Tuesday, July 31, 2012

An ode to Wonderful Parents

This is 2 posts for the price of one ( a post about how much fun my kids had while we were away and a post about the packages I put together for Hannah and Ethan).  As such it is bound to end up being very long and picture heavy.  You are forewarned.  We were gone for 2 weeks, while we were gone Hannah and Ethan were looked after by all 4 of their grandparents.  Andrew and I have amazing parents we were so blessed to have both sets jump in and take of Hannah and Ethan.  We are immensely thankful and grateful to have the freedom to go and know that our kids would be well taken care of and have fun too.

I did my very best to prepare Hannah and Ethan for our time away. They knew they would be staying with my parents for a week and then Andrew's parents would be coming and staying with them at our house.  To say that they were excited was an understatement.  Andrew and I explained countless times that we would be gone a long time but that we would be back and that we loved them very much.  I even told Hannah that we would be bringing her presents back too.  It was kind of inevitable that there would be times of tears and sadness.  But both Hannah and Ethan did very well.

For the time away, I wanted to prepare something to remind Hannah and Ethan how much we love them and as a special activity they could do for fun.  I decided to use the book "The Kissing Hand" by Audrey Penn as the spring board for all the activities.  If your not familiar with this book its about a young Raccoon who has to leave his mommy and venture off to school for the first time.  It is very sweet and the pictures are adorable.  Here is a link if you like to hear the story.    Andrew and I took a pen and "changed" the story so that it was a raccoon who was going to be with his grandparents while mommy and daddy were away.  It was really minor changes and the sweetness of the story stayed true. Each activity was put in a package and the kids received one each day.  When we got home Hannah said she loved getting her mail from China.

GIVE AWAY-Do you want to win a copy of "The Kissing Hand", enter to win here.

Getting their first package with the book inside.

Andrew and I outlined out hands and put a foam heart sticker in the center.  Then I cut them into puzzles.  This was my inspiration.

Swinging at Gama's and Papa's.

Coloring their raccoon coloring page.  

Apparently, they got into a sand fight and needed to washed in the laundry room sink.

Raccoon Masks. You can find the printable here.

Heart counting.  I'm told this was a favorite and that they both enjoyed sticking the hearts on.  
Here is where I found the printable. 

Playing a matching game.  Found here.

Kissing Hand cookies.  Looks like Hannah may have tasted the frosting. :D
I bought the cookie cutter off of amazon for almost nothing.

Hannah and Grandma made some special art.

Hannah had so much fun while we were gone she even napped.

Andrew and I recorded ourselves reading the story for Hannah and Ethan.

Raccoon mittens.  I made these out of felt and foam stickers.

They made raccoon puppets, which I cannot for the life of me figure out where I found.

I found two little raccoon figurines at Michael's.  The best part was I found one bigger than the other so they made a perfect mommy/baby pair.

Pin the Tail on the Raccoon.  I found this here.

Once I had all the activities ready I put them in individual envelopes along with a ziploc bag of the art supplies needed; crayons, glue, scissors etc and even a camera so that I could see how much fun they had.  I am really gratefully for all the pictures of my smiling children.  I know they had lots of fun and enjoyed themselves immensely.

Coming Home

If you missed it I posted the pictures from our trip here.  Writing a post proved too difficult.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Evolution of an Activity

This morning Hannah asked if we could do an activity together, with her sweet, how could I say no face, with Ethan looking equally sweet behind her.  So I pulled out their art pad and some Zoo stickers (that Hannah got for her birthday that are amazing).  I figured their wasn't that much time before lunch so it should more than entertain them.  Well boy was I in for a surprise because Hannah and Ethan had big plans.

First, we placed the stickers all over our page.

Hannah told stories about each animal as she put them down.

Next, we brought out the crayons to add detail.

Next, we REALLY needed some scrap paper and scissors.

Finally, we used our glue to glue on on paper pieces.

Ethan even tried to eat each and every art supply.

I loved how this activity evolved from where I started it to where Hannah and Ethan wanted to take it.  One of my favorite moments was when Ethan scribbled all over Hannah's page with orange crayon.  I though she would yell or at least be very angry but instead she turned and thanked him for coloring beautifully.  

The Tides have Turned

For the last 2 years, Andrew and I have been waiting for Ethan to finally be big enough to take on his sister and WIN.  Well, he's not quite as tall or as heavy as she is but he can definitely hold his own now.  Now please don't think for a minute that we are promoting fighting in our house, but our kids like to wrestle and be rough and tumble (and it's fun to watch).  But up until now our poor son has been at a great disadvantage.  Look out Hannah!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hanboks from Korea

Andrew and I brought Hanboks (the K is silent) home for the kids from Korea.  Its the traditional Korean clothing that is worn (for anything special really) at Chuseok (Thanksgiving) and things like wedding.  We picked matching ones and I think they look so cute.

I got to take another picture when her hair isn't in her face.

Love the expression Ethan

Here is a vintage picture of Andrew and I in the Hanboks we wore for Chuseok while teaching.

To see pictures from our trip go here.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Foreign Germs

I brought some lovely germs home as a souvenir from our trip to China and Korea.  Ethan and I both had the flu while we were gone (Ethan here in Canada, and I  was sick in China).  Then while Andrew and I were in Korea I picked up a wicked cold.  So it was no surprise when poor, sweet Ethan slept in until 9am this morning, so we knew something wasn't right.  Normally, Ethan is our alarm clock, so we checked on him and sure enough he had a fever.   Mommy and Ethan are two peas in a pod this week.  Hopefully, he feels better soon.  Stay tuned for some pictures of our trip in the meantime her a picture of my little sicko.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

When the rain falls!

Keeping the kids out of trouble can be difficult for me when its raining especial this time of year.  I try to encourage them to come up with ideas themselves.  So here in no particular order are some of their own favorite inside activities.

Playing with laundry.  Usually from Hannah's dresser, but often from the dirty clothes hamper.  Piles of laundry are fun to jump in, pretend to pack, and even dress and undress 100 times.  Hannah loves to pack her suitcase over and over again.  Ethan loves to throw laundry around.

Playing "baby".  Hannah is the mommy and Ethan is the baby.  Usually Ethan ends up naked.  Here is Hannah trying to convince Ethan to lay still so she can change him.

Go for a drive.  The kids love to go to work, or to papa's house.  They can leave and come back a thousand times before getting bored.

If its been noisy and Mommy and I`ve yelled lots they often scurry away to read books.  Usually somewhere interesting like in a basket.

Playing with blankets, pillows, and dish towels.  This follows suit with laundry but they like to hide under or spread out blankets to walk on.  Hannah also LOVES folding towels and blankets.  Hannah is under this blanket in this picture trying to pull Ethan in with her.

If all else fails going outside in the rain is also fun.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Happy Belated Canada Day

This past Saturday we spent the day down in the States for Canada Day. I know what your thinking, and it makes me laugh when I say it out loud.  I have spent many a Canada Day in the states where my parents have a trailer.  What's great is that they have a joint Canada Day/July 4th celebration.  We joined the family that was already down there and had a really fun day even if it was a but wet.  I didn't realize it until later but all day I thought Saturday was the first. hehehe.  

Hannah and Ethan waiting for the parade to start.

Ben all snuggled up in blankets.



Enjoying the candy.

Ethan and Papa

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