It all started with this text to a group of brave and hilarious individuals.  (September 19, 2013)

There was no hesitation and they signed up for the covert operation.
Agent Bolan
Agent Kowal
Agent Aspinal
Agent Wagstaff
Agent Tregoning

The first to go on was my ballerina. English One is my neighbour and so I kept close watch to see when they were home. I waited for the cloak of darkness and made my move.

Their window was wide open and they were watching T.V. while I stealthily crept to their vehicle. I watched for passerby-ers and had to dive for cover when her husband stood and stretched in front of the window. Ballerina was on and I had to risk the flash to get a pic!

Next up Bolan went on a cross city mission to find the Gallipeau vehicle...

Located! At the church. Close call when Dani went up the stairs to the offices where she could see into the parking lot!

Up to a family of 5!

Kowal was next. She asked that I notify her when Gallipeau lights were out. I said it was more fun if you could get caught ;) She bundled up and headed down the street.

Hooligans with balloons across the street made another loop around the block mandatory! Oh the suspense. 

Little Girl has landed. Family of 6!

Tregoning ventured over a couple of nights later with "Misfit the Business Woman". 

Family of 7!

Text Convo:
Bolan: Love it! Their family is getting awkward!
Kowal: Wish we could get her reaction on camera when she realizes.

Text Convo:
Kowal: Wow the family might grow by triplets today!
Willms: Lol. While you're there want to blow some dust on ours so they don't look so new?

Then a devastating thing happened. Ballerina and Misfit went MIA. We all felt the loss dearly. 

However, Hockey Boy and Skipping Girl stepped up to replace our lost. These "agents" missed the memo on proper stealthy attire. 

Back to a family of 7. 

Text Convo:
Kowal: Skipper Girl is getting a slap shot upside the head.
Wag: He's ADHD :)
Aspinall: We pretended to be joggers on our way by.
Kowal: I'm killing myself!

And then.... ANOTHER tragedy! Hockey Boy and Skipping Girl met their untimely demise. 

Text Convo:
Wag: Poor little hockey player :( He had such a bright future.
Kowal: Ha ha
Aspinall: Poor Skipper
Wag: Maybe they're lost together at least...

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark (aka There's something fishy going on!) She is either taking them off or the window was too dirty when we put them on.

So... We re-purchased and replaced Ballerina and Misfit. This time I WINDEXED the entire window. I tested, tried to pull them off but they were stuck well.

(This pic may be a couple days later after it got dirty again :) )

Within days they were GONE!

Grrr... definitely fishy.

So we upped the ante a bit. It's hard to see in this pic but in the top right corner we have twin babies and a dad. We also put a baby bottle in the mom's mouth down below :)

 At the time of this post all have been removed except the extra baby boy (which they are having in January) so I think this gig is up!

So Gallipeaus... we are dying to hear your side of the story. We're quite intrigued that you never once mentioned the stick figures to any one of us (though Crystal overheard Annette say "Oh, she left Angle and the Cat up this time.")

The mission has brought a multitude of belly laughs and constantly "pinging" phones as we updated each other on our covert operations and voiced our suspicions regarding the MIA figures.

A little friendly prank seems to always bring people together and I'm pretty blessed that I have such funny friends.

We are super blessed to be a part of a Homeschooling Co-op our very first year of homeschooling. Our first event took place today and I hosted a "Not A Box" afternoon.

If you haven't read the book by Antoinette Portis, I recommend it. It's super cute and a great jumping off point for some imaginative fun!

We started out reading the story together. (I snagged the pic from "gluesticks" instagram to prove I was there :)

We used a printable from Harper Collins to imagine and draw what we thought the boxes could be.

And then came the construction! After brainstorming ideas of what to create we went outside to our plethora of boxes. Each family contributed large boxes and we had LOTS to work with.

The boy one's race car.

Gavin's cannon!

Fiona and Nate collaborating on Nate's #9 train.

Mr. Nate.

 Miss Karah took over as conductor of her brother's train.

Kai in his Watch Tower.

Hannah and Karah made a Tunnel Castle. It consisted of a lot of boxes connected by secret passageways and mini lights popped through the roof!

The kids surprised us by staying involved for HOURS! They kept working on their structures and even arranged them into a little street at one point. It was awesome. 

Their imagination didn't stop! Here they've turned into boats :)

And the whole group (minus the two families who couldn't make it)! They are such an amazing bunch of kids and I'm looking forward to lots more fun get togethers!

This fall I will officially become a homeschooler!

After a degree in Middle Years Education and and 6 years teaching Middle Years ELA I was excited to get back teaching but feeling a tad bit lost about becoming a Kindergarten teacher. Though I could never do Kindergarten with 20 + kids I can honestly say that I am ecstatic about teaching 1 of them and am having a blast creating and planning our units for the year!

My first endeavour was this Kinder Star Wars Unit that I just completed. I am beyond excited to delve into all of these activities and my little Jedi has been begging to start school already so he can do "Star Wars School".

Already I have been super blessed by other teachers and home schoolers providing their units for others to use and so I want to offer mine to any that would like to use it as well!

You can download the 27 page packet here:

In the packet you'll find my unit plan chart with subject, activity and outcomes listed. There are activities in the chart that do not have corresponding work sheets like making edible light sabers and creating a Star Wars Mini Movie. 

You'll also find ELA activities that reinforce various sight words and the "ar" word family as well as a simplified plot sequence. Many of the math activities revolve around measuring with various "units" and number sequence (1-20). 

I hope you enjoy using the packet and be sure to let me know how it goes over with your kids!

~ Monique

* Also, please note that I'm a first time Kindergarten teacher and have developed this knowing where my child is at and how I plan to teach him various things. For example, it might mix kids up to be introduced to different pronunciations of "ar" words such as star and war but I figure he's got to learn it at some point and I know he'll want to read the title "Star Wars"! 

Click here to view this photo book larger

Start your own Shutterfly Photo Book today.

Photo Book

by on 12:49 PM
Click here to view this photo book larger Turn your favorite photos into a photo book at .
The Star Wars obsession continues and the newest facet of it is a passion for Star Wars mini figs. On our 9 day family holiday these mini figures are the only thing they played with and could hold their attention for hours!

Earlier this week I received a free 8x8 Shutterfly photo book through Wyndham Rewards and this morning decided that it was definitely time to make our first Lego Star Wars story book of our own.

Coming soon to our bookshelf.... "Anakin's Rescue" by Kai Willms!

As an ELA teacher I have dreamed of the day of publishing my kids' stories so needless to say I was quite excited about the project. I started by teaching a kindergarten version of the plot sequence.

Summed up it was pretty much, "We need to decide who is in the story and where they are. Then something bad has to happen or we need a problem and then your character has to fix it." Capeesh?

As Kai started the story I wrote it down word for word and then we started staging pictures with their mini figs. Sometimes he would create the picture next and then tell me about the picture after. We just went with the flow.

When we finished I edited all the pics for colour and a bit of cropping. For the cover I used the magnetic lasso to "cut out" Kai's Anakin ship and put it on a black background with text. Easy peasy.

On one page Darth Sidious is using Sith lightning and I just drew the lightning on the picture with the pencil tool and got Kai's approval.

Using Shutterfly was pretty easy once I figured out the system. I stuck with the Modern Black theme and used a full page picture and then one page for tex in each 2 page layout.

You can check out his full book at the link below!

Shutterfly photo books offer a wide range of artful designs and embellishments to choose from.

DIY | Lego Story Book

by on 2:51 PM
The Star Wars obsession continues and the newest facet of it is a passion for Star Wars mini figs. On our 9 day family holiday these mini fi...
As soon as I saw this preschool Tapestry Table on Pinterest I knew I was going to make one for my kids as soon as possible. It was a quick afternoon project and the kids and I both love using it!

- 2 (8ft) 2 x 2's
- 8 screws (2 1/2 inch and 3 inch)
- Burlap

The total project cost for me was $6. 2 x 2's are around $1.99 each usually, I had the screws and I found a bag of burlap for wrapping trees for $2 at Walmart.

Cut list:
- (2) 3 foot lengths
- (2) 2 foot lengths
- (4) 8 inch lengths

After cutting the above pieces I just screwed the frame together.

The girl one loves power tools but she got the sanding job - just like I did as a kid working with my Dad :)

I used the four 8" lengths as legs and screwed them inside the from the edge a bit to avoid having screws run into each other. A 2x2 is not very large and if you center the screw it can be tough to get another screw in their. It'll either hit the screw or split the wood.

The burlap I found. Burlap is usually pretty cheap, even not on sale.

Using my trusty electric staple gun I stretched the burlap over the frame and stapled it down and taught.

I had bought a package of plastic needles last year and we use them for lacing and such so we had them on hand. I let the kids raid my yarn stash, choose their colours and I cut roughly 30 " lengths for them to "sew" with. 

To start their yarn I would have them put it through the burlap and I just tied it to itself around the burlap. Whenever it ran out I'd just tie the next piece of yarn onto the last one and let them keep going. It makes for simple transitions.

What I love so much is that this simple table is the perfect authentic way to teach toddlers and young children how to use a needle and thread and to sew. The holes in the burlap are large allowing them for them to move in and out of the fabric with ease. They can see through it to understand what is happening with their "thread". It's wonderful for fine motor skills and they learn quickly how to hold a needle and thread so that the yarn doesn't keep slipping out.

My kids love to just randomly sew on the table but the boy one of course wanted to make an Anakin. I talked him through how to stitch his stick figure and the light saber and he was so pleased with the results. It was great for following instructions too!

I helped the girl one create a flower.

What I also love is how my kids can use anything to tell a story. The blues are the waves of the ocean and then we had Anakin with his light saber. The next day when we went back to sewing he sewed a "cage" over Anakin and created a story about how General Greivous was putting him away, etc.
Such wonderful imaginations!

I can't wait to see how their tapestries develop. Ours is already getting pretty full. It would be easy to take the legs off and hang on the wall for a time stretched on the frame or you could even take it off and  hang it on it's own.

DIY | Tapestry Table

by on 7:17 PM
As soon as I saw this preschool Tapestry Table  on Pinterest I knew I was going to make one for my kids as soon as possible. It was a quick ...