Tuesday, January 31, 2017

snow day

I didn't let the kids have an actual snow day from school, since they already had Friday off for when we went away. That doesn't mean they didn't get out there as soon as school was done though! 

They all had a blast. Mom had Kristyn's kids still, and all week, so they walked over to the hill and met up with mine so they could get some sledding in. You have to take advantage of the snow when it's here because you never know how long it will last! 

Hanna just rolls down the hill cautiously,  Hailey slides down on her tummy like a penguin, and the rest are nuts. Even little Benny. All the way from the top he goes down, and loves every second of it.

 Yes, I realize I have a lot of photos of certain kids, and not a lot, if any, of others. Some kids naturally gravitate away from the camera.  Not playing favourites, I promise. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

picture of the day

She begged me to use the iPad to look up images of Pokemon to draw.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

heading home

I was ready to go home today. A weekend away is a perfect amount of time. 
I had to pick up a small souvenir for the kids on the way home, so we did a little bit of detouring from our normal route home. We took our time before leaving Gatlinburg. 
We also wanted to see if we could find any of the damage from the forest fires in November. 
 We saw these guys...
 And snapped a photo of the few sleepers in the back seats. 
 It was an uneventful drive home, and we made it back in the evening to pick up all the kiddos.
They were happy to see us, but I'm sure wouldn't have minded if we stayed longer. They love sleeping at their Nanny and Pappy's! 

Thank you Mom and Dad. That was a very memorable gift, to say the least. 
We all appreciated the weekend away with an incredible view!! There's nothing like a gift of memories. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Just Relax

That's what we did today. Just relaxed.
Matt and I even opted to stay back while everyone else did some shopping in town today. We figured we should make the most of the giant house, and hot tub. We can go shopping anytime at home, afterall. 
We went for a scenic (and very uphill) walk down our road, and hung out in here the rest of the time. 

When everyone came back we had a pretty fun night.

We had some billiards and foosball competitions happening, played some pictionary that got pretty competitove, and even took advantage of the theatre room. 
 We definitely took advantage of every part of the house today. 

Friday, January 27, 2017

We made it

Well, the kids were dropped off at mom and dad's at 4:30am, and I apparently they didn't even go back to sleep. They were just so excited to all be together and be at mom and dad's, they just couldn't sleep!

All of us? We had an uneventful drive, made good time and got to the house around 2pm. 
It was so beautiful! Everything about it. The view. The house itself. The company wasn't bad either. 
 We laid low and just hung out today. We ate good, played some board and card games, and spent a lot of time in the hot tub.

So far, so good! I'm planning on doing the exact same thing tomorrow night too.  It's going to be a nice little getaway!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

my view

Remember the amazing Christmas gift my parent's got us? Well, that lovely weekend away starts early tomorrow morning. 
We're leaving around 4:30am, to try to make good time. 

We've never left the kids together before. Matt goes hunting once a year, and I left for a couple days on that cruise 2 years back. 
But we've never gone together. It's somehow different!
It's a little bit nerve-racking for me, even though I know that my parent's are more trustworthy than Matt is to have the kids. 
Ha!  Mostly kidding.

Anyway, I'm enjoying my view tonight. Benny's starting to grow out of sleeping with me. Already. He just figures he should sleep in his big-boy bed now. He's slept in it a few times for about half the night, so I know the day is coming when I'll wake up and find he's still fast asleep in his own bed in the morning. 
I'm assuming leaving him for a couple nights will make the bed switch even easier on him, so tonight, I'll enjoy the snuggles.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

picture of the day

finally some sun

With Gracie and Sawyer out exploring, and the girls still at Michelle's, it gave me the chance to burn some of the junk wood we've been tearing out of the house with Benny. 
It's been raining constantly so the junk has been adding up and just making a huge mess outside. 
I was happy to finally be able to get rid of some that was dry enough to burn, and Benny was thrilled to be able to get out of the house!
Sunshine was a bonus.

Friday, January 20, 2017

first sleep over

Well, kind of. 
First sleepover for Hailey and Hanna to a cousin's house. :) They've only had sleepovers at Mom and Dad's. Michelle and the kids are living in the basement apartment at Mom and Dad's so technically they slept at Payton's house. 

They had their bags packed as soon as they woke up, and kept asking all day when it would finally be time to go.  Hanna kept saying "This is going to be amazing!" and "Girl's night!!"  Hailey drew a picture for Payton and made sure I knew that she was "adding hearts so she knows how much I love her". 😍
To say they were excited would be a major understatement. 

Sawyer came to our house to hang out with Gracie.  He's been asking to sleep over for quite a while, so Michelle finally let him.
He loves his video games, so I allowed them to play more than I usually would because it was a treat for both of them. Jurassic Park Lego is a pretty entertaining game anyway.
I think the fact that Sawyer didn't get to sleep until after midnight was enough to make his night. When he saw the clock almost at 12:00am, he excitedly whispered to Gracie: "It's almost morning!!"
Michelle sent me a video during the evening of the girls singing some karaoke, and when it was time for me to pick them up the next day, they couldn't say enough about how much fun they had. 
I don't think they were even ready to come home! 

Sleepover success for everyone! 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

ponies everywhere

Hailey got some addition flashcards for Christmas, and since the girls literally have every pony available, they made up a game where they divided up the cards and the ponies equally. They had to lay one card out and if they had the matching pony they got to put the match in front of them. If they didn't have the match, the card got passed to the next person and so on. When the first person finished their cards they have to count their matches, and whoever has the most, wins!
 They made up the game together, and played it I don't know how many times. 


Monday, January 16, 2017

a little shady...

was found in the wall today. 
It's a butcher's knife turned weapon, and completely freaks me out! 
I found it in the closet in the entrance way. It was inside the wall that I tore out, stuck into a stud. 

What else can I say?! 
So nuts. 

new room

Our room is slowly starting to come together. 
We can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's slow-going with Matt back to work after the holidays, and it's easy to let the house get out of control because everything from these two rooms is now dispersed through every other part of the house. The dining room is now just a big toy mess, and the decent sized working kitchen is now a very tiny eat-in kitchen.  
What used to be a functional hallway is now blocked off with more toys and more "stuff" from the construction zone, and my bedroom is holding the laundry. Dirty and clean.
The couch is now my folding and sorting area.
It could drive me nuts if I let it. 
I see the light!
I didn't even take a "before" picture, but the above shot is of what used to be the playroom. We took out the wall separating that room from the entrance/laundry room to make one big room. We (being Matt and my dad) moved the plumbing over so we could slide the washer and dryer to the far side of the room. Our new furnace will also go over there, and possibly the hot water tank, which are currently in the middle of the house, closed off in a giant closet which makes one side of the hallway. Our plan is to take down said closet to open our living space. 
The other part of the now much bigger room, will be our entrance. A much more welcoming and functional entrance. Something it definitely wasn't before.
We replaced all three windows,  the old insulation, and the paneling was replaced with drywall. 

The kids are going to have less of a "playroom" and more of a "playspace" too. Since there's no longer going to be an actual room, we're planning on just building as many shelves as possible for the countless toys, and a great big toy box for the random stuff to hide in.  
All of this will be build into the little hall that led to the old playroom. That old doorway is now a wall, and it will be a little closed off space that's out of the way of everything. With shelves in there, everything will have a place and it'll be easy to keep tidy. I think it's going to be so much better all around! 
More pictures to come. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

reading print

This kid.
Some days are rough for her. Sometimes she just wakes up not willing to do any work at all. Other times, she flies through it with no complaints, with her confidence through the roof. 
Today was one of those days that was like pulling teeth to get her to work. 
At one point she even said "I'm starting to think Hailey's smarter than me." 
That killed me. 
She notices how much easier things are for the girls, and the fact that she notices tells me how smart she is.  
She is so proud when she reads. 
I'm trying to figure out a good system to make reading print easier for her because she needs to feel that pride and confidence every day. 
Not just on her good days. 
She needs a system that can be easier on her neck (so she doesn't have to bend right down to stick her nose to the paper), and possible magnify the words (so she can back away a little, and avoid putting her nose right to the paper).

We've kind of been putting braille on the back burner for a little while so we can focus on her reading and printing, because I see how excited she gets to "read like Gracie". Obviously braille will be a big part of her world, and it's a skill she can be proud to have. She knows her braille letters and some short words, but I think learning braille sentences will be easier with some print sentence experience - if not only for the confidence part of it all. 
If that makes any sense. 

I have an appointment with our local CNIB at the end of the month to see some assistive products that may be available for our girl, so I'll stay posted on the subject. 


Michelle gave all the kids slime recipes with all of the ingredients they needed for Christmas. 
The house is a disaster these days. The rooms are rearranged, the kids are stuck in the house because it's nasty outside, and their toys are all over in boxes because of our current house project. 
Homemade slime was a perfect activity for today! 
 After school we made the icky stuff. It kept these kids busy for {literally}hours! They took out cookie cutters and play-dough accessories, and stayed entertained with this simple slime all day. 
Such a great idea on Michelle's part!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

movie night!

I can count on one hand how many times my kids have gone to the movie theatre. It's such a treat for them, and I love that! 

They all got two sets of movie tickets for Christmas with a snack package. Talk about spoiled! 
We decided to go to a semi-late show on a Wednesday night. We figured it'd be a good time to go, and hopefully we'd have the place to ourselves. 
We were so right! There were literally two other families there, and they all sat below us. 
We saw Sing. It turned out to be 3D (Matt failed to notice this when checking showtimes...), which their tickets didn't cover, but it was still worth the night out with the whole crew! 

 Ben was sitting next to Matt the whole time, so I don't know for sure, but judging by his rosy cheeks and sleepy eyes after the show, I think he might have been falling asleep, if he didn't doze off completely. 
It was a very entertaining movie though, and they all discussed their favourite characters and scenes the entire ride home.