Monday, April 27, 2009

Butterflies

As part of Aliah's kindergarten curriculum, we raised butterflies. They came in the mail as tiny caterpillars and as the book goes they grew and grew. Last week all 5 came out of their chrysalids. We decided that since it has been warm out, we could let them go. Below the lid is open and the girls are anxiously waiting for one to escape to freedom:Violet just didn't see what all the excitement was about:Annabelle managed to get one on her hand:
So of course Aliah had to scoop one up too:

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Why do you have to have nettles on your farm?

E-I-E-I-O is Violet's new song! Yesterday we went to visit our friends Emma and her mother Kim. Emma and her parents also home school and live on a beautiful farm. They raise all of their own veggies and meat. I was blessed with a dozen of the most beautiful eggs, their hens' efforts for the day.

Emma's mother Kim warned my girls about the stinging nettles that were on the property. I was a naive city girl and dressed the girls in miniskirts for the day. To make a long story short, Annabelle found out what it feels like when you brush up against these prolific plants. She stopped sobbing long enough to ask Kim, "Why do you have to have those nettles on your farm?" Kim and I both got a little chuckle out of that. (Check out their blog, it turns out stinging nettles make a good soup when Kim is cooking).



Swinging on the gate:



Thanks for the fun morning Kim and Emma!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mountain in Our Driveway

Do you think they will finish by bedtime?

Queen of the mulch Mountain:
Peek-A:
Boo!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mommy, Does it Make You Sad?

Amidst all of her recent accomplishments, Aliah asked me a very insightful question today. She said, "Mommy, does it make you sad that I am growing up?" No, I told her, it makes my heart happy to see you learn to ride your bike, read books, and play the violin. I take delight in seeing my daughter do these things.

It reminded me that no matter how much love I may have for my child, God's love is even greater. Annabelle and I have been playing the I love you game. "I love you more than the ocean is deep." "I love you more than the stars in the sky." I think it is sometimes hard for us to wrap our feeble minds around how much our Heavenly Father loves us.

Zephaniah 3:17 says:
"The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing."

Below is a picture of Aliah playing her violin for my violin teacher, Mrs. Bernice Holtgren, who now lives in a nursing home in Clay Center.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Holy Hissing Cockroach!

Friday and Saturday we went to the K-State Open House. Ricky represented Garmin by judging some engineering contests and manning a booth. While were were there we toured the Insect Zoo.
The hissing cockroach. I asked the entomologist if they ever hiss and she said yes, when they get agitated. Then she starts poking a cockroach until it hissed. I was like, "Don't do that in front of my kids, they will start beating their bugs up too!"
Bee Keeper Annabelle:
Bee Keeper Aliah- this hive had a tube connect to outside so the bees could go in and out.
Bee keeper Violet.

All tuckered out.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Operation No More Thumb Sucking

About a week ago, Aliah asked me to order some of the stuff you paint on your thumb to help stop nail biting or thumb sucking. All 3 of our girls are thumb-suckers. I tried to give every one of them a binkie, but never succeeded. She told me that she wanted to do two things before she turned six years old. The first was to ride her bike and the second was stop sucking her thumb. I must say I have a lot of admiration for her and her goal setting.

Aliah doesn't suck her thumb that often and it never was an intense need. I remember that after she had been in preschool for half a year, her teacher told me that she didn't even know that Aliah sucked her thumb. At this point she only does it in bed to fall asleep. Annabelle on the other hand is a different story. If she is not talking (which is most of the time), her thumb is in her mouth. And at this rate we will be keeping our pediatric dentist/orthodontist busy because her teeth show it. We might as well start a payment plan now for the future braces.

So the paint-on-your-nail stuff comes in the mail and Aliah is excited to put it on. I paint a tiny bit on her cuticle because I have read reviews from parents who say it is so intense it made their kid throw up. Annabelle, queen of competition, pipes in that she wants it too. I have a quick huddle with her father to make sure we are committed to several weeks of sleepless nights and he agrees to go ahead with it.

Here is a play-by-play of what happens next (Annabelle quoted):
- a few minutes after application: "This tastes good," while she pretends to lick it
-5 minutes after being put to bed-crying- "I just want to beat Aliah to being 6 years old. I want to do it before her."
-10 minutes- crying- "I don't like this yucky stuff on my thumb."
-1 hour later- more intense crying- "I want this NASTY STUFF off!" (sorry, you can't take it off, even with fingernail polish remover)
-every 10 minutes for the next hour- crying as she unconsciously starts sucking her thumb as she falls asleep and gets a taste of the "stuff"
-2 hours after being put to bed- silence- we do the happy dance, she finally fell asleep
-about every hour or so throughout the night- quiet sobbing

Thankfully the next morning, Annabelle woke up in a good mood and enjoyed some coveted snuggle time in Mommy and Daddy's bed while we told her how proud we were of her.

Aliah did just fine. I overheard the girls telling their Sunday School teacher that now they don't suck their thumbs anymore because their thumbs "taste like trash." I am predicting that Operation No More Thumb Sucking will be successful with at least one Haigh girl, and if we are lucky, maybe two.

Aliah getting one last suck before the "stuff" was applied:
Annabelle couldn't be left out:
Update: Annabelle went to bed just fine tonight- no complaining or crying. There is hope!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

This is Why You're Thin

Many of you may have heard about the disgusting webstite called This is why you're fat. The subtitle of the site is "where dreams become heart attacks." Basically, people submit pictures of the highest fat, grossest recipe ideas. Some of them (like the hamburger cake) look pretty good, while others make you loose your appetite. I have noticed that deep-fat-frying and wrapping in bacon is a common theme.

Recently I found the antithetical website called This is why you're thin. I submitted a link to my blog about our kale chips a few days ago, and guess what, it will be featured today! (Please excuse me while I bask in my blogging celebrity status). I have had so many people tell me that they like the kale chips (children too). So if you have been hesitating making them, this is your little nudge to go ahead and try them. (BTW, kale is easy to hide in fruit smoothies too, as long as you are using dark berries in the mix).

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Aliah Can Ride a Bike

Aliah accomplished a major milestone tonight, she rode her bike by herself for the first time. Most of you know that Aliah and Annabelle are hitting many developmental milestones at the same time, despite there being a 2 year difference in age. So sometimes we have to use that to our advantage to motivate Aliah. Ricky told them that whoever learns to ride the bike first will get a new bike. So tonight when Aliah rode the bike by herself, Annabelle promptly threw a huge tantrum since she had been one upped. That doesn't happen all too often around here.

This video shows Aliah's actual second maiden voyage, but I picked it because her reaction is cute. She gives a big "Yes" then strikes a pose for the camera, what a ham (while her sister, not to be forgotten, jumps in the picture).


In other news, Ricky can ride a little girl's pink sparkly bike, pop a wheelie, and fall off. He has yet to do Grandpa Spicer's trick of riding a bike backwards.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Before candy:
After candy:

We Survived 6 Kids

Yesterday we took care of our friends the Pempin's kids. Ricky enjoyed snuggling with the baby. Violet enjoyed getting into trouble with a very distracted set of parents. Aliah and Annabelle enjoyed their time with their friends Isabel and Isaac. We played outside, colored Easter Eggs, had dinner, and watched a movie It was a lot of fun.




Friday, April 10, 2009

A Family Day in Lawrence

Today Ricky was off work in observance of Good Friday. We had a fun family day planned since we didn't get any family time last weekend. After nap, we headed to Lawrence to go swimming. Here is Violet sporting her bikini with boy-shorts:

Aliah and Annabelle preparing for swimming underwater with their goggles:
Swimming is sometimes a daunting task now that the kids outnumber the adults. Pity the person who is responsible for 2 children at the same time. I must say, things were going so well that my confidence was prematurely boosted for the first half hour at the pool. I was actually having a relaxing time watching Violet slide down the dragon slide about 30 times. (See video:)

I decided to mix it up a bit and we went to the deeper end of the pool where the girls couldn't touch to work on their swimming skills. This is when things went south. I took Annabelle and Violet over to the entry with a wide set of stairs. Violet was happy climbing up and down the stairs and Annabelle asked me to spin her around in the water. We are spinning in circles and next thing I know, Violet had jumped head first into the water. I instinctively throw Annabelle to who knows where and run over to get Violet out of the water. I am holding Violet on the stairs and all of a sudden Annabelle is crying, yelling at me, "You threw me in the water where I can't touch!" Good thing she learned how to swim last summer.


What better way to end a really fun day than to spoil your dinner with ice cream! (After all we had eaten a healthy Asparagus Frittata for breakfast and kale chips, sweet potato fries, and homemade whole-wheat pizza for lunch.) Here we are at Cold Stone. It was cute, while were in the car on our way, Violet kept yelling, "Ice cream, me!"
By the time I sat down, Annabelle was already finished with her ice cream. But Aliah takes after me and savors every last bite. If you don't believe me, watch this video of her eating. This one bite took her 42 seconds to eat:

And a video of my poor middle child, craving some attention:

We finally had to cut Aliah off from her ice cream and we walked down Mass St. to the Toy Store. Then Ricky and the girls got hungry enough to stop at La Parilla. Here is Violet doing her famous escape act since I stepped away for 2 seconds to take a picture:

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Audtioning for Wicked?

What was I thinking? As a reward for working hard at school this morning, I let the girls use my old retired makeup. I was busy getting ready to leave the house and started getting the "uh-oh, my-kids-sound-like-they-are-having-too-much-fun" feeling so I went to check on them. This is what I found: