Saturday, February 27, 2010

Annabelle Loves a Boy

Yesterday, my friend Jess took Annabelle to the workout class with her so that I could get school done with Aliah. Since we are ahead for the year with our cirriculum, I have started going to group workout once a week. The kids have a great time playing with each other while the Mommies sweat our tail-feathers off.

Annabelle came home with this revelation:

"Oh my gosh, I don't know if I want to tell anyone this. . . "

"I," (long dramatic pause) "am in love with a boy."

"Yes, I am in love with Samuel." (Samuel is the handsome red-headed 4 year-old son of my friend Christi. She played with him for 2 days during workout class.)

"I told him some secrets and he told me secrets back to me."

"So that means he loves me too."

Aliah piped in: "That's gross!"

Speaking of boys, I thought I would share a picture of the cutie I caught in bed with Violet last week:
He is our neighbor's grandson. Cutie pie.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Castle Diary

The girls have been taking turns being royalty and servants since we have been reading this chapter book, Castle Diary by Richard Platt. It is a fictive journal of an 11 year-old boy who lives in the King and Queen's castle for a year during the 13th century. The girls have been fascinated ever since with the idea of servants. Interestingly, the servant role has been the coveted role during their make-believe play.

Here they are in their "castle." There are real alligators in the moat that surrounds their castle. The cat the the dog are not enjoying their roles as alligators.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Showing Off

This morning, my best friend Heather stopped over to sit in a day of homeschooling. Heather is about to become a missionary's wife and chances are she will be homeschooling her kiddos while they are off on their new adventure.

Aliah was excited to show her the ropes. After all, home schooling for 1 3/4 years makes you an expert, right?

Heather blogged about her morning with us on her family blog: Northrop Family Missions.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It has Happened

It has happened, Aliah is really reading. She has been some what of a reluctant independent reader. She always completed her reading work for school, but was hesitant to practice her skills on her own.

Yesterday, in an effort to calm Violet down, Aliah picked up some books, snuggled with Violet on the couch and read to her. Without being asked to do so.

This home-schooling Mama is doing the victory dance!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Whatever Works

Violet has been running a fever for three days now. Today is Monday, and we are attempting to do school. Violet is feverish, clinging, tired, and whiny. She demands 100% of my attention, which is difficult when I am trying to be a first grade teacher. So I am using anything I can think of to keep her busy. Here is a picture of her sitting on the table, naked, eating a cookie at 9:00 a.m. while Aliah is working on her drawing (of her flip flop). Whatever works, right?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cure for Type A

Props to my friend Heather (of the Northrop 4) for noticing in this previous post (Homeschooling Daddy) that Violet was in the background painting with Behr Interior Wall Paint:I tell you, letting your 2 year old paint with interior wall paint is the cure for the obsessive-compulsiveness of my type-A personality.
When I started homeschooling, I put this verse inside my kitchen cabinet:

"Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty,
but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest." (Proverbs 14:4)

My kids are home with me all day. Kids are messy. Therefore, my house is messy. Especially when I allow them to help me paint on projects such as this. But I will cling to the hope that this investment in my children will someday have an abundant harvest.

Some day I will have a clean and tidy house when the children are grown and gone. But for now, I will revel in our messiness of life.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Business Cards

Today was a very exciting day. I got my business cards in the mail.

What's that you say, you thought I didn't work?

Of course you know that stay-at-home Moms do work very hard. Add to that home-schooling and you have yourself more than a full-time job.

I realized that even when I was "working" in the traditional sense before I had kids (when we were DINKS- Dual Income No Kids), I didn't even have my own business cards. I worked for a public school, go figure.

So it's about time I got some! I am always meeting new Moms. When they find out that I home school, and if they have ever even thought about home schooling, they request my email address and blog site. Frankly, I am tired of writing down that info with a dull crayon on old receipts I found in my purse.

So there you have it: my own business cards. For blogging purposes, I had to smudge out my info, but it includes my name, address, phone number, children's names, email address, and blog site. The back side has a Bible verse. I gave one to my Dad and he quickly pointed out to Ricky that he didn't make the cut. Sorry honey! I'm known around town as Aliah, Annabelle, and Violet's Mommy, not Ricky's wife.

An extra thought: When I told my hubby I was ordering these, he said, "Don't you think people are going to think you are weird, with your own Mommy Card." To that I replied: "Honey, I home school, bake kale chips, and make my own yogurt, people already know I am weird. Take it or leave it!" :)

Uneventful ER Trip

Last night at Awana, Aliah had a little crash with another clubber. Which resulted in a small cut above her eyebrow.

As I have mentioned before, Aliah is, AHEM, abundantly blessed in the eyebrow department so you can barely see the cut after it has been glued back together.

My fellow Sparks leader, who is a sports medicine professor, thought she would need a few stitches. So Daddy and Aliah got to spend 3 quality hours together in the waiting room of Children's Mercy last night. I am sure they were breathing shallowly, trying to avoid the germs of the other sick kids. They got home at 1 a.m. last night.

Aliah was a trooper. She was brave the whole time she was being treated. With the exception of almost hyperventilating right after the accident happened due to the excessive amount of blood, she acted like such a grown-up girl. We are very proud of her!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pizza Full of Love

My kids love pizza.

I love my kids.

I made them heart shaped pizzas to show them how much I love them.

They gobbled them up. They loved the pizzas. And they love me!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

My talented sister-in-law gave my girls this heart cut-out she painted for Valentine's Day. I took it to our home school co-op on Friday and took a picture of each student as a surprise for their mothers.

Some children were less enthused about the prospect of having their picture taken inside a giant heart:
These brothers decided that misery deserved company:
I think their Mother will appreciate their effort.

The Greatest is LOVE

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Little Girls and Monster Trucks

Those hot-pink earmuffs came in handy at Monster Truck Jam!
With friends Amber and Ava:

As expected, Aliah was completely overstimulated, and Annabelle was completely in love. I bet it will be a valentines' treat they will never forget.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Garmin Connect - Dashboard for christiehaigh

My longest run to date! Woop Woop!

For Some Special Ears

Tuesday, Daddy ordered two hot pink earmuffs and had them second-day shipped. He has a special valentine's date planned for his 2 big girls. Someplace that will be very loud, and well, VERY big. Monstrously big. Any guesses?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sweet Heart Mouse

Look what the girls got as Valentine's from some friends at story time today. They are fabric hearts folded in half with a lollipop stick hanging out for the mouses' tail. Too cute!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Learning the Hard Way

Putting your pajama pants on your head is cute and all:
But walking around the house with them over your face isn't so smart. Poor Violet, she learns the hard way:Surprisingly, she let Daddy keep the ice pack on her goose egg for about 10 minutes. I hope she learned her lesson, but now that I think about it, it will probably be a few years. Last week I saw her older sisters walking around the house with pillowcases over their heads.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Homeschooling Daddy

Friday at our home school co-op, some of the mothers were discussing how involved or uninvolved their husbands were in the homeschooling process. Despite Ricky only seeing the girls for about an hour and a half on weeknights, he is very involved. Every night he reads from the read-aloud book that is part of our curriculum for about 10 minutes before putting the girls to bed. He also listens to Aliah read every evening for about 5-10 minutes.

On the weekend, he often helps the girls cook or do science experiments. Sunday they were learning about oil and water.

We love our Daddy!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Home Made Yogurt

I have been wanting to make my own yogurt for a long time. But the recipes I found online used a heating pad. Something about a heating pad in the kitchen wasn't too appealing to me. Then my friend Emily sent me a link about making yogurt in a crockpot (click here). Eureka!


8 cups non-ultra pasteurized organic milk (I used 2%)
1/2 cup organic plain yogurt
2 Tablespoons dry milk

You will want to start this recipe in the late-afternoon. Set your crockpot to low. Add an entire half gallon of milk. Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.

Unplug your crockpot. Leave the cover on, and let it sit for 3 hours.

When 3 hours have passed, scoop out 2 cups of the warmish milk and put it in a bowl. Whisk in 1/2 cup of store-bought live/active culture yogurt and 2 tablespoons dry milk. Then dump the bowl contents back into the crockpot. Stir to combine.

Put the lid back on your crockpot. Keep it unplugged, and wrap a heavy bath towel all the way around the crock for insulation.

Go to bed, or let it sit for 8 hours.

In the morning, the yogurt will have thickened---it's not as thick as store-bought yogurt, but has the consistency of low-fat plain yogurt.

Chill in a plastic container(s) in the refrigerator. Your fresh yogurt will last 7-10 days. Save 1/2 cup as a starter to make a new batch.

I sweetened mine with agave nectar and added my usually mix ins- fresh berries and granola. I you would like flavored yogurts, you can sweeten with honey or agave nectar and blend in mixer with the fruit of your choice.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The 23rd Psalm by Memory

Aliah shared during opening today during home school co-op. I know how important it is to start young with public speaking opportunities. This was the perfect chance for Aliah to show off some of her Bible memory skills.

(I should mention that the music stand was there because before she recited the 23rd Psalm, she played the violin. The only thing on the stand was her music.)

Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for You are with me;
your rod and your staff-
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love
shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the
house of the LORD

Through this famous Psalm we are brought into intimacy and trust with the Lord. We experience stillness, quiet, restoration, courage and strength. It’s a beautiful example of a confession of faith even in the valley of death, which is where my Grandmother is right now. She is looking forward to dwelling in the house of the LORD forever. As my girls often say, the Lord has a big, big house!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Field Trip Day

Today my kids were busy.

Aliah was a doctor:
Annabelle and Violet were store clerks:

Violet was a beach bum: (5 minutes after I took this picture I found her doing the same thing sans her clothes)
Aliah was a water-works engineer:
Violet was an astronaut:
and Annabelle was a . . . ?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Personal Goals

I am not one to make New Years Resolutions. They just seem to set yourself up for failure and disappointment. But there is nothing wrong with having some goals to direct your life. A couple days ago, a friend talked me into doing some races with her. This has got me thinking about setting some goals in other areas in my life.

As a mother, it is extremely hard for me to set goals that do not include my children. So just that you know, I kept thinking of things that involved my children (like help Annabelle prepare to sing a solo at church) and had to redirect myself.

So here are some long-term (and some not so long-term) goals for myself for the next year (in no specific order):

1. Run a 5K. Without stopping. (Ran a 2 mile race last fall. Planning on doing the Shamrock Shuffle in Lawrence on March 6th).

2. Run a relay race with friends that is longer than a 5K. (Planning on Brew to Brew on April 11th).

3. Read the entire New Testament. I need more B-I-B-I-L-E time!

4. Prepare a Chopin Nocturne to performance level. Perform for at least two friends. Anyone volunteer to listen? For those of you that don't know, I can play the piano. If I work really hard at it and practice a lot. I mean a lot. (This will also involve having my piano tuned).

5. Learn at least three new functions on my camera and 3 new tricks in Photoshop.

6. Try a new class at the YMCA, like spin or yoga.

7. Prepare a meal for a family who is in need of one at least twice a month.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Playdate Times Three

Today I spent the day with one of my longest friends, Kim. Come to think of it, we have been friends for almost 30 years! Wow, that makes me feel old.

When we arrived she had a healthy lunch ready for all six kids. We let the kids fend for themselves and went to enjoy our salads in the formal dining room.

The cool thing is that we each have three kids who are about the same ages. So each had a respective playmate. Meagan and Annabelle did the slide-down-the-stairs in a sleeping bag trick:
Our youngest cutie-pies, each enjoying a heart cookie:Thanks for the super-fun day!

Valentine's Treats

(Update: If you are interested in the recipe, click on the name below!)

Yesterday, the girls and I made Meltaway Meringe Heart Cookies for our playdate today.

Air, sugar, chocolate, and peppermint never tasted better!