Category Archives: celebration

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.

Also posted in #100happydays, bits + bobs, 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.
Also posted in earth's best sundays, ellenberger organic farm, family, homeschooling, homesteading, life, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

little bird turns five + two of twelve

 

 

 

This weekend we celebrated Poppy’s 5th birthday. Excuse the cliche, but my, oh my, where has the time gone?

On Valentine’s Day we went to watch the Lego Movie and pick up your requested birthday present; a Princess Anna dress.  On your birthday, we had planned to go for a play at the YMCA, but they were calling for freezing rain so we stayed local, picked up some party favours for your guests, made pizza at your request, and watched the Disney Planning DVD that arrived.

On Saturday, you finally got to wear your birthday party dress.  Clementine wore her Elsa outfit and Silas had to be bribed to wear his Kristoff/Hiccup outfit for a photo opp.  You spent the morning twirling and singing “It’s my BIIIRTHDAAAY!  It’s my BIIIRTHDAAAY!”,  “Happy Birthday to Poppy!” along with “Let it Goooooo” from Frozen and you could barely keep your fingers out of the frosted blue cake we made.

Soon the house was filled with friends and family dressed as fairies, princes, dinosaurs, unicorns, butterflies, and princesses.  Nana made a bunch of the cutest edible Olafs and brought fresh eggs for everyone to take home along with their party bags.  You were rather confused as to why people brought gifts and asked who they were for.  You were just so over the moon to have your dress and a house full of fun people.  There were a couple impromptu story times and a couple crazy accidents (a cracked rib and a somersault down the stairs, but everyone is recovering well).  Overall, it was a loud and happy time.  It felt like an important party for you; as though you suddenly went from being a baby to a little girl.  It made our hearts swell to see you so happy with your friends.

That night, and the next night,you slept in your party dress.  You finally took it off and wore jammies to bed last night.

  • Your love for your sister grows more intense with each day and you go to great lengths to get a giggle out of her.
  • I had no idea you found a bow tie I mad a few years ago and placed it on your kitty, but I got a good laugh when he sauntered out of the kitty litter box what had to be hours later, looking very dapper indeed.
  • You love reading the Scooby Doo books,  Jillian Jiggs Treasury, and the Robert Munsch treasury.
  • You love watching Barbie, Equestria Girls, Frozen, How to Train your Dragon, and Clifford.  You love playing with your growing collection of My Little Ponies, Strawberry Shortcake dolls, Merida, Anna, Elsa, and Rainbow Dash.  (There is a sentence I never thought I’d be writing when my parenting adventure began!!)
  • You’ve been singing songs from Frozen nearly non-stop.  When I ask if you want to learn more of the words to it you say “No, you learn it.”.
  • You adore painting.
  • We discovered that your 6 year molar (46) is making an early appearance!
  • Last week, we traced your bodies and then drew onto your bodies whatever you pleased.  You gave yourself chicken pox, because you’re rather obsessed with drawing chicken pox.  You then drew the path your food takes through your body.  You asked me to draw a heart in your chest.
  • You love watching the Disney Planning DVD to see where the princesses and Captain Hook live.

  • You’ve always been one to prefer household objects to toys and I’ve started documenting your rather interesting and entertaining sleeping buddies and quotes.  It has turned into a little project that has been enjoyed on Instagram and Facebook.  Daddy and I decided if we were to ever create a book out of these pictures and conversations it would be called “Bed Folk + Pillow Talk with Silas”.
  • The other night, he wanted to sleep with Poppy. I thought it would be endless playing and giggling, but they fell fast asleep as soon as the lights were out. Silas hates it when the lights first go out and Poppy comforted him saying “it’s ok Silas, you can see me. I’m with you.” I love their love.
  • You really do say the darnedest things.  Here are a few more examples:
  • Silas: I was talking to The Perogie Man.
    Me: Who is the Perogie Man?
    Silas: Um, just the yummiest guy in the world.
  • Poppy: Mom, I want a brown baby.
    Me: Well, we don’t have brown skin so we can’t make a brown baby.
    Poppy: Oh, right. I love our baby.
    Silas: I want some brownies.
  • Me: Do you guys want some milk?
    Silas: Does it have Vitamin D in it?
    Me: Um, yes. I think so.
    Silas: Oh, great! I love Vitamin D.
  • You hate having your hair washed.  The other night you said you didn’t want your hair washed “…because it would turn into a girl’s hair”.  After it was washed, you were distraught that your hair “looked different now”.
  • Just yesterday morning, you woke up early with Daddy and wanted to wear some red mittens and a toque.  Once they were on you exclaimed “Look at me Daddy!  I’m gorgeous!”.
  • There is no jealousy or animosity, but you keep a safe distance from little Clementine.  Every once in a while I see you two sharing a flirty little smile though.
  • You love reading the Scooby Doo books, the Jillian Jiggs Treasury, and the Robert Munsch Treasury.
  • You love watching Equestria Girls, Clifford, How to Train Your Dragon, Clifford, Barbie, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and Dinosaur Train.  You play with pretty much anything that isn’t technically a toy, but do enjoy playing imaginative games with Poppy.

  • You remain super happy even though I think your teeth are coming in and you have developed a rash/eczema on your back and tummy.  We are trying to get to the root of the rash, but can’t be sure yet.
  • You don’t often make strange with people.  You seem to take your time watching them carefully and then smile.
  • You usually wake 1-3 times in the night and nurse right back to sleep.
  • We finally captured some giggles on video.  It’s adorable.
  • You’re now wearing 6 month clothes.
  • We’ve started giving you little bits of food (the rash began before food was introduced), but you’re not overly enthused.
  • You love playing with the remote and crinkle-taggy blanket I made years ago.
  • You seem to have super human ab strength and can do a full sit up.

 

 

 

  • Mike saw a big moose sauntering down the middle of the road on his drive home one night.
  • We had our big load of logs delivered.  $875.
  • We’ve begun planning and saving for our Disney Trip 2017.  We are super excited.
  • We’ve begun working through a grade 4 french workbook to see what we remember.
  • Mike continues to enjoy playing his ukulele.
  • I am struggling to find my balance in many aspects of life.
  • I am starting to wonder if my hair will ever stop falling out.
  • In an act of self preservation, I am not allowing myself to even think about spring right now.
  • We are hoping to get a YMCA membership for the family.  It is over an hour away.
  • Our community is lobbying for a recreation center and indoor pool, but I won’t hold my breath.
  • Making plans to get the kids and I out of the house more often throughout the week.  I am thinking one day out locally (Early Years, Kinder Gym, etc), one day out in either Peterborough or Lindsay (Early Years, Chapters story time, YMCA drop in craft or gym time, groceries, YMCA land class etc.), and one day out as a family to do swimming lessons and other errands.
  • I don’t regret moving to the country, but I still struggle with feeling so isolated.
  • A second car is what dreams are made of.
  • In all honesty and if we had our time back, we would have approached my parents about buying a tiny plot on their farm, and built a tiny home so we could help with farm work and they could spend more time with the kids.
  • I often daydream about finding another family to build a tiny house in our woods so we could begin our own intentional village.
  • I made my first batch of Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.  It was delicious and simple.  A game changer.
  • I still hate meal planning.
  • I crave meditation and jogging.
  • I have grand plans of writing letters and sending care packages to friends and family.
  • I suck at blogging these days.
Also posted in 365 photo project, 52 portraits, family, feather + anchor, frugal living, homeschooling, homesteading, life, our cabin, photography + writing, the anchor, Uncategorized, wellness | 4 Comments

earth’s best sundays

The kids love visiting the farm.

While Grampa and Nana did chores Poppy and Silas ran around the barn wildly exclaiming “This is a happy place!!!” over and over again.

It was Dad’s birthday on Thursday.

We were going through old photos when Silas saw one of me when I was about 6.  He brought it to me and said “Look, that’s you.  You were a boy!”.  Then he looked up at me and said “But now you’res a girl”.  Sigh…yes, it’s true, I looked like a boy for most of my childhood.

We ate copious amounts of lemon birthday cake and artisan bread while chatting about home projects and writing topics.

If Silas had his way he would have stayed the night…and taken Nana’s porcelain piggy home to sleep with.

go gently + be wonderful

e.

Also posted in earth's best sundays, ellenberger organic farm, family, life, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

project 12

Last year, I attempted project 52, but failed miserably when the nausea hit.  This year I thought I’d like to try again but for monthly records rather than weekly. Why?  Because, even when you think you’ll remember the daily sweetness forever, you forget.  I thought I might even include a section for tidbits of my own month.

So here goes…

Poppy

Poppy:

  • Next month, you turn the big Oh-Five and you want to have a strawberry cake with blue icing and candles and pizza.  You’ve told me who you’d like to invite.  You want a Frozen themed party complete with an Elsa dress because we went to the “movie house” and watched it before Christmas and you’ve been quite taken ever since.
  • You’ve been writing your name for quite some time now (a year maybe?), but have just started showing interest in writing other letters this month.  You struggle with “S”, but do a really nice job and seem to be a natural, but begin to balk as soon as I ask for more.
  • Last night you got your 4-6 year vaccination.  Daddy and I contemplated the best way to prepare you for it and decided to tell you two days in advance.  We also told you it would hurt, but by the time you said “ouch” it would be over.  You freaked at first, but got braver as time passed.  When the time came, you were so brave and then ran out to tell Daddy and Silas “I got a shot!”.  You were very proud of yourself.
  • You continue to go to bed late.  Sometimes you stay up until we go to bed and other nights you tell us when you’d like to go to bed earlier.  You sleep through the night and wake between 7am to 9am.
  • You still refuse to eat veggies, but you LOVE fruits, meats, bread, and dairy.  We don’t heavily restrict junk food, but when you’ve had enough you stop and tell us you’ve had enough.
  • You love playing with your dolls and ponies.
  • Back in the fall, you had a bad cough and would wake in the middle of the night EVERY night coughing like crazy.  Daddy would take you downstairs, he would give you a steamy bath, then you’d eat a fruit juice freezie and watch Sponge Bob until the coughing had settled.  It was a nightly ritual for a couple weeks.  Now, most nights before you go to sleep, you ask Daddy to take you downstairs for this little ritual.  Which makes me hope you forever remember those midnight dates with Daddy.
  • Your favourite colour is pink.
  • You love having your nails painted.
  • You HATE having your hair done.
  • You love drawing people and sometimes animals.  You don’t draw backgrounds or the sky yet, but you’ve begun drawing bodies instead of just heads.  You also like to draw the universe which I find so interesting.  Your preferred medium seems to be paint, but it always ends with water and paint pooling and drawn EVERYWHERE including on your brother so we have taken a little break from that.  It may be time to get some more.
  • You don’t really care what you wear as long as it is comfortable.
  • You are madly in love with Clementine.  When she fusses, you run to her and comfort her by saying “It’s okay, I’m right here.  Poppy’s here.  I’m not a monster, I won’t hurt you.  We’re all right here.”
  • You fidget like crazy.  You bounce everywhere you go.
  • You love My Little Pony Equestria Girls and can often be heard singing the cafeteria song.  This is the song that has inspired you to enjoy spontaneous dancing again.

Silas

  • You are 3 and a half.
  • You never miss an opportunity to make us laugh.
  • You notice all the little details (you’re a lot like Mama).  The new bedding, the new plates, the tiny piece missing from your cookie or cracker, the new welcome mat.
  • You love watching and being a “Hero” and “saving he day!”.
  • You also love having your nails painted.
  • You are incredibly particular about what you wear and especially, incredibly particular about what jammies you wear.  Your favourite pair are the Halloween ones Nana bought you and Poppy two years ago.  They are full of holes, the feet have been cut off and are threadbare, but they are still your first pick.
  • You are an early to bed, early to rise type.  You’ve begun telling us when you’re tired and we take you upstairs to your big boy bed, tuck you in and leave the light on where you fall asleep.  You’ve been known to forgo the evening snack of  frozen yogurt so you can go to bed.
  • You love fruit and are only slightly more adventurous with veggies.  You will eat carrots and corn, so that is something.  You don’t like meat.
  • I often find you climbing the counters and eating butter.
  • You refuse to draw on paper and instead prefer finding bits of charcoal from the woodstove to doodle on our walls, the large TV unit we made, the wood box, the windows, etc.  You still aren’t drawing people or things though you did draw one “person” on the floor one day with charcoal.
  • We went to the doctor’s office for Poppy and Clementine’s vaccinations last night and, even though you weren’t even getting a check up, flipped out when we got there.  You screamed and clung to Daddy in the waiting room until Poppy came out to tell you proudly that she had her shot.  Hopefully you don’t do that when it is your turn.
  • You still refuse to potty train.  You will sit on or stand by your little potty and make pretend pee sounds, but have not had success yet.
  • You enjoy snuggling by the fire with one or both dogs in the morning and throughout the day.  You still play with your “freckle” (eyebrow) or that of the dogs.
  • When Poppy kisses you, you say in a swoony sort of voice “Oooooh, she’s soooo awesome!”.
  • You hate having your hair cut, but have no trouble cutting your own.  Sigh.
  • You have a habit of carrying around and sleeping with random objects and toys.  Last night it was a red balloon, a few nights ago it was a brass apple and a calculator, a few weeks ago it was an old caulking gun.  Other items include fly swatters, strainers, wooden spoons, forks, a whisk, the Hulk and Ninja Turtle toys, a pastry brush, the soup ladle, a book by the Dalai Lama because it was your cookbook, another book about Islam because the author looks like Harry Potter, a broken tire pump.  It is kind of poetic.
  • You can count up to ten items (sometimes 12) and know most of your letters, numbers, colours, etc.  You have no problem remembering names and details about animals and love dinosaurs.
  • Me: Do you guys want some milk?
    Silas: Does it have Vitamin D in it?
    Me: Um, yes. I think so.
    Silas: Oh, great! I love Vitamin D

Clementine

 

  • Oh my.  You are sweet.  Daddy thinks you’re the most smiley of all our sweet things.
  • You settled into a night time routine fairly quickly and effortlessly.  You fall asleep while nursing and then usually wake once or twice per night.  Some nights it is four times, but you always go back to sleep quickly.  It’s a blessing.
  • You are the tiniest of our babies and still fit in some three month outfits.  Your brother and sister only fit into those for a few weeks if at all.
  • You never shed your baby hair and you were born with a lot of it.  I am quite certain it will be curly just like Mama’s and Poppy’s.
  • You are a very content baby.  Sometimes I will get caught up in doing something and suddenly wonder where I left you.  You’re usually in your exersaucer just watching the world or you’ve fallen asleep in your play pen though I like to hold you as often and as long as your brother and sister will allow before they make requests of me.
  • When you’re tired you will often start to babble loudly and you have fallen asleep in your exersaucer.
  • You look at everything with wide eyes and usually a smile.
  • You have a knack for knowing when I am just about to sit down to yummy meal and demand to be fed yourself.
  • You made strange for the first time a couple of weeks ago when friends visited.  It may have been his hat.  You did it again the other morning when Daddy sat in front of you without his glasses on.
  • You got your first shots last night.  After the first one you recovered quickly, but the second one required a big hug and nursing to calm you down.

Mama

 

  • You’re tired and stir-crazy, but madly in love.
  • You are itching for change so you did a DIY ombre on your hair.  It wasn’t a disaster, but you wouldn’t mind a professional cut and colour…even though you have trust issues with hair dressers
  • You have shopping dreams.
  • You fantasize about a second car.
  • You’ve been wearing the same jogging pants since…Monday?
  • You suddenly enjoy painting your fingernails and feel a twinge of guilt every time you do it.
  • Reeses peanut butter cups are rocking your socks currently.  As well as the Ruffles ranch chip dip (AKA creamy crack).
  • Nearly everyday you wonder if you should throw in the towel and send the kids to school, but then something wonderful happens and you remember why you wanted to do this in the first place.   This is hard, but worth it.
  • Honestly, homeschooling three kids under 5 is a lot like “teaching” stoners with a wicked case of the munchies.
  • You’ve lost 7lbs of the overall 40lbs you’d like to lose by following old school Weight Watchers.  You feel better already.  You know it isn’t rocket science, but it gives you the structure you need.  Don’t give up on yourself.
  • You find it hard not to turn into a drill sergeant when teaching Poppy how to write letters.  She is good at it, but she needs to go at her own pace.  Don’t take the fun out of it.
  • You would love to find a sustainable way to make a little extra cash for the household each month.  Writing would be ideal, but you seem to have a case of writer’s block.
  • You are teaching yourself how to cook Indian food and enjoy learning how to layer all those decadent spices.
  • You’d like to re-learn French…if only you had appreciated the daily french lessons from grade 4 through 10.  Sigh.
  • You’d really like to get a large, meaningful, family tattoo on your shoulder, but feel a big twinge of guilt when you think about that as well.
  • You’re still learning that you get to do this homesteading, parenting, homeschooling gig however you feel is right and good.  You don’t need to paint yourself into a corner.
  • You’re getting better at trusting your gut when it comes to parenting.
  • You’ve decided to plan a once in a lifetime, balls to the wall family Disney World/Harry Potter trip in 2017 by doing the 52 week savings plan.  You’re ridiculously excited.
  • It took you the better part of a day to write this post (between all the mama jobs).

 

go gently + be wonderful

e.

Also posted in 52 portraits, family, homeschooling, life, Uncategorized, wellness | 2 Comments

the first day of homeschool

I would have to say that our first official day of homeschool was a great success.  Mike took the day off in advance as we wanted to do something special to kick it off.  As it turned out, our local homeschool group began organizing a field trip to a local farm for a little tour and pizza lunch.  It sounded perfect.

Though this is the year that Poppy would be starting kindergarten, it sort of felt like Silas’ first day as well.  And the beauty of homeschooling is that he will be just as involved as he is ready to be.  The morning was a perfectly cool and overcast.  They donned their new-ish clothes and mostly empty backpacks  for their traditional first day of school pictures as Mike and I pondered just how grown up they are both looking these days.

Then we were off to meet the other families at Magnificent Hill Farm.  We were happy to see a large gathering of both familiar and new faces there.  We started with a tour of the grounds and gardens which included, veggies, fruits, mushrooms, bees, rabbits, frogs, and turtle eggs.  We then crossed the road and picked apples for the goats and cows and visited the chickens, geese and pigs.  We captured a “class” photo in front of the sign and moved to the outdoor kitchen for tea, coffee, and juice while the kids headed into the gardens to harvest fresh food for the meal.

They made the best tasting pizzas in their outdoor kitchen and pizza oven as we all wondered why on Earth we didn’t also have an outdoor pizza oven.  The kids played, rolled, chased, laughed, asked questions, helped, and gobbled their fair share of pizza while the parents chatted about their plans for the year.

We were happy to see our kids, full of confidence, as they moved to the front to get a better view of things, play with the kids, and taste the things they were offered from the garden.  It warmed my heart when Poppy found a dandelion and made sure to find Silas to share it with.  They really do love each other wildly and it makes me so glad to know they will be together on this journey.

I won’t lie, when the day started, Poppy was determined that she would be going on a yellow school bus and to regular school (her only experience with school in The Magic School Bus), but on the car ride home she decided that our car and homeschool was her preference.

The next day, we traveled to meet with the surgeon who will be doing my c-section and we found out that our little family will officially grow to 5 on September 26th.  Despite the nearly two hour wait, the kids played with the toys and each other happily the entire time and the receptionist commented on just how wonderful they were to be so patient.

This morning, it seemed fitting to focus on the letter A as we headed out in the early morning to pick apples.  Our kitchen is scented with apples and cinnamon as they dry in the dehydrator, stew on the stove for applesauce, and beg me to make an apple crisp.

Yes.  Our wee little homeschool smells mighty divine today.

This feels right and good.

go gently + be wonderful

e.

Also posted in family, homeschooling, life | 9 Comments

celebrating our boy

On Sunday we celebrated the day, three years ago, that this wickedly handsome, crazy smart, fiercely intense, wildly imaginative, first class snuggler of a  little boy joined our family.

The day before the four of us went to the movies for some popcorn, Planes and lunch out.  The day of was a simple one with two sets of grandparents, a mama-made Very Hungry Caterpillar cake, temporary tattoos, and a Spiderman backpack filled with the superheros he loves so much.

Oh, these pictures and milestones that keep reminding us of just how those long days turn into short years.

And Motherhood breaks my heart once again.

go gently + be wonderful

e.

Also posted in earth's best sundays, family, life | 2 Comments

foraging

Perhaps it is because we miss having a garden (some may even call it guilt for not putting in a garden).  Or it could be that it appears to be a bumper year for all the things that grow.  Or perhaps still, it is the most delightful warm Autumnal weather we’ve been experiencing since the deadly July heatwave.  Whatever the reason, we find ourselves pulled into the woods and trails in search of berries this summer more than ever.

Of course, we made batch upon batch of tasty apple butter in our first summer here, but the jars that weren’t eaten right away went bad.  There were a number of things we could have done wrong.  We could have tightened the rings too much, I am quite certain I heated the lids more than once, I washed the jars, but didn’t sterilize them, and lastly, I didn’t “process” them in a boiling bath after sealing.  We will do it differently this year with the help of Ashley English’s book  (in fact, her whole Homemade Living Series is a wonderful resource) and some diligence.

In June we picked and froze 15 quarts of organic strawberries from Ellenberger Organic Farm and made a wonderfully large jar of garlic scape pesto from the large bag of scapes they graced us with.  I made it just like a basil pesto and we ate it over pasta with tomatoes.  With the leftover scapes, I blended them in the food processor with olive oil and froze them in ice cube trays for cooking throughout the year.  It made about 35 cubes.

We own about 4 acres, but are surrounded by about 80 more which is owned by a lovely couple who only camp here a few time per year.  I have fond memories of picking the abundant blueberries while we visited Mike’s home of Newfoundland, so we were quite excited to find a couple handfuls along the shore of the pond a week or two ago.  They were no comparison to Newfoundland’s berries, but it was a bit like finding treasure.

We have both pin cherries and choke cherries here as well, but this is the first year they have produced like this.  Chokecherries don’t taste like much when eaten off the branch and the seed apparently contains cyanide, but when made into a jelly, they remind me of childhood and fall.  We were able to pick 3 quarts from the two small bushes behind the house and made 12 125 ml jars plus a pint.  We went by the book this time and they all sealed successfully.  We have plenty more on the property so another batch or two may be in order.   I think they will make nice Christmas gifts this year.

While picking the chokecherries we noticed crazy amounts of blackberries (or what we assume are blackberries) growing fairly low to the ground on what we assume to be young bushes.  We are a little unsure now as we found two types while we foraged for our dessert yesterday afternoon.  In abundance, we found the smaller berries low to the ground, but then we happened upon some larger/taller bushes with the more characteristic shape and size of blackberries.  Both taste similar, and both types came off with the rasp inside (unlike a black or red raspberry where the rasp is left on the bush).  No matter how you slice it, they tasted decadent, still slightly warm, atop our Kawartha Daily french vanilla ice cream.  The kids were in their glory despite the mosquitoes and scratchy bracken that was often taller than them.  Berry loving Poppy was especially happy to pick to her heart’s content which she quietly did while Silas made sticks into swords, put rocks in his basket, and saved himself the tedious task of picking the berries himself and thieved from mama and daddy’s baskets.  We covered a lot of ground and spent over an hour for only a quart and a half, but it was fun and we figure we’ll be going out each night for our dessert until they dry up.

The apples look a bit small, but oh so abundant and just beginning to blush.  We’ve purchased a clamping apple peeler, corer, and slicer in preparation for our apple-filled fall.

So though we may not have a garden this year, and though we’ve only made it to one farmer’s market this season, we are still enjoying the fruits of the season and we’re ever so grateful that so much of it has been found in our own backyard.

go gently + be wonderful

e.

Also posted in earth's best sundays, ellenberger organic farm, family, frugal living, homeschooling, homesteading, life, our cabin, wellness | 1 Comment

the first days of school – guest blogging at so fawned

It is hard for me to believe, but after four and a half  years of talking about it, the day quickly approaches; the day we officially start our homeschooling adventure.  Of course, like most people (whether they realize it or not) we have been homeschooling since the beginning, but call me old fashioned because September 3rd, 2013 marks the official beginning for me.

Today, I share our some our reasons, goals, and personal educational history on So Fawned’s series entitled the First Days of School in which she has gathered other bloggers interested in sharing their stories and decisions which brought them to where they are in their own schooling and parenting journeys.  It should be fascinating.

I hope you enjoy my contribution and well as the other wonderful people who have and will share.

 

go gently + be wonderful

e.

Also posted in family, guest bloggers, homeschooling, life | 2 Comments

today, I am grateful for…

::source::

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  • rhubarb
  • all the tiny green apples on the apple trees
  • the front garden I almost mowed down because I had lost faith  is now full of black eyed susans, poppies, and even a peony
  • kawartha dairy chocolate milk
  • a new lawn mower with sharp blades and a powerful engine
  • the horseradish and raspberry plants we transplanted are alive and well
  • the raspberries we planted last year are throwing up new shoots and lots of promising berries…not to mention all the wild bushes we have
  • the sweet train set and table I found on Kijiji for less than half the price for Silas’s big birthday gift
  • copious amounts of organic garlic scape pesto and garlic scape/olive oil ice cubes for cooking
  • the super powerful and clean food processor i found for $10 at the local junk shop
  • 19 bags of yummy organic strawberries in our freezer
  • dutch oven bread
  • overcast days
  • baby kicks, punches, rolls and tumbles.
  • violets and pansies
  • dragonflies
  • the deer flies are here, which means we are in the final stages of bug season…we hope.
  • fans
  • listening to the kids play together
  • peeling an orange in one complete piece
  • payday
  • silas attempting to count everything he sees
  • our wood is piled and ready for this winter
  • a normal, healthy, uneventful pregnancy
  • my new coffee mug
  • daisies and black eyes susans in a mason jar
  • a thoughtful gift and card from mike’s boss
  • being rooster-free
  • poppy’s thoughtfulness and kindness towards her unborn baby sister
  • the baby name we have chosen
  • our new car
  • our new (to us) furniture (every home should have a recliner)
  • birdsong
  • songza
  • waffle cones
  • nail polish in fun colours
  • a tidied laundry space
  • a new place for the dog crate
  • our good health
  • glamour lake beach
  • the fact that poppy prefers to pee outside and does so with gusto
  • our outdoor clawfoot tub (one day it will be in our bathroom)
  • the kids’ love of fruit
  • my stand mixer
  • mike’s job
  • living in canada with our incredible healthcare and benefits
  • watching our kids play with other kids and feeling good about the job we’re doing
  • it’s thursday

 

Mike and I are grateful people.  That said, we are also easily overwhelmed in moments of worry, stress, or exhaustion.  We recently decided to react differently than normal when our old car refused to start.  I felt the instant reaction of fear, frustration, and anger bubble up, but managed to work my way to the other side of it.  I started by focusing on counting my blessings and then put into effect a no whining, no complaining policy for the day.  After I posted that, I got the wine glasses out and we all clinked glasses full of non-alcoholic cider at 8:30 am to mark the occasion.  It was a defining moment and I saw immediate benefits.  Also, after nearly 24 hours of not starting, our car, rather randomly, started up and never gave us another problem.

Gratitude is something I would like to add to our days and so this is the beginning.  I may not always share it here, but I would like to share it over our family meal, or in the darkness of our bedroom, or simply jot it down in a journal.  Wherever and however I may do it, I feel it is imperative for me to practice daily gratitude.

So I will.

If you feel so inclined, please leave a link or share  your own lists of gratitude in the comments.

 

go gently + be wonderful

 

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