April 21, 2011

  • Lots of Visiting…….

    We’ve had a busy week of doctors appointments and museum zooming. 

    A few days ago we went to the Calvert Marine Museum.  I haven’t been there for years, it’s changed and gotten better.  And it’s a great little place of Calvert County History and environmental beauty.  As a girl or tween, this is the kind of place I’d probably make fun of for having the kind of activities it has…..but as a mom, I’d love to take my boys to activities like boat building or shark feeding or you know…anything educational that would totally captivate their interest.  It’s such a cool place.  My dad has taken off this week, so we are doing lots of fun stuff together.  I have some pictures to share.


    This is the Drum Point Lighthouse, used for many years on the Patuxent River.  We walked up it, it was a real house, with real rooms and awesome antique furniture.


    They touched a turtle and saw real sting rays and eagle rays and we saw a starfish eat a mussel and we saw a sea slug. 


    They sailed the great seas. 


    And almost got eaten by sea monsters, but Pop-pop protected them.


    They wanted to take an otter home as a pet.  Otter’s are really playful animals….and so entertaining.  I have lots of stories of them from visiting my Nana and Pop-pop’s….seriously….we’d sit up at their bay window and watch them and all their silly ways.


    We climbed the Lighthouse and made silly faces.

    And serious faces.


     And smiley faces…oh the contrary third child. 


    And just because…



    We also took a visit to Washington D.C. yesterday.  We rode the metro, Elijah didn’t particularly like being underground.  I remember hating that about the metro as a kid too.  We went to three museums….THREE.  This mama was tired.  But it was fun….and crazy busy because of spring break.  Most of my pictures didn’t turn out, but Brian posted a few on facebook.  We went to the Museum of American History to see the trains, cars, and C3PO, and to the Museum of Natural History to see the dinosaurs, and then to the Air and Space Museum and only had time to check out the space section.  The boys loved it, and zipped thru most parts, but still loved what they saw in spite of their age.  :)    In a few days, we’re headed to Baltimore to visit the National Aquarium and the Science Museum.  I LOVE MUSEUMS!


    I mentioned we’ve seen lots of doctors.  The boys have gotten shots, been to the dentist with no cavities, and we’re now working our way thru the family to see the eye doctor.  Zekey went Monday and he seems to have my genes……he needs glasses and has a lazy eye, also known as refractive amblyopia.   The glasses will come in next week, I’ll take him back in two weeks and see if his eye corrects itself, if it doesn’t we may have to patch it or use eye drops to blur the good eye to strengthen the weak eye.  I had to do that too….as a five year old.  I really wonder how long these first pair of glasses will last……Zekey is a rough and tumbly kind of kid.  Let a new adventure begin. 


    In baby news, I had an ultrasound again last week.  For the fundal height, I was measuring a week smaller and so the doc just wanted to check to make sure all was well.  So I went and found out we’re still having a girl and that baby girl is following the path of her brothers and is gonna be a big baby!  She was measuring 12 days bigger than the original due date of June 22nd.  The doc had changed my due date to June 16th after the first ultrasound and so I have no idea when to expect her, but it apppears she’ll be big.  I went back to the doc today for a check up and my fundal height was still measuring smaller at 30 weeks even though baby girl is measuring much bigger than that.  So, I did some reading on line and the only thing I can come up with is that all that excercising I’m doing is making my stomach muscles tighter so that can throw that measurement off some.  And her head seems to be squished pretty low in my pelvis already.  Thru almost the whole ultrasound her nose was smashed up against the side of my uterus.  This was one of the only shots that it wasn’t.

    And here’s me….at 32 weeks…..or 31 weeks…..depending on which due date to use.  :)


    Nesting is kicking in.  But the form is a little different than usual, I just want to pack and get it all organized for leaving in May. 






April 12, 2011

  • We’ve eaten a lot of cake this week.

    It’s been a fun week.  Last Tuesday we celebrated Zekey’s birthday with cake and ice cream.




    Then a few days later we had a party with friends and family.  It was a robot theme……



     We played pin the arms on the robot. And a robot dancing game….and hot bot (hot potatoe) and robot says (Simon Says).


    And had a robot building contest with legos.





    And ate more cake.


    Then today we had more cake together as a family for Malachi’s birthday. 

     All that sugar is making us all a bit crazy. 

  • Halfway to High School

    Last week Malachi and I were talking about his upcoming birthday and he asked me how old he’ll be when he starts high school.  I told him he’s halfway there, he was thrilled.  I’m not so thrilled.  He’s growing up so quickly, so very quickly.  Today he said when he grows up he wants to be an ice cream man, a lego builder, and an artist….first he’ll use crayons, then markers, then paint.  He’s the boy with a plan.  He likes to think ahead and that kid has an amazing attention span when he’s following a lego book or following the directions to build something with the erector set.  He’s determined and persistent.  And oh my does that boy squirm when I want him to sit down and read…..the reading does happen, but his little body never stops moving.  We’re so very proud of him. 

    Here’s some shots of our 7 year old from the last several months:









April 11, 2011

  • Because it is worth writing down…..

    We had a great visit in Philadelphia this weekend.  We laughed a lot, ate a lot, reminisced a lot, of course there were a few fatherly lectures from Brian, and some mutual encouragement and my kids went to Kingdom Kids, you know, as kids, (not in utero or as infants in a carrier)…..and LOVED it.  As we were leaving Elijah said, “I like it here in Philadelphia even though there is trash on the ground. And I’m gonna pray that the people know God.” 

April 5, 2011

  • And He’s Four!

    We are celebrating our wonderful little guy.  He’s full of energy, full of surprises, and full of affection.  And this morning he cried when I told him he was no longer 3 years old, but four.  He said he didn’t want to get older because he doesn’t want to grow up and not be able to play with toys.  Seriously, what 4 year old thinks of that.  Here’s some shots from the last few months of our special guy with the smile that just melts your heart. 







March 25, 2011

  • We’re Missing the U2 concert next week….

    So many months have gone by without any kind of real update on life with my people.  We are chugging along in our life stateside.  There are times of pure enjoyment and times of utter disbelief as we’ve had to adjust.  My faith has continued to be stretched and tugged on and pulled like I’ve never experienced before.  God is so big and I am so thankful He is so big and is in control of all things.  Our hope is to return to Argentina on May 10th.  We are down to raising about $6000 in new yearly commitments.  That really isn’t much at all!  We picked that date as the latest date for me to fly while pregnant.  In baby news, baby girl is 28 weeks in utero and I’m feeling great.  I’ve been exercising and that has done wonders for how good I feel.  My back has been able to handle all the extra weight for this pregnancy because of the exercising, and I’m so thankful.  And why didn’t I did this for all my pregnancies???  My back and body hurt soooooo bad when I was pregnant with Zeke!  I feel lots of kicks and movements.  Zekey kisses my belly a gazillion times a day….”I want to kiss yours baby, Mama!”  The other two spare a kiss every other day or so, but it is so sweet that they are already thinking of her as a part of our family.  The only name we’ve been kicking around is Magdalena Mae.  I’ve liked Magdalen for a while and Magdalena would be the Spanish version of that.  And since we’ve started a theme of biblical names, we couldn’t possibly depart from that path.  :)   The nicknames we’re thinking of are Lena and Laney (or Lanie).  Mae is the my Nana’s middle name.  And she knows we plan to name this baby’s middle name in honor of her…and of course she says, “I hope I stay around long enough to meet her.”  I hope so too, Nana.   I try to imagine what life will be like with a girl, and I almost can’t even imagine it.  I don’t want to have too many expectations or too many fears either.  I’m excited and know there will be many differences between her and the boys and I’m just trying to dwell in that excitement……that it will be different. 


    In boy news…..the boys are doing really well.  I mean they are just amazing.  We’ve gone thru weeks of no travel and just last week had a whole week of travel.  Really, they travel so well and for the most part do really well meeting other people and tracking any toys that could possibly be found in any person’s house that we visit.  If the travel has been difficult for any of the 5 of us, it’s been difficult for me.  I sometimes wonder how I ever survived traveling with OB for five summers.  I mean I NEED time AWAY from people….including my family.  I’m trying to learn how to gauge that, because I can’t always gauge it in myself until I have an emotional outbreak.  SO, I’m learning, we’re learning and I’m very glad to be back in our own space again.


    Since the beginning of February I’ve been home-schooling the boys.  After much deliberation over the options of a co-op at church or public school, I decided home-schooling offered the most flexibility until we knew anything more about the future of Team La Plata…..meaning we didn’t know if raising the support would happen, but we’d be free to travel if needed and still take care of the kid’s education.  It’s been going really well.  I’ve really enjoyed doing it……..really, really enjoyed doing it.  I did a lot of research and found something I really like.  Once Malachi started school several years ago, I realized I have a much stronger opinion about the education of my kids than I thought I would.  I’m not a very opinionated person…..but this is something I totally have an opinion about.  It even made me debate about sending my kids to school in Argentina.  For now, I still highly value that my kids speak and learn in Spanish…so there will be no withdrawing my kids from school in AR.  But there are things about the curriculum that I’m using that I may do more supplemental things during the summers for them…..just because it is that important to me….and I believe really important for their development.  So, I know you all are wondering what in the world I’m using….okay, maybe most of you don’t care,  but I want to share it.

    This is a book, The Well Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home,(link) I came across several years ago….and had started using some of it’s suggestions for phonics  and grammar training for Chi while living in AR.  It was on my amazon wish list….my dad got it for me for Christmas and after reading it more thoroughly I was totally sold on the philosophy behind it. Classical Education is all about teaching kids along the three values of Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric….and coinciding that with their developmental stages.  SO, the Grammar stage is 1st to 4th grade, the Logic stage is 5th to 8th grade, and the Rhetoric Stage is 9th to 12th grade.  I really value how the literature, history, and science repeat themselves every four years with each new stage. 


    This book lays out a whole curriculum for almost all subjects from K4-12th grade.  Within each subject, it gives grade appropriate curriculum options to choose from.  So I’ve gone thru online and read many reviews to find the exact choices I’ve made for each subject. 

    This is what we’re using for now:



    Phonics :( link)  and as a supplement to the Phonics I’ve been using all of the Bob Books(link)….they are soooo great for getting a child to read, they give a child instant success at reading.  My dad gave me a set of these books two years ago.  And they’ve been invaluable while teaching Chi and Lijah to read.


    Math(link)  I taught this curriculum during student teaching and my first year of teaching and always really liked it. 

    Reading:  This part has been an adventure…and a fun one at that.  With a classical education you start out with the Greek gods and goddesses…so I’ve already read to them a kid’s version of The Trojan Horse, and The Odyssey and now we’re on The Story of the Iliad.  This is what I really like about this classical education philosophy….is starting them out on the ancients in 1st grade, in 2nd grade you focus on Medieval/Early Renaissance (Beowulf, Canterbury Tales, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Shakespeare…..ect, 3rd grade is Late Renaissance/Early Modern…..Gulliver’s Travels, Pilgrim’s Progress, Les Mis, Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Three Musketeers, Dickens etc, and 4th grade is Modern(from 1850 to present) Sherlock Holmes, Heidi, Pinocchio, War of the Worlds, Lousia May Alcott, Peter Pan and others.  Then in 5th to 8th grade….it follows the same strand, except the kids then are able to read the kid’s versions by themselves.  And then in High School can read the real versions by the original authors. 

    History(link)  What I love about this, is the history you study is along the same time period as the literature you are reading. 

    Science:  This is more about using various books as resources.  We are currently studying the animal kingdom.

    Spanish:  I’m doing various things to keep their Spanish at least present in our daily life!


    Malachi and Elijah are doing the same thing for Reading and History and Science and Grammar.  As far as everything else Malachi is obviously further along than Elijah.  This whole experience has been really enjoyable.  I’ve even made up a 3 ring notebook for Zekey……per his request.  Each day he chooses something(s) to work on pertaining to letters, shapes, colors, numbers.  He can be quite the wild card, but it’s good for him too….as he learns more and more self-control and patience each day. 


    If you’ve lasted this long….you are amazing.  :)  


    And because we’re here and not there….we are missing U2….it was supposed to be our first concert seeing them.  Boo.

    For my birthday, my brother and sister-in-law bought us tickets to join them in seeing OTR this weekend.  Yay!  We’re excited for a fun time with them!

February 23, 2011

  • Full of Birthday Cheer

    There’s a vase full of tulips on the table.

    The fridge is full of cards from the boys.

    My tummy is full of yummy goodies from panera.  

    My mouth will be full of delicious mexican food tonight.

    And my heart is full of love from all those people who’ve made me feel special.  

    As long as birthdays keep feeling this good, I don’t mind getting old. 

December 16, 2010

  • Playing ketchup……

    The statuses that never made it to facebook………

    1. Don’t ask my children to speak Spanish to you unless you can participate in a conversation with them.

    2. Why do car issues always seem to find us on vacation?  

    3. Yes, my eyes did fill with tears when I entered the grocery store for the first time.  The choices…..I almost forgot there is so much prepackaged food in the states.

    4. Most pre-packaged food tastes pretty nasty.  

    5.  Why thank you, sweet old greeter man at the Calvert County, MD Wal-Mart…..I sure hope I do look lovelier than the last time you saw me….two years ago.

    6.  Yes, really, my kids speak Spanish.  No, they won’t speak to you in Spanish.  

    7. Who knew shopping at Goodwill….all by myself…..driven there all by myself……would be the most relaxing thing I’ve done in the last two years?

    8.  I love that I still know all the back roads in Calvert County.  The turns and curves are never surprising.

    9. I have been thoroughly enjoying the feeling of Christmas…..with cold weather in a cozy, warm house.

October 14, 2010

  • Xanga is Driving Me Crazy!

    I can’t even log into xanga on the laptop anymore.  I have no idea why.  On the desktop, I can log it, but I have to go through some crazy steps to even get to my subscriptions.  Anybody else having issues?

    And Deb, your comments aren’t appearing on each individual day, I just see the beginning of your comment on my homepage…..WEIRD!!!!!!!!!!!


    In other news,  Malachi’s been ready for awhile to ride his bike with no training wheels. Brian had bent them way up, but we just hadn’t had the time to let him take off and go.  So on Monday, Brian took them off and before he even set the training wheels to the side, Malachi was gone……riding down the sidewalk, without Brian’s help to balance.  Here it is, the big news in the Gornik house this week.

October 9, 2010

  • It’s great to hang out as just friends…..

    The girls and all the kids spent a few hours hanging out today.  It really is refreshing to hang out with friends.  Jil made some amazing pizza and an amazing salad!  And Deb made some fresh salsa….yummy!!  I like that my friends are really good cooks.  My tummy always leaves satisfied when I eat at their houses.  The kids had a blast playing together, too. 




    A rare quiet moment…..seriously awesome how they were still all by each other but doing various things.

    Some chalk fun:



     Those are Lucy’s little footprints! 

    And the wee ones actually let me stick a camera in their faces, the big kids don’t like it so much anymore….or just ignore me.  :)

    Greta’s photo shoot, there would have been more, but they were all too blurry!  She was still waking up from a nap and not as expressive but still SO adorable!


    And there’s Lucy’s photo shoot….she’s so fun to photograph.  She’s at such an expressive age and well, she stays a little bit more still than all the other kids(except for Greta) and she lets me take pictures of her.