Tag Archive | Christopher

History, Snacks and Other Fun

February 22-25

What to do on a weekend when we plan to be home for it? Well… have company! Childhood friend Christopher and his wife Renee who is due any day with their 3rd (boy) and their sons Nathan and Evan. They came over for lunch and playtime. Younger than our boys the kids still managed to have a lot of fun. Of course Skylanders came out and Legos and such. It was nice to have company over where the adults could just sit around and chat (or craft).101_6276

Walking Tacos

Walking Tacos

We ended our Saturday calmly with a movie. Really not much to report beyond a great visit with old friends.101_6278

Sunday was totally a crafty day… after Sunday school. I had to get EVERYTHING out and package up my big commission from a friend up north… she requested I make her a variety of critters for her to gift etc this year… I think I covered the spectrum and had a blast honing my skills while doing it. Is it ever hard to wait until she gets it to find out her thoughts!!!101_6279

And then for a more local (but still mailing away) craft… one I have not done in ages – an infant knotted tutu. Using glitter tulle so I am on the hunt for the escaped glitter now. Really glitter is EVIL!101_6280

Monday was back to work… and back to swimming for the twins. I am really impressed how much more RELAXED they are each time.

We had some more sporty drawing to enjoy. Art for Kids (on right) put up a stick figure figure skating… something Trinity was quick to say SHE wanted to draw.101_6281

We decided to create our own Olympic medals. I love the 4 different interpretations… Zander’s all had his name on them, Gavin recreated the official ones for this year… the other two were equally creative. I got our template from Activity Village HERE. We used the 3 sizes of circles to show the different places as I really didn’t want to print out enough that we had 4 sets of large circles!101_6282

Emanuel and I are working on our Magic Treehouse dinosaur themed story still. It is so much fun reading one on one with him. His own reading skills are increasing by leaps and bounds!101_6283

We added a new animal to our Wild Kratts list – the Meadow Vole. The twins have come up with a new idea along the same lines. They want to watch Dirty Jobs episodes with Mike Rowe and pick one of the jobs of the episode to research further. We have been working on our Google searching and how we type in a specific topic or sentence and then reading through articles… with adult supervision of course.101_6286

The weather is just too yuck for the little ones so we pulled out our rainy day fun bucket and did some creative sticker and face shape crafting. Echo especially found this  to be great fun!101_6287

101_6289Tuesday was a rather special day… of course we still did our basics including some Lego time…101_6291

BUT Tuesdays 5-8 pm are free admission at the Minnesota History Center!101_6295

101_6335There was tons to see and do and not enough time for us to do it all. We had only an hour (5-6) before we needed to be back for Ken to go to his weekly gaming night but we made good use of it. We went straight to the area that was the most hands on for the kids. I want to go back and see the prohibition era limited time display in the following weeks.

There was tons about the fur trade and the Native Americans…101_6304


Reproducing bead patterns

Reproducing bead patterns

A great display about the use of Bison…101_6321

And so much more.101_6297

101_6312101_6326The 4 big kids and Ken tried out the mine area as Echo was having nothing to do with the noise and darker ambiance.101_6330

It was so much fun to head out and just enjoy learning about the state we now live in. Together time well worth it! And how to end the evening with Daddy gone to gaming? With a late snack food supper and a movie… THOUGH I hasten to say – fun mommy was only for ONE night… the next night we planned bacon wrapped pork and vegetables…101_6337

The joy of learning not only at home but out in the open air!





Malls, Games and Legos Oh My!

February 4-5

So we have Nana and Baba just until the early AM of the 6th so what are we to do but take a run out on Monday and see not only Mall of America and do a little shopping but head out to what we were told was the best Ethiopian restaurant around – Fasika! Bree suggested it, Ted ordered for us and it was… AMAZING!!! I mean seriously AMAZING! I want to go back. We had meat and vegetables and the most amazing tea… you eat with your fingers The company was as fun as the food… you eat only with your fingers and this amazing soft bread. Seriously TRY IT OUT!

lamb and mince


Ken and I

Anyway BEFORE that was Mall of America and a few stops… Legoland of course, the Sanrio store and I stopped in at Betty Paige to check out the dresses and debate some fashions. I really want another dress… I am torn between one I tried on before and THIS one.

Before that was our first day with Sean… the kids were INSANELY excited… where hanging with Uncle Ted seems to bring cuddling and calm, Uncle Sean is like a whirlwind of excitement which is hilarious because he is a champion NAPPER!

Uncle Ted time

Crazy Sean

Napping Sean

Add Uncle Sean to the post Birthday rush and well… EXCITEMENT… Having BOTH Uncles is insane!

Skylanders for all

Of course we squeezed in some drawing time. This time there were two different instructions used off of Art for Kids – the horse and cupid. The horse, especially, was more difficult than the norm as there were lines to be drawn and then erased.

Gavin’s horse

Zander’s cupid

We made ourselves some lucky goldfish to go on our Chinese New Year poster. The kids are absolutely enthralled with how many things are lucky.

So pretty

With a shopping trip at Legoland I am sure you can imagine what the 5th (also the twins’ birthDATE) brought – a rather simplified schooling schedule. The set that Sean got the boys to share was VERY complicated and did not get completed in the full day of work but WOW did they work together and ENJOY it!

Gavin at work with his assistant Zander

We skipped our dinosaurs but a friend on one of my egroups sent me a great link with cross stitch patterns of dinosaurs you can check out HERE. The last one is perfect for a beginner stitcher. I may have Gavin do that.

Instead Emanuel worked on his Lego gift – a helicopter

We needed to burn off some energy so I sent the kids out to shovel and followed with Echo to enjoy the decent weather. Trinity and Echo tried freezing bubbles outside but it wasn’t cold enough. So instead Gavin conscripted Echo to help finish off the walk… gotta start them young!

Don’t ask where Zander’s hat is… ugh

Catch the bubble!

See this is how you do it little sister

I love the Hello Kitty Sean picked out for Echo, and so does she! The only purple one in the store that was ALMOST as big as her!

In love

This was the last evening for Nana and Baba before their 7 weeks in Mexico! Snorkeling is on the list of things to do this trip I am told! So we had take out Chinese from the Rose Garden (total yum, great prices and large portions we never get it from anywhere else).

Post dinner carnage!

Then Ken, Sean, Ted, Christopher and Cory had a gaming evening here at the house. Another on of those things that we enjoy on BOTH sides of the border!


So with TWO uncles here, a post birthday present pile to enjoy and some last minute time with Nana and Baba before their trip we spent the last few days more than a little content and the kids in a state of permanent excitement! Oh and we did some school work too…

Hanging out with Uncle Ted

The Fun is Out There

October 19-20

As has become our pattern with the dinosaurs today was NOT a new dinosaur day, instead Emanuel and I sorted through the dinosaurs we have already learned about and picked out our current carnivores! He is still not to firm on the names of some of them but has started to recognize what characteristics mean that a dinosaur eats plants or meat. 

Brilliant Meat eaters!

We finished our Minnesota library book and the boys and I talked about things we know about Minnesota to add to our book. I personally find it interesting that we moved from a country that has a coin called a Loonie to a place where the state bird is the Loon! 

After Minnesota reading tv time

We beaded it up Halloween style for the most part. Echo is really interested in Perler Beads but she just does not have the concentration or the ability. I am thinking we may need to look into Biggie Beads for her. 

Gavin and his non Halloween piece

Oh AND Emanuel and Trinity FINALLY got their 25 checkmarks ice cream… They actually have more than that now but this was our first chance to get out to McDonalds with just the two of them and have ICE CREAM! Then they were along for the present shopping ride at the nearby Target for the birthday party. I am so proud of these two. Emanuel practiced his printing and Trinity WILLINGLY did workpages…  


I have begun my Christmas list. This is a tricky one, there are people back in Canada to send to that need to be light and easy to ship and the people here in the US that we can be a little more creative with. I am thinking owls and other creative measures will be best but first there is the list of names and then matching creations to the people.

Saturday was a birthday party and the same indoor playground we visited on our LAST visit here 3 years ago! Echo did pretty much the same repetitive stuff I remember helping and watching Trinity do that last visit! Miss Trinity herself opted to play in the little guy area with her sister (even though it was rated at 3 and under) and I really have NO idea what the boys did as they ran right in and played until we called them out for food or they had to go bathroom. 

Meeting random kids

A book nook

The boys were up there somewhere!

There was pizza and yogurt and juice and water for lunch… And a cupcake cake for desert! There were TWO birthday boys – our family friend Nathan and his friend Matthew. Nathan is Christopher and Renee’s son (they have a younger boy named Evan who is right around Echo’s age).  After presents there was time for a little more play. I think they all had a blast, the birthday boy liked his gift from us and the kids were very pleased with their gift bags. We are hoping that in the near future we can have a quieter visit though are waiting for Christopher’s hand to heal before we plan anything major. 

Quite the group!

The cake!

Happy Birthday!

So the kids made new friends, played hard and had a GREAT day. Success!

Out from behind the camera briefly