I’m so weepy today. 

I was sad about Oklahoma last night too, but today my eyes just keep filling with tears.   I think about the families, and I think about the blessed workers, those on the ground making horrific discoveries and trying to hold it together so they can keep working.   And I cry.   

And then there’s this: How God Feels About Storms.

Thank you, Ann.   (again)

Coming Soon…

Today in Nova Scotia, it may be cold and rainy and grey, but the gratitude comes in the knowledge that ground is being prepped and nourished for spring planting in just a few weeks.

Before we know it, we will have days like this:



Buckets, sand, and summer frolic, coming soon to a beach near you.

Blessings on your day, friends.

Tip for Coring Apples

This little tidbit has been sitting in my drafts folder forEVAH.   In honour of the farmers markets re-opening, and the big bags of apples available from cold storage, I thought I’d finally post it.


Using my melon baller is WAY easier than a corer (which is both hard to use and hard to clean) and produces much less waste than with just a paring knife.

I love me a good kitchen tip!

Happy Tuesday to y’all!

Springtime Sunshine

It seems like I’ve been anticipating springtime sunshine for far too long.

You know the kind.  It’s the golden-glow type of sun that hits you square in the face first thing in the morning.  It casts a beautiful warm hue over everything, even though it’s still a tad frosty out there until late morning.

I LOVE this time of year.   buds

I actually truly appreciate all of the seasons, but because springtime marks the end of our period of relative hibernation, I get extra excited.   Springtime means that trees are budding, my veggies are sprouting (check out my garlic scapes reaching up and into fruition) and my laundry is making its way back out to the clothesline.   Line dried sheets anyone?  (Inhale….  Exhale….)   Ah.  Nothing like ’em.

garlic sprouts (2)

sheets on the line

I also see it as another time to restart.   For me, it happens in September with the new school year, and it happens again in January when we hang our new calendars.  But April always seems the perfect time to figure out where we are this year, and where to go for the next 8 weeks or so before we kick our reduced (but not school-free) summer schedules into effect.

sunshine through the window

So here’s to putting away the snow pants, bringing out the bikes, soaking up the vitality of the sun, and appreciating the newness of the season.

Happy Springtime, Everyone!

Tri-Season Update

Well, it’s no secret that I’ve been absent here for AGES.  I skipped over a good chunk of spring, all of summer and fall and now we are in full on WINTER mode.   I struggle to think back over what has happened these last eight months.   Much of our time has been spent caring for David’s Dad, who has been living with Alzheimer’s.   Aside from that, I rely on my photo folders to tweak my memory of the most special details.

Let’s just call this post a tri-seasonal catch-up, shall we?

  • We enjoyed some cultural performances.   There aren’t a huge number of acts here in Nova Scotia, but we do travel 3 hours to Moncton occasionally to catch someone great.   This was the year we went as a family to see Mercy Me – the kids’ first concert!  What a treat!  David sings a lot of their songs in his Christian band, Sons of Thunder (they play local churches and youth rallies), so seeing Bart and the Gang again was a total delight.  Moriah Peters opened for them.  If you have a chance to see her live, please do.  Wonderful message and the voice of an angel.

Eden, Caleb and Gabe – waiting for Mercy Me to take the stage

A year end performance by the Junior Choir (yes, that’s my girl doing some ninja moves in the front row.)

Gabe participated in his first public performance as a violin student at Lunenburg’s Folk Harbour Festival.

Gabe enjoying his fancy dinner pre-symphony dinner with his Mom (a celebration of turning 12)

Our annual visit to Shakespeare by the Sea – this year a hilarious parody of Alice in Wonderland

We enjoyed a fabulous play by the Chester Playhouse children’s camp – Charlotte’s Web

  • We bought a trailer!   For two years, we narrowed the criteria to what we were looking for and casually kept one eyeball on kijiji for the perfect trailer at the perfect price.   Then we saw it and jumped at the chance.   It was the best thing we could have done for our family.  Like many families, we go.non.stop.   With David’s two jobs and my business and homeschooling and other responsibilities, a lack of DOWN TIME together was our biggest issue.  Put simply, we desperately wanted a way to find more time as a family, away from the non-stop to do list and responsibilities of home.  This trailer was it!

Breakfast Burritos on our first morning in the trailer (affectionately called ‘Cara’ – short for Caravan).

A little reading on a beautiful June afternoon.

Caleb after a night in the hammock at Risser’s Beach Provincial Park. 

This picture epitomizes my love of camping:  sunshine, ocean view, wet towels on the line,

bikes parked after a ride, a child reading a book, and a hammock begging me to nap.

  • We travelled!    I drove to Ontario with the kids for a couple weeks, while David stayed behind and manned the fort.  We visited family, took in museums, soaked up the incredible summer heat.   A fantastic trip!

Lake Muskoka Frolic

An affectionate goodbye kiss bite, for Caleb from my nephew, Wyatt

Yay for Birthday Monkeys and tissue paper

Some steel drum playing at the Toronto Science Centre – Caleb and Eden with Auntie Shiloh and Uncle Damian

A wonderful visit with Great Poppa – just hangin’ out in his apple tree.

A beautiful hike with Gran.

Never a dull moment.  (I love this one!)

  • We said goodbye!    My beloved Nan made it to her final destination this fall, currently reunited with her parents and all her siblings at the feet of Heavenly Father.   It was hard to say goodbye, and terribly difficult to parent through the loss of ‘Great Nan,’ but the greatest emotion is JOY — joy of life, joy of her love of Jesus, joy of what’s to come.


  • We said ‘hello’!    Hello to Gabe’s new life in Christ!   He was baptized at Long Lake Camp, September 16, 2012.  What a special day!


  • We adventured!  We tried new things, went new places and spent wonderful family time together.  We laughed a LOT.

adventure kayak

adventure capes 4












  IMG_3100 IMG_2432 Halloween Cousins IMG_3842 IMG_2672

Looking back at this post, I guess it only makes sense that I haven’t been here much.  The decline in posts was in direct proportion to the time spent away from home and busy with other things this year.

Living life.   Loving life.  Trying to make the most of all of it, even when we’re dressed as Pirates.

Piratey Kiss

Up next:  A Christmas Update.  (Hopefully I’ll get around to posting it before Spring!)  🙂

It has been an embarrassingly long time since I posted anything.  So long, in fact, that I am SHOCKED at how much time has actually passed.   I do have a catch-up post in the hopper, at which I have been picking away.   There’s a lot to share!  I promise I will post it sometime soon.

In the meantime, I wanted to share this beautiful post from my friend, Edie.   Though I have yet to meet her in person, I so treasure the beauty and honesty of her words.

Please read about her poverty, and ours.

And thank you, Edie.  xo


Homeschool Reason # 395: Learning Happens

It’s Monday.

Today is also the tax deadline day and I’ve barely made a dent.

I also have a client awaiting my recommendation on their bathroom overhaul.    All my other due dates are a week or two out, but this one is pressing on the back of my brain.

OH!  And I’ve got these children to teach.

Seems like the perfect makings of a Funday Monday!

Actually, the boys requested it and I agreed, more for my own necessity than their desire to do get out the paints, make some things for their Dad’s birthday tomorrow, and play outside.

Whatever.  It works for me!

Well, after an hour or so, I overheard Caleb chatting about The Pinocchians (as in the wooden puppet), and then a bunch of giggles.  I heard Gabe say, “No Caleb, you mean the The Phoenicians.”  I pulled myself away from my reco, peeked around the corner and saw this:

Yes, my boys were doing a history lesson!  All on their own!  After I told them they could take the day off from their bookwork, and just have the morning to make crafts and play!

Sure, there are times when bookwork feels like a task to them.  But then there are other days when they just want to fill their brains.  I LOVE the flexibilty of homeschooling.   You see, learning happens as we live.  It’s not like we only learn at a set time of day, and a set day of the week.

They learn when they are open to learning.

Apparently that means today.

Funday Monday!

Have a fantastic week, everyone!

Maturity Seeps In

We work hard as parents and as Christian homeschoolers.

We get up early, we plan, we prepare the nourishment and wash the clothes.

We start our days with snuggles and kisses.

We also assign household tasks to the kids so they learn to participate in the functioning of the family.

We demonstrate how to fold, how to scrub and how to prepare a good omelet.

We open our devotionals and bibles and kick off our morning together.

We read to them.

We give a math lesson.

We encourage.

We wipe tears and explain that it’s more than okay to have mistakes on the page — it’s how we learn.

We crack the history books and read and discuss and discover.

We put aside our ‘me time’ for them.  Constantly.

We try our best to lead by example.

We attempt to develop Godly character through tough lessons.



But we falter more frequently than we’d like.

We become frustrated.

We marvel at the fact that telling them the same thing 2563 times can still have no impact.

We beg them to stop. fighting. with each other.

To pick up their messes.

To do things for someone else, just because.

We work HARD to keep up with all of this parenting business.

We wonder at times if it’s worthwhile to put in this constant effort into child rearing.

We think about how much easier it would be if we just lived the ‘boys will be boys’ and ‘kids ‘ll be kids’ sentiment, and just accept it all.

We wonder about all of it… Is it really worth such diligence?

There are times we raise our voices LOUD, sounding ugly and mean.

We are surprised by our own anger.

We immediately regret.

We pray.



And then we close the door on the day.

And try again tomorrow.



And then, there are little glimpses, moments of His grace.

They turn the frustration into relief.

They really ARE getting it!

One does someone else’s chores without being asked.

Another plays imaginatively and happily with a sibling.

The eldest puts aside his own free time and offers to read a favourite book to his little sister, just because.

The tough work of parenting,

the encouragement, the tough love, the diligence, the persistence, persistence, persistence…

all work as building blocks in the formation of character.

We’re not raising children.  We’re raising the Godly, mature, responsible, respectful adults they will eventually become.

Keep on parenting!

Gosling Input: Spring Cleaning

Hey!  Have you seen the Homeschool Ryan Gosling site yet?  So hilarious.  Some of these pictures just hit far too close to home to not end up laughing hysterically.  I’m not a big fan of his, but I must admit, some of this is funny stuff!

I spent the entire day today — as in ALL of it, cleaning the boys’ room.  It … well… smelled like BOY and needed a serious overhaul.  We cleaned the closet and rearranged the umpteen-thousand books.   We didn’t even do one teensy weensy ounce of book work today.  I had the intention to clean their room until 10am, but well, it didn’t exactly play out in that way.   Sidetracked spring cleaning days offer another great reason to homeschool year round.  We can do this sort of thing when the fancy strikes.  And I have been feeling seriously neglectful in the house cleaning department these days.  Like REALLY.   I have just been dealing these last several months, and that has meant complete ignorance of the less critical areas of home.  Until today.

Oh, I should mention that I found part of the nasty boys smell.  It was a beautiful concoction of rotting apple core and garbage can pee from a poor sleepwalker.


I wish I was kidding.  That garbage can was just… eeeew.  I had to break out the big guns to clean that puppy.  Lestoil trumped my usual vinegar and baking soda cleaning arsenal.

We worked away all day.  At the end of it:

– the room was tidied, vacuumed and dusted

– the shelves were purged of the “collector’s items” (that really were Caleb’s upcycled packaging from the blue bag)

– there was one long discussion about ‘necessities,’ the ‘special’ things and ‘the rest’

– the trim was as clean as it was going to get without painting (how are they SO hard on trim?)

– I had a half garbage bag of crap to toss, about a dozen clothing items to donate, and a whopping four, yes, FOUR books to pass along.

All were duplicates.

Oh wait!  Make that five books.  There was a Spiderman picture search book in there that I’m sure was never cracked.  It was okay to part with that one.

– I rejigged the “it was supposed to be temporary” shelving on the landing so I could squeeze in Caleb’s new to him encyclopedia collection… (which, by the way he said he would take if the house was burning and he only had 5 things to take with him).    Did you know that 24 great big heavy books count as one item when you’re talking about fire-gathering?   (Yes, this little gem came out of our ‘special items’ discussion.)

– The hallway outside?  Not quite ‘there’ but coming along…

Anyway, dear Ryan had something to say about my day:

Haha!!  Hilarious!  (Only ’cause it’s true.)

The boys will sleep tonight in the freshness of clean.  Ahhhh…

Happy Weekend Everyone!


What School Looks Like Today: Spring Schoolin’

Nothing says “SPRING” quite like taking the books outside,

or rigging a pulley to haul your books up your favourite oak,

so you can hunker down in the blue-sky-sunshine to write,

and do a little reading aloud about Samuel de Champlain with your Brotherly BFF.

It’s all but a glimpse of today’s gratitude.

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