Friday, December 9, 2011

Following Up

I've talked about a few things in the past and then failed to follow-up on them (if anyone cares), so I thought this would be a good moment to do that.

1. Walking every day.  Not doing so great on this.  It got cold and icy and we got busier and we've sort of been skipping out.  I feel bad about it, but I know this is not a forever end to a fun and good habit we were getting into.  We'll start back up, just not tonight.

2. Couponing.  I'm finding a rhythm with this.  I don't have any organizational structure yet for containing the coupons I'm clipping, but I am finding some really good coupons (and some so-so) and we have put them to use.  Today, C used a $10 cash card at Kohl's if we spent at least $10.  He went in there so excited to spend as little over $10 as he could to make the most of the coupon and then came home with a $50 item (Christmas gift for someone) -- but it was on sale, plus the $10 off made it more reasonably priced. :)  We also ate out at a Village Inn the other night (like a Denny's, sort of, if you don't know) with a 20% off coupon and all seven of us were stuffed for just $36.

3. Room Changes.  J is still consistently remaining out of our room every night without pause.  I'm proud of her for choosing to grow up and give us our own space back.  I'm still adjusting.  I can't help it; I miss her.  But it's for the best for all of us.

4. School.  We are still plugging away, though this month, we're mixing it up.  S is busy organizing a hats for the homeless drive.  She is knitting hats like crazy and coordinating others to donate homemade or purchased hats (and/or gloves) for some of Albuquerque's homeless population.  Her goal is 200 hats by  December 16.  I'm giving her school credits for this huge effort on her part because she's really doing great with making calls, making announcements, coordinating people and doing lots of work, so I figure it's sort of like a Senior Project (though she's just a Junior -- therefore, ahead of the game).

H and Z are working on lapbooks this month.  Z is doing one on the United States and H picked Costa Rica from our North America geography unit.  It's something they can dig into a bit and demonstrate skills picked up during the first couple months of school.  Keeps things interesting.  I'm sure I'll take some photos when they're done.

J and O's December curriculum has been centered on the Truth in the Tinsel e-book I talked about previously.  We have also squeezed in a printable Nativity Set, which they loved!  And today we made Joseph ornaments, which were really fun.  I love that J's Joseph looks like just the guy for J's Mary.  They are truly a matched pair.
L to R: J's Joseph, my Joseph (he turned out girlier than I intended), O's Joseph.

5.  More details and photos from our summer trip to Florida.  I won't bombard you with every thing now, but might surprise you from time to time with more posts about the trip.  It was our longest road trip thus far (with kids) and so there is a lot to tell.  But here is a sampling of millions of pictures I took while on vacation:

It was my first time to the Gulf of Mexico.  I'm not sure if it's always this brown or just since the oil spill.  However, the water was warm and inviting regardless.  We don't get to see this much since moving to New Mexico, so I try to enjoy every second I get by the ocean.

The seagulls were a different variety than I'd ever seen, too.

But of course, there were pelicans in Galveston, TX.

I think this might have been when we were already coming into Florida.  First glimpses of the Atlantic Ocean since we left New England.  Gorgeous, white sandy beaches here.

We stayed in Fort Walton and spent most of our waking hours here on the beach, too.

J spotted these little clams digging into the sand.  They were everywhere.  It brought such delight and giggles for all of us to watch them.

Even our younger kids were no longer afraid to venture out into the waves.  A sign that we're beyond those "little kid" years.

Morning view of the beach in Fort Walton.

Approaching Orlando.

Our hotel in Orlando.  So fancy, it was daunting to bring our crew in here.  But we managed.

View from our suite.

I will not forget just how blessed we were to be put up in such a fancy hotel by C's company.  I am spoiled.  We all were.  And this is just our room -- there was another side to the suite (not shown here) for the kids!

A view of the giant pool where the kids and I spent lots of time during C's conference.

These birds wandered the grounds at the hotel.

So did these lizards.  It was mating season, so we got to have some science lessons while poolside.

We didn't do Disney while in Orlando, but we did visit the Holy Land Experience.  A lot of fun -- but it was soooo hot and humid!  Good thing there are fans and sprayers throughout the park.

Our beast -- we travel in style.

I saw this billboard along the way a couple times.  I like the bold statement.

I am not particularly a cat-person.  But I was pleased with these photos of stray cats at Andersonville.

And cats or not, who can resist the cuteness of baby animals?

After unintentionally encountering a very dangerous situation in Alabama and finding protection in the Lord, we were blessed with this beautiful sunset, which was a reminder of God's mercy and peace at all times -- but especially that one.

A month after a tornado had hit this part of Alabama -- it was still incredible to see for someone like me who had never seen tornado damage first hand.  The locals told me I should have seen it before they'd cleaned up.

Ivy Green -- Helen Keller's home.  We'd been reading about her in homeschool and I didn't realize we'd be traveling right by here.  I saw it on the map and we adjusted our route in time for a tour.

Love the accents of southern ladies.  Our tour guide was a delight to listen to.

Memphis, TN.  Had to try the barbeque!

Couldn't believe that the best Mexican food I've had in awhile, we found in Oklahoma!  Amazing.

Also loved OK's Steak 'n Shake.  Totally want to bring one of those here to NM.  I wrote the company as soon as we got home.  No reply yet, though. :(

Back in NM.   I couldn't help but wonder where his horse had gone.

The sky never fails to amaze me with it's variety and beauty.


  1. I love this post! You addressed a few things I was just wondering about. Also, great photos from your FL trip. I've seen many of them, but it was a good reminder. I think the one with the cats under the old chair is very good. Like a poster (though not a poster I really want to hang myself, as I'm not a cat person either :P).

  2. By the way, I've since added a beard to my Joseph ... he just wasn't manly enough for me. And I need to get pictures, but each of our Joseph's are perfect matches for each of our Mary's. Cute couples all over our tree! :)

  3. Glad you enjoyed your Memphis stop! :) And the water ISN'T usually that brown in that part of Florida.

  4. Oh! I should've clarified that the brown water was while we were in Galveston, TX. It was all blue-y green in FL. :)

  5. Most of the summer travel pics I had seen. I love them! Thanks for the updates as I am, obviously, trying to update or dateup myself. Love, Mom

  6. Dateup. Good one! I'm adding that to my mental dictionary.