Monday, 27 July 2015

Our Week: End of July & waiting for baby

This week we've been waiting for baby to come.  We did not have our daycare friend with us as she's gone to camp for a few weeks around my due date.  We visited lots of local parks, played at home, visited cousins, splash parks and had a really nice time.  It was a special treasured time just our little family before it gets bigger.  

As I write this post I'm at my due date.  Looks like baby will be a little longer.  It's been a hard wait for me because I've been excitedly impatient.  But I'm over it now and will savour each moment as I patiently wait.

The boys have rediscovered so may favourite toys this week.  Dominos, wooden trucks, remote controlled cars, Playmobil and more.  They have spent countless hours playing and having fun.  I was able to work through a lot of random todo things that never get done: baby books are all up to date, the house is all set for baby too.  Daddy has worked non stop to get the van completed!!

As you now we've been following along with Google Camp!  This week is space week.

First we made some space pictures using chalk and pastels.  The boys were so excited to go to the library.  We took out several books and documentaries which they watched all week.  Wow do they ever remember a lot!  The boys also used their imaginations to play with space like toys too.  We tried to do the Google activity, which sort of worked.

At the park near our house the soccer practices for the Pan AM games were held.  We were very blessed to go and watch a few teams practice.  I will admit though that we didn't actually watch any of it on TV.  No reason, but that we were just to busy playing and having fun.  I'll try to show them some highlights on the computer later.

The boys have been participating in the summer reading program at the library.  Each week we go and often get prizes for different things.  This week they participated in some crafts.  They had so much fun making Minion crafts.  They made goggles, a book mark and garden rock.

We also went to visit the boys' cousins at a splash park.  At many of the parks in our area there are young adults hired to play with the kids and do crafts.  The next day we went to a park near us and another person played basket ball with the boys.

We had a wonderful relaxing weekend as a family.  Daddy finished the van so we took it out for a drive.  we visited a waterfall, had ice cream and spent some nice time together.

We started off a new week with a trip to the library and playground.  Back at home it was super hot!!!  We set up a splash park in the shade of our front yard.  Bubbles in the kiddy pool, a sprinkler near the rope swing and they were all set.  

A little while later the whole area turned into mud pit!  Oh boy did they have fun with that.  The clean up was a little more difficult.  They suddenly realized that the water was cold, but they needed to get most of the mud off before coming inside.

We had a midwife appointment today too.  Looks like baby needs a little more time.  So we'll post again when he is born.  In the mean time we've got some tentative get togethers with friends and family.

Be sure to like us on Facebook to see extra photos and videos.

What have you been up to??

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Our Week: Mid July

Oh man we have had an amazing week!!!  Lots of photos to share.  We are so blessed with amazing family and friends.  I am feeling so loved.

Last weekend we spent some time with Grandpa and Grandma Scott having a picnic at a local creek.  Grandma captured some wonderful photos for us.
TJ and I showing off the community garden plot
TJ in action
Me at 38 weeks
Boys exploring the creek
MJ and Mommy
MJ on a bridge
Happy family, yummy ice cream!! (yes TJ has some very blue ice cream)
We started our week with Camp Google.  Unfortunately I can not seem to get the larger video to play smoothly without pausing.  But that didn't stop us.  We made collages, did an experiment and watched ocean videos.

All set for Ocean Week with Camp Google

TJ's ocean collage with a little mommy assistance.  Our friend made a winter/animal theme.  Mommy made a collage too.  MJ made multiple collages and card.

I know I can't spell!!

We did some buoyancy experiments.  The children also learned the names of all the oceans.  Every time someone in the family travels we circle the country and flag on our world map.  The boys love receiving post cards too.

Later in the day we joined some friends in the natural park near our house.  We let the kids lead the way and take loads of pictures along the way.  We saw turtles, tadpoles, snakes and fungi.

While not in a forest, the kids have been on the trampoline, bikes, sandbox, toy tractor and more.    Paper airplanes, donating items, selling toys to each other, playing vet, reading, Wii and more. They are so crafty and have great imaginations!

MJ made his own swing, while TJ digs to the bottom of the sand box
Ice cream prizes, and McDonalds Minion fun
Mommy is getting ready for baby.

Mommy is excited for little baby to arrive.  I've been trying to prep as much as possible.  Running errands, organizing baby items and baking.  I'm due in just over a week.

In the middle of the week we joined a wonderful group of homeschoolers at the same creek we had been to on the weekend.  I am so blessed to know these amazing families.  My good friend organized a surprise shower for me!!

An amazingly talented friend made the care (do go visit A Little Taste of Heaven).  There was delicious food, a poster for everyone to sign, an adorable onsie for everyone to sign, a bottle of chocolates to win, and games to play.  The kids all played in the creek and playground for hours.

How kind everyone was.  We received the most adorable little outfit wrapped in a receiving blanket.  A group of friends got together to provide us with pre-paid babysitting from our regular sitters.  I was so surprised when I opened the balloons, then realized they were full of certificates!!  The girls were going to jump out of a box, but were at a church camp this week.  

When we arrived home our daycare child's mom was waiting for us.  She is so creative and thoughtful.  Look at this adorable diaper cake!!

The next day we visited a different creek to check on the dams the kids had made a few weeks before.  Some didn't last as long as I expected, but we did have a wonderful time.  On the way home we stopped at the splash park to play and enjoy left over cake.

To end our week we took advantage of the free admission day at all the provincial parks.  A group of homeschoolers all gathered at the park nearby to play at the farm and kids play barn.  The rain never stops these kids and their fun.

Back home MJ decided to turn our home into a farm.  He planed out where everyone would go, which animals we'd have and more.  He then began to move bricks about to create the cash check out for the store that will sell all the things our farm produces.  SO CUTE!!!!

This weekend we've been busy running errands, working on cars and house, visiting friends and more.  What a beautiful time we've had.  I hope you enjoyed a little glimpse into our week.

Monday, 13 July 2015

A busy unschooling day...

Okay so I know in my last post I said I'd be off line more often.  And here I am again back so soon!  I actually have been offline far more.  I've been very productive at home cleaning, baking, finally mending some things and more.  When I do go online it is more often with a purpose and I get much more accomplished in a shorter time because I'm not just browsing and such.  This post I'm writing while waiting for my boys to fall asleep, since I'm sitting in their room with nothing much else to do I figured I'd write about our day.  Watch out this is a long one!!

No two days are alike over here.  As you now we don't have a set schedule or curriculum to follow.   We learn about whatever the boys are interested and what is going on around us.   Over the summer we have also been watching a little girl similar in age to the boys.  I have observed that the combination of 3 kids is a tricky one for them to navigate.  It always seems like someone is left out after a while.  They are all having so much fun, and learning to negotiate and cooperate together has been a good experience for everyone.  We have been visiting splash parks, creeks, the library and playing at home.  Paper airplanes and Go Fish have emerged as the topics of interest this past week.

I have noticed though that I have not been as present/engaged as I usually am.  Now most likely because I'm 38 weeks pregnant, tired and busy.  But I have noticed the fighting, whining, attention seeking behaviours amongst my boys has increased.  This weekend has been somewhat different.  I little more like it used to be (when I had more energy and attention to give).

The boys spent several hours in a creek, along with personal attention from Mommy, Daddy, Grandma and Grandpa!  Lots of exploring, fun, love and treats. They had a good day yesterday.  This weekend I was in a huge purging/cleaning mood.  Some say nesting, I just felt that the house was a mess and ragging me down.  So I got busy cleaning.  I finished every room by Sunday morning.  With nothing left to distract me I was able to be far more present with the boys today and that made a huge difference.

TJ woke up and usually likes to watch TV in the morning.  We worked together to make him some breakfast and he watched some bible stories on video.  Over the summer we are less consistent with getting to church.  The children's program is different and we are often away.  I asked TJ if he'd talk to me about what he watched today instead of going to Sunday School and he thought that was a good idea.  MJ joined in a little later.  We discussed the stories they watched and what they learned from it.  TJ got far more than his brother.

Money slide, drum set, treasure map, paper planes

Later TJ wanted to make another pirate treasure map.  So he did.  This led on to a drum concert.  I was rather intrigued and delighted when I thought back about how he may have gotten to thinking about this.  Often we can think our children are rather random.  But because I am with my son so much, I believe I was able to follow his train of thought.... Yesterday we moved the boys' Playmobil farms to the playroom.  I'm making space in the family room for the baby swing. When we put his toys on the shelf he re-discovered a pirate treasure map scroll he had made a long time ago.  Then this morning TJ wanted to make a new map, but he also liked using the wooden dowels for the scroll to make music.  This gave him the idea to make a drum set like he had done months ago.

First he got out all the pot lids, but he really wanted a set he could keep for himself.  TJ found a metal bucket in the playroom.  I suggested some jars and to look outside in the shed.  He found more in the shed and recycling.  Next he wanted to give a concert and have space for everyone to sit and watch.  I mentioned that an outdoor concert might be nice.  Luckily we already had some chairs out from the day before.  I got to enjoy a fabulous outdoor drum concert.  (Check out our FB page for videos).  Of course little brother copied the idea and made up his own performance for us afterwards.

The boys continued to play outside on the trampoline and swing for a while.  Some strong disagreements, and such led them back inside.  They found the Trashies (very small toys they got from the dollar store.  very popular with school kids right now) and played nicely together for quite some time.  During all of this daddy worked on getting our van fixed up all day.  I did some house work, finished packing my hospital bag and tidied.  Once the boys had played long enough (usually when they start bugging each other or wrestling) I got out some things for lunch.

After lunch I read a whole pile of library books.  TJ wanted to give daddy a concert, so me moved his drum set inside to set up for that.

I did have a number of chores to get done today.  The boys weren't engaged in anything in particular so I asked them to pick one thing to help me with from my list, or they could think of something they could do to help (TJ wanted to make his bed, so I added that it should help the whole family).  The boys chose to help with the laundry and baking (they get to taste things if they help bake!!)  Dumping laundry and sorting the clothes into piles is so much more fun together.  We often sort the clothes into piles of who they belong to.  Makes putting away faster.  They started getting rather silly and messing up the piles so I said I'd fold later.  They both ran off to play while I set up for baking.  TJ pretended to fish with his rod while MJ made lots of pictures, cards and got out envelopes.

The boys decided on cookies and bread.  Unfortunately we didn't have enough flour for bread so we made lots of cookies instead.  I had wanted to make scones but since I'm the only one who likes the flavours I was going to make, I'll get to that some other time...  TJ was a huge help with the baking.  MJ kept working on his cards and joined us for a little bit.  The most fun was squeezing the juice from the orange.  They both love that part.  We ended up making two different types of cookies, a total of over 8 dozen!!  I froze lots so we don't have to bake next week.

The orange juice brought up questions about how store bought juice is made.  MJ knew they probably added water.  The boys tested out several other additions including sugar, salt and cookie dough?!  Then this concoction needed to be frozen.

The baking soda reminded TJ of explosions with vinegar.  This led to lots of test tube volcanos, food colouring and putting peas into the mixture.  Of course once they ran out of vinegar they wanted to add all sorts of other things.  So we got out the basket of spices and they made some crazy mixtures while I was taking cookies in and out of the oven.

After cleaning up the table, something MJ said made TJ think of the movie Wall-E and they asked to play the Wall-E game on the Wii.  I was up for a break by then so off they went for quite some time.  I enjoyed a nice much needed break.  I guess folding laundry isn't much of a break, but I got it mostly done.  I did also sit for a while too.

I'm no sure when, probably after the Wii and MJ playing on the iPad.  It started off well.  I gave them a little pep talk reminder about not getting upset if you don't win, or if the game doesn't go your way for a little while... then of course I put a house on a square that MJ had wanted, he was also almost out of money by then and flipped out.  He scattered the board and bust in to tears.  TJ went outside and I gave MJ some space (got some mending done).  MJ and I tidied up the game and I got dinner going.  The boys played outside until we ate.

After dinner the boys helped me empty the dishwasher, then had ice cream outside.  They played/ argued over the swing.  It got quite buggy and frustration levels were rising at times.  By then it was pretty much time for our evening routine.  They boys wanted to watch more bible stories.  They had an evening snack and watched their shows.

Getting to bed always takes some time.  There is teeth, pyjamas, sometimes stories and stall tactics... TJ had his fishing gear and toys to tidy up.  MJ needed to keep finding more toys to put into bed with him.  And I settled in to write this post.  The've since fallen asleep and I'm done writing!

My evening.. well I'll probably tidy the kitchen, watch some TV and get ready for another day.  Like I said at the beginning, no two days are alike.  Weekends daddy is home a little more (and I try to get more office work done on week days),  but we just live life every day of the week.  This week we have a few different creek playdates, midwife, library, and the new Google Camp on the calendar.  I can't wait to see where the children will lead us with their curiosity.

Be sure to check out our FB page.

I'd love to know what you have been up to!!!

This post is linked to:
Mom2Mom Monday Link-up

Friday, 10 July 2015

Our week: Beginning of July

 I have been reflecting a lot recently and realize that I am often so busy taking photos, spending time on Facebook or other things that I am actually missing out on just being and living life.  So I have decided to cut back a little on such things.  I'm still around, but I'm not so busy on the computer.  Most days you'll find me watching the boys play outside or taking them to some fun new parks with their friend who we watch over the summer.  I'm also busy getting ready for our little one due this month!

June ended with some much needed rain.  The boys as always enjoyed digging and making channels in the back yard.

Our gardens have kept us very busy.  What an absolute blessing to grow your own food.  My often picky kids are tasting everything from radishes, onions, peas, and swiss chard from the garden.  MJ is particularly daring.  He loves to make us the most interesting and delicious salads using anything he has gathered that day.  Our new salads often have yellow wax beans and fresh raspberries in them.

We are so excited that we have wild black raspberries growing in our back yard.  We also found lots on a walk to the park with my parents, and at the forest location for the program we are doing in the fall.  We also found wild strawberries in the yard, but they didn't do too much.

Canada Day was fabulous.  We spent some time with my parents as they were home for a few days between travel.  In the evening we had a few families over for a BBQ, s'mores and lots of fun.  We are so thrilled to be building a great community around us.

I mentioned already that we have been outside a lot!  One meet-up was particularly fun and I got photos!  The day was even more eventful because I locked the keys in the car and daddy had to come and get in with a coat hanger while we played in the creek.  It is such a joy to watch a group of children gather together in nature.  This week many of the children hadn't met before, but no matter... they got busy exploring, climbing and building dams.  The organization and team work was amazing!

My boys and our daycare girl missed out on the next meet-up because it may have rained, so we've planed on going back next week to check on the dams.

We've also visited several local splash parks, weekly visits to the library and the farmer's market.  We are part of a few homeschool groups so there is always more than one invite to choose from.  My sister is off work for the summer as a teacher so we also get together with the boys' couins.  At home the children started the month off with Playmobil, then moved on to dress-up, play camping and now paper planes.  They are often crafty, love the trampoline, swing and water.  Oh this week has been all about playing Go-Fish!!!


A regular visitor to our back yard, discovered the vegetable plot this year.  Unfortunately there isn't much one can do to keep a ground hog out if they are determined.  We have no intention to trap or hurt this guy either.  So we moved as many plants as we could to the community garden plot in containers.  We replanted some of the faster growing veggies and have moved the fence to protect what we couldn't move.  The rest we've decided to share.  MJ figures he must be hungry, so he can eat the boys veggies (hopefully our potatoes and pumpkins will be left alone).

MJ is always asking me to head into the forest further to look for the wild raspberries there.  We ventured out but nothing was ready yet.  We did find lots of mosquitos though!

Today TJ surprised us with a party for his toys in the forest.  Oh he is so cute.  We haven't been in our forest for a while because of the bugs.  He asked me for a bit of advice then organized snacks and several games.  First we played pass the parcel and got a life saver, then the challenge was to climb a fallen tree.  Animal charades was lots of fun and the last game was to jump over a stick, which he moved farther and father down the path each time.  After we went back to the house, MJ organized party games too for his Big Doggie.

Next week we plan to go to two creeks, the cottage, and a conservation park!  it is going to be so much fun.  Otherwise I'm just doing what I can to be ready for our little one to arrive...