Tag Archive | Zander

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.

Happy Birthday My 3 Sons

February is ALWAYS a crazy month for us. But never so crazy as it was in 2004 and 2006. It is hard to believe that 13yrs ago on the 5th of February Zander and Gavin were born… 10 weeks early and tiny little peanuts. Here we are, the parents of TEENAGERS! When did I blink and miss that one happening?20170205_114101

11yrs ago and at a much calmer pace we welcomed Emanuel into our family on February 3rd. He was my chubby eternally napping and happy baby. He still loves a good nap and has definitely thinned out! But still, where did the time go?IMG_20170203_091819

We have done the larger parties in the past, but this year we decided to go small. On the 3rd we had a mini celebration just for Emanuel. He got to open the small gifts from us, what Aunty Holly sent him from Canada, and any cards that came in the mail.20170203_164610

A bag for his fossil collection!

A bag for his fossil collection!

We had the dinner he requested – potato soup and dumplings, hung out together and had cupcakes for desert.20170203_204707

On the 5th we did the same for the twins. They chose sausage-strata. A breakfast casserole.20170205_114149

A bag for any metal detector finds (left Zander) and a holder for art supplies.

A bag for any metal detector finds (left Zander) and a holder for art supplies.

As an added gift we took the whole family to McDonald’s for breakfast after Sunday School. A very rare occurrence for this family of 7, eating out at a restaurant, fast food or no.20170205_104542

20170205_105529We also opened the bigger gifts which we the same for each of the boys.20170205_114528

Emanuel had an additional outing he requested – Aidan joined him and Ken to go see the new Lego Batman movie. And to go to McDonald’s for their appropriately themed Happy Meals. I am told it was all great amounts of fun.IMAG0616

IMAG0618IMAG0622image000000And then after when Darcy and Andy came to get him we had MORE presents (so sweet) and hung out for a while.20170211_215425

20170211_215314Nothing hugely fancy, but I think we really felt like we celebrated properly. I love these 3 so much, watching them grow and change has been a great privilege, even with all the ups and downs.20170205_113912

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Just a little late sharing but… we always make a bit of a fuss. I know that we should show love and affection year round, which we do. But it is nice to reinforce the need to SHOW this emotion with a month of careful labeling of Valentines, discussion of how to show we care and a slough of themed worksheets! Which I will share some links to, of course. 

We have a few traditions we do each year. Pictures in red and white clothes, of course.20170214_122440_HDR

A red and white lunch… this gets tricky as I don’t like to make the same thing every year. This year I splurged on Swedish pancakes, strawberry jam and chocolate from IKEA, heart shaped cakes, strawberries and whipped cream, those awful candies with words on them and pink lemonade. IMG_20170214_130615_849

IMG_20170214_130635_510We spend half the day crafting. This coincided with our once a year (at least) request to decorate t shirts. I don’t force a theme on those but let them go wild. This year I picked a new set of rainbow thinner point markers and Gavin proved that they were a rather smart buy. IMG_20170215_143640_481

IMG_20170215_143548_948IMG_20170215_143509_831IMG_20170215_143404_263IMG_20170215_143439_011With older kids now (oh my the twins are 13!!!) we are able to leave them to their own devices from time to time. So Ken and I made them walking tacos and rented the movie Storks for them, snuck out and went to Khan’s Mongoli Grill for the first time in FOREVER. We ate way too much and had a lovely time. 20170214_192146

IMG_20170214_211646_946IMG_20170214_211738_753When we got home it was time for cake! Yup, full on spoiling of the kids this year. 20170214_205718

20170214_205818Ken and I didn’t really exchange gifts. He says I cheated because I made him this heart.IMG_20170214_214506_906

I had to laugh as earlier in the week he offered me some shopping on Amazon. It just happened to show up on Valentine’s Day. So BAM my present. IMG_20170214_113502_611

The kids got some Valentines in the mail, and exchanged with each other. We put the fairies and Hello Kitty Aunty Holly sent us out for decoration and had to have a fashion show of the new tops from Gammie.20170214_151028

All in all a fun day! I just hope our mailed Valentines make it to everyone. Poor Ken had a few trips to the post office this month!!! Now for the worksheets!

Activity Village has a whole section for Valentines – they have gone to a pay format but it is so worth it HERE

My collection that includes past years choices on Education.com HERE

EnchantedLearning (also pay for) HERE20170214_210130