The Gonzalez Family Herald

Headlines and commentary from a Northern California family of seven.

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...

YOU GUYS ARE CRAZY!

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.

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