Archive | September 2011

Back on Track After an Unexpected Hiatus

So sorry for dropping off the face of the planet for a while. Life got a little out of control here at home, coupled with myself being very ill yesterday and some of today… but we are back full force now! Though Echo is a cranky baby and myself a little off my feed… but we will get there! Promise… now back to the blog entry I started back on Wednesday! Enjoy!  

I love being a fly on the wall with the twins… when they have some quiet time in their room they are rarely truly quiet and Wednesday was no exception… conversation ran immediately to Echo and her shots… the needles were POINTY, they didn’t remember THEIR needles being so LONG and of course it HURTS then the needle pokes your skin… then the conversation went on to “pictures on your skin” and did you know that they are made using NEEDLES?? The scoffing at doing that to yourself was a little comical. In fact, Echo’s appointment at Public Health was one of those times when I wished I had a hidden camera… the kids were all over the place and mildly annoying up until the needles came out for Echo and then did the boys COWER… really there is no better word for it, they shuffled off to the corner by the door and COWERED! 

Our Echo did do rather well at the health clinic. She had 3 shots – two in the leg and one in the arm. She has gained weight and stayed in proportion. Granted not the size that they call “normal” for her age but she is all good. 

Brave little baby

The boys got a new project Wednesday, we purchased from a local homeschooling student, two aloe plants. They are going to do the research as to how to look after them and keep them healthy with Ken… a bit more responsibility. 

Our new plants

We were thrown off a bit with the whole shots appointment and resulting angry baby so other than Gavin doing some sewing on his self designed pattern and Zander working on one of his old unfinished workbooks we basically called it a day. Sadly Thursday followed suit and my sweet boys were absolute wonders… first off we all played in Trinity’s room (Echo included) and the boys kept an eye on her and told me to have a nap! I woke up to breastfeed her and sent her off to bed and the boys played Minecraft while Trinity played in her room around me. Apparently I had a full out play food picnic!! Go figure! I am told I had a wonderful meal and the tea was excellent!

That followed into an early evening for the kids… Echo had post shots crankies and I was still barely functioning so they got some tv and then bed. Karyn stopped by unexpectedly while I was Skyping with dad and drug me out (when I was finished of course) for a slurpee run and some fresh air. Can you believe I got a SMALLER slurpee!!! Was I ever off my game! But it was some much needed girl time, a shoulder to cry on (it has been a rough month as I am sure you have noticed through the posts) and an open heart to share with. I am VERY blessed with my friends – ALL of them! 

This morning was rough, I will admit it… I was still feeling ill and Ken had a lot of running around to do at the end of the month… he worked miracles and got EVERYTHING done in a timely matter (with a little help from some amazing people but still) and then I was finally able to have a nice soak and wash the sick feeling away… A good soak does wonders on ones entire being really! 

But not before I cleaned up Trinity’s room with Echo’s assistance! It is time to get the place ready to turn on the heating which means hunting down each and every vent and making sure it is unobstructed and ready to be turned back on. Quite the job in a place where I really don’t know where the vents are yet… but I have figured out the upstairs and now just need to see if the downstairs are all in the ceiling or not. 

Checking out one of Trinity's baby dolls

Emanuel spent some of his time showing off to Echo all the work he has done in his special workbook. He is very proud of his work as we all are! Echo thought it was very neat! 

Teaching his sister about letters!

I have had some lovely mail lately… clips I bought off of eBay, a belated birthday present for Echo from her godparents and god-sibling and then most recently – a package of ribbon (Halloween themed) from a very considerate and thoughtful homeschooling mom. I cannot wait to find some spare time and make up some hair things for the girls for Halloween! I have started some actual thought on the costumes as well now. Made a cursory trip to ValueVillage, will have to go back with the kids and see what we can find!

New clips

Checking out her birthday box

Some of the ribbon! Thank you!

Tonight I got taken out for dinner by Karyn and Lauralee (thanks you two!). We went to The Rock. The pizza was divine, though after being sick for a day and a half I really couldn’t eat much… what was much more important was the getting out and AWAY from the house… I feel much better, the issues we had to deal with are resolved and I feel a little more at home again. What did come of this was some very heartfelt and meaningful conversations with BOTH of my parents (at different times of course) as well as a realization that Ken and I can face life head on and make it through – though I do it with A LOT of tears! We have learned some gaps in communication we need to fill and realized how we need to understand feelings a little better. I also called my church and have gotten in contact with a church elder who will sit and chat with me once in a while and help me learn some new coping skills! I feel very thankful for that! 

Supper!

I haven’t managed to finish any of my owls BUT they are all works in progress… I am still hoping to have a nice parliament to add come the end of the weekend. They are all a little quirky and hopefully will strike someone’s fancy! 

Popcorn baby came out to play briefly but sadly the popcorn was too buttery and she ended up throwing up (these shots are harsh!) and then crawled away in a panic so you can imagine the mess. And then she blamed ME so it was good that Ken was home to take over with some snuggles! I did get a cute picture though… 

Pre sore tummy and mess

So we hope to get out to enjoy the leaves tomorrow, send the boys to Sunday School on Sunday AND maybe sneak out in Trinity and my special wedding dresses for some pictures in the park… Next week it is back to school with a vengeance. We have much to catch up on and many questions to answer… plants to grow… recycling policies to research… and HOPEFULLY our library card to get (finally)… I am determined to make October a GREAT month! 

I do need to get back to my owls… and tidy up more… and and and. I have had my down days now it is time to liven things back up! Ribbon is calling me… owls are hooting for beaks and wings… and my kids want to learn. That is the sweetest thing of all! 

According to Trinity colouring needs STICKERS

Are We Really Almost to October?

We have completed our short possum/opossum lapbook today… there was a little bit of writing, some gluing and word discussion to do and one or two more illustrations were added to the pile but we managed it. I think we will have to come back to the lapbook from time to time to work on our new words! And to admire the artwork and penmanship! You can find our links and videos HERE.

Front cover

I am out of staples so I had to creatively tape in our extra long pages

As far inside as you can get

Back cover, each of the twins wrote one of the words themselves

While possums took up our morning our afternoon was a crafty one with PAINT! Did you know that 4 kids with paintbrushes actually CAN keep the mess down to a minimum? The boys all used the palates they got last year from Nana and Baba, for some reason I can’t find Trinity’s… and Trinity used up the last of our ancient finger paints (from when the twins were tiny!! but with a brush of course as ALL our kids are finicky about their fingers) and some of our scarlet to make her masterpiece! 

Painting at the table

Now what brought on this sudden interest in all things messy and colourful? Well a craft I found on our favourite UK craft site – a Family Tree. They suggest this as a grandparent’s day craft, we are working on the boys really understanding WHO our long distance family are – there are 3 sets of Grandparents to remember and two sets are in the states. For our leaves I found a  template herethat Ken then shrunk down for me to a quarter page and printed out in green. The boys then cut them out and have begun the work of writing out names and drawing pictures of family members. 

Ready for leaves

We did another chapter of Stuart Little. Another edge of your seat adventure, this time on a garbage boat! Apparently Stuart can’t step outside the door without adventure catching him unaware.

4 more interpretations

I have begun my next round of owls for my “It’s a Hoot” page on Facebook. These ones are for H”owl”oween… groan I know BAD! I found some really neat socks and have been cutting them down to owl size. I have tried a couple different lengths with the camo – one a little taller and one the usual size. It is the re-purposing of the old shirts into owl stuffing that REALLY takes the most time right now… and cramps the hand something fierce! 

The kids ended their day with a walk down the block to the community garden with Daddy. They have a nice lot there next to the church that has enough room to run AND still a few plants to check out. Zander did run off home on Ken which was NOT good – we live only a building and the church away but he needs to realize he has to tell us…

Helping Trinity with her shoes as someone had to stay home with a sleeping Echo

A bit of a run

I managed to fill up another mocked up scrapbook page recently as well. A birthday piece!

For Emanuel's book

And now it is back to owl creating… cleaning… dishes… laundry… the list goes on and on. I am sure tomorrow’s entry will be much better organized! Well I hope!

Didn't Ken catch the perfect light on this one?

From Possums to Owls and Back Again

Possum or Opossum is the word of the day today… we decided to do a search online and find everything we could find on possums. There was actually a bit to learn, some cute (and educational) YouTube videos AND some worksheets I was able to download and print out… don’t worry I plan on sharing! We got MOST of what I wanted to do (pre-assembly) today leaving just the working on our new terminology and assembly for tomorrow. Zander drew his own picture with a possum in it… and a rabbit and a bird with worms… he worked really hard on it and it shows!! Now links and videos…

Virginia Opossum mini documentary… and a good EnchantedLearning info page… though you do need to be a member to use that one I think. Seriously I think the subscription to them is WELL worth it! And then there is the Ringtailed Possum page there as well. We read through the pages and talked about the new words and enjoyed looking up images of each type. If you want to go more the Australian route there is more to find on that as well… But first, fun facts about Opossums that includes a word search, some true and false trivia, jokes, facts and colouring can be found here

Baby possums ARE cute… the kids were adamant on that one! Want to see an adorable picture of one? Then you just have to click here.

7 baby possums that were rescued… did you know that babies leave their mother within like 4 months of birth! AND the average lifespan of one in the wild is 1-3 years! Here is the wiki page about Opossums

Zander and his possum picture... the possum is the grey creature on the left, next to the grey bunny!

I found some colouring pages the kids enjoyed as well. What about a different breed of possums? The Sugar Glider. Gavin liked this one. Oh yes and back to the Australia centred info… here is a great page for that! If you need a page for writing about them and then illustrating going to our UK favourite and get THIS page. Or do their mini booklet.Working on their possum assignments

We read THIScute poem, did the question sheet (as a family) and then wrote our OWN favourite animal poems. A good first attempt for the boys I think!!!

Boys' poems

Oh and for tomorrow we are taking bits out of this lapbook and making up the rest of our info. Just writing out bits and pieces of interest and then ASSEMBLY! So I hope this gets anyone else going who is doing possums or interested in them! It was a bit of a search for information… and I did have to go through some not so nice videos on YouTube to find ones I liked for the kids! Oh this one made the kids laugh and laugh!!!

Now let’s see, the list of new words that we are working on learning that go with this… marsupial, nocturnal (not new but they still forget it), herbivore, prehensile, omnivore, predator and hind (as in hind foot). I am sure there are more but these are some that stand out! I will post up our finished lapbook as soon as it is done and link it BACK to this entry but hopefully all this information will make the job of learning about possums/opossums more enjoyable for someone else! 

Gavin is determined to design his OWN cross stitch… so today we worked together on something new. He made the cherry all on his own and I helped him with the handle on his watering pot. It was a bit tricky a we played around with it on another piece of graph paper before transferring it to where his cherry was. I am so proud of him for wanting to go with this and try and really be involved in something I enjoy so much!

Cherry and a watering can

I have managed to sneak out with Karyn to Dollarama today to purchase… MORE SOCKS!!! I am trying something new… I am going to try and sell my spare sock owls. I am starting slow with a Facebook page you can check out called It’s a Hoot! If you cannot see that I put up information on my deviantArt pageabout it as well! My goal is to make the money to pay for Ken’s Christmas present really, and have an excuse to make more sock owls! I put the striped ones at 10.00 plus shipping costs… I have no idea if that is a price people are willing to pay or not but hey, it is worth a go right? 

New socks!

I have been working on a new cross stitch pattern – one of our own designs, but I can’t share it here until AFTER Christmas as it is a gift. I should be able to finish Anna’s stocking soon though and THAT I can share. Cross stitching has not been the priority but I am working on refocusing at least a little bit of my spare time.

So we started with Opossums/Possums and ended with owls… we have had continued potty success with the only oops in a naptime pull up! So life is good… busy, loud and chaotic (so the norm)… but good!

In her red, white and blues today