Archive | September 2009

Living Life a Busy Day at a Time

Why is it that when Mommy takes a nap the world ends? I swear this is a question that is near the same obscurity in answer as what is the meaning of life… I have to admit it, I took the chance and took the nap – the opportunity was there and I told myself “it will just be ONE hour, it will all be ok. I will wake up and the ever present stuff will be done.” Yes, I was delusional but was it worth it – well my one hour became almost 3 and the mess became a little more but yes – yes it was worth it!

In the wake of the very rare Mommy Nap I am now paying for it with an evening of tidying, replanning and painting of puzzle pieces. I knew it was coming, I had hoped I was wrong, but I knew it all along – the boys have wearied of the painting of the pieces but ADORE the using of them… so if I want the specific ornament projects done that I know will be SUPER cute… can you see how this came about? Some how I think this is not unique to our family. I actually don’t mind TOO much painting them… it is just the time out of my evening that is also full up – I still have cookies to back, a breadmachine to  get going, X to cut out, sewing to be done… the list goes on and on.

Yup!

Yup!

In the aftermath of Trinity’s pilfering of my all important DMC 3371 today sewing wise was spent with me spinning my wheels. I made minor attempts on the final candy cane to be completed but my heart was not in it. Thankfully Ken managed a quick run out to Michaels and came home with the VERY important thread. 51 cents (including tax) and my sewing world is back on its proper axes. I did prep a piece of 6×8 aida to do another Tux on (to date this one will be for Trinity’s birthday buddy as I have not yet received any requests for him… but I am keeping up hope! Ken plans to post the pattern and the offer on THIS site tonight!). I am out of my favourite blue painter’s tape so am using a regular brown masking to keep the edges from fraying. This has spurred another bit of interest in working with my sewing machine. The ability to zigzag the edges on my pieces of fabric would definitely save the need to fuss with tape. Though the painter’s tape IS a lovely shade of blue and I AM a sucker for most anything blue!

Prepped for Tux

Prepped for Tux

Our morning followed the usual pattern – moving us on to the letter W… wagons and wasps and the world. There was actually an error on part of the set where they for some reason put MAN where world should have been so I clipped out a piece of paper and wrote out world for each boy.

Letter W

Letter W

We also revisited our science experiment with the milk, food colour and dish detergent. Ken printed out a page with a bunch of the images in a sequence and I made a little front page and back. The front with the title of the experiment online – Catch a Rainbow and then had each boy draw his own rainbow (we have an example on the wall from when we did a quick bit on weather last year). The back I wrote: what colours did we see? and then printed out each word and had the boys colour the word  the colour it says. This was all put together with a brad and will be put in their lapbooks. I am hoping to get started on the actual putting together of those tomorrow or Friday.

Rainbows!

Rainbows!

Insects were finally started in earnest. Ken chose two activities from the free set on Currclick and the boys got to work. There was discussions about bugs and matching of colours and great excitement in the idea of having their very own REAL bug jar (can you feel me cringing from there??). Emanuel is stuck on the idea of spiders and Gavin is still talking about ladybugs… I think Zander was the bee so now each lapbook will be personalized with a bug activity in line with their choice! Talk about excitement for the boys!

Match the Bug to the Colour! (Ken coloured the words for Emanuel's sheet)

Match the Bug to the Colour! (Ken coloured the words for Emanuel's sheet)

Bug Jars! (Gavin left)

Bug Jars! (Gavin left)

My next big science experiment I think will be a volcano! There was a little graphic of one on Starfall for the letter V and the boys have been talking about it since. Maybe a mini lapbook… I know I am harping on the lapbook idea but the boys LOVE it and it has us doing activities that we put into something where I don’t have to sort through their art and make the painful decision of what to pitch. Win-win!

I have started my hunt for Trinity’s gift online. I asked opinions on Facebook and got some interesting links but am stuck on something on Etsy… I am just waiting to verify the shipping… it IS a couple dollars over 15 since the prices are US and shipping is involved but it is cute and the money is stuck in Paypal anyway!

I had to make calls about the Trios today – one Toys R Us could not understand RANGE IN PRICES… so I called another in the city. Looks like I could easily squeak under my 15.00 mark… Hopefully they will enjoy the toys… their birthdays (the boys’) are just so close being the beginning of February that I am hoping financially we can splurge a little more for that event! Fingers crossed! It seems KEN has plans too!

So I looked further into heading to the Fort tomorrow and it turns out they are not open… so I am thinking a morning in the library? I know they have some toys there and computers and lots of books… it would be a nice change and there is no rush to head into X after all.

So after being sidetracked with cookies and puzzle pieces and searching through buckets of out grown clothes I am focusing back on my blog. Which is being FEATURED for the month of October! Check it out!!! http://threadsthroughouttime.blogspot.com/ I am not sure when the blurb will be posted but I am BEYOND honoured!!! So amidst my worries and stress is wonderful things… I just need to focus on that!

Keeping Ourselves Busy!!

Keeping Ourselves Busy!!


Stocking, Shepherd’s Pie and the Beginning of Fall

Autumn is most certainly here! It is official – Ken has turned the heat back on, Trinity is wearing socks and the boys long pants. For around the house I dug out a fleece type long skirt to snuggle down in. (talk about old – I picked it up back in college for a steal!) Along with all this cold came leaves on the ground which excited the boys to no end and sped up our introduction to our fall lapbook with LEAF RUBBINGS!

Rub Those Leaves!

Rub Those Leaves!

All Done! (Gavin left)

All Done! (Gavin left)

The collection of the leaves was combined with a special treat – a nature walk with Daddy! Even Trinity got to go along… though she went for more of a nature carry! We are still getting used to coats and socks and shoes (the twins have LACE UP ones… pain in bum!)… good bye the ease of going out in the summer… hello the long Albertan winter!

Ready for the Walk! (Gavin right)

Ready for the Walk! (Gavin right)

Tree! (Zander blue)

Tree! (Zander blue)

Our morning, of course, started with a letter – V… this was Ken’s first try of what is basically a mini lapbook on his own – I think he took TWICE as long as I do! ACK! So our morning did not exactly go by my plan. They did have fun though and that is what counts!

Letter V (Gavin left)

Letter V (Gavin left)

I spent a portion of my day sorting through Emanuel’s clothes to make a pile of give aways. A homeschooling friend has a little boys who hopefully can use them! It amazes me how Emanuel ends up with SO MANY shirts and yet so few pants. So now his drawers close easily and his closet is much better organized. Double bonus!

Trinity has a new favourite song… seriously our kids are WEIRD! She went from educational to this:

Ok so I like it too and Emanuel is now trying to learn the words! But after a while her continuous wish to hear this tune is a little frustrating, yesterday I caught her attempting to move the mouse around to get it started again!! She dances along and waves her hands in the air which is totally cute so I guess I can live with it.

Do You Wanna Date My Avatar?? (Gavin)

Do You Wanna Date My Avatar?? (Gavin)

Supper was a bit of an experiment today… even without our 50 lbs of free potatoes we ended up with 20 lbs this weekend thanks to my mom and her lovely hubby… so I mashed up a bunch and set to work making a shepherds pie (with beef instead of the traditional lamb)… it was a hit! Though I think I will try it again with thyme instead of the tarragon we had to substitute.

American Shepherd’s Pie

1lb lean ground beef

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped onions

1 can condensed vegetable soup

1/2 tsp dried thyme (we used tarragon)

3 cups mashed potatoes

1 cup shredded cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and lightly grease 2 quart baking dish.

2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, stir and cook ground beef, onion and celery until juices run clear. Drain. Pour mixture into baking dish with vegetable soup and thyme; stir well. Spread mashed potatoes on top.

3. Bake 20 min. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top and bake 5 min. more or until cheese has melted.

Cheese Melted Ready to Eat!

Cheese Melted Ready to Eat!

Trinity had a paired down version of just potatoes and beef but decided it was time to strike out on her own and GRAB THE SPOON! Towards the end of the meal she was soloing it… maybe not quite like a pro but with a great success rate!

Epic Spoon Usage!

Epic Spoon Usage!

Actually this week we had another big kid moment – Emanuel had decided to take it to the next level and sit on the toilet little boy seat free! Another high success rate as I have yet to sit down and get a wet surprise on the seat! With all these boys in the house that is a great big bonus – that and the seat being down when I go in at night… I have been VERY pushy about that one since the twins learned how to stand and pee.

Sewing wise I have been less than diligent but my completion of Tux has left me with nothing but the stocking to focus on for the moment… probably a good thing, I am finally seeing the end of  the bulk of it and dealing with the blending filament. I am hoping and praying that my last skein of Kreinik 032 (pearl) holds out… thank goodness for Thread Heaven and its magical thread conditioning properties. The amount of fray and actual broken strands is so low I ALMOST enjoy the stitching I am doing with it… almost. The shiny is terrific and I am loving the almost finished look but I find this the most frustrating part of a stocking – it is soooo close but NOT done!!!

The End is in Sight!

The End is in Sight!

We made a run out to the stores this afternoon… only two and with cash in hand of course. Ken ran into Staples and finally managed to get us some glue sticks – UHU as was suggested by some fellow homeschooling moms… so here’s hoping they stick better than the ross ones did. We actually got them for right around 5.00 for the pack of 3 which was a pretty good price (especially compared to the individual ones we saw at Michaels of the same brand!). So we shall see! Tomorrow we do a letter AND glue on leaves. Which reminds me we DESPERATELY need more white glue as well… but I figure I can dollar store that purchase easily.

UHU

UHU

The second stop off was Michaels, 40% off coupon in hand (if you go to flyerland.ca you can get the Michaels flyer and coupons now). We went into the wood section and got each of the boys a 1.50 craft. This time it was little wooden 4 piece puzzles  that each came with 3 mini markers. Emanuel chose the bee and the twins each a monkey. With 40% off one of the 3 puzzles we saved 60 cents. I wish I  could have gotten more – there were little bead kits for the same price but a budget is a budget… maybe if I sell a few more items on Kijiji or have someone commission me a Tux!

Completed Puzzles

Completed Puzzles

Speaking of which I did sell something today – the 6-12mth snowsuit I bought Trinity at the tail-end of the season last year that she never wore. Another 10.00 towards one of the kids’ large presents! We have a 15.00 limit on those and I already purchased Emanuel’s before life blew up in our face again. I have enough on my paypal to get one too so I may hunt down Trinity’s there and I have a Trios coupon for 5.00 off if you spend at least 10.00 so maybe go that route? Keeping Christmas tight and responsible is HARD!!!

I have some more plans to put in action (I can just feel people – like Ken – shuddering)… first off, tonight I am going to work with Ken to revamp the pattern and commission portion of my blog site – I will make that its own page and move my finished works (the ones done from other patterns) to a new section. I figure I should set them apart a little more and still leave myself the space to add my own works freely. Hopefully I will get some feedback about the new look. I do love to find out what people think.

Hmm what other plans – well Thursday we are tentatively heading out to the Fort… It may be cool but that is what coats and hats are for! I am determined not to let that free pass go to waste! I am also slowly working through my craft stuff to tidy it up and see what supplies I have to add to the pot for making Christmas ornaments. I am also going to focus some energy on getting together kits for the kids on our Christmas list. Tonight I am working on the caterpillar names for each of the kids. Ken has to make up the instructions yet but the boys love theirs on their doors. All in a little ziploc bag!

Finished Kit Just Needs Instructions

Finished Kit Just Needs Instructions

I guess keeping busy is cathartic for me… so tomorrow morning I bet I will end up baking! After all we are almost out of bread (both kinds) and completely out of cookies for Trinity. In making THOSE cookies I will have egg yolks to make another double batch of SUGAR cookies… which means I can make those and then freeze them for our Halloween party! Ohh I also need to make invitations to that… as I make myself MORE work! Wish me luck!

Beauty and the Beast?? Just Kidding :)

Beauty and the Beast?? Just Kidding 🙂



A Rather Difficult Monday

…and Monday brings reality crashing right back down! Do you remember when the sound of the postman brought joy and excitement? At this point in my still youthful life I am finding each day brings me a feeling of minor dread at that sound. Today was no different and this time was actually appropriate. There are days where I wonder at the intelligence behind the decision to go to University to get a degree in… philosophy and religion only to end up married (happily mind you) with 4 kids and no concrete plans toward furthering that rather expensive education into something that would potentially mean I had a viable and well paid job. In fact, with my degree I need ANOTHER degree just to really do so!

Yes yes the government wants their money back and NOW… does the fact we have so little make much of a difference? Well, with the direct loans YES with the originals I had through an unnamed bank… not so much. Don’t get me wrong, I do not regret the experience OR the degree, it is just that right now it is hard to keep ones’ head above the water when the waves are cresting in. Add to that problems with payments made (yes we HAVE receits) one with a store card and the other with a bank credit card and I am about ready to hide under the nearest bed with a good book, a comfy blanket and a favourite teddy bear.

So I have said my prayers, sent out my positive thoughts and started a couple of hopeful money making ventures (my patterns with donations and the offer to stitch Tux for a fee for the non stitching peoples and Kijiji adds of baby clothes etc) with the intent of doing SOMETHING. I have good intentions and low expectations. I am certainly not comfortable sitting back and doing nothing (I think many people would say I NEVER am).

Anyway enough worried venting! How has  the REST of the day been (beyond the minor taint of the mail mess)… our morning started out a little slow. I was personally up later than planned so with the ability to sleep in a bit in the offering I took it. Getting the boys dressed took FOREVER – Emanuel is always a slow dresser but it certainly did NOT help when Trinity ran in and stole his pants… for some reason it offends him to get underwear on when the pants have been stolen… each and every piece of clothing has to be IN THE ROOM for him to wear… so of course I had to chase down the giggling baby and steal them back. This resulted in tears on HER end. Since the weather has cooled drastically there was the inevitable argument about shorts vs.jeans… All of this before 10 am.

We managed our letter of course… the letter U which Zander quickly recalled was “with Q.” Although our Currclick program had Uncle Sam as one of the examples so I just explained to the boys it is like Uncle James or Uncle Nathan or even Uncle Ted. It was all for nought anyway as the boys were MUCH more interested in the unicorn and umbrella.

Letter U (Zander right)

Letter U (Zander right)

Emanuel, recognizing that there is a “u” in his name felt the urge to draw some of his own! Which was wonderful!

All the Little Individual Letters are Emanuel's

All the Little Individual Letters are Emanuel's

The next morning activity was to make up tiny books of shapes that the boys traced and coloured in and then drew a couple of their own. The twins had to write the names of the shapes they drew (of course they chose rectangles and were rather unimpressed by the length of the name!!!). I figured the brads were better than stapling so we could glue them down and they could kind of spin out the shapes. (Don’t worry I will link as much as I can after I am done the lapbook and can post the whole thing)

Tiny Shape Book

Tiny Shape Book

That was the extent of our morning. The boys wanted a quick run outside and then to head to the basement to play.. The afternoon was not overly better. Granted we got a few things done BUT the attitude in general of the boys – SUCKED.

I taught them the new song to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell about shapes. Emanuel especially LOVED that one! We had some dancing and singing in the livingroom before Zander knocked over Trinity and Emanuel had a fit… but we did have fun!

Caught Up In the Dance! (Gavin middle)

Caught Up In the Dance! (Gavin middle)

I sat all three of them down and we wrote a story about our Sunday. I love doing this as it gives you an idea as to what parts of the event “stick” in their mind and which kid really enjoyed what! Right now we write our story together but I am hoping in the next year or so to get down to doing it one on one and working with them to write it themselves!

Our Busy Sunday

We went to a museum. We played. We threw beanbags into different shaped holes. We played blocks and dominoes.

We helped make cookies and we looked at the stuff in the jars. We ate the cookies. We only at one.

We played with wood and made shingles. It was fun. We got to bring them home.

We did a craft. We made pictures out of beans and seeds. Emanuel made a fish and Uncle Sean helped him make a smile. Gavin made a rectangle and a square. Zander made a sun.

Zander’s favourite part was eating cookies. Gavin’s favourite part was eating applesauce candy in the van. Emanuel’s favourite part was making cookies. Zander also liked the little wood house

The End

We also glued some more frames… this time using whatever colour they wanted. So that took the place of the colour experiment revisited I planned on doing today. Which is ok because it made time for the boys to do leaf rubbings tomorrow. Of course Ken spending half the day at the bank correcting THEIR error put a crimp in starting the insect lapbook. Apparently even with MY bill since it was HIM going in the teller decided NOT to put it through… wow UPSETTING!

In Need of Glitter... Maybe Crystals?

In Need of Glitter... Maybe Crystals?

So late dinner of leftovers tonight and big plans to catch up tomorrow. I am still feeling the remnants of frustration and a bit of sadness with the current reality we are once again thrown into. However, I am feeling truly blessed that Ken’s health is as terrific as it is right now! He is handling everything so well and is able to be a part of the family with a smile on his face (some of the time) and his temper in relative check. We are already light years ahead of where we were last time! I just need to keep reminding myself of that!

So I think what I need to do is remind myself that all this shall pass and trust in Ken. Right?

Feel Free to Call Us and Catch Up Anytime!

Feel Free to Call Us and Catch Up Anytime!