Tag Archive | swim lessons

October, the New Month of Looooooovveee

Annnnddddd now we are onto October… and October of 2015 was a doozy. Not only did we have Halloween to contend with (and 5 costumes of which were all somewhat handmade), but a very important wedding. It is not every day you get to be in a THEMED wedding in a park for a friend who is more a sister to you than pretty much anyone on the planet. AND see her looking gorgeous and feel rather pretty yourself to boot. HEREIMG_20151011_003110

Halloween this year was the year of all handmade… each and every costume had at least a touch of our personal handy work on it. HERE.

Echo and zombie (?) Alex

Echo and zombie (?) Alex

October is also Ken’s birthday and Canadian Thanksgiving… both of which we celebrate.DSCN1196[1]

IMAG1025There is the usual, swim lessons at the YMCA thanks to Nana and Baba… and Home Depot…IMAG0931

Homeschool, of course… when are we not learning something new…DSCN1225[1]

DSCN1241[1]DSCN1248[1]DSCN1250[1]DSCN1249[1]October just happens to be the month when the trees in our backyard look their finest. And then when the ground looks its most amazing. I could not resist a full on photo shoot of everyone and everything. You can see the rest of the leaf pictures HERE.DSCN1201[1]

DSCN1203[1]DSCN1205[1]We really had a crafty and active month.





DSCN1251[1]DSCN1253[1]As well as some time with games indoors…

Working on our spelling

Working on our spelling

DSCN1229[1]With company as well…







Fun with Scouts…IMG_20151025_171505

IMAG1112And Sunday School of course!IMG_20151004_110636

I have to admit, I love October more when we are in Minnesota… the colours here are so… amazing!!!DSCN1257[1]


 Top it off with random images and what a great month!IMG_20151005_152831



Learning Our Way to the Year of the Horse (mah)

January 15-22

We are definitely revisiting some old favourites with our Chinese New Year reading. And with each one recognizing facts we already know and gems yet to be learned. One of my favourite aspects of Chinese New Year is the celebration of prosperity, family and all things positive. We can always use a little positive energy right?101_5877 We slipped in some time to make a get well soon picture for a mom I met online through a multiples group. We figure a fun picture by the children would be an even better pick me up than a simple card! I am so impressed by the lovely heart all these mommies show.101_5878 Our new books definitely had the boys ready to read read read.101_5880 And we made ourselves a stable for our Chinese New Year year of the horse. We got our popsicle stick instructions from Activity Village HERE. It was a goup effort. The girls used markers decorate the stick while the boys did the gluing together.101_5882 This week was the week of sweet Echo pics. She is in the middle of a hat phase and 2013’s Christmas present from myself fits her better this year – a teddybear ear hat. I got the pattern off of CrochetSpot HERE.101_5883 The next day we had to brush out her hair, dress her up and take a few big girl pictures too.101_5887 The girls also modeled the aprons I made them for Christmas in front of the kitchen set they got from Aunty Holly, Uncle James and Cousin Jimmie! You can find that pattern HERE.101_5892 Friday was a total wash with a run to deal with passports. A WHOLE morning eaten up by the rather intense application process at the only office in the state. We had an appointment time thank goodness and the poor girl had a boatload of paperwork to do. Thankfully Ken and I had wandered down memory lane and got all the transcripts that exist for Ken for the entire time he was in public school. You need that proof to show that he was in the US enough for the kids to qualify for dual citizenship. My OCD of keeping lists of our addresses, baptism forms (which are a viable secondary ID here in the US???) and all that fun stuff came in really handy as well as Nana coming along to wrangle the kids. You have to have them there for a visual confirmation of their application and both myself and Ken to agree that they should even have the darn thing in the first place! But what a gateway passports are to getting all the other ID set up like Social Security and sorting our kids out so that they are set to live in either country! Lucky babies!

After all that government related fun the kids kicked back with some gaming. Funny how touch screens are natural to them!!101_5930 Our weekend was a quiet one. Saturday there was lots of time to play with those new toys… and for Trinity to work on her sticker book. One of those lovely ones where you pick up sticker packs and collect what you need.101_5931 101_5932Of course on Sunday they had Sunday School and an excuse to take ANOTHER picture of them all dressed up. I look forward to spring when going as a whole family and staying for service will be much more reasonable.101_5933 We did luck out with the Sunday afternoon thaw. It was so nice that the kids were out there without coats, shovels in hand to help clear out the driveway. We are not on the best side of the street for the sun to melt it all away completely.101_5936 101_5938We are loving the idea we found on Facebook of freezing coloured water in balloons to freeze and then burst and display. Nana and the kids have expanded to include freezing coloured water in other containers to add to what they are now calling her ice garden.101_5942 101_5940My favourite is the blue balloon.101_5945 We started the next week with dinosaurs…101_5946 potty sticker sheets (still spotty luck on that one)…101_5947 and well dressed scouts…101_5948 and boys in the mood to learn how to swim!image

On Tuesday we roped Daddy into teaching us about the first of 3 Chinese locations – the Great Wall (which became Trinity’s favourite). I have to admit to some interest myself on that amazing landmark.101_5950

With a Lego rendition of a portion of the wall

With a Lego rendition of a portion of the wall

Of course we continued with other learning leaning to China and all things Chinese New Year. We used Activity Village AND the official Kai-Lan site thanks to Nick Jr. HERE. Even Echo is getting in on the language practice.101_5951

101_5952101_5959We had a short reflection on what we could remember so far about China and Chinese New Year. I do love seeing what sticks in their brains.101_5953

And of course more stories.101_5955

We rounded off our first half of the week with some lovely dragons all ready to dance thanks to the generosity of Lakeshore. At our last visit to them to craft it up we mentioned we could not make this upcoming week… Ken had his vasectomy scheduled. So the girl gave us the shapes to add to our own paperbags. I had the presence of mind to photocopy this for future use!101_5956

Miss Trinity had a proud workbook completion…101_5957

And Emanuel lost ANOTHER tooth. So time for a tooth fairy note!101_5958

More Chinese Characters…101_5960


and creative time…101_5964

With the kids covering Terracotta warriors with Daddy! 101_5961

I think we are well on our way to enjoying our countdown to our second very special New Year celebration of our year.101_5949

And We Celebrate 3 Birthdays With Great Joy

Well it has been a while since I have done a full blog entry! We have had a party, driven to Grandma’s, reconnected with friends gone for 3 years now returned, had chicken from the 7-11 for old time’s sake and played with the family pet (well Grandma’s pet but we share while we visit). It has been a whirlwind of fun, food, and best of all FRIENDS and FAMILY. 

Baby in a hat

We said good bye to Sean who left shortly before we did on Friday. He had errands back home and his folks in town for a conference. (she) Chris dropped off her van earlier than expected so we were even out the door earlier than originally planned. We left her with our house key and were off! It is actually rather lucky that we couldn’t take our van as with the amount of stuff we came back with it would have been a SUPER squeeze! Oh to have a newER van!!!

Visiting with Chris

A picture for Aunty

We made good time to Grandma’s and the kids were quick (as usual) to make themselves at home. Gypsy, my mom’s new dog was there and amazingly calm with the kids. They absolutely LOVE her though Echo and Gypsy had some struggles finding a balance. Gypsy wanted to give kisses and steal snacks and Echo most definitely did NOT agree! She is not a tiny dog so Echo did a bit of her usual screaming to make her point as really what else could she do with someone so much bigger than her??


Dinner was already waiting for us when we got there – roast beef with potatoes and gravy!!! Ohhhh yum! With enough left over for tons of leftovers (that should give you an idea of how big a roast… our 7 plus mom with leftovers!). There was lots of time for visiting and playing (Trinity just disappeared into the playroom to play with her dollhouse) and of course fun with puppy time.

Saturday morning we had the usual amazing Grandparent breakfast fare – WAFFLES! Homemade of course! Everyone in the family loves a good waffle from the biggest to the smallest! Though Echo tried our stamina by waking up around 6 am. Mom even had strawberries, blueberries and raspberries defrosted to go on top with some whipped  topping. The kids love that as she puts the bowl on the table of the fruit and those cans that you push the nozzle for the topping and they get to go nuts! The mess is actually rather minor and with our family, NO leftovers! 

All growed up

Puppy prettied up for the party

There were a few errands to run, mom and I went to the grocery store and picked up the cake Mike ordered for the boys from the Co-Op. He is in Jamaica right now (until the 21st I think) and so was unable to make it. He did call AND the cake… well the cake was absolutely AMAZING! 


The most awesome cake

Grandma and Echo

Ken and Zander ran out as well, and were SUPPOSED to get Zander’s glasses fixed (nose piece, straightened) only to have Zander bring the case without the glasses in it! You can imagine how happy Ken was NOT. So the new plan is to take him in tomorrow (Mondays are a black out for Ken with work) with the glasses firmly on his FACE! 

2pm marked the beginning of our first true KID party! And did we ever do it in style!! TONS of kids, lots of fun, food… OMG the food! Mom made her absolutely amazing dip that we all crave and covet. Crackers and veggies (thank you Chris and Chris for the broccoli and tomatoes you picked up at H&W for us!!) and punch (orange juice and generic ginger ale)… Along with the Epicure dip mom won at Christmas… so much snacking!



There were kids everywhere – down in the basement where toys reside, outside… babies in the kitchen (and so many babies!). Echo finally got to meet her birthday buddy Seth as well as 2 month younger Avery… They all played rather well with the baby toys my mom has on hand just for such occassions. Oh and don’t forget baby Russell (9 months)


In the basement


Babies - Avery and Russell

Birthday buddy Seth

On top of all the snacking there was hotdogs before cake! We had to contrive enough places  to sit and eat but we managed!

Some of the guests

And then the cake… it was DELICIOUS!

Blowing out the candles

And finally PRESENTS! People were so generous… everything from Swim lessons (thank you SO much Bleau family! Pictures WILL follow) to transformers and even something to go with our Wii… lots of educational things as well! I have to say I was right with Zander’s present… a 3.00 chess set to replace the one he has that has pieces missing apparently was the PERFECT choice! 

Sharon and Echo

Lucky boys

I had stamps and paper and pencils for those kids left after all the fuss to create with and visited late into the evening with the one family that stuck around. Christine (Gavin’s god mother) even brought her two puppies to meet Gypsy (Bella and Jasper). So we also had a puppy playdate. Don’t forget that we had friends come who we had not seen in years! OH and new friends to meet… What a day! 


And to end the day – going to 7-11 for an old University treat – wings and wedges… noms! Seriously we would once a week go and get this stuff… they had a special on Thursdays!! It was tradition!

Nostalgia in a box

Karyn stayed the night and we hung out with Ken in the basement. I have to say for a birthday party literally over run with kids and noise and festivity… I think we did a great job!! I am hoping to go back in March and plan some playdates for the kids. We are the only homeschooling family out of the bunch but there is always weekends, late afternoon… baby playdates… I am sure we will manage! 

Out from behind the camera