Archive | January 2017

Barely in our Past For Once… December!

Woo! New year, new start, keeping up… not bad not bad. I don’t do resolutions, just gradually change my patterns. So here’s hoping.

Anyway… December, last month… well… Christmas, of course. Winter, some snow (sort of), busy busy. But now for the actual details of the month…IMG_20161204_22134320161220_101515

We had our traditional paper chain countdown, perler bead Advent chart AND of course, went to Activity Village for their Advent fun. Just a warning – they have gone to membership now, it is a reasonable cost and I have already signed up.

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Early on in the month Shandai and I gave it a go at a Vendor sale and set up a table of my crochet and her knitting pieces. It wasn’t a huge success but it was fun! And hopefully something we can do again!IMG_20161203_115623

A pretty view out the back of the building

A pretty view out the back of the building

We did all sorts of fun crafts at home and at Daycare.IMG_20161206_141613

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You really can make any picture Christmas-y

You really can make any picture Christmas-y

IMG_20161212_145503Practiced our recorders.IMG_20161207_223406

Christmas with the Schwartz family is a yearly much looked forward to tradition. Of course we decorated our small gingerbread houses.20161221_185445

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This is mine, you can see the rest on the overflow post HERE.

This is mine, you can see the rest on the overflow post HERE.

Opened presents and had so much fun.20161221_202237

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Look what the boys got!

Look what the boys got!

Ken and I took the girls to Jeffrey’s Christmas concert. We had Christmas with the Novaks on Christmas Eve. It was so much fun and we were there way past bedtime.FB_IMG_148264998684120161224_211435

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We found Anthony a stuffed appendix and made him up the certificate! He loved it!

We found Anthony a stuffed appendix and made him up the certificate! He loved it!

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Of course we had our Sunday School Christmas pageant. The Schwartz family came to watch.20161211_112307

We had a whole family of angels.IMG_20161211_160721

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We also had dinner out at McDonald’s to celebrate.20161211_120829

We saw Santa a SECOND time (the first was at Macy’s with Nana and Baba HERE) at the YMCA. There was all sorts of fun to be had there. IMG_20161212_014136IMG_20161203_22355220161202_18242020161202_185648

We had our monthly Bookit reading program pizza.20161215_205823

And made cookies. This year we tried out a new gingerbread recipe from the Activity Village site HERE.20161216_193111

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Monster Cookies

Monster Cookies

We had some lovely mail come. 20161220_105902

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Seriously WHO SENT THESE?

Seriously WHO SENT THESE?

IMG_20161224_161050_772And spent plenty of time at the YMCA.

Gavin

Gavin

Little Lotus Yoga pose

Little Lotus Yoga pose

IMG_20161215_202555IMG_20161226_224057_803IMG_20161228_134945_654It was a jolly Christmas. Full of fun and friends and gifts and giving.

From Ken to me

From Ken to me

I got these lovely puzzle pieces for Ken.

I got these lovely puzzle pieces for Ken.

We took full advantage of our new fryer and made FRESH poutine!20161231_182920

We even made it to one of Anthony’s indoor soccer games.IMG_20161210_174921

Skyping family!IMG_20161224_120754_102

For New Years we spent the night at home with a lovely drop by last minute by the Schwartz family for an hour or two.20161231_222352

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Yup quite the month!!! I hope you enjoyed the wander through images!

The Grass is Always Greener…

on the other side… I am sure we have all pretty much heard SOME variation on that old saying. But is it really? I wonder, at times, if anyone sees MY “grass” as greener than theirs.

If you take the saying literally and look in my backyard (heck let’s be honest, front yard too) it is obvious, the neighbour’s grass IS greener. But, that is mainly because weeds masquerading as grass will NEVER have the plush vibrant green of true lovely grass. So, yah… my grass is not greener if you want to get TECHNICAL.

Now take the saying as a saying… do you see my life as better/easier/greener than yours? I have a somewhat skeptical view when it comes to the idea that someone would see my life as simple and fun from the outside looking in. Let’s lay it out as I am rather sure it appears:

  • 5 kids
  • homeschool
  • stay at home mom
  • no license (because I don’t have one)
  • husband has been diagnosed with severe depression AND a hearing disability
  • one income household
  • idea of a good night – anime and crochet

Some good, some bad, some awesome in my mind. But I am not sure it is anyone else’s idea of an enviable lifestyle as much as I love my life. Ups and downs and all. So as a full out overview – my grass seems a little… sparse… but there are aspects… I get to homeschool, I have chosen to have my say fully in their education and embrace it as my life. I get to be at home, with my babies (and honestly, I hate working), which if I am utterly honest is a bit of a double edged sword. My husband is DIAGNOSED, and as far as we have seen CORRECTLY. I wonder if anyone can grasp the huge relief and gift that is. We have titles and names and symptoms and, even more important, a plan to a healthier life.

Now you can envy all you want on that last one – I get to craft… and watch anime… bliss.

I have made it one of my active choices to NOT look at the outside of someone’s life and be jealous or judgmental. What is the saying – still waters run deep? You can see a dictionary meaning HERE, but really what I mean by that is that what seems like a beautiful and gilded life is often masking turmoil, trial and tribulations and so much more. So, unless I want to let myself place a huge amount of worth on the physical possessions of others… well it is so much better to simply be pleased for them and realize that my life is mine. It is the sum of my choices, the result of my experiences. There is a lot of truth in the belief that without the ups and downs you would not be the person you are.

And, when I look deep inside, I like me. I am a good person, I try my best in all things, I love well… I try to live well. Your grass, your choices and abilities and possessions, the are not mine. And that is ok. We all do what we can with what we have.

Now that is not to say I haven’t seen someone’s new toy or home or adorable fluffy, sweet kitty and been a wee bit jealous. Honesty is important, and I REALLY want my own little kitten to love and pet and snuggle. We all are weak to that I think… no, not cats… but to a wee bit of jealousy. But do I want their life… do I want to give up my own and fit into theirs? Nope.

It is really important that, at the end of the day, we see the good. This is something that was super important early on in Ken’s journey to a healthier life, and remains important even to today. At the end of the day I can always see something special, something positive, something ours that happened. The more you can embrace the life you live the less you see the need to gaze at someone else’s.

I think at times I really wonder – would ANYONE want my life? The thought makes me giggle, so many people say they could never do what I do. Good! Because if you did I would be out of a job. And that wouldn’t work. I could not imagine my life any other way. Could you?DSCN1497[1]

Slavery and The Mayflower… Unit Studies

Just a quick note – Activity Village has gone to membership, we found it rather reasonable and so paid in. This means I will still be posting their links. Some things are free, I will try to remember to indicate what is in the future! 

 

I let the twins chose a unit study for history to start out their new year. This has been a mixed success as the time it took to work on this unit was longer than expected and had us running into seasonal projects. So I do need to work on amping up our time on US history and ignoring some of the softer “fun” topics.

I looked all over for a good free lapbook resource to no avail. So we splurged and got a lapbook from Currclick – Slavery in North America by Hands of a Child. It was worth every penny!

Of course I requested books from the library:

Instead of covering Thanksgiving once again and going into massive detail on a first meal that may or may not (most likely NOT) happened as it has been repeated along with all sorts of cultural issues we focused on one thing this year – The Mayflower. We decided to make a fact poster and still do a few fun Thanksgiving themed worksheets.

We used the following library books:

For worksheets do check out Activity Village’s Thanksgiving sheets HERE, Education.com has my Thanksgiving folder HERE and EnchantedLearning is a great help HERE (this is a link to my search results). I would suggest lots of google searches but those are my three go to sites (some membership fees to access everything are required for Education.com and EnchantedLearning).

Our Mayflower fact poster

Our Mayflower fact poster