Thursday, 31 October 2013

Changing My Perspective

I have said before that I did not have the perfect childhood.  In truth, my parents are amazingly loving people.  And most people don't know how much they drink.  Or that as a teenager I felt I spent more time watching over them than they did over me.

I am not proud of the fact that as that same teenager, I felt that they really didn't have much power over me or my actions, since there were few things I could do that would be as bad as what they did to themselves (and me and my brother) every time they went back to the liquor store.  I spent a lot of time getting acquainted with the bottle myself.  Almost a decade of my life were given to that.

My parents were not physically abusive.  They were never verbally abusive towards me.  They always showed us how much they loved us.  They just drank.  ALOT.

And since finding my husband, and having my own children, God has helped me look back with a different perspective.  Yes, my parents have addiction issues.  Yes, I made some really stupid decisions.  But I have been made new.

And you know what?  My parents were continuing the cycle that they were brought up in.  Except theirs included abuse I'm sure I can't even imagine.  And abandonment.  And so many life changing events.  So I can choose to look back in anger over all the things I had to endure.  Or I can look back in appreciation for the amazing, loving people who were strong enough to break that cycle.  I can appreciate that I had the privilege of receiving their unconditional love.  And I can thank God that they turned out the way they did in spite of their circumstances. 

And I can continue that legacy, the one of unconditional love, to my children.  And I can give all of my bad decisions, all of my resentment, and all of my guilt over to God, who also loves me unconditionally.  And he can use my lessons to teach someone else.  And God willing, I can let him use me to show that love to someone who needs it as bad as I did back then.

Please, if you need prayer, I would be so honored to lift you up to God, just leave it for me in the comment section.  I know what it is like to wonder where He is in all of this.  But please rest in the fact that He is there, and if you let him, he will turn it around for you.  He loves you, no matter your circumstances. 

Remembrance Day

I know that this might be a little early for some people, but I ordered this great scholastic book a couple weeks ago at a book fair, and received it today.  It is called "A Poppy Is To Remember", by Heather Patterson and Ron Lightburn.  It introduces the subject of the war gently for little children, gives them the "In Flanders Field" poem, and goes into a little more detail later on in the book. 

This is a Canadian book, but could be used anywhere.  Remembrance Day is a pretty big deal for me, as my Grandpa served in Italy during WWI and will turn 95 in February.  We don't have a lot of vets left, and I really don't want to lose their legacy by making Remembrance Day just another paid day off.  I just really thought this book was a great way to introduce kids to the symbolism behind it.  This book is available through, and shipping is free if you were to order a couple Christmas presents a little early.  If you ordered soon, you could get it in time to share with your little ones.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Lizards and Frogs and Butterflies...Oh My!

So, you may have noticed that I did not post yesterday.  This is where you all get to have a laugh at my expense.

My husband has a ridiculously large truck.  It has 37" rims on it.  The seat is at my chest height (I am 5'6" just for a comparison).  And it is a standard.  So I decide to do my husband a favour, and run downtown to pick up the straw for the doghouse.  In his ridiculously large truck.  Actually, the size of the truck is something I can compensate for.  The part I had incredible difficulty with is that silly standard transmission.  Yep, haven't driven a standard in 6 years.  And in all my brilliance, I decide to go after naptime.  You know, when the nearby mills have shift change, and school has just let out. 

Just call my "Lurch".  On my, I actually had people staring at my during my escapade.  But we made it home, all in one piece.  Unfortunately, schoolwork was not on the schedule after it took me almost 2 hours to make 2 stops.  And for those of you who don't know, I'll give you another image.  Our town takes about 10 minutes to drive through, end to end.  Or 2 hours if you are having troubles! :)

And on to today's lesson.  We re-read the story of Moses, this time from the Jesus Storybook Bible.  Then I had set up some plastic lizards, frogs and butterflies in pasta for the kids to go digging through.  Both Sweetie and Little Dude seem to really enjoy the hands on exploration that this activity affords them, so we will probably use our little bins quite often in future lessons.

Here are the bins set out with critters already in place.

Let the digging begin!

Daddy came home quickly to grab something for work, so they had to show him their treasures.

A pretty butterfly. 

Little Dude's bin.

Sweetie ended up with 1 snake, 1 frog,, 2 butterflies and 7 assorted lizards.

And for some added fun, I found some growing spiders and bats in the Halloween section of Dollarama, so we put them in water to grow.  We should have pictures of those for tomorrow!

Monday, 28 October 2013

I Was Nominated for the Sunshine Award!

Thanks so much to Maria from Back In The Hills, for nominating me for The Sunshine Award!  I'm honoured that she considers me part of the group of "bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere."  Her blog definitely fits that description and if you haven't checked her out yet, please do!  The Sunshine Award is a fun questionnaire that lets your readers know a little more about you!

Here Are The Rules for This Award:

  • Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  • Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Answer 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers. They should be bloggers you think deserve the recognition and a little blogging love. 
  • Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. You can not nominate the blogger that nominated you. 

11 Random Facts About Me:

  1. I hate cooking, which is why I use my slow cooker almost every day.  Dinner gets cooked, while I don't have to do it!
  2. I would eat dessert for every meal of the day if I could.
  3. I have 3 fish tanks in my house.
  4. I love the peace and quiet of midnight.
  5. My favourite pastime is reading.  Pretty much anything.
  6. I suck at video games.  All of them.
  7. I would love to learn more about photography.
  8. I always wanted an important job growing up.  Who knew I would get the most important one...being a mommy!
  9. I enjoy refinishing furniture.
  10. I am terribly messy.  I know where most of my stuff is...sometimes! :)
  11. I eat peanut butter by the spoonful.  

My answers to Maria's questions:

1.Why did you start blogging?
I wanted to share my journey through life with others.  I am new to homeschooling in Canada, and there really doesn't seem to be a visible community in my area, so I thought I'd start one.

2.Where do you get blogging inspiration?
My kids.  I mostly blog about what we learn each day, sometimes including crafts, and bible studies that I am currently doing.

3. What is a goal you are working on right now?
Organizing my house.  I think that one may take the rest of my life though.

4. If you had unlimited money, how would you fill your time?
I think I would do all the expected things like pay off our bills, and then I would fulfill my dreams of taking my children around the world to experience life other ways.  One of my main goals as a parent is to teach my children that our culture is not the only one, and that having the newest and best of everything isn't what is going to matter in the end.

5. If you could relive one moment of your life, what would it be and why?
That is a tough one! 

6. What is the most interesting place you have visited?
Hiroshima, Japan.  I went there with my husband and a friend of ours so they could tour the Mazda factory.  They toured the factory and I walked around most of Hiroshima, exploring by myself.  It was so clean and full of history.  I was sitting in the park outside of Hiroshima Castle when an elderly lady taught me the word for pigeon.  I'm afraid I don't remember the word anymore, but I definitely remember her.

7. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Everything.  I wanted to be an oncologist for the longest time though.  My grandma died of cancer when I was 14, and I wanted nothing more than to stop that terrible disease.  But then I came to the conclusion that I would take a stronger person than me to spend my day telling people bad news.

8. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Introvert.  I am most comfortable one on one, or observing if I have to be in a large crowd.

9. What do you like best about Autumn?
The cooler weather, the colours, the smell of baking, harvesting from our garden, getting back into routine...getting ready for Christmas.  I can't pick.

10. What book are you currently reading?
A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband Master by Rachel Evans.  It is hilarious.
11. Name your favourite artist.
Shirley Meyers.  She is actually my husband's Grandma.  She learned to paint recently and has blessed us with a beautiful winter scene.

My Nominations for the Sunshine Awards are:

My Questions for the New Nominees:

 1. What made you start your blog?

2. What is your favourite book?

3.  What is your favourite movie line?

4.  Which of the four seasons do you look forward to most?

5. When do you start your Christmas shopping?

6. If you had unlimited money, how would you fill your time?

7. What is your next blog post about?

8. Do you make any of your presents, or do you prefer to shop for them?

9.  Are you an only child?

10.  What is your favourite childhood memory?

11.  How did you meet your best friend?

Congrats to my nominees for the award -and thanks for sharing your amazing blogs with the rest of us.
I'd love for you to share your favourite blog in the comments -it's always nice to discover new ones!

Baby Moses

Today we started lessons on baby Moses.  We read the story of him being found in the river, then being raised as a Pharoah.  Then we talked about his staff and what it meant to be a shepherd.  Then we are supposed to make an insect jar to house some insects. 
Easier said than done.  Actually, the jars are really easy.  However, as we live in the Central Cariboo of BC, Canada, we really don't have many bugs left.  So, we went for a walk, then played at our local playground.
When we got to the big toy, this is what we saw:

I don't know how easy it is for you to see, but when we got there, we saw two bucks eating grass on the other side of the fence.  They were probably about 100 yards away from us.  And they seemed just as curious about us as we were about them.  It was a good lesson in patience for the kids, since they had to sit still, or risk scaring away the pretty deer!

Then Little Dude learned how to climb up the ladder to the slide.  His sister just mastered this last week, so I think he will definitely become the daredevil of the family!

Cheese!  We thought that we should take advantage of the great fall weather, especially since they are predicting snow for Thursday.  Our days of playing outside in the sun are numbered!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Kids Choose Day!

Since we are playing with colours this week and have many activities already at home to choose from, I let the kids pick.  They could colour in one of their books, they could colour sort pompoms with tweezers (to work on fine motor skills), or they could play with play dough.
Then I thought I should look for some recipes for edible play dough, since Little Dude always does a taste test.  I looked up "edible playdough" on Pinterest.  Oh dear.  I should probably suggest here that edible and child-safe are two COMPLETELY different things.

So we made edible playdough with 1 cup of smooth peanut butter, 1/2 cup of honey and two cups of icing sugar.  I found a much less sugar filled option that used powdered milk instead if that is a concern for you.  There is also an oatmeal version.
Today's school work let Sweetie create to her heart's content, and Little Dude pretty much spent the entire afternoon saying "NUMNUM!"  I hope this is one afternoon that the kids will remember for years to come!

A Heart Surrendered to Christ

I remember the day I surrendered my life to Christ.  My marriage was crumbling all around me, I was waiting to find out if counselling was in my future, or the struggles of being a single parent.  And there was nothing I could do but wait to find out.

Or get on my knees and pray.

I had had many conversations with God before that, mostly the please do this for me kind.  I hardly ever spent an afternoon thanking him for the little things like I do now.  I never desired to lift up perfect strangers in prayer like I do now.

I realized that night that I had no control over what my husband's decision would be.  But God would be there for me no matter what.  And while I believed that He had chosen this specific man for me, no matter the mess we had managed to make of it, He was the one that I could count on no matter what.  And He was the one who would get me through my journey. 

And he did.  The date was April 15, 2012.  And I will never forget that date.  It is the date my heart was filled with such assurance that He has this, if only I trust in Him and his plans.

If you are struggling in your life right now, I urge you to give it all over to Him, and then trust Him.  He loves you more than you could ever imagine, and He wants so badly for you to have a good life.  If you have anything that you would like me to lift up in prayer for you, please leave it in the comments, and I would love to include you in my prayers.  And it won't just be my prayers for today either! :)

You are loved more than you can ever know.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Shortbread is Messy!

We are playing with colours this week.  Yesterday we were sorting and counting paper clips, and playing with dinosaurs and balloons.

Those were pretty big shoes to fill for today...what to do, what to do...

Then I received an email that I had been nominated for the Sunshine Award by a fellow blogger, and followed a link from her blog.  This is where I discovered water play with we go again!

Here are their trays all set up to discover colour mixing (food colouring and water).
I have the dinosaurs out from yesterday to try to explain the colour wheel and have Sweetie guess what colour combinations make which colours.

Here she is mixing green...

She made three more green combo's after this.  I think it may have been her favourite!

And here is Little Dude pretty much just playing in the water.  I tried giving them paper to "paint" on, but it kind of disintegrated with the onslaught of three containers of water.

While I was cleaning out my baking cupboard today, I found a shortbread mix.  And some sprinkles, so decided to make some mini shortbread cookies to take to the Senior's Village tomorrow (our volunteer work), and some special colour cookies (hey, two c's), for this week's theme.

Just a note on the cookies...if I had known it would crumble like this, I would have gave them this snack outside, where the dog could clean it up, rather than having to sweep the entire living room.  I also learned that when using pre-made mixes, cover the mixer so as to not spend 20-30 minutes cleaning up your kitchen.  Shortbread is messy!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

C is for Colour

This week's theme is colour, to match Joseph and his beautiful coat.  We watched Joseph King of Dreams yesterday since I was not capable of much more than laying on the couch, but at least the kids could watch something relevant to this week's work.

Since I am feeling a little better today, I set up for learning about colours with the busy bag supplies I had on hand.

Little Dude played with some little dinosaurs from Dollarama, and some balloons filled with play dough.  They feel very squishy!  His job was to sort them to match.

Sweetie's job was to match paper clips to the proper colour paper, and then when she was done, count how many paper clips are on each.

Little Dude just played with the balloons, but you never know what they learn from just participating!

Look Mom!

Sweetie is working on her hand-eye coordination putting the paper clips on.  Then we are going to watch the Precious Moments version of the Story of Joseph.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Science Bottles Part 1

As I was trying to find something to keep Little Dude independently entertained that didn't involve a massive clean-up, I found something called "Science Bottles".

Then I found Pinterest and searched there.  Oh dear...that was an entire afternoon spent online looking at bottles. 

I have several bottles that I have made, and a lot of pictures to go along with them, so I won't put them all into one post. 

ALL bottles have been glued shut using hot glue.  This is a VERY important step since inquiring little minds will want to know what is inside, and probably want to know what it tastes like.  If you choose to make these, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make sure they are adequately sealed.

For all of the small bottles, I used the Hawaiian Punch 296 ml bottles.  Wal-Mart has them for around $3/6 pack.  I got these ones so that they would fit little hands, but you could use whichever bottles you have already.

Here they are:

Bottle #1

This is vegetable oil and coloured water.


After 15-20 seconds.

After 45 seconds.

I made these with the same oils, just different food colouring. 

Bottle #2  

This bottle is coloured water and lamp oil.
Lamp Oil is very dangerous.  Please take all necessary precautions if you choose to use lamp oil.

After 10-15 seconds.

After 30 seconds.

After about 45 seconds.

Bottle #3 

This bottle was made with mineral oil and a very small amount of coloured water.

When you shake it, the bottle looks almost completely black. 

This is about 20 seconds after shaking it.

After about 45 seconds, there are still many little "water balls". 
I really like this one because it's unexpected that such a small amount of coloured water can make it impossible to see through the bottle.

I found this neat cleaning case turned water bottle carrier at our local thrift store.

It has all the Science Bottles in it.  Stay tuned for more!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Starry Night Snacks

You know how they say, "God laughs at our plans"?  Well, that has been my week.  I had a good friend of mine lose her Mother today, so my well planned afternoon to catch up after spending yesterday trying to get my new phone working...didn't happen quite the way I imagined. 

Instead, I made dinner for 15 to take to her place, plus 4 meals that can be frozen and heated when needed, and then 2 dozen muffins so that they have snacks/breakfast.  That took pretty much all afternoon. 

So, school was again a little shorter than the lesson plan says.  So, I improvised...

Instead of painting a starry night with the marshmallows, we made a starry night scene with a piece of black construction paper, coloured marshmallows, apple slices for the moon, and graham crackers cut for tents and logs.

This was kind of the idea.

And here is Sweetie making hers. 

Let's eat stars!

Little Dude's T for his ABC Banner.

Until he got distracted by Paper Bag Princess!

And Sweetie's T.

Up on the banners.