Thursday, May 27, 2010

Meet Jasmine

On May12 my dog, Belle, died.  I have had her for 9 years.  So sad.  This is a picture of her with Lilly :).  She had cancer, so Scott and I have been preparing Liberty for her death for several weeks.  When we told her that Belle was dying she replied, "Well, I have always wanted a cat."  While this may seem a bit harsh, it is classic Liberty.  She is just very simple and practical about some things.  So, Scott and I decided that once Belle passed away, she would get her cat.

Originally, Scott and I had it in our mind that we would get a pure breed cat.  We wanted the "perfect" cat for are family.  I did all the research and found the exact breed of cat that would fit our lifestyle.  Then I went in search of this cat.  Not only was it impossible to find, I realized that purchasing a pure breed cat (much like a pure breed dog) was going to be quite expensive.  So, I decided a domestic shorthair it was going to be.  We headed to the local pet stores where we found that these adorable little non-pedigree kittens were going to run us around $75.  This seemed absolutely ridiculous.  Haven't I seen a million "free kitten" signs around town.  We also looked around at the local shelters, but they have primarily adult cats and Liberty wanted a kitten.  So, on a whim, I search Craig's List and, of course, found the perfect kitten.  The owners had named her Lilly :).  I told Liberty that we couldn't call her Lilly because that is her sisters name.  She said, "Then I will name her Jasmine because that is also a flower."  Again, very simple and practical.

Her first night home
playing in a basket
We picked up this little sweetheart last night.  She is a silver and black tabby and she is 9 weeks old.  When we got her home we shut her in Liberty's room so she could adjust slowly to her new surroundings.  She was very timid.  She immediately ran under the bed and was very hesitant to come out.  However, if everyone left and she was in there alone, she would meow loudly until someone came back.  It took her most of the day today to warm up to us, but now she is happy to let us pet her and she even crawled in my lap earlier.  She also loves to play and been sitting in Emory's toy basket and pouncing on puzzle pieces all day.  Her favorite spot in under Scott's recliner.  We lost her for a good 2 hours earlier in the day.  Liberty, in tears, was sure she had somehow escaped and was gone forever.  Liberty, with the aid of a flashlight, finally found Jasmine hiding comfortably underneathe the recliner.  This is troublesome for obvious reasons.  I guess we will just have to check before we sit down.  Hopefully, as she grows, she will no longer fit under there.

This has also quickly become a favorite spot.

Needless to say, we are super happy and excited about the new addition to our family.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


So, now that our first school year has wrapped up, I am trying to decide how we will proceed.  Do we take a summer break?  How long?  Do we stay on the public school schedule?  Do we continue some subjects throughout the summer but not all?  Needless to say, there are a ton of ways we can do it.

I have definitely come to the conclusion that we NEED a break.  By the time we finished up our curriculum a few weeks ago, I was really just winging it--must to the displeasure of my husband :).  We need some down time without any "formal" lessons.  I will also have time to go through the 1st grade curriculum and decide exactly what our schedule is going to look like when we start back up.

My plan is to officially start back to school sometime around mid-July.  We are taking a trip to Texas after the girls' birthday and when we get back we will start.  It will be a slow start because we have another trip to Texas planned in August.

If we start back in July, we should be able to wrap the year up around April (this is when we began to lose steam this year).  Then, we can take full advantage of the Spring.  This is the plan.  However, since I am still new to this, I anticipate to have to make adjustments along the way.  This is the beauty of home education though!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Haas' take cover

One of the fascinating things about living in central Oklahoma is the weather, especially this time of year.  In the 5 years we have lived here, we have had to run for cover on several occasions.  Thankfully, we have yet to suffer any major damage from any of the crazy weather that has come our way.  Yesterday proved to be one of our closer calls.  I was in the middle of making dinner when the tornado sirens started going off.  Scott had just gotten home and was about to get in the shower to prepare for a meeting later on in the evening.  Liberty was sitting at the table eating and Emory was in her highchair eating.  Around here we have learned not to hesitate when the alarms go off.  I turned off the stove, grabbed both girls and headed to the basement (we have to go outside to get to the basement).  Scott grabbed his clothes and headed down after us in his underwear =) (I'm sure he will appreciate me sharing that bit of information).

Thankfully I had gotten the basement ready with our supplies last week.  I didn't, however, consider that our basement would be full of water.  Apparently when it rains all the water drains into our basement.  The floor does have a drain in it, which keeps the water to a minimum, but it was still quite unpleasant to stand in water.

Once we all got down there, we realized that we had forgotten several things.  This was our first run, so I was impressed we didn't forget more.  We had no alternate light source if the power went out.  Scott's phone was almost dead and he didn't grab chargers, no radio (we have radio on our phones so this wasn't critical), and Emory didn't have her binky.  Not to mention that Liberty wasn't even wearing shoes.  After listening to the news for a minute, Scott felt is was safe enough to run back into the house for these forgotten items.  It worked out fine because the storm didn't hit us for several more minutes.  Next time we will be more organized.

Liberty had grabbed her food on the way out of the house and immediately sat on her mat and continued to eat her chicken.  She, of course, was terrified but was being so brave (she had already spent a great deal of the afternoon in prayer for her safety.  God definitely granted her peace when she really needed it).  After she finished eating, she curled up in her sleeping bag on the floor.  It wasn't long before she just fell asleep.  It is her defense mechanism.  If she is too scared or overwhelmed, she just crashes.

Emory was extremely bored and fussy.  Turns out when I stocked the basement that I didn't prepare to entertain the baby for an extended period of time.  She refused to go to sleep like her sister.

We ended up staying down there for about an hour.  The tornado alarms were blaring the entire time.  Scott and I had our phones so we could listen to the radio.  One of the storm chasers had set up at the hospital in Guthrie which is literally right down the road from us.  It was nice to have someone that close to keep us up to date.  There was a lot of rotation, but nothing on the ground.  We got some pea sized hail and a lot of rain, but that was the worst of it.  I guess today, I will spend time resetting the basement in preparation for the next storm.  New supplies needed:  toys for Emory, extra pacifier, travel cot, and towels.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Liberty's Kindergarten Graduation Weekend

This past weekend my sister and her family and my parents all came to visit.  We all love it when they can come!  They arrived on Saturday around lunchtime and we all ate at Pops.  After lunch we came back to the house to change into swim clothes to go swimming at my parent's hotel.  Mom chose to stay at a hotel here in Guthrie with an indoor pool so we could take Liberty and the other two babies (Emory and Hannah) swimming.  Of course, Liberty was so excited.  She had a blast swimming and even Emory seemed to enjoy it.  Liberty still can't swim, but she has a blast trying to figure it out.  She is actually getting pretty good at swimming under water.  It's keeping her head above the water that seems to be the problem.  Not to mention, she seems to swallow more water than is probably good for her. 

After we finished swimming, we came back to the house and had a very short, formal graduation ceremony for Liberty (check out more pictures and video on our homeschool blog).

My beautiful little graduate
Emory would not cooperate for pictures

After Liberty's graduation we headed to Hideaway Pizza for dinner.  YUM!  We had such a great time visiting and eating with family.

My sister (Amanda) and her daughter (Hannah)

Emory, Nana, and Papa :)
After a terrific dinner we headed back to the house for some homemade chocolate cake.  Liberty is such a chocolate junkie.  She wanted a chocolate cake with chocolate icing.  She played with the babies and with her graduation presents until it was time to go to bed.

On Sunday morning we headed back to the pool bright and early :).  Liberty and Nana (the rest of us weren't interested in swimming a 9:00 a.m.) swam until it was time to check out of the hotel.  After that we headed to Bass Pro.  Liberty always loves looking at the fish and the boats.  Emory, Hannah, and Liberty all bought matching hats.  Those babies are too cute!
Emory and Hannah at Bass Pro

We at lunch at Earls in Bricktown and then the family headed back to Texas.  We had such a blast and Libety enjoyed every minute of her special graduation weekend.

Liberty's Kindergarten Graduation

On Saturday we had Liberty's Kindergarten Graduation.  I thought it would be fun to do something a little formal for her.  I wanted her to know how proud we are and how much she accomplished this year.  My parents and sister's family came in which made it more special for her.

I made her an extra fancy graduation cap, which she really loved.  Then, she got dressed up and sat in front of the family while did a little ceremony that lasted less than 3 minutes.  We also gave her a little Diploma--so cute.  The family brought her graduation gifts and then we went to Hideaway Pizza to celebrate.

I think she felt really special and had a lot of fun.  I especially love this picture that I got of her outside.  She looks so beautiful and grown up.

Before we started the ceremony I rehearsed the questions I was going to ask her so she wouldn't be nervous.  "What was your favorite thing about Kindergarten and What are you looking forward to in First Grade."  It was hilarious because you could tell she had tried to memorize the answers.  She answered the wrong question first and then forgot her rehearsed answer about her favorite thing about Kindergarten.

Scott said I should have talked about ALL the things she learned this year instead of only the three I mentioned.  That would have made for a much longer ceremony though and I'm sure everyone is aware that she learned more than just the things I talked about.

Our Graduate!

Yay!  Another new Barbie!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

10 Months Old

This past month has to be my absolute favorite of Emory's life so far.  She is so amazing.  I am so thankful for Lilly and how she opened my eyes to the wonders of God's little human creations.  How much we take forgranted!  The other day I was feeding Emory yogurt and bananas and with every bite I just watched in awe.  I was just so blown away that she was eating yogurt.  I know that may sound ridiculous to some, but it is truly a miracle.  Not every child can do something as simple as eating by mouth--Lilly couldn't.  There are so many other small things like this.  I just love her so much and I am so thankful for God and His goodness.  For holding my hand and faithfully leading me down a very difficult path and for giving me the courage to have Emory.  What an amazing blessing she is to all of us.
Beautiful girls!!!

Developmentally she has definitely hit a stride.  The highlights for this month include:  crawling, waving, babbling, blowing kisses, eating, and teething.

Emory is finally crawling.  Not in the traditional sense, but she scoots on her bottom.  This is absolutely priceless.  Liberty did the EXACT same thing.  Scott and I are convinced its genetic and may just have another baby just to see if she will scoot on her bottom as well =).  She does it a little bit differently than Liberty did.  It is the cutest thing ever and she has gotten quite good at it.

She will now wave bye bye.  Actually, she waves all the time.  She has two wave variations.  The first is the typically backwards baby wave where she flexes her little fingers.  The second is her big wave where she uses her arms (usually both at the same time).  She thinks its so funny and will usually wave just to show you she is happy.

She is talking more and more.  She hasn't officially said any words yet, but she does say "Uh Oh" a lot.  She will usually say it if she drops something or if something doesn't go quite like she anticipated.  While she frequently uses it in the correct context she will also just scoot around the house or sit in her carseat saying "Uh Oh, Uh Oh, Uh Oh."  For this reason, I am not considering it her first word.

She will also blow kisses now.  It started out as her just copying what I was doing, but now she does it all the time.  She has also "made it her own" by not just blowing but by putting the back of her hand against her mouth and sort of waving the kisses to you.  It's darling, of course.  She also gives real kisses now.  Those big open mouth baby kisses, complete with the "ooo wah" sound that are absolutely precious.  She also thinks its really funny to pretend she is going to kiss me and then instead blows on my lips.  Funny girl!

Here's a video of most of the developmental milestones listed above.  We couldn't get her to blow kisses for anything!

Emory will basically eat anything on a spoon!  She has moved on to foods with more texture like chicken and pork.  She is getting better and better at feeding herself.  Right now her favorite is graham crackers.  She absolutely loves them.  She has had some success feeding herself fruit, but its a little slippery and hard for her to hold onto.  Most of it ends up in her lap.

She finally has one tooth and another about to pop through any day now.  She has been horribly fussy.  I hope since it took so long for her to start teething that they don't all start coming in at once!

Playing in the water at the zoo =)

She still has the greatest smile in the world.  She is so happy--smiling and laughing all the time.  She loves to be outside.  I can't put her in the grass at our house so I usually put her in the pack-n-play.  Surprisingly she will sit in there for quite a while without getting upset.  My parents recently bought Liberty a new swingset and we attached a baby swing to it.  Emory absolutely loves it.  I've never seen a baby love to swing so much.  She has almost outgrown her other swing.  When she sits in it she always wants to lean too far forward and it will stop swinging.  This, of course, makes her mad.

She is laughing so hard
This video will make you dizzy, but its so cute to hear her laugh!

She is still not sleeping through the night.  I'm not sure what I am going to do with her.  She wakes up every few hours or so.  She usually goes right back to sleep if I give her binky back.  I usually end up nursing her at least twice though.  She usally naps 2-3 times a day now and she naps in her bed.  She is really good at putting herself to sleep for her naps, but refuses to do this when its bedtime.  I'm not sure what the difference is, but for some reason she doesn't like to go to bed at night.

This was fun until she leaned too close and the water sprayed her right in the face.  She was done after that.

Time is flying by so quickly.  I can't believe she will be one so soon.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE her!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Home School Convention 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year--better than Christmas!  I love it--rows and rows of books and curriculum, learning games and toys, gadgets, maps, and denim skirts as far as the eye can see.  Spending the weekend with people who are just as crazy, devoted, and wonderfully normal as I am is so encouraging.  Plus, for just under the price of a private school tuition, I was able to purchase everything Liberty will need for the first grade.  Just kidding.  I didn't really spend that much money although I will admit that I found and purchased more than I had intended :).  In my defense, my husband (and devoted Principal of the The Haas School) was with me the entire time.

So, here is a complete list of the wonderful things I found.

My Father's World First Grade - I bought everything, the entire set!

Character Sketches - Volume 1 and Coloring Book by the Institute of Basic Life Principles
I cannot wait to get started on this book.  It looks so good.
Heroes for Young Readers Series Again, I bought the entire set, including the Activity Guides.  I think I'm going to use these as weekly history lessons.  They are so great.  Scott and I can't wait to introduce Liberty to non-fiction biographies.  We love them!

Watch Me Draw: The Zoo - Liberty's only request for the Convention was a drawing book that has an elephant in it.  Apparently she has a strong desire to draw an elephant but lacks the skills =).

After we purchased everything Liberty needed, Scott and I also managed to find a few things for ourselves as well =).

The Well Planned Day: A Family Homeschool Planner by Rebecca Scarlata Keliher - I can't wait to use this.  It looks so awesome!

The Backyard Homestead edited by Carleen Madigan - If the Haas family disappears one day, you can find us in Mexico on our own self-sufficient homestead.

Well, that's all I can think of (as if this isn't enough).  We had so much fun and even though we will definitely enjoy our summer break, I am excited about what is in store of 1st grade.