Tag Archive | apps

Welcome Grandma, Down from the Great White North…

But just for a week. Which I can tell you, her dog Gypsy did not approve of. I heard tell of a minor hunger strike when cookies were snitched from meals but the actual dog chow left untouched! It was a lovely week full of a good balance of activity and rest.20170404_134102

Grandma started off smart – she hooked the kids on some puzzle game apps so they could all play together. Always a good plan, especially since they were FREE. Couple that with watching dog rescue videos together and much time was spent in quiet enjoyment.IMG_20170404_152623_521

20170407_112120We took Grandma to the YMCA twice this visit. Once to watch Trinity and Emanuel in karate and meet their Sensei.IMG_20170413_222319_460

The other time to come for our Sunday night swim. Mommy got in her exercise class, and the rest got quality pool time with Grandma letting Daddy off the hook!IMG_20170409_182842_996

20170409_18390720170409_193406Our big field trip was to the Mill City Museum. A family favourite and fun for Grandma to see some Minnesota history first hand. She and Ken took the twins up in the big elevator that walks you through the history of the mill as well as its partial destruction.20170407_130947

20170407_13183120170407_13243220170407_135035IMG_20170407_135840_62920170407_14142220170407_13384720170407_132037Grandma asked to go to two specific places to eat – Culver’s, which we went to the night she came. She had never been, we simply could not let that stand!IMG_20170404_182631_533

The second place was a brunch with adults only to Perkin’s. This was followed up by a lovely stash of bakery goods purchased by Grandma that came home for the kids to enjoy. We snuck over to Joann’s while we were out. Good food AND good shopping (with coupons of course).

It was a decadent brownie.

It was a decadent brownie.

Grandma also COOKED a couple times – we got to taste her delicious homemade spaghetti sauce. With meat in it! AND she made taco soup. A new one for all of us, but one that everyone but the girls (no surprise) enjoyed. It was beyond delicious. So of course, I must share the recipe! HERE20170406_130918

Mine is without crunched up nacho chips.

Mine is without crunched up nacho chips.

She came bearing gifts… Canadian snacks… well lots of Canadian things. Including a colouring book for the 150th birthday. She also brought us some Gypsy puppies to add to our teddy collection. We had some small tokens for her.IMG_20170404_155142_971

My early birthday gift to mom, a pin.

My early birthday gift to mom, a pin.

We had hair braiding parties.IMG_20170410_220135

And Grandma spent special quality time with all the kids. It was so lovely for them to have one on one (though the twins opted to go together) time with Grandma and fully get her hooked on Caribou coffee.

Mix in a couple nippy spring walks to the park and Grandma got a taste of early spring in Minnesota.20170405_104230

We also pulled out movies and popcorn to make sure we had some quality cinema time. Kubo was well enjoyed.IMG_20170405_010349_384

Grandma took special care braiding up Emanuel’s hair. It was nice to have a week of no hair in the eyes. Though friends said it was very… basketball player! IMG_20170405_210629_766



Since Easter was right around the corner we also did some egg decorating.IMG_20170409_145459_677





Ken and I snuck away for some quality YMCA time… well he sat, and I went to class.IMG_20170407_180036_180


It was a terrific visit. Sit back and enjoy the excessive, but happy images! Thanks for the visit Grandma!20170410_125226













Rounding Off Japan

January 10-11

Japan for the 10th brought out our love of kitties… It was rather fun to learn all about the Maneki Neko. It is an image we have seen all over the place in our Asian learning so it was wonderful to learn some background on it. Activity Village had a great video showing part of someone’s massive collection of these adorable cats… so of course I have to share it here! There is a second part to the series but we only watched the first one.

Emanuel and his Maneki Neko keychain

Gavin has started a new project for the month… he is creating his own Lego city, one hour a day at a time! So check back often to see the progress!

Lego town begins

Ken took the kids (minus Echo who is fighting off a bug) to the nearby park that they went to days earlier with Nana and Baba. I was told there was HUGE amounts of snow… and thankfully Ken utilized our camera and took some pictures of some VERY amazing snowballs made by our 4 creative geniouses.

The perfect snow for a giant snowball

Babies… and what looks like Ken’s thumb

They took their shovels with them, that’s my kids! PREPARED!

We got some rather amazing mail as well… all the way from TEXAS! Gammie sent some belated Christmas packages. Talk about excited kids! Echo was napping but we had to open the other 4’s as soon as we could get the paper off the boxes.

The source of the excitement

So much HAPPY! Thank you Gammie!

Of course once Echo woke up we HAD TO open hers as well! She does love a good present.

Fresh out of nap

Miss Trinity was very school focused and even got a workbook completed!

So proud!

The boys worked their magic with new instructions from Art For Kids! Snowboarders! Very appropriate with our consistent snow fall.

Gavin and Zander can be quite the artists

Finishing the week with the knowledge that Karyn will be here  TOMORROW is not an easy task. Everyone is excited. But we had to persevere. Emanuel had his Japanese unit to finish with TWO different activities… first off, the relaxing (generally) and beautiful art of origami. We made a boat, pig, jumping frog, and pigeon. We used the instructions that the paper came with our Little Passports mailing and then I used this wonderful free app as well… How to Make Origami. I think the jumping frog was Emanuel’s favourite.

Our origami

Our other and final item on our Japanese cultural week was the Daruma Dolls. We wrote down some wishes and tucked away his book that we printed off of Activity Village HERE.

Wishes tucked away

We also made a special Koinobori kite to represent Children’s Day.

Kite and box

We also tried our special snack – fruit mochi… I am not sure that the kids loved it per say but it was a fun first try! I swear we could keep going and going and going with Japan. But then again, it IS a country Ken and I are interested in. (Oh, we also shared Crunchyroll and an adorable anime this week – Poyopoyo.) We will probably also view this National Geographic photo app with some gorgeous photos of Japan called Fotopedia. I also found this Kids Web Japan site that looks to be a great resource!

With our treat

Gavin did his hour of Lego creativity… we have something amazing in the works I think!

Lego on the go

Our spelling test this time went pretty well… Gavin only had one word wrong (our) and Zander perfect score (of course one of his words was I). We are working on more ideas for the boys to keep them busier during our school day. More FUN learning like Trinity and Emanuel did with Trinity’s new boardgame! Thanks Gammie!


Here at the end of two days I have some cute completions to share too! I think I am just loving the crochet to pieces!!! There is definitely more to come!

Miss T’s slippers


The itty bitty version

Zombies on Friday Leads to a Zombie Like Need for Naps on Saturday??

October 5-6

Can you believe it, we got ANOTHER set of instructions to draw!! The kids are so excited every time I start the printer and are starting to expect it to be new instructions almost every day… our newest addition – ZOMBIES!!! Both of the twins were immediately dropping everything to draw their own! The results are terrific as usual!


I have to admit, I paid for the extended version of an app as well! We got the full our 80 level Perry the Platypus game for our iPad. It was only 99cents and Gavin especially LOVES it. There is a little more to it than Where’s My Water and of course it has the added bonus of characters and voice overs from Phineas and Ferb the show. (a favourite for our family off Disney Channel) I have become VERY strict on the gaming with the kids and removed the computer time from our daily schedule and put the iPad use down to every other week. I am hoping to put it back into our schedule but it is hard to let them get very much time before they start bickering or making it the be all and end all of everything. Our time without electronics has fostered so much creativity in all of the kids…

We just really try to push those books!!!

We did, however, do one of our all time favourite time consuming craft – paper chain making, in the wonderful Halloween colours of orange and black. All of the bigger kids worked on them but in the end I think Emanuel and Trinity were the proudest! 

Working CAREFULLY with the stapler

So very very proud

Saturday our plans did not go off perfectly. Well half did, half didn’t. Our evening plans with the Schwartz family were cancelled when Christopher had a run in with a power tool. Thankfully nothing was destroyed in his hand but with a trip to emergency and the necessary seeing of a hand surgeon, well that was that on those. It actually turned out for the best as even though the weather warmed up half way through the day, our morning into early afternoon of shopping for winter gear wore EVERYONE out. There was really no energy left TO go out by 2pm and everyone (except myself) went for a nap!!

The result of industrious shopping… thank you so much again Nana and Baba

This left me free to crochet. I am actually getting quite the stack of finished pieces, adding to the two scarves is a hat, fingerless gloves, two dishcloths (Christmas themed) and most recent – a mesh hat. I am very thankful to my friend Caroline who emailed me the hat pattern. I plan on making it again with a larger mesh area, and in a different colour. Though the one I just made matches the Canada mittens I bought LAST winter.

Sorry about the fuzzy pictures… used the iPad

One of the fingerless gloves

Worn more like a snood than a hat really but I love it!!!

Not the most exciting of Saturdays but a good family together time at least and allowed us to rest up for a VERY active Sunday!!

Bedtime popcorn and movie after a busy busy day!