Tag Archive | Smarties

Welcome Grandma, Down from the Great White North…

But just for a week. Which I can tell you, her dog Gypsy did not approve of. I heard tell of a minor hunger strike when cookies were snitched from meals but the actual dog chow left untouched! It was a lovely week full of a good balance of activity and rest.20170404_134102

Grandma started off smart – she hooked the kids on some puzzle game apps so they could all play together. Always a good plan, especially since they were FREE. Couple that with watching dog rescue videos together and much time was spent in quiet enjoyment.IMG_20170404_152623_521

20170407_112120We took Grandma to the YMCA twice this visit. Once to watch Trinity and Emanuel in karate and meet their Sensei.IMG_20170413_222319_460

The other time to come for our Sunday night swim. Mommy got in her exercise class, and the rest got quality pool time with Grandma letting Daddy off the hook!IMG_20170409_182842_996

20170409_18390720170409_193406Our big field trip was to the Mill City Museum. A family favourite and fun for Grandma to see some Minnesota history first hand. She and Ken took the twins up in the big elevator that walks you through the history of the mill as well as its partial destruction.20170407_130947

20170407_13183120170407_13243220170407_135035IMG_20170407_135840_62920170407_14142220170407_13384720170407_132037Grandma asked to go to two specific places to eat – Culver’s, which we went to the night she came. She had never been, we simply could not let that stand!IMG_20170404_182631_533

The second place was a brunch with adults only to Perkin’s. This was followed up by a lovely stash of bakery goods purchased by Grandma that came home for the kids to enjoy. We snuck over to Joann’s while we were out. Good food AND good shopping (with coupons of course).

It was a decadent brownie.

It was a decadent brownie.

Grandma also COOKED a couple times – we got to taste her delicious homemade spaghetti sauce. With meat in it! AND she made taco soup. A new one for all of us, but one that everyone but the girls (no surprise) enjoyed. It was beyond delicious. So of course, I must share the recipe! HERE20170406_130918

Mine is without crunched up nacho chips.

Mine is without crunched up nacho chips.

She came bearing gifts… Canadian snacks… well lots of Canadian things. Including a colouring book for the 150th birthday. She also brought us some Gypsy puppies to add to our teddy collection. We had some small tokens for her.IMG_20170404_155142_971

My early birthday gift to mom, a pin.

My early birthday gift to mom, a pin.

We had hair braiding parties.IMG_20170410_220135

And Grandma spent special quality time with all the kids. It was so lovely for them to have one on one (though the twins opted to go together) time with Grandma and fully get her hooked on Caribou coffee.

Mix in a couple nippy spring walks to the park and Grandma got a taste of early spring in Minnesota.20170405_104230

We also pulled out movies and popcorn to make sure we had some quality cinema time. Kubo was well enjoyed.IMG_20170405_010349_384

Grandma took special care braiding up Emanuel’s hair. It was nice to have a week of no hair in the eyes. Though friends said it was very… basketball player! IMG_20170405_210629_766



Since Easter was right around the corner we also did some egg decorating.IMG_20170409_145459_677





Ken and I snuck away for some quality YMCA time… well he sat, and I went to class.IMG_20170407_180036_180


It was a terrific visit. Sit back and enjoy the excessive, but happy images! Thanks for the visit Grandma!20170410_125226













Birthday Girl… That’s Me!

June 23-24

For the first time in over a  decade I got to spend a portion of my birthday celebrations with my best friend from high school, the lovely Shandai… with her friends Sam and Ryan. We were supposed to go sailing but the wind was against us (literally and figuratively) so instead we went out for amazing Mexican food, a wade in a nearby lake…

Shandai and Sam

Shandai and Sam

With Ryan

With Ryan

101_2746and a trip to an amazing pet store with one of the largest selections of fish in the country. Including multiple sting ray (1499.00 no warranty!). All kid free time! Lots of fun.101_2750

Then it was back home to play with the bubbles with the kids…101_2753

And get a start on the playset.101_2760

Monday (which is far from my favourite day) was my BIRTHDAY! 34 yrs old I am! Which meant first and foremost that we had a half day of school to accomplish… of course!101_2761

Ken was up first and had the kids all draw me a special picture! Note the slurpees and smarties!101_2762

My birthday cake!

My birthday cake!

Karyn had sent a package that just managed to get through customs and get to me ON my birthday! What timing! She really DOES know me well… and included items for Canada Day as well.

Shirts for the girls, Canadian bits... note the yarn used as filler in the box!

Shirts for the girls, Canadian bits… note the yarn used as filler in the box!

In the evening we lucked out with Sean to babysit so Ken and I could go out to Khan’s Mongoli Grill and have all you can eat buffet there. OMG amazing! Like the Mongoli Grill we used to go to in Canada but cheaper and did I mention ALL YOU COULD EAT? Small bowls more often… less sauce choices but… yum!101_2767

I had Japanese tea.. soooo good

I had Japanese tea.. soooo good

Practice chopsticks the waitress suggested I take home for Emanuel to practice with.

Practice chopsticks the waitress suggested I take home for Emanuel to practice with.

Then off to the Source to walk around and pick up a manga… I got some lovely facial moisturizer with some money on the back from Ken’s folks. Sensitive skin and everything and enough money for a manga and then… I am hoping to get to a yarn shop and spend the rest on soft, snuggly yarn!101_2880

Did I mention I got all dressed up, fascinator, gel eyeliner and all??? Cuz I did!!photo (82hair)

Here is a good view of the eyeliner after all is said and done

Here is a good view of the eyeliner after all is said and done

Totally dressed up

Totally dressed up

Saying Good Bye

January 20-21

It was hard to do it but on the 20th Ken and I had to make the drive to send Karyn back to Canada. I don’t think Trinity really understood what that meant. She really was thinking Karyn would just be back soon.

Missing Aunty Karyn

After dropping off Karyn really the rest of the day was resting and sleeping for yours truly. We stayed up late the night before (of course). It is so unreal, saying good bye again with no set date to visit each other again. BUT the visit was amazing and that is what counts!

Relaxing with Daddy

TV time

Monday had a slow start due to the ending of our visit. BUT we got our feet under us and worked our buns off to do our best with our school work. What to start with? Well… Art for Kids has always been an inspiration for us! This time we had THREE pictures to draw… the roses from before, an adorable penguin and a spider! Zander did all 3 on one page and then wrote a story with me about the picture (I will share that in another entry eventually I am sure). 

Gavin with two of 3

His spider on a rather amazing web

The three in one

The Lincoln Logs (I know, so classically AMERICAN) appeared on the floor for some intense family building, from instructions… but with some alteration of the roof! We had to liquidate ours when we moved so having a Nana and Baba set to visit with is great.


We made a family favourite for lunch – pita pizzas, just using tortillas instead of our usual pita. 

Pizza time!

As a SUPER special treat to make up for the lack of Aunty Karyn I busted out some Smarties of the Canadian kind to share with everyone! YUM!


We have made a great start with our Chinese New Year… of course starting with the traditional story about the great race to the Jade Emperor. My main resource for this year’s festivities is Activity Village. It is the year of the SNAKE! I have already contacted Xinny to get the characters to use for it and am looking forward to a couple snake crafts as well as our usual library books, colouring pages and time together talking about China! This year we are going much more stories and together time and less the country itself. 

Proudly coloured… with markers!

So life is trundling along with our new countdown to seeing Ted and Sean!!! After all these visits are done we are going to be one mopey family!

Pretty in plaid