Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Picture of the day

Patiently waiting for dinner...



Happy Birthday to Me...

Every year, my darling husband goes all out to create the ultimate birthday cake. This year, he combined two of my favorite things to create this Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola cake. I swear he's been planning this cake for the last year.



It literally had Coke in the batter and the icing, with a layer of fudge in between.

Thanks for another awesome cake, honey!

Monday, November 29, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time....of the Year!

The Christmas Season has officially begun!

We bundled up and took the kids to pick out our tree, then went to a Santa parade - they kids loved it!

Notice Bryanna's muff?


I guess walking with a muff is trickier than it looks!


Jenn & Matt, Gracie & Hanna, Nanny & Pappy, and Yuli were there too. What fun!




Austin had to use the washroom right before Santa's float appeared. He couldn't wait, so he missed it! Poor kid.

Luckily, we were able to run down a side street & caught his float at the end of the parade route.

It was cold, and it took us twice as long to get home, but it wasn't windy, rainy, or snowy, so it was actually a nice night for a walk.

Ahhh, the price we pay for happiness :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Who'd have thought....

That this little boy


would get stung by a bee...indoors...in November....with temperatures around freezing?


Or that a little Princess


could cause this much damage


one morning while the rest of us were sleeping?

In Brian's words....Good Life. Bad days!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Please Help

Jenn just wrote a post on her blog about Canine Assistants for people living with disabilities. As you may know, Hanna is legally blind and may qualify for this, or a similar program in the future.

Milk Bone has generously offered to donate $1 to the Bark it Furward program for every comment Jenn receives on her post.

So....please visit Jenn's site here and leave a comment!



Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pappy

Today, I broke out the first of our many Christmas decorations.

The kids were really interested, Austin even tried to dictate where everything should be displayed: "Santa should go right here, beside the TV. That's where Gracie's is."

They loved looking at each framed picture with Santa - "Look! That's baby ME!"

I also have a framed picture of my Nanny & Pappy, taken at a Christmas party a few years before Pappy passed away. The kids always have something to say when I take out this picture of the Pappy they never knew. I got all teary eyed when Bryanna excitedly exclaimed, "That's Nanny! And My Papa! I miss him!"

We all miss him, Bryanna.

Backyard Science

I've been thinking about my schooling methods lately, and have come to the conclusion that we're doing too much formal "work" and not enough "fun" work. Sure, Austin LOVES worksheets, and he's so proud that he's starting to read,  - I'm just not finding the time to do the fun demonstrations and crafts that I imagined.

His new phonics workbook is very thorough and he loves doing it, but it's a grade one level. If we keep up our pace, he'll finish it by this summer, and it's just not necessary for him to be so ahead.

So...this week we didn't worry about getting anything done.


We went on a field trip with our homeschool group to a local vet's office. A lot of it was over their heads (I think it was too advance for most of the other kids as well), but they did enjoy the tour. Seriously, this place even has a heated indoor pool and treadmills for dogs.

Austin still goes to Aunt Patti-Lynn's on Wednesdays - this week they made a bird feeder out of a pop bottle.

Another day, I sent the kids out to the backyard on a nature scavenger hunt. Equipped with Ziploc baggies, they returned with all kinds of leaves and pine cones (no backyard soup today!). We made leaf books containing leaf rubbings, pressed leaves, and drawings of our findings. Austin and I even included a list of things he knows about leaves.



And what about the pine cones? Glad you asked...


We had a blast - Austin got a bit of science, Bryanna got to play with glue, and Cameron was right in there with the big kids.

Don't get me wrong, we'll still continue with the reading and workbooks, we'll just stretch them out a bit. After all, we have two more years to complete grade one!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Rainforest Cafe

Last night, we went for dinner with my parents at the Rainforest Cafe. It was supposed to be a special treat for the kids, but....well...they didn't enjoy it as much as we thought. In fact, they probably would have preferred the Olive Garden!

What kid wouldn't absolutely love the experience of dining in the rainforest?

Isn't it every kid's dream to eat their jungle-themed entree amidst trees draped with vines and moss?

Listening to the pitter-patter of rain on the jungle floor, thunderstorms every thirty minutes, signaled by the trumpeting elephants and excited screeches of monkeys in the nearby trees?

Gorillas wildly shaking trees.....

Wait. Back up.

Thunderstorms? Screeching monkeys?

Are you remembering the bad monkey? Yeah, the kids almost forgot too.

Oh, and we were unluckily seated right in front of the tree shaking gorillas. Poor Austin literally dove under the table each time they moved or made a sound. He didn't even touch his meal until he was back in the safety of the van!

Bryanna was scared too (mostly from watching Austin), but not enough to keep her from eating - when she got scared, she'd bury her face in Nanny's arm and calmly wait for it to end.  

Cameron didn't care for the gorillas either, but he had a typical reaction for a one-year-old.

On the way home, he said it was a neat restaurant, but when asked if he wanted to go back, he answered (without so much as a thought) "NO!"

Thanks Nanny & Pappy for a memorable dinner. Maybe we'll try again sometime....in about 10 yrs!

*Note: Sorry for the lack of pictures - I forgot my camera. I know now to never leave home without it!

What a diva!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Our Saturday on the farm

Today, we went to Aunt Cyndi & Uncle Wayne's farm for my Gramma's birthday. We arrived a bit later than we anticipated, so the kids missed out on riding the horses. (Had they picked up their toys in the five minutes it should have taken, we'd have arrived with time to spare, but it was just one of those days...)

Aside from the horses, we got to see the cutest baby goats we've ever seen! Seriously, they'd jump right up on you.  And a pig, miniature pony, alpaca, pig, donkeys, llamas, sheep and lots of chicken.



And....if Austin wasn't afraid of the barn, he'd have enjoyed them too! The funny thing is, he's not afraid of the animals, just the barn. We coaxed him into the front, but he would not go through the door to see the animals. As it was, he missed out on the baby goats, sheep, donkeys and pig.

I think the worst of it, is when Austin gets scared, Bryanna & Cameron copy his reaction. So none of them enjoyed the animals!




After the drama in the barn, we came inside to visit while we waited for dinner. The kids had a great time playing with their cousins. Cousin Sarah took out her Barbie dolls - Bryanna thought she was in heaven! Even the boys (and Uncle Joe) got in on the fun.



And Cameron hung out with Payton & Nanny.....for a minute....


Overall, we had a nice night with family - thanks Aunt Cyn for the awesome dinner, as always.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween

After weeks of anticipation, Halloween has finally arrived! We celebrated with "pumpkin sandwiches" (aka: orange coloured pancakes with PB & J) for breakfast...



....And "bloody witch fingers" (grilled cheese sandwiches with ketchup) for lunch.

We went to Nanny & Pappy's house for a quick dinner before trick-or-treating,
where we were met by This Guy
And This Guy


They were Nanny & Pappy's new "statues". BUT...they walked...

And they DANCED...


The reaction? Well let's just say had the bad monkey gotten out of his cage, he'd have had some mean competition!




The joke didn't last long. The poor kids were so scared, we had to tell them it was only Tim and Patrick behind those weird suits. Seriously, they were the highlight of our night!

After a quick dinner of appetizers (my fav. kind of dinner!), everyone got their costumes on...


...and followed farmer Punk Rocker to his Hog, er, tractor for a hayride.


There was no room on board....poor Thomas the tank engine had to ride behind.




In total, we had a chicken, a mummy, a fairy, an elephant, two princesses, Thomas the train, a bunny, a spider-witch, a rat lady, a butterfly woman, an animal control officer, a hippie, a punk rocker, and Brian. What was he supposed to be?


Well....let's just say he was a donkey!


Saturday...

Saturdays are our day off. Literally. I don't make the kids get dressed, or make their beds. They can sleep in (not that they do, but maybe someday!) and watch cartoons while eating their breakfast. I even allow blankets on the living room floor.



And no Saturday would be complete without Lego building on the dining room table.



 Last Saturday we cooked our pie pumpkins (from our field trip) and baked pumpkin bread...yum!
This week Daddy helped the kids carve our pumpkin for Halloween
.


Didn't he do a good job?