Friday, 31 July 2009

Alice in Wonderland and Johnny!!

One of my all-time favourite stories is Alice in Wonderland and I do have something like a school-girl crush on Johnny Depp... so I am soooo looking forward to watching this next March. I always love Tim Burton's work too.

Last week of Wreck this Journal

This is the last Friday for the book club of Wreck this Journal at the Next Chapter, hosted by the wonderful Jamie Riddler...I think all of us wreckers are sad today to see it end but the good news is, we'll find out today what the next book is, and that we can continue on with the wreckage on our own!!

Here are a few pictures for this last week:

Wreck this journal ~ last week

We did two very short videos this morning, first is dropping the journal from our kitchen door to the backyard and the second is Celeste swinging the journal wildly and letting it hit the walls! Fun start of the day!!

If you are interested in seeing all the wreckage my family and I had fun doing these past two months check out : my wrecking posts!.

The creativity through wrecking is amazing to see. You can check out all the other wreckers at Next Chapter book club: Wreck this Journal book club.

So...what did I take away from spending the last 2 months wrecking this journal??

For me, it has been all about fun and letting my creativity out to play! That wrecking, as silly as it was, reminded me how important it is to take the time for myself to create, let my silliness come out, and to share that side of me with my kids (and even the neighborhood kids!). I also want to make sure that I keep going, by keeping an art journal. I am hoping to keep my word and be able to share with you bits of it over the coming months.

Finally, if you are one of the happy wreckers, just want to say one last hello and how fun it was to visit all your blogs each friday and see your wonderful creativity. Thank you, you were all inspiring!

Calendar quilt update ~ July

july block for calendar quilt

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Lego Houses by Adrienne

Adrienne loves building houses with Legos. My favourite is the low one that she created herself.

Lego houses by Adrienne

Fun at the Splashpad!

We met a new-to-us homeschool group at a local splashpad on Monday. It was a lot of fun for everyone and perfect weather. We are all looking forward to the next activities planned by this group.


Monday, 27 July 2009

Book Sharing Monday

This week I would like to share a book for us parents, because I am about half way through this wonderful book: "Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder" by Richard Louv. Many of the points brought up I was aware and completely agree that nature should be an important part of our children and our lives.
I would highly recommend this book to all parents. If you can find a copy at your library, check it out!

You can click on the image of the book above to be linked to the author's website. Check out the resource guide for extra reading lists and suggested activities for parents and children.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Hands-on science for high school

If you are looking for a high-school level hands-on science courses, you might want to check LaPaz Home Learning's new blog called "Fieldwork".
Here is a quick explanation from her blog:

"Fieldwork is a blog created for the purpose of sharing hands-on science courses I have developed or am in the process of developing for my children in our home school setting....
The first course is a full year, high school-level marine biology/oceanography course."

She has many links as well as her outline for her course, all related to marine biology or the study of the ocean. Great stuff!!

Here is the link:


Friday, 24 July 2009

Wreck this journal - week 8

Another great week of wrecking! This has been so much fun to do with my kids (and the neighborhood kids) these last few weeks. Here is the wrecking this week:
The handprint page, all the kids took turns covering their fingers with markers and pressing them down on the right page and I did my handprint on the left, later on with paint.
wtj week 8 handprints

This is another page done with the kids on the street, a few ugly drawings, mostly barf, and poo! Oh and one bird!

wtj week 8 ugly drawings

I ended up doodling on this page while watching a movie, because I just never remembered to grab this page while I was on the phone!

wtj week 8 envelope

My fruit sticker page is pretty much done:

wtj week 8 fruit stickers

I don't read the newspaper, so this is from the flyers we get once a week:

wtj week 8 newspaper

Tracing the things in my purse, pretty practical stuff...

wtj week 8 in my purse

These are prints from strawberries and cherries:

wtj week 8 veggie/fruit prints

This page is a work in progress, collecting things I find outside or in the house:

wtj week 8 found things

This page is for negative comments. I wasn't sure what to write at first, but then it just started coming out of me..I guess this page could be a type of therapy. These are some of the comments that my mother told me over and over while I was growing up...

wtj week 8 negative comments

Back to fun stuff...Writing backwards!!
A couple of the kids on the street wanting to try writing their names backward, so the right page is theirs, and the left is mine.

wtj week 8 backward

How was your wrecking this week?

Don't forget to check all the wrecking gone on at The Next Chapter!

Thursday, 23 July 2009

I call it a carrot...

Others people might call it a bribe..but I prefer to call it a carrot!

Andre loves playing video games, absolutely loves it, so much that I have often worried about him. In moderation, he seems to be fine with it, but having free range doesn't work for him, it affects his mood and ability to control his temper afterwards, not to mention that he would choose that over playing outside or playing with his sisters or friends.

Anyway, here is what the carrot is: he earns time on the Wii by reading books. He enjoys reading anyway, so it's not a torture for him...but he has to read a book to earn a few hours. If he wants more time, then he needs to go and read more. A short book, such as the Magic Tree House series, only earn him one hour. The much longer novels, like Silverwing, earn him an afternoon, which we cut up in blocks of two hours maximum.

We started this at the beginning of July and it has worked well for us so far. I have an ongoing list of the books he has read and that he is currently reading at the top of my blog.

Do you ever use carrots??

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

A bit of baking...and an update on our homeschooling

Adrienne is at camp this week with the Girl Guides, learning how to canoe. I hope she is having a great time...
Andre and I talked about what he would like to do this week, while his older sister was away. One thing he picked was to bake. I guess this is usually Adrienne's thing, so with her gone, he felt he had the kitchen to himself! He made a list of what he wanted to bake, and even included a couple of drinks to try. He made some root beer floats, and is planning on trying an ice-cream soda too (vanilla syrup, vanilla ice-cream, and club soda).
Yesterday, he baked a batch of German cookies. We call them German cookies, but they are really Pfeffernusse. They are his favourite.

He announced a few days ago that he really really really would like to come back to homeschooling. After trying out public school this past year, he seemed to be the one that enjoyed the system the best, with Celeste in close second. Adrienne never seemed to take to the school environment, and we knew after the first month that she would be coming back home. She started asking after the second day of school, but we all had agreed that they each would stay the whole school year. Anyway, Andre, I thought, would be going back and staying in public school. Now, he tells me that he wants to home school. I have found myself saying over this past school year that if I thought only of their education, all my children would be coming back to homeschooling. The level of education is low in the system, and supplementing after-school isn't realistic. By the time my children came back from school, they were drained, cranky, and needed to just relax.
The issue at hand is that Andre, over the three years that we home schooled, was very difficult. If he didn't want to do something or, if after explaining many different ways, he still wouldn't understand a lesson, he would get frustrated and angry. Many hours during our schoolwork were spent disciplining him, dealing with temper tantrums, books thrown, pages ripped, full out of control behaviour. I had to deal with these issues, at the expense of Adrienne, who would have to wait for me or do her work independently.
I would love to have him at home, but I don't want to repeat these episodes. What I have told him is this: he needs to make a presentation to my husband and myself or write a letter, explaining why he wants to home school and what he is willing and prepare to do to contribute to a peaceful learning environment. I also told him that if he does home school again, I might have to think of writing a contract for him.
He has until August 15 to present or give me his letter. That is when I notify the school board of my intent to home school.
I am not asking whoever is reading this to give me your advice, unless you want to..this will be our family's decision, but I find, I think like many out there in the blogging world, that putting these words down help me process my thoughts.
Another tidbit of information: Andre had never, not once, had an issue at school with his temper. Which is another reason why I thought that maybe the school system was better suited for him.
Celeste is going to attend public school this year, for her SK year. She is going into the french immersion program. It is still only every other day. She likes going to school, but if you ask her, she will tell you that in grade 1 she will be home schooled! I take it one year at a time with our decision to home school, and it has worked well for us that way. I always try to think of my kids' best interest. Now that I have spent one year with them in school, I feel better suited to know our options.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Book Sharing Monday

"Mightier than the Sword" is a collection of short stories collected and told by Jane Yolen. At the bottom of the front cover you can read "World Folktales for Strong Boys". Andre enjoys this book very much, each story is a bit different but with the same type of message...muscles don't always help! My daughters liked these stories as well...

"It is not only the sword that wields power, but also the mind, the heart, and the will"

Saturday, 18 July 2009


at the park

We have had Orion, our husky puppy, for over one month now.

We all have fallen in love and help take care of him. I am glad we waited until Celeste was five, because she can even help out and take him outside when needed.

Orion has started obedience classes and had lots to say during the first meeting! We have been doing our homework every day with him and he is learning fast.
Having had huskies before, I can't help but compare him to our other two, Orion is much more calmer than Alika and Naomi ever were. He listens better too, but then it might have to do with us too :)

I take him for two long walks every day, one in the morning around 6 and again in the evening. Each walk is at least 45 minutes, the evening one is usually longer and the kids come with me.

We really enjoy walking along one particular path, near the train tracks and the farmer fields. Here are a few photos I took last night from our walk..I even used one of my favourites pics for a new banner to this blog. Hope you enjoy the pictures!

from our walks with Orion

farm fields


walking the dog

my goofy kids

Friday, 17 July 2009

Wreck this journal - week 7

I received Bev's splatter page!! I really enjoyed being part of the swap and will be adding this page to my journal:

I brought my journal outside a few days ago and the neighborhood kids loved looking through the whole thing! I told them they could do some of the wrecking too and they loved every minute of it.

I didn't take photos of the kids, but here are a few of the pages they worked on.

They also took turns throwing it against the brick wall. It was a ton of fun for everyone!
(I do wonder what stories they told their parents when they got home...!!)

wtj week 7

wtj week 7

One girl even wrapped it in toilet paper, and I had to wait 2 days to unwrap it!

wtj week 7

Adrienne and I had fun smearing some of our breakfast on this page! Peanut butter, nutella, banana, and a bit of berry juice!

wtj week 7

I started working on the stain log, added a little bit of my daughter's chewy candy, which ended up sticking really good to the other page and ripping a bit of it.

wtj week 7

wtj week 7

Visit all the other wreckers here.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Spring Blooms Mini-Quilt Swap ~ It's here!!

All the way from Australia (Adrienne's favourite country) and it's beautiful!!!

I have to leave these photos in large because this quilt is just absolutely gorgeous. Tracey (my swap partner) even sent a great Australian Home Sewn magazine with it! I am so spoiled!

Spring Mini Quilt has arrived!!!

and...look how perfect it goes with the green in my daughters' room!

it's here! my gorgeous spring blooms mini quilt

Adrienne loves it! She keeps asking me if she can participate in the next swap!

mini spring blooms mini quilt
Tracey, if you are reading this...I can't say thank you enough!!!

Monday, 13 July 2009

Book Sharing Monday

I am sharing with you two "how-to-draw" books today with you. The kids and I have been taking part of Sketch Tuesday and this week's assignment was to draw an insect. These two books helped us.
"Ralph Masiello's Bug Drawing Book" is the book on the left in the photo. This is exactly the type of drawing book that my children enjoy, with easy step by step instructions. They do not enjoy yet the more complicated drawing books, so this is perfect. Each page also includes a little bonus instruction. For example, the butterfly page also teaches you how to draw a flower.
The second book in the photo is called "How to Draw Insects" by Barbara Soloff Levy and is part of the Dover Publications. At a very affordable price, this is another easy to follow drawing instructions book.
Both books have more titles and themes in their series, you can visit Ralph Masiello's site or Dover Publications .
You can sign up at Dover Publications for weekly free samples sent by e-mail. These are great for previewing some of their titles, and you can print these samples as well.

Link for the juice pouches bag!

A few have asked for the instructions, I followed roughly the ones on this link:

Juice Pouches Purse

I made sure to wash the pouches, after cutting them at the bottom, and dry them completely. I sewed with my machine and it worked fine.
Have fun and let me know if you try it out!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

12 years ago...

Adrienne at 3 months

I became a mother when my first baby was born!

Adrienne is 12 years old today, July 12.

Happy Birthday!

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Recycled juice pouches bag

I wanted to try making this type of bag. It was pretty easy to make, not sure how strong it will be..Celeste has claimed this one as her own already!

juice pouches bag
Another way to re-use what we have!!

Placemat Swap!

I participated in a placemat swap through flickr along with 85 other quilters!

Here is the quilt I sent to Valerie, who lives in Ontario too:


red and white placemat for swap sent


back side of placemat

I received from her an adorable house placemat, along with 2 little coasters and some fabric from Ikea!!! I ♥ everything she sent me!

my placemat is here!

other side of the placemat

ikea fabric


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