Archives

Today We Learn…

Tuesdays are many things – garbage day, the second day of the week… our first really focused school day of the week when we take the weekend off. This Tuesday you have to add in some sort of stomach bug/cold thing. Nothing extreme just Emanuel, Echo and myself feeling a little under the weather. Though Emanuel felt bad enough to suggest in the morning that he NOT go to the library!!! 

This has not slowed our learning about the Inuit people. I have even MORE videos to share with you all today! Including the interesting fact that what we call an Inukshuk generally (the one that looks like a person) is NOT called that by the Inuit. Instead they have another word for them that mean false person! 

And an interesting piece on hunting and fishing that the boys really enjoyed.

And a very interesting and informative pod cast about Inuit games! I love the creativity and not a single battery to be seen!!


Zander and Ken are still battling out math but today he did a marvelous job reading his Starfall story to go with his book. I am so thankful that someone passed these books along. The site does not require a membership for the stories the books cover so he is able to work his way through without costing me more cash. I honestly cannot thank people enough for passing along their unused and unwanted things for our children. Last night Karyn dropped off some items a co-worker didn’t need for her kids anymore. We actually held some of those back for their birthday! We honestly would not have such a fun school area (ok house) without the generosity of friends, acquaintances and family! 

Working on his reading

We had haircuts tonight with the amazing Cousin Elizabeth who Gavin says must do ALL their haircuts. That meant a visit and TREATS! Such a talented cousin I have! 

Post haircut treats!

So cute!!!

I have been working on a baby necklace. I now have a VERY good reason to purchase more beads as I am about out of my cute and fun shaped ones. Though I have enough alphabet ones to make sentences! I haven’t done a nursing necklace in a while so this was a fun change of pace! I forgot how much I enjoy working with beads and patterns! Time to check out Dollarama. For some reason they tend to have reasonably priced beads. 

Beads

Trinity and Karyn made it to the library and back again without incident. I opted to stay home with cranky baby and wait for our spectacular hairdresser. I am working on multiple crafts right now anyway and Echo was in a horrible mood with her runny nose and slight fever. Now I have a list of crafts to complete, tidying to do AND the movie Clue on Netflix to watch! 

Just a little smile to close with

Ending the Weekend

It is hard to believe it is Sunday already… but here you have it! AND I got to go out for a while (without kids!) with Kristen and do some much needed Christmas outfit shopping. Karyn started me on the path of loving Winners and today’s trip cemented it! I did try to find a shirt for under 10.00 (would have been a real coup) but had to “settle” for a 19.99 sweater style dress. And then I splurged and got 9.99 tights, lovely thick ones in black. So red is the theme this year and I am thinking my Holly brooch made into hairclip will be my accessory. 

I am down to needing only 3 more pairs of pj’s for Christmas… I picked up Trinity’s set at Old Navy on sale for 12.00. The boys are always the hardest, they tend to go up in price so quickly, the larger sizes… and I am going slowly to ensure my budget stretches! BUT Kristen helped me come up with an idea for one of the kids I have left that I can do here at home AND she helped me make sure I picked up my gold pipecleaners for today’s craft! Again back to Activity Village’s Advent Calendar, Day 4! The little houses are starting to add up and our 4 separate collections are marvellous! 

We painted today… and decorated our toilet rolls… the rest of today’s craft will be done tomorrow, when we are SURE everything is dry!

Painting

It was craft day at Sunday School and all 4 kids came home with a beaded snowflake. Just like real snowflakes no two were alike… AT ALL! Very pretty and they were all very proud! Next Sunday is the pageant and we all should be going to practice, service, lunch and then concert! It will be a rather short concert but the boys are working hard on their verse! 

Snowflakes

I can share a craft I just finished personally! Trinity’s birthday buddy is a HUGE fan of Ponyo so between Ken and myself (and the helpful advice of some anime savvy friends) we created a feltie pattern. I am told she is wonderful! I have yet to watch the movie but Ken did watch some bits and we both searched through pictures. She is a very interesting character with a lot of changing features. 

Ponyo!

I had a minor laminating machine issue that had to be resolved by opening the darn thing and removing a rather tight and stiff roll of plastic (oops). Thankfully it seems to be ok as I need to use the thing daily for the month of December! The only casualty was Trinity’s day 4 house and she is always up for more colouring so we were not overly upset. 

My list is getting shorter but so are the days until Christmas! ACK But we are enjoying the creating and crafting together. I think tonight instead of a picture I want to leave you all with this video. Please listen to the children who seem like they need a shoulder… 

The 1st Day of Advent

As we continue to attempt to declutter, organize and progress as a family I find myself often debating what to keep… do you keep every paper and piece of art? Choose the best of the bunch? Go random? Well, when I think about it… this blog IS my memory book. Every day I write down the mundane, the whimsical, educational, emotional… all the milestones are here, the art, the interest, the quirks and more… do you think my children will look back at some copy of this and sigh? Or maybe reminisce? More likely, with my bunch, they will shake their heads and wonder at the time mommy spent on this site… the insane focus on each and every step, the massive amount of photography… But I bet they WILL look back and I can say SEE you did this!! Now WHY am I thinking about this? Well on top of the above reasons I got an email last night that deals with keeping memories. You can check out the blog entry on the Confessions of a Homeschooler blog. She has a great free download for dealing with all the wonderful things you have around created by your children. For a schooling OR homeschooling family. 

Speaking (er typing) of milestones, today Echo did TWO shuffling steps! YAY! She was VERY unimpressed by it, would rather I had just swooped down and picked her up… BUT she did it! The twins were right there and saw it, I caught it out of the corner of my eye… and were very congratulatory. What wonderful big brothers she has. 

Standing on her own

Advent has begun here in the Reinsch-Johnson residence and we actually have quite a bit to do each day. We start with our regular calendar and a discussion about the day, then there is the I’ve been good chart that Santa WILL see, they have been told! After that our Perler Bead Advent countdown calendar that we add a shape to and then count the days left. Whew! And then this year the boys brought some items home from church. A little Advent calendar that you flip up a flap for each day and it has a verse and a book… a finding object book with a bit of the Bible to read each day. Today’s reading was Genesis 3, 1-7 about the apple. You then looked at the picture, found the apple and talked about trees and fruit and such. 

Some of the learning fun

But there’s more… today marks the beginning of Activity Villages’s Advent Calendar as well! This is a favourite of ours as it is daily and last year had us end up with 100 new ornaments! This year you make your own village! Most of the kids have opted to string their houses up but Zander is doing the table version. Added to that they have activities and such for each day too. Today was a focus on stockings. Emanuel did the colour by numbers to go with it! I love the series, especially with the time difference as I can access the next day early and get my print outs done and supplies organized early! I can’t wait to see our villages unfold!

Colouring their houses

And the final portion of our Advent season – this is for the twins really – our Polar Express lapbook. Today we did the first two mini books, read the story again (a first time for the little ones to sit through) and folded our folders so we can start piecing it together as we go. Our lapbook is from www.ajourneythroughlearning.com. When I checked their site briefly I was not able to find the exact one we used but if you search on Currclick there are a few options connected to the book. Once we finish the lapbook we will watch the movie again. It really is a very good rendition. 

Gavin has decided HE wants to sew some gifts as well. I am keeping one of his personal designs but after that am giving him free reign to gift out. Right now he is working on a UK pattern (they are great as they don’t use half stitches). It is a joke card and very cute. He has a lot of patience for this and persists even when he gets knots and stabs his finger. 

Hard at work

Zander has opted NOT to sew, instead he focused on time with Echo (he is my sheet holder when I attempt pictures), fun with Lego and he was the first one out the door this afternoon to build a snowman. His exuberance did finally convince Gavin it was a good idea and they BOTH built snowmen… all I have for today is the works in progress but they went for the REAL deal… rocks for eyes and mouths and a carrot for the nose!

Well on its way

Work in progress

Emanuel was my indoors boy with his workbook excitement and a mini craft… We couldn’t find my 3 sided beads (I have them in holiday colours darnit!! But I will find everything in the end… I am down to my last closet to organize). What we did find was a bunch of Christmas ornament craft supply my friend Kathy gifted us a year or two ago. With some pipecleaners, imagination and careful creation of patterns Emanuel was the proud creator of TWO beaded candy canes. The blue and green one (not pictured) was VERY short and chunky but we managed. I am sure AFTER Christmas is over I will find my bead stash!

Traditional Candy Cane

In order to get in a bath I needed 5 min to myself so I dug out my surplus stickers and embellishments, got everyone a piece of paper folded into a card, had the boys help the little ones and snuck off. We ended up with 4 very different Christmas cards (including two pinks!). I just have to add in our moo cards to each one going to someone and check them off my list. Slow going as I am trying to keep organized but it is going! Last night I finished TWO gifts and crossed off some more people. I hope to do the same with a US package. 

Completed cards

I received some mail today! I ordered some blue hair extensions off of eBay and they finally got here today. I will have to play around with them and trim them down to size but I am so excited! I wanted to dye my hair blue but have heard some real horror stories so this is the next best thing! AND they were under 3.00 for all 3!

Hair things

So with snowmen, Advent calendars, talk about trains, sewing and all the other random occurrences we seem to have kept busy! I wouldn’t say the time has flown by but I blinked and it was past 3pm! Yikes! Take a look at THIS Lego creation! The boys now want that many Legos too! 

And the crafting goes on… for me as well. BUT I did manage some time in between crafts to clean up my ribbons (the kids dumped one container and the other container was a mess by my own work). Now the kitchen table… well… yeah let’s just ignore that one for now! I know I have! That leaves my laminating to trim up, a house to “assemble” for Zander…and of course a hunt for something for Trinity to “do” tomorrow… 

Echo's embellished pj's

Baby with her cube