Friday, 13 November 2009

The Brilliance of Babies

Kyrie just related this story to me:

She was putting together her lunch when Aimee crawled over and pulled on her leg. Kyrie looked down and said, "No, Aimee, I can't pick you up." Aimee frowned and dropped down. Then she crawled over to an oat "o" on the floor, picked it up, and looked impishly at Kyrie. When she knew Kyrie had seen, she took off crawling. Since Kyrie knows I'm trying to discourage Aimee from eating off the floor, she swooped down and picked her up to take it away. Aimee promptly dropped the "o" and happily grabbed onto Kyrie. Kyrie says that Aimee is going to grow up to be like her. Hey, wait a moment, what does that mean??

Thankful for my daughters,
(and my sons!),

Naomi

Monday, 9 November 2009

Deep Thoughts with Alex Collier

By Naomi

I was getting ready to nurse Aimee and she was doing what Alex refers to her as her "maniacal" laugh because Mom had finally gotten a clue and was going to let her eat. Alex was passing by and had a sudden insight. He said, "Shouldn't we be like that every time we have the opportunity to study our Bible and get spiritual nourishment?" I wasn't too sure about that, but then he went on. "Of course, we need more than just spiritual milk.... we need to move on to spiritual pizza." It really went downhill from there.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

I can do that!

Aimee is in mimic mode now. I realized just last night that she can clap. It's the first time I've seen her clap more than once at a time. She looked pretty pleased with herself. That evening I was looking in the mirror with her and Tartan came up and started scrunching up his face at her. After a moment, she started doing it, too. They played this game for several minutes. Then he stuck his tongue out. She scrunched up her face and then, with an effort, she managed to stick out her tongue for a moment, too. Kyrie tells me that she stuck out her arms for a hug from Aimee and when she put them down, Aimee came over and put her arms out. When Kyrie patted her back during the hug, Aimee patted her back. This is definitely a fun time.

She's crawling around like a little demon. We have a gate for the bottom of the stairs that I've borrowed from a friend. Our own should be delivered today or tomorrow. There's a bit of a gap that she'll figure out soon so hopefully Tartan will jury-rig something before then. She can pull up to standing, but she's not cruising around things yet. That will come before long though.

The thought just came to me that she is 10 months old today! In just 2 months she'll be a year old!! On Saturday, Abigail will be 8. She's having a 50's style sock hop themed party. I'm still not entirely certain how that's all going to look. She's invited a number of girls and a couple of boys she's friends with- and I have no idea how many are going to show up. Should be interesting.

Ok, next cute trick. Alex came over to get her to do her repertoire. He then stuck his tongue out, but she couldn't quite get it. She reached out to try and grab his tongue. Then, she put her hand up to her mouth until her tongue came out to touch it, then she put her hand down. Ta da! She was sticking out her tongue! She did this a couple of times. Very funny!

All I have time for for now!

In Him,
>Naomi for the Colliers

Friday, 2 October 2009

Cooler temps\higher temps

We had a sizable thunderstorm pass through our area last night around 2:30am. It brought cooler temperatures along behind it. It's only about 70 degrees F right now and the high should only be around 80. Unfortunately, I was already awake at the time because Aimee woke up feverish. We fell back asleep, though fitfully, and I finally gave her Calpol (UK Tylenol) at 5:30.

We've pretty well gotten into a routine for school and activities. We've made some adjustments and will probably have to make more, but overall it's working pretty well. We're actually keeping on track with school work! Kyrie is doing very well with her busy dance schedule. She's getting her school work done and really enjoying her four ballet classes, plus turns and jumps, modern and hip hop. She'll be dancing in a benefit show for Ballet Excelsior (www.balletexcelsior.org) called Dessert with a Purpose at the end of October.

Alex went out around the neighborhood twice in the last few weeks to sell wreaths for Scouts. It took him 2 hours the last time. His knuckles were sore, but his persistence paid off. In school, he's taking a literary analysis class at The Bridge Classes and likes it so far. Hopefully it'll challenge him to think a little deeper about what he reads and then be able to write about it. For science, he's taking chemistry with ApologiaOnline. We hope he'll understand it better this time. He and Aidan continue to take piano lessons though we had to find a new instructor. The nice thing is that she comes to our house on Tuesdays so that's one less trip out of the house. I've noticed that from about the end of last spring and over the summer Aidan has been much more consistent and enthusiastic about piano. The same has been true about learning his AWANA verses. That's been great to see. He's in his last year of Cub Scouts and will join Alex in Boy Scouts in February, I think.

Abigail is now in grade 1 ballet and she's found it to be a little more challenging. She really has to keep quiet now. She has voiced a preference for her tap class and is also enjoying hip hop with her big sister. Kayleigh has loved going to her own tap\ballet class, especially since a friend from church is in class with her. The little ones are SO CUTE in their class. All the kids (except Aimee) are again taking PE at the Y.

Aimee is a little over nine months old now! She eats baby food, crackers and oat o's and has started drinking water from a sippy cup. I haven't given her juice yet- maybe because Kayleigh has been such a juice addict.

It's taken all day, a little at a time, to get this written. We've done school work, had lunch, tidied the house for small group tonight, gone to the park with some other homeschoolers, and the kids have had pizza for dinner. My GF pizza is in the oven now.

Hope you're enjoying autumn wherever you are!

Trusting in Jesus!
>Naomi for the Colliers

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Amphibian Adventures


Here's a picture of Fon. We never had an actual vote, but I've heard Alex calling it Fon, so I've gone with that. He was correct about one thing... Fon was still a polliwog at this stage. It (don't know if it's male or female) has since lost the tail. I always thought they lost it before leaving the water, but Fon was found next to Tartan's truck tire. Learned something new! It is also a frog and not a toad like Lugh. The unnamed toad turned out to be a red shirt. We found it dead about a week ago.

Lugh has become somewhat more relaxed in the tank- not so quick to jump away and hide. Fon, on the other hand, leaps across the tank if someone walks by (and it's not already hiding somewhere). Wonder if it too will become blase eventually.

If they live long enough, they'll add atmosphere when Abigail has to read Frog and Toad Are Friends for school.

>Naomi for the Colliers

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Toads

It's not quite a plague, but the number of amphibians in this house has increased recently. First we had Lugh (pronounced lou) to replace the late Lucky. Then Tartan found another toad on the patio last weekend and since he didn't want to kill it with the mosquito fogger- he dropped it in the tank, too. I don't think he even has a name yet. Finally, today, Abigail found an oddity. A toad with a tail. Yes, it looks freaky. No, I don't have a photo yet. We haven't decided on a name for it; don't know if it's male or female. Our expert, Alex, is away at his Pursuit Team's "Genesis Weekend" until tomorrow. I wonder if he'll be able to tell. Anyway, I suggested Genny Anne, short for Genetic Anomaly. Tartan suggested Fon (pronounced fawn) for "Freak of Nature".

This newest addition seems to be noisier than the other two. I'm assuming it's the one since I haven't heard anything before tonight. It sounds like a light rapping or knocking sound. They all seem to be quite happy hiding in the hollow plastic log in the tank.

Actually, I think it may be Lugh vocalising. Maybe he's trying to say he's top toad.

Ribbit,
Naomi for the Colliers

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Wicked; Party Time; RAIN

Kyrie's CYT showcase on Friday was a lot of fun. They manage to learn a lot in just one week! She loved it.












Kayleigh's puppy party was a big hit, too. She had a wonderful time with her friends. Kyrie added the features for our puppy cupcakes and did most of the interior decorating. Abigail organized the game time. They played a puppy bean bag toss (Kyrie drew a big puppy that she taped to a box and then cut out the mouth); dog, dog, cat (just like duck, duck, goose) and a bone hunt (paper cut-out bones that they exchanged for a prize).






Finally, after the party was all done and I'd had a nap, a sizable thunderstorm swept through. The girls ran around for a little bit, but then we called them back onto the patio. The only unfortunate thing is that the wind managed to knock over the portable awning we had over the lower patio. We had anchors on it, but they couldn't do the job. It wasn't enough to dampen (pun not intended) our enthusiasm though: we were all so glad to see the rain pouring down!

Thankful in all things,
Naomi for the Colliers

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Praying for rain

It's been extremely hot and dry this summer! We've lost one pine tree to beetles and another one may die. We've had the rest of our trees sprayed and fertilised so we're hoping that will be the extent of the damage.

Quick update:

Kyrie has been having a fun time at CYT day camp all week. They are doing a showcase of songs from Wicked on Friday. She has a dance solo and we're looking forward to seeing the show. Next week is Abigail's turn at the Newsies camp.

Alex has been to summer camp and at the end of this month he and Tartan head to Indiana for the National Order of the Arrow Conference. Next week Tartan and Aidan go camping at Cub Scout Webelos camp.

Aidan, Kayleigh, Abigail and Kyrie took swim lessons at the Y in June. Aidan can move up to the next level, but all showed improvement from last year. This was the first time for Bug to take lessons so it was big for her to be able to blow bubbles, put her face in the water and to jump in without holding the instructor's hands. She did all three by the end of the week.

Kyrie dances modern and hip hop and Abigail joins her for hip hop all this month. Kyrie had to miss this week, but Abi goes to hip hop this afternoon. She's the smallest person in the class but she has plenty of energy (and attitude) for it.

Alex and Aidan continue taking piano lessons over the summer. It's great to hear their playing steadily improving.

We finally set up a crib for Aimee, but she doesn't like it much. I'm trying to get her used to it, but it's not been a happy process. I have a feeling this is going to take a while. Otherwise she's a healthy, happy, plump little baby. People comment on 2 things: her abundance of hair and her chunky legs.

Bug gets to celebrate her birthday with a party this coming Saturday. For various reasons, it's the earliest date we could do it. Last year, Kyrie and Aidan both had their parties a month late so this is not really all that unusual for us. :)

That's enough for now. Time for my lunch!

>Naomi for the Colliers

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Aimee iPhone & Aimee with carrots





iPhone? What iPhone?








Ok, you got me. Maybe if I grin really big and cute then you'll let me keep it.




Aimee experiences carrots for the first time. She wanted to get every last bit off the spoon before I could take it away and give her more. I stepped away for a moment to do something else in the kitchen and when I turned around I discovered she had taken matters into her own hands. Literally. She REALLY likes carrots obviously. She finished the whole container easily.

Living day by day in Him,
Naomi for the Colliers

Monday, 15 June 2009

Deliver Us!

Kayleigh & Abigail at rehearsals. Now Bug is saying she wants to dance! Kyrie & Abi after the show.

Alex & Aidan
Tartan and Alex served as ushers. All the following pictures are from dress rehearsals.







Saturday, 30 May 2009

In just a couple of weeks, Kyrie and Abigail will be performing in the ballet "Deliver Us". I will post pics of them in costume after the shows. It will be a fantastic show; I can hardly wait.

>Naomi

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Aimee Video

Check out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGB57ey5JAI

Friday, 22 May 2009

Aimee's Song

There's a scout song that Alex knows that goes like this:

Froggy!
Itsy bitsy, teeny weeny, little bitty froggy
Jump, jump
Jump little froggy
Fleas and flies are scrumpdilyicious
Froggy!

He made a new version for his sister that we all sing, often repeating lines before continuing....

Aimee!
Itsy bitsy, teeny weeny, little bitty Aimee
Jump, jump,
Jump little Aimee
Mama's milk is scrumpdilyicious
Aimee!

>Mom

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Notebooking Contest

I've just started looking into notebooking to help the kids think about and remember what they're learning. Here's a contest for a couple of ready-to-be-used (rather than having to print it all out yourself) notebooks.

Apologia is now producing notebooking journals that accompany each of the elementary science books. Both Botany and Astronomy are now available.

These journals are beautiful spiral bound notebooks that will save you time and money. You won't have to print and keep up with your child's notebook pages, buy and maintain page protectors, or purchase and compile binders...everything that makes notebooking time-consuming and labor intensive for mom. Also, your child will adore having their own notebooking journal.

Each of the notebooking journals include:
  • A daily schedule for those who like to have a plan or would like their children to complete the book on their own
  • Templates for written narrations, the notebooking activities and experiments
  • Review Questions
  • Scripture Copywork, with both print and cursive practice
  • Reading lists and additional activities, projects, experiments for each lesson
  • An appendix with beautiful, full-color, lapbook-style Miniature Books
  • Field Trip Sheets to keep a record field trips
  • A Final Review with fifty questions the students can answer either orally or in writing to show off all they remember and know at the end of the course.
See the sample pages here:

Botany: https://apologia.securesites.net/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=128

and

Astronomy: https://apologia.securesites.net/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=127

Jeannie is giving away four Astronomy Notebooking Journals and four Botany Notebooking Journals to bloggers who post about this on their site. Visit her blog to learn more about this contest: www.jeanniesjournal.com

Hoping I win!
>Naomi for the Colliers

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Since today is Mother's Day, we thought we'd try something different -- so (hopefully) here is a video mother's day card for an amazingly wonderful homeschooling mother of six terrific kids!


video

Friday, 1 May 2009

May Day!

No, not really. It's just I can't believe it's the 1st of May. It's already May!! My last post was at the beginning of April and a whole month has passed by. The girls have had ballet pre-exam classes the past few Saturdays and the boys just had guild performances a week ago. Tomorrow are the actual ballet exams and the boys have their piano recital. And then we're going out to dinner with Michelle, Mark and Dad\Grandpa. Then on Sunday is church, then a baby shower, then the AWANA end of year ceremony and Alex has PTeam. I guess that's how a whole month passes by without my making a blog entry. In fact, I have to finish this one up to take Abigail her regular clothes. She had a practice for an extra part she has with her friend, Emma, in the ballet performance in June. So, every Friday she'll be there at 3:30. Anyway, she forgot to take non-ballet clothing for drama class at 5:30.

Sorry no pictures this time. I was going to post some of the flood on Tuesday. It was incredible how much water was coming out of the sky, non-stop.

Gotta run!
>Naomi for the movin' & shakin' Colliers

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Family picture


For the first time in at least a couple of years

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Pictures of some of us


Kyrie with her hair up in a ballet bun.


Aidan with a big grin.


Abigail and Kayleigh like to pose.



I took all the pictures with the tripod. The one of me I set up using Kyrie as a stand in (she's nearly as tall as me) and then had her take the photo. I had to do some adjusting of color and contrast afterwards. No pictures of Tartan and Alex because they're away at the moment. Aimee is sleeping, otherwise I probably couldn't have taken these pics.

15 years old


Alex making a wish and getting ready to blow out his 15 candles.


Did he get them all?


How did he miss that one?


Ah, Mom snuck in a reigniting candle (not intentionally though).

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Hong Kong Market

On Saturday, the Collier family all went into Houston and visited the Hong Kong Market. Tartan wanted to share mangosteens with us. They're a fruit from Thailand and their nickname is "monkeybrains." I don't have a picture yet, but I'll be sure to get one before we eat them all. Despite the name and how they look, they have a very pleasant, mildly sweet taste. We also saw, but fortunately didn't smell, durian. It's a huge fruit and the inside part apparently smells like rotting meat. Yummy, huh? We also saw jackfruit which is a large, spiky looking fruit. Tartan brought some dried jackfruit home to us. We bought finger bananas- basically miniature bananas. They taste the same as the big version.

The kids got pandan flavoured Swiss rolls. I can't tell you what that tastes like because the rolls are made from wheat, but they say it tastes good. We picked up pineapple wafers, too. We could have got them in guava flavour but decided against it. I could eat the Mochi choco balls because they're made with glutinous rice. The "glutinous" part of the name just refers to the fact that it's sticky rice and doesn't have anything to do with the gluten that I can't eat. They were okay.

No one found the fish market very appetising though I tried to keep the children from expressing their reactions out loud. A brief introduction to cultural sensitivity.

Pictures later!
>Naomi for the Colliers

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Have laptop, will travel













Well, will travel out to the patio with Aimee in her pink bouncy seat. The picture on the left is of her the day before she turned 2 months old. On Saturday she'll be 10 weeks old. She's getting bigger all the time. I love the nice chubby cheeks. She also vocalises quite a bit: goos and ah-goos.

Right now it's a lovely 81F with a pleasant cool breeze. I can't spend too much time out here- pretty soon I'll have to go load the dryer and then make dinner. The rest of the kids are supposed to be tidying up upstairs. Apparently they've finished that and are now watching The Black Cauldron that we just rented from Blockbuster.

Abigail and Kayleigh have both had a bout of stomach bug. Kyrie felt ill Sunday late afternoon, but was feeling better later in the evening. No one else has succumbed so I'm cautiously optimistic.

Ugh, writer's block. I'm sure there's some cute story or important update that I could be relating but it's just not coming to me. So, enjoy the pictures and maybe the next post will have some kind of substance.

Trusting in Jesus because nothing else makes as much sense,
Naomi for the Colliers

Friday, 13 February 2009

Alex






Haven't had many pictures of Alex lately, and none with him and Aimee. So here are a few.

Alex and Tartan at the last Scout Court of Honor

Alex & Aimee













Alex and his grandpa

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Found a few more photos




I forgot about these- they were still on the SD card. The one with Kayleigh and Aimee is from 3 weeks ago and the other two are from about 2 weeks ago.

Friday, 30 January 2009

We're sticking with the cat & the toad

If the kids had their way, we would have:

a rabbit (Abigail),
a small, fluffy dog (Kyrie),
a ferret (Alex),
and a lizard and/or a bird and/or a German Shepherd (Aidan).

Bug has not expressed an opinion, but it would probably be "yes".

>Naomi

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Aimee is 1 month old





It's difficult to type while nursing a baby, but it's now or later- and at this rate she'd be one year old before I added to the blog again! Fortunately I have pictures to show so I don't have to write as much. She's eating well, but Alex calls her the "spitting Kat" and for good reason. The kids are a little squeamish about that. So far my best Aimee holders are Alex and Abigail though Aidan and Kyrie do their share as well. She sleeps at night with one 4 hour stretch- I think. I don't always remember to look at the clock and sometimes I don't remember what the clock said. :) During the day there's no schedule yet but that'll happen eventually.

Basically, we're all doing well. The kids are adjusting to yet another little person in the house. Bug seems pleased to be a big sister.

Trusting in the Lord,
Naomi for the Colliers