Archive | January 2014

And So We Continue

January 6-10

The weather has gone cold cold cold… so cold in fact, that it has been declared ARCTIC! SO of course we had to try the boiling water thrown into the freezing air. Yes, instant steam and an impressive sound to boot. Ken was the adventurous one who ventured outside to do so.101_5817 We also did up New Year’s Resolutions and pictures of some of our favourite Christmas moments in our journals.101_5814 We did ATTEMPT a balloon left out in the cold but we did not see a dramatic change in its shape sadly. It was worth a try.101_5815 The kids and I did an afternoon movie in bed – BRAVE! It was fun to snuggle and hang out together in our own little world.101_5820 The twins also did another Christmas related drawing from Art for Kids. Seriously, click on their link on the right and enjoy the free art lessons!101_5821 The next day we started storytime up again. I am determined to keep us reading. We lucked out over Christmas and ended up growing our book collection and of course there are always random stops at the library to find some seasonal gems.101_5822 And lately, our day is never complete without a fairy!101_5824 With all this cold weather we decided it was time to take on our next Little Passports country – Mexico! I did order some extra books from the library:

  • Mexico in Pictures by Janice Hamilton
  • Mexico by R. Conrad Stein
  • Christmas Traditions Around the World by Ann Ingalls
  • Countries of the World: Mexico by Beth Gruber

And of course we used Activity Village (search under Mexico) for some print outs. 101_5825 101_5826We found this great Animal Planet show – Treehouse Masters. After watching a few episodes the boys decided to create some joint masterpieces of their own using their imaginations and Gavin’s art book. 101_5827 On Wednesday Trinity figured she would come up with some dreams for 2014 and did an amazing job colouring the page up afterwards.101_5828 In fact, everyone did some winter or New Year’s themed papers. All printed out from Activity Village (link on right).101_5829 101_5830Emanuel and I took on reading about dinosaurs from a Christmas present. I have sorted through all the books I could in the house and have put everything dinosaur into a box. I am hoping we can vary up our dinosaur learning. Of course I still have backlog to share once I get off my bum and link everything up and all that fun stuff. Emanuel’s love of dinosaurs has not faltered. We are just reaching the end of our easily researched dinosaurs. Time to get more creative! 101_5831 We had more storytime and more treehouses. Both Wednesday and Thursday.101_5833 101_5836As well as a closer look at the amazing microscope bought with Christmas money. I cannot wait until summer when it is easier to get specimens for slides!101_5834 Ken and the kids took on one of their new science kits and cracked open the magnet box. 101_5840 We also got a good start on Chinese New Year. This year we are making a poster with our findings again. Lots of books and online hunting. This is one of the kids’ favourite celebrations. And this year it is the year of the horse. 101_5841 With cousins coming Friday afternoon we rounded off our school week with the creating of our own ice rink. A really simple craft you can find HERE. We also made our own little critters out of magic clay and spent some time discussing how they would skate together and play. 101_5844 Treehouses of our imagination… magnets… Chinese New Year… add in some interesting government stuff to accomplish – American passports, Social Security numbers and various medical appointments for Ken and we are keeping our 2014 active and exciting!!! 

And we keep on reading!

And we keep on reading!

A Major Milestone in 2014

This weekend marks the end of a lengthy phase in our married life… And thus I deviate from the catch up on the daily blog and have to share our newest milestone. Ken and I just finished our 30 day wait period for him to have his vasectomy done (or as it is called here in Minnesota – voluntary sterilization). 5 kids later and we feel that we have come to the end of our building of our family. Echo was the perfect final addition to a family of unique characters. 

It is really now time to move on and RAISE our family… what a weird feeling. I have literally been focused on babies, pregnancy, nursing and all that for a decade. We now have moved from nappies and nipples to homeschooling and swimming lessons. In fact, in a little over a week our twins will be 10! It has always been agreed that when the time came to finalize our growth that it would be KEN who would take that step. Frankly the female version is a full out surgery and a much longer healing time. Surprisingly he was more than willing. 

So today Ken followed family tradition and off he went with his mother (yup she is the designated driver for this procedure now THREE times!) and an hour later… done. As I type this up he is fast asleep and has been since 30 min after he got home. Such a huge step for our family in such a small and rather mundane procedure! 

I have to giggle though… in 2004 when the twins were being circumcised Ken was off at the Canadian gov office taking his landed status interview (leaving me to deal with the tears and handing off the babies)… and then today, I was on the phone with the government attempting to hunt down the 5th passport of the kids’ proving they are ALL Americans (which was a DUH moment for us… I mean COME ON… they are HIS KIDS) and Ken is off to have his vasectomy… one starts to wonder if government and —-s go hand in hand… I know CRASS but come on… the mind finds the connection! 

So we wait the 3 months for the final confirmation that Ken is indeed sterile and it is all too real that the only new children we will have in our life will be adopted or grandchildren (many many many years from now). WOW! BUT I have had my hand in the over population of the earth… time to pass the torch and raise children I can be confident and proud of sending them out in the world! 

Our 5 blessings

Our 5 blessings

Welcome to 2014

December 31- January 5

How to end a rather interesting and unusual year… (but since when has the Reinsch-Johnson family experienced a USUAL year???) Well we enjoyed some print outs from Activity Village for the 2014 New Year. I love their pages… they have number searches, colouring pages… it is just the place to go for our print out needs lately. 101_5796

Education.com (link on right) has also been helpful, though without paying I am now limited to 10 pages per month.

Education.com (link on right) has also been helpful, though without paying I am now limited to 10 pages per month.

We did up our last Wild Kratts page of the year too. Who can resist Seahorses?? Seriously cool little fish that have an amazing resemblance to horses. We may just have to do a whole on lapbook on them one of these days! 101_5798

Both of our girls had their hair in plaits. 101_5801

Our last meal of the year? White Castle! Definitely not something we would have in Alberta. I do love their chicken rings. Not so much their sliders.101_5799

The kids did not stay up until midnight but we adults did. It was calm and alcohol free for yours truly. Maybe next year we will attempt company? But really, being with Ken is all I need. 

Miss Echo figured that a new year meant a pretty dress. I have to agree… she does do fancy on a regular day with flair. 101_5802

That evening we had Chinese from the family’s favourite place The Rose Garden. Fortunes on the first day of 2014!101_5805

I was further convinced to extend our vacation from schooling. BUT the boys did do some fancy math and reading while playing Sorry. Which really meant they were only mildly sorry as they trounced each other royally. No fist fights yet!101_5806

Miss Trinity actually WANTED to do schoolwork on the second day of the year. Dot-to-Dots are a great way to practice our counting and this book she got last year from friends here in Minnesota has ones up to 50! 101_5808

On the third day of 2014 Miss Echo modeled a Christmas outfit as she showed her dollies her cooking skills. 101_5810

And with that we wrapped up our week and moved into the weekend… the first of the year. Which is ALSO the first of the month… so.. HOME DEPOT. This time to make a calendar. We are seriously in love with this free program. Apparently it is also running in Canada! 101_5812

We rounded off the weekend with a look at our microscope. A bit of science to end our holiday… and ease into schooling once again! I don’t know about the kids, but I am ready! I love the organization. 101_5813

So our year has started well. I have not come up with any resolutions BUT I have decided to continue with my happy thoughts jar. I have a little pile of happiness already but no jar to put them in yet. photo (82)