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Happy Canada Day!

July 1st is our yearly opportunity to be very visible and very Canadian. This year was a little different… Emanuel was still away at the Scout Camp with his friend Aidan until the evening. So we did our usual photo shoot with a twist.20170701_094925

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There was a meet up with our homeschool friends for some swimming or club (kid’s choice) with Nate and Bella as well. 20170701_105006

We TRIED to head to the zoo but apparently it was the day to go. So instead we turned around and headed to our favourite beach. Since the weather was a little on the cool side and cloudy it wasn’t packed. We didn’t spend much time in the water but really enjoyed the sand.

With Maple the Leaf

With Maple the Leaf

20170701_13072020170701_13300120170701_13370520170701_131403After the beach it was home for showers and then off to collect our absent Canadian. On the way there we stopped at our 3rd Tim Hortons so far. This one is rather close to the Novak’s house. I actually meet what I assume is an owner of one of the franchise. After a lovely conversation about the new stores and my coming from Canada to Minnesota he comped us 40 Tim Bits!!! So I left that store with 80 Tim Bits, an Ice Cap and a wonderful experience.IMG_20170701_162643_194

Snoopy!

Snoopy!

After a visit with the family and delivery of their Canadian goodies it was off to McDonald’s (Echo’s request after the aborted trip to the zoo).20170701_185250

We rounded off our Canada Day with a table of Canadian sweets. Ken made traditional and mint Nanaimo Bars (we had to order the custard powder off Amazon), Maple Cookies sent by a friend, and Tim Bits. Not bad! Next year buttertarts?IMG_20170701_211904_989

We redid our group photos on the 2nd to get a full group shot.20170702_095901

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Not bad for a Canada Day that wasn’t able to be celebrated IN Canada.20170701_095149

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January and the Beginning of 2017

So we have placed our feet firmly into 2017. January has come and gone (and at this point February is quickly going the same way). But what, exactly, did we do in January? Chinese New Year fell on January 28th this year. You can take a peek at our celebrating of the start of the Year of the Rooster HERE. We had a wee bit of snow, but nothing exciting…IMG_20170110_092553_627

The only snow structure we managed to make!

The only snow structure we managed to make!

20170116_102843IMG_20170111_110136_013OH! We helped Darcy celebrate her birthday with dinner out and cake.20170121_213340

This meant we also got to see our godson Anthony play indoor soccer (they won, as usual).20170121_194012

20170121_20452720170121_202011I spent A LOT of time at the YMCA.IMG_20170101_160539

IMG_20170119_000313_948IMG_20170114_152113_768IMG_20170108_215013This in turn meant the kids spent A LOT of time at Cluby.

Slightly out of season but someone donated house kits for the kids at club.

Slightly out of season but someone donated house kits for the kids at club.

Waiting for swimming lessons.

Waiting for swimming lessons.

We took our Christmas money from Grandma and Grandpa Mike and spent it on some new clothes.20170116_201043

Even luckier than the clothing sale... a pretzel sale!

Even luckier than the clothing sale… a pretzel sale!

Did lots and lots of learning. Mostly in the sunshine on the floor.IMG_20170118_014220_363

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Completion!

Completion!

Cousin Robbie came for an overnight visit.20170111_203533

20170111_204355IMG_20170111_194933_737IMG_20170112_175531_252And I crocheted up a storm.

Yarn was purchased and a hat requested... not half bad!

Yarn was purchased and a hat requested… not half bad!

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Snuck some cross stitch in here too.

Snuck some cross stitch in here too.

Ken, Renee, Chris and myself all went out to Matt’s Bar for Juicy Lucy’s.IMG_20170107_143800_695

We also visited a rather amazing display of quilts... I wish this one had photographed better. It was amazing.

We also visited a rather amazing display of quilts… I wish this one had photographed better. It was amazing.

Flat Stanley came to visit as well.20170129_122256

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It was a rather social month, but it was also a very education heavy with as much time spent outside as possible. Even from simply looking back at the images I have collected, I feel we started the year off positively. Smiles, friendship, knowledge and fun. What more could I ask for?IMG_20170105_120418

Church down the road.

Church down the road.

Emanuel is growing his hair out to donate!

Emanuel is growing his hair out to donate!

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Happy Year of the Rooster!

Chinese New Year is a holiday we have tried our best to celebrate for at least 5 or 6 years now. This is all thanks to the families of our two gorgeous god daughters (Anna and Isabella). Their moms are from the same city in China (Ghangzou) and have been kind enough to help us learn how to fully embrace this holiday. I love the changing date of the celebration based on the lunar calendar and it has come to mean more than the “traditional” North American New Years to me. We do a significant amount of preparation for this holiday, cleaning, researching and shopping for food, reading out favourite themed stories (The Runaway Wok by Ying Chang Compestine). This year it was Trinity’s turn to do a full on lapbook for the season. She worked really hard on it and it shows.IMG_20170128_134718_976

We finished up our day with take out from our favourite Chinese food restaurant – The Rose Garden.

I have worksheets to share:

  • Activity Village HERE
  • Education.com collection HERE and chicken collection HERE
  • Definitely make sure you search EnchantedLearning.com for their resources HERE

Books to suggest:

  • Happy Chinese New Year, Kai-Lan! HERE
  • The Nian Monster by Andrea Wang (a new book for us!) by Andrea Wang HERE
  • Celebrate Chinese New Year by Carolyn Otto HERE
  • Chinese New Year Crafts by Karen E. Bledsoe HERE
  • Chinese New Year by Grace Jones HERE
  • Celebrating Chinese New Year by Diana Hoyt-Goldsmith HERE
  • Chinese New Year by Ann Heinrichs HERE
  • Long-Long’s New Year by Catherine Gower HERE
  • The Runaway Rice Cake by Ying Chang Compestine HERE
  • Fortune Cookie Fortunes by Grace Lin HERE
  • Red Butterfly by Deborah Noyes HERE
  • Red Kite, Blue Kite by Ji-li Jiang HERE
  • Kai-Lan’s Great Trip to China HERE20170131_140611

And a few DVD’s for you to hunt down:

  • Celebrate With Kai-Lan! HERE
  • Stone Soup (a read-along) HERE

Of course there is the lapbook Trinity used! Currclick has it for 3.00 HERE. This is put out by A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks.20170222_184327

20170222_18431020170222_184322And don’t forget our yearly video!

For our Chicken/Rooster research we had a couple books as well:

  • Chickens by Katie Dicker HERE
  • Young Chicken Farmers by Vickie Black HERE

I used this amazing designer to make this year’s Zodiac animal – the rooster. I used her last year to make a monkey as well (see my County Fair post from last here HERE). Her site is called All about Ami and you can find her rooster pattern HERE and the monkey HERE.IMG_20170128_134658_879

We also splurged this year and bought two dresses for the girls off of Amazon. They were not overly expensive and definitely not high quality, but so cute!IMG_20170128_134638_408

Of course we also picked up new shirts for the boys at Walmart. And buzzed the twins’ heads. New clothes and fresh haircuts in a clean house. And I mean CLEAN! We threw out, sorted, donated… you name it we got rid of excess. And it felt amazing. So Happy Chinese New Year All! Let’s hope the year of the Rooster is auspicious and prosperous!20170128_132722_HDR

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The girls love to sort through their toys and find theme friendly pieces.

The girls love to sort through their toys and find theme friendly pieces.