Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Learning Notes: July II

While I have always begun the new school year the first week of August, due to our trip to Texas, we began the 3rd week of July so we wouldn't be behind when we got back. So, on July 18th, Cecilia began 6th grade, Felicity began 4th grade, Elizabeth began 3rd grade and Teresa began Kindergarten/1st Grade (depending on the subject).
Our first day, Felicity didn't get a whole lot done since she had an eye doctor appointment (her vision is 20/20) and they dilated her eyes, but she had already done Geography for the week and Cecilia got done her Geography and Typing, Elizabeth did her Geography, Handwriting and Typing and Teresa did all her math for the week! So it was a very productive morning nonetheless. In the afternoon we watched 2 hours of Zeferelli's Jesus of Nazareth. Tuesday proved productive too as both Cecilia and Felicity each did a math lesson, Felicity did her English, Handwriting and Spelling, Cecilia and Elizabeth did their Vocabulary, and Teresa did her Geography and Phonics for the week.
Wednesday had a bit of an interruption as Brigid was running a low fever and was still coughing so I had to take her to the doctor's and she was prescribed the same antibiotic as her sisters who had had walking pneumonia. Despite that though, Cecilia and Felicity each did another math lesson, Felicity did her Vocabulary and Typing, Cecilia did her Spanish, and Elizabeth did her Spelling. Teresa did try to do a bit of Handwriting but she found it insufferably boring and struggled to want to do more than a few letters. We also finished Jesus of Nazareth. While we have studied Jesus' life for years now, considering how long ago and far away the narrative takes place, I want them to see some films to help them get a better idea what it might have actually looked like. 

By the end of the week, we had gotten a decent amount done and began focusing on packing and getting the house clean. On July 25th, we set out driving to Texas. We watched the sun go down over Illinois...
And I was excited to see the St. Louis Arch for the first time ever. It wasn't easy to get a decent picture going 60 mph with lights reflecting off the windows, but still...
By the afternoon of the 26th, we were in Austin, Texas visiting friends and on the morning of the 27th, Texas welcomed us with a rainbow.
 We took the kids to a local kid science hands-on museum called The Thinkery.
 Needless to say, the kids had a blast. Thomas especially loved the water room. The following day we had a playdate with my friend's sister-in-law and her kids. Three families + 1 niece = 18 kids!
  Ice pops, two kiddie pools, a sprinkler, monkey bars, Perler beads and plenty of fun was had by all!
 After a lovely visit with our friends, we drove up into East Texas to James' parents house, where they were waiting with a swingset, two swimming pools, ride on cars, BINGO games, a pond full of biting catfish, chickens to be fed and a chubby bunny to pet.
 On Sunday, after Mass, we went to the best Tex-Mex restaurant this side of the Rio Grande, Mercado's in Tyler, Texas. It was the place of James' and my first date 19 years ago. Naturally the kids loved it. So much so we went back and ate there again before we left.
 It was plenty hot while we were there.
 One day we drove to Longview and James and his mom took the 5 oldest to see The Secret Life of Pets while I got Thomas a nap and then bought myself a straw hat and went to visit St. Anthony Catholic Church. It was quite pretty, though warm.
 Oh a cowboy needs a horse, needs a horse, needs a horse...
 Now a cowboy needs a hat, needs a hat, needs a hat... (or Mommy's hat will do)
 Cowgirls too!
 We got one group shot before we had to leave:
And we introduced the girls to Whataburger on the way home!
 And we drove all night, watching the sun come up over Illinois.
 It took through the weekend, by now the end of the first week in August, to rest up, clean up, unpack, grocery shop, etc. but it was a very successful trip. It was great to see our friends and family and it is good for the kids to see them and experience other places.

On Sunday we went to Mass. I caught this shot of Thomas holding two of his sister's hands. That cutie will be surrounded by beautiful girls for years to come. :)


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