Tag Archive | duct tape

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

Long Weekend-ish

The brilliant part about homeschooling is the ability to take on or not take on a long weekend. In this case we decided to forego the Labour Day weekend and start our school year officially on the 3rd. But first… Sunday…

After the excitement of the Abundant Harvest and our exploration of the grounds in front of the Walker museum there was a lot to accomplish here at home. I am still attempting my homeschool organization with limited space for stuff to actually stay out. Our corner with Grandpa’s desk is completed, laptop and netbook and all. I am quite happy with the corner that we have set up. Now the boys can have their time there and do a little bit of fun time on the computer. After all, now that we are in the US we can actually properly use PBSkids.org.



We did take some time out to run errands. Target for school supplies (gotta replace those pens with the spirograph) and dental supplies (where does that toothpaste go?) and then to Home Depot to attempt to replace a broken wheel on Ken’s desk chair. Apparently Staples chairs are not a simple match and instead we got our non soil stuff for the herb garden AND some new duct tape for under 4.00… now to have TIME to work on it! 

That left the rest of the day for naps (Echo) and playing (the rest) and for yours truly to take the yarn in the house and take it from skeins to balls. I definitely do not want to have knots to deal with when I do eventually get good enough for more complicated projects. And there IS something lovely about a stack of tidy ball of yarn put away. 

Boys up a tree… can you see both?

I am so glad that the kids are starting to realize that doing school together full force is not only necessary but could be fun too. They are getting excited about working on their observation journals. I think our herb garden will help as well… and then there is the Wonder Box on its way and Emanuel’s surprise. I am getting excited about all of this as well. I have started my own journal, well sort of. At Target I picked up a cheap scribbler to record what I think we will get done each day, to plan a day or two ahead (after the first week’s trial go) and to have visible progression for myself. That way I can alter lists, carry on things that we don’t get to… make notes. There is something absolutely wonderful about writing stuff down to me. 

Waiting for their mail

Sunday night was prep night. So Ken and I assembled the banner the kids had previously coloured and cut out… you can find it HERE. And of course printed out our back to school booklet (sadly I cannot find an active link for the file I use). 

Our banner

So our first day of the “new” school year and our first school year down in Minnesota… how mean are we to skip the long weekend? The best way to start… colouring our interpretation of the signs I have seen all over the internet for the first day pictures. I made up one for each of the 3 little kids (I especially like Echo’s) and then one for the twins to share… handed the kids crayons and said GO NUTS! I love personalizing things! 

Colouring the signs!

Finished sheets!

With them all dressed and hair brushed it was time to go into the front yard and take some photos. Echo was determined to include the baby doll, stroller AND her paper! 

Our girls

1st Grade


After that, back inside for breakfast and then time with Daddy finishing the Mars book while I snuck in my bath. They discussed how massive the sun must be and the colours things are… lots of gluing and chatter and best of all – time with their Daddy! 

Gavin’s Mars Rover!

We had each of the kids draw a picture with something they would like to learn about this year… we have to add in cats, platypuses and of course Emanuel’s favourite… DINOSAURS! I think we can work on ALL of those over the year! And then, of course, there was the books for the 3 boys… I love this booklet, it includes a goal for the year, things about them… the family… I hope we can do these EACH year!


With lunch approaching and a beautiful day outside we put Echo down for her nap and took the rest outside to start our indoor herb garden! We all helped! I am REALLY hoping this thing grows!!!! We have to water it every second day so I had Ken print out a September calendar page and have marked it with a W for the days to water. 

Herb garden

Add in some extra pictures, a room to clean (and 5 min to lose each boy from their computer time for the day for not doing it nicely) and of course that much wished for computer time… I think we did rather well! And we ENDED our day with popcorn and watching the Labour Day Marathon on Animal Planet – Call of the Wildman.

Popcorn and tv

Yours truly has been busy winding yarn onto balls, working on her… crochet… thing… and hunting for further how to steps… Ok I think I may need a person to show me, (hint hint Shandai) but I have joined Ravelry (as Ayjah) and started doing some YouTube vid hunting (did you know that the UK has different names for stitches!!!)… progress and increased difficulty will be accomplished… eventually! 

All 5 in a row

I Did It! I Survived My First Sale!

And now we get to the near weekend… The weather has not been pretty come weekend, wind, rain (though not as much as projected), even some hail in our area… oh and don’t forget Saturday’s tornado warnings with at least two touch downs (out of our direct area thankfully). We have been trying to get through to the boys that even with the stresses and upsets of the past few months we have to deal with each other with respect, patience and understanding… on BOTH sides. Both of the twins have been going out of their way to find things to ask to do that they KNOW we can’t do… or at times when they cannot do them. I am hoping that this coming week I see some sort of a change in attitude, especially with my leaving on the 16th for almost a week to watch Kathy’s cats. 

I really am hoping that this month marks the end of our moving Odyssey. I have done my best to continue with our teaching, to bring normal moments to the chaos and to be the best mother, husband, bestfriend, etc that I can be. I am not sure I will ever know if I have done a good job, or even ENOUGH of a job… all I know is that I have done my very BEST. I hope that the world and my family know that that is the most they can ask of me. I hope that the those same people feel that it is enough (well really that my FAMILY does, because really… in the long run my family is what matters… the rest of the world is all on the outside looking in).

Anyway, Friday… Friday marked the date we FINALLY got Emanuel that much sought after haircut. Zander rounded out the party as we were hoping Walmart would have their glasses area open. They did, but too long of a line up… that left me with 3 of the 5. Gavin and Trinity took time to work together on a special picture for Gavin’s book. Faeries and trees and sunshine all played a part. 

Hard at Work

All done

After the 3 menfolk returned there was further time for creativity. In honour of the glasses repair that wasn’t Zander created some replacement glasses out of pipcleaners.

Very creative

And Emanuel was a pro with his workbook. He looks so grown up with his new haircut! 

Well done

Add to all that adventure the fun of making biscuits with Grandma while waiting on Aunty Karyn’s arrival and the general school stuff for the day and it was a VERY good day! 


And then Saturday… and the craft sale!!! My first ever… and while we and my friend who was one of two people running the event were the only handcrafted tables we did ok. I sold one headband and 9 owls. Sadly we did not sell any of It’s a Hoot‘s friends’ items BUT Karyn and I are already debating the merits of a Farmer’s Market for something more in our… theme range? It was fun though, I saw friends from town, got in some good visiting AND got to hang out with Karyn. And while we didn’t sell tons, we DID get lots of compliments.   

The table!!

Which led to the OTHER promised treat… Trinity got to use that loonie she had been saving for… well a month or more… to buy a slurpee with her Aunty Karyn… that included riding in Karyn’s car, paying HERSELF and getting compliments from the staff at the convenience store on her purse, coin bank and outfit (the first two were Hello Kitty themed). 

Dressed up special for slurpees

The kids were overjoyed to have time with their Aunty and had her hopping frogs for over an hour! 

Froggy time

She and I got our outing after supper and putting the littles to bed… nothing fancy, McDonald’s and some minor window shopping but I think we both enjoyed it. It was hard saying goodbye again. We have been so spoiled in the past with weekday evening visits.

So that was my foray into selling my crafts… I definitely want to try it again!!! AND I reconnected with friends… made tentative plans for getting Ken out of the house with a friend (we wives can conspire). 

The cat who figured it should come in with Karyn