Tag Archive | Isabella

Happy Year of the Rooster!

Chinese New Year is a holiday we have tried our best to celebrate for at least 5 or 6 years now. This is all thanks to the families of our two gorgeous god daughters (Anna and Isabella). Their moms are from the same city in China (Ghangzou) and have been kind enough to help us learn how to fully embrace this holiday. I love the changing date of the celebration based on the lunar calendar and it has come to mean more than the “traditional” North American New Years to me. We do a significant amount of preparation for this holiday, cleaning, researching and shopping for food, reading out favourite themed stories (The Runaway Wok by Ying Chang Compestine). This year it was Trinity’s turn to do a full on lapbook for the season. She worked really hard on it and it shows.IMG_20170128_134718_976

We finished up our day with take out from our favourite Chinese food restaurant – The Rose Garden.

I have worksheets to share:

  • Activity Village HERE
  • Education.com collection HERE and chicken collection HERE
  • Definitely make sure you search EnchantedLearning.com for their resources HERE

Books to suggest:

  • Happy Chinese New Year, Kai-Lan! HERE
  • The Nian Monster by Andrea Wang (a new book for us!) by Andrea Wang HERE
  • Celebrate Chinese New Year by Carolyn Otto HERE
  • Chinese New Year Crafts by Karen E. Bledsoe HERE
  • Chinese New Year by Grace Jones HERE
  • Celebrating Chinese New Year by Diana Hoyt-Goldsmith HERE
  • Chinese New Year by Ann Heinrichs HERE
  • Long-Long’s New Year by Catherine Gower HERE
  • The Runaway Rice Cake by Ying Chang Compestine HERE
  • Fortune Cookie Fortunes by Grace Lin HERE
  • Red Butterfly by Deborah Noyes HERE
  • Red Kite, Blue Kite by Ji-li Jiang HERE
  • Kai-Lan’s Great Trip to China HERE20170131_140611

And a few DVD’s for you to hunt down:

  • Celebrate With Kai-Lan! HERE
  • Stone Soup (a read-along) HERE

Of course there is the lapbook Trinity used! Currclick has it for 3.00 HERE. This is put out by A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks.20170222_184327

20170222_18431020170222_184322And don’t forget our yearly video!

For our Chicken/Rooster research we had a couple books as well:

  • Chickens by Katie Dicker HERE
  • Young Chicken Farmers by Vickie Black HERE

I used this amazing designer to make this year’s Zodiac animal – the rooster. I used her last year to make a monkey as well (see my County Fair post from last here HERE). Her site is called All about Ami and you can find her rooster pattern HERE and the monkey HERE.IMG_20170128_134658_879

We also splurged this year and bought two dresses for the girls off of Amazon. They were not overly expensive and definitely not high quality, but so cute!IMG_20170128_134638_408

Of course we also picked up new shirts for the boys at Walmart. And buzzed the twins’ heads. New clothes and fresh haircuts in a clean house. And I mean CLEAN! We threw out, sorted, donated… you name it we got rid of excess. And it felt amazing. So Happy Chinese New Year All! Let’s hope the year of the Rooster is auspicious and prosperous!20170128_132722_HDR

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The girls love to sort through their toys and find theme friendly pieces.

The girls love to sort through their toys and find theme friendly pieces.

Fast and Furious February

I think that we have not had a relaxing and laid back February since 2004 and the birth of the twins… compound that with Emanuel being born in 2006 two days before their second birthday and we start our month off with activity already. Then it is Valentine’s Day and often Chinese New Year. 2015 was no different than years past. It helps that we absolutely LOVE Chinese New Year thanks to our adorable god daughters… Anna and Isabella and their families. There is so much culture and beauty we have yet to see and experience, sadly not in person… but through our learning. You can join us with our resource entry HERE for 2015’s year of the goat/sheep unit.

Dragon Puppet

Dragon Puppet

IMAG1508It was a rather unique birthday for the boys as we didn’t have the big old family and friends party. February was also the beginning of Nana and Baba’s vacation in the Dominican Republic.102_0289

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We had MULTIPLE parties, really more suppers with friends. One of those was a totally fun and bad for you movie and snack night with the Schwartz family. IMAG1457

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And the other dinner with the Novaks! IMAG1582

Of course we had the usual, Home Depot.. swimming.. life in fast forward it seems…102_0297

We also hit our 100 days of class mark! This was a fun challenge, I had each of the kids come up with some piece of art or even just something fun made out of 100 pieces. We had Legos, popsicle sticks, stickers… it was great! Trinity glued on sparkly confetti and yours truly made a special poster of heart stickers.102_0292

102_0293We babysat our favourite baby – Jeffrey… the girls absolutely eat him up!102_0290

Emanuel basically made his scout car all by himself with minimal help from Daddy. While he did not win he came home proud.IMAG1412102_0298

We drew…102_0280

102_0283We learned…102_0284

The girls showed off their princesses to go with my crocheted versions. You can actually purchase her wonderful patterns (Kristen’s Kords) HERE.102_0309

102_0313We had readers and rather good listeners. It is always a bit of a a buzz to see them reading to each other willingly.102_0317

102_0320It is hard to believe that we now have two 11 year olds AND a 9 year old! Who gave them permission to grow up?102_0288

IMAG1333We even had a completion of workbook… I swear Trinity is just busting through hers! I am so proud of all these kids and their drive to learn. It wanes at times but we all end up inhaling books and searching down facts.

102_0275Of course we ended up at the YMCA swimming pool, that is pretty normal, BUT we also had the twins BOTH get their pink wristbands. This gets them free reign of the pool! And with them old enough to be dropped off…  this could be a GOOD summer for them. Pictured below in the lane pool (deepest area).IMAG1326Don’t forget about Valentine’s Day when we had our red, pink and white lunch and SPECIAL GUESTS for dinner – Aunty Shandai and Uncle Ravyn!IMAG1468

IMAG1477Dr. Seuss’ birthday was also in February so the girls went to Lakeshore to enjoy the festivities.IMAG1571

 So February was a colourful month full of celebration and love… you can check the overflow of images with some events I did NOT cover in this entry HERE. Look forward to reflecting BACK at March next! IMAG1377

Completing to Change Focus Fully

December 5-8

Here I am writing about Thanksgiving well into Advent but this year the two were so close together! Trinity and Emanuel had their coffee filtre turkeys to finish with Daddy after all. You can make one  yourself thanks to Peapod Labs HERE.101_5424

We brought out our Little People Nativity set. Echo is enamoured with the angel. Apparently this one is ready to ride!101_5425

Of course we had our advent calendar and a craft to add to the fun! What we can do with markers, popsicle sticks, paper and glue!!! I think Trinity did a great job.101_5428

Then the boys had the exciting completion of their Minnesota lapbook plus extras. Only took FOREVER for us to get it done and together. Of course I saved the resources in a separate blog entry HERE. We did a mini lapbook and then went from there. I hope the little nuggets of facts and truths we found will stick in our minds for at least a little time. It was fun learning more about the state we now call home.101_5426

We have also started using Trinity’s daily reading as family story time. Every time we read one of her Christmas themed books (or watch a Christmas movie) we draw a group picture that will go in our Christmas binder!101_5429

101_5435We ended our school week with a paper craft that I picked up last year at an absolute steal. This was making a fancy paper gingerbread house with accessories.101_5431

It was the first Saturday of the month so of course the kids headed over to Home Depot for free craft time. Ken also signed them up for a special extra craft on the 21st.101_5434

Emanuel drew a wonderful Christmas themed dinosaur page to send up north to a special someone.

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Of  course Sunday brought Sunday School. Cold Cold Cold.101_5437

And then Baba and Ken put up the yard decoration that Nana found at Fleet Farm. Very pretty.101_5440

Later in the evening we had Facetime with Aunty Xinny, Alex, Izaac and Isabella. It was WILD!!!101_5443

We ended our evening with decorating the new 8 foot tall tree. The ornaments this year are from our stash. Not ALL of them but soe many memories and old favourites. The kids had a blast showing them to Nana and Baba.101_5449

101_5452101_5457Christmas is very apparent in the house now. And after a busy weekend it feels so much more real101_5455