Homeschooling After Hours…

On a good day, the kids are done with their home school work load around 11 am.  They start around 7 am.  Not all days are good days, some are a struggle and there’s a lot of day dreaming.  Lately there are fewer of them.  So the question I know you’re asking is, what do the kids do with the rest of their day?

I’m glad you asked….here’s a little look!

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They paint…

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and do other crafts.

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The learn about electricity with Snap Circuits…

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and paleontology by digging up their own dinosaur bones.

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They love to build with Lego’s!

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There’s a lot of dressing up…

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and napping, when their bodies tell them they need it

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and even some napping while dressed up.

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There’s a lot of traveling and camping…

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and field trips.

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They enjoy weekly outings with Nana…

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and home spa times with Mummy.

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It doesn’t matter if it’s baking, writing stories, crafts or just plain silliness, my children get a lot of time for creative learning and playing.  They are enjoying their childhood and that makes me a happy Mummy!

Daddy Says… Creep, Crawl & Slither

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Over the weekend the Little Professor went to birthday party at a friend’s house.  They had a unique form of entertainment for the kids, Joe’s Craz-zy Critters.  Joe and his brother Devin came in and entertained and educated the kids for over an hour with all sorts of exotic creatures.

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There were huge snakes, lizards, spiders and scorpions as well as a very large bunny, a chinchilla & a pig!  It was a very fun and informative party and the kids loved it.

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The Professor found all of the creatures fascinating, though he was not really interested in holding any of them.  I can’t really blame him, at least when it comes to the scorpion and tarantula, though I would have liked to check out the monitor lizard!

As it turned out, the big hit of the party was “Rosie” the pig.  The kids thought she was great, they fed her Multi-grain Cheerios and yelled when she squeeled.

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After the animal entertainment was over, the kids sang happy birthday, had some cupcakes and then headed on home with loot bags in hand.  All in all, it was a great time.

Time for the Toddler Bed…

I can barely wrap my mind around the fact that my little baby is now in a big boy bed.  This weekend Daddy turned the Little Monkey’s crib into a toddler bed.  I was curious how it was going to look since we had bought one of those 3 in 1 crib, toddler bed and bed frame.  So far I’m not that impressed since the big transformation is just taking one side of the crib down, so who knows what the bed frame will look like.  I’m not sure how the monkey will feel sleeping in his crib when he’s sixteen!

Eventually I want to decorate the little guys room but for now it has more of an eclectic feel with all the hand me downs from his brother and sister.  The Monkey doesn’t seem to mind.  Whether it’s the pink and purple kitchen or the well used spider man chair, he’s thrilled with his new room.  His little tour of his room was filled with lots of giddy ooohs and aaahs!

It went something like this (translation by mummy):

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This is my new bed!

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This is my new chair!

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This is my new play kitchen!  

I haven’t been brain washed yet by what society deems as gender specific colours, so I don’t mind that it’s pink! (ok, maybe I took a little creative liberty translating this one)

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These are my new wooden food toys!

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This is me jumping really high on my well padded area rug! I’m really excited!

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This is me sleeping in my big boy bed.

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This is me being woken up by Mummy’s excessive picture taking!  I’m not impressed.

Good night!

Freezing Cold, Forts and Picnics…

Today was cold!  Super cold!

We did a couple things to try and keep warm.

The kids stayed in their thick warm pajamas and we cranked the heat.

We  also ordered a cord of wood to get the fireplace going but unfortunately it won’t be delivered until tomorrow morning.

Even with all our attempts to get warm there was still a chill in the house, so after the school work was finished, the kids and I built a fort and filled it with all sorts of blankets.

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The kids spent the rest of the day in their fort.  They read books, played a little DS and the Princess even took a little nap.  I packed a little lunch for the two of them so they could have a fun picnic inside the fort.

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They had so much fun they decided to sleep in it tonight.

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My two sweet ones are snuggled in their little hideout, sound asleep, warm and cozy.  It’s a fun way to stay warm on a cold winter’s night!

RV Show 2013

This is our 5th year going to the RV show and we love it!  Even the Professor and the Princess get excited as the day gets closer and this year the little Monkey joined in the fun.  He loved going through the RV’s trying out different seats and claiming beds as his own.

Even though we were not in the market for a new trailer this year, we still enjoyed checking out all the different RV’s.  It’s interesting to see the different types, the layouts and the new features.  There truly is an RV for every person.

For those who like luxury, there were plenty of options to choose from…

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Big kitchens.

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Modern sophistication.

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Big screen TV’s and fireplaces.

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Skylights.

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Comfortable beds.

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Washer – Dryer hook ups.

For those who might like or need something a little smaller…

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Small but has everything necessary.

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A hard top pop up.  Reminds me of a ski chalet.

And for those who want the most minimal camper experience!

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I personally thought this one was the coolest camper ever and I’m not the only one.

They even have it written on the camper itself.

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The show was as great as ever.  If you’ve never been, I recommend checking it out.  Especially if you’re looking to buy an RV.

Daddy Says… Flipnotes

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This Christmas, the Professor was pretty impressed to receive a Nintendo 3DS handheld game system as a gift.  We had been talking about it for a while, and he was saving up his money to buy it himself, so he was genuinely surprised to find it among his gifts!  Just as happy about the gift was the Princess… By default, she was given his old DS as a practice system.

She didn’t hesitate to start taking all sorts of photos, playing games and recording little songs that she could then play back at various speeds to alter her voice. One of the programs we found is Flipnote. It’s a simple program where you can create animations by drawing them one page at a time.

I made a quick little Star Wars animation and the Princess liked it so much, she decided to do one of her own.  After a few frames, she asked me to take over, but offered some ideas of how it should go.  About halfway through the battle, she decided the scene needed a cat:

She liked the surprise ending with the cat so much, she made her own:

When we showed Mummy, she thought it was so cute, she decided to make one too!

I have to say, I think Mummy’s says it all.

Kitchen Construction 2012

We have started our kitchen construction again.  I’m calling it 2012 because it’s not the first time we’ve had to live through tearing our kitchen apart.  The first time we did it, we had just moved into our home and realized that the kitchen cabinets were useless.  They were rotted out, not to mention super-duper ugly, and we spent the first couple of months storing our supplies under a fold away table.  Not the most convenient way to live or cook!  There wasn’t much we could do about it since we had spent every cent we had just getting the house.

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Thankfully, friends of friends of ours were getting a new kitchen and were replacing perfectly good cabinets.  Since we couldn’t afford new cabinets of our own we installed the gently used cabinets and they have worked fabulously for us.  The price was great, plus it was nice knowing the perfectly good cabinets were not going to sit in a land fill somewhere.

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I was just so thankful to have a fully functioning kitchen that we stopped working on it and took a break.  Well, there was that and the shingles we lost in a hurricane which caused the roof to leak right through the Little Professor’s ceiling.  Then the boiler needed to be replaced and the little monkey’s room needed attending.

The time has come to finish the kitchen!

Before we do anything else we need to put up a new ceiling and while we are doing that…some recessed lighting.   Unfortunately in order to install a new ceiling we need to pull the present one down.

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And of course, true to the house, we found an even uglier ceiling under it!

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So we spent the weekend tearing down ceiling.  Well, by “we” I mean Daddy.  I did a lot supervising and gave plenty of suggestions.

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By the end of the weekend a third of the ceiling was torn down!  At this rate it’s going to take a month just to get the ceiling down.  It’s bittersweet.  I’m excited to get on with the kitchen, but the stress of living in a construction zone is still very fresh in my mind.

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I know in the end it’ll be worth it, but the process is not nearly as fun as the completed project!

Bedtime Stories…

Bedtime stories are precious.

Our’s first started back when the Little Professor was tucked away safe in my tummy while Daddy would read to him.

Our favourite book was…

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It’s a sweet, little book perfect for new parents falling in love with their life changing bundle of joy!

As the years have passed, there are a few gems that we continue to enjoy and every once and a while we stumble upon a new one to add to our most loved collection.

Here are some of our favourites…

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Wow, It’s a Cow!  By Trudy and Jay Harris

This is a cute book for the little ones.  It’s one of the Monkey’s favourite.  It’s full of rhyming, animal sounds and little peekaboo flaps!

What more could a curious, little toddler ask for?

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Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

A book about the special bond between mother and son and the evolving relationship that comes with age.  This book is especially dear with the Little Professor and myself.  Even though he is off reading goofy, little novels full of wedgies and other mildly rude stuff, he still loves to snuggle up with his mother for a private reading of Love You Forever.  He even requests that I rock him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

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   Princess Justina Albertina – A Cautionary Tale by Ellen Dee Davidson

A seriously fun book with a great, though slightly drastic, ending.  To be honest, it’s the ending that makes this a favourite with our family!  Princess Justina likes to have her own way.  She reminds me of too many kids we have come across in our adventures.  You know the ones! They’re at the stores, parks, and restaurants constantly demanding things a little too loudly from parents that obviously have never said no in their life. It’s crossed my mind to keep copies of this book in my purse to hand out to those darling little cherubs.  Maybe the end of the book will scare them straight!

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You Are My I Love You by Maryann K. Cusimano

This is not so much a story but rather beautiful poetry depicting the day in a life of a parent and their child.  Each verse  flows with song and permeates with love.  It’s graceful and lovely and the perfect transition between an animated day and drifting off to peaceful sleep.

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Mommy’s Best Kisses by Margaret Anastas

What mother doesn’t just love to kiss her child and what child doesn’t absolutely love being kissed?  This book is an interactive, playful excuse to kiss my children – not that we need one.  This book leaves us all laughing and giggling, smiling and wiggling.  It’s sweet and fun and has given us many precious times together.  From the moment I first skimmed through it at the bookstore right up until tonight, this book has brought a smile to my lips and spilled happy tears from my eyes.

If you have little ones in your life, you might want to add one of these books to your special collection.