The Gonzalez Family Herald

Headlines and commentary from a Northern California family of seven.

Monday, September 26, 2005

A day of recollection

Yesterday was a rough day for my family. I haven't written much about it on this blog because I am trying to keep this blog about my family only. But we have some good friends that are as close to us as family, so today they are making their way into our blog by way of my personal blog.

I am not going to go into a great amount of detail here. I did on my other blog and you are free to visit that one if you want to really know what is going on. All I really want to say here is that there is a family in need of prayer and support. Please lift them up as they continue to heal from their loss.

I will post more later. Right now I just want to reflect and recollect. See you later.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Family photos

A couple of weeks ago we decided to get brave and take the kids to the photographer. Dude, what were we thinking?

Anyhow, here are some low quality versions (why would they give us the high quality stuff?) of the kids' pictures...

Our nine year old (nine? Already?)

And then came the eight year old (she wasn't actually eight when she came).

Five years old in a few more days.

The two year old, who thinks she's seven.

And the boy (this dude is cool).

So that's the family. No pics of mom and dad. Before you ask why, have you ever taken five kids to a photographer at night during the week? You wouldn't want that captured on film, either.

Ta ta for now. I will post some pictures of our kids creativity in a few days. I think you will like them.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

We need more pictures

I was thinking the other day that there should be more pictures on this blog. So I am going to try to post some new photos whenever I can, so as to try to make this blog better convey what I sometimes screw up in writing.

Sooooo, without further ado, let's get to the images...

My four year old (who will be five this month - no gifts please, just send money) loves to be a big sister to her little brother...

... and then sometimes she just likes to be four.

A nice little half-family photo. Man, this boy is going to be so spoiled.

That is of course, if he can stay awake (during the day, because at night being awake is all bad).

Look at the boy with his auntie.

Another sleeping moment. My wife loves these times (and this pose).

You ever wonder why when a kid sees a camera they have to put their face as close to it as possible? Well, I guess I would do the same thing.

I hope that feeds your desire for pictures. When I can get around to it I will put some more up.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Where da heck you bin at?

Dude, did we fall off the face of the earth or what? No, but we have been very busy for the past couple of weeks. First off, my schedule was thrown off temporarily as I covered for another fellow at work. Second, all of our kids (except the baby) have come down with this crazy version of chicken pox / shingles that seems to last a bit longer that your traditional pox. And lastly, we just started our school year, which for a homeschooling family means a lot of preparation, planning and following-up.

What the heck is Varicella Zoster?
In a nutshell, it is chickenpox. More information is available at the Centers for Disease Control web site and I am sure a host of other sources. But for the purposes of this little entry, this Varicella bug is one heck of a critter. Our two oldest kids had chickenpox wshen they were very young (around 2 to 3 years old). Then they got a vaccine (along with our third and fourth daughters) and suddenly all of our daughters got this wierd virus.

The wierdest thing about all this what that the younger the kid is, the more extreme the case seems to be. Our oldest had a few spots on her face only. Our second had some spots in the bend of one of her arms and one of her legs. Our third has it now, all over her chin and eyelids. Our fourth, who was the first to get this bug, had it from head to toe about two months ago. The signs from that episode are still evident on her even now.

School started a few days ago
Not that this little snippet of information brings any serious pondering. Except if you homeschool three (of five) school age kids in your house. Let me go on the record as saying to all homeschool families...


I can get away with saying that because I am one of the crazy folk who have decided to homeschool our kids. This has to be one of the most deeply challenging yet richly rewarding experiences of my parenting life. To see your kids pick up on things as fast as they can and apply them almost immediately is a true blessing.

Oh yeah, I absolutely have to give props to my wife. Who ever the primary educator is in the homeschooling house, mom or dad, that parent deserves a medal. And a national holiday. And a pat on the back. And a long vacation about every fourth week.

How my wife handles the education of our children while I am at work is a mystery to me. Yet somehow, the kids learn. And when I have the chance to teach them, I am amazed at the speed at which they pick things up. And I amazed at their logic. I don't see too many kids in a 30 student-per-classroom public school environment showing the signs of educational excellence that homeshcooled children show. And in our house, that all starts with mom. I love you honey. Thanks for putting in the effort day in and day out.

In other news
I think that my kids are aware of the fact that they provide over 90% of the content of this blog. They seem to search out things to do that they know will get them in here. Crafty little varmints they are.

A few nights ago we went to dinner as a family and our two older kids ordered snow crabs legs as their entre. After the initial shock of seeing half a crab on their plate, they warmed to idea of eating this tasty crustacean. And the fact that they were able to use shell crackers to get to the meat made it that much more appealing to them.

So after a few minutes of cracking at these crab legs I had a chance to see the imagination of my children shine. My eight year old manage to pry off an entire claw (along with the tendon that controls it) and she began to pull the tendon to show how a crab opens and closes it claw. That was hilarious. So my nine year old responds by making here crab legs appear to be running off the plate while commenting, in a crab-like voice, "I don't want to be here". My eight year old very quickly replied...

"It's because he's being crabby." That was a good one.

Well there is a ton more to put out here, but time and space do not allow me to do so right now. I will post more later. I still need to post on configuring your BrainMail. And my wife and I are still putting together our list of things to keep a relationship working.

Until then, we'll keeping plugging along and we suspect you will also. Keep praying for the people affected by hurricane Katrina. There is such an intense and sizable need out there. The least we can do is pray.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Palm Pilate and a mysterious music making machine

I wonder, sometimes, how it is that God can fit so much humor, cuteness and entertainment into such little packages as kids. There have been probably 20 different instances in the last few days where someone in the family said "We need to blog about that.". We only have five kids, and only four of them are of speaking age, but man when they speak, the essence of youth comes flying out of their mouths.

A few nights ago, for example, my eight year old was talking about some of the things she done thoughout the day and she began to tell us how the cd player she and her sisters share was playing music. And then her eyes got big and her voice got excited and she said "And there wasn't even a CD or cassette in it either!". The thought! My wife and I found this to particularly cute seeing as my eight year old had no clue that the CD player was a stereo as well.

That same night as we were all finishing up dinner, our two year old said to my wife, "I'm done mom." My wife asked her "Are you sure you don't want anymore?" to which my two year old replied "No mom, I'm finished". My two year old has been speaking in complete sentences since she was about 21 months old. She is now 26 months old. Is anyone else out there weirded out at the thought of a freshly two year old child being able to express her thoughts and feelings to you... in words? We'll just leave this one at that.

And last night at the dinner table I was doing Bible trivie with the kids. I usually pick names of people or places to quiz the kids and last night was no exception. As we going through some questions I asked the kids the name of the High Priest at the time of Christ. After a little bit of silence my eight year old comes back with "PALM PILOT! No wait, Pontius Pilate." Not that either of these two answers were correct, but I will say this... wasn't that one of the cutest things to come out of a childs vocalized thought?

Anyway, enough for now. In a few days I am going to post about Brainmail and how to configure your Brainmail servers. My wife and I are also going to be putting up our "Seven steps to maintaining a last relationship". I think both will give you a few smiles.

Until then, God bless you. And please keep the families in New Orleans and other parts of the south affected by Hurricane Katrina in your prayers.