Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What We're Reading

Well, what I'm reading anyway.

I'd like a round of applause sent my way because I (finally!) finished Les Miserables. Unabridged. 1232 pages.  I have dozens of page corners turned down telling me to come back and take note of something powerful. Some pages have a fold on both sides. 

Free-Range Kids- refreshing and hilarious. I'd like to distribute copies to a few folks.

Daring Greatly- Our book club pick. It's really thought-provoking so far. 

p.29 "The greatest casualties of a scarcity culture are our willingness to own our vulnerabilities and our abilities to engage with the world from a place of worthiness." 


p.177 "We can't give people what we don't have. Who we are matters immeasurably more then what we know or who we want to be."

Have you seen her TED talks?

What are you reading?

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Package Full of Love Letters.

I have a package full of letters on my desk. 

Some handwritten letters (neatly folded), inspirational quotes (clipped and saved) and a notebook of individual entries. (Yes, a notebook).

The first one is dated January 27, 2013 and reads like a conversation with an old friend.

Transported across the provinces I am seeped in deep thoughts, honest questioning and assisted introspection. A little peek into the life of a kindred soul I miss so much.
Hardly able to keep my eyes on the sentence before I'm skipping to the next one, ravenously consuming her ponderings and kind, kind words.


(Photo by E)

Freakin' Eh.

 This is it, exactly.

 Why do you waste your life? Dance, dance, dance.

Tell me.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater

Instead of our regular Saturday jobs getting done on Saturday, we spent the morning carving and painting these pumpkins.  Then we entered them in the local horticultural society contest.

It was entertaining to see the forty or so entries, as we looked around after the judging. 
There was a pumpkin "family'", a pumpkin "snowman", pumpkins painted to be minions, I could go on.

I entered a pumpkin we grew in our garden into the "largest pumpkin" category.  As I struggled to carry the 40-50lb pumpkin into the gymnasium, I passed two absolutely gigantic pumpkins on a trailer, weighing hundreds of pounds each. 

How does one grow such pumpkins?  What purpose do they have other then winning contests?  Imagine cutting it up for pumpkin pies!

Remember Almanzo in Laura Ingalls Wilder's book "Farmer Boy"?  He fed his winning pumpkin milk through a slit in it's vine while growing it and had tremendous results.  Mmmm, maybe we could try that next year!

Do you prefer the classic jack o' lantern carving or the new fangled ?

Can you match the carver to the pumpkin?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Check your Flight Log

No, the sky is not full of aliens or meteors. That is dust on my sensor. Gross! I blame the beach. I took it to the doctor last weekend, so next flight should see clear skies!

A couple weeks ago, these 3 had the awesome opportunity to spend part of the afternoon flying over the city with a family friend............ who happens to have his commercial pilots license. 

 What a charmed life!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Heidi and Pixie The Pony

A dream come true for Heidi-Loo.

The joy on my daughter's face is evident.  This girl loves horses!

This past summer, Heidi and I started working on a local farm in return for riding lessons for Heidi.

It has been something we both look forward to all week.

In contrast to me paying for a lesson,  Heidi is learning the value of an hour of hard work.  She is also learning about taking care of a farm. 

Her dream has always been to own a farm and have lots of animals to enjoy and care for.  While cleaning a well used stall with a pitch fork last week, she infrormed me that perhaps one horse and a few chickens would be enough for her! 

When Samuel comes along, he admires the "trackies":

Reptile Zoo

Our recent visit to the reptile zoo in Hamilton has resurrected the ever-peculating pet debate.

I say no pets! 

Everyone else says, "A bunny?"


"A parrot?"

"A kitten?" 

"A fish? Come on mom, you won't be allergic to a fish!"

and now, 

 "How about a tiny, baby crested gecko? One little crested gecko, pretty please?"

My resolve is crumbling. Help me!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Rock On David Francey

The girls played and sang "Red-Winged Blackbird" with the very man who wrote the song - both in our living room and when he called them up on stage at the concert later that night.  It was rather special.  

We had visitors come and stay for a few days....ducklings may be one of the cutest baby animals ever.  Reminded me of having bunnies.  Abbie was like a little momma duck.  She took really good care of them while they were here.

 Nature as art:

 We spent one weekend working super hard on wood-splitting and piling.  The kids were excellent workers.  Isaac takes the prize for the most cheerful and hard-working among us!!

ps. did you catch a glimpse of the new hall colour?  No more blue...

Easing our way back into it

The transition between summer freedom and homeschool life in the 'berbs is usually a bit rocky. This year was no exception. It's taken all of us a couple weeks to get into the groove again. I miss having my extended family all around, Seth misses being able to roam independently over Grandmas acre, Ezra and Olive miss "the cousins," and Mike misses the water.

Being home has it's perks, however, and we're having a delightful fall. (I love fall!) It may sound cheesy but I'm so grateful for seasons. There is a tangible shift in interests and energy as the weather changes. This shift happens to be really conducive to book learning, projects and longer attention spans. Also, huge indoor forts.

I'm co-running an art journal club at the public library and it's going really well. I started it with the intention of bringing the hs community to the attention of the librarians. I'm trying to inspire them to create awesome daytime programming for the over 100 families here.

I think it's working!

We filled every seat in our room within two days of opening registration (plus a long waiting list of hopeful attendees). The librarian I am working with has planned a home school open house so she can hear our hopes and wishes. Yippee.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Give A Little Hoot and a Holler

Sometimes there are no words...
but I can try.
There is a week every summer that my children count down to all the year through.
  It is filled with music and dancing, concerts and crafting.  They are immersed in an environment of creativity and passion, but are free to choose their level of participation. They have experts at their fingertips, but no pressure or expectations. 
 They can join a parade, dance a contra, pick up a new instrument, sing in a choir... or they can sit on a hay bale and watch the sun set.  They make friends and hold hands.  They wear tie- dyed shirts and twirly skirts, or pajamas, or cowboy hats or whatever.  No one cares.
 Every year is different - and the same.  It's a little bit of magic.  Another gift that they open without comprehension.  They love it and it loves them back - and accepts them in all of their quirky forms.