Friday, January 29, 2010

Seven Quick Takes Friday

1. I haven't tackled the 7 quick takes for many moths... blogging has been sparse the past year. I love my blog -- I love keeping a record of family life, homeschooling and my ever changing thoughts of the world, but I go through phases where I just don't have it in me to write.

2. I think it's because I struggle with fatigue off and on.  Who doesn't, these days?  However, I do go through times where even walking up the stairs makes me weary.  Over the years i have learned to be more gentle with myself and I try to remember that it is usally just a phase and I WILL feel better again in a little while, and be able to get back into my routines and plans.

3. I'm a pretty good place right now. My thyroid levels are relatively stable, my iron levels are normal,  my baby sleeps 10-12 hours at night (unheard of in a Blair baby), and thanks to my new Wii Fit Plus :-) I have been getting in a little bit of exercise each day.  (and I'm on week 2 of the 100pushup challenge).

4.  We're still doing the Olympics unit study. This week we made a really big bulletin board display in the basement beside our TV. On it, we have:
  • A map of Canada showing where Vancouver is
  • A map of the world, so we can see where each country is
  • A chart of each country participating and their flags.
  • Pictures of the mascots 
  • A chart to track the medals won each day
  • A schedule of the daily events so we can decide what to watch on tv
5. We're thinking of getting cable for the olympics so we can watch the events without 'snow' all over the screen.   Sean would also like to be able to watch the soccer World Cup too.  I suppose it wouldn't seem THAT strange for someone who works for a cable company to have cable.  However, we've been without television (except the odd kids CBC morning) for so many years, that I'm not sure I want to have it.  Besides maybe the food network, what on earth is good about TV?

6.  A special friend of mine is pregnant!! I don't think she's telling the whole world yet, so I can't tell either, but I'm just beyond excited for her!!!  Too bad she doesn't live in Calgary. I'll have to start knitting some cute things right away.

7. Speaking of knitting, and crafting in general... I'm going to go find something crafty to do today.  I need a good dose of creativity to keep me smiling and cheerful.  I still haven't finished anything handmade for my very first nephew (poor Lukas! your aunty is hopelessly slow at finishing things).

Thursday, January 28, 2010

and she can change the world with all three

Heard around the breakfast table (from the 4 yr old):

I'm going to be THREE things when I grow up...

a Mommy

an Artist

and a Sci - in- test.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


He's so sweet.

(watching the Olympic Torch relay)
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Friday, January 22, 2010

What would you want on your face?

This Christmas, the kids were very happy their daddy works for Shaw.
The children's Christmas party was quite the celebration, and they will remember it all year, I'm sure.

The favorite part of the day (not including the BIG presents they each got to take home -- even one for little Samuel), was the face-painting station.
They had professional face-painters working in various stations throughout the party, and they did an amazing job!

E wanted a butterfly and was transformed into a real beauty. The nice lady told me she always did the best job on the last kids in line because they had waited so long. E was very sorry to have to wipe it off her face at bedtime.

Little H wanted, of all things, a Christmas tree with presents under it :-) . You can really tell that my kids don't watch a lot of television. All the other kids in the place wanted to be various versions of tv characters and movie stars. Not my kids! Their creativity is always sparkling around them and making others smile.

Z was the best of them all. He told the lady that he wanted to be an astronaut. She had been painting batman all day, and couldn't figure out how to get him to look like an astronaut with facepaint, so she asked him what else he liked (hoping, i'm sure, for the easy predictable answers she usually got like pirate or puppy. He thought about it for a second, and then happily said "I want to be a mechanic when I grow up!" (his uncle is a mechanic and Z wants to be just like him).

Short of putting some black grease smudges on his cheecks, she was still at a loss (poor lady). Finally she asked him if he might like to be a robot, and he was ok with that. Doesn't he look cute as the tin man?
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Higher Education?

After leaving the Olympic Torch relay, we drive by the local University (my alma mater).

"Hey guys! Look!! That's the university!" I proudly exclaim.

"What's a University?" they ask, looking out the windows of our big 12 passenger van, not  too interested.

"Well, it's the school you can go to, if you want, after you are all done high school!". I'm using my 'this-is-something-really-fun' voice.  You know, the kind when you are describing what supper is going to be when trying out a new dish on the kids.

"Oh, I don't want to go to university!!" my oldest two whine.  (Why oh WHY would we want to do more school when we were supposed to be finished with it in grade 12?)

Being the good mother that I am, I quickly launch into the obligatory parental lecture on the value of a good education in life, and how it will lead them to better jobs so they can take care of their families and become whatever amazing things they want to become: astronaut, engineer, teacher, musician, artist....

 I lose them.  (of course).  They aren't buying it.

But then I know just what to say:  the secret weapon...

"But guys... there's a McDonald's*  there!"

Well you should have heard the excitement in the van! Even the 3 year olds wanted to go.... and I didn't even tell them about the Dairy Queen and the vending machines with bubble gum.  

 *(ok, it's an A&W but it's the french fries that are the important part when you're a kid)

Olympic Torch Relay!

It was an early morning with cold air nipping our ears
but we couldn't miss the opportunity to be a part of the Olympic Torch Relay.

We stood outside the church sean and I were married in ten years ago...

Baby Sam was snuggled in my jacket, the rest of the kids snuggled in their warm winter clothes.. and we watched and waited... and climbed a tree... and waited and watched...and kicked some snow... and waited some more for the torch runner to come running down the road with the historic Olympic flame.

Then, some excitement! A big coca cola truck drove by with flags for everyone, music blaring from their speakers...

and finally....

The torch! The first runner, came to pass the flame onto the next person. We all waved our flags and cheered as he lit the next torch. (later my ever-observant 6 year old who wants to be a mechanic or engineer when he grows up told me he watched how a guy on a bicycle came over just before and turned a key on the torch that made the flame go out on the first torch... he never misses anything about how things work. My 9 year old, like myself, was thinking that maybe they were just flaming wooden sticks like in the olden days).

When it was all over, predictably, the first words out of the kids mouths:

'Can we go to McDonalds?'


(apparently all special events require a side trip for french fries to complete the experience)
If you aren't as lucky as us to see the torch go right by your own neighborhood, you can watch a live webcam of the torch relay and take in all the action from the comfort of your home.
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Monday, January 18, 2010

April Girl

She's so sweet, this little girl of mine.
Full of sparks and light.
The quintessential middle child, always looking for the attention of those she loves,
and getting it through the sheer power of her will.
Beautiful and feminine
Graceful and light
Powerful and wild

(we were watching a show of the beautiful princess dancing for us when it was interrupted by a knight with his sword)

She reminds me of this poem I have always enjoyed (as I was born in April too):

Always Marry An April Girl
by Ogden Nash
Praise the spells and bless the charms,
I found April in my arms.
April golden, April cloudy,
Gracious, cruel, tender, rowdy;
April soft in flowered languor,
April cold with sudden anger,
Ever changing, ever true --
I love April, I love you.
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Going for the gold....

To avoid some of that post-christmas burn-out, I have decided to spice up our homeschool a bit with a fun unit study on the olympics.

I started with two very cheap resources from, and some other free resources, and we are on the way to a fun 2 weeks of olympic learning!!


I like the lapbook template that comes with this unit. It cost me around $5 cdn, and now we're all set to make a big lapbook with little preparation on my part, besides buying the materials.

I chose this one because it has a 13 day schedule, all planned out with different things to learn about each day, and many suggestions for websites, movies and books.

This website is a fabulous resource for free curriculum, information, stories and ideas for learning about the 2010 olympics. We are going to use their 'Paint the Twon Red' pack which includes a great bullentin board set-up for keeping track of the medals won, the events that are running and our favorite atheletes for each day.

We will also wander over to the Playgoround: games, videos, stories... all for kids

There is so much on this website that we haven't touched yet, but so far we are using:

In fact, we had so much fun with the mascots, that elizabeth decided to design her very own mascots for the olympic games:

Super Blue is a bluebird

Sady is a Seal.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

And another decade zooms by

What is going on? I just got married (TEN years ago though it seems like yesterday, really), and now I have SIX kids!!

Aren't they the sweetest ever? Not the best shot, but I was trying to do it after xmas eve mass with 6 tired, hungry kids (and their dad wasn't helping me as he was busy setting up the sound equipment for the next mass).

What's new this year:

-fresh into week 15 of school, we are starting an Olympic study.

- Wii!! We got one for xmas and have been using it quite a bit for family fun times.

- Fooseball: another xmas gift that will be used many times over.

and many more things, which I will try hard to update as the days go by. It's so hard to find blogging time now with so many little ones around.

Samuel is such a sweet baby though... he goes to bed at 8pm and gets up at 6:00.. then goes back to sleep for another 3 hours. I never believed babies could really do this!! Figures it would be my SIXTH child that would actually start sleeping through the night before he was 18months old LOL. God knows what I need :-)

Sam smiles a lot, and is the most talkative baby that we have had. He has very animated conversations with anyone who will hold eye contact with him. I'm not quite sure what he's trying to say, but it's certain we will find out soon. At this rate, he'll zoom past the twins in language skills before he's 3.

Speaking of the twins.. they are growing so much now, and are still as crazy as ever. I'll tell you about it someday when I have time :-)

first.. I need to get this annoying strep throat out of my house !!!
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