Tag Archive | sugar cookies

Art in the Hands of Another

March 5-7

Midweek sunshine had the kids out in an extended recess. This has been a wonky winter… huge spans of too cold weather and the snow just not being packing friendly. So anytime they can get out and run run run it is worth it!101_6412

101_6413Baking sugar cookies is a two day thing so Wednesday was baking… the result was absolutely delicious as usual.101_6414

101_6415That evening Echo and I had fun playing with baking soda and vinegar. I saw this as a toddler idea on Facebook. You take a baking tray and put toy cars and baking soda on it. Add vinegar and let them play. I decided to strip her down to her pull up and put it in the tub to minimize mess. The cars were nice and clean and Echo thought it hilarious. Boy did we use a bit of vinegar though!!101_6416

On Thursday we assembled our own kaleidoscope from a kit we got for Christmas from Grandma. It was a lot of fun putting it together and then reading about the history of them thanks to Wiki HERE. And a short video with some information that we sat through.

101_6418101_6419101_6422101_6429Mr. Emanuel is wowing me with his increased wish to read harder and harder things!!! Way to go big boy!101_6423

Friday marked the start of a new portion of our homeschooling routine – learning to use Google and the internet to answer our own questions. First we made a list earlier in the week of things we just wanted to know and then the twins took turns writing the questions into Google to find answers. I would screen the sites that come out and then the kids would take turns reading out our answers for me to record.101_6424

Back to Legos…101_6426

And then baking again… we could not show up empty handed at the Novak’s!!101_6427

101_6428Which is where we went that evening. We had a dinner and playdate sort of day… we brought the side dishes and Darcy got pizzas.101_6430

The kids played games and hung out and watched movies (Depp Wonka’s Chocolate Factory – I brought my copy) while Darcy worked on a birthday cake for her god daughter and I played supportive friend. Not that she needed much of a cheering section. Darcy does AMAZING work!101_6434

In fact the girls are no ADAMANT that she make their cakes this year too!

So we ended our week with an amazing evening of play time for the kids and an adult visit that included some amazing artistic creativity for yours truly!!101_6431

A Week of Seasonal Fun

December 9-13

Mondays, as we get closer to Christmas and further along in Advent get more and more red and green and festive. This year I am doing a combination of secular and religious worksheets, books and shows. So much colouring!101_5459

Our storytime has continued as well. The boys are reading (Emanuel included) to each other and myself whatever they want but TRINITY’s books are all Christmas and all fun!101_5460

All week actually

All week actually


Movies too

Movies too

We also did our yearly page from Activity Village – What we like about Christmas!101_5461

And later in the day – special cookie making time with Daddy!! Mommy and Daddy had an anime date with a new/old Facebook friend, his daughters and another couple. So of course I wanted to bring one of our homemade goodies… SUGAR  COOKIES!101_5462

101_5464I just realized I got my timeline wrong – on the last entry (HERE) I said we DECORATED the tree… when in actuality we ASSEMBLED the tree and flared out the branches. TODAY we put our Canadian ornaments out on display and it was so much fun!!!!!101_5468

101_5473101_5475Of course on Tuesday it was time to see Santa… something you can relive HERE.101_5485

Wednesday we reflected on our visit with Santa in our journals.101_5552

The boys also reflected on what Christmas means to them in this Activity Village printable (link for their site on right, just look up Christmas… they have TONS!).101_5551

We also made a wreath (hands) and bow (Echo’s feet) with the kids.101_5554

101_5555The kids worked with Daddy on the NEXT step of cookie making – making the icing.101_5559

101_5562And Nana found Trinity a great deal on a VERY appropriate winter jacket that allows us to hand Echo down Trinity’s old purple one (loose but usable).101_5561

Of course we had to keep making cards as well. Mommy hands off!101_5557

We ended the work week with more worksheets…101_5564


We even had a workbook completion!101_5567

One week closer to Christmas!!! And don’t forget anime night at a dear Facebook friends’ place on the 13th. It was so fun to meet Keith in person! 101_5482

The Day Before the Day Before Christmas

While not a special day for the kids… but for Ken, very much so. With the cabbage rolls created the day before it was time to move onto potato soup and “gunk”… another Johnson family tradition. There are so many special things Ken has talked about EVERY year and things we truly could not recreate without the presence of his parents. It has been over a decade since Ken has last gotten to have Christmas with his parents, instead he has spent it with us and my family. Special, but definitely NOT the same.

Zander playing Candyland with Baba… somehow the instructions did NOT make it from Canada!

We have two days of family coming up… Christmas Eve will be spent with Ken’s mom’s brother and his family (they have two kids) here at the house with Christmas Eve dinner – the potato soup, cabbage rolls and gunk… we have not seen them since moving here as Ken’s uncle has been a little under the weather. Then on Christmas Day we have Ken’s brother and his family AND Ken’s dad’s sister and HER family. (Jim, Judy and kids) I think dinner will be ham! YUM!

Gunk… I am told it is “to go on top of everything”… trust me NOT healthy!


The kids have expressed a little bit of sadness over missing some of the traditions and people we have left behind but we are so thankful to get to have these chances in Minnesota to really get to know and BE with the family from Ken’s side. We have been so lucky to be able to come here and live with Ken’s parents and take the time to find a real and stable life here in the USA. There is still lots to be done and hurdles to be jumped but we are starting to have a home again and that is a very precious gift.

Potato soup with unknown spelled Ukrainian name

The day before the day before Christmas has been a quiet one for the kids out of necessity. School stuff is put away, cleaning is being done… and most importantly to the kids — cookies are iced!! Butter icing on sugar cookies with sprinkles and M&M’s… though it was bemoaned that they are NOT the same as Smarties (Canadian, not those candy things).

Ice the cookies

In the meantime Ken and his mom had some bonding time on the iPads with a “jelly game.” It is looking like AFTER the new year these comfortable moments are going to be less often… at least during the week… for KEN… but I can’t say anything until January has begun so check back on that one!!

Gaming together

We sent most of the kids outside to play a bit in the afternoon but really I don’t think anyone is too motivated to do much more than wait for the Christmas festivities to begin, though the twins and I did vacuum the basement and tidy up toys and excess things that were out and in the way.

Front yard fun

A close up of the structure in the front yard

We ended the night with POLISH sausage (yum) and then some traditional Christmas movies for the kids (thanks again Sharon) and we are READY for Christmas Eve! 

A Santa out of Perler Beads… you can find the pattern on Activity Village