Archive | April 2011

Welcome Weekend

Ok so I got lazy on the blogging yesterday, BUT we had a family walk (to the gas station of course) and on the way back we stopped off at one of the parks for the kids to run out some of that excessive spring energy. Sadly Trinity is not a fan of the sand interacting with her new sandals (courtesy of our traditional Easter gift from Grandma.).

Sandals and all

It is so wonderful to have the sun without snow… the weather was lovely, to the point where we can turn OFF the heat in the house. A little chilly in the mornings but we just put on sweaters and keep busy. Great  time to do the chores, send the kids outside to run around or in the basement to scream their hearts out. Trinity LOVES wearing different sweaters… she is such a little fashionable little thing.

Helping push the double stroller

A Teeter totter?

Gavin on the slide

We did do a stack of Spring themed worksheets (and didn’t get our lapbooks started…) All of the sheets I chose for Friday were off of the EnchantedLearning site. I have to say it is SO worth the yearly membership!

I took the pictures off the wall in the livingroom and Trinity’s room… the house is starting to feel less and less like home. Taking down the baby photos is a HUGE thing for me. We had made the decision NOT to put up Echo’s just for this reason. So now our walls are working towards bare… all that is left is the homeschooling stuff… I have their 1-16 numbers up (I do have to 20 but ran out of wall space), our names all laminated, and of course our Spring/Easter wall. I figure over the next week I will slowly take it all down because the room is already feeling like it has a new echo (is educating Echo on what an echo is going to be FUN or what?).

There is the potential for the owners of the house to be getting in some construction people to do work on their basement in the upcoming month (if they can find someone available that is) so I have made the executive decision to bring the boys upstairs to share Emanuel’s bedroom. This has meant packing up the last of the toys in Emanuel’s room as well as sped along my packing of the livingroom/kitchen. We have one of the twin’s couches upstairs in Emanuel’s room (moving the bookcase in there out to the livingroom and more  toys into boxes) which works for the boys to share or they can share the big bed with Emanuel. Already this has made bedtime more… exciting… prolonged… noisy… BUT by the end of the weekend a portion of the basement should be empty, cleaned and off my list!

I told them to fold out the couch to a bed...

We had hail today… the twins were out over naptime for the little ones and came in saying it was raining… went out to check and they were being pegged by some hail! Better than snow!

Hiding from the hail

We have survived another mini growth spurt courtesy of Miss Echo, and this time it seems to be weight over length. She is firmly into her 3-6 months clothes (excepting the odd US brand that was big on Trinity let alone wee Echo). I have embraced the idea that she is going to be in smaller pieces longer and am going to have to hunt down some used/unwanted but good condition little girl clothes as our Trinity went through this phase quickly and in a different season. I am hoping to avoid the more expensive new clothing route… I am hoping I can go through my 6-9’s and find items that are on the small size. Once we get moved I am going to do some Kijiji hunting in our new local. Right now I can’t pick anything up which makes it VERY hard to do any Kijiji shopping. Grrr.

Nom noms

Last night to make up for a cancelled walk to the park (too windy) the kids got to stay up WAY past their bedtime and watch movies with popcorn (we picked up popcorn at the gas station). We started with Megamind but it scared Trinity so switched over to two of our Veggie Tales DVD’s. Amazingly enough Trinity was up at the crack of dawn anyway! (And cranky by noon!)

Watching Veggie Tales

With the weather being iffy, Emanuel’s room to clean up and other random chores we really didn’t get much done… but tomorrow should be fun with a trip to McDonald’s for ice cream, maybe some cookies to bake and of course the backyard to sort through we will definitely keep busy!!

Asleep at the park note the residual cookie on the nose

A Rainy Day

So with spring comes spring showers and apparently, this year, still below zero (Celsius) weather??? Seriously, and a projected forecast of some snow in the near future. Gotta love Alberta… or move… or something.

So today we had an inside morning and definitely felt the lacking of our now pretty much scheduled outside playtime. Although Gavin took the kitchen easel as his own crafting centre for the morning and worked hard  to create a masterpiece. According to the artist it is a picture of “just a city”. I have to stop and marvel at the detail he puts into most everything he creates from scratch. He seems to have limitless patience with this sort of thing.

Gavin and his masterpiece

On the other hand, the other 3 big kids were bundles of energy and short on patience. I finally pinned them all down with a series of Spring themed worksheets. I got them from this site in their Printables for Spring section. What I especially liked is that they have a variety of the Counting by mazes. We did  the 1’s and 2’s today and I hope to get them to try out counting by 3’s tomorrow. They were able to get through the 1’s by themselves and past 100 with the 2’s.

Zander working on counting by 2's

The plan tomorrow is to start assembling our lapbook of spring and Easter related worksheets. I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do with all the sheets we have been working on the past month. It just doesn’t feel right to do all that work and leave them in a pile or throw them out. So we are going to take them all and put them in the lapbook to save to show they facilitator when he comes for the new school year.

Yesterday Echo started wiggling in a more “get somewhere” manner… no progress yet but we had a bit of a wiggle… BACKWARDS! That and she rolled over onto her front with her cookie and spent what looked like a very frustrating half hour trying to eat it while propped up on her hands. The other kids thought it was hilarious as the cookie would slip away from her and she would get all confused and search for it leaving them to hand it back to her and start the process all over again.

Attempting the cookie eating while on the tummy

I finally got Zander to sit down and start work on HIS story titled Fat Sheep and Mommy. It will be interesting to see what sort of an adventure we get to go on!

Zander's newest page

Echo got her first Arrowroot cookie… I forgot how MESSY these are for little ones with no teeth. She started out in my lap but with her copious cookie dropping I figured the standing toy was safer for my clothing and hands. I forgot how hilarious cookie face is!

Cookie face

Gavin has finished the writing and illustrating of his first story. Daddy and Echo is a bright and fun story, lots of detail and care was put into each and every page! Definitely worth laminating to save for later years.

The End

Ken called Echo’s doctor’s office to check on our referrals today. They have been sent to the various offices and are waiting on call backs with appointments. So at least we are SURE it is in the system and the ball is rolling. Once we hear from each office I am hoping we can ask a list of questions so we are best prepared to go in with info about family, her diet, habits, they may want something more than I have after all.

Tonight was one of our absolute favourite dinners again – beef and gravy on rice. This time we used the “dainty” rice I picked up at Bulk Barn. Even with our larger slow cooker we never have any leftovers, but wow is it lovely and filling and PERFECT for a chilly day.

Family dinner

So life continues here in the Reinsch-Johnson home. And some of the upset and frustration falls away. After all we are still living our life the way we always have just a few extra steps… tomorrow I am going to attempt to explain what a shoebox diorama is to Gavin, get Zander working on his next story page and attempt to spur everyone along to packing up MORE of the toys we have around the house… faces are being made whenever I suggest it lately… time to start the big push to our move…

Seriously Daddy... SERIOUSLY?????

All in All a GOOD Day

Today marks Zander’s 3 months in glasses and for the first time in a long time – no dilation. The wait was looong… too long according to Zander but there were a few in office emergencies I guess. The doctor is very happy with his progress and will have him back in in January 2012 for dilation. We are still looking at 5-7 years of glasses but with how much Zander loves his glasses that is not a problem. There is the occassional picture where I will see he has one eye slipping and he still does attempt to cheat and look OVER the glasses but we are seeing progress. (And for those less in the know with the twins the glasses HAVE made it MUCH easier to tell them apart… from the FRONT and SIDE… the back you are still on your own.)

Hanging with the big boys

This left me with the other 4 kids for the morning. We took advantage of our potential one on one time with Gavin and we went right to work on his math book… I think we did around 6-8 pages all the way up to dealing with symmetry and further pattern recognition. Then we started a new phonics book to try and reinforce his reading. The new plan is to have the twins watch at least ONE episode of Word World a day to push the phonics understanding. I am finding confusion with some letter sounds – e and i specifically.

Gavin and his workbook

While we workbooked it out we also rocked it out with Adele… Trinity loves the song Rolling in the Deep. So the little ones boogied while we worked. Well, Trinity and Emanuel, Echo spent her time trying to steal Gavin’s book, eraser and pencil box.

Dancing!

After doing so many pages I was more than willing to agree to Gavin’s suggestion he take his siblings outside. Great timing as Echo was running down (she had a rather sleepless night last night) and needed to nurse and get a nap in. Apparently the red and black ball (aka sparkly ball) is a hot number but they managed to share and rotate the toys enough to get a good block of time spent outside.

Out in the sun

Zander and Ken got home in time to make lunch and sit Zander down (be it VERY unwillingly) to do some more of the dreaded subtraction. I am not sure WHY he has taken it in such dislike as when he puts his mind to it he is VERY good at it, but he has. I am determined to break through his stubborn streak and make it fun and interesting. He keeps complaining that Gavin is SO far ahead of him in the book and I keep explaining well if he would take advantage of the one on one time we have together we could get HIM that far ahead too. Funny how so often they don’t care what the other is doing but other times it is CRUCIAL it be the same.

This afternoon the mail brought a happy parcel. Something from a friend in Ontario! She sent us a book for making stuffed critters, some sewing free appliqués, and the cutest little pink backpack for Trinity. I love it when mail comes that is not asked for and is craft related.

Thank You!!

Gavin did his second last page for his story! He is so proud of the work he has put into these. I am searching for a new project like this… semi independent and stretched over a length of time. He does NOT want to make a book again right away and the only idea he could come up with was making Valentine’s Day cards… a little out of season and something I would have to store away when we move and hope it did not get misplaced for next February.

Newest page

We had a bit of rain this evening, first of the season. Since it didn’t look like it was going to pass permanently we decided to hold off on our walk until tomorrow before Ken meets up with the guys for their online gaming meet up. If the boys can listen and behave our plan is to go to the park after supper on Friday. Today I had to confiscate their Gameboy Advance due to sharing issues and then Zander having a meltdown. This is one of the main reasons we have basically kept the kids off of the computers and other electronic gaming items. I would much rather they went out to the backyard and ran wild and free in there.

So the summary for today – good day. While we don’t have our appointments for Echo yet we have a plan for tomorrow to follow up and chase them down, Zander got a good report on his eyes, I got FUN mail, Gavin almost finished his storybook and the kids spent a nice chunk of time outside in the backyard. I am trying to look at things in this way – ok there is stuff to do in regards to Echo but all the tests, and appointments don’t do much more than put a name (or not) on things… the doctor is pleased with her otherwise and said her low weight is NOT hurting her at all. If he is happy to have our next scheduled appointment be August and trusts us to make our testing and dietician as they are scheduled then we are certainly doing well. But then again, anyone who knows us knows that our kids are our life. I think that is true of most parents. At least the ones I know!

While working on Tweets for Fat Sheep I came across a quote I really liked it is as follows: Tension is who you think you should be.  Relaxation is who you are.  ~Chinese Proverb. Isn’t that true???

Our Miss Echo