Archive | January 2012

Reflection on 3 Days

It amazes me how by the weekend you can feel so worn out! I really didn’t FEEL the exhaustion until I stopped going and keeping the week progressing… come Sunday afternoon with the baby in nap and the kids playing something and BANG I was tired. But I should backtrack to Saturday first!

Let’s see… I will get the van issue out of the way, er almost out of the way! Ken took the poor thing BACK to Canadian Tire for attempt #4 at creating a working coolant system. They popped the hood, put in some coolant and started it up… and out poured coolant! Apparently this time it was OBVIOUS where the issue was. Not the same place as the last 3 times but instead a piece that holds a portion of the tubing on was now cracked. They figure it was a little cracked last time and obscure enough that they missed it when the last repair was done. SO… they have to call around the the junk yards to try and find a part for a ’96 Quest. It shouldn’t take too long, there are still tons on the road. AND we only have to pay the part!!! 

So no out of town visiting yet everyone, sorry. Though (she) Chris is sweet enough to lend us her van mid week so we can get to my physical (am I really all THAT thankful??) and Echo’s 1 1/2 year check up that is a 10 or 15 min drive away. I could reschedule but we are being VERY stiff on Echo’s appointments… especially when she is without her surgery. We want each appointment made and her seen properly. That way if something DOES change we catch it quick! 

Well the rest of Saturday DAY was rather sedate… Ken picked up groceries allowing me to bake bread (seriously a loaf purchased is pretty much a MEAL for this family, especially since the cheaper loaves are the store brand and slightly smaller) in the breadmaker (yum!) and then it was games games games for the kids. After all, it IS the weekend I was told! 

Anyway… Saturday evening Kristen and Fydo came over with a new game in hand and a box of mozza sticks to bake. This was a new game for all of us and I think  very little true strategy resulted towards the end. Still the company was good, the game fun and the snacks totally yummy. We found out that Echo WILL eat cheese… in breaded stick form! AND she gets VERY upset when you tell her no more after she has had 3 of them!!!

Dominant Species

Cheese!

They also came bearing clothing! Apparently Kristen’s sister has a daughter who is bigger than Trinity. AND included in that bag was a full snowsuit size 6 yrs… perfect for Emanuel!! And REVERSIBLE! So no more girly snowpants, I Freecycled them Monday anyway as they have a cracked buckle but are good otherwise. We are so blessed that people think of us when they come across used useful items! 

New clothes!

But the evening did not end there! Around 10pm (she) Chris picked up myself and my slurpee cup (refillable huge one) and we went back to their new place for the grand tour and then snacks! (Chips and my favourite dip! So spoiled!). They live the next town over so it is only a 10-15 min drive. I think I got home after one! So a full evening! 

Now onto Sunday! Ken gets to sleep in on Sundays as he is the one who generally takes the kids to Sunday School. Remember our church here has it BEFORE service at 9:30 am. Very much not Echo friendly lately so I stay home with her, clean up and put baby down to nap around the time they get home. BUT before Sunday School there was a bit of time with the kids all dressed and basically ready to go. To fill the time they all sat down and drew pictures. Pictures of play parks, themselves and one of Minecraft (Zander). Gavin gave his to one of the people in charge of Sunday School, sadly Emanuel’s made it to Sunday School and back only to be washed in his pants pocket!!

Pre-church art

Echo and I made do with each other for the little over an hour of time the kids were gone. We had an aborted nap where I thought she was sleepy, put her to bed, had my bath and then found her playing in the crib! Emanuel came home with a special birthday eraser, the sang happy birthday to him and another little girl with a birthday this week. The twins get their turn this coming Sunday.

Birthday eraser

As a special treat to myself and Echo, after Echo’s nap we went out with Karyn to hang out at her place (no pictures sorry)… Echo wandered around and stared at the kitty while we visited. So I certainly kept busy this weekend. 

Hanging with Aunty Karyn

Today we were back to work with our school stuff. Zander is still working downstairs with Ken on stuff I am not yet allowed to see. But progress is occurring. Gavin took half of today and worked on his cross stitch. The goal is to finish this piece up over the next few weeks. 

Sewing away

We brought out some game dvds for the kids today as well… though I have misplaced the Thomas one for Emanuel. Instead he listened to a book on cd that I played on the laptop. BUT the games went pretty well… all 4 of them squished together watching the screen was ADORABLE! 

Educational game time

Zander built a lifeguard tower out of Legos (I am not sure why the lifeguard has no arms!). 

Lifeguard tower

We had a treat for the whole family today – Ken worked late into the evening Sunday and hard this morning so that in the afternoon we could head over to the Museum and Art Gallery to take a peek at their Inuit exhibition. (sorry no pictures in, there were no signs but I didn’t want to risk it). There were examples of traditional winter clothing, pictures, art pieces AND a polar bear skin rug they could touch. I brought home some colouring pages they had for the kids. I hope to go back next week and look at more of the images on the walls. The kids got bored quickly. I wish I could have taken a picture of Echo, she was walking around holding Ken’s hand. I am totally going to have to have them try that again in an open area! 

Colouring pages

The kids were MOST excited by the koi they have right in the entrance! There were some rather large fish BUT the favourite was the smaller baby fish swimming along after them! 

At the pond

Some of the fish

We also had to take pictures out front… of course! LOOK I am even IN one!!!

Out front

Tomorrow is a work work work day for Ken as Wednesday morning is that doctor trip. We have to dig out our Valentine’s decorations from our tub and figure out what we want to do to decorate! The boys had a special quiet time assignment dealing with halves and whole – they had to go through my entire tupperware cabinet and find all the matching pieces… they did a great job and refilled the cabinet with their own style of organization. I am not sure how user friendly it will be but they worked hard and seem to have a good grasp of having HALF of something… and that two pieces are involved when you are working on halves and wholes. And to top it off – I have an organized cabinet! 

Emanuel and his dinosaur

I am currently brainstorming for Christmas now. I have one idea but am missing half the info I need. I am  going to add a page on this site for Christmas wishes and gift ideas so that those of you we see and exchange with can give me ideas! I want to do more cross stitching this year, expand on my felties AND maybe find a new craft or two?? 

Bitty snack time

At the End of a Week I am Ready to be Done With… and then some!

Well the mail is still not working in my favour – 3 things sent right before Christmas and 3 still not there AND still waiting on something from our board. UGH I am re-sending my Canadian envelope on Monday… WITH a tracking number! I am debating changing my shipping amounts based on this experience. I need to see how much more it is with a number and then I think I may just require it! Though after posting on Facebook about my frustrations at least 3 other people shared their stories. Apparently 10 weeks is normal at times sending to the states!!! OUCH We sent something out about 7 weeks ago still not there. The tracking number is somewhere in the house but Ken was able to call with the info and find it in CUSTOMS… that just kills me, lots of handmade stuff in there. 

The last two days have been a bit trying… being a woman SUCKS sometimes (ok monthly) but being one with a minor cold is worse. Echo followed suit with a runny nose and a cranky disposition. This did not stop us from a few exciting completions!! First off, Gavin finished his Grade 1-2 Addition and Subtraction review book! I am so proud of him, he got all the way up to adding and subtracting 3 digit numbers. And when we went back to the original workbook he has today he blew threw the pages!

COMPLETION

Then there was our Chinese New Year poster… talk about dragons!!! We had to overlap and wiggle around to fit everything but it was worth it! So many bright colours and beautiful pieces of art! Everyone had a hand in the creation of it. Litterally… all 4 kids had hand dragons put on it!!

Lovely!

Then we moved onto fun with our Valentines supplies… of course the Legos were out at the same time so Gavin skipped right over that to making Lego hearts! Very sweet… Emanuel made one too.

Hearts from two of my boys

Don’t forget the cactus and orange, also courtesy of Gavin.

So creative!

He did do some Valentines decorations – two lovely paper chains, one with foam hearts added to each of the white chains. 

Two paperchains

We had a frustrating evening with Ken swamped with work, phone calls… cranky kids… but we survived. Sometimes Ken’s working from home can cause minor upsets when we need to do things like buy groceries or do something family related. This is compounded by my inability to drive… but we make do! Of course it is this same choice that gives us the bulk of our flexibility. I am amazed at how supported I feel when I am stressed with homeschooling or the kids when they want to show daddy something. Instant gratification. He has chosen an hard path, working as an independent contractor but he is GOOD at it! 

Teaching his sister

I found a great Canadian movie on Netflix to wind down with tonight: At Home By Myself… With You. Romantic comedy for the win. Thank you Netflix. 

The left over frustration is really centered on the van… it was to go in tonight but that certainly did NOT happen. It goes in TOMORROW afternoon… keep your fingers crossed that FOURTH time is the charm! Oh and that it IS just the coolant system once again. I am going to create a calmer February if I have to drag the kids kicking and screaming. 

She was play feeding herself

Two Days In One… Again

I have slipped horribly in my goal to keep a consistent blog running this month! But I promise to be back to my much more consistent and predictable self in February. Hmm how did our week start off? Well, relatively shaky kid wise. Tuesday the trend continued somewhat with a bit of resistance BUT we got a start on our Chinese New Year poster. We had to make little pockets for some of our mini books and the 12 animals of the zodiak cards. 

Poster in pieces

Both the twins have been hard at work on their math books. I think Gavin will finish his review book soon. I was a little concerned about how silly they were being about adding and subtracting, ignoring, skipping parts… but with this review book it seems much more cemented. We did realize that part of the problem is that everything up until now has been START ON THE LEFT. As soon as  you do equations stacked you have to start on the RIGHT… ACK. 

Emanuel and Trinity are still rather intermittent at their sit down and work work BUT we are making progress. Trinity is totally into making capital E’s now and Emanuel is working on all sorts of wonderful practicing of letters and numbers. We have been including them in all of the big boys’ larger projects so they have enjoyed the space videos and the stories about Chinese New Year. I did pick up a special book for Emanuel and Ken to read together from the library! 

Fun story

Tuesdays are back to library days for Trinity and Emanuel! The last week was actually the first after Christmas but it was WAY too cold to go out. So Karyn and I packed them up and took them this week. We were early and had to deal with Emanuel wanting to go into the men’s washroom and then needing me to go in and reach the toilet paper for him (seriously, thank goodness no one else was in there). The theme was mice and there was lots of fun songs and stories and of course the craft. I love how involved they get in the gluing and colouring. So much fun!

Craft time

Trinity's mouse

Today started with an early morning wake up for all of us… well except Echo who was up even earlier. I had a 9:05 blood work appointment downtown and of course with my lack of driving and no knowledge of the busing here (or cash to spare for that this week) it was the whole family or nothing. Thankfully they were right on time and very efficient. Less than 10 min later, baby not even out of her seat and we were headed back home! 

For some reason heading out in the mornings always throws us off… so instead of forcing the issue we watched a Magic Schoolbus dvd about space (Zander opted to go downstairs and do his math, apparently the twins had watched it once already while we were at the library and he didn’t feel it needed a redo). they traveled all the planets. 

We continued work on our Chinese New Year poster… the boys are not the most efficient at finishing posters so I have decided to take the week and have them do a bit at a time so we are tidy and organized instead of them tossing pieces on to get done. So many brightly coloured dragons! 

Zander was nice enough to spend some of his afternoon teaching Trinity to play UNO. I just wish I could have him and Gavin play a round and it NOT be a huge deal to see who wins. 

Teaching UNO

There was a brief and I mean BRIEF foray outside. The weather is nicer but wet snow is awful for mittens leading to cold fingers. I do love how excited they get to see things like ice formed on one of the bikes left under a drip (really MUST move that) or footprints left by the neighbour’s cats. 

Trinity and the ice... who was then told to get back inside for mittens and to put her hood up!

Gavin felt the creative urge… he made Lego Chinese Dragons. So of course we had to take pictures! There is talk of some Chinese style houses too but he got distracted before they became a reality… maybe tomorrow? 

Kid is AMAZING with Legos!

We are certainly NOT a morning family… everyone was cranky and worn out today… Ken took a nap (his doctor says he must if he feels the need just to ensure he gets the rest when he needs it and not mess with his meds) and I TRIED to… interrupted by an annoying doorbell and non issue at the door… Echo is warm and fussy, Gavin warm… oh the trauma of the beginnings of colds in the house! 

So with all the grumpy kids, off starts to the day and upheaval it has NOT been the most productive 2 days… but we have continued on. I think that by the end of the week we will be further schooled regarding space and of course have our poster done and on the wall. Things are still tough here as they have been the past 3 years BUT I am starting to see the positives MUCH more clearly now. January may not have been the smooth and dreamy month I was hoping for, BUT it is ending better than it started and we intend to continue the trend! Faith without action is nothing remember! 

It gives me such a giggle that Echo is the right size for a play sippy cup to seem proportional