Sunday, November 11, 2012

Remembrance Day

It made me sad today to see how few people came out to our little town's remembrance day parade and ceremony.  I understand that our lives are busy, and that people's time is precious.  I understand that the world wars happened "a long time ago", and that many kids go to assemblies in their schools this time of year.  I also know that I cry every year as they read out the names of the soldiers who have died, not to mention the millions of others whose lives have been forever changed because of battle.
I am not in favour of war.  I don't think that it is the way for us to solve our problems, and I believe that often those who stand to gain the most from battle, and those who stand to lose the most, are two separate groups.  Nonetheless, the sacrifice that soldiers, and their families make is incredible.  I  think of the thousands of mothers who have watched their sons, not too terribly much older than my boys, go off to war and never come back.  I think of those men and women in battle, cold and lonely and hurt, miles away from home.  I think of those people who came home from war, whole on the outside but irrevocably injured on the inside.
Regardless of your personal views of warfare, lets not forget the people who this day is in memory of.  This day is not about political protest.  It is not about international affairs, or oil prices, or  conspiracy theories. It is about people, and lost lives.  They are worth a few hours of your time on a November Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Listen to the musn'ts child...

Listen to the MUSTN'T's, child
Listen to the DON'Ts
Listen to the SHOULDN'Ts
Listen to the NEVER HAVEs
Then listen close to me,
ANYTHING can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Kitchen scale...

Apparently this is what happens when you leave a scale out around my house...

All life is an experiment.  The more experiments you make, the better.
                    ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Making Soap

The boys have been looking forward to the annual home school group Christmas Craft Sale for a while now.  Last year was the first year that they participated, and it was a highlight of the season.  They have been planning, pricing, designing, and crafting their little hearts out.  Today, we made a family project out of making soap.  The lye in it is a little too dangerous to use around little people, but they love helping out before and after that step.  I think that making your own soap is one of those crazy ``Ì wish I was born 100 years ago`` things that I like to do.  It likely ends up costing more than just running to  the store to pick up a bar of Ivory, but I do love it, and the end product is much nicer than store-bought.   Oh well, Jim tends to humour me and the kids do to.  Not to mention that it is a great seller at the craft sale!

This is candy cane soap scented with peppermint essential oil, and tomorrow we are going to make oatmeal, almond and honey soap.  Yum!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Charlie is a White Tail!!

I have gabbed here before about how much William and Charlie love Beavers and Cubs.  It is the only class / club / group that they have consistently enjoyed since they started.   William is loving Cubs this year (especially the camping trips) and Charlie is in Beavers.  It is a favorite evening out for both of them, and for me - a whole hour to myself!!!

Tonight was Charlie's investiture ceremony, where he traded in his Blue Tail for a White Tail.  No more fooling around - having a white tail comes with a lot of responsibility!!  Helping out the younger kids, knowing your promises and all of the rules for the opening and closing ceremonies, and being able to pat the special beavers head at the beginning of the hour respectfully rather than bonking him on the head.

Charlie was so proud of himself, and so was I.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Turtle Tally Volunteer Appreciation Day!

The boys and I have taken part in Turtle Tally for the past few years.  It is a research program through the Toronto Zoo aimed at gathering information to help preserve and protect native species of Ontario turtles.  (They also run Frog Watch).  Basically, every time you see a turtle, you log into their web site and record where and when you saw the turtle, what it was doing, photos if you were able to get them, etc.  When you register they send you some great identification sheets to help you figure out what kind of turtle you are seeing, and you can access their data on line as well.  The boys have loved being involved in 'real science', and have definitely developed a love of turtles.

Today Turtle Tally hosted their annual appreciation day at the Toronto Zoo.  We heard all about the results of the data gathered this year, saw some great photos, and learned a lot about he wild life that you can still find in our part of the province.

Friday, November 2, 2012


The boys love playing with the GPS, especially when there is a treasure at the end of their search.  Today we went with Friday Friends to the Guelph lake nature centre to do a little geocaching.  It unfortunately ended with some grumpy, cold kids (apparently we have been up way too late this week!!) but I thought I would share some links anyway.  This is such a great way to explore the woods with kids...

Official Geocaching Site

Ontario Geocaching Association

Geocaching Kids