Friday, June 26, 2009


I have been talking a little bit with another homeschooling Mom lately about blogs...what we get out of reading them, writing them, what difficulties we have run into...It has really gotten me thinking about it all. I started this blog a few months ago now mostly as a way of keeping friends and family up to date on what the boys and I have been doing, and as a way to track from day to day how we are spending (some of) our time. I like the fact that years from now, William and Charlie (and I) will be able to look back on these photos and posts and be reminded of these wonderful years. I also love reading other people's blogs. I love getting a sneak peek at how other families are spending their time. I get ideas from them, inspiration, encouragement, and a few laughs. The odd time, I feel a bit discouraged. I look at another Mom's posts and make the mistake of thinking that what I see on her blog is real life. I wonder how they have managed to make home baked bread when my kids had Kraft Dinner for lunch. I marvel at their knitting and sewing projects, and I cannot fathom how they find the time to do it all, when I cannot even keep up with the mountains of laundry. I look at their lovely artistic, organic gardens, and compare them to my own weed-strangled get the idea.

But I remember, quickly enough, that my blog is not a representation of our real life, either. The days when I post a recipe, it is most likely because I am trying to compensate with Banana Bread for the chocolate cake that we ate for breakfast. That some days I post a quote because we really didn't do all that much ourselves that day. That I take photos outside or with a tight focus because of the horrendous mess in the house..... Blog posts are a part of the whole, not the whole picture.

I hope that anyone reading this blog will be encouraged, inspired, entertained, or just plain distracted from the work that they are really supposed to be doing. Just as we are all fond of saying how different each child is, we really, as Moms, need to give ourselves the same room. Each family is also different. So is each set of circumstances. Blogging is not about a way of comparing. It is not about judging others, or about leaving myself and my family open to being judged (which is why I get to moderate the comments!!) So, as the saying goes, take what is useful to you, and leave the rest. 'Cause really, life is too short to waste time reading something that makes you miserable.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Merry Month of June

What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade.

~Gertrude Jekyll

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Another result of our fabulous day at Robin In The Hood Medieval Fair a few weeks ago was a leather craft event pulled together by one of the Moms in our homeschool group. The kids got to cut and smooth the edges of their leather...

Stamp it with a design of their choice (scorpions and skulls, of course...)

Punch in the snaps...
And voila...super-cool wrist bands!!!

Who says that boys aren't into crafts!!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Chess anyone?

William has really been enjoying Checkers lately, and even brought his board on our camping trip! Today, he wanted to up the stakes a bit and give Chess a try.....So we both sat down at the kitchen table and I tried to remember what all of those little chess pieces do! It has been years since I have played, and I certainly wasn't very good then. Still, there is nothing like a child's enthusiasm for something to get you excited about it, too. And, wonderfully, when I logged on to our homeschool group message board this evening, another mom had posted asking about any interest in starting a kids chess / checkers club in the fall - YEAH! I guess some things were just meant to be.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


YEAH Camping!!! This was our first camping weekend of the summer, and although it was somewhat wet (!!!) for part of it, anyway, we all had a great time. We headed out to the Elora Conservation Area, and met up with a few other families who had young kids for a great weekend.
Friday evening the kids enjoyed a visit to the beach, then back to the camp site for (what else?) marshmallows.
Friday night got a little wet, and by Saturday morning our lovely little piece of nature had turned into a big mud puddle. I have to say that it was rather fun sliding around in the rain and the mud, but after a few hours we admitted that spending the whole day in the rain and the muck with 5 kids aged 6 and under might not be all that much fun, so we headed into town to a friends house until the weather cleared.

Sunday morning we celebrated Father's day with cake...(Carter, Charlie, Max, William and Tory)

Then off to the quarry for a swim in the sun.

The water was clear and blue, and very cold!

All in all, a successful weekend. I can't wait to get out again this summer...maybe to Tobermory??

Thursday, June 18, 2009

White Rock Ostrich Farm

Have you ever seen an ostrich up close? They really are an odd bird, I must say. We spent the morning with our home school group at the White Rock Ostrich Farm, and it was quite an experience!! As well as a wagon-ride tour of the farm (always a hit with my boys) we got to meet the breeding ostriches, feed the 'teenagers' and even peek at a 2 day-old chick!!

Did you know that an ostrich has a brain about the size of a walnut? That they can live to be up to 75 years old? That they in fact do not bury their heads in the sand?

Did you know that one ostrich egg is about equal in size to 24 chicken eggs? That their legs are strong enough to kill a lion with a single kick to the head? That they are the largest non-flying bird, and that they have no problem going outside during the winter on a -20 degree Celsius day in Southern Ontario?

Think you know enough about ostriches yet?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ice Cream!!

As a special treat, the boys made their own ice cream sundaes for desert tonight - I couldn't resist sharing a picture of William's masterpiece. Any guesses at what time they came down from the sugar high enough to actually go to sleep?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Humming Birds

We have really been enjoying watching the hummingbirds come to the feeder that hangs just outside our living room window lately. In fact, it is rare that any conversation taking place in that general part of the house is not interrupted by the excited cry of "Hummingbird!!!" at least a time or two. So you can imagine how sad we all were when we found one of our little friends lying on the deck by the window. Our best guess (from the odd angle of its neck!!) is that it flew a little too fast into the window. As sad as we all were, though, it was neat to be able to look at a real hummingbird up close - the photos in books just to not do them justice. Not only that, but my kids now know what iridescent means! We buried it, of course, on the top of our hill beside the robin we found last year, and Sydney, our beloved family cat who dies a few years ago. William marked the spot with a beautiful white stone, and plans to visit it often.
PS - Jim came home today with some beautiful window stickers that look like butterflies - a nice non-scary way to hopefully warn our other little hummers that there is in fact a window there!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Charlie's (Early) Birthday!!

Happy Day-Before-Your-Fourth-Birthday, Charlie!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Weapons Day

Today we got together with the homeschool group for a Weapons Day. I know, this is not really the kind of thing that is considered appropriate education for children (certainly not politically correct!) but what the heck...the kids are still worked up after the medieval festival, and are making swords and shields out of anything they get their hands on, anyway. Why not do it as a group? What a fabulous day!! Not only did about 25 kids spend 2 hours chasing each other around the field with foam swords, but some families brought more exciting things to share. Check out this cool catapult (below) that launches water balloons (looks like Jim is going to have a project to work on soon!) Another mother who has a Black Belt in Judo (I think) brought in her Samurai sword and few other weapons. There were bows and arrows, a cross bow, and a civil war rifle. And only one tiny complaint from a grandmother whose grand kids were also playing in the park that day.....

Thursday, June 11, 2009


From The Bed Book

Most Beds are Beds
For sleeping or resting,
But the best Beds are much
More interesting!

Not just a white little
Tucked-in-tight little
Nighty-night little
Turn-out-the-light little

A Bed for Fishing,
A Bed for Cats
A Bed for a Troupe of Acrobats.

The right sort of Bed
(If you see what I mean)
Is a Bed that might
Be a Submarine

Nosing through water
Clear and green,
Silver and glittery
As a sardine.

Or a Jet-Propelled Bed
For visiting Mars
With mosquito nets
For the shooting stars.....

By: Sylvia Plath

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hilton Falls

I know that I could have given you an idea of our day in far fewer than nine photos, but what the heck - it was a lovely day, and since you couldn't be there with us.....These were taken at Hilton Falls just outside of Milton, Ontario. If you live int he area, it is a beautiful hike for little ones - just about 2 km in to the falls, then a great place for a stop, and then 2km back out - perfect! You can also wrestle a stroller along the path without too much trouble, if you need to.

William, upon getting back from exploring the bottom of the falls: Boy, an I wet!
Jo: How was it?
William: Absolutely Amazing!!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Games Day

Outside...grey, rainy, cold and miserable. Inside...GAMES!!!! My confession is that we didn't even get out of our PJs until well into the afternoon today (Boy, I love homeschooling!!) After William's introduction to Checkers at the Robin In The Hood Medieval festival, he has been challenging everyone who crosses his path to a game. That, of course, meant breaking open the games cupboard, and you know how that goes....Snakes and Ladders, Battleship, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Mousetrap (Oh, how I hate Mousetrap!!) and some really fun wooden balancing games. Board games really are a whole lot of fun, especially now that William at least has the attention span to stick with a game and to actually, on occasion, follow the rules that everyone else is used to. As for Charlie, what could be more fun than a whole bunch of little pieces to mix up?

Monday, June 8, 2009

It has finally happened....

Please, my friends, take pity on me. It has finally happened....the boys have discovered the 'copying game'. Basically, this spells the end of my sanity until they (hopefully?) outgrow this stage. Until then, you can most likely find me hiding in the bathroom with the door locked. Here is a brief snippet of conversation from our home today:

Charlie: Mommy, what is for breakfast?
William: Mommy, what is for breakfast?
C: I want pancakes.
W: I want pancakes.
C: Stop copying me!
W: Stop copying me!
C: Stop it!!
W: Stop it!!
C: Mommy, William is copying me!!
W: Mommy, William is copying me!!
C: William!!!!!
W: William!!!!
C: MOMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You get the picture. Hey, you are all interested in kids...anyone want to come over and play today?? Please????

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Hitting The Water!!

Yeah...SUMMER!!! The whole family hit the water for the first time this season, to try out my husband Jim's (latest) boat. For any of you who don't know Jim personally, let me give you a bit of history. First of all, we do not have enough money to own a boat. Secondly, that has never stopped Jim before...and thirdly he happens to be an expert bargain finder. So beginning last year, Jim set out to get himself a boat. Through Kijiji, free cycle, garage sales, dumpster hunting, numerous buy-and-selling, some paint and a little bit of hot glue, he has managed to pull together a good sized, very seaworthy fishing boat for less than $2000. Yeah!! So yesterday we headed out to Lake Bellewood for a little fishing.

And the best part of having the boat, of course, is that Jim and the boys enjoy fishing far more than I do. So today, as I write this, the house is wonderfully quiet, and I know that my family will be home from their second excursion of the season only in time for a late dinner and an early bedtime. Sweet!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Robin In The Hood

Today we were off to the Robin In The Hood Medieval Festival in Elmira with our homeschool group. Have I said how much I love our homeschool group?!?! I can't imagine how families do this without a good support network...but I digress. This shot is our group banner, made up of the crests that each family made (ours is in the lower right corner).

William and Charlie helped me to sew their doublets, and I must say that they turned out alright for a mother who doesn't sew!

We learned about archery, although the kids were not allowed to try it, which was disappointing. Wouldn't you love to get your hands on all of those people who have gotten rich out of ridiculous law suits that are the reason everyone now is so worried about liability??

William tried his hand at checkers (and realized that he needs to practice a little more...) but he was beaten by a good friend, so he didn't seem to mind.

We met some blacksmiths and learned about metal craft, and also about leather. Did you know that by the time knights were all suited up, they were often wearing more than 150 pounds of leather armour, chain mail, and armor?

And this last picture, well, was just too darn cute not to post.

Have a great weekend, everyone!