Monthly Archives: June 2014

this + that + then-some

 

 
It’s official.  
We will be taking a family road trip to Newfoundland (and, may I just say, they killed it with their amazing tourism videos) in the beginning of September.
It’s been 9 years.
Silas is thrilled that we will be spending his birthday in a yurt by the ocean.
I am thrilled that the kid’s “first day of (home)school”  will be taken at the rather famous Hopewell Rocks at low tide.
It feels like a great rebellion.
Our time in Newfoundland will be spent with family, some of whom we haven’t seen in years, and taking day trips to places with names like Leading Tickles and Twillingate.
On the way back we will make a quick visit to PEI.
Because Anne.
 
When we return, we will be starting our more structured homeschool days.
Silas would officially be starting Junior Kindergarten this year.
Poppy would be going into Senior Kindergarten.
I chose to go with the Moving Beyond The Page Curriculum this year.
It seems like a good fit.
Last year we kind of decided to wing it with workbooks from Chapters and informal learning.
It was fine.
The kids learn.
Poppy can read the first two books of the Bob Book Series without help and the third and fourth books with a little help.
Reading and writing are what intimidate/worry me most about homeschooling.
I have no memory of learning how to read and write.
But everything hinges on getting that right.
So, I am over the moon that we are seeing progress and that we (us! ) are facilitating that growth with pure gut instinct and a few simple tools.
The reality is, they’re always learning.
While we read, and bake, and visit, and watch tv, and explore.
The world is full of stuff to learn.
And they are endlessly curious and observant.
It’s a beautiful thing.
To be honest, the curriculum is more for my schooled mind.
And I am ok with that.
We will still have lots of informal learning, but balanced out with structured activities as well.
I think it will be good.
 
We’ve also enrolled Poppy in Sparks come Autumn.
Which means we will have access to those thin mint cookies dreams are made of.
And she will wear a sash and earn badges and foster friendships.
It’s all good.
 
And just because it’s Friday, I may as well make it a Fawned Friday…
 
08)  When I was 17 I had short hair so I missed out on this trend.  It might just be on today’s agenda.
09)  I just love this little gallery wall.
10)  This bathroom is perfection.
01)  Shake, woman, shake.  Love that.
012)  I just happen to have $12 left on a Chapter’s gift card
13) This is pretty damn inspiring.
 
Happy Weekending Deer Hearts!
 
e.
 
Posted in family, homeschooling, life, photography + writing, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

earth’s best sundays | birthday edition


34 trips around the sun.

More sun warmed berries.

Homemade ice cream cake.

A couple of my favourite meals.

A handful of wildflowers picked by my loves.

A pretty little pottered mug.

A walk through the pasture and along fence rows.

Feeling a little like Anne Shirley dreaming about the possibilities.

Kid playing in the old claw foot tub.

Oh my.

It was another nice one.

go gently + be wonderful

e.

Posted in #100happydays, bits + bobs, celebration, earth's best sundays, ellenberger organic farm, family, life, photography + writing, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

earth’s best sundays + weekending

We had a good full weekend.
 
We took the kids to see How To Train Your Dragon 2.
We all loved it.
We came home Friday evening to find that our 5 chickens had ALL been taken during the day by some mysterious predator.
I always feel like we failed them when one gets taken, but this was a heart breaking loss.
The silver lining is that we MAY take a family road trip to Mike’s homeland of Newfoundland in late summer since we don’t have to worry about someone coming to care for the chickens daily.
We may even drop in to see Anne of Green Gables along the way!
We shall see.
 
On Saturday we celebrated 7 years of marriage by making the drive to Cobourg for their BuskerFest.
It was a bit of a bust, but the Beavertails and beautiful sandy beach more than made up for it.
We also got 10 minutes to wander quietly and aimlessly around Chapters while Gramma and Papa wrangled the kids.
It was glorious.
 
It has become a bit of a Father’s Day tradition to go to the Farm for the day.
We tasted the first sun warmed berries of the year.
The kids “helped” Nana transplant the peppers and tomatoes.
(We decided to skip putting our garden again this year…for a few reasons.)
The two dads worked at cleaning seed with a 100 year old fanning machine.
 
 
Like I said, it was a good one.
What were your weekend highlights?
 
go gently + be wonderful
 
e.
Posted in celebration, earth's best sundays, ellenberger organic farm, family, homeschooling, homesteading, life, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

you were wild once

 
Within my rib cage, there lives a bear.
And a wolf.
And a bird beating her wings.
 
Sometimes I find myself barely breathing;
Aching to know what it is to run again;
Lithe and wild through the night as the wolves do.
Noiseless. through the trees.
 
To remember again what it felt like to have hollow bones;
Gliding among the clouds and leaves.
 
I am well acquainted with the watchful, thundering bear.
Ample and laden with love and duty,
She lumbered from the mouth of the woods in the moment my first child was born.
I heard echoes of her thunder long before that day though;
Snapping branches behind me,
I knew she was there.
 
In the beginning, I thought the wolf would have to starve.
The bird would have to be tethered.
After all,
if I could only feed one, it would have to be the mama bear.
 
But I see now.
I see they must co-exist in a careful dance of survival.
They must feast together in the light of the moon; in the wake of an arduous day.
 
Because without perspective and breath, there is no endurance.
 
We must show our sons and daughters what it is to nurture the wild bits
 
To say, each night,
Before sleep comes
 
“Stay wild my child.  Don’t let them tame you.”
 
                                                                                                                                                                                                            
 
I am grasping at straws, trying to replace Facebook
I joined Twitter.
I hate it.
I check my Instagram more frequently than necessary.
 
It is unsettling to be so invisible and unheard.
But I am staying with the unease in an attempt to pin it down.
 
Is it the camaraderie I miss?
Or is it the distraction?
Something that allows me to avoid the guilt; the conflict; the issue at hand.
Have I really forgotten how to enjoy my own company;
How to be still and quiet?
 
And before I stir up too much anger and self defense, let me say this:
It isn’t Facebook.
It’s me.
It isn’t like this for everyone.
But it is like this for me.
It all has its place.
I am just trying to figure out its place in my life.
 
Truth be told
I was wavering last night. 
Ready to sign back in and be done with it.
And I may do just that again at some point.
But first,
First, I need to nail it all down.
 
Who are we without the quips and witticism? 
Who remembers us when the constant reminders disappear?
 
Don’t get me wrong.
There have been a great many acquaintances who’ve turned into cherished friends there.
I am talking about something bigger.
Something a little deeper.
 
For me, it is all a distraction.
A distraction from the task at hand
A distraction from the messy house
A distraction from the lingering baby weight
A distraction from the self work
 
A distraction from my light
A distraction from my happiness
A distraction from my wildness
A distraction from the important little bits that make up real life.
 
Instead of looking at my daughter’s face and soft hair while she nurses
I refresh the page and see what has happened in the last ten minutes.
 
I look at pictures of other people’s kids
When my own are growing just beyond the screen.
Faster than light.
 
Instead of apologizing immediately after harsh words were spoken
I forget them and the hurt I’ve left hanging there, to see if anyone liked that funny thing I posted.
 
Is it avoidance of the gritty stuff?
Is it a place where wild hearts sit sedentary?
 
Yes, we all feel connected, but are we really?
And to what?
 
I can’t help but wonder.
 
 
 
go gently + be wonderful
 
e.
Posted in distilled, family, life, photography + writing, Uncategorized, wellness | 8 Comments

feeling good

2|100

awake at 2am to hear the hungry screech of the Great Horned Owl in the tree outside our bedroom window

coffee

sitting under the apple tree

these kids

my poppy girl picking me a lilac and a stalk of rhubarb

our whole bedroom scented with yesterday’s lilacs

spontaneous hugs from my wee boy

afternoon coffee

a good strong breeze keeping the bugs at bay

oh my

so many things

this is going to be a good project

3|100

a husband who let me sleep an extra 45 minutes after another restless night with Clemmie

a little girl who seems to be feeling a touch better

taking steps to break the facebook habit

feeling empowered by that decision

maps of the world, moon, and solar system

meal planning with a sleeping babe on my back and an afternoon coffee

watching this sweet girl bat her ball and the dog dishes around the kitchen like a kitten

old time jazz streaming

poppy’s adoration and silas’ intensity

pay day

baby gates

4|100

making caramel popcorn with the kids at 9am

being at a stage where cooking with kids is enjoyable and full of learning and laughing

two loaves of banana chocolate chip bread

finding paneer at our grocery store

orange is the new black

a pantry and fridge full of good ingredients

feeling light without facebook

5|100

advil

coffee

spontaneous trip to haliburton

watching the kids play, fully clothed, in the lake

ice cream treats

silas fishing with his homemade fishing rod in the fountain

it feels an awful lot like summer

6|100

a challenging day, but…

more purging and tidying

laundry on the line

forgiveness

all three babes giggling under the blanket parachute

a tidy upstairs

the kids showing interest and progress in reading and writing

a working lawn mower

hugs

poppies, peonies, and irises getting ready to show their pretty faces

raspberry promises

7|100

hearing the crow swearing at a most brazen little fox lingering at our chicken coop this morning

(i may make a terrible farmer, but i do love foxes)

sitting on quilts under the trees

reading three whole pages of my book

fire flies exist

kitchen sink baths after a messy, spinachy lunch

the waterlogue app

wild strawberries and buttercups

windows and doors wide open and a heavenly breeze

silas ate spinach knowingly

saving the dragonflies from the inside windows with the kids

poppy’s drawings and silas’ stories

homemade lo mein

Letting go of Facebook feels right for me.
I miss aspects of it.
Mostly being able to spurt out tiny sound bites when the mood strikes.
And the commiseration of other mothers.
And the good people.
But the thing with facebook is that you can’t separate the wheat from the chaff.
 
I don’t miss the anxiety that bubbles up when people post about important, but overwhelming topics.
Radon
Secondary drowning
Car seat deaths
Climate change
The danger of television and smart phones
You know, imminent doom and the like.
 
Like I said, the point of the unplugging wasn’t to leave the internet completely, but to use it more wisely.
#100happydays has been helping with that too.
It forces me to break the habit of ungratefulness.
Our days are still filled with frustrations and annoyances,
but they are also never lacking in something to be happy about.
 
I feel like spending some time in this space again.
I feel creativity just beginning to bubble up again.
I feel good and light and empowered by having and doing and refreshing a little less.
 
I feel like I am finding my way back to center.
And that feels good.
 
Come follow me on Instagram, friends.
 
go gently + be wonderful
 
e.
Posted in #100happydays, Uncategorized, wellness | 2 Comments

#100HappyDays – Day One

 
 

Lilacs

A sweet breeze

Good rain

A freshly mowed lawn

Watching two pretty hipster girls help a turtle cross the road in front of our house

Homemade pizza

 
There are so many things.
Too many things.
 
All pulling at us
Demanding our time
Our admiration 
Weighing us down
Distracting us from our own happiness.
 
That is clear to me now.
 
I’d like to retreat.
To take a breath and remember what it felt like to live quietly.
To remember what it was like to live each moment without a screen or shares or likes.
To nail down the insatiable need to be heard, understood, seen, thought of, or defined.
To parent our children with guts and heart and without the articles, studies, and blogs telling us we’re doing it wrong.
To wander out the door without considering the story or photos ops.
To spend hours reading a good book and cheering for our own wins.
To cook good food and share it with people rather than Instagram.
To see what may come out of the silences we allow.
And yet I am terrified too.
 
But OH!
 
All the hours spent refreshing and checking in
minutes and moments we can’t get back.
 
All the jewelry I will never wear
gathering dust on the dresser
 
All the skinny clothes
taunting me from the dark corners of the closet.
 
All the books I will never read
begging to be set free
 
All the baby clothes with scents and stains and memories embedded in their fibers
Sit, musty, in the basement when they could be keeping another babe clothed and warm.
 
All the broken, chipped, mangled, stained pieces I feel so compelled to hold onto.
As though my life depends upon it.
 
With a sigh, I let it all go.
I release it into the wild world and hope that it warms a body, decorates a nest, or brings a simple joy to someone else.
I welcome the space it leaves behind.
 
 
I am a collector and a story teller with a gypsy heart.
It’s true.
But I am trying to reconcile the two in hopes of finding
peace
art
and the incredible lightness of being.
 
 
go gently + be wonderful
 
e.
 
 
Posted in distilled, life, photography + writing, Uncategorized, wellness | Tagged | 2 Comments