Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wholey Moley!

Guess what I tripped over in the yard the other day? It was a blind digging machine: a mole. For as much damage they do to our yard, I was surprise how excited Ricky was to examine this displaced mole with the girls. Don't worry, it was safely let it go after being handled by two curious little girls for about 10 minutes.
Aliah has a sensory need to touch things that are soft. She said that this mole was the softest thing she had ever felt. She was in heaven. Seeing pictures of them stroking it still gives me the willies. The next day, Annabelle fessed up that they took it behind Daddies shop and each had a turn holding it while I couldn't see them. EWWW!

Here is a picture of some of the damage these harmless-looking creatures do in our yard:
Besides the squirrels, bats, owls, racoons foxes, and a huge variety of birds, we have now witnessed yet another wild animal in our yard.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Reason for Celebration!

Why are my daughters dressed up like ballerina princesses? Because that's how we party at the Haigh House! Why were we having a party? Because pull-ups have no place at our house any longer. Violet wears panties day and night now!
After more than 6 years of diapers and pull-ups, I am thrilled to make it to this point. Quite an accomplishment. Violet was rewarded with a new package of Dora big-girl panties. Those training pants are so yesterday.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Expanding On Little House

We ditched our formal curriculum on Monday to learn more about Laura Ingall's Wilder. (Just trying to mix it up a bit to keep things interesting for any blue-square-glasses-wearing first graders that may have a short-timers' attitude out there.)

We used a wikki stick to map out the path Laura's family traveled from Wisconsin to Kansas:

We discussed the concept of roles and used a venn diagram to talk about tasks that males and females had during the late 1800's. The male side included: hunting, building, and harvesting. The female side included: cooking, cleaning, and teaching. Aliah placed planting in the middle. We talked about how roles have changed since then, especially for the men.
We read a short chapter about our favorite scene from the play, when they crossed the river and the horses and Pa had to swim while the wagon floated. Aliah narrated the story then wrote and illustrated a short summary.
I had planned to make Johnny Cakes for breakfast, but Aliah informed me that she had already made them at homeschool co-op and she did not care for them. So she made her favorite from-scratch blueberry pancakes instead.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

What Older Siblings are Good for

Last week I witnessed another example of the older daughter teaching the younger daughter. Or you could call it: Mommy-didn't-take-the-time-show-her-how-to-do-it-so-I-did-it-instead. It happens a lot at our house.

This is what Violet's gluing projects look like thus far. Just imagine a huge puddle of glue instead of paint. Any time she gets her hands on a bottle of glue, she promptly removes the lid and empties the entire contents of the glue on the chair or the floor. I take that back, lately she has been at least putting the entire bottle of glue on a coloring book page.
The response she gets from me thus far has been: "Violet, why did you spill the entire bottle of glue on the _____? Aliah and Annabelle, who left the glue out?"

When in fact, I should have recognized Violet's interest in glue and taken the time to show her how to make small dots and glue small pieces of paper on a larger sheet.

Well, don't worry because that is exactly what Annabelle did. When I appeared, oblivious to the fact that Violet had in her possession the prohibited glue bottle, this is what I found:
Poor Violet, after being left in the dust by Mommy, at least you have your sisters to look out for you.

Note to self: Your youngest is capable of doing a lot of things, be sure to take the time to teach her how to do them.

Handwriting Help

One thing that is great about getting a chance to be with other home schooling Moms every week is a opportunity to swap ideas with each other. One of my friends let me know about this website for creating handwriting worksheets.

Handwriting Worksheets allows you to choose the size of print, print style, and if the whole page is traced or just the first line is given to trace. The really nice thing is that you can input your own content, which allows us to help the girls practice their names:

Or practice writing other important pieces of information that I want ingrained in their heads. ;)

Extra Help with Cooking

Everyone has been pitching in around here to help me out with the cooking. Yesterday, Daddy helped by cutting up, boiling down, and deboning several fryer chickens (not my favorite thing to do). Today Aliah assisted me in turning all of that delicious meat and chicken stock into several meals to stock our freezer. We made:
  • Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Chicken & Dumplings
Our chicken and dumplings cooking for our evening meal:
Some of the ingredients in our Chicken Spaghetti:
We ended up with three times this in Chicken Spaghetti for our freezer and to trade with our freezer cooking friends:
My kitchen is now a disaster zone. Time to go clean it up and then plan some fun Laura Ingalls Wilder activities for the week.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Guilty

Violet was missing yesterday. Her sisters and I each took an exit and went outside to search for her. Aliah found her in the backyard. After escorting her inside, Mommy delivered the punishment. At the Haigh house, leaving the house by yourself when you are two years old is considered a safety violation. This was the result:Notice the dirt on the face? This view, from a little higher angle was more revealing. There was actually dirt in her mouth.
Why children feel the need to eat dirt is beyond me.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Little House on the Prairie

This morning the girls and I took a field trip with our home school co-op to see a play about Laura Ingells Wilder in Topeka. The girls love her books and I can't wait to do expansion activities on the topic.

After the play, we stopped in to see Grandpa. The girls had a large collection of drawings and letters to give him. They love him and it is hard for them to understand why he is so sick.

Due to the constant rain and the fact that I had three little girls in tow, I spoiled myself by using valet parking at the hospital. The girls thought it was so cool that after giving them my ticket, our van magically appeared a few minutes later. I think that Walmart and Target should consider this practice for all of the busy mothers in the world. Either that or delivery. :)

It just so happens that there is a frozen custard joint just a few block down from the hospital, so the girls are always rewarded for their good behavior with a little treat.
Violet never spills drop of that precious chocolate frozen custard!
Annabelle must have been wiped out because this is the first time she has taken a nap in over a year. It was a cozy afternoon to sleep, listening to the rain and thunder outside.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mini Apple Pies

This morning I fed my kids apple pie for breakfast.
The crust was made from whole wheat flour, home made yogurt, and butter. The pies had very little sugar. Click here for the recipe. I am sure it was better for them than most of the sugary breakfast cereals out there, even with a little dollop of whip cream:
(What???? Doesn't every little princess eat breakfast in her floor-length gown?)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Botanical Gardens

We met Daddy after work at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. an incredibly beautiful place with lots of trails for little girls to run around like crazy. First we ate our dinner overlooking the lake:
Yes, this photo was staged, or should I say, the subjects were bribed to hold hands. (Rice Crispy Treats were the reward.)
Say "Cheese" and watch my eyes disappear:

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Aliah's Day with Caylyn & Chad

Yesterday, Aliah had her Christmas present fulfilled from Caylyn and Chad. To Chad's delight, she chose to get ice cream in stead of a manicure.
It's not very often she gets Uncle Chad all to herself:
Of course, the main attraction at the Toy Store was the books:
Her toy selection was this kitty complete with a feather-boa covered carrier, and various accessories that all diva-kitty-must-haves, like perfume.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

We're Back!

Please excuse our little absence from the blog world. The past week has been pretty crazy around here. However, I was fortunate to have a night out to have sushi with a good friend earlier in the week.

Plus, the week ended on another high note. I just returned home from a little trip with my friends. We went to KC and hung out at Zona Rosa:


We talked on our phones in a phone booth, posed with manikins, ate at Bo Lings, and shopped at Victoria's Secrets (due to the nature of this family blog, no pictures are available since the manikins there are so scantily clad). Let's just say some husbands will be glad they sent their well-deserving wives away for the weekend with a little extra personal cash to spend. :)

Sara and Traci are two of my more adventurous friends:

Oh, and we attended the Homeschool Conference at the KCI Expo Center on Friday and Saturday.

Here's proof that I was really there to prepare for next year's school year. Our second grade curriculum, with a few kindergarten things thrown in:

You are looking at around $900 worth of loot. Almost half of that was spent on Rosetta Stone Spanish, which will be drop-shipped to me soon.

I attended some awesome workshops, which hopefully will improve my skills as a teacher. As I expected, I was advised by the experts to purchase extra student consumable sheets for Annabelle to do most of the second grade work along side of Aliah. I expect her to breeze through her kindergarten work and then want to join in on the fun 2nd grade history and science.

It's exciting to wrap up another school year and look forward to next year!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Catch Up

We have been out of town for a few days. Gotta love the flexible schedule of home schooling!

We picnicked in the park and climbed on animals:

We rode a train, even through a tunnel:
We visited Grandpa George, gave him lots of hugs and sang him songs:

While Daddy and Uncle Curtis installed all of the electrical work in Uncle Curtis' new house, we played with our cousins:
Ava and Violet decided to do some dirt work while we were there:
It was a nice trip, now back to the grindstone!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dunces and Hungry Kids

Field Trip Day! Yesterday we spend the day at Deanna Rose Farmstead with our friends. We had a private tour of the one-room schoolhouse while while we waited for the rain to stop:

The students enjoyed drawing on the chalk boards:Everyone's favorite part was playing the Dunce in the corner:

It was Garret and Rebecca's first time to the Farmstead. He loved feeding the goats and riding the John Deer Tractors.