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The Appearance of April

April holds Trinity’s birthday. And spring. Both worth celebrating. Don’t forget Easter and sunshine and Grandma’s visit. Wow was April ever a fun one! AND a lot of it you already know… Click on the words above that will bring you to each event.

Easter display at church

Easter display at church

Trinity had her first Communion class.IMAG0927

We had a super special opportunity to try out a local put put golf place that was closing down after decades of service. Renee and Christopher had gone there, and I think Ken as a child. So it was a fun way to get our kids in on something they remembered. Even though it was rather cold. 20170429_150716

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Renee lining up her shot.

Renee lining up her shot.

Jeffrey

Jeffrey

We went from the golf course to a soda shop. Not just any soda shop: Blue Sun Soda & Sweets where Renee spoiled the kids with letting them chose one soda each!!20170429_162502

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CLEARLY CANADIAN!!!

CLEARLY CANADIAN!!!

And then time to hang out at the Schwartz’s. With Mystro and all!IMG_20170429_205159_040

With their sodas!

With their sodas!

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We have been trying really hard to make Friday night a weekly date night for Ken and myself. Not only to get out for a nice and quiet meal, but to spend quality time on us. This is AFTER my Friday night workout class, so it has been fun to work really hard and then shower and come out pretty and ready for fun.IMG_20170428_223514_550

Ready for class

Ready for class

Noms!

Noms!

We have taken full advantage of our time at the YMCA as usual.IMG_20170424_230042_248

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IMG_20170401_165706_816And continued our trend of watching our godson kick butt in soccer on weekends.IMG_20170422_222724_464

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20170422_200702Trinity has been playing with her camera, and other lovely gifts.DSC00090

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April has been a regular month of school, of course. With lots of completions to celebrate. IMG_20170427_110709_315

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By Echo

By Echo

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Aimee (fellow homeschool mom) and I made it out to a major textile garage sale and found some gems.IMG_20170422_174400_404
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We rode bikes and visited the local park.IMG_20170425_144820_302
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Found some early spring flowers.20170425_134545
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Of course I snuck in some crafty time.IMG_20170424_230135_558
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Crafting in the sunshine

Crafting in the sunshine

A good and busy month.

Putting a state study together (Gavin)

Putting a state study together (Gavin)

A new tack board!

A new tack board!

Grocery shopping!

Grocery shopping!

Learning in the sunroom

Learning in the sunroom

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Another view of the crew

Another view of the crew

Summer School Program

This summer I got the grand idea to have us go through nursery rhymes and learn more about them. This is a great way to expose Echo to them all and in turn refresh the rest. Additionally the twins are looking into the history of the rhyme (if there is one) and we are doing lots of little side reports.

We had 2 books initially. The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes by Iona and Peter Opie HERE which was a bit too dry for the kids but a good (though pricey) resource for me. Our second book was easier for the kids to comprehend – Pop Goes the Weasel by Albert Jack HERE.

Zander picked our first rhyme – Itsy Betsy Spider.IMG_20170605_133621_652

For our historical significance we used the site All Nursery Rhymes HERE.

Our second choice was Hickory Dickory Dock.

For our historical significance we went beyond our books with the site Nursery Rhymes With Mother Goose HERE. Also check out All Nursery Rhymes HERE20170616_134727

Our third rhyme got two weeks as Emanuel had a week of camp. We chose London Bridge is Falling Down. A fun nursery rhyme AND game.

For historical significance we went beyond the book to All Nursery Rhymes HERE and Nursery Rhymes Lyrics and Origins HERE. An explanation of versions of games connected to the rhyme (and the extended version) we used Encyclopaedia Britannica HERE.

We worked on a short write up about what is actually the London Bridge vs what is sometimes mistaken as the same bridge in the song – Tower Bridge. The best place for statistics on these bridges was Wiki. And colouring pages are all over the place (though be careful, often Tower Bridge pictures are mislabeled as LONDON BRIDGE).

We had an extended run at that one with Emanuel gone for camp for a week, then its was onto Little Miss Muffet.

Super Coloring has some great vintage style colouring pages for many of the common nursery rhymes HERE. Since we already did a spider report for Itsy Bitsy we chose a couple spider crafts instead. One with First-School.WS HERE and the other on Red Ted Art HERE.IMG_20170718_103122_561

For further historical past our book… check out Treasury Islands HERE, Rhymes.org.uk HERE or All Nursery Rhymes HERE.

From Little Miss Muffet to Jack and Jill Went Up the Hill.

If you want some fun printables that practice spelling, printing, even handwriting head over to Free Homeschool Deals HERE.

We supplemented the books on hand with a few sites for this nursery rhyme – Rhymes.org.uk HERE and Funlinks Daily HERE. Gavin found this a more complicated nursery rhyme to explain as one possible interpretation requires some knowledge of taxes and liquor and kings, but he has taken on this aspect of the program with great enjoyment.

For a lot of our crafts and printables head over to Education.com and my Nursery Rhymes collection HERE

At this point I originally intended to end our summer program and wrap it all up for a September reboot, but the kids are loving the rhymes. This means extension time. Especially since we lost about 2 weeks of half days to a surprise cousin visit. So… I will end this post with our 5th rhyme. Watch for the second half of our foray into the history of popular nursery rhymes!IMG_20170606_182250_922

Anoka County Fair 2017

This is my 3rd year entering into our local county fair, and this year everyone but Ken had some sort of entry. It was a bit of a struggle to get everything done in time for entry, but we managed. I think next year we will plan in advance to include some school projects in our entries. Maybe make some pointed attempts to craft according to fair themes?

Well, from youngest to oldest… Echo! She was adamant she wanted a RAINBOW ribbon. This happens to be the participation ribbon for the children under 13. So there was a bit of a worry that she WOULD place with both of her pieces and thus get what she sees as the less pretty and therefore less wanted ribbon. Well, not a problem. While she did an amazing job, both of her pieces did not place. And she was still happy! Score! Crayon drawing was done using Art for Kids instructions (we love this site and pay for the subscription). 20170801_141417_HDRHer Legos  were a free form piece.20170801_140908

Trinity was a bit more prolific. She got a camera for her birthday (thanks again Gammie!) and wanted to send in 4 of her photos. 4 categories… animals, people, nature and flowers… all in colour. She didn’t do half bad!

Neko-Chan

Neko-Chan

Flowers

Flowers

Brothers

Brothers

Flowering tree

Flowering tree

And for her Lego piece – one with instructions.

In the cabinet since when we took it home we had to take it off the board and such.

In the cabinet since when we took it home we had to take it off the board and such.

Emanuel had 3 pieces this year. He remade his minion he had made and not entered last year with all Lego blocks, drew a picture and wrote a 4th Haiku to go with a seasonal series he had to write for an assignment. He copied out, arranged and glued down the whole written piece. Something to definitely be proud of!20170801_140932

20170801_14133820170801_141126Gavin put in 3 pieces. We tie dyed as a family, he chose to enter his shirt. Then it was a repeat of his Chinese New Year t-shirt theme – drawn on dragon! His third was, again, a dragon – this time in pencil. Not bad, not bad!20170801_141522

20170801_141611_HDR20170801_141437_HDRZander was a bit of a push. He was not motivated to make much of anything. I was really hoping he would work harder on the rug kit he got for Christmas, but we have hope for NEXT year with that one. This year it was his tie dye shirt and that was that.20170801_141641

I went all out this year trying to do a variety of pieces that will later be given out as gifts. According to the judges my top entry was my set of flower fairy dolls. They were entered under crochet dolls pair and ended up a Sweepstakes winner (I am still a little dodgy on what that means entirely, but the ribbon is pretty).20170807_143603

My personal favourite was the Haku dragon I entered under crochet storybook character. You can read all about our adventure to create this one and get the link to the pattern I used HERE. I have plans to make another in the near future.20170801_141739

I had a whole series of baby pieces this year. Many of which are slated to head over to a friend’s for her little one. Hat, booties, sweater, blanket. Not a bad little selection. I am still hunting for the perfect sweater pattern. This one was cute, but I agree with the judge, using the buttons it called for (toggles) was not quite right. So now that I have photographed it, time to remove the toggles and replace with some black buttons.20170805_142418

20170805_14234820170807_14373620170728_194446My second blanket entry this year was also a baby blanket. Just over sized to a toddler size really. Based on a blanket seen on the tv show Call The Midwife, I lucked out with a super deal on factory remnant yarn and ran with it.IMG_20170805_150002_388

I went all out with the critters as usual, Haku, the dolls… I also did a mini flower fairy as my solitary entry under doll. She is a small version of a larger one I entered last year. I also used a leaf pattern I had from another project to create a little leaf basket on her arm. 20170801_142351

For animals, my poor bunny lost out to FOUR Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. (although I have to say, aren’t they more storybook than…).20170805_142327

For the first time I also entered a doll I dressed with my own creations. My 18 inch doll was done up in a fall theme. Not bad for a first go!20170805_144032_HDR

I had 2 doilies… one in yarn and one in thread. The thread was with beads and everything – a wedding ring piece that I will now have to make as a belated wedding gift. (maybe)20170805_142232

20170801_142242I did up 2 Christmas ornaments – one in cross stitch (cardboard and beading) and one in crochet.20170801_142014

20170801_141954That leaves clothing… Adult hat (which made Karyn laugh when I made it), scarf (sloth), purse (it was a challenge!), and slippers (cuz I was hoping for suggestions to improve… nope).20170801_142310

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My other category was a fun one – a mermaid sack!20170801_142117

2 of my pieces did not place – my pot holders and my child hat. Not a huge surprise. Next year I will have to go with a funkier hat!

Sailor's Knot

Sailor’s Knot

Lacy Leaf Bonnet

Lacy Leaf Bonnet

So… Ken and I went on the Friday to see the pieces first hand. We had our poutine and cheese curds, got the kids cotton candy, and enjoyed ourselves! Another year’s fair experienced, we definitely have plans for the next! Wish us luck! And if you have the chance, enter a fair near you!20170728_191706