Monthly Archives: January 2013

a portrait a week

I am quite certain I will fail miserably at keeping up with this portrait a week project from the blog Che and Fidel, but I figure it is worth a shot.  I would be fairly impressed if I were able to do it once every two weeks or once per month, but we shall see how it goes.  Besides it would be great Christmas Book fodder…

Miss Poppy

  • When anyone tells you you’re pretty or cute you reply rather confidently and matter of factly “YES, I am.”
  • You have had potty training  mastered since about one week after beginning on December 17th.  You don’t have to be reminded at all (though mama does bug a bit when we’re out and about just in case you get caught up in playing).  You are so proud of yourself and beam at us.  One night around New Years you were sitting on the toilet with the door open and hollered out “keep the change ya filthy animal!”.
  • Your hair is incorrigible.  There is no other word for it.  We are growing it a bit in hopes of being able to tie it up or even braid it, but it only seems to want to grow forward onto your wee little face.  We should have it under control by the time you’re 17 😉
  • You love all fruit, but will not touch vegetables so I have been sneaking cauliflower and turnip into your mac and cheese and spinach into your cookies and lasagna.  It works marvelously.
  • You love drawing pictures of people and the planets and solar system.  Anywhere you see a circle (the circles you were supposed to trace in a workbook) or two dots (the screws in the little chair you sit in at your art table) you tend to finish it off by making it into a person.   You are completely engrossed in your art for long periods of time.
  • You love playing with dough and pastry and always ask to help me in the kitchen.
  • You like sleeping in your own room with the pink walls and vintage Strawberry Shortcake sheets. .
  • You still ask if we can go “pickle treating” (trick or treating) again.
  • I hope you never stop calling a bathing suit as “baby soup”
  • You are a loving little thing with an even temper.  You may look like me, but you are more and more like your daddy in many ways.  Adaptable, easy going, and generous.
  • We have yet to see anything “terrible” (twos or otherwise) from you.
  • The other night you went to sleep with a plastic saw.
  • You love looking at your nursery rhyme books and LOVE the picture of Hansel and Gretel and the “candy house”
  • You recently discovered the joy of lego and like to build lighthouses (with ghosts), castles, and cities.
  • You love your animals and protect them always.  You carry Smitty (our ever-tolerant cat) around like a little baby, putting him under blankets when you think he’d like to sleep, carry him to his food or water dish when you think he is hungry or thirsty and protect him from the giant oaf,  Huck.  “He’s like a little baby, Mommy”
  • When you fall or trip or cough, you yell out to us “I’m ok!” before we have time to ask.
  • You know all your numbers and alphabet and colours and animals.  You are beginning to be interested in knowing what words start with what letters and can recognize familiar words like Poppy, Silas, Mama, and Daddy.
  • You can count up to ten items accurately.
  • You are starting to practice writing your name and do the p’s and o’s quite well which is pretty good considering those two letters make up most of your name.
  • Last week when you were both sick with a fierce cold, you snuggled up with your head on my lap and as I stroked your hair, you looked up at me and murmured “I’m like a little kitty.” and then fell asleep.
  • In a couple of pictures above, we had gone outside for a little romp in the fresh snow.  While Silas climbed up into the trailer and into the scrap lumber pile with its rusty nails, you laid down in the snow and just closed your eyes and stayed there until the dogs put their cold noses on your face.  You were so still and peaceful like that.  You take a lot of quiet moments like this where you seem to be contemplating big things or perhaps nothing at all.
  • You are quite excited about your birthday and so far, you’d like chocolate cake with chocolate icing and chocolate ice cream.  Also you have requested strawberry juice, popsicles, and lasagna.  When we ask if you’d like any toys, you tells us you would like for everyone to come and eat cake.
  • We can hardly believe you will be four in a few short weeks!
Mr Silas
  • You are one fierce little boy.
  • You are strong willed and have taken to throwing down almost constantly.
  • It is exhausting, but you do make up for it with hilarious  antics and loving gestures.
  • The first words out of your mouth in the mornings these days are “Where’s Poppy?” and “I wanna watch Eggo (Diego).”
  • We don’t love Diego, but you seem to be fascinated with the animals on the show and retain the facts with ease.
  • We thought, since Poppy started going on the potty, that you might be inspired to as well, but you refuse just as your sister did.  After seeing how effortless it was for Poppy, we are much more relaxed about it all.  When you’re ready.
  • You have no interest in drawing or painting or even playing with play dough, but you do enjoy playing with your animals and cars and doll house.
  • You tend to enjoy books without words and  prefer looking at pictures.
  • You do like it when I read aloud from my own grownup book though.
  • Your vocabulary is and always has been ridiculously advanced.  You speak in quite full and proper sentences though you have no interest in learning your letters and numbers.
  • You know your colours and like attempting to count things
  • You love pretending.  You roll up paper and use a flashlight to look for “Rosie” and use pretend cameras and binoculars often.
  • You enjoy wearing an apron and making food in your play kitchen with Poppy;  soups, pies, toast, and stirring sugar, milk and flour endlessly.
  • For the last two nights you’ve gone to sleep grasping a mini whisk and stirring spoon.
  • The other day, I asked you the rhetorical question “Could you be any cuter?!  I don’t think it is possible.”  You put your hands on my cheeks and said “Yes Mommy, it is a popsicle!”
  • You continue to remind me of Grampa Ellenberger when you make your mischievous face.
  • On Friday, as I began getting supper ready, you came into the kitchen asked up.  We were both crusted with the day’s snot and grime and oh so tired of doing not much of anything for days.  You put your head on my shoulder, patted my back, and in a congested, raspy voice said “I love you Mommy.”  I can’t be totally sure, but I am quite sure that is the first spontaneous “I love you” you has ever said.  I softened and the whole week melted away as I squeezed you tighter and said “I love you more”.  you barely hesitated before saying “I love you most”.  See, I said you make up for your tantrums with loving things.
Posted in 52 portraits, family, homeschooling, life, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

twenty nine + sixty

twenty nine

 

my step mom, poppy, my dad, and silas at silas' first birthday party

Today my dad turns 60.

He is a wonderful father and grandfather.

He isn’t one for saying the words, but his actions and warm hugs have always spoken loud and clear.

My parents divorced when I was about 2 so I  spent every second weekend, summer and other important holidays with him and my step mom.  He worked a lot and I often wished I could spend more time together.   I relished the days I could skip day camp and tag along with him at his work.  Sometimes I would hold the horses for him, sometimes I would read in the truck, sometimes I explored the farms, but I always loved watching him work; a true craftsman.  I loved the nights he was left to his own devices to make supper (it was always Pop Shoppe sausage and fried potatoes).

After insanely long days of shoeing horses he would always be sure to come to my room to say hello and goodnight; the scent of burnt hoof and barn still heavy on his clothing.  I remember him drilling a hole into a golf ball because we were curious as to what was in the middle.  I remember all sorts of dumb little ideas I had that he would help me with without even batting an eyelash.  I remember him teaching me how to drive the tractor and, by some stroke of luck, I changed gears “on the fly” and he was impressed.  He is always busy with working and farming, some might even say a workaholic, but he always has and had time to teach me things and to be curious together.  He has taught me that anything is possible, or at least worth exploration, and to go against the grain no matter how unpopular it may be.  He is the kind of parent I want to be.

He never gave up on me when it may have been less painful to do so.

And now we make up for lost time.

Happy 60th Birthday Daddy.

We love you.

 

go gently + be wonderful

e.

Posted in 365 photo project, celebration, ellenberger organic farm, family | 1 Comment

twenty eight

We woke to fresh snow and warmer temperatures.

The house was warmer by 6:30 am than it was after an entire day of heat in last week’s deep freeze.

Before noon I had ironed Mike’s work clothes, enjoyed a few sips of bitter coffee, gave the kids breakfast and snacks, tidied, sorted laundry, washed and hung two loads of laundry, baked two lemon meringue pies (with Poppy’s help), made one large pot of quinoa, bean and veggie soup with dumplings, checked for eggs and played in the snow with the kids.

For the afternoon the kids played silly games, Silas napped, I attempted to read Anne of Green Gables to Poppy (no dice), we looked at books, and I was able to find a slightly bigger crochet hook to continue the basic crocheted blanket I have started.

No one ate my soup (I think it may be time to take out of the rotation for a while).

go gently + be wonderful

e.

Posted in 365 photo project | 8 Comments

twenty five . twenty six . twenty seven + earth’s best sundays

Another home weekend nursing the nasty cold/flu

On Friday, as I began getting supper ready, Silas came into the kitchen asked up.  We were both crusted with the day’s snot and grime and oh so tired of doing not much of anything for days.  He put his head on my shoulder, patted my back, and in a congested, raspy voice said “I love you Mommy.”  I can’t be totally sure, but I am quite sure that is the first spontaneous “I love you” he has ever said.  I softened and the whole week melted away as I squeezed him tighter and said “I love you more”.  He barely hesitated before saying “I love you most”

Be still my heart.

It was a weekend of:

Big news

Wood

Crock pot mac and cheese with pureed turnip (So yummy.  Also, I am sure I love turnip more than anyone ever has)

Chocolate chip cookies

The Waltons

A new crochet project near and dear to our hearts

Crocheting progress halted when my hook fell off my lap and into the jaws of Huck

Phone calls + emails

Work from home

Afternoon naps

Cuddling with a very cranky unicorn

A sweet, even-tempered little girl (even while sick)

A walk to the pond foiled by said cranky unicorn

Newly fluffed nesting boxes for the ladies

a 104.5 * fever

Snuggling on the couch with books and iPad games

Early to bed + restless nights

go gently + be wonderful

e.

Posted in 365 photo project, earth's best sundays, family, life | 4 Comments

fawned friday

01) Wolves are wonderful as is this.

02) I need this sign.

03) I love the simplicity of this house.  I swear I am a minimalist trapped in a collector’s body.

04) I would like at least 5 more Bolga Baskets.  One of my very favourite things.

05) I think we have to make this.  The kids are always wanting to iron like me.

06) Love infinity scarves!  Especially when you consider how many you could make from bundles like this or this or this for mama and her girl, but this would be awesome too…oh but I do love a classic ticking too.  So hoping our “entertainment”  budget will have some space for one of these bundles next month!

07) We have three stumps begging for this.

08) I am seriously thinking I’d like get rid of all my clothes and just have these 10  perfectly classic pieces.  Seriously, I may begin the  purge today/this weekend; I am feeling ruthless.

09) Why do I not have this book?  Seriously.

10) I think I found the perfect calendar.  Another $22 from the entertainment budget?

 

{fawned fridays inspired by miss fawn}

 

go gently + be wonderful

e.

Posted in fawned fridays | 16 Comments

twenty four + the beauty products, recipes + methods i love

Since moving to the country I go out into the world a lot less.  Since there isn’t even the off chance that I might run into the mail lady, I find I put less and less into my appearance and wardrobe.  At first it was liberating, but I have grown tired of always looking like a rumpled rag.

Every morning I think it will be the morning that I get myself into the shower before Mike leaves for work, but I always find something else to tidy or it is just too damn cold.  This morning, though, I forced myself into the rather unwelcoming shower stall; the worst part is always the wall of ice that smacks up against you just after shutting off the water and opening the glass door.  Once I had some warm layers on again I felt so much better.  I know, I know, poor little Muffin and her First World problems!  😉

Now, I love a good jammie day just as much as the next person; probably even more so.  But I have noticed a marked improvement in my mood, patience, productivity, and general well being when I take that 20 or 30 minutes of self care each morning.

I used to be a bit of a product whore.  I loved going to the drug store to find new products that would make my hair shinier, my skin dewier, and my eyes poppier.  I have admitted to you on many occasions just how much I enjoy shopping and browsing, but in the last few years I have really begun to think about the nasty, carcinogenic crap they put in our products and have made it a goal to remove it from our home.  I have found wonderful replacements for pretty much everything, but my hair products.  I often have people ask me what  products I use and have been meaning to make a post telling you just that for quite some time.  To cram it into this post feels quite suitable, no?

Shampoo + Conditioner:  Let me first tell you that I have insanely thick hair which has natural loose curls.  My favourite product is Dove, but they still test on animals and contain all the usual chemicals so I try to buy the products not tested on animals.  I have tried going “poo free” in which I used baking soda, water and apple cider vinegar and I thought I liked it until I caved about a month and half in and washed my hair with real shampoo and it felt like my scalp could breathe again.  I have tried pretty much every natural product out there, but it always makes it feel heavy, frizzy, or just unclean.  I am not quite so picky about my conditioner and do like Nature’s Gate.

Mousse: Again, I have tried all the natural brands in hopes of finding something that makes my hair work, but my favourites are Herbal Essences or Dove though they are, once again, full of chemicals and tested on animals.  I even boiled flax seeds in hopes of using the gloopy bi-product for hair gel.  It was nasty and turned really fast.  I am still searching.

Hair Dryer:  I use a  Barbar Ceramic hair dryer (I bought it a couple years ago with a free shipping and 60% off coupon).  I also have a CHI hair straightener which I bought on clearance when we were a dual income household.  It is covered in hideous skull and crossbones, but the colour just wasn’t worth paying a premium.  I only use it when I have bangs..

Moisturizer:  For the body I like to use my homemade sugar scrub in the bath or shower which removed the need to moisturize afterwards.  For my face, I mix a little cocoa into my Green Beaver facial moisturizer to create a chemical free, sun free self tanner because I am of the opinion that everyone looks best with a little tan (how very 1980’s of me).

Face Wash:  Water.  Though I have heard good things about the oil cleansing method.  I use Witch Hazel as a toner.

Lips: I use my homemade lip balm and am wanting to try a decent DIY lip stain for the days I need a little colour.

 Makeup:  I am a minimalist when it comes to makeup.  Nearly everything I would use (mascara, eyeshadow, and eye liner) was in this kit for 24.99 at our local-ish health food store and sometimes I will use their subtle blush for these white wintry days.  I feel better when I wear a touch of makeup, but usually only where it when I leave the house.

Toothpaste:  As a formal dental hygienist, I feel a little torn about the whole fluoride controversy.  In an ideal world we wouldn’t need it and everyone would eat whole foods and have impeccable oral hygiene, but that just isn’t the case.  I don’t believe it should be in our drinking water.  We have been using this toothpaste for nearly 2 years and love it.

Deodorant:  I will only use the very best homemade deodorant ever created.  Some people say it can stain your clothes if you dress right after, but I have never found that.  Some people think baking soda contains aluminum, but apparently it is our baking powder that we should be looking more closely at.  If you’re still unsure, just get the aluminum free stuff like I did before I read that post.

Baby Wash/Shampoo – If you’re like me, you thought you were safe buying the unscented baby shampoos, but they contain all the shitty chemicals our stuff contains so I stopped buying it.  First I stopped washing Poppy’s curly hair and just used a tiny bit of conditioner, but when I ran out of that I just started wetting and/or brushing her hair at bath time each night and it is just the same.  I don’t even have to brush Silas’ hair.  You’d think their hair would stink or get oily, but it never does.  I just use homemade soap that I always seem to have given to me as gifts.

Bubble Bath:  Bubble bath just isn’t bubble bath without Sodium Lauryl Sulphate.  So I try to use epsom salts and essential oils instead, but I miss my bubbles.

Perfume/Cologne:  Pachouli has always been my scent and I have never ever been able to use anything but the more beyond The Body Shop’s perfume oils (I am sure they contain just as many chemicals.  Also they don’t make them anymore).  I have not bought new perfume in years, but when my oils run out I will just use Pachouli.  Mike has been saying he’d like a signature scent; something that when the kids smell it they think fondly of their daddy and his love. I am hoping one of these recipes will fit the bill.

Laundry Soap: I love this homemade recipe, but when I don’t have all the ingredients on hand or just don’t feel like taking the time, I use Ecos Laundry Soap.

 

There you have it.  My biggest pet peeve is when something doesn’t do what it it supposed to do so these are the recipes, products and methods I have found to be better for us, the earth, and are actually effective.  I have started a Pinterest board where I will be pinning recipes and ideas I would like to try so if you’d like to see more of what catches my eye, feel free to follow me.

What are your tried and true recipes, methods, and products?  What little things make a big difference in your day?

 

go gently + be wonderful

e

 

Posted in 365 photo project, frugal living, life, recipes, tutorials + DIY, wellness | 13 Comments

twenty three

-33

We woke from the slumber party in our room to ice on the windows despite the furnace and fire

Steam tufts when we opened the front door

Chili (with peppers, onion, tomatoes, mushrooms, celery, beans, organic beef and pureed spinach) on the wood stove

It tasted just like every other pot of chili I make, but I was the only one who liked it

Frustrated that my family seems to like less and less of the healthy meals I make

A sick and feverish little boy;

compounded by burning his hand on the wood stove (our first wood stove injury)

Tea biscuits with coconut oil

Oregano oil in our juice

Mike working from home a lot in the evenings

Glad he is home though

Root beer + popcorn

Bed

P.S.

The instructions asked her to trace the circle, but I have to agree with her that this is much better.

Thinking outside the…um, circle 😉

go gently+ be wonderful

e

Posted in 365 photo project, family, homeschooling, life | 3 Comments

twenty two

today felt like an age

Both kids had a restless night and were both awake at 5:30

We had coffee, I ironed Mike’s clothes, made breakfast, and swept and tidied

I then called the government office regarding the 583,000 people whose personal information was lost (Social Insurance Numbers included).  Turns out mine was one of them so spent a frustrating amount of time calling my bank, Equifax, and Transunion so they could put alerts on my accounts.  So infuriating and careless.

I vacuumed, spot cleaned the furniture as best I could, and washed the cushion covers.

Made lunch, checked for eggs and made sure their water wasn’t frozen.

Poppy tried embroidery for about 5 minutes and built a castle out of Lego (it was awesome).

I started to stain/white wash our exposed beams.

We ate snacks, we snuggled, we read, we drew.

I looked for printable colouring pages and other homeschool resources.

We watched Netflix and The Sword In The Stone.

15 hours is a tremendous amount of time to fill with toddlers.

It is cold.  The kids don’t seem bothered by it, but felt as though it settled into my bones until we had super hot bubble bath in our giant tub.

We are worried about the pipes freezing and the cold wind that seems to be howling through our old wooden front door.

We will try to staunch it with the plastic thermal stuff.

Ready for bed.

A little boy playing with his “freckle” (eyebrow).

A little girl running laps around the couch squealing.

 Good night, friends.

P.S. Thank you so much for your wonderful resources and sage words regarding yesterday’s homeschooling post.  I tried to find a copy of “Homeschooling Our Children, Unschooling Ourselves”, and even wrote the author to find out where the best place to get it in Canada would be.  She replied saying that it went out of print just two months ago!

Does anyone have a copy they would like to sell to me?  Or perhaps we could do a trade of books?

go gently + be wonderful

e.

Posted in 365 photo project, homeschooling | 5 Comments

twenty one + more homeschool musings

This week I plan on spending some time with the many homeschooling books and resources I have accumulated over the past 4 years or more.  Homeschooling has been something I have wanted to do since well before we even had children.  I have never wavered from that decision, but that does not mean I am not slightly intimidated by it.

We have a pretty great and active homeschooling group in our area that continues to grow and grow.  What I love about it is that we all have different styles, practices, and ideas.  We have artists and homesteaders, former dental hygienists, and former teachers; there is Waldorf and Montessori, project based, and unschooling.  We all have different strengths and that is important.

The more I read about unschooling, the more I feel pulled in that direction.  That being said I was conventionally schooled and struggle a little bit with the level of trust that it requires.  I strongly believe that children have an innate yearning to learn and that when it is done at their pace and in accordance with their interests it can be magic.

Our plan, thus far, is to do a combination of homeschooling and unschooling.  I am sure many hardcore unschoolers would argue that isn’t unschooling at all, but to each their own.  I think when I say unschooling most people get their hackles up thinking it is irresponsible or neglectful, but I define it as placing topics and learning opportunities in the child’s path and following their lead to facilitate their learning. We will use the Ontario Curriculum as a guideline for where we should be focusing our attention and to know what skills they will very likely have by the end of that time frame.  Our goal is to hold ourselves loosely to these guidelines and be patient where we are behind and celebrate where we are excelling.  Instead of having really formal learning sessions I prefer the idea of passive learning though daily objects and activities.  We hope to arrive at the same destination by taking side roads, short cuts and long cuts, and of course by enjoying some unscheduled tangents.  In Ontario, they have introduced full day kindergarten starting at the age of 4 which has been controversial to say the least.  If we were sending Poppy to school, she would be starting in September 2013 at the age of 4.5 and Silas would begin in September 2014.

Poppy has known her colours, numbers and letters since about 18 months, but her speech was very slow to come.  Silas on the other hand, has very little interest in letters and numbers, knows his colours, and he has had a crazy vocabulary beginning before he was 1.  One of my favourite sentences he said was at about 18 months: “I’m’a go outside now.  Where’s mine yellow shoes is?”.  Poppy’s first real sentence came when she was about 2 years and 3 months: “Chicken eggs all gone.”  They each have their own strengths and they both continue to make progress.

Science and geography and even math don’t worry me half as much as teaching them the important and life changing art of reading.  I have no memory of learning how to read, so it seems like such an abstract thing to teach and learn.  I have recently picked up a few varied resources to help me learn how to effectively teach it to them when they are ready.  My worry is not that they will not learn it, but that I will not be able to teach it when the time arrives.  The books I have, specifically focused on reading, writing and a little math include: Learning Essentials by the Canadian Curriculum Press (purchased at Costco); Teaching Writing in Kindergarten by Randee Bergen; The New Kindergarten by Constance J. Leuenberger; ABC fun + 123 by Shirley Erwee.  I will take what I feel will be best from each of these and use what the kids seem to enjoy most.

I recently had the opportunity to discuss the Oak Meadow Curriculum (Grade 1) with one of our homeschool mamas and loved how they taught math in the form of memorable stories.  I felt that it would be a great and effective way to learn math when the interest bubbles up.

I think I am a perfect fit for homeschooling because I feel my learning style was never quite suited to the way school does it and I struggled because of that.  I learn best from interesting stories, enthusiasm, interest, and from doing.  Fractions never really made sense until I started baking and cooking, building things myself, and cutting my own real pies.  I think I will be teaching many things over the years that never quite clicked for me back in the day and will have some “Aha moments” of my own in the process.

Children are in school for many hours per day, but I have talked with homeschooled kids, homeschooling moms, and even teachers who admit that the amount of learning done in the classroom could be accomplished in much less time at home.  They can then follow their own interests in whatever direction they see fit with the rest of their days.  In my mind this is the very best of both worlds.

Of course, we are just young pups in this long journey, but these are our goals and ideas today.  I am so grateful that homeschooling is a viable option for us in this great country.  I am grateful that we can live quite well on one income despite our debts and bills. I am grateful that we can ease into our day and it is me who gets to learn along side our children.  I am grateful for a very local and vibrant community of homeschoolers despite how remote we are.  I am grateful for endless internet resources and that I can connect and pull from even more blogs and blog readers such as your lovely selves.

It has been a constant struggle for me to find a rhythm that works for us, but I am going to try again.  It all feels a bit frantic still as the kids are on completely opposite sleeping schedules so we start off kilter.  My ideal day would look something like this:

6am – everyone up – breakfast and coffee all together

7am – brush teeth, showers, get dressed, brush hair, make beds, quick tidy of rooms

8am – 9am – free play, snuggles, quietly ease into the day

9am – outside time or yoga for cold and rainy days

9:45 -10:30 – free play

10:30 – snack time

11:00 – free play while I prepare  lunch

12:00 – lunch time

12:30 – story time, finger plays, singing, etc

1pm – movie time (Silas will often fall asleep at this time)

2pm – drawing, letters, numbers, colours, art, painting, craft, play dough, workbooks if interested

3pm – baking with mama (muffins, bagels, pitas, bread, cookies, etc) or more outside time

4pm – movie, free play, etc while I prepare supper

5pm – Mike home, eat supper

5:30pm –  clean up, dishes, wipe tables and counters, tidy kitchen

6pm – bath

6:30 – Daddy time -chasing, hiding, squealing, reading fun books on the iPad.  Mama can crochet or blog

7pm – Evening snack and brush teeth

7:30 – If Silas did not nap, he will be ready for bed now.

Poppy free play or movie while Daddy practices the guitar (or works from home)

8:30 – Reading with Poppy (and Silas if he is still awake) – A chapter book like Little House or other classics

9pm ’till we crash pm – guitar, crochet, blog, watch tv, etc.

 

The truth is, the days are long and there are  a lot of hours to fill.  I feel guilty every time I write down tv time, but in order to do this alone everyday and make all of our meals from scratch it is necessary to keep the kids from climbing the counters.  I try to involve them where possible of course, but sometimes I just need/want to do it alone.  We don’t have cable, but we have Netflix and many movies and programs on DVD.  The favourites include The Magic School Bus, Go, Diego, Go, Sesame Street, Scarytown Mysteries, and Poppy enjoys the BBC animal shows and has taken quite an interest in the planet and Universe shows as well.  They say any TV is bad TV, but they also told me I would have difficulty bonding with and breastfeeding my c-section babies so I tend to follow my gut on this one.  They do learn from and interact with these shows.  I am working on letting go of the TV guilt because I am doing this alone so many hours of the day without a car and I need breaks that can give me the patience I need to make it through the week.
We are also planning at least one day during the work week in which we head out to friends’ houses,  into town, or have friends in for the better part of a day for play, crafts, and food.
What do or did your homeschooling days look like when your kids were preschool age?  What resources were your favourites?  Anything you’d like to share or add to the discussion?  Feel free to share!
Posted in 365 photo project, family, frugal living, homeschooling, life, Uncategorized | 18 Comments

twenty + earth’s best sundays

Our Sunday began in the darkness as it always does these days.  We wake to a cold house, Mike rises and starts the fire and coffee.  We huddle under blankets until the fire’s warmth reaches our toes.  The snow blew wickedly across the landscape and I was grateful for the warm ember of our home with smoke tufting from the chimney.  I was comforted by the fact that my sole purpose that day would be to make sure the chair in the corner of our front room (the one beside the wood stove) didn’t blow away and that the pulled pork (actually beef) was edible.  I worked away on my scrappy cowl throughout the day and kept that chair in its place.

The sun was bright and the wind howled, but we decided to bundle up for some fresh air.  The wind cut through our clothes bitterly.  We decided to check for eggs and found 4 which brought today’s count up to 5!  The roof is covered with sheets of Styrofoam which has always been fine, but the Wyandottes seem to prefer roosting high and pecked it down.  I began cramming extra insulation into the breezy places in preparation for the cold snap coming this week.

 Silas quickly fell asleep on my lap once we returned to the fire inside.  He tends to fall asleep this way for naps more than he ever would if I put him in his bed for it, but I wouldn’t change that.

 The pulled beef was delicious with candied maple yams, asparagus, and potatoes.

What did your Sunday look like?

go gently + be wonderful

e.

Posted in 365 photo project, earth's best sundays, family, our cabin | 7 Comments