Tag Archive | fruit

A Very Merry Johnson Christmas

We have not spent a Christmas in Minnesota since we were first married so this was a long time in coming and a day of HUGE excitement, even for Ken! We started our morning at the reasonable time of 8 am with Echo having to be WOKEN UP! Of course, she had not had much of a nap on Christmas Eve so it was not a huge surprise.

Sneak attack on the Santa gift – a rocking… MOOSE!

Luckily the Christmas pj’s managed to make it through the night unscathed so we had our cuties all dressed up and ready to start the presents.

With their stockings

The morning was set aside for our Canadian Christmas items… Of course Santa delivered with the wish lists. The biggest item of excitement ended up being (not surprisingly) the ps3 game Skylanders Giants. The boys had been talking about this game since the summer when we spent  that month or so with the Bleau family. It was a favourite of Logan’s. Santa’s presents were too big for the stockings (like Echo’s rocking moose or Trinity’s special toy trunk) so Santa let ME use the stockings.

Ripping into the presents

The hats I made each of the kids went over well as did the little Pato inspired bird I crocheted. (Picture to follow later)

Echo’s hat (Sorry, a later in the evening picture… in her pj’s from Grandma and Grandpa Reinsch)

Add to that the lovely handmade creations from my sister Kat (South Carolina) and the pj’s from my dad and step mom and we were well outfitted.

Emanuel in his Angry Birds hat made by Aunty Kat

There were also the toys from Uncle Wayne, the items mailed to us from Gammie AND the toys from James, Holly and Jimmie. It was Echo’s year to have the “some assembly required” toys. Although when all was said and done her little nursery center from her Aunty Holly and Uncle James and Jimmie was a total hit! As was her brand new Cabbage Patch baby. In fact, Trinity says that since she did NOT  get a dolly for Christmas she is going to use HER Christmas money to purchase a Cabbage Patch kid all her own.

Opening her Assembly Required gift

With baby

Trinity ended up with her tea pot, cups and saucer set, fruit AND hat and was pleased with all! Echo LOVED her bunny… so I am feeling a bit accomplished with people LIKING my handmade gifts still.

Bunny love

We also gave Ken’s parents two strings of traditionally coloured lights to put on their tree… you know, the red, blue, yellow and green ones?

Traditional colours… like the big bulb ones we used to put on the outside of houses

After all the excitement of the “Canadian Christmas” it was time for breakfast – sausagestrata and then tidying up because the cousins were on their way!


Eating breakfast

Of course we had to put Skylanders in and let the boys play and truly explore the presents we received that morning.

Starting up the game

For the first time in YEARS I got my present ON Christmas… my very own Kindle Fire! It is so much lighter than the iPad but still has a lot of the tablet capabilities. So while I still need the iPad for a few things like the Apple IM I now have my own reader. I need to take some of my Christmas money and get myself a cover right away and then see about connecting to the library and start borrowing some books! Perhaps later in the year I can create a bit of a book budget???


Of course I had to dress the girls up. And have the boys in matching shirts.


Now on to the afternoon and presents from Nana and Baba… talk about MOUNTAINS! Santa was ALSO present in the form of amazing bags with each kid’s name on it. 7 kids with piles of presents wrapped and waiting… can you imagine the high energy? Seriously it was CRAZY!

A room full of joy


There were so many wonderful gifts, Hello Kitty, a wall car set, a Little People Princess Castle with all the people for Echo. Although it was slow going with Echo… she would open a present and then want it ALL the way open before starting on the next.

Gotta examine the puzzles


Opening their gift from Joe and his family

There was candy and fun little quick items like glow bracelets mixed in with Legos and other wonderful items. Trinity was over the moon with ANOTHER Hello Kitty outfit. In fact, add to that the headband I purchased online from Facebook and she was head to toe in it once she took off her party dress.

Hello Kitty from head to toe

After all the presents were opened and carnage of paper cleared it was a rush to get into every toy they could! I think everyone was rather pleased with what they received and very thankful. Soon after the paper clean up was done it was time to welcome the rest of the family coming for dinner – Johnson side! Jim, Judy, Robbie and Jessica. They came bearing MORE gifts… and pie!




Showing off the new toys in the basement

We HAD TO open these new presents BEFORE supper, though at that point Miss Echo was already asleep for a much needed nap. The theme for the boys – remote controls… helicopters for the twins and a monster truck for Emanuel. Talk about wild excitement.

Present time… AGAIN



Remote control for the win

Trinity got Hello Kitty themed blocks (now she has two sets and is absolutely over the moon at having so many) and automatically collected her Aunty Faith AND Aunt Judy to help assemble.

Working together


After the presents were opened and paper away AGAIN it was time for supper… HAM! The tables looked beautiful yet again and we all ate until we were beyond full.

Supper time (Echo was sleeping/napping)… Gavin is in the red



This time, TWO tables full

There was an assortment of deserts including our candy cane cake, this time… as CAKE!


Echo had her present time AFTER her nap (which was much needed)…

Post nap present

All in all everyone was pretty pleased. Though when asked Trinity stated that she got everything BUT a Cabbage Patch Doll (as I mentioned previously). Which is why we saved our Christmas money until AFTER Christmas… but that is a story for the next entry. 

On the phone with Grandma in Canada

Hedgehog… enough said? (No he is NOT mine)

So homeschooling is definitely something we ALL love in this family but these sunny days (as mentioned yesterday) are kicking my bum! We have a nice routine though, Ken gets up with the kids and they have breakfast… one of the twins feeds Echo hers and outside they go. Run run run that energy out… and back in for Stuart Little. Trinity has decided that NOTHING will do but to have Daddy draw her mouse… this time in bed asleep. 

Chapter 2... They each picked a different portion of the chapter to draw!! I love Emanuel's Christmas ornaments - included random letters!

The story has not failed to deliver yet… today Stuart played in a piano, his parents destroyed a book in the name of parenting AND altered a beloved Christmas poem from mouse to louse… the kids were slightly confused as to WHY that was necessary! (I do not believe they were alone on that one)

We found some reusable sticker books for Trinity to play with which sort of kept her busy… well occupied with a side of HELP I CAN’T GET THIS STICKER OFF!!!

Sticker book...

We headed BACK out to the backyard for ANOTHER pool session for Echo… she managed (with careful mommy supervision) to work her OWN way into the pool – face first and against mommy’s strict instructions but with sputtering and giggling the whole time. Thank goodness Gavin followed instructions and made the pool super shallow! BUT we miscalculated and the place we put the pool apparently is shady ALL day so the water was COLD… so as soon as she got sorted she was squeaking every time she sat down for the first bit – CHILLY MOMMY! Trinity thought it was hilarious.

The water is cooooooold!!!

We were able, with Freecycle, to pass along our packing boxes… to the same woman who bought an old lion costume from me late last month! Apparently her daughter LOVES it! It was so nice to be able to help someone out TWICE!

And then there was the hedgehog expedition that Karyn, Lauralee and myself headed out on thanks to Kijiji. I am happy to say it was entertaining AND victorious! Welcome Prickie Pie to the extended Reinsch-Johnson family!!!

This was taken off of Twitter so not the best picture but I am told hedgehogs are very active and very hard to photograph

Now I am working on planning a crafting session with friends on Sunday while I eat my lovely FRESH fruit thanks to Kathy who was able to stop in at our favourite produce store (H&W) and pick me up a variety of fruit and veg all for around 20.00! THANK YOU!!! Total yum!


So another HOT day but an amazingly awesome one too! And it sounds like I may just have a couple new bookcases by the end of the weekend!

I love love love the Pop Art setting on my camera 🙂 Doesn't Echo look like a red head?

Further proof to myself that I AM doing the right thing with my kids... here is Gavin spontaneously teaching his baby sister the alphabet using BLOCKS... She didn't stick around for much but he told her all about the letter "T"... I teach my son so he can teach the world!!!

And On To The Week At Hand

So it has happened… we FINISHED The Trumpet of the Swan! Took us long enough to get to that last chapter I know but we did it… 21 chapters, with an illustration and words (except for the 1st chapter that was just an illustration) for each as well as a cover page. All on 4 1/4 by 5 1/2 inch white cardstock. We are going to put a hole in the top corner of each and get some nice large metal rings, they are just too thick for the traditional book. Our next story is already lined up – Stuart Little by E.B. White! Emanuel has expressed interest in doing the chapters as well. Though I think just pictures and dictating words to me for his share. 

Working on their last chapter

The front covers

Emanuel dove right in today and was hard at work on his letters. He gets very excited when there is a sticker to be placed at the top of a finished page. 

Such a big boy working on his letters!

Oh I have to share our grape packaging… VERY cute… a 2lb cube of grapes. What you do is rinse them in the box, shake and then open them up and eat. Crazy enough, they were only a dollar for 2lbs so we bought two cubes at the H&W. Makes me miss the store even more!!! BUT we have them now which is great.

Grapes in a cube

I made a bit of a luxury purchase today. I mentioned last night that my stroller (beloved as it is) had a wonky wheel… well I wasn’t able to find a local spare part so I went onto Kijiji and contacted someone selling their old stroller, which is newer than MY old stroller. 40.00 later (the rest of Echo’s birthday cash from Nana and Baba and an ad or two of my own’s cash) and I am the proud owner of a lovely Quattro Graco stroller. What excites me the most is the seat itself, much more close… so no more Echo slipping around. She can be snuggled in a bit like she likes!!


I also managed to clear another stack of random stuff in our room today – with the help of the kids, sort of. I even found a few more items to post up for sale on Kijiji and a building set Zander had been asking about. Still no box of photos though… which is minorly discouraging but with Ken swamped with work he has not even started looking. BUT our room is looking roomish in a bedroom fashion so I am content. 

Tonight is to be spent sorting some of the floss I had to lump together into smaller labelled bags and then of course… tidy tidy tidy. Today the boys went all out helping with the cleaning. We hope to leave the house neat as a pin so that when we come back it is just put what we took with us away and then RELAX. Or something like that… maybe? 

Silly baby