Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Princess Anna

Anna is our princess. She is our only girl, out of four, who really truly enjoys dressing up like a princess.

The other girls never got why one would want to dress up like that. For Halloween, sure. But to just dress up for no reason other than to pretend you are a princess? No thanks.

But, Anna. She loves it. All of it. Tiaras. High heels. Tutus. Lace. And if you can throw in a superhero cape, all the better!

We love you Princess Anna!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Mia's Heart

Today I took Mia to a cardiologist. We recently found out that several people in her birth family have had heart attacks under the age of 50. This is all we knew so her pediatrician thought she should have and EKG.

Everything was completely normal. Thank goodness! I really wasn't too worried. She's always been very healthy. The only follow-up is to check her cholesterol at 10 years old. I feel that is almost comical, but we'll do it.

Monday, April 28, 2014

I'm a Liar

So I lied. Yes, I did. I said I wasn't going to do stations every day for quiet time. It would be too much work. Wrong! We are doing stations every single day that we are home. Monday, stations. Wednesday, stations. And yes, Sunday, stations.

We keep the same stations every day. I just change out the stuff that's in them. I have discovered that I can download audiobooks from the library onto the iPad. So at the book station I now have books they can listen to as well. Anna is not that interested. She listens for a minute or two. Once she gets more into it, I will probably get another iPad and they can bring them from sation to station if they want to. I also put out a puzzle or game at this station. If you don't know, kids have no problem playing a game alone. Maybe because they can't read "for two or more players".

We also always have an art center.

I have tried making a simple art project and leaving it in there for them to replicate, but they always prefer to make their own. They are usually way more creative than I am! Who else would come up with a mom cage?

Our third center is the box center. These are boxes of small toys. I change out two of these boxes every Sunday so every week there is something different in them.

The last center is usually larger toys that I bring up from the basement play area. Right now it's dolls and last week it was Mia's new doll house. I change it every Wednesday. Anna is really starting to use her imagination at all the centers and it is so fun to watch that area of her personality develop. She has also decided that she does not have to always be obedient. :(

As the girls get older I hope to have about six stations, and extend them to 30 minutes (right now we do 22 minutes at each station). This will take up most of our afternoons. But they will be educational and a natural part of our homeschool: silent reading station, music practice station, computer station, writing station, etc.

We love our stations!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

A Busy Saturday

This morning the girls, Max and I went to an Arbor Day tree planting at our local park. Dan, Becky, Arek and Adrian went to pick up the new flooring for Becky and Arek's house and continue the demolition project. We didn't do a lot because I knew I would never be able to dig a hole by myself, let alone with the three kiddos. But we got a few picks of the little bit we did do.

It was a great family celebration with activities for the kids. Each family got to plant a tree and can watch it grow through the years. I hope we get to all participate next year.

In the afternoon we threw Mia her friends' birthday party. They had a blast at Treehouse Discovery.

For treats we had Larabars, gluten free cupcakes, potato chips and fruit kabobs. We did the limbo which was quite hilarious!

She had a lot of help with the gifts!

There were 16 kids at the party and several call her their best friend. Happy Birthday to our social butterfly!

Friday, April 25, 2014

A Good Book

Sometimes we check out a book from the library that we all love equally and this is one of those:

Edwin Speaks Up

It is funny, realistic, quirky and one of the few books that I don't groan about when they want to read it for the seventh time that day! I really really love the mother's patience and it is a good reminder to me to look on the bright side of everything.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Yesterday Mia had her five year old check-up. Five! She got a hearing and vision test. She thought that was totally cool. All was well.

While we waited for the doctor to come in we decided Anna needed to learn how to take pictures of something other than her thumb. She took this picture of Mia and myself. Not too bad!

We had to get a referral to a cardiologist for Mia as we have recently learned that several women in her birth family dies at young ages of sudden heart attacks. I'm not too worried, but best to check it out.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Our Easter

We did some fun Easter activities this year. A couple of weeks before Easter we dyed eggs. I found some dyes without petroleum and we went to town!

Maks spends a lot of time watching Anna and Mia. If I could read his mind I'm sure it would be saying: What are they doing? Should I be doing that? That looks like fun! Those girls are crazy...I'm not doing that!

Then Becky and I hid eggs and we had an egg hunt.

Then I lost my marbles and said yes when Mia asked if they could hide the eggs next. Someone forgot to tell Anna that you had to pay attention to where you were hiding the eggs. And someone forgot to tell both of them that they were supposed to stay on the main floor of the house. We looked and looked for the last egg but it was elusive! It would just have to be the smell that would help us find it in a few days!

But the next morning Maks handed me a hard boiled egg. We have no idea where he got it, but we were thankful!

On Saturday before Easter we decided (meaning I) that we would have a seder meal to get a real feel for the Last Supper. Most people do this on Holy Thursday but that was Mia's birthday. We had applesauce, lamb chops, arugula and paleo flatbread. We talked a little bit about the Jews exodus from Egypt and how this was the last meal Jesus ate and that he established the Eucharist at that time. They actually loved it.

We were going to wash each other's feet but forgot about it because we had to start working on the Sunday brunch we we were serving.

Bill, Dawn and Wade came over for brunch after we got back from church on Sunday morning. The girls were very good at church knowing that the Easter Bunny was deciding whether or not to leave them baskets based on their behavior. They know there is really no such thing but they like to pretend. When we got home they found their hidden baskets. And I forgot to take pics!

For brunch we had chicken and Brussel sprouts, ham, berries, flourless cinnamon muffins, scalloped potatoes, gluten-free herb popovers, cucumber salad and egg casserole. The adults drank mimosas and the girls had homemade apple sodas.

After eating way too much we sat outside on a beautiful day and looked at the pictures the clouds were making. There was a gentle breeze so the clouds changed shape every minute.

The girls wanted to do an outside egg hunt so I filled a few plastic eggs with raisins, fruit chews and nuts. Shhh...don't tell them there is supposed to be candy in them.They used their buckets from the sandbox to collect the eggs.

After our guests went home we pretty much relaxed the rest of the day. Happy Easter...a little late!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Four Mile House

A week or so ago we went to free day at Four Mile House with our homeschool group.

The oldest house in Denver is here.

We did not go in as it is only open for tours and the girls are still a little young for that. They did enjoy panning for gold and found plenty of "gold" pyrite to stuff in their pockets.

Tipis are always fun! And they remembered some of the details about them from when we went to Prairie Preschool.

Walking around we saw quite a bit of the way folks used to live.

And we had some quirky fun.

We will come back when the kids are a little older to tour the house.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Grandma Weekend

Last weekend was my Grandma weekend. For my birthday in October, Dan gave me a weekend in California to spend with the grandkids while he stayed home with the girls. And he thought of that all by himself. I say that's pretty romantic!

We knew it would be awhile before I could go because of the wedding, holidays, etc. But it finally happened!

Since Maks is living with us now, I decided to spend half of my weekend visiting my mom. She has had a very tough time with the chemotherapy and will now also have to have radiation. Six of her lymph nodes removed during the mastectomy were cancerous. I would spend the other half of the weekend with Avery and Ben.

I spent all day Friday at Mom and Jim's house. I enjoyed made them lunch and dinner, paleo of course. Mostly I just talked with my mom as she was too tired to even play cards and spent the entire time lying on the couch. Part of that is because she cleaned the house in the morning before I came! I had planned on doing it!

We watched Twelve Years a Slave after dinner - definitely deserved the Best Picture award!

I spent the night at Mom's house and left in time to watch Avery's gymnastics lesson. She was not too happy about that!

But she warmed up to me later, especially when I took her on a special trip to Chuck E. Cheese.

After our little outing I dropped Avery off at home for a nap and went to my hotel home. I headed back to Joey's later to babysit so that Brit and Joey could have a date night.

The next day I slept in a little bit and headed to the airport. Dan and Becky held down the fort at home nicely. I love that I got to help people out, visit, and have a little time to myself. Life is good.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Five Years Old!

We have a birthday in the house! We can hardly believe that our little sweety is five years old. I wanted to take a picture of her with the "birthday clip" in her hair this morning. She insisted her fairy book be in the picture too. She LOVES this series of books. Another milestone of childhood, moving from listening to picture books to chapter books.

For breakfast they ate popsicles! They were made from blueberries, bananas and coconut milk-healthy!

Mia also got to eat her eggs on the special red plate.

After breakfast we did school and then went to speech therapy. We stopped at the park to eat lunch and then headed over to a homeschool art coop. My phone died during this time so I have no pictures of any of it!

Once we got home it was time to make the birthday dinner! We are all eating paleo and Mia picked her favorite paleo foods: sausage, butternut squash soup, baked sweet potatoes, blueberries and a flour less chocolate cake for dessert. Her Godparents came over to share it with us.

We ended the evening with presents! Next weekend she will have her party with her friends. We have always given the kids a friends party every other birthday. On the off birthday we do something as a family.

Happy Birthday, Mia! We love you so so much!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Life With Three Generations

We have been enjoying having little Maks live with us! He loves Grandma's coconut milk-banana-berry popsicles.

The girls are enjoying having another playmate in the house. Anna decided Maks needed a bible study.

We love having Becky here too. She and I tried to make a pale Polish dish, bigos. (Arek and Maks are Polish.)

Just chop some cabbage. Boil the cabbage and some sauerkraut.

Saute onions, garlic, polsa kielbasa and bacon. Saute pork separately. Then put it all in a pot with some tomato paste and the sour water from the sauerkraut.

It was .....okay.

I didn't like the sourness of it.

We might try again and not use the grass fed beef polsa kielbasa. No one likes the taste of it. And we probably wouldn't put the sour water in. We would also buy a different brand of sauerkraut that is Feingold approved as Mia seemed to have a mild reaction to it.

It was still a fun mother daughter experiment!