Tag Archive | government

Learning Our Way to the Year of the Horse (mah)

January 15-22

We are definitely revisiting some old favourites with our Chinese New Year reading. And with each one recognizing facts we already know and gems yet to be learned. One of my favourite aspects of Chinese New Year is the celebration of prosperity, family and all things positive. We can always use a little positive energy right?101_5877 We slipped in some time to make a get well soon picture for a mom I met online through a multiples group. We figure a fun picture by the children would be an even better pick me up than a simple card! I am so impressed by the lovely heart all these mommies show.101_5878 Our new books definitely had the boys ready to read read read.101_5880 And we made ourselves a stable for our Chinese New Year year of the horse. We got our popsicle stick instructions from Activity Village HERE. It was a goup effort. The girls used markers decorate the stick while the boys did the gluing together.101_5882 This week was the week of sweet Echo pics. She is in the middle of a hat phase and 2013’s Christmas present from myself fits her better this year – a teddybear ear hat. I got the pattern off of CrochetSpot HERE.101_5883 The next day we had to brush out her hair, dress her up and take a few big girl pictures too.101_5887 The girls also modeled the aprons I made them for Christmas in front of the kitchen set they got from Aunty Holly, Uncle James and Cousin Jimmie! You can find that pattern HERE.101_5892 Friday was a total wash with a run to deal with passports. A WHOLE morning eaten up by the rather intense application process at the only office in the state. We had an appointment time thank goodness and the poor girl had a boatload of paperwork to do. Thankfully Ken and I had wandered down memory lane and got all the transcripts that exist for Ken for the entire time he was in public school. You need that proof to show that he was in the US enough for the kids to qualify for dual citizenship. My OCD of keeping lists of our addresses, baptism forms (which are a viable secondary ID here in the US???) and all that fun stuff came in really handy as well as Nana coming along to wrangle the kids. You have to have them there for a visual confirmation of their application and both myself and Ken to agree that they should even have the darn thing in the first place! But what a gateway passports are to getting all the other ID set up like Social Security and sorting our kids out so that they are set to live in either country! Lucky babies!

After all that government related fun the kids kicked back with some gaming. Funny how touch screens are natural to them!!101_5930 Our weekend was a quiet one. Saturday there was lots of time to play with those new toys… and for Trinity to work on her sticker book. One of those lovely ones where you pick up sticker packs and collect what you need.101_5931 101_5932Of course on Sunday they had Sunday School and an excuse to take ANOTHER picture of them all dressed up. I look forward to spring when going as a whole family and staying for service will be much more reasonable.101_5933 We did luck out with the Sunday afternoon thaw. It was so nice that the kids were out there without coats, shovels in hand to help clear out the driveway. We are not on the best side of the street for the sun to melt it all away completely.101_5936 101_5938We are loving the idea we found on Facebook of freezing coloured water in balloons to freeze and then burst and display. Nana and the kids have expanded to include freezing coloured water in other containers to add to what they are now calling her ice garden.101_5942 101_5940My favourite is the blue balloon.101_5945 We started the next week with dinosaurs…101_5946 potty sticker sheets (still spotty luck on that one)…101_5947 and well dressed scouts…101_5948 and boys in the mood to learn how to swim!image

On Tuesday we roped Daddy into teaching us about the first of 3 Chinese locations – the Great Wall (which became Trinity’s favourite). I have to admit to some interest myself on that amazing landmark.101_5950

With a Lego rendition of a portion of the wall

With a Lego rendition of a portion of the wall

Of course we continued with other learning leaning to China and all things Chinese New Year. We used Activity Village AND the official Kai-Lan site thanks to Nick Jr. HERE. Even Echo is getting in on the language practice.101_5951

101_5952101_5959We had a short reflection on what we could remember so far about China and Chinese New Year. I do love seeing what sticks in their brains.101_5953

And of course more stories.101_5955

We rounded off our first half of the week with some lovely dragons all ready to dance thanks to the generosity of Lakeshore. At our last visit to them to craft it up we mentioned we could not make this upcoming week… Ken had his vasectomy scheduled. So the girl gave us the shapes to add to our own paperbags. I had the presence of mind to photocopy this for future use!101_5956

Miss Trinity had a proud workbook completion…101_5957

And Emanuel lost ANOTHER tooth. So time for a tooth fairy note!101_5958

More Chinese Characters…101_5960

101_5963books…101_5962

and creative time…101_5964

With the kids covering Terracotta warriors with Daddy! 101_5961

I think we are well on our way to enjoying our countdown to our second very special New Year celebration of our year.101_5949

A Major Milestone in 2014

This weekend marks the end of a lengthy phase in our married life… And thus I deviate from the catch up on the daily blog and have to share our newest milestone. Ken and I just finished our 30 day wait period for him to have his vasectomy done (or as it is called here in Minnesota – voluntary sterilization). 5 kids later and we feel that we have come to the end of our building of our family. Echo was the perfect final addition to a family of unique characters. 

It is really now time to move on and RAISE our family… what a weird feeling. I have literally been focused on babies, pregnancy, nursing and all that for a decade. We now have moved from nappies and nipples to homeschooling and swimming lessons. In fact, in a little over a week our twins will be 10! It has always been agreed that when the time came to finalize our growth that it would be KEN who would take that step. Frankly the female version is a full out surgery and a much longer healing time. Surprisingly he was more than willing. 

So today Ken followed family tradition and off he went with his mother (yup she is the designated driver for this procedure now THREE times!) and an hour later… done. As I type this up he is fast asleep and has been since 30 min after he got home. Such a huge step for our family in such a small and rather mundane procedure! 

I have to giggle though… in 2004 when the twins were being circumcised Ken was off at the Canadian gov office taking his landed status interview (leaving me to deal with the tears and handing off the babies)… and then today, I was on the phone with the government attempting to hunt down the 5th passport of the kids’ proving they are ALL Americans (which was a DUH moment for us… I mean COME ON… they are HIS KIDS) and Ken is off to have his vasectomy… one starts to wonder if government and —-s go hand in hand… I know CRASS but come on… the mind finds the connection! 

So we wait the 3 months for the final confirmation that Ken is indeed sterile and it is all too real that the only new children we will have in our life will be adopted or grandchildren (many many many years from now). WOW! BUT I have had my hand in the over population of the earth… time to pass the torch and raise children I can be confident and proud of sending them out in the world! 

Our 5 blessings

Our 5 blessings

Family Reunited

We are officially a family of 7 – together. Mom and Mike brought the boys home just in time to meet us at our door after our immigration meeting (almost 2 hours long but done and over and the flag is gone). So not only are we moving on from that issue (thank goodness) but now we are moving forward with the family together. But enough of that… on to what I am sure everyone is REALLY wanting to see – PICTURES!

Early morning cuddles with the girls

Big sister

Sleepy Sweety

Holding the baby

Ken and his girls

Reunited with Grandma Anna (Zander left)

Our whole family! (Zander left)

Attitude

Hello Emanuel

Sweet Pea

Little Darling

Playing with the camera

Sans hairband