Saturday, May 29, 2010

Date Night Geocaching

Friday our friends watched our kids so that Ricky and I could have a date night. I had the idea to go hiking. Ricky expanded on that idea and suggested we go Geocaching. He got his two hand-held GPS out and off we went.

I was surprised how many of my friends did not know what Geocashing was. It is like a high-tech treasure hunt, using GPS to find a hidden box full of treasures. Geocashing etiquette is that you leave your name and date you found the cache, and if you take a treasure then you leave one in return.
The sight of Ricky walking with some treasures he pilfered from the girls' toy stash in his camel pack made me laugh. It's not everyday you see him carrying around a miniature Barbie and a bobble-head Snoopy. He brought these to exchange from the cache.
I had to stop and snack on the mulberry tree.
After walking through shoulder-height brush, we finally found the cache:
I even brought home some friends, seven ticks.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Birthday Celebrations

Guess who is 7 now!
For her birthday cake, Aliah choose to make this Chocolate Cobbler recipe I saw on the Tasty Kitchen Blog. It starts out with a batter, then you make a dry sugar/cocoa powder mixture to put on top:After that, you pour water on top- don't stir. Put in the oven to bake.
It comes out with this heavenly crunchy topping with gooey pudding-like underneath.
This rich chocolate heaven must be balanced out with some home made ice cream. Yum!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Aliah!

Seven years ago, Ricky and I became parents. Aliah was born at 3:48 a.m. Welcome to the world, sweet baby girl! What an adventure you have brought us. We are so blessed to be your parents.

Grandpa George, who was laid to rest yesterday, holding his newest Granddaughter:
One year old:
2 years old:
3 years old, celebrating her birthday with Grandpa and Mimi at Aunt Caylyn and Uncle Chad's wedding:
4 years old:
5 years old:
6 years old:
And this morning- my big 7 year old:
Happy Birthday Aliah! We love you to pieces Ladybug!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Annabelle's Love Language

Last night, Ricky and I had the difficult job of telling the girls that Grandpa George had passed away. The girls reacted how we expected, Annabelle immediately cried. Aliah cried after she had a chance to process the situation. Violet prayed for Grandpa George, just as she has been for the past couple months.


After getting lots of hugs and love from Mommy and Daddy, Annabelle got out her scissors, tape, and construction paper. She was still crying as she proceeded to make the above items. She gave them to Ricky and I one at a time. After we put her to bed, she was still in her room crying to herself. She stayed up another hour, cutting and creating. When Ricky and I went to bed, we found each of our pillows adorned with her masterpieces.

Gifts are Annabelle's love language. She loves making them, and giving them. She also loves to receive them.

Another piece of Annabelle's artwork (I receive about 5 of these a day):

And one of Aliah's recent drawings. Not sure what the significance of the Budweiser bottle cap on the back house, but she was excited to add the latest trinket she found at the park to her picture.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

An Idea. . .

In a few years, I will be home schooling three little punks. After reading this post by Pioneer Woman, the thought crossed my mind: "Wow, wouldn't Ricky's shop make a nice school house for us in a few years."

I was brave enough to at least mention the idea to my husband a few weeks ago, knowing that it would be laughed away. After all, his shop was the reason we bought this house. Where else would he keep all of those expensive wood-working tools that he collected while we were DINKS (dual income no kids) and won't have time to use until our kids are grown?

When I designed my dream kitchen (otherwise known as my consolation prize for getting cancer), I set it up to home school at the kitchen island. The nice deep pot drawers did a wonderful job neatly organizing our kindergarten and first grade materials so they were at my fingertips.
But sometimes it is hard to not be distracted by unloading the dishwasher or starting lunch, when I am supposed to be giving my students my undivided attention. Other times, the girls slip away to their rooms just when I was wanting to get started. Wouldn't it be nice to just "go to school" and then "go back home" when you are done? I have already purchased our curriculum for next year, and we have outgrown our dedicated home school space in the kitchen.

Unlike Pioneer Woman, I don't have a beautiful newly remodeled ranch on our property so that's why I thought of the workshop. Apparently I got the wheels turning.

Ricky said to me today, "What if we expanded the shop to build you a classroom in the attic?" Great idea! He thinks we should take the roof off and go up and 5 feet and then put the roof back on. I'm thinking build a huge shed dormer like this:

Either way, it is fun to dream. If we do decide to do something like this, we should start now. At the pace we move, we might have it done by the time Violet starts school.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Just Pull It!

Aliah has been teasing me with this loose tooth for weeks now. It is barely hanging by a thread and now can be twisted sideways. It gives me the willies and she enjoys randomly grossing me out by wiggling it with her tongue in front of me. JUST PULL IT OUT ALREADY!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Roosters in the House

A couple nights ago, the girls had their home school coop end-of the year program. Aliah especially blossomed this year because of the weekly opportunity to meet with same-aged peers. She learned to get up and speak in front of her peers and we are very thankful for that opportunity.

At the program, Annabelle helped lead the pledges:
Aliah volunteered to play her violin:
The girls were Roosters in the musical portion:

Go Figure

When I try to exercise in the dead end street we live on, I set up stations to keep the girls (especially Violet) occupied. Here is the spread a few days ago:

Books on a blanket (usually ignored unless I am on the blanket to read them):
Sand table:
Cornstarch goo:

Can you guess where Violet spent 90% of her time?

In the soapy water clean-up bucket of course:

So from now on, I will know that if I need to entertain her for an hour, all I need to do is put out a bucket of soapy water.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Wolds of Rain, I Mean Fun

Garmin rented Worlds of Fun for their employees on Sunday. Unfortunately, it was forecasted to rain all day. Since we had promised our kids we would take them Worlds of Fun, we had a dilemma. Spend $70 on new rain jackets for Ricky & I or spend $200 to go another day when it is not raining. We decided to take our chances and go for a day in the rain.

We armed the kids in their galoshes, and raincoats and their cousin Ashlea in a giant poncho and went for it. It turned out to be a fun day. Bonus: When it is raining you don't have to wait in line. Ashlea and Aliah in the bumper cars:

Daddy took Ashlee on the roller coasters. Here they are in front of the Boomerang.
While they were on the roller coasters, I took the girls on a ride that is more my speed- the train:
Annabelle had the opportunity to drive in the Taxi ride. She was super excited and of course was a natural:
Ice cream, a reward for a day of no complaints:

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Shoes, shoes, shoes

I have very finicky feet. Because of my extremely low arch, I must wear shoes with very good arch support. Unfortunately, Birkenstocks went out of style about 15 years ago. My feet can be happy in a few shoes other than Birkenstocks. But the shoes that work for me are very expensive. That's why I look forward to the Footprints warehouse sale. You may have to elbow your way through the crowd, but you can get some pretty incredible shoes for less than half price.

It just so happens that my birthday is next month. I like to make it easier on Ricky by going ahead and taking care of my birthday gifts at the warehouse sale. All of these shoes I purchased at a deep discount- around 60% off. Yipee!

Can't wait for next winter to try out these super-soft boots:
Makes my feet happy: