Saturday, July 31, 2010

Daddy's Away Day 1

Daddy left for Taiwan today. The girls are devastated. Every time he makes the trip, which is about twice a year, it is worse. Aliah has been randomly bursting out in tears for the past 36 hours with anticipation of missing her Father. Luckily, we are going to Mimi & Grandpa's house tomorrow and that will provide a welcome distraction.

Here are the girls after I convinced everyone to stop their wailing by bribing them with Caribbean Cream Slushes:Daddy shared in the crying fest as he prepared to leave. We have promised him lots of blog pictures while he is away.

Lawrence, a Town of Culture and. . .

My sister just said she saw the man mentioned in this previous post. It seems that his "daughter" has had a rough go at it in the previous year. Caylyn said seeing him made her miss the patients at her former job at the psychiatric hospital.

Since moving to Lawrence for graduate school, I have always enjoyed this unique town. It is full of people with a variety of views and beliefs. If I feel like wearing my Birkenstocks to Lawrence, I do and don't feel too out of place. Even though they went out of style about 10 years ago (or was it 15 years ago?) When I meet new people in Lawrence and tell them that I home school, I don't get judged for attempting to raise antisocial children. Lawrence is nice that way.

The big girls enjoy taking in some cultural activities and Lawrence helps us out in a big way in this area. We often attend plays and concerts there. We like to visit art galleries there. This week, they are attending a daily camp at the Lawrence Arts Center. Violet and I decided that we would stroll around Mass St, do a little bit of window shopping and get some exercise while the sisters where in class today.

Be prepared, the next paragraphs might be disturbing, at least it was to me. We are walking out of Starbucks, latte in hand, when out of the corner of my eye, I see a man pushing a stroller with a large child in it.
I didn't think anything of it until I noticed something silver on the child's leg. Duct tape. Hmmm. Upon closer inspection:
The man left his "daughter" outside of Starbucks while he went in. But I don't think he will be turned into SRS for child endangerment. Because his child is a manikin. What really gets me is this child reminds me a lot of Aliah. He has a drink for her and a girly diaper bag in the bottom of the stroller. What!?!

After walking a few blocks to recover from this scene, I send my sister a text about what I have just witnessed. I refer to the man as something not very nice. It rhymes with "week" and starts with "fr." I eat some humble pie, when my sister, who works with patients with mental illnesses for a living. replies: "Poor guy!" Maybe he will be so lucky as to end up in her psych ward and work out some of his issues during a music therapy session.

Anywho, all I have to say is that I am very glad I didn't have my curious big girls with me to try to explain the situation to. And I am so glad that we live in Baldwin, a.k.a. "Lawrence's nicest neighborhood." It's great to visit Lawrence to get some culture (and a little bit of freak show. Did I just say that?)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Who Needs Kindergarten?

The girls have been overly bored with the hot weather and have requested to start some school already. We have completed about five days of school so far.

Aliah is on Day 5 of her 2nd grade curriculum.

Annabelle is on Week 6 of her kindergarten curriculum. She is averaging over a week a day so far. At this rate, she will be graduating from High School before she turns 8.

Luckily, I suspected this might be the case and had already purchased a second set of Aliah's 2nd grade consumables. Annabelle joins in on 2nd grade history, science, and geography. She is also learning Spanish through Rosetta Stone, and uses Aliah's 2nd grade spelling lists reading practice.

Some preschool manipulatives for Vi to keep her hands busy:
During nap time, Annabelle usually entertains herself by fixing her hair a half dozen different styles. It usually ends up in some type of multiple pig-tail braid like this:
Now that we have started school, Annabelle uses nap time to complete more work. Without me knowing about it, She completed 3 worksheets yesterday.
For kicks, I turned to the reading practice at the end of the year from her curriculum. As I suspected, Annabelle was able to read the mini-book easily. Who needs kindergarten anyway?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Therapy Needed

Dear Violet,

I sincerely apologize for the emotional harm your father has inflicted upon you. For when you brought me your favorite babydoll, telling me that "Baby has rainbows in her neck," I seriously had no idea that it would lead to this.

You see your father is of the curious type. Lucky for us, he is an engineer and actually gets paid to take high-end electronics apart. If not, he would be disassembling all of the electronics in our home, your toys included, on a daily basis.

After he saw the colorful array of wires peeking out from the inside of your babydoll's neck, he could not help himself. His innate need to see how things work, including babydolls that suck, cry, and blink when handled, ended in complete devastation. For you and your babydoll.

I will inform him that in the future, he is not allowed to disassemble your favorite babydoll in front of you, while telling you that "Sorry Violet, baby died."

That's right girlfriend, hold your head high, and wear those sunglasses to hide your devastation. Don't worry, Mommy will get you therapy (and Daddy will have to pay for it).


Monday, July 26, 2010

Friends Together Again

This weekend was a special time for me to reunite with old friends. Six of my high school classmates met with our families at a park. Good times!

There were new babies to show off.
Good food to eat.
Chris blessed us all with his newly acquired photography skills with incredible pictures of our kids.

The whole crew, 19 kids in all!
I can't wait to do it again next year.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Fiesta Envy

I inherited my Grandmother Annabelle's Fiesta Ware. I have them displayed on floating shelves in my kitchen.

You might have remembered a similar picture when Aliah traded her shoe for a broken tea cup to test my anger management skills about a year ago:
In addition to these displayed, I have an array of vintage Fiesta:

This is a note from my Great Aunt Frances, detailing some of the family Fiesta. It was purchased from the Elliott Hardware Store in Phillipsburg in May of 1943. (Perhaps I should include a note for my purchases for posterity sake. Somehow "Purchased on in 2010" just doesn't have the same ring too it.)
I actually have a notebook for my Fiesta. It includes each piece categorized by color and the approximate value.

I have a confession. I covet new Fiesta Ware. In a new color- PAPRIKA! Don't you think this color would be a beautiful contrast to my cobalt blue?
I also covet a new shape- SQUARE! The bowls and mugs cleverly transition from square on the bottom to round on the top. So yummy in the dark chocolate color:
Because of the unique shape, the bowls don't stack on top of each other, so I think I will just drool over some plates. Soon my kids will not be eating on plastic anymore so maybe that's an excuse to expand my collection with some new shapes and colors with some new luncheon plates.

Zuccnini boats

Idea #2 for your extra zucchini- zucchini boats.

Slice a zucchini in half. Slice off a thin piece off the bottom so it will be stable. Carefully cut out some of the seeded middle to make a place for the meat sauce.
I prebaked the zucchini about 5 minutes (at 375 degrees) and then loaded it up with meat sauce:
Cover with cheese:
Bake about 5-7 more minutes, or until cheese becomes bubbly and slightly browned. (I ate it with quinoa.)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Museum Induced Nightmares

I took my kids to the Nelson-Atkins museum to give them some culture. Instead I gave Aliah a case of the willies.

"Yes, Aliah, there really is a dead person wrapped up inside." Maybe I should have fibbed.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Pediatric Dentist's Office

What I love about our pediatric dentists' office: Gourmet coffee within 20 seconds after a touch of a button:

What the kids love: vegging out in front of the t.v.

What we ALL dislike: cavities that require fillings. :(

Monday, July 19, 2010

Zucchini Fettucini

Anyone have zucchini coming out of their ears?

Here's a creative way to prepare some of your garden's overabundance:

First use your vegetable peeler to peel the zucchini to make long ribbons.Stop when you get to the seeded part of the zucchini. Add to the ribbons about 1/4 cup broth. Heat over medium-low heat for about 4 minutes.
Add a Laughing Cow Garlic-Herb cheese triangle (I used light), and a shake of garlic salt. Cut the cheese up to facilitate melting.
After cheese has melted, serve your fettuccine. (Annabelle loves this and usually eats about half of it.)

Best thing about Vacation

On our final day of vacation, we asked the girls what their favorite thing about vacation was. Here are their responses:

Aliah: "Canoeing"

Violet: "Riding the horses"

Annabelle: "Shooting guns and Chris!"

Wouldn't you know it, Annabelle would expand her ring of boyfriends by zeroing in on a male college-age camp worker. You see, all of the workers at Rock Springs rotate jobs. So one day they may be serving in the cafeteria, the next day life-guarding, and the next day working as a wrangler in the horse barn. Annabelle became smitten with Chris when he helped Annabelle shoot a gun for the first time:
Aunt Caylyn tried to help her, but she quickly turned over the responsibility of a 5 year-old handling a rifle to the competent camp worker Chris.

The next day, Chris was was life-guarding in the pool. Sitting on a lifeguard post = captive audience for Annabelle.

The last day, Chris spent another 15 minutes subject to Annabelle's musings while he led her horse around the corral.

Anyone who has insight/suggestions/advice as to how to handle a boy-crazy little girl, we could use all of the help we can get.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


We are enjoying our vacation at Rock Springs Camp with my family. Annabelle has really taken to all of the camp activities, especially riflery and archery.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream Recipe

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups 2% milk
1/2 cup bottled Key lime juice
1/2 cup whipping cream
Dash of salt
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
8 graham crackers (2 cookie sheets), coarsely crushed, divided

  1. Combine first 5 ingredients, stirring with a whisk.
  2. Pour mixture into freezer can of an ice-cream freezer, and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Stir graham crackers into ice cream or add during last 5 minutes in the freezer.
  4. Spoon ice cream into a freezer-safe container, and cover and freeze for 1 hour or until firm. Makes 1 1/2 qts.

Sushi Dissection