Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Recyling Bin Threw Up in My House

Have I mentioned that we recycle or compost almost everything at our house? It's true, I have seriously considered canceling our trash pick-up. I figure I could sneak the tiny 8 gallon trash bag's worth of trash in one of the unassuming neighbor's plethora of trash receptacles every week and they would be none the wiser.

I cannot take much credit for going green, it is another one of my husband's convictions. Many times I find him digging through the trash pulling out things that we can recylce and just shaking his head at me.

Christmas has come and gone. A breif look down the street on trash day shows me that everyone else's gifts came as over-packaged as ours. The only difference is that our extra packaging is filling up the living-room.

We are just too lazy to take our garage and living-room full of recyclables to the recycling station. In 12 inches of snow.

So in the meantime, it looks as if the recycling bin threw up in my house.

I think that tomorrow I will move it to the front porch.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Muffins

After almost a foot of snow on Christmas, we got a couple more inches last night. Nothing puts me in the mood for baking than being inside a nice toasty house when your back yard looks like this:Mmm- warm muffins for breakfast. (I might mention Ricky ran outside this morning with his new Icespike-improved running shoes, pretty impressive huh? Of course as soon as he walked in the door, he requested a warm muffin.)
Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Muffins

2 eggs
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
1/4 c canola oil
3/4 c packed brown sugar (or less)
1 t vanilla
3 bananas, mashed
2 c whole wheat flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 T cinnamon
1 c frozen blueberries (or strawberries)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 12-18 muffin cups.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, applesauce, oil, brown sugar, vanilla, and bananas. Combine the flour, baking soda and cinnamon; Stir into the banana mixture until moistened. Stir in the blueberries. Spoon batter into muffin cups.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins spring back when pressed lightly.

I am happy to report my family of four (Annabelle abstained) downed all 18 of these babies in about 3 hours. Violet told me, "My tummy big Mommie, me want more muffin!"

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Christmas Recap

Merry Christmas from the Haighs! Just to hit a few highlights:

The girls got a lot of use out of their Christmas dresses. Especially Violet who has been wearing one of her three Christmas Dresses continuously for the past week:

Despite being snowed in, we had enough special holiday food to feed an army.

The girls got some special gifts from Santa. However, Violet preferred to play with the gift tag from Santa rather than the actual gift, a Sit-N-Spin.

We spent a lot of time with some very special Haighs who had come a long way to see us:

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's a Blizzard

This is a picture of the girls celebrating Christmas with Grandpa George last night. :)

This is a picture of my family walking home in a blizzard when our car got stuck last night on the way home. :(Merry Christmas!

Tired Elf

Violet is very excited about Christmas this year. Or maybe I should say Violet is very excited about opening presents this year. We celebrated with my family last weekend and ever since then she has insisted on wearing her Christmas dress. Every single day. With various babylegs, preferably violet-colored. And her Santa hat.

She played so hard this morning, I found one tired little elf who had put herself to bed early for her nap. She didn't quite make it all the way in bed.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hot Chocolate Cones

Our family loves hot chocolate. Any time the girls come in from the cold, they request a cup of hot chocolate to warm up with. That's one of the reasons we made our friends hot chocolate cones (click for recipe) as Christmas gifts. All together we made 50 of them.
The girls never complained once while assembling. Maybe it's the discretely pilfered chocolate chips and marshmallows that gave them all of the energy to get the job done.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Some Home Made Gifts

This year I gave my niece and nephew the cookbook Pretend Soup as one of their gifts so I made them personalized aprons. Then I realized that two of my very own children were lacking in the personalized apron department, and that just can't happen in a house where you have an embroidery machine!

For my brother, brother-in-law, and some teachers I made these cookie rolls and all of them have been very please with this gift:I followed the Eggless Sugar Cookie recipe from here. They are intended to be kept in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to slice off and bake. Good thing I used an eggless recipe, I just got a text from my sister that my brother-in-law couldn't wait and was just eating the dough raw!

Journey to Bethlehem

This weekend we went to Bethlehem. We heard there was a very special baby born there. Along the way, we saw a very unhappy king. We bumped into three wisemen. We also saw some shepherds tending to their flocks (who happened to be inside the church).

Rumor has it that these sheep became disgruntled with their surroundings and jumped over a hay bale and knocked down the drapes that so carefully hid the church library. Another time that night, they were audibly passing gas so loudly that the 3 shepherds were overtaken with the giggles and were not able to finish their lines.
Our trip culminated with a glimpse of the Christ-Child. He was sucking his thumb while he slumbered in his mother's arms. When in went back to take his picture, he had awaken from his nap was cruising along the manger. After the tour was complete, we joined my parents in the market place, complete with our Bible-times costumes. The girls helped peddle my father's metal ware. My mother was in charge of the market place and was also an actress in the tour.
Annabelle was the most successful peddler. Here is her secret: Go up to a sweet-looking older lady. Make your eyes as big as possible and ask, "Would you like this, it only costs two sheckles."

Friday, December 18, 2009

Date Night with Lil' Sis

Last night I got a night out with my favorite sister. Well, she is my only sister, but regardless I am so blessed to have her in my life. She is a kind and caring person who is fun to be around. Despite us being ten years apart in age, we are very close friends. This weekend we will be celebrating our family's Christmas together, which always includes lot of delicious food. So Caylyn and I decided it would be smart to start our evening out together by meeting at the Y for a workout. Then we headed down to the Power and Light District. We went to a new restaurant called the Mixx. Caylyn had a freshly made salad and I enjoyed a sandwich.
My sandwich was the North Beach Special. It had prosciutto, salami, fresh mozzarella, roasted red pepper, tomato, wild field greens and fresh basil with olive oil and vinegar served on a ciabatta. Side of pasta salad. Everything was very good.
Then on to the Nutcracker by the KC Ballet. It was magical. I can't wait until my girls are old enough to see it with me.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sick Days?

Last week, Aliah hit the half-way point in her first grade curriculum. It's a good thing she is ahead because this week we have had to take several sick days.

Well, maybe they really shouldn't be considered sick days. More like Mommy-is-out-her-mind-from-exhaustion-days. We are looking forward to returning to normal soon. Then maybe Mommy won't be in such a stupor.

Last night, after getting up with Violet again I put her diaper on inside out. Don't ask me how I managed to do that, I must have twisted the tabs around to make them stick. Come to find out, the outside of diapers are waterproof, which resulted in an accident. Poor Violet. I promise I will take better care of you. Just let Mommy get a little bit more sleep. Please?

Monday, December 14, 2009

My New Roomie

I have a new roomie at night. She is about 3 feet tall and has cork-screw pony tails. This is the bed we share:No, Ricky did not kick me out. We are currently on wonderful terms. Especially since I have been staying up with his daughter(s) for four nights in a row while he gets his beauty rest. (To give him credit, he has offered to take a sick day to stay home so I can rest).

All three girls have colds. And the little one thinks that since her nose "is broken" she must have her mother holding her all night long. To put it mildly, she is well attached to me at the moment.

On top of that, we now have 6 little pink eyes. They look something like this (this is the pink/brown variety, which is a very in vogue color combo, but we also have the blue/pink, and hazel/pink varieties too):(This photo has been censored to remove the "eye poopy" as Violet calls it, which does not belong on a family blog, but instead in a medical freak of nature blog).

I am doing an experiment. Has anyone ever used Airborne to ward off a cold? I am putting it to the ultimate test to see if it can keep my immune system up while I survive on just a few hours of sleep and remain very intimate with a toddler who shares everything with me. I'll keep you posted on the outcome.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Kansas Nutcracker

Today was Annabelle's long-awaited date with Daddy to the Kansas Nutcracker. Here she is getting all glamorized up for her big day out:
She remembered last year when Aliah had her picture taken with the cast and requested the same privilege. So Daddy took her to the pre-show tea party. But when it came time to be in the spot-light for her special picture, she got stage fright. She then proceeded to display her emphatic objection to the photo by shaking her head. Either that or Daddy swapped her for Cousin Itt:
She later made friends with a monkey and agreed to have her photo taken with her:Despite having a cold, Annabelle says that she enjoyed her big day and even brought a treat back for her sisters to share, a Nutcracker cookie:

When a Homeschooler is Bored

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Annual Cookie Decorating Party

Dozens and dozens of sugar cookies + frosting and toppings = lots of happy kiddos:
Today was our annual cookie decorating party and some of our favorite people were there, like: Gretchen and Gracie:
And our Heather! (Annabelle is in love with her):
What a fun day! We love celebrating with our friends. Now for the sugar let-down.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Loosing Teeth

Yesterday Aliah was bored and unbeknownst to me made a video of herself in her room. The video is 5 minutes long, so I have been working editing clips for your viewing pleasure. If you know my daughter, I think you will enjoy them. More to come so stay tuned!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Baby It's Cold Outside

This morning, I heard the pilates class at the Y calling my name so I bundled the girls up and we headed to the city. The girls are kind enough to tolerate the daycare at the YMCA for an hour if I bribe them with a lunch date with Daddy. We ate at the food court next to the indoor playground. Perfect way to burn off some energy when it is thirteen degrees outside:
Dessert was a gumball from the giant gumball machine. Aliah has had a fascination with gumball machines lately. She takes a quarter with her to dance class every week to buy a gumball. Last week the gumballs were out there. No chance of that happening here:On the way out the door when the girls begged for a ride on the mini-carousel. I told them I wasn't paying for it. Aliah whipped out fifty cents out of her pocket and made her little sister very happy:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

You Can't Catch Me. . .

I'm the Gingerbread Man!(In case you are wondering, yes, I did embroider the word "drama" on my daughter's shirt. Actually I embroidered it on the shirt when this shirt belonged to my oldest daughter because she is a Drama Queen. Now Annabelle has inherited the shirt along with the Drama Queen status.)