"What we do in this life, echoes in eternity."
Maximus, Gladiator
"Our creator would never have made such lovely days, and given us the deep hearts to enjoy them, above all thought, unless we were meant to be immortal."
Nathaniel Hawthorne

Friday, August 24, 2007

I'm officially a homeschool mama

Yes, we took the big plung we had been planning ever since Juli was born, and today, 4 days after Juli started first grade, I got an exemption to homeschool! I did it! Julian is loving school, but he is gone from 9:00 am to almost 4:00 pm (that's because of the bus ride. They get done at 3:30). Tuesday without him was endless! When he and Isa got off the bus, Isa said, "I thought we were going to come home at night!" Yes, they were gone all day...and he told me Wednesday they watched cartoons! (Franklin's 1st day at school). He didn't want to go Thursday because he wanted to play with his brother and sister and Coco (bless his heart!). We had planned on sending him on Fridays, but today when I talked to the principal, he said no. his reason? "No one has ever done it before". Oh well! His teacher was VERY supportive, and even sent his books home, so we could use them. We agreed on switching him to the morning class, and having him stay at school until 11. I'm very excited because I just read this book called "The Well Trained Mind" , by Susan Wise bauer and Jessie Wise. We're going to follow their advise as fas as curriculum is concerned. I got the books today.
Magali had her kindergarten assessment, and she knew everything. She only needs to practice reading.
We are remodeling the two rooms on the main floor. The boys will go downstairs (the basement is almost finished), and the girls will be here on the main floor. So we're painting and putting hardwood floors. Everything should be ready by next week. Right now the house is a mess, things everywhere, but it's at least clean. We just have all the kids clothes on a chair in our room, and dust from the carpet that was removed. I'm trying to be patient with the construction. I know I'll love the rooms, the floors, the bathrooms after they are finished. Now we all have very bad allergies; that is, all except for Joax! That's a proof his naet treatment worked. I guess we'll all be getting it this year. The treatment that is.
I just can't believe we were in England a month ago. It's like a dream. Waht a beautiful place!
Well, tomorrow we have two soccer games, and we're coaching Juli's. You should see Maga. She looks so healthy and full of life when she plays. She fills my heart with love. All four of them do. My gorda is just gorgeous. I can't get enough of her.
One of the highlights of my day? When Juli's teracher told me how bright he is. It's something else when a stranger confims your feelings. Yes, he's beautiful and smart, and tender and sweet.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The trip part II

I know; it's been forever since I started the trip summary, and I only made it to Oxford. It's so sad, but when I was on the actual trip, and visit all this gorgeous places, I'd think, "I'll write this in my blog..." and compose these stylish and poetic sentences in my mind. A month later they're all gone. But here are the pics, which Jeff says are the most important of all.

Also, I wanted to post pictures from the Highland Parade. Joaquin was voted Highland King in

their baby contest, so he and Jeff got to ride a train in the parade. The kids were ecstatic their baby brother had won the contest. Last year they were very bummed he hadn't won. "How come they don't see how beautiful he is!" Juli kept asking. Areli won the Baby Gerber award. I heard a little girl tell her mom, "Did you see that baby? If he (their baby boy) is competing agaisnt her, we don't have a chance. She's gorgeous!" I guess a winner in the family is enough.

Summer is coming to a close so very fast; and the kids start school next Monday!

Oh well...Actually, I'm very excited Halloween is only 6 weeks away!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Finally, a summary of our trip

Well, I've finally made the time to sit down and make a summary of our wonderful trip to London and Scotland. Before I post anything else I should say that the kids and Adriana were just wonderful; they all behaved really well and Adriana was a ton of help. We loved having her with us.
So, we left on Thursday 12th, in the morning. The flight to Houston was a breeze. Maga and Adriana, Jeff and Joax, Juli and Areli with me. We slept most of the flight. i was already very much sleep deprived before we left, so now the exhaustion was accumulating. The biggest trial of our trip started at the Houston airport: What to eat. How we struggled with that for almost two weeks!
Finally, our plane left at 9:45. Adriana sat with Juli and Maga, and Joax and Areli stayed with Jeff and me. The flight was sooooooo long, but it wasn't that bad. We finally arrived in London, and everything seemed sooooooo small to us, spoiled Americans. Thankfully we had all our luggage, and we went down to meet our taxi. Oh no! No one was there. We called the taxi company, and they said they didn't have a reservation for Mendez. I started hyperventilating. Since I was the one who had planned everything, I wanted all to be perfect. We finally had to hire two cars (because a family of 7 was extremely huge to them, and we had a ton of luggage). My driver was super nice. The girls rode in one car, and the boys went in another. I couldn't stop asking him questions. He was Pakistani, and he had lots of opinions on how the government is supposed to take care of kids' education, pay families a quota per kid (they do that in Spain), etc. I still couldn't believe we were there! The houses were very narrow and they had that Harry Potterish look. I loved it all! And their flowers! Awesome! The weather was very cool and rainy. It usually is like that in London, but like JK (Rawling) said, they're having a very dementor inflected summer over there in the UK.
We finally arrived at our Hotel, The Royal Horse Guards, right by Buckingham palace, Westminster Abby, the Big Ben, Charing Cross, etc.

All the way to the hotel I was praying that everything would turn out well with Beyond Boundaries. After the incident with the taxi, I was afraid that it was all a fraud. But no, fortunately, they had our reservations at the hotel, and after having lunch at the restaurant there, we went up to our rooms. Adriana, Juli and Maga were together, a few doors down the hallway from us. Again, everything seemed so small! Now I understand why people say Argentina is very European, and it is because of the architecture, and organization in the buildings. Over there everything was more compact, the luggage, the hallways, the streets, the cars... There were a lot of Renault, Peugeot, Mini Coopers, Citroens... just like back home. After lunch we all needed a break. i had heard people say not not go to sleep to try to get used to the time change, but it seven hours difference was too much for us! So we took naps, all except Juli, who that night felt asleep while chewing his pizza at an Italian trattoria we found and we liked. We were always so cold, that we took to drinking hot chocolate with every meal.

The next day, Saturday, we had our first tour. It was one of the public tours, that BB had made reservations for us. It was the Oxford, Stratford-Upon-Avon, and the Cotswolds. We had breakfast at the hotel, that was a lot better than lunch, and the bus picked us up at 8 in the morning. We went to Victoria Station, and from there we transferred to another bus for our tour. It's funny, but at the time we were so disoriented, that it seemed Victoria's was very far from our hotel, when actually it was only a few blocks away. In our tour there were people from many countries, and I loved to hear all the different languages. There was a guy from Mexico who was doing a company training, and went to the tour on his last day in England; there was also a girl from India I assume, who fell in love with Joaquin. She kept asking me if he was my child, and when I repeated that yes, he was my son, she pretty much asked me how come he was so beautiful! I think she meant how come my children were white. She thought I was Indian (Hindu) too! Jeff could comprehend why she wanted to make sure Joax was my son, but I think I understand why. If I was Hindu, and had a white child, maybe she could have one too one day. She wanted Joaquin to sit by her, and he refused, but later he did, and she had this expression of happiness that I was glad I let him sit by her a least for a few minutes.

Oh the splendor, and the beauty of that place! We saw the great hall that was the inspiration for the Great hall in the HP movies

I loved being there in Oxford. Everything is so magnificent, that we could have spent the two weeks there; each day learning something new.

After Oxford we went to Stratford, Shakespeare's birth place. We visited Anne Hathaway's house and garden. What a beautiful place! My only regret is that we didn't have enough time to go into the gardens. How I wish we could have a garden like that at home! But in super-hot-100

-degree-Utah that's not realistic at all.

We went back to London, and we were just exhausted and hungry. We were given Shepperd's pie for lunch, and I was the only one who liked it. Adriana was fainted with hunger by now, and we were desperate to find something that she would like. So after taking a break, we went to the OXO tower for dinner. It was a very fashionable place, the service was very good, but the food wasn't good enough. Actually, the kids' menu was a lot more appetizing than the regular menu!!! I loved the dairy in England. It was a lot fresher and tastier than what we have here in the US. Even their butter was a lot better. After dinner we just walked around the London Eye area, enjoying the music everywhere and the cacophony of languages and sounds. I loved just being there.
I guess I'll finish my post tomorrow. I'm worn out.