Tag Archive | Grandpa

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

Green Is Such a Lovely Colour

Well there are some days where blogging just does not appeal and yesterday was one of them. I want to thank my friend Elaine for coming up with the idea of Wordless Wednesday… it gave me the chance to share one of my favourite spontaneous and recent shots of Echo. AND she was in pink in honour of the anti-bullying day to boot! So I hope everyone enjoyed the cuteness (I have to point out that the little hair thing in her hair – felt bow – all me!).

That is not to say that yesterday had us at a standstill! Far from it… St. Patrick’s day is just over a week away and the worksheets, videos and craft ideas keep coming. If you are interested in the bulk of the worksheets I have been talking about here you can check them out in my collection titled St. Patrick’s Day on Education.com. I do love this site as the resources are free and any and all issues I have had with a worksheet or information have been followed up SUPER quickly. As usual I am going by my old gaming name – Ayjah if you are trying to find me, though I HAVE reviewed MOST of the worksheets I used which also pops up on Facebook. 

I made the kids a special poster for St. Patrick’s Day to welcome people. You can get all the info for that HEREfrom the Original Kids Crafts site. 

A Hundred Thousand Welcomes

While watching the Discover Ireland series on YouTube we came across a sports segment that had an unknown sport with a ball and stick involved… and it was definitely NOT hockey, so of course we had to look it up! And found out all about something called HURLING! Seriously! 

I don’t know that we will attempt to play above game when it warms up but they really did enjoy learning about something new. You can find a link to what seems to be an official kids’ club colouring pages HERE. And HERE is the Wiki info. I had one of the twins colour the Hurling colouring page and the other Soccer as they are both major sports in the Republic of Ireland. And then we wrote interesting things about each sport on the back of the coloured sheets to go into our St. Patrick’s Day File. I am seriously thinking about doing their next year in a Notebooking format! They just make too many interesting things! 

I shrank down the template for this craft project as we didn’t have full sheets of green foam, and substituted one sheet of yellow and one of brown for two of them (note to self, need MORE green foam!)… we have rainbow cord (thank you whoever gifted that to us we LOVE IT!) and Ken made me up a simple 4 leaf clover template to use as decoration. I did Trinity’s sewing portion for her and the boys cut her pieces but she had fun being involved in it. You can find the original instructions HERE.

Emanuel at work, he did it ALL himself

Four completed bags

Our little Echo is quickly becoming a rough and tumble girl and has the bruises to prove it! Don’t ask me HOW she got this one, but what I THOUGHT was marker on her cheek smudged mostly off seems to be a bruise (maybe on one of her death defying climbs onto Trinity or Emanuel’s beds???)… I struggle between wanting to wrap her up in cotton and cheering on her adventurous spirit! Size is most certainly NOT slowing her down! She even tried to climb out of the tub to Daddy last night… he firmly told her no and sat her back down but she JUST is tall enough to get that foot up there on the side! 

I have spent MORE time on the WIP… features and fine details are starting to pop out which I have to admit is spurring on my interest greatly! Maybe I WILL get it done and perhaps by June! It will depend on other projects of course… and my focus but I guess if I keep the silly thing in my face more it will get worked on more! 

So February has come to a close… we survived the short month and while the van is NOT fixed (part still on its way grr) and some things are still in the works other issues have been solved! AND we have managed to get out some fun events as well! We have learned about the Inuits… Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day, celebrated Valentine’s Day AND Chinese New Year AND 3 birthdays… Now we face March. My brother and my Father’s birthdays are in March… and this year so is Echo’s surgery. I think that is going to weigh heavy on all our minds for the next 20 or so days. I would like to ask that everything think positive thoughts or say a prayer for Echo as we creep up to her date. We want her to be as healthy as possible beforehand and the surgery to go through without complications. 

Tomorrow the kids and I have to start our paper mache project… and there is a felt project Ken and I are working on altering to make it easier on little fingers. So I will have MORE crafts to share!

Rough and tumble + overalls = CUTE!!!

Day 3, 4 AND 5…

Well the boys camped out in the basement like pros. In fact Trinity and I were up BEFORE them! Apparently sleeping in the basement in the dark works wonders on the boys SLEEPING IN! It was not until we heard noises from below that I could turn on the light and let Trinity get down there and say good morning.

I poked myself (ugh but back to a mid 4) and then had breakfast and then… went back to bed. I stayed up late last night to watch the most recent Deadliest Catch – and it took its toll. But what an episode!

Wednesday (aka Day 3) quickly turned into a whirlwind of activity, mainly because once the boys and Ken were up I had to head right back to bed! (for some reason I had breakfast and then was total wiped) After lunch Ken and all 3 boys had a date at the library where they made masks. Or at least THEIR interpretation on masks. This lasted longer than the usual hour which Ken then supplemented with some much requested computer play.

Wednesday night my dad came up for an overnight visit before heading on to Saskatchewan and the Rode family reunion (his mother’s family). Sadly we could not go, first off the cost and time consuming drive, but it was definitely a no go when I got the news that I had the diabetic clinic 3 hour class on the 2nd (8:15 am no less). Seeing dad is a BIG thing for us, the last time we saw him was two years ago for Trinity’s baptism. He, his wife and her daughter (my step-sister Kat) live all the way down in South Carolina. (Twice as far as Minnesota)

Saying Hi to Grandpa! (Gavin left)

We took full advantage of the 1st and all the time we had with dad. A family walk to the park was of course in order… after we took our Canada Day pictures in front of the tree!

Canada Day! (Zander left)

With Grandpa! (Zander left)

Walking with Grandpa! (Zander left)

FUN! (Zander)

After spending much of the afternoon with Grandpa playing, watching tv and building Lego cars, we headed an hour or so away to my mom’s leaving dad to rest and relax for a few hours.

Lego Car fun! (Gavin left)

We spent some time with Grandma and Harley and Mike, including dinner at Subway, meeting up with Aunty Karyn AND a park run! A few too many mosquitoes for our liking but fun was had!

Tattoos (Gavin left)

Karyn giving Ken a swing

This got us home after 10, and since dad was leaving before any of us were up in the morning the kids got to stay up SUPER late and play. Definitely a special treat and special time with Grandpa.

Saying good bye (Gavin right)

He left here around 6am, Ken and I woke up at 7 to get ready for the diabetic clinic and my 3 hour class which was less than helpful. There is a lot of trial and error and on my side of it the weight issue muddies the water even further. Coupled with my dad leaving and having no time to have my customary cry I am not handling the day well. The clinic was confusing, I have another appointment with them before I even see my doctor again which bothers me and currently I do NOT have a babysitter which means Ken can’t be with me. I have to admit no small amount of fear connected to going to these appointments WITHOUT him. I am looking into some assistance (and I mean a very LITTLE is available) for the cost of the strips etc… but it takes TWO WEEKS for the forms to be processed. So there is trepidation with the costs… (4 times a day testing) AND with the numbers… I am trying new foods and had a bad result at lunch right after the class… I am guessing a combination of the bread without a walk. I did mean to go for a walk after but when we got home (Karyn was here to watch the kids) the little ones really needed me to stay and hold them for a bit. After all, they woke up to us being gone.

Karyn and I did head out for a bit of a walk later on, The Mall and then Michaels to shop with the birthday money from my dad. I ended up getting a little machine that makes stickers! I figured I could have some fun with it and add to my scrapbooking. AND I had a coupon! So a great deal and a new toy! And a bit of money left over to get something else later next week when I have more time.


Oh at mom’s we brought home the cradle she had for us! The kids are in love with it. I am excited about getting a chance to use it. We had two of these from mom with the twins but they needed to sleep together when they were small enough for it so they went unused. So this is my chance1

See Trinity peeping behind??

I am sure there is more to share but man am I all over the place mentally right now! I promise a catch up later!!!

Grandpa and 2 of his girls!