We were so blessed to receive memberships to the Houston Zoo and the Houston Museum of Natural Science as Christmas presents, and we have been enjoying them! We end up taking lots of pictures at both places, but here are just a few cute ones:
(Bugs! Annie loves/hates bugs. Any little black dot on the floor/ground/ceiling/wall is a "bug." It's one of her favorite words. She is fascinated by real ones... as long as they don't move.)
Annie has taken a keen interest in helping me cook. If I'm in the kitchen, she is generally sitting on the counter "helping." She is already pretty adept at pouring ingredients in (after I measure them), and she loves stirring.
Snow!!! Yes, it snowed in Houston twice this winter! Crazy, crazy, crazy. It wasn't nearly as much as the December snow, but, hey, it still counts!
Michael is loving cub scouts. He is now a Webelo. He says his favorite thing he's done so far is create his own board game.
Jojo is doing a simple preschool program with me here at home this year. Each week we watch a circle time video (done online by my friend Katie http://www.ohmyglory.com/category/circle-time/) and focus on a new letter. We try to keep it simple and fun. ...Annie often joins in on the fun part.
What holiday would be complete without special treats? Coming up with paleo treats for Halloween, Christmas, Valentines, and birthdays is no easy task. It's a good thing I like to cook and I'm not afraid to experiment! The kids are pretty open with their opinions, but we usually end up finding something to fit the bill. (Valentine's included heart-shaped paleo cakes topped with whipped cream and strawberry sauce.)
In March, our homeschool group put on an "Academic Showcase." The kids could enter a history fair, a science fair, an art show, and/or a talent show.
Sadie worked hard on a history project on the legend of Robin Hood and also displayed her work in the art show.
Ada won first prize (for her age group) for her science project about chemical reactions and made a sculpture for the art show.
Michael enjoyed showing off his project on atoms, including copper plating nails. He also wowed the talent show audience with his moves on his pogo stick.
All the kids did a great job!
We enjoyed growing a winter garden and harvested an abundance of carrots this year, including some purple ones (quite tasty!) and some "mutant" ones.
Like I said before, Annie enjoys being in the kitchen....
March in Houston welcomes in the springtime, and it also welcomes in the rodeo! We had lots of fun exploring the livestock exhibits and petting zoo.
March also means another St. Patrick's Day (including green smoothies)...
and another anniversary! Happy 11 years! I'm so proud of this man I married. Not only has Matt successfully started up his own law firm and landed a big case right off the bat, but he continues to be an amazing husband, father, and friend --despite being incredibly busy.
One beautiful spring day, we took a trip downtown to visit Hermann Park and the zoo. The kids loved sharing their lunch with the ducks.
And we loved exploring the beautiful Japanese gardens.
As part of our homeschool this year, we were part of two co-ops: a large group that meets on Mondays and a smaller group called "family school" on Fridays. Here is our family school group enjoying some time at the park before our friends, the Davises, moved away. :-(
A few weeks later, our larger group met up and did tie-dye t-shirts together....I think they turned out pretty nice.
Another weekend, Popie treated us to a carnival. The kids enjoyed the climbing wall.
Michael even made it all the way to the top!
They also got face paintings, train rides, giant swing rides, and BBQ.
Just a picture of everyday life taken by our in-house photographer, Sadie. Naturally an artist, she has recently developed in interest in photography. I often find my phone missing, only to have it returned with dozens of random photos on it.
Easter was celebrated with our annual family reunion and egg hunt. We met at a little farm and had a lovely time together.
In April, my parents took the three older kids to Missouri with them.
It was a little squished, but they had a great time!
While they were gone for a week, I enjoyed some "quiet time" with the younger kids.
I think their favorite part was going to the bounce house with Jojo's friend Wesley... and the highlight was not the bouncing, but the air hockey game.
The morning after the kids got back, Michael discovered a swarm of baby praying mantises that had hatched off of a rock he had brought home. They were rapidly spreading around his room in search of food. As quickly as we could, we gathered them up and relocated them to the garden.
Just a funny picture....My kids are always making me laugh.
Joseph has recently discovered the joys of building with legos.
The quarterly newsletter for our parks department arrived in the mail ...and there was Sadie on the front cover, or at least her hands were. The picture was taken last summer when she participated in one of their summer camps. The article didn't mention her at all, but we recognized the shirt.
Yay! Michael completed his third (and final) pinewood derby and had a lot of fun!
Just another cute picture of Jojo with his TY friends, Chocolate (the moose) and Jack, aka Flash, aka Flame. For some reason, he keeps changing the dog's name.
Ada finished up her second year of the "Let's Play Music" program with a recital, and she did great! She loves music, and I love watching her grow her talent!
Ahem... Inserted here at the very bottom is our official blog announcement that we are expecting baby no. 6! And, it's a boy! And, I'm due on Halloween! And all those "downs" I mentioned at the beginning of the post were a vague and nebulous reference to all the "ups" I experienced the first few months of pregnancy. (Ha ha ha.) But now, I'm in the second trimester and feeling much better. Thank goodness!!!