Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Karlie's Favorite Song

At our church, we often ask if anyone in our church family has a song to sing.  Just about every time, Karlie asks to sing, "Tis So Sweet."   Here is a short clip of her singing and dancing to her favorite song.  (And it kind of reminds me of another little girl who used to say it was her favorite song as well :)

Homemade popcorn!

We recently found corn for popping at our local natural food co-op and decided to try it.  My girls had not really tasted popcorn before because the microwavable kind has so many chemicals.   But we popped this in our healthy coconut oil, sprinkled on some garlic salt, and ate tons of it!  As you can see in the last picture, the girls were truly eating it by the handfuls :)   I think it will become a favorite Sunday afternoon treat!


Monday, August 27, 2012

Lightening bug stories by Karis and Karlie

I recently stumbled upon a language arts book for little ones that I absolutely love!  It is called Language Lessons for Little Ones and is a Charlotte Mason style of learning, which I really like.  I also love the Classical model and believe the memorization foundation is very important for children, and we will be memorizing amazing amounts of information with our Classical Conversations group.  But I also really love this Charlotte Mason book that emphasizes nature and artwork and poetry and thought it would balance out all that memory work quite nicely.  I bought the 1st book for Karlie and the 4th one for Karis, but after looking at it, I decided to let them both start with the first one and allow Karis to simply go at a faster pace.  I just thought it such a nice collection of poetry and artwork and didn't want her to miss out on it.  The lessons are very short and simple so she does around 7 or 8 each day and it only takes us about 15 minutes. The girls have both really enjoyed it!

The lessons generally contain art or poetry that we read and discuss and then draw a picture to describe.  In today's lesson, they were asked to make up a story about a lightening bug (the focus of the poem they read today) and they had such fun with it that I decided to type out their stories so I could remember them:

Karlie's Lightening Bug Story:
"I have a lightening bug named Liesl.  She likes to light up in the night.  She landed on my finger and stayed there all day!  Then she flew off and we put her in a jar and we took a picture.  She has a Mama named Maria.  In the night we will let her go so she can fly up and light up when people are out and it is dark."

Karis' Lightening Bug Story:
"Karis the lightening bug is going to the moon!  She sees me!  We sit and we eat my favorite cheese on the moon (orange cheese).  The firefly wears a necklace that she got from the store on the moon.  We stay on the moon!"

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Wedding Fun!

We went to super fun outdoor wedding at a nearby park this Saturday.  One of Mark's coaches (who has also coached Karis) was marrying another one of his staff members.  The girls had been looking forward to it all week long and we were so glad that it didn't rain!  A cold-front came through, making it perfectly cool weather.  We couldn't believe that we ended up wearing Jackets in august!

They had a really fun picture frame set up with silly glasses and mustaches and lips.  We had a lot of fun playing with them!







Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The past few weeks...

I've been a little pre-occupied with school-prep the past few weeks to do much blogging. (If you follow me on Pinterest, I apologize for all my Classical Conversations pins; feel free to unsubscribe because I assure you there will be more!)  So here is one big post of all the random pictures of we have taken to catch me up on blogging:  

A fun night at Mellow Mushroom (which happens to be the only place we can easily eat out right now because they have gluten-free pizza):

We play people and dollhouse several times a day.  Abbi usually ends up in the people basket with her softies and the girls give her people to keep her happy :)

We take walks everyday and the girls love to find flowers


 A fun trip to VA to see friends and family!

Abbi had fun with Daddy in Papa's pool!

 Then she almost fell asleep in her chair in her life jacket :)

Papa helping Karis swim:

Karlie is the only one brave enough to go off the diving board, but she definitely has lots of help :)


More smiles from Karis in the water:

They conked out, exhausted from swimming,  in the car on the way to Nina and Papa's

They decorated Nina's hall with babies!!

Attempting a family picture since we rarely have someone to take it for us

Abbi smiling at Daddy through the screen:

The girls are going with Daddy to work every day this week for a multi-sport camp!  They are so excited.  They spend a half hour each on basketball, soccer, tennis, and t-ball.  We are so thankful that Daddy can take his girls to work with him!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Some fun pictures from Mark's phone

Mark and I haven't had a lot of time to figure out his new phone but we finally started playing around with instagram this weekend :)

Abbi having fun with my Mom's hose:


Abbi and James, the little boy of some of our best friends.  They played together very well and we decided to try to arrange their future marriage :)
My sweet baby:

My happy big girls:

Karlie, a princesses as usual:

Sweet Abbi, who Mark now likes to call Abbigracious or Abbilicious... the first of our kids to actually have nicknames...  poor thing...

Some of our favorite VA friends!

"Who me?" I would never pull hair!

Sweet sisters!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Abbi Grace at 18 months

My baby is a year and a half old!  So hard to believe!


 She is big enough now to stroll with us on our morning walk and actually begs to hold her sisters' hands.  Definitely makes my life easier!


 She absolutely loves the swing that Papa made and is quite content to sit in it forever, whether you push her or not.  She never wants to get up.  It is the best place to get a picture of her because she is always happy there and for once, not moving 100 miles per hour :)

 My sweet Abbi Grace is extremely affectionate.  She loves to rubs heads with you just like a kitty, and nothing makes her smile more sweetly than exchanging butterfly kisses.  She pretends to be shy when we first walk in a different place, but she will soon be crawling into someone's lap after just a few minutes of Mama's snuggles.  She will happily blow kisses at strangers and say "bye" in a very southern way.

 She is also very stubborn.  We finally got a break in our summer traveling schedule to take away her paci and my crib-loving girl is still not happy 2 weeks later.  (Note to self: getting rid of the paci is very painless before 15 months, but 18 months is a different story!  I will never wait this late again!)  I'm afraid we might lose the morning nap over the paci battle but I am still holding my ground and trying to get her back to reading books in her crib while I do schoolwork with the big girls.  She has done better the past few days so I am optimistic.
 Abbi has many words now, but her favorite by far is "Daddy!"  She talks about him all day long, usually yelling for him.  I thought all my girls were Daddy's girls, but Abbi takes the cake.  He is always in her thoughts.  Her other favorite words are "baby" (which Karis worked very hard to teach her and now she won't stop saying proudly as she holds up her baby doll for you to admire), "banana" (which she always wants,) "mama," and "ME!" (which she yells very loudly if the other girls have something she wants.)  She loves to copy anything you say to her and is very proud when she does it well and you praise her.

She loves to read and has a great attention span.  She will keep handing me books to read before nap time until I make her stop.  Her current favorites are: the baby stories in her Eloise Wilkins Treasury, Go, Dog, Go! (which has been the favorite with each of my girls at this age), and any animal book so that she can tell me the sounds they make.

She loves to sing and anytime we sing together, she says, "Mmmmmmmm," after each song which means, "more!"  She even does it at church to ask us to keep singing!

Abbi plays really well with her big sisters for the most part.  She loves to hand them people for their doll house or clothes to dress their baby dolls.  Every so often, she gets a mischievous grin on her face and takes exactly what she knows Karlie wants or pulls their hair, but we are definitely working on that.  Hair-pulling is really her only reason for major discipline at this point because most of the time, she really wants to please.

Abbi is also really good at entertaining herself.   When the girls are at soccer and I am in the kitchen making dinner, she will play by herself with the dollhouse people or beans or other sensory toy for a good half hour.  She loves playing with the big girl toys most of all.  She really has no idea that she is 18 months old and truly believes that she can do every thing her older sisters do!

We are so thankful for our sweet Abbi Grace and can't wait to see how she grows this year!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Bedtime songs

We sing songs every night before bed.  We do a wide range of songs, from nursery rhymes, to Bible songs, to hymns, to musicals, etc.  Sometimes the girls are really into it and sometimes they are not.  But it is our routine and we enjoy it.  Abbi is getting to the stage where she absolutely loves our singing time and tries to do the motions and always asks for more songs.  Earlier this week, Mark pulled out his iphone while we were having fun singing with Abbi.  (And no, I do not usually have a kitchen chair in my living room.  Mark had just finished putting crown molding on our bookshelf and the chair was still there so I sat on it :)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Us lately...

Sometimes I am really glad that we take pictures or I would never remember all our special moments!


 Sitting on the porch steps before church on Sunday...

Karis excitedly waiting for Karlie and I to be ready for our "first day of play school" (my 3-day parent practicum for Classical Conversations.)  Abbi was impatiently looking out the door as well because Daddy was going to take her on a walk... (In case you were wondering, he did change her out of Karis' shoes before going, though.)

My big girls and I all ready for "school."
I attended a 3-day training session to catch the Classical Conversations vision, get to know other CC moms, check out fabulous resources, and learn a little Latin as well.  I thoroughly enjoyed it!  The girls went to a great play camp provided by CC.  They were very excited and not the least bit nervous.  (I was more worried for them since we go to a small church and they have not done Sunday School or any other "class" without Mama and Daddy.)  Unfortunately, they had so many children that they separated the 3-year olds from the 5-year olds and it totally freaked out my Karlie Sue.   She is the happiest, bounciest little thing you will ever meet as long as she feels safe with someone she knows, but if you take her away from her sister, she turns into a puddle of tears.  The only reason I enrolled her instead of keeping her home with Daddy was because the 3's and 5's were supposed to be together. I quickly talked to the director who promised that Karlie could stay with Karis the following day.  I really thought that there was no way Karlie would agree to come back after the shock of the first day, but she was once again super excited to be in Karis' class and had a blast and told me she wanted to go to school every day!  Such a trooper!  As for Karis, I was happy to hear that she was cheerful and outgoing even when Karlie was gone.  She is definitely my social butterfly!  I was also relieved to hear that Abbi was quite happy for her Daddy the first day and my mother's helper, Lindsay, the next two days and even took good naps for them.  Now we just can't wait for "real" school to start so that we can enjoy learning and seeing our CC friends each Friday!

 Snuggled up on the couch listening to "Laura and Mary" (On the Banks of Plum Creek).  So sweet!

I went into Abbi's room to wake her up last Sunday afternoon and found her like this!  Don't worry, she was breathing just fine under her beloved softy blanket.  Crazy baby loves that thing so much and it has to be touching her face when she sleeps.  And yes, I always give her a box of books to read before she goes to sleep.  Maybe that is why she takes such long naps... I think she must read and play for the first hour.  Let's hope she will be as content after this week when we take away her paci...

The girls were very excited to find a flock of geese in our backyard on Wednesday morning! 


Butterflies!


 For Karis' birthday, we got her a butterfly growing kit.  We had to wait til July to actually order the caterpillars because we didn't want to be traveling when they were growing.  We have had such fun this month, watching the caterpillars crawl around, eat their food, make a cocoon, and turn into butterflies!  Karis named them Betsy (after Betsy-Tacy, one of her favorite books), Charlotte (after Charlotte's Web, another favorite), Princess, Watermelon, and Grape.  We kept the butterflies for about 4 days, but decided to release them yesterday so they could enjoy a bit of freedom.  (And I didn't want to take the chance of them dying under our care!)  The girls were quite excited about our butterfly releasing ceremony:
 Abbi kept pointing at them and saying, "OOHHHHH!"

The big girls helped Daddy hold the butterfly house open so they could fly out:


One butterfly decided that our butterfly bush made a nice home:



Another butterfly decided to stretch his wings in the straw and the girls were able to examine him closely:  Butterflies are so much fun!