Tag Archive | moose

Merry Christmas 2014

Merry Christmas (belatedly) to you and yours! As usual I am behind on my reporting but I am making a real try to catch up… just you watch, November will spontaneously pop up one of these days! And then you will be in the know again!

Anyway… Christmas Day for the Reinsch-Johnson clan. It was a different one from our previous ones here in Minnesota. First off because we really did not have extended family beyond Nana and Baba here for the day or eve. In the previous years Christmas Eve was our time with Ken’s Uncle Moose, Aunt Colleen and their two kids. But this has been a rough year for Moose (Paul) and while he is on the mend they were really not able to come over for the traditional Ukrainian meal of potato soup and perogies. It was probably for the best as this December has been one of illness for the family. So many yucky colds! But thank goodness we were assured that he is better and home again.IMAG0894

Of course we DID enjoy our meal… and the company was wonderful as was.IMAG0903


That evening we did put out our cookies and milk for Santa. In our new pj’s.IMAG0914

Echo and Ken spread Reindeer Food out on the lawn since we went to bed without a speck of snow to be seen really.IMAG0918

Christmas Day was just the household and it was wonderful. We did not manage to Skype with Gammie as she was having issues on her end but we did text back and forth and take some pictures of the openings.102_0204

102_0206Amazingly enough with two countries and multiple states we did not have any duplicate gifts this year! Each and every one was well received and I can honestly say I have not seen the kids happier.102_0207

102_0211102_0212We had calls with both sets of grandparents… Alberta and South Carolina. As well as a lovely chat with My brother James and his wife Holly… well mostly Holly. Even a peek in on Cousin Jimmie.102_0215

102_0214Dinner was a delicious turkey and trimmings thanks to the hard work of Nana and Baba. But for the most part after the excitement of the great toy opening it was a nice, quiet and relaxed day.102_0219



Enjoy the overflow!!IMAG0947








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A Week of Sunshine and Joy

June 15-20

Sunday was Father’s Day and a down day for the family… the 16th/Monday our Anniversary. You can see the pictures from the dinner out HERE at the end of the rather extensive Wedding etc blog post!

We did put the kids to work on Monday the 16th cleaning their room and the bathroom.101_7935

Which was topped by mail from Gammie… more Legos from the Mixels series she is collecting for them! Thank you Gammie! I got them out of the package and I swear you blinked and they were built!101_7937

101_7938On Tuesday we were home all alone with Daddy gone to gaming and Nana and Baba in Mexico so we had a junk food dinner with movies and snuggle time.101_7941

Don’t forget mid afternoon end of movie dance time!!101_7939

On Wednesday we took advantage of the many updates of the Art for Kids site (link on right).101_7943

And Gavin finished the first of his 5 projected chapter books for the summer Pizza Hut reading program. Not bad!!! For this book he did a chapter by chapter summary. On the next book he is reading the whole thing and then telling the story to us all in brief101_7944

We managed a lovely park visit/Geocache. While our speed at hunting has lessened every time we DO go has been full of excitement and avid hunters.101_7954


We left the travel bug and took the handmade dolly

We left the travel bug and took the handmade dolly

On Thursday Miss Echo revisited her mail with vigor. She is also well into making special pictures she then has me write down what is what and send off.101_7961

101_7963We printed off some maple leaves from Activity Village (link on right look up Canada) and cut them out. Then each of the kids recorded something they like or remembered about Canada to put on our paper for our Canada Day learning. It is fun to remind ourselves of some of our past enjoyments that are so thoroughly tied to location.101_7962

Miss Echo got her chance with the PS3… she is starting to line up the buttons with actions a little more now but there is always some sort of boogie across the floor that goes with her playing. Interpretive dance gaming I think!101_7964

She is such a little card.101_7966

Of course a local series of garage sales had us out hunting bargains. That is our usual summer plan… hunt for helpful bargains!101_7980

101_7979By Friday it was back to school.101_7967

We are doing a special science report on a Canadian animal. One of the twins did the Moose and the other the Canadian Goose. I am working on them using resources independently to answer their questions with me going over them after to check them for spelling and actually answering the question.101_7968

Since we ended up misplacing the plug for last year’s pool and we had yet to make it to Sam’s Club to replace it a sunny afternoon with a good solid morning of classes earned us time with the sprinkler. It took a bit of trial and error to figure out the correct setting on the one usually used for watering the garden but we managed and out came the swimsuits, smiles and giggles. Winter is certainly becoming a cold memory for everyone.101_7970

101_7972101_7974101_7975After fun in the sun the girls pulled out the newest garage sale find and played Strawberry Shortcake. Some pieces are missing but 3 of the 4 girls are complete and they made do anyway. For 50 cents it they are pleased as punch.101_7976

We had a butterfly to examine…101_7981

And visitors to play with – Renee, Chris, Nathan, Jeffrey and Evan all came by to say hello, have dinner put up a light. The one over the sink had been down to one bulb for ages and with it burning out so quickly with each replacement Nana and Baba had bought a new one that needed installing. Ken even had time to make fresh chocolate chip cookies.101_7984



Checking out the onions that grew themselves from last year

Checking out the onions that grew themselves from last year



Men at work

Men at work


Evan and Echo

Evan and Echo

The best way to end the week, company for dinner and playmates for the kids. So many happy memories.101_7951


And So We Make it to the Mid Week Point

Mid week already and the Valentine’s Day/Birthday fun continues. I got to sleep in this morning as Ken had hooked the Wii up and put the kids’ new drawing game on. It is basically a tablet and they loved it! As I was asleep during the play time I am not exactly sure what all there is to do but I do know that everyone had something they COULD do!

We have continued our Inuit learning. Today it was hunting and Inuksuks. I have been alternating with them writing things down and myself. That way we are focusing on the content and not so much the frustration of having to print letters and words. We keep finding more and more interesting things about this group of peoples!!!

We spent a nice chunk of time with our workbooks and with Sean here for a visit Ken and I were able to leave everyone (Echo was sleeping) at home and do some very necessary grocery shopping. I am on the look out constantly to find ways to cut corners with food. The kids have HUGE appetites and our wallet is far from full enough to indulge all their fancies. I think my best find to date was the breadmaker. Our first was Ken’s mother’s and when we used it until it broke I found another on Kijiji for a steal. Add to that recipes like my mom’s brown beans that we converted to a slow cooker recipe and really ANY slow cooker recipe and we are able to stretch things further. I would love to hear more ideas from people! We use a lot of rice, potatoes and noodles as well. Anything to decrease the amount of meat as the main. Any advice? Supper tonight was helped along with the lovely piece of moose sent home from Grandma’s! Having a step-father who is a registered native american is lovely… he gets to hunt for personal use and as we are a part of his family… well we are VERY appreciative!

Workbooks in the sunshine

And some Magic School Bus

I have to share another Valentine’s themed worksheet the twins did today – this onehas the boys write something lovely or nice for family. Each of the hearts has a slightly different saying to finish. I had the boys each do one for each other and then they either did an Emanuel or a Trinity. I think it is important to get them to focus on  good things about their siblings! Sometimes I think we ALL need a reminder to look for the GOOD in people.  

Finished hearts

Oh don’t forget about the maze Emanuel did this morning. He loves a good maze. Of course what was REALLY wonderful was the picture he drew on the back of the sheet. I think the maze will be sacrificed to paste the picture into our Inuit lapbook. I love spontaneous creativity. 

Emanuel and his Inukshuk

I have been creating my own little parliament of Valentine themed owls (a little later for the special day I know). I figure I will put a few up on Facebook and then the rest will be gifted through the year. 


So I am still debating other presents… and my weekend goal is to get that extra page up here on my blog for ideas and suggestions. I do so like to work ahead! I do need to get a nice variety of owls sitting on my shelves for when the need comes! 

I have to admit, I have been feeling a tinge of green-ness about the eyes lately… metaphorically speaking. It seems like that feeling is  a slightly familiar one when it comes to gift giving events and holidays. Those visual and material signs of affection, approval and generosity are lovely to receive but when not possible to do so (or give for that matter), are hard to watch. Now don’t get me wrong, we have what we need… some of what we want and are truly blessed here in our little home BUT (oh is there always going to be a but?) there are those unrealistic wishes that create the discontent. I have been spending some time, these past weeks… well since Christmas really… trying to reassess in my mind what IS important, what things, trips, events, etc are necessary to myself and my family’s true happiness. I am one of  two adults in this home and my expectations cannot be the same as my children who do NOT understand the realities… we do not NEED every new thing, or even every OLD thing… we do not have to compete/compare with the rest of the world. What we DO need is happiness in our hearts. We can share that and our love abundantly and really, I think the world does not gift that enough. Do I WANT a new toy or two, yes, but what I NEED to stability, my husband, my kids, my family and friends… I need to be aware of the fact that what I create is as special as something much more expensive when I find the right recipient. I may not be able to buy the kids the newest toys BUT when Emanuel asks for an owl, well I can make that… teach Gavin a new stitch, create hair things for our Trinity or simply play a game with Zander. Someday we will be in a position to do and give more, I hope that at that time I still remember the priceless lessons and the sweet gifts I have received that have not been costly now! 

But enough of that… Valentine’s week continues and with it desert with Ken and time to myself to create… maybe TOMORROW I will get my time with my brush and ink to practice my characters????