Monday, April 29, 2013

April - Bikes, Sew, Chop, Wash, Dirt

Bikes - Opal and Jasper are both learning how to ride a two-wheeler this month. We've taken them a couple different times to get the hang of it. Opal is super close to not needing training wheels at all!

Sew - While Poppie and Nonnie were here, they helped a ton! We even got the flower girl dresses done for Buggy's wedding!

 Chop - sticks. Berg has mastered the chopsticks. A two year old eating with chopsticks is the cutest thing. He's always wanted to eat with utensils, even when he was a baby he'd hold the fork, just so he'd look like the rest of us at dinner.

Chop - wood. Jasper getting a man lesson from Dada on how to use the chainsaw. 

Wash - Kivi has come up with a great plan for the little kids while she and Eben are doing their jobs. She puts them to work and they love it! Berg is usually the one helping her with dishes, but this day Eben snatched him up to help him wash the bathroom floors. She put aprons on Opal and Pella and set them up to wash all the pots and pans. They had such a fun time! (Jasper reads to Mama at this time of the morning.)

Dirt - Pella loves it and so does Mama. Pella has become my gardening helper. Although she is mainly taking dirt out of my garden beds instead of actually "helping". She's with me and she loves the outdoors like her big brother, Berg. They go all over the place together adventuring and finding new places to dig. Here are the two new garden boxes Dada built the day before Easter (and filled with dirt while I was on the Women's Retreat!) and are now filled with veggies!

Baby Pella's Knee Scoot Walk

Pella decided that the knee scoot "walk" is better than standing on her feet. She's been doing it so long that she has callouses on her knees!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Easter 2013

Dada woke us all up early so we could go to our church's 8:oo am service, a big feat for our family of many little people! We did it! We got to church on time, worshipped our Risen Lord,  had a lovely Easter service with all of us in the pew and came back ready to have more fun. First thing we had to do - pictures! I think this was only the second year we actually took the Easter basket picture on Easter day. The other one was when we only had Eben. It was sunny and beautiful and no one was having melt downs (that came later, but only for a short while). So I took tons of pictures trying to get them all to smile, the trick was to take the chicks out of the basket. (You can see them sitting on the rim.) They freaked out Berg. Then, we did our big family basket hunt. They found the first picture clue in a basket of eggs. 

Here are all the clue pictures they had to find. Do you know where all of these things are at our house? 

The third one down on the left stumped them, it is the base of Berg's bird bath in his garden. They were in the right area, they just couldn't find it even though it's as big as Berg.

They did great helping each other. They only hard part is to not run ahead of the little guys and get to the clue before everyone gets there. So we took turns and everyone got two turns to find a clue.

They finally found the basket in their "Secret Corner of Awesomeness"!

Eben and Jasper got a Mario Kart race track, which they were very excited about. Kivi got a guitar strap and socks, Opal got a journal and they both got a play food set. Berg got a cool Lighting McQueen iPad racer.

In the background you can see the garden boxes my sweet hubby built and put in for me the day before!!

Then Dada had to kiss Mama and the kids goodbye and go to work. But Grandma and Grandpa stayed and played with us for a while until we headed over to the Schocks for more egg hunts, food and fun.
 (Bonus: I didn't even buy Easter dresses this year! We used dresses we had! I did buy shirts for the boys, but two were at Goodwill and two were at Walmart, so we still saved a ton and I didn't stress about it.
These are the things I worry about. Sad, I know.)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Holy Week Highlights and Passover

Every year Miss Niki lets us borrow the tabernacle so we can play and learn from it on Monday, the Cleansing out the Temple Day. The kids still love it and are gentle with all of it's little pieces.

They went a step further this year and built their own temple out of our Costco boxes, since we have to go there every week now, we get a lot of boxes. The sign says, "The Johnson Temple". The boys also worked very hard on their own Lego temple which they showed everyone at Passover.

We made some Holy week movies too. On Sunday after the kids sang in big church and waved palm branches they were able to bring them home and they made a Berg (Jesus) riding on an Eben (donkey) around our living room (to Jerusalem) film. On Monday they each took turns being Jesus flipping over the money changers tables and healing people in the temple. 

On Tuesday I put a sticker on their Holy Week poster when I saw them doing something that showed love for the Lord or love for their neighbor.

Wednesday they made up their own activity. They cut flowers, soaked them in water, grated them and then strained it out and made their own perfume - ingenious!  Opal made Narcissus, Kivi and Berg made Lavender (it smelled really good!) and Jasper made Dandelion. 

Thursday we spent all day preparing for... Passover!! Yippee! Jasper helped separate the egg whites we needed for our Gateau a Chocolat (French Kosher Chocolate cake). Kivi made the ganache. 

We set the tables up in the middle of the living room, one up for the adults and one on the floor for the kids. Your welcome, Dada!

After the Seder meal, which Peter did an excellent job leading, we ate our meal. The Passover feast consisted of delicious prime rib, steamed carrots, asparagus, latkes, matzoh ball soup, fruit, salad, and of course matzah! 
Clockwise from top left: Eben performing his dance he made up for the worship part of the Passover, the drops of grape juice we put on our plates every time we list one of the plagues, the kids running to find the Afikomen, happy Pella and relaxed Mama (best year I've ever had as far as having no expectations!), Dada rewarding Caden for finding the Afikomen, Berg getting ready to begin the Seder with prayer, the kids table on the floor, Mama washing Eben's hands during the meal.

Chickie Day 2013

On March 23, Dada decided it was time for new chicks! We packed up the kids in the bus and headed down to Dell's for sexed, medicated chicks. (We had learned our lesson the hard way before and ended up getting sick chickens and roosters.)

Eben picked out a Buff Orpington and named him Emo. 

Pella, Berg and Jasper got Golden Sussex chicks and named them Deh, Chicky Tail and Bullet. Kivi and Opal got Araucanas they named White Tip and Lucy.

 Berg was super nervous about the chicks at first and ran away from them at the store, but amazingly he held his Chicky Tail on the bus ride to Lowe's.

While Dada went inside to buy lumber to build me new garden boxes for the front lawn(!!!!!) we stayed with the new chicks on the lawn by the parking lot and ate the lollipops the kind people at Paldo World gave us. Dada had needed his Kim Chi and while we were there we ate Korean Bulgogi lunch and a man with a microphone followed us all around the produce section speaking in Korean and   giving us samples of every fruit we'd never seen before. 

When we got home we put our new chicks in the fireplace, a great plan we had come up with the time we had chicks before.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Russia! - The Homeschool Way

 We "flew" to Russia on Feb. 25th in our homemade plane and got all of our passports stamped with a Russian cathedral.

The first thing we did in Russia, besides read lots of Baba Yaga stories was make Russian Tea Cakes. The girls helped me while wearing their impromptu babushkas.

We made a lot of food while we were in Russia because you can't learn about a country fully until you've tasted it. We ate a lot of meat, potatoes, cabbage and beets (no one was a fan of the Borscht). We made our own pickles, and everyone loved the Sharlotka - Russian Apple Pie.

We tried to make a cathedral design on top with powdered sugar, but we didn't wait long enough for it to cool.

We all tried making Pelmeni, a meat filled dumpling. It was a lot of work, no one ate the dumpling part, just the filling, it tasted just like meat loaf - or as we call it around here, meat cake.  Other things we tried were a Solyanka Soup, Beef Stroganoff, Russian Black Bean Soup, Cabbage and Vegetable Soup and barley, which we'd never had before.

Kivi's watercolor of her own made up cathedral. We toured Russia on Google Earth and saw St. Basil's  up close, technology is cool sometimes.

Eben made Dada a medal like the one Peter the Great wore. He made men pay a beard tax if they wanted to keep their beards! Ha - isn't history great!

Dada ordered us a set of Matryoshka dolls. It has a house and six little animals which we are going to paint to look like all the kids and be a sweet little reminder of our four weeks in Russia!

Pella Walks and Jumps

Well, she doesn't exactly do either of those things, but she could walk if she wanted to and here's the proof:

Instead she scoots around on her knees everywhere which I must get on video. We do have her crazy jump, this is actually a mild version, she usually gets the jump up even higher and faster.

Her brothers and sister sure do love her.They get excited at every little thing she does, so do I.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Valentine's Meal Made into a Game

Peter and Chris were their teams head chefs.
The ingredients were all a surprise purchased by the ladies and were chosen by the roll of a dice: 
1 & 4: pick a food   2 &5: pick a food for the other team 3 & 6: the other team gets to pick a food for you (or something like that).
The guys had to use every ingredient in some way, but they didn't have to use all of it. Some mystery ingredients were oysters, jasmine tea, a coconut, hearts of palm, jicama. Both teams had a meat, a starch and vegetables, so if one team chose the pork the other team automatically got the beef.

While the guys cooked, the girls had the difficult duty of talking and eating appetizers. 

 They did an amazing job! Everything tasted soooo good! 

Opal's Special Helper Rocket Reward

Opal cashed in her 20 Special Helper Rockets to go on a pedicure and lunch at Red Robin date with Dada on February 16th!