Wednesday, September 30, 2009


To my sister:

Remember every day,
no matter what I've said,
here's what i want to say --

I will always love you,
be with you till the end,
when no one else is around
I'll be your friend.

-- Author Unknown

A Couple of Nuts

Sister to sister we will always be,
A couple of nuts off the family tree.

--Author Unknown

Monday, September 28, 2009

Day in the District

On Saturday, James and I loaded up the kids and went to Day in the District, a free cultural event in the Arts District of Fort Worth. The Fort Worth Arts District is a cluster of museums, gardens, and theatres. For Day in the District, many of the venues opened their doors and invited the public in to enjoy regular collections as well as the special exhibits. Musical groups, orchestras, puppeteers, dance troupes and various other offerings were also about on the grounds, on porches, and in museum lobbies.

Taking in a children's opera, Three Little Pigs

Exploring the Galleries

Contemplative Child

Finding the Snack Tables

Connecting with Renae of Life Nurturing Education,
one of my favorite bloggers of all time
(Will we ever take a clear picture?)

Rarity: My being in front of the lens

All of the exhibits and performances were geared for the family as a whole. We even plan to replicate some of the modern art here at home! In all, Day in the District was a great success for our family, an event we intend to enjoy again.

Biker Chick

Gracie's been working hard to ride her bike without training wheels. At seven years old, she's one of the last among her peers to go without training wheels which she's not happy about for many reasons. Actually, the training wheels have been off her bike for over a year now, only she's too fearful to completely take off on her own. Though she's never taken a serious tumble, she is so concerned about falling. She'll ride forever and happily as long as Daddy is nearby with his hand on the Balance Buddy.

Baby Brystol and the Two Month Stats

Brystol, Two Months Old

At two months, Brystol:

  • weighs 11 lbs. 12 oz. and is 75% for weight, 50% for height/head

  • is as chubby as ever, with a double chin and fat rolls galore

  • has outgrown a few 0-3 month outfits

  • has outgrown most Size 1 disposable diapers

  • is moving into cloth diapers full-time

  • smiles all the time, even while nursing

  • still doesn't sleep through the night

  • doesn't like to sleep alone

  • coos and "talks" to Daddy, but rarely to anyone else

  • has earned the nickname "Tootsie," emphasis on "Toot"

  • tolerates other people holding her for brief periods of time

  • hates her car seat

  • has learned to take a bottle

  • prefers to *not* take a bottle

  • is losing her hair

  • might have brown eyes

  • loves bathtime

  • doesn't mind tummy time

  • attended her first opera, "Three Little Pigs"

  • visited her first series of art museums

  • loves her brother and sister

  • is well-loved in return

Friday, September 18, 2009

Crazy Hat Day at the Co-op

The homeschool co-op we attend has theme days from time to time, the first of which was "Crazy Hat Day." Both kids love crafting and were excited to make something to wear and show off. They used supplies we had on hand -- clearance visors, fabric markers, chenille sticks, glittery pom poms. They designed and decorated the hats mostly by themselves -- I did all of the hot gluing and drew a "molecule of DNA" for Bub. Otherwise, I was hands off. They wore their crazy hats with pride and kept them on all day long.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Smiling Sweetly

Brystol, Seven Weeks Old

Smiling Sweetly

Not Quite a Giggle

Our Little Bear Cub


Happy, Happy Girl

Friday, September 11, 2009

On Joining a Homeschool Co-op

The kids and I have joined a homeschool co-op. It was sort of this year's compromise to the homeschool/public school debate. We participate in the co-op one day a week. We attend a worship service together, then the kids go on to four different classes of their choosing. Both kids are taking Mission-Minded Geography. Bub is also taking a Classical Composers class, a class on the human body, and Astronomy. Gracie is taking Spanish and two creative writing classes.

I initially was quite hesitant about participating in a homeschool co-op. Schooling is enough of a time-consumer for us, but we also do lots of things outside the home. With field trips, playgroups, sporting events, Lunch Bunch, church functions, and the business of daily life, we feel like we're always on the go. Adding another thing to do every single week seemed like a stretch for me. But, this was something that really needed to happen for Gracie, and in the end, the experience was far, far better than expected.

My day was spent in the nursery rocking and nursing Brystol (in the peace! and in the quiet!) with brief breaks on the hour for hall monitor duty. Several times while in the hall, I saw Bub and Gracie and they were either beaming from ear to ear or going on about how fun their classes were. I was happy when we made the decision to go this route vs. returning to the public school classroom, and I was even happier at the end of the first day.

I think we're going to have a very fun year!

The Obligatory "First Day" Poses

Thursday, September 10, 2009

"It is only in the act of nursing
that a woman realizes her motherhood
in visible and tangible fashion;
it is a joy of every moment."

-- Honoré de Balzac

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

That's Worth $17 Any Day...

Over the holiday weekend, James and I took the kids to
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose.

James had been thinking for a while that he'd like to take the kids, and over the weekend, they offered a special that allowed us to get into the park at a remarkably reduced rate. Essentially, the deal was one free admission for each five cell phones or hand-held games donated to the park. We dug a couple of outdated cell phones out of the box of dress-up clothes and made the kids purge their extensive collection of Game Boy games. In the end, we had enough stuff for three tickets, meaning our admission was $17 (the price of a child's ticket) versus the $77 it might have been.
We're suckers for a good deal.

Gracie was particularly excited about her newly inherited camera...

... and Brystol was excited to have a new place to nap.

Really excited.

Chubby chipmunk cheeks are perfect for wildlife parks.

While at Fossil Rim, we got stuck in an ostrich-induced traffic jam...

... and James had a stare-down with a zebra.

The zebra won.

We also ran across this blue-necked bird-type creature. It has a name, but I can't remember for the life of me what it is. And since it's the middle of the night and I'm not homeschooling anybody and I have no desire to get off the couch to go look at the pamphlet I brought home from the wildlife park to find out the correct class and/or phylum this particular creature hails from, we're going to leave it at that -- the blue-necked bird-type creature.

So there.

An interesting fact I do remember about this blue-necked bird-type creature is that the blue on its neck changes in relation to the mood it's in. In the pamphlet, there was no clarification as to mood/shade of blue ratio, so Bub decided that the color on this guy meant he was mad...

... but he looks pretty happy to me.

Brystol, on the other hand, does not.

All along, we'd been tossing pellets from the $7 bag-o-feed we purchased at the gift shop. It was good for coaxing the animals to your car so you could capture them and take them home and ride them up and down the street and be the coolest kid in the whole cul-de-sac to learn more about various sorts of animals, getting up close and personal with the science-type stuff.

For example, this brown guy with antlers...

... not to be confused with this brown guy without antlers...

... or this zebra, who was all about the coaxing.

We learned a lot,

we had a good time,

and we could poke a zebra in the eye from the comfort of our car seat
(if we were so inclined),

and that's worth $17 any day.

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