Tag Archive | Dollarama

Ready Set… Almost Surprise Time!

September 11-12

It was a bit of a trick to really get through to the kids that it was a new year. Though using the kitchen table (with Nana and Baba gone it is freed up) to change things up a bit for now has helped.

On Wednesday we had a special visitor – Aunty Darcy! She had an errand to run in the neighbourhood so came by after it to hang out and to take yours truly out so we could enjoy a kid free lunch (one of the perks to having a hubby who can work from home!!). She was a gem and found us a caterpillar to check out. We would have kept it… until it escaped the cup and tried to make for freedom! So we examined it for a while and the twins returned it to the front yard intact.101_4497

We are working our way back to daily story time courtesy of our fantastic readers Zander and Gavin…101_4498

Checking in on science projects…101_4500

and enjoying our days as much as we can. After all learning is best when it is FUN!101_4499

Our first week of the “new” school year is an abbreviated one. We only set up to school Monday to Thursday as Friday was a special (super special) surprise for the kids. But Thursday was still school as normal. Working with the kids to see how they answer questions like – what you like, don’t like, favourite class… it is so fun finding out what runs through their heads!101_4501

The boys really went all out working on some of the new (and not so new) instructions off of Art for Kids (link on right). They are our go to place for drawing and art related ideas!!!101_4502

101_4503101_4504Miss Echo also had an absolute BLAST making her own series of messes…101_4507

The kids wowed me with a Lego Tree…101_4508

And Ken and I FINALLY made the two lunch boxes for two little girls back up in Canada… out of duct tape and some Velcro. I hope they work!101_4509

Thank goodness for Disney and our lion themed film – The Lion King! We even made rings to go with!101_4506

101_4505I can’t forget to share our Target stash… 50% off school supplies in the dollar section is AMAZING!101_4510

Coming to the End

January 6-7

Well, we are coming to the end of our time with Ted… his flight home is the evening of the 8th – after the guys plan to go to a 3D showing of Top Gun at an Imax theatre. They are only showing it that way in select theatres and only for 8 days! A terrific final event for an amazing visit. Having Ted here has been amazing… we have had time to chat, time to play and time to just sit and hang out like we used to. Trinity and Echo has renewed their love of time with Uncle Ted and the boys have had him playing Skylanders and Legos and more. As you can tell from Trinity’s photo blog entry HERE, his iPhone was a hit as well!

And snow on top of it!

Ken dropped his parents at the airport hours before the rest of us were awake. They are gone for 7 weeks in sunny Mexico. It was definitely different not having them here… though we did take the day at a more relaxed pace. Any big change to the household seems to work best for us if we do that. So with a FINISHED Lego crane to enjoy I could not help but allow them to enjoy it to the fullest. They earned that one!


We watched TWO new episodes of the Wild Kratts… on Blue Jays and Grey Squirrels and the Caracal. I love it when there is an animal that I know nothing about as well like the Caracal.

Family favourite

Blue Jays and Grey Squirrels


Our Chinese New Year work continues with Thursday being our date to start the poster assembly. We have quite a bit so I am thinking there are going to be some pockets to make and some creative space use. One more book to share… once we finish reading it… and of course our crafts to complete.

Even Batman preps for the poster

The guys have enjoyed more gaming time with Ken working from home, one break at lunch for a game and the rest of the time just us with Ken locked away. It should not be much longer before he has a desk at the office! Renovations and reorganization still to be accomplished. Such a weird but AMAZING thought – Ken is WORKING again. YAY! One more step completed, next… we work toward the ability to get our own special home… not forever as I cannot say we will be here in Minnesota forever (in fact, I am sure we won’t) but a long term home full of security and normality. Just what our family has always been working towards.


I am rather proud of our Thursday – we wanted to get going on the poster and we did! There was cutting and pasting, taping and folding and even some using of markers. I am sure we will dabble on it a little more on Friday but it is pretty full! Granted, less of China the country and more about stories and celebrations but I think this year we had a lot of fun and learned more than a little about Chinese New Year!

We had one more book to finish with – Ms. Frizzle’s Adventures in Imperial China. We got a lovely list of inventions in this book, things like silk and umbrellas…

Our book

Inventions list

Ken worked from home again, in fact… he was AHEAD after yesterday so was able to run Ted and Sean back to the Source, (a first time for Sean) to pick up something Ted had seen and liked last time. That left me home alone with the kiddos. We tried something new today – I set up different Valentine themed stations, mainly crafts… it worked pretty well though I need MORE ideas or at least more COMPLEX ideas to keep them there long enough to actually get my bath accomplished in a relaxing fashion.

Around the table

This time round we had paper chains, making paper roses, a placemat activity sheet I got at Target, a Kai Lan book we are all working on (super simple purchase from Dollarama last year, not so much Chinese beyond Kai Lan herself but fun) and the book project the twins needed to finish. You can find the instructions for our paper roses thanks to Art for Kids on the Homeschool Classroom site HERE. I honestly think that these roses would be a great gift for ANYONE any age! I was going to put up the paperchain in the tree outside but when we laid it out with our roses in their cup… well they look so pretty together in the sunshine on the table!

Flowers and paper chains

We had another Wild Kratts to watch as well… this one about BEES!


I ended my evening with a visitor on top of our other visitors! Bree managed to have a decently light day of work and so was able to head over here after and spend some visiting time. She finally got to meet and talk to Ted and Sean… in fact, she played WoW with Ted eons ago! It was great to see her and Lily to be… we are on a day by day wait on the birth of the lovely Lily. When rush hour was over we headed out to Joann’s finally! I was in desperate need of some new yarn… I have a second toilet paper scarf to make AND the need to do an infinity scarf for myself. OH and I couldn’t resist the socks.

Visiting with Bree and Lily to be

Soooo soft

I am hoping to get my Facebook page sorted out for selling again this month as well! I think Bree has caught the crafting bug too… she picked up some supplies to get back to crocheting too! I love it when a friend picks up a craft again. That means someone to chat with and craft. I have missed that here in Minnesota. I had quite the crafting group in Canada.

There is nothing more fun than a box

Reaching a New Routine

January 22-23

Two more days and the kids are still settling into the routine of Daddy leaving each day and this is him leaving around lunchtime. The following week is going to take further adjustment! But it is a good adjustment.

We get creative to fill the time! I think those are zombies and ghosts on there???

So in the meantime I am packing our days with learning… and while the kids are not always on board we are seeing progress in many things. Just need to get science pushed on into our weekly schedule on a more regular basis. I cannot wait until it is warm enough to order our ants. We did get our time in on a special two part Wild Kratts. Dolphins AND Blowfish. I think we all learned a bit!



There was some spontaneous paper crafting with all 4 of our big kids… they made crowns!

Zander and Gavin



And then Trinity and Emanuel took the stickers Aunty Karyn brought for us from Dollarama and made special space pictures…

Space… the final frontier

Add in the boardgames and we played our way to education.

Candyland for 2

Oh and the progress on Gavin’s Lego hour creation!!!

Legoland Gavin style

I treated myself to another snack thanks to Karyn – beloved Cheezies… bliss!!!!


On Wednesday we celebrated another month of reading… Emanuel got his first pizza coupon for working each day on sounding out and writing out a new word. I am so proud of their progress! This Pizza Hut sponsored program is great!!


But before that lovely dinner we had a few things to accomplish… Starting with a more simplified how to from Art for Kids – a ladybug, note Zander’s hand holding his!

Lovely scene!

Gavin spent some quality time with his baby sister playing HER version of Skylanders… some sort of weird noised back and forth with various figures that would then end up in the line again!

So sweet with her big brother

And then there is our scissors practice – Trinity is getting rather pro with her S snake from Activity Village!!

All by herself!

And to round off our creativity Zander made a rather amazing sailing pirate ship out of Legos!

VERY yellow

It feels good to see them independently create a little more! And to see some passion in our work.

Daddy and his little darling