Monday, November 30, 2015

Theme Thursday- Groups Shots

Linking with Micaela for Theme Thursday Group Photos.

On the way out of town for Thanksgiving, I thought, since we were dressed up, why not try a family shot? The more spontaneous and no notice works best with this crowd.

We thought we'd try a few different poses, mostly to loosen everyone up.
We lost the chord for the remote camera trigger, so Max or Nick ran back and forth to hit the timer.

 Lilly's Silly Face idea:

 Ceci's Jazz Hands Idea:

Pondering look,or AKA punch your own face.
 Try to look "normal"

And Craig wanted one on the porch, like last year, probably our annual look.
Yes, there is usually at least one animal willing to pose with us. It seemed appropriate to feature Hope this year.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

23 years of being a mom

Max turned twenty three today and in our family tradition, he took the day off and spent it with us. We always have birthdays as a personal holiday from school, and from work when possible. We honor and celebrate each one of us in gratitude.

I am so proud of Max. He is working hard as a marine system engineer and has plans to do and build side projects going through his imagination. I wish I could take credit for all this imagination from being his teacher for twelve years, but the only thing I did was give him room to grow and explore. I am so thankful we homeschooled. 

Happy birthday Max! With all my love!

23 snippets of some favorite memories of Max through the years:

1st - Galveston. 
I quit my job just after Max's birth. We moved to a small island off Galveston when I was eight months pregnant. So, adjustment with a new baby was a little lonely. It gave me time to recover from birth, get in a routine being a mama, and making dinner for Craig when he came home from work. It was a wonderful time with Craig working 4/10's so we had long weekends to love and play with baby Max.
That first year, I memorized everything about him. I was so awe stuck at the miracle of life and thought he might disappear at any moment, so I just held him, played, spent every moment soaking in motherhood. 

He was a joy. He learned to swim before he learned to walk that first year. Babies are amazing.

2nd - Texas
We had fun just Max and me driving all over Texas to visit family. We spent some time in Rockport helping my in laws recover from surgeries at the same time different hospitals, one for cancer, one for a broken bone.
They were easy patients so we had time biking around the area. Max was good for them, his happy voice chatting up all the time.

3rd - moved to Alabama
A big adventure. We found a home we liked on our house hunting trip but didn't make an offer because it was way out of our range. So we moved into an apartment to look, we drove by the place again months later, and thought we'd throw a low ball offer. The owners liked us, and were charmed by Max, and impressed by Craig's plans of renovation and restoration and took our offer! A beautiful old home on 10 acres.
Max had the next two and half years of adventure of growing up in the woods. We spent much of our time outdoors exploring.

4th Alabama- sister Molly joins our family
Wonderful adventures visiting family and being the ring bearer in my cousins wedding in the chapel my grandfather built in the hills of Tennessee.

5th Alabama
Decided we had too much fun learning at home, so we became homeschoolers. Max loved legos and being read to, it is how we spent much of our days.

6th Galveston County, Tx
We moved to an apartment on a waterway and Max spent most of his time swimming in the pool or playing in the sandy edges of the waterway. 

7th Michigan
New baby brother in tow, we moved north, found a 1950's house in an old neighborhood filled with families. The Lemonade stand is a fun memory of that year, lesson learned about neighborliness and friends made through Assumption Grotto parish.

8th Spain! Always being on the move, the kids are great travelers. Swimming in the Mediterranean Sea in December is a memory that will always stay with me. 

9th Texas - New year, new house, new state, new baby sister. Max made friends in the new neighborhood, one in particular shared an interest in computers.

10th Baseball and good sportsmanship. These do not always go together in the small country leagues, I am sad to say. Max rose above many conflicts and learned much through bad (adult) sports, and earned a few good sportsmanship awards because of his good influence on others.

11th Georgia & The Haddox Bugle
We started a little family newsletter with highlights from our move to keep in touch with family and friends. Our requested readership was up to 25 by the time we moved back to Texas. (life before blogs), Max loved to add and collect for the joke section. We included stories, art projects and details of life on our mini farm.

12th We had a horse, pool and trampoline. 4 Wheelers, neighbors and friends.  We spent most of our days outdoors. We also added another baby sister, Ceci.

13th Scouts with Father Demets. Our small parish French priest started a Boy Scout troop. Camp outs were also mini retreats. It was a very fun and active troop. We hosted a Civil War reenactment at our home.

Received Confirmation

14th Texas Leaving Georgia friends was hard for the kids. Max transitioned with new friendships through scouts. We found a large troop near us. We also were back with family and cousins.

This year was full of adventures with the RV and an opportunity to fly.

16th A good summer for scout trips - Bahama sailing adventure with a spot on Scrubs.

17th Earned Eagle Scout


18th Lilly's godfather

19th off to Galveston for college: Pride and Loss. Max was awarded a large scholarship for his selected degree plan, so he was off as a college freshman. It came quickly and I missed him more than I'd imagined. His visits home were special.But I missed having him in our daily lives, terribly!

20th Spending college breaks with us, and having a special friendship with Lilly.

Taking Nick to the Florida keys

Imagining and building projects

23rd Best memory of this year: Being able to enjoy my adult son as a friend. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

All Saints Party 2015

Our homeschool group's annual All Saints Day Party, Parade and Pot Luck was postponed to later on November due to rain. The days are shorter and colder so attendance was down a little and the time flew by with all the fun. 
The family that geneously hosts this event lives on an incredibly beautiful 80 acre ranch. 
My teens wanted to do the face painting table, but had time for visits with their friends as well.

We are so thankful for this blessing of a wonderful day with other Catholic homeschoolers.

Perfect night for silhouette shots.

Mid November Daybook - Happy Saint Cecilia Feast Day

Outside my window...beautiful and cold. It started at 34 degrees this morning, heads up the 50's. I love the big blue sky.

I am praying for..those fighting cancer, those who have lost someone to cancer. And all poor souls in purgatory.

I am have a restart on my diet. For the past year I've slowly gained some weight back and it surprises me how it weighs me down emotionally! I am strong and motivated and pray I stay that way. Thankfully my blood pressure is still down. I am an emotional eater and and trying to watch myself by tracking calories with My Fitness pal again. I need accountability.

In the kitchen...baking goodies for today brownies and we made black bean salad.

I am creating...Saint peg dolls. Well, I bought all the materials, now I need time to devote to it. The girls are going to make little nativity set of peg dolls for their younger cousin.

I am our homeschool group All Saints Party rescheduled today. I'm dealing with a very sad Ceci because she wanted to bring Hope as part of her St Jacinta costume but Hope was so upset by the kennel for transportation that I decided she should stay home. Mean mom. Probably the practical decision, but my heart hurts when I disappoint my sweet Ceci. Especially on her feast day! 

I am wondering...what to cook for a dinner we are having at our priest's house while his mother is visiting. She likes simple home cooking. Craig suggested King Ranch Casserole. I have a bad opinion of King Ranch casserole. Do you like it? Opinions needed.

I am reading...the final Ralph Moody autobiography: A Horse of Different Color. I love this series. It has more years than Little House ( which I love). So if you love Little House, check it out. Mr. Moody's resilience and work ethic is one to admire and learn from. Perseverance, hope, strong work ethic, ingenuity, versatility are just a few adjectives that come to mind to describe Ralph Moody.  I think our country would benefit if it was required reading in school.

I am watching...our farm yard fowl. The two peacocks seem to be bottom of totem pole, the guineas who are always fighting and screaming and the chickens running from one treat or another.

I am listening to...Cecilia talk to Euly about life. They are so enthusiastic about little things. It is heartwarming.

I am looking forward to...Seeing family over Thanksgiving.

Around the farm....we helped Craig build a shelter for the sheep. The rain we had his past Tuesday was brutal on them. They huddled anywhere they could get relief from the pounding rain. Now they have a great place to stay dry.

Speaking of Hope...
The new kitty loves her too.

A few plans for the rest of the week...celebrate my oldest son's twenty third birthday! He has a work assignment offshore over Thanksgiving and I am (selfishly) praying it is delayed long enough for him to join us for Thanksgiving. 
I am starting to make my plan of food to bring to my sisters' for our Turkey day dinner.

A peek into my day...the girls had a great time spreading hay.

Something that made me laugh, chuckle.. We decided to make a Christmas photo with Hope.

Have a wonderful and restful Thanksgiving.