the kitchen then came back with another Dr. Pepper. She told us, "I'm just going to have a cold one."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Chubby Cheeks

Walter had his wisdom teeth extracted yesterday (ouch!), and is swollen today. It's been a chore to get the kids to leave him alone. They want to get up near his face, but I'm afraid they'll bump him and make the pain worse.
We've been busy cleaning up the house and making it pretty. Karen Poe, from the Cocker Spaniel Rescue Center, is coming today at four. She has to make a home visit before they decide if we get to be Jesse's family. Avery is super excited. While in the waiting room yesterday, she told everyone that passed through that she is getting a Cocker Spaniel named Jesse.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Prehistoric History Lesson

Avery gave me a history lesson today:
There once were dinosaurs. T-Rex was the dinosaur king. But, he was a very mean king. The other dinosaurs decided they wanted Triceratops to be kings. So, now Triceratops is a very good king because he just eats plants. Then, there were some 'Bolcanoes' in Africa. The dinosaurs ran to Houston to get away from the hot lava. When the dinosaurs got to Houston, they were scared because there were so many cars. The dinosaurs were so scared they ran back to Africa. A few were left behind so we put their 'skeleskins' in the museum. The 'bolcanoes' were still hot in Africa, so the dinosaurs dug big holes and covered themselves up. The dirt got burned all up and the dinosaurs were stuck underground. That's why we have to dig them up to get their 'skeleskins'. It is so sad that the dinosaurs 'isappeared', because I would like to have a pet Triceratops. If you go to Africa, can you find me a Triceratops and bring it home? I want a green one!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Beehive Last Day

I can hardly believe that it is already the last day of Preschool. I almost cried when I picked Avery up today. It is the end of her being a preschooler...she's now a "big kid".
What has Avery accomplished this year? I could make a list of all the things she knows like how to write her name or that objects at the back of the drawing are smaller, but that isn't what is important. What is important is the sense of confidence Avery has gained. She loves to perform, to sing and dance for people. It's important that she has learned how to share, how to verbalize her feelings, and that everyone is different AND the same. She has learned to wait her turn, how to be a friend, and how to play on the playground without being afraid.
I'm so proud of her! She is such a great kid!
What have I learned this year at preschool? *I could not teach 24 four- and five-year olds everyday! *the day you wear white pants will be the ONLY day you get paint on yourself! *band-aids are to owies/boo boos as Duct tape is to broken objects! *little kids LOVE to help *trees poop! *when you have the Gallerias it is really bad, you spend all day sitting on the potty! *goats poop too, they poop beans! *four- and five- year olds are REALLY bad at telling JOKES, but they think they're hysterically funny! *all parents are known by their children's names, "oh that's Cate's Mom"! *we should all jump in the rain puddles!

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Yesterday we went to Surfside Beach just to hang out and have fun. On the trip down, Avery was looking at a book about Dinosaurs. She was telling us all about the Pterodactyl. Then she and Walter got into a discussion about Ostriches...that they are really big birds, but that they can't fly. Avery told Walter that Penguins are big birds that don't fly. Walter said that they 'fly' underwater and do great acrobatic swimming. Avery said, "Yeah, and the Flingos are big birds." It took Walter a minute, "Flingos, huh?" "Yeah, Dad. They are big pink birds." It finally clicked with Walter, "OH, flamingos can fly!"

Walter and I were the only parents who made our kiddos wear a life preserver, but the kids are too young too protest!! The temperature outside was only mid-70's and the water was pretty cold. We would let Josiah play in the water about 20 minutes at a time, then we would take turns wrapping him in a towel and holding him. Avery never acted like she noticed the cold. She helped find seashells, she played in the sand, she has a little floaty/boat that she would let us take her into the wake, and she 'swam' in the shallow water. I thought seashell hunting was a great way to work on her visual discrimination. I told her she could only bring whole shells that had gray on them. She did a great job too!

As we piled back into the car, we put a Pull-up and a tank top on Avery. We asked her to put on her shorts while we drove to the bathrooms, about 4 miles away. I assumed she minded and didn't think about it anymore. As we neared the store, I asked if she had on her shoes. She said, "No, and I don't have on any shorts either." Walter told her to put her shorts on. She said, "NO." I said in my best Mommy voice, "Avery Nicole!" She quickly replied, "I didn't say no I'm not putting on my shorts. I said 'Oh, no. I've got to put my shorts on!'"
Yeah, right!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Busy Week

Tuesday afternoon we took the kids to the Museum of Natural History. It is free after 2 pm to see the general exhibits. We got to see some beautiful gems and jewelry. Some very interesting is amazing how beautiful rocks can be!!! There is a Chemistry exhibit. It reinforced the concept of gas, liquid, and solid that Avery learned at preschool this week. The energy exhibit was neat. It took you through the processes of producing energy. It had some examples of crude oil from around the world that surprised me with an array of colors!

What interested Avery the most were the DINOSAURS. We saw them first. Then each time Walter and I tried to see the other exhibits, Avery constantly asked when we were going back to see the dinosaurs! She was more than a little leery of the life size replica of Ankylosaurus, complete with skin, armor, teeth...I stuck my hand in it's mouth and she finally relaxed when it didn't move! Her favorite was the Triceratops even though it was just the head...or maybe because it was just the head!!! She found the Pterodactyl to be very fascinating, but didn't like to be upstairs looking out over an open floor!!!

On Wednesday they had Water day at Beehive. All of the kiddos wore their swimsuits. There were four kiddie pools set up to play in. They had attached a sprinkler upside down on the monkey bars with a pool underneath that the kids could 'shower' under. There was a pool at the bottom of the slide that was great fun! There was a water table, a baby doll bathing center, and doll clothes washing center, and a water bucket/paint brush center that the kids used to 'paint' the playhouse. All of the kids had a blast!!

Wednesday night was Avery's Spring Choir concert. The Quarter Notes were adorable in their animal costumes. Claire Knuckles was the most adorable Rooster!! The Half Notes sang really well. They were supposed to stand with their hands behind their backs...too hard for Avery. She tried, but fell down twice and finally gave up. I guess that is something with can talk to Miss Sue, the OT, about focusing on next. They sang Seek Ye First which Avery calls the Louie song. You know, "Hall-le-lu, Hall-le-Louie-ya."

Tuesday was Walter's last day of class for Spring semester, YEAH!!!!! All of his grades have been posted and he is doing a great job! He has a short summer session and will take Board I in July. After that, Dental school will be a lot easier. He will start having more clinic, more patients, more fun and less class, less studying, and less stress. He gets to try his hand at being the patient in June. He is going to have his wisdom teeth removed by one of the Fourth year residents. One of the upperclassmen is redoing a porcelain crown that has been bothering Walter, and that he says was not made correctly to begin with! Then, I get to be Walter's patient because I have two cavaties that he feels were caused by night-time reflux.

Only one more week of Beehive, then Avery is free for the summer. I'm not sure she really understands that she's not going back, and that her friends will all be going to Kindergarten in various school throughout the area. Several Moms have talked about setting up playdates during the summer, so I'm hoping that occassionally seeing her friends will help make the transition easier. I'm sure a few more trips to see the Dinosaurs will help ease the pain!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Bible Story

I love taking Avery to preschool. When we are driving she tells me the funniest things!!

Yesterday: "Mom. Can I tell you a Bible story?"
Avery-"There once was a Grandpa named Paul. He was mean. He told the children they couldn't run to Jesus. Jesus said, 'let the children come to me'. Grandpa Paul said, "No, they'll knock you over and trip you." But Jesus told him he could outrun the children. So Paul, Jesus and the children had a race. The End."

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

What better day to create a blog about my kids than Mother's day!?! At the Beehive, they made a silhouette of Avery for me. Today at church, they had professional photographers on hand to take complementary pictures of Mom's and thier families. Then Avery made a plaster hand print in Sunday School. What wonderful gifts!!!

Tomorrow is my last time to work at Beehive! There are only two weeks left until summer, and I don't know how the year has passed so quickly. I spoke to Avery's teachers on Friday and they both feel like theatre classes would be great for Avery. Mrs. Sanchez told me that last week she had some time to fill and asked the kids if anyone had a favorite song they would like to sing. She said Avery raised her hand and said, "I do!!" Avery stood up and began singing Jesus Loves Me. Afraid of what other parents might say, Mrs. Sanchez stopped the song and asked for other suggestions...but thought it was funny that Avery was confident enough to stand and sing solo.

I found a great blog featuring vintage/antique clip art. Check it out at