Monday, August 31, 2009

Cribs are Overrated . . .

is what Mommy thinks when her back is out and she can't lift her 33 pound toddler. So I asked Ricky to put V's crib mattress on the floor. So far she has had no problem sleeping without being contained. This is how I found her last night when I went in to remove all sharp edged toys from her bed (note: there is a device on her door handle that keeps her from opening her door so she is still contained to her room):

Looks like it is time for a big girl bed! Check out this cute bedding I found with a tree and owl theme:
It even has a sweet owl pillow:

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Blessings from the Awana Conference

Today Mr. Rick and I attended the Awana Leadership Conference. Our Awana club starts soon and it is always helpful to go and get all fired up for a great year. Rick is the director for 3rd-6th grade (T & T) boys and I help direct the 1st and 2nd graders (Sparks). It is so humbling to be part of this organization that more that 19,000 churches use to help kids know Christ.

I was blessed to attend some sessions conducted by the current president of Awana, Jack Eggar. He challenged us young(ish) parents to picture what we want for our children in 20 years. A common answer is "I want my child to be happy."

Dr. Eggar explained that happiness is dependent on extrinsic circumstances. And we all know that life, whether you are a Christian or not, is not always going to be hunky-dory.

A few weeks ago, I was discussing with my best friends what their family motto was. Heather said the Northrop's motto is, "We are winners, not whiners." I said a saying that my kids hear the most is, "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit." Haha.

In all seriousness, Ricky and I do have a family plan or goal in mind while we are in our child-rearing years. Our hope is that our children will grow up to know, love, and serve the Lord (sound familiar to anyone?) Additionally, because we know life isn't always easy, we desire that they will walk with the Lord in all of life's circumstances.

With this goal in mind, we parent intentionally. Intentional parenting takes a lot of hard work and deep commitment. But we know that the rewards are greater than any other job on earth and this conference reinforced this for me.

While at the conference, I met another mother of a young child. She shared with me how her son accepted Jesus as his personal Savior recently while they were having some quiet time together. As I shared in her joy, I thought to myself, what a victory!

Friday, August 28, 2009

School in Bed?

When Aliah and I started school this year, I gave her 3 cards to use at her discretion. They are: No School Day, Pajama Day, and Crazy Place day. The only rule is that she can only use each card once. (We are now implementing a reward system where she can earn extra cards since they seem to be such a good motivator.)
Ricky and I predicted that with Aliah being the "save and savor" personality type, that she might wait until May to use the cards. But she surprised me today. She chose to redeem her "Crazy Place Card."

This card allows her to pick the location of school for the day. She choose my bed with a nest of pillows:What a great day she had, first school in bed, then her first home school co-op, and finally picking apples and pears with her best friend Isabel and buddy Isaac:
The loose-tooth-club trying to figure out how to eat the extra crispy Jonathan apples:

Out in Public with Annabelle

Wednesday I hired a babysitter so that I could spend some one-on-one time with my deprived middle child. Whenever I am out in public with her alone, she manages to embarrass me. She targets unsuspecting strangers who are forced to be her captive audience with random comments or questions.

We are at the consignment sale. Target: cashier. Questions: "What color car do you drive?" "What color is your house?"

We are at the the shoe store. Target: cashier. Statement: "My Daddy is bald. Yeah, he does it on purpose, he shaves his head twice a week."

We are at the toy store. Target: cashier. Questions: "Why do you sell toy spiders and snakes here?" "What color is your bedspread?"

We are at Jayson's Deli. Target: busboy (to her credit, he was making eye contact with her and smiling so I wouldn't consider him a completely unsuspecting target). Question: "Why do you talk like Dora?"

Remind me to give this child a lesson in cultural sensitivity.

Making her selection at the toy store:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Let's Hear It for the YMCA!

In the Haigh newsroom, the girls and I proudly announce our new membership to the YMCA. Ricky has been a member for a couple of years now since the new Olathe branch opened up close to Garmin. Recently we learned that it is only $15 a month to upgrade to a family membership. When I realized that this includes free daycare and a pool we can all use together, I decided to upgrade. Since it is a drive for us, we plan to go about once a week. Bonus: we get to eat lunch with Daddy (effectively canceling out any calories I did burn at the Y).
Violet enjoying some Daddy time at Red Robin:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What's All the Buzz About?

Isn't it great when local yocals can be a valuable educational resource? It's even better when they teach your children how bees make honey while dressed like a bee. Saturday at the Farmer's Market in Lawrence we bought some honey from a beekeeper from Baldwin. He spent about 10 minutes explaining to the magical process of making honey. He kept their attention the whole time. I can only imagine what Annabelle was thinking while she examined that home made bee hat, complete with antenna and googly eyes.

A Morning at the Farm

Our CSA grower Stephanie invited Aliah out to help her plant kale seeds yesterday. It was a great educational field trip. There's nothing better than seeing exactly where your food is coming from and helping with the process.

Aliah lifting a giant bag of perlight:
Helping mix the perlight into the potting soil mix:Planting the kale seeds:
Tasting some of the produce from the field:
Onions drying:
Cutie Patootie!
They just had to "pet" a chicken (be kind, that's one that lays eggs for us!):

Monday, August 24, 2009

Happy One Year Haigh Happenings!

Can you believe I have been blogging about our lives for a year now? I am glad that I started this blog since it has turned into quite a keepsake for our children. We backup the blog and will put a digital copy of it in each of the girl's keepsake boxes. So if they want to someday take a glimps into their day to day life as a child they will be able to.

In honor of our our one year anniversary, I will repost my first post titled "How Old are You?"

Yesterday we woke up on our second day of vacation to beautiful Trout Lake. We went down to the dining hall to eat our first breakfast here and talk about the day's activities. I had signed the girls up for a build-a-teddy in the afternoon but we didn't have any plans for the morning. Ricky asked me if they had childcare here. I first thought he was kidding, but I guess he wasn't. I told him that they have an "Adventure Club" for kids ages 4-10 in the mornings. We pondered it and almost simultaneously said "She can pass for 4." So after breakfast off we went to sign up the girls for Adventure Club. We told Annabelle that for vacation she was now 4 years old (big mistake!)

So we arrive at adventure club and the girls meet their leaders. The first thing the leaders say is "how old are you?" Aliah responds, "I am 5." Then they look at Annabelle and she proudly holds up 4 fingers. I breathe a sigh of relief and I notice out of the corner of my eye that Ricky has retreated to the corner behind the pop machine. Then Annabelle, not being one of few words proceeds to say, "I am really 3 but for vacation Mommy says I am 4." "Yeah," Aliah chimes in, "she is really 3 but Mommy and Daddy wanted her to come to Adventure Club too so for pretend she is 4." A flush of embarrassment consumes me and I quickly realize why Ricky left the scene.

Just to punctuate the fact that Annabelle truly isn't old enough to participate in Adventure Club she suddenly becomes clingy as I try to make an escape. I have to recruit Aliah to hold Annabelle's hand while I make a quick escape. 2 1/2 hours later I come to pick them up and they seemed to be having a good time. Aliah made a new friend, Lydia, whom she plays with many times over the next couple of days. So all in all we were glad they got the opportunity to go to Adventure Club this vacation. We will look forward to them both being legal Adventure Clubbers next year.

Annabelle's First Day of Preschool

Today Annabelle started preschool for the year. This year she will be a peer model for Ms. Deanna's special education class again. Aliah was also in Ms. Deanna's class for 2 years when she was a preschooler. We have been blessed to have such a great preschool teacher and hope that Violet can some day be in her class too!Annabelly all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 6:00!
Violet looking up to big sis:
Both of the girls were super excited to see Ms. Deanna:

Tomatoes Coming Out of Your Ears?

Do you have tomatoes coming out of your ears? Try making sun-dried tomatoes with them in your oven.
First I sliced them to 1/4 of an inch with our mandolin slicer and spread them out on a cookie sheet that had been sprayed with canola oil.
Do not overlap or let them touch. Set your oven at the lowest setting (ours was 170) and bake for about 6-8 hours.
Take them out when they are still pliable but not very sticky.
This is what 5 tomatoes looks like after they have been dried, they shrivel down to nothing. So tasty- just bursting with flavor. Can't wait to add these to our salads and pasta dishes!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Like Father, Like Daughter(s)

Guess who's climbing now . . .
Violet enjoyed being pulled up to about 12 feet and being swung gently for her first time in the climbing harness.
Annabelle's turn. She broke her record by about 20 feet to top out at about 70 feet high (to get your perpsective, this is looking straight up into the tree):
Aliah is enrolled in Ricky's Tree Climbing 101 for physical education this year (beat THAT, public schools). Today she finally got her technique down and was able to climb unassisted. Up until now, Daddy had been pulling her up. Now she has learned how to loop the rope around her foot, push herself up with her leg muscles, and slide the knot up on the rope to maintain the height. More importantly, she has learned how to descend independently. She climbed an amazing 50 feet today!Believe me climbing is hard work. Aliah's little cheeks were bright red when she finished and she chugged the rest of Daddy's Powerade. I am so proud of her!

I am glad that the girls are not afraid of heights and are being adventurous at a young age. On the other hand, I am praying that they don't end up doing something like this some day (one of the ariel performers we saw yesterday at Buskerfest. Note- no harness or safety net!?!):

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Magician's Assistant Ms. Aliah

Child Labor at the Haigh House

Yesterday the girls and I washed sheets. They have always helped me with this chore by removing their own sheets and putting them in the washing machine (front loaders accommodate child labor!) While I was fixing lunch, I asked them to get their sheets out of the dryer and try the best they could to make their beds.

I think I heard "I can't!" about 7 times. But in my motherly wisdom (actually laziness) I kept giving verbal encouragement to keep trying. 15 minutes later there were two made beds (well, made by kid standards, not Ricky's Army standards, Mr. Crease-the-Sheets-Just-So). I was so ecstatic about this new found skill that I rewarded them with 3 small bags of cotton candy I had stashed from a birthday party.
By small, I mean about 5" X 3" X 3/4". Very small. Violet took 2 bites and yelled, "All done, clean hands off!" Annabelle ate hers at a moderate pace and was done in about 2 minutes. Aliah, on the other hand, savored hers over a 30 minute period. When she got to the end of her piece about all she had left was some hard crystallized pink sugar.

Evening Downtown and Camping

Last night we enjoyed some music, art, and ice cream at the downtown Art Walk. Our friend John Robbs (drummer above) provided some of the music courtesy of his band. It was great to see lots of Wellsville church friends out to support him. Below Annabelle is getting some attention from our church friend Eddie Winslow:
Grandma and Violet:
The girls begging money off of Grandma to throw in the fountain while we listen to an accoustic folk band:
50 degrees low tonight- perfect for camping in the back yard!
Daddy in the middle of his nightly reading of a chapter book. Right now they are reading Little House in the Big Woods. Uncaged, Violet is running around the tent like a banshee.
Next up: Lawrence Farmer's Market and Buskerfest. Life is Good!