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Welcome Grandma, Down from the Great White North…

But just for a week. Which I can tell you, her dog Gypsy did not approve of. I heard tell of a minor hunger strike when cookies were snitched from meals but the actual dog chow left untouched! It was a lovely week full of a good balance of activity and rest.20170404_134102

Grandma started off smart – she hooked the kids on some puzzle game apps so they could all play together. Always a good plan, especially since they were FREE. Couple that with watching dog rescue videos together and much time was spent in quiet enjoyment.IMG_20170404_152623_521

20170407_112120We took Grandma to the YMCA twice this visit. Once to watch Trinity and Emanuel in karate and meet their Sensei.IMG_20170413_222319_460

The other time to come for our Sunday night swim. Mommy got in her exercise class, and the rest got quality pool time with Grandma letting Daddy off the hook!IMG_20170409_182842_996

20170409_18390720170409_193406Our big field trip was to the Mill City Museum. A family favourite and fun for Grandma to see some Minnesota history first hand. She and Ken took the twins up in the big elevator that walks you through the history of the mill as well as its partial destruction.20170407_130947

20170407_13183120170407_13243220170407_135035IMG_20170407_135840_62920170407_14142220170407_13384720170407_132037Grandma asked to go to two specific places to eat – Culver’s, which we went to the night she came. She had never been, we simply could not let that stand!IMG_20170404_182631_533

The second place was a brunch with adults only to Perkin’s. This was followed up by a lovely stash of bakery goods purchased by Grandma that came home for the kids to enjoy. We snuck over to Joann’s while we were out. Good food AND good shopping (with coupons of course).

It was a decadent brownie.

It was a decadent brownie.

Grandma also COOKED a couple times – we got to taste her delicious homemade spaghetti sauce. With meat in it! AND she made taco soup. A new one for all of us, but one that everyone but the girls (no surprise) enjoyed. It was beyond delicious. So of course, I must share the recipe! HERE20170406_130918

Mine is without crunched up nacho chips.

Mine is without crunched up nacho chips.

She came bearing gifts… Canadian snacks… well lots of Canadian things. Including a colouring book for the 150th birthday. She also brought us some Gypsy puppies to add to our teddy collection. We had some small tokens for her.IMG_20170404_155142_971

My early birthday gift to mom, a pin.

My early birthday gift to mom, a pin.

We had hair braiding parties.IMG_20170410_220135

And Grandma spent special quality time with all the kids. It was so lovely for them to have one on one (though the twins opted to go together) time with Grandma and fully get her hooked on Caribou coffee.

Mix in a couple nippy spring walks to the park and Grandma got a taste of early spring in Minnesota.20170405_104230

We also pulled out movies and popcorn to make sure we had some quality cinema time. Kubo was well enjoyed.IMG_20170405_010349_384

Grandma took special care braiding up Emanuel’s hair. It was nice to have a week of no hair in the eyes. Though friends said it was very… basketball player! IMG_20170405_210629_766

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Since Easter was right around the corner we also did some egg decorating.IMG_20170409_145459_677

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Ken and I snuck away for some quality YMCA time… well he sat, and I went to class.IMG_20170407_180036_180

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It was a terrific visit. Sit back and enjoy the excessive, but happy images! Thanks for the visit Grandma!20170410_125226

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Looking Back at October

Surprise Surprise… I am almost current! Woo! Well, October is Halloween (of course), and Ken’s birthday (39 this year!) AND Canadian Thanksgiving (yup this Canadian girl still celebrates).img_20161031_152445

We started off the month with a trip to Home Depot.imag0264

Visited a pumpkin patch with a lovely group of friends.img_20161001_162221

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We all got a little sunburned after so much time in the sun.

We all got a little sunburned after so much time in the sun.

We visited the Schwartz family for a bonfire and shooting off of rockets.img_20161008_001415

img_20161007_192521Spent time at the Novak’s.img_20161029_224818

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Anthony

Anthony

And had them over to our place as well.

We met Chloe, Anthony's girlfriend.

We met Chloe, Anthony’s girlfriend.

Enjoyed all the colours of fall.img_20161024_164205

img_20161028_20475120161022_151419_hdr20161022_151353We learned about bats and made our very own cave in the cabinet.img_20161012_224046

We found plenty of time to do crafts and worksheets and learn as best we could.img_20161025_131702

img_20161005_142641img_20161018_145547img_20161017_112932img_20161017_112816img_20161020_143858We celebrated Nathan’s birthday at a super fun trampoline place.img_20161026_002015

20161025_19194420161025_192009_hdrSang in the choir at church.img_20161009_114542

img_20161002_151905We spent time at the YMCA – swimming, working out and club.img_20161030_185547

20161027_192701img_20161009_223653I crocheted whenever I could.img_20161028_204721

Early Christmas present for my sister in law - a cupcake blanket

Early Christmas present for my sister in law – a cupcake blanket

Cowls

Cowls

And we snuck out on the warm days.img_20161022_152440

Cleaning the van.

Cleaning the van.

20161024_16302020161024_163257October was a lovely refocus of our time. Lots of friends and family and quiet celebrations (we had take out for Thanksgiving, nothing fancy).

Snoopy

Snoopy

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Lovely hair by one of the girls who run cluby

Lovely hair by one of the girls who run cluby

So enjoy the photos and the memories as I work my way to current and we currently wrap up 2016.

Playing Magic

Playing Magic

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Doing her own hair.

Doing her own hair.

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Fishing for letters

Fishing for letters

Sneaking out for coffee at Caribou.

Sneaking out for coffee at Caribou.

Sunset

Sunset

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Ready for dinner out

Ready for dinner out

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Slipping To September

New month, new school year! This year I gave the kids the option to “chose” their school year… We get asked this question A LOT through the years and the kids never really know how to answer it. We don’t align to a specific grade and in Trinity’s case, I didn’t register her OFFICIALLY until she was 7 but she has been schooling much longer. (this saves us on testing until it is required by state law) I gave Echo Kindergarten and Trinity chose Grade 3. The boys, they got creative.20160902_092005

20160902_092531Emanuel went with Grade Dinosaur. Gavin  decided on Grade Minecraft. Zander went all out with Grade Mom is the Best Teacher. (mild suck up action there).20160902_092300

20160902_09193420160902_092505I even wrote my own “grade” level.img_20160901_145635

img_20160901_145914img_20160901_145728Poor Echo continued to get eaten alive by the mosquitoes.20160902_094206_burst03

I went all out and tried blue hair… it faded a bit too quickly for my tastes but was fun for the short time it lasted.20160917_161906

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Note Echo's temporary blue streak thanks to hair chalk.

Note Echo’s temporary blue streak thanks to hair chalk.

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September was also the month of our Uncle Ted and Uncle Sean visit. Ted was here 1 week and Sean 2. It was amazing to have 3 of my boys together for the span of time. So much fun.20160904_194456

With Cookie the new Fat Sheep

With Cookie the new Fat Sheep

img_20160902_225119img_20160903_224059We also did Renaissance Festival with the boys and Shandai and Ravyn (no kids of course). Costumes for those who wanted etc etc. I will post the many many images and share the fun in a future post.20160904_150726_hdr

We ate out at our favourite Indian place.img_20160907_205323

Sean took Ken and myself out for a super fancy dinner as well!

Fancy outfit... ignore the bathroom

Fancy outfit… ignore the bathroom

Super pretty room

Super pretty room

Played with the Uncles.20160911_143258

20160911_20052920160917_110934img_20160905_13504520160903_180525Worked out hard.img_20160905_125054

Learned as much as we could.img_20160913_120225

img_20160913_140312img_20160914_160251img_20160907_144836I snuck in my craft time whenever possible.img_20160908_225318

At the pool

At the pool

img_20160909_151616I think we all had fun walking outside to the park.20160930_135721

20160930_141108There was a robot kit to make with the uncles.20160910_135835

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20160910_14381720160910_145139And Sean even taught Echo how to play WoW (World of Warcraft) which I hadn’t seen in AGES.img_20160916_140158

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Don’t forget swimming.20160918_180441

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And the most unusual students.img_20160914_121812

As well as some amazing sunsets.img_20160923_194653

20160915_191530New school year, new start! We made the most of it with lots of fun, workbooks and working together. Keep an eye peeled for an overflow blog post. There are just too many pictures to share!20160911_143236

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Gifts from Ethiopia!

Gifts from Ethiopia!

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