Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sorry Violet

 Sorry Violet that I made you wear the Halloween overalls even though you didn't want to.

 You see, Mommy put so much work into those overalls 6 years ago (back when I only had one child and plenty of time on my hands) that ALL of my offspring must wear them at least one day. 
 
See, now that you know that your sisters have been equally tortured, you don't feel so bad, do you?

Fit as a Fiddle

We are blessed to live in a community that offers the opportunity for children to take string lessons.  Just a few blocks away, my girls take lessons at the University Strings Lab.  The orchestra professor is probably the best instructor I have ever had the honor to witness.  Behind Aliah the orchestra professor, Lori Mckinney, on the left, and to the right behind her is the student, Mr. Michael, who assists with the group.  Mr. Michael is also her private violin instructor.
 Here Ms. Mckinney is instructing the girls on note recognition.  Aliah has learned to play the violin in a variety of teaching methods ranging from Suzuki to fiddle.  She learned how to read music within her first year of playing
 
Riley, Zoe, Aliah and Mr. Michael concentrating as they play a song.  We asked them to smile, but it's just to hard when you are coordinating everything necessary to play a violin.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Beans, Beans the Magical Fruit

This is my "sensitive" girl.  She has recently decided that eating meat is just too much for her.  I still put meat on her plate and expect her to take a bite or two.  But I decided it was time for me to find a cheap, easy alternative for those times that she totally snubs the protein on her plate.  Today we made easy refried beans in the crockpot.   She loved the results, especially with a sprinkle of cheese. 

We started with dried pinto and black beans:
 Cooked them in the crockpot overnight with some seasoning:
  Strained off some of the liquid:
 Gave them a little spin in the kitchen aid:
 And a quick whirl of the stick blender:

We put some in the freezer since it made a large quantity.  If you are making this recipe for adults, you might want to add a jalapeno pepper for a little bit more kick.

Easy Refried Beans

  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 1/2 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups dry black beans, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons diced green chilies
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  •  2 teaspoons salt
  •  1 teaspoon MSG free taco seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  •  7 cups water
  •  2 cups broth
  1. Place ingredients into a slow cooker and stir to combine. Cook on High for 8 hours, adding more water as needed. Note: if more than 1 cup of water has evaporated during cooking, then the temperature is too high.
  2. Once the beans have cooked, strain them, and reserve the liquid. Mash the beans with a potato masher, adding the reserved water as needed to attain desired consistency.

A Kitty, A Witch, and Tony


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Free Soup

 
Today was a bulk cooking day for me.  I didn't read the number of servings from the original recipe when I doubled this soup.  Anyone want some Creamy Minestrone and Meatball Soup?  

I think I might need to run to the store to pick up more Ziplock freezer bags since the box I have is now almost empty.  That or ask the high school football team to come over after practice tonight.

Haigh Happenings

 We're back online after a little break.  Mommy took a little weekend get away with her high school girl friends and came back relaxed and refreshed.  Daddy just got home from his short business trip.  In other Haigh news, Aliah lost her sixth tooth this morning and is looking seasonally appropriate with a jack-o-lantern face:


I have been enjoying baking anything with pumpkins that I can think of.  Today I made Pumpkin Granola Bars (by Meal Makover Moms) and the girls loved them:

 Happy Fall!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Barbie Wasteland

This Barbie's party is over at the Haigh house. 
 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Incentive

Nothing could be more motivational than getting to bake chocolate chip cookies with the Big Daddy.  For the past few weeks, Aliah has been working toward this goal.  First, she copied the recipe on to notebook paper.  Then for each "awesome" day of school, she earned one ingredient on the list.  When she earned all of the ingredients, she got to make the cookies with Daddy that evening.

In case you were wondering, an awesome day at school is defined as:
  • being up, dressed, and have eaten breakfast and ready to start school by 8:00
  • no complaining or whining
  • no bothering, poking, prodding, or making fun of your sister
  • completing all assignments by noon
Aliah has decided that she is working towards taking sewing lessons (with the sewing machine) next.  Hmm, a private sewing lesson with Mommy will cost her about 12 awesome days of school.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

This week, the girls and I enjoyed a fall treat, pumpkin pie smoothie.  It was inspired by this post by a sports nutrtionist. 

Ingredients included:

plain yogurt (I used my home made yogurt)
soy milk
canned pumpkin
pumpkin pie spices:  cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves
brown sugar
(blend in blender)
crumbled graham crackers (sprinkled on top)


As a special treat, I sprayed whip cream on top of the crumbled graham crackers and sprinkled halloween sprinkles on top.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Magical Place

Where can you:

Get your picture taken with a Fairy Godmother,


Ride a ginormous elephant,
Watch someone juggle flames,
put up your armor, lest you be jousted,
get grossed out when you find out they are using dragon snot to hold your magic wand together,
get up close and personal with Cinderella and ask her all of your burning questions (like: "Can I see your ball gown, where is your glass slipper, why don't you tell your stepmother to stop being mean to you?")

and belly dance on stage with a bunch of gypsies?

The Renaissance Festival of course!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Violet!

 Happy third birthday, Violet Grace!

You have a special spot in the Haigh family, being the third of three girls, our baby.

I thank God for you, and His timing in bringing you into our lives.  Because of your presence, even as small as a peanut in my womb, the doctors were alerted to my unexpected cancer diagnosis.  When you were just 15 weeks along, you weathered a surgery with me to removed that disease.  For this reason, I felt closer to you than any of my other children before you were even born.
newborn

one year
2 years
three years
You are full of life, love, and spunk.  We love you Violetcakes!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Homemade Soaps Part II: Dirty Mouth Cleaner

Many of you have seen my posts about homemade laundry soap.  Since it makes 10 gallons worth (and costs less than a penny a load), many of my friends have started making their own soap too.  Here is my friend Beth's husband Casey getting ready to make the soap. 
Casey joked, "Next week we will be making 5 gallons of toothpaste."

At the Haigh house, we really do make mouth cleaner, Dirty Mouth Cleaner that is:
It is water with a few tablespoons of vinegar.  Just enough to taste really bad.  What is it used for?  Little girls who call each other a bad name.  We have had the Dirty Mouth Cleaner around for about a month and so far only two little girls have gotten a squirt each.  Turns out just the threat of having to use Dirty Mouth Cleaner is pretty effective in curbing dirty mouth behaviors.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Home Made Cleaners Part I

A while ago, I replaced my normal household cleaners with more natural cleaning supplies.  Most of them are homemade.  This is what I use to clean my kitchen counters and sink.  (As you can see, this has replaced Simple Green at my house.)

All Purpose Cleaner
2 Tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon Borax
Mix with 1 cup hot water until Borax is dissolved.
Pour into spray bottle.
Add 1/4 Castile soap
Fill spray bottle up with water
Add 15 drops essential oil (I use Peppermint, Eucalyptus, and Tea Tree Oil)
Shake to mix


For those who stay tuned tomorrow:  Dirty Mouth Cleaner!  (I know you are sitting on the edge of your seat for this one, and no it does not replace toothpaste.)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Silly Chicken

Aliah and I had a date to see a bluegrass band at the Lied Center last weekend.
The Punch Brothers performed- they were great!  These guys are ridiculously talented and can do anything from bluegrass to more modern and technically off the hook.  Loved them! 
 
Aliah, on the other hand was bored.  After talking to her friends for about a half hour, one trip to the bathroom, another attempted trip to the bathroom (which was halted by an usher), she ended up on my lap.  Aliah is now as tall as my armpits so she sprawled across me and ended up covering up my entire body.  Before I knew it, I heard tiny snores escaping her mouth.  To her credit, it was late and she had spent the night before camping in the yard with friends so I am sure she was short on sleep.

When we got home, she told her Daddy about how she had fallen asleep.  He told her that now they have something in common- they both fall asleep at shows Mommy takes them to!

Here is Aliah with what she called "The Silly Chicken" outside of the Lied Center at KU.