Archive | February 2013

Reveling in the Platypus Knowledge


February 21-22

We watched a rather lengthy video on the Platypus today! So of course I need to share it here!

The resulting mini book

Trinity and Emanuel made their very own paperbag puppet today of the Platypus. Just add googly eyes to the bag and template and you are golden. You can find the version we did HERE.

Hard at work

Puppets!Zander and Gavin finished a book with me from our advance reading list… Kid in Chief! You can read their review of it HERE. Just keep in mind that there ARE some spoilers with their review. It was a fun book that deals with the job of being President.

We had TWO books to share! The first was a story called Platypus by Chris Riddell, it was fun to have Trinity involved in this one!

Gavin and Trinity

Our second book had a section on the platypus. One of the very unique animals about to use or see the electricity in other animals! Electric Animals by Natalie Lunis.

Zander with our little book

We also brought out the tracing paper, Trinity wanted a Hello Kitty picture and I figured it would be a good addition to our lapbooks if the boys traced not only a platypus out of one of our library books but also an Echidna, the other animal in this tiny family.

Hello Kitty

Echidna and Platypus, hopefully they will show better in the lapbook

We had a family trip out to the store as well. We needed it… time out in the van and the store doing a little shopping and getting some fresh air!

Babies in the sun

Friday brought with it MORE snow! We have some very happy boys with their fresh snow to dig in! Of course we had to continue with the platypus and two more videos. The first is a National Geographic one where really they TRIED to make the platypus scary. The boys were thoroughly unimpressed!

The second a quick video of a platypus handler with a 6 month old platypus, basically useful for the cuteness factor and a bit of a show on how they feel around with their bills.

Emanuel did a riddle style worksheet from TeacherVision. We read the information at the top and then worked together to fill in the riddle. It is amazing how many of the facts they remember. Although not totally surprising as it is hard to forget that it has a bill, webbed feet, beaver tail, venom AND lays eggs but is a mammal!!

Emanuel’s worksheet

We had a rather fun book called A Platypus, Probably by Sneed B. Collard III for our book of the day.

All of my boys

It amazes me how the structure the boys have created in the backyard with all that snow that keeps falling is looking more and more like a burrow. We have our own little home in the backyard! 

So quiet

Miss Trinity and Miss Echo got in some quality girly play time themselves!


I finished a scarf that is either an August birthday present or a Christmas present done super early. You can find the pattern for sale for this on CrochetSpot HERE. I used the Caron simply soft yarn and it is so soft and shimmery!

Toilet Paper Scarf

 Ending the day with the kids watching some Minecraft videos on youTube I think we did good! I know that we are having some quality family time around the learning and the work and some of the family time IS learning… 

the joys of youTube

So hopefully I will get the rest of the platypus blog entries up in good time! And then there is that pesky resource one to include as well! We are loving our time on the platypus!

Bit of an 80’s retro baby


Let’s go way back to early dinosaurs and one of the first true herbivores… not only the first of the herbivores but one of the first to have the ability to reach food up on trees and high growths. From the Triassic period the Plateosaurus is the beginning of the giant dinosaurs. Heavy and sturdy limbed, its tail made up half of its length… definitely not an easy dinosaur to miss.

We chose this dinosaur out of a book we had on hand that Emanuel had unearthed.

From our book

So our videos are slightly different than our norm…


Early dinosaurs have really spiked Emanuel’s interest. They just look so different, so ungainly in comparison to the ones that we have been reading about!  But anyway, now for the links… There is a dino fact file HERE to check out. has a their usual helpful charts HERE. Interested in a longer article? Check out Animal Planet HERE. Emanuel thought the picture on the Prehistory page was a giggle HERE. For a terrific image of the difference in this dinosaur’s size in comparison to a human and a dog the Encyclopedia Britannica Kids have their page HERE. Check out EnchantedLearning and their page on this early dinosaur HERE. Someone called Cindy Thomas has a great page dedicated to this dinosaur HERE. Of course there is the Wiki page HERE. And finally, our colouring page HERE.

A VERY long neck dinosaur

Are You Where You NEED To Be?

I know that during Lent a lot of people give up something for the season. I have done so in the past. The discussions that seem arise from this practice online and in person as a result have brought me to wonder about the question of wants vs. needs. In moving down to Minnesota from Alberta Ken and I had to face straight on the question of what we want to have vs what is absolutely needed. In the final cut of our own worldly possessions we discarded over 3/4 of them as wants and kept a storage unit and a van full of needs.

It is very humbling to realize how much baggage, both figuratively and physically we collect in our travels through life. We look to others and compare, what they have, how simple their life looks, how easily their wants and needs are met and in doing so we lose track of what we have and truly need.

Ken and I fought for many years to remain in Canada, through his illness and the result of that, through instances that were born out of circumstances both out of our control and a result of choices made with the best of intentions. It was in the process of STOPPING, PRAYING and THINKING QUIETLY that I realized as did Ken, that our problem was not a lack of will or intent but a lack of listening. We were ignoring the signs (out of hope and faith in things working out) that we were NOT where we NEEDED to be but where we WANTED to be.

In letting go of the wants and letting the needs sort themselves out in front of us the path we needed to take opened up. There were sacrifices, good byes, decisions to be made and processes to begin but they occurred and in good order (how often do people manage to decide and up and go to the US in a little over 2 weeks without major issues??). I must admit, the lining up of all those little ducks and the ease of the process further opened up my heart and mind to the fact that this rather large and all encompassing decision was the RIGHT one.

We started to realize that we WERE where we NEEDED to be at the right times. Echo is now 100% heart healthy because we fought as hard as we did, the children experienced many “Canadian” things as we made our move possible through being where we needed to be… good byes not normally possible were said and gifts were given all as a result of our listening with our entire selves to what the world was telling us.

Now that is not to say that in decreasing the clutter, admitting the needs and making the move we did has made everything simple. We still need to work towards our own permanent residence and my permanent status, get the kids their dual and set down those very necessary roots in faith, friends, family and schooling… but the path is much less scary.

What this process has done is opened up my mind to how much I have held onto… how many worries, bad feelings and even physical things that really, in the long rung will do me no good. Instead I have been able to start fresh in some instances… we are planning our new home with the intent to buy what is NEEDED and not create a house full of selfish wants. We are teaching our children that major change can be an adventure and that starting fresh is not the end of the world. We are creating stability in a world where stability must, in the end, come from within.

What I challenge you to do is this, in some facet of your life where you have great dissatisfaction ask yourself – is this where I NEED to be, is this what I NEED to have, or is this just a question of wants? Where needs are satisfied the heart can have some peace. Lets those wants come when it is possible for them to be fulfilled or let them fall to the wayside. I am going to continue with this hope and prayer for the rest of my life. The path I am walking has never been the simplest – we imported Ken, the twins born so early, downsizing, health concerns, etc etc. but the future is bright because we are continuing to create a life that fulfills needs and in time will allow us to enjoy some of those wants.

The true challenge is to find joy in who you are with and what you have beyond all things. (Gavin left)