Archive | July 2014

A Week of Sunshine and Joy

June 15-20

Sunday was Father’s Day and a down day for the family… the 16th/Monday our Anniversary. You can see the pictures from the dinner out HERE at the end of the rather extensive Wedding etc blog post!

We did put the kids to work on Monday the 16th cleaning their room and the bathroom.101_7935

Which was topped by mail from Gammie… more Legos from the Mixels series she is collecting for them! Thank you Gammie! I got them out of the package and I swear you blinked and they were built!101_7937

101_7938On Tuesday we were home all alone with Daddy gone to gaming and Nana and Baba in Mexico so we had a junk food dinner with movies and snuggle time.101_7941

Don’t forget mid afternoon end of movie dance time!!101_7939

On Wednesday we took advantage of the many updates of the Art for Kids site (link on right).101_7943

And Gavin finished the first of his 5 projected chapter books for the summer Pizza Hut reading program. Not bad!!! For this book he did a chapter by chapter summary. On the next book he is reading the whole thing and then telling the story to us all in brief101_7944

We managed a lovely park visit/Geocache. While our speed at hunting has lessened every time we DO go has been full of excitement and avid hunters.101_7954

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We left the travel bug and took the handmade dolly

We left the travel bug and took the handmade dolly

On Thursday Miss Echo revisited her mail with vigor. She is also well into making special pictures she then has me write down what is what and send off.101_7961

101_7963We printed off some maple leaves from Activity Village (link on right look up Canada) and cut them out. Then each of the kids recorded something they like or remembered about Canada to put on our paper for our Canada Day learning. It is fun to remind ourselves of some of our past enjoyments that are so thoroughly tied to location.101_7962

Miss Echo got her chance with the PS3… she is starting to line up the buttons with actions a little more now but there is always some sort of boogie across the floor that goes with her playing. Interpretive dance gaming I think!101_7964

She is such a little card.101_7966

Of course a local series of garage sales had us out hunting bargains. That is our usual summer plan… hunt for helpful bargains!101_7980

101_7979By Friday it was back to school.101_7967

We are doing a special science report on a Canadian animal. One of the twins did the Moose and the other the Canadian Goose. I am working on them using resources independently to answer their questions with me going over them after to check them for spelling and actually answering the question.101_7968

Since we ended up misplacing the plug for last year’s pool and we had yet to make it to Sam’s Club to replace it a sunny afternoon with a good solid morning of classes earned us time with the sprinkler. It took a bit of trial and error to figure out the correct setting on the one usually used for watering the garden but we managed and out came the swimsuits, smiles and giggles. Winter is certainly becoming a cold memory for everyone.101_7970

101_7972101_7974101_7975After fun in the sun the girls pulled out the newest garage sale find and played Strawberry Shortcake. Some pieces are missing but 3 of the 4 girls are complete and they made do anyway. For 50 cents it they are pleased as punch.101_7976

We had a butterfly to examine…101_7981

And visitors to play with – Renee, Chris, Nathan, Jeffrey and Evan all came by to say hello, have dinner put up a light. The one over the sink had been down to one bulb for ages and with it burning out so quickly with each replacement Nana and Baba had bought a new one that needed installing. Ken even had time to make fresh chocolate chip cookies.101_7984

Jeffrey

Jeffrey

Checking out the onions that grew themselves from last year

Checking out the onions that grew themselves from last year

Bubbles!

Bubbles!

Men at work

Men at work

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Evan and Echo

Evan and Echo

The best way to end the week, company for dinner and playmates for the kids. So many happy memories.101_7951

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Reflecting on Cory and Karen’s Special Weekend

June 13-14

I know I have posted a wonderful picture filled post about Cory and Karen Mathews’ beautiful wedding HERE but Matron of Honour and friend Renee (also sister of the bride!) sent me HER pictures to share. I am looking forward to seeing the photographer’s pictures when we get the chance. There was HOURS of photos before and after the ceremony. I am sure there were some real gems.

Anyway. The 13th had us saying good bye to Sean. Ken was smart and scheduled his counselling appointment for the week before Sean left so I was able to go and talk with his amazing psychologist. This is my second chance to do so and I have to say she makes me so confident in Ken’s ongoing quest for a healthier mental state. I am so proud of my husband for facing his depression face on and for accepting that I need to be a part of this process.

Saying good bye to Uncle Sean

Saying good bye to Uncle Sean

After Ken drove Sean to the airport he returned to pick all of us up and we headed to the Catholic church for the rehearsal. They had a lovely sanctuary and a sizable wedding party.20140613_182448

Keeping the kids busy

Keeping the kids busy

101_7917Once the ushers knew their jobs and the kids’ portion was done (Renee and Chris’ sons Evan and Nathan were ring bearers) Matt (Chris’ brother and Ken’s friend) took our 5 and Evan with him to the park around the back of the building. Which was a nice mini break for yours truly.101_7918

After the rehearsal was done it was time to head off to the Italian restaurant for a buffet style grooms’ dinner.

Bride and Groom

Bride and Groom

The girls chose to wear matching dresses

The girls chose to wear matching dresses

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Yum!

Yum!

Karen and Renee

Karen and Renee

That was it for us for the day… the next day was a rather large adventure for everyone. We started with dropping me off for my hair by 9 then Ken dropping the kids at the Novaks’ (thank you so much Andy and Darcy for taking our 5!) and then back to get me to head to the church to get him dressed for the pictures beforehand. Whew and that was BEFORE the ceremony! It was a beautiful ceremony with a lovely reception and now I am going to share the rest of the pictures Renee sent me! Enjoy the additional wedding pretty!!!

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Mother of the bride center

Mother of the bride center

Beautiful sisters

Beautiful sisters

Going into the reception they all dressed silly. This is Chris (Renee's husband)

Going into the reception they all dressed silly. This is Chris (Renee’s husband)

Kevin brother of Renee and Karen

Kevin brother of Renee and Karen

Throwing the bouquet

Throwing the bouquet

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Making a Visit Count and Then Some

June 9-12

What to do on a Monday… a true summer holiday Monday? Well we went down to half days. At least we tried our best with a houseguest and the weather and the new knowledge for the boys that summer vacation really means VACATION grrrr. So to mix it up a bit I gave each of the kids a file folder to decorate. We will put their worksheets, colouring pages etc in there to get to when they want and when it is needed. Eventually I would love to have special boxes or drawers but until we have funds or space this is the go to measure for the year. If you notice Trinity wrote her name in the Chinese characters we have been practicing. I am still not set up to fully teach a second language but we are enjoying practicing our names and the numbers 1-5 (later to do 1-10). I got my numbers from the site Chinese-word.com HERE. The names are thanks to Aunty Xinny.101_7872

Echo and Trinity worked their pattern skills and helped me make our traditional thematic paper chains… this time in red and white for Canada Day. We definitely need a better stapler. The tiny one I have from MY school days is very hard for them to use and go through the papers safely but we managed.101_7874

I really quickly crocheted up a new object for our Geocaching trips. Thanks to CrochetSpot.com I got the instructions for making a water bottle holder. You can find these free instructions HERE. It is a quick stitch up and I used my favourite variegated Caron Simply Soft. I think I added a few rounds and of course reinforced my strap. I figure it frees up the boys’ hands when we need that bottle of water. Much safer for all the climbing about they do!101_7875

Seriously this year we have exchanged copious amounts of squirrels for bunnies this year! Everywhere hop hop hop. The kids are loving it, the greenery not so much. And every time there is one we HAVE TO take a picture !!!101_7878

Rabbits or not this did not stop the fun for the kids when Cousin Robbie showed up for a gaming evening. This brought our numbers up to 4. Ken and Sean were out when he got there which was perfect for the kids to get in their cousin play time (crucial if we want ANY alone game time!).101_7879

101_7880We played various games including my Christmas present – MUNCHKIN! Lots of fun!101_7881

And ended the evening in the basement with the PS3. It is great to have a family member who embraces gaming as much as we do! AND likes some of the games Ken likes and that I like as well!101_7882

On Tuesday Emanuel finished decorating his folder. We definitely had to bring out the sticker box. I am in need of adding to my stash finally!101_7883

We took some time to watch a Wild Kratts. The show is still being made which is AWESOME. I don’t think we will ever tire of making our mini posters. I have noticed the retention of information and the urgency to have me pause the show to write it down has increased.

Elf and Burrowing Owls

Elf and Burrowing Owls

On Wednesday there was a garden to tend with Nana and Baba…101_7885

And Books to read through…101_7886

101_7888By Thursday things are getting busy busy. First Nana and Baba are working to get ready to fly out in the middle of the night with Joe and Faithe and the cousins for 10 days in Mexico. At the same time we have our half day of school and Sean’s last full day in Minnesota. Miss Echo is right in the thick of it with colouring sheets and her file folder. It is so wonderful to see her so interested in getting involved in our daily schooling though sometimes it can be a bit of a challenge to keep her going and deal with the other 4! We are definitely learning to take our turns.101_7889

With the Pizza Hut summer reading program there is a dragon theme and one of the worksheets had the twins finding the different sorts of dragons in a wordsearch. We have printed a few of those out after hunting them down online and the kids are working on colouring them when they are interested. I love the time they are taking with these.101_7890

Back came the bunny as well… and rather persistently NOT scared of noises or anything from the sunroom. Not until the kids ran out to see it did it actually (and rather leisurely) hop away.101_7892

101_7893Since it was the last day for Sean we managed to finagle Nana and Baba as sitters and headed to Mall of America for dinner and some shopping. We had some amazing Japanese food and a fun run through the mall including my favourite stationary store Typo and an amazing hat store where Sean got himself a new hat for all the walking and jogging he does.20140611_192608 20140611_192726 20140611_192732 20140611_200051

It was definitely an adventure… we hunted down the bubble tea shop, found out that the Sanrio store was gone AND had a flat tire in the best possible access parking spot. So I got to watch the guys put on a spare. Quite the entertaining experience and a further proof of how healthy Ken has begun… he was so calm and even able to joke about it!

And that was that… oh we did stay up super late to watch Hot Fuzz and hang out but Ken had to get up and drive to the airport and all that… A week that counted I really think! With a wedding coming up next!IMG_20140611_195410