Tuesday, June 30, 2015

just filling in the blank space

with another picture of my Benny. 
 Just because he's the baby. 
And he's cute. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

loving life

Ben loves to play in the van.
 He even knows how to put the keys into ignition - which is why removing them is the very first thing I do when he goes in for his little adventure.
 He asks for the windows down, and he screams like a maniac like he's on the road trip of his life.
 He's just so full of joy, this boy.
 Just loving life.
 Many people could learn a good lesson from my Benny.
Enjoy life. Every single second. Even if you're just sitting in a parked van.
"Plenty of people miss their share of happiness. Not because they never found it, but because they didn't stop to enjoy it"
-William Feather

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

note from my daddy

Not sure how, but the following little message ended up as one of my post titles. What a nice surprise from my favourite man.

Jenn, I don't get into this blog nearly enough, but when I do I am ever so proud of you, your many talents and that wonderful brood you have blessed us with.  Keep it up, you are a true inspiration!  ...Daddy

You made my day. 
Thanks Daddy.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

messy party

Austin had his 9th birthday party coming up, and Kristyn wanted it to be something different. Something fun for everyone. Her decision? 
A messy party!
 To start things off, they played painted twister!
 Some liked getting messier than others....

 Then it came time to "paint the birthday boy!" and just make him as messy as possible.
 I think Ben thought everyone was out of their minds.
 There was a storm brewing, so the games were fast and over quickly, but the kids had a blast. There were also water guns full of paint to add to the messiness.

 After it started raining they played the last game on the porch. They had to find the gummy worms under the whipped cream and pudding, without their hands.

 The party was so much fun for the kids. Too bad the weather wasn't more co-operative. Seems like the trend these days. 
Great party Kristyn! Genius idea!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Picture of the day

This one just makes me laugh! 
Ben thought it was hilarious that Hailey was spitting water on him. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

last day of school

Today was officially the last day of school for my girls. 
Gracie got done her books last week, and we took one more week to finish off her big project. 
She had to choose one Canadian person to learn about, and put together a presentation to present to my parents. 

I decided last minute, that Hanna should do a project too. I let her choose her favourite animal. 
I don't have actual workbooks for Hanna right now that will work for her, so I make my own work pages for her to do. I made sure she was at a certain level before determining her last day as well, and I made darn sure it was the same last day as Gracie. Hanna will still be doing "school" all summer, but not formally, and no structure to it. We'll keep up with the Hooked on Phonics and work math in wherever we can all summer long just to keep it fresh in her mind. 

They both did a great job and answered all of the questions my parents had for them. I'm proud of these girls, and so happy to be done school for the year!

Monday, June 8, 2015

strawberry picking!

When we moved into this house, the previous owners had a beautiful vegetable garden, that we just couldn't even think about maintaining the first summer we were here. The strawberries were always, and still are abundant, and are so thick that they don't even need to be weeded. 
I've added to the garden this year, and we have so many veggies and fruit to look forward to!
Of course the kids' favourite plants right now are the strawberries, since they are the only ones we can pick so far. (I'm sure the taste helps too!)  Every year they spread a little bit more across the garden, multiplying. Every day they go out and pick them - eating most, but still bringing back a whole bowl full, which I've recently started to freeze for later.
 I've also gotten straight into beekeeping. So, my plan for the garden was well thought out, to keep the bees busy, happy, and away from playing kiddos. 
Melons, and large flowering fruit are closest to the hive, and the strawberries are furthest away.
I'm sure the bees will be all over the strawberries, but at least the kids have had lots of days bee-free. They will soon learn how to be cautious and mindful of the little, buzzing honey-makers!
I'm just glad they're all happy to help pick. Eventually, maybe they'll be just as enthusiastic about weeding. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

from the mouth of hailey

"Hey girls! Let's play mermaids! Benny can be the yellow one. He's the handsome mermaid!!"

Monday, June 1, 2015

Hanna update

I realized it's been a while!
So, where do I begin? 
Should I start with how she's reading many words, or how she's reading and solving math problems all on her own? 
Maybe I'll just talk about her overall awesomeness. 
Yep, that's an idea. 
She's pretty awesome. Doing great in every area. She's now officially over 30 lbs! 30.4 to be exact. :) 
Her fine motor skills are coming along great, and she's even buttoning some things now! That's huge for her. She really is quite behind in her fine motor skills with her tiny hands, and weak grasp, but she's come a long way. Writing and brailling is helping a lot, and she's got cutting with scissors perfected. All of these things are really helping with her strength. 

She's slowly getting closer and closer to graduating from speech therapy. She has been working on the "k" and "g" back sounds, and is now saying them with a reminder. The only sounds she's having a hard time with are "L" and "th". It's like night and day from when she first started. She wasn't starting words with "s" or saying "f" at all last year. Her teacher can't say more about how far she's come.

She's still loving piano, and can now play the entire "twinkle twinkle" with both hands almost fumble-free. She can play a tune by hearing it once. She really has an ear for the notes.

 I mentioned a while back that she had a blood test to look for food sensitivities and wanted to give an update on that as well. 
The test she had was an MRT Food Sensitivity test. 
MRT is a method of accurately measuring mediator release.  MRT does this by measuring changes in the liquids to solids ratio of your blood after your blood has been exposed and incubated with the test substance.  It accounts for all reactions by your immune cells.  This is done as an indicator that your immune cells have released chemical mediators such as histamines, cytokines and others. -http://acupuncturenutrition.com/mediator-release-testing-mrt-faq/
We got those results, and I'm still trying to figure out exactly what to do. It's possible, but it's hard. 
We are supposed to totally eliminate all of the following from her diet because her immune cells were reactive with all of them:

-FD&C red #4
-benzoic acid

-American cheese

Flavour Enhancers


-yellow squash

-amaranth (grain)



-pinto bean
-garbanzo bean

There you have it. Quite the list. The big ones to me are fructose (which is basically in EVERYTHING, and had the biggest reaction), chicken, and eggs. 
 Right now I'm on the lookout for some cereal that doesn't have rice or fructose in it, which I'm finding is next to impossible, and bread without fructose. We'll figure it out!
It's good anyway, to have a list of things and know that she might react to them. Right now, some are just being moderated, and some are being completely removed. She's always had digestive upsets, so this is at least a start. I'm glad we did the test. Anything we can do to help this kid thrive, we will do it.  She's an amazing little thing, and nothing seems to slow her down.