Being with friends

Our oldest was beyond excited at the idea of turning twelve. He doesn’t want for much when it comes down to it and was so excited to get a new Pokémon Special Edition Pikachu card set. Even though he knew what was behind the wrapping it made him no less excited to open it. I think half the fun of birthdays is watching your children open their presents.

06oct2016_lucas-bday_19 What’s better than one Pikachu card? One small one and one really big one, of course! 06oct2016_lucas-bday_29When asked what he wanted to do for his birthday he said he would like to see a couple of good friends. Since my mother was visiting we thought it a great idea to take advantage of the wonderful weather and show her another bit of our beautiful province while the boys ran around being boys. 🙂06oct2016_lucas-bday_30Creature alert!06oct2016_lucas-bday_33Love this view! It almost looks like a tropical paradise – if it wasn’t for the big rocks (Love them!) and those conifers!
06oct2016_lucas-bday_34 06oct2016_lucas-bday_38My boys. 🙂06oct2016_lucas-bday_41 Rock-jumping-minecraft-terraria-real-life-make-belief-play on huge rocks!06oct2016_lucas-bday_43 I just love this landscape with its tide pools, low ground cover and huge boulders (reminds me of the Moors in Wuthering Heights).06oct2016_lucas-bday_48Somewhere in there are two people…
06oct2016_lucas-bday_51 06oct2016_lucas-bday_52 In the distance you can see beautiful Peggy’s Cove!06oct2016_lucas-bday_54

As evening came we enjoyed cake with both grandmothers and made our traditional family photos.

06oct2016_lucas-bday_66 06oct2016_lucas-bday_91 06oct2016_lucas-bday_89 06oct2016_lucas-bday_82 06oct2016_lucas-bday_81 Happy twelfth birthday, Mr L!06oct2016_lucas-bday_72



Polly’s Cove, Nova Scotia

We had a great time this weekend visiting Polly’s Cove with some friends. They had been before but for all the years we’ve lived here this was our first visit. We will be back again!

The boys loved jumping across the huge rocks and finding hiding spots, of which there were many.

I too, loved the rocks, always love rocks (!) but I also enjoyed seeing the different kings of plants that manage to grow in such a rough terrain. It’s just beautiful!

04Jun2016_Pollys Cove_01Pitcher plants!

04Jun2016_Pollys Cove_04 04Jun2016_Pollys Cove_06 04Jun2016_Pollys Cove_0904Jun2016_Pollys Cove_41 Look at that quartz! Wish I could take it home.04Jun2016_Pollys Cove_10 04Jun2016_Pollys Cove_16Finding hiding spots!
04Jun2016_Pollys Cove_17 04Jun2016_Pollys Cove_19It took some work but the boys managed to place this big piece of quartz (size is deceiving for the weight of rocks!) up onto this nice flat spot. They wanted to bring it home but I was not trekking up over rocks and slopes of brush to bring it home…would have been pretty cool though…so we took a picture instead!
04Jun2016_Pollys Cove_21 The trek back to the car. 04Jun2016_Pollys Cove_22 04Jun2016_Pollys Cove_25 04Jun2016_Pollys Cove_26The lighthouse in the distance is Peggy’s Cove. Beautiful spot and great view!
04Jun2016_Pollys Cove_29 A forrest of fiddleheads!04Jun2016_Pollys Cove_31 The beach of Polly’s Cove.04Jun2016_Pollys Cove_32 So many different types of plants growing in this rocky terrain. Love it!04Jun2016_Pollys Cove_35 04Jun2016_Pollys Cove_39 04Jun2016_Pollys Cove_4004Jun2016_Pollys Cove_42The boys found a caterpillar trying to cross the road on our way back to the car. We put it on a stick – no touching fuzzy caterpillars unless you know they are the non-stinging kind! – and put him/her back in the shrubs. I think this one liked seeing everything from a higher vantage point!



wet snow, fun hike

We had a wonderful hike yesterday as the weather warmed up to 2C. It was icy and wet but the kids made the best of it. I’m glad that I purchased some Yaktrax before we went out – they did the job in the slippery conditions!

We fed chickadees as usual, marvelled over the moss and found many a duck print in the snow. At the end, the kids had a snowball fight which ended in us all sliding down the wet hill to get to the parking area. It’s okay to get wet when you are on your way home! The boys took off their snow pants, boots and socks as soon as we were in the car. We were tired and energized at the same time!

water-droplet moss leafxman-eating-ice locke-ice


I’m off to get myself ready for a hike this morning with the ladies! It’s a balmy -13C with -24C windchill. Perfect for a winter hike! Put on your woolies!

A busy but good day

Yesterday was a darn cold day. We didn’t go out for the trail walk as planned due to the road conditions outside of the city. We did, however, go to Chapters so that the boys could use some of their holiday money to buy more Lego, Minecraft Lego. But, we had to finish our lessons first and I have to say, it was smooth going!

I happily wore the hat that I just finished knitting the night before. So warm. Love it!


Our lessons include handwork. X is knitting a scarf on needles and L is using one of the loom kits. He is so adept at it. If I can get him to do even 15 minutes a day he will have it finished in no time!

L hat

Xman and I did some time-telling practice with this fun little book I picked up a while ago. The pages are magnetic as are the little pieces so it’s quite fun! Xman is pretty good with telling time but when it comes to analog without the numbers it takes a bit of practice.

clock clock practiceI took some time during their copy work to prepare some kale chips – so good!


And these cookies…oh my goodness you just have to try them – so many good things to be found.

Pixie cookies

Lessons done and off we go to get the Lego. I have to say, Minecraft and Lego really is the perfect combination…

l lego X lego

While the boys Lego’d it up I took a bit of time to check out these new arrivals and put that Dreamscapes book to good use right away!


*if you do get the pattern for the hat here are a couple of corrections:

Row 17: *k5, p6, k5, p1* to end
Row 18: *k3, p10, k3, p1* to end

Make and Listen along

I am excited to be joining Dawn this week for Make and Listen!

Earlier this week…

I made almond milk, almond butter, chia banana muffins and lentil mushroom burgers from this amazing book by a local food artist…

Finally finished those Minecraft-inpired fingerless gloves for the boys (!)… they love them!

minecraft insp gloves

Yesterday morning…

I awoke before anyone, pracised yoga, made tea, and then worked on and posted my character study to my art blog for an online year-long art workshop…

Made some yummy paleo brownies using the almond meal left over from the almond milk (love that!)…

Xman came downstairs and immediately began weaving a blanket for him Pokémon Pidove, whose nest I felted last year with the same yarn. He did a great job and in no time!

Jan292014_Make Listen_01 Jan292014_Make Listen_02 Jan292014_Make Listen_05L decided to draw out a plan for a constructed Mincraft Enderman and began painting the head. I love that he takes the time to plan out how the character will look and what supplies he will need. Even I am excited to see it when it is all finished! Those boys love Minecraft, especially now that they are playing the survival mode and not the creative mode. I listen in to their conversations and planning and am quite impressed. Can’t wait until they begin Minecraft Homeschool in a couple of weeks! (Did I just say that?)Jan292014_Make Listen_03 Jan292014_Make Listen_04

Watching L so carefully trying to keep the pink paint inside the boxes he drew of the eyes made me grab the painters tape and show him how to tape around the eyes so that he didn’t have to worry so much about precision. They were both so excited when the tape was removed but I will show more at a later date as things progress.

The boys went outside to play during the snowfall/storm. Yay! I love it when they go out in the snow because I remember when I was little and snow stayed all winter long. These days if you don’t go out right away it will be washed away sometimes by the next day.

The snow was so, so beautiful and quiet. Just lovely watching the snow falling and hearing their happy voices. Speaking of snow, I added water to some muffin tins and put them in the freezer for a little experiment from the latest issue of Alphabet Glue!

I decided to use the time to sew (gasp, I know, it’s been soooo loooong!). I was going to read or knit but decided to try the zipper pouch pattern that Dawn had shared a while back. It was so super-easy! You have to try out this pattern! Seriously! I am addicted and now the boys each want one. I knew it! 😉

Jan292014_Make Listen_06 Jan292014_Make Listen_07All this time we were weaving and painting and sewing, guess what was playing in the background?

No…not CBCR2! The Red Violin Soundtrack (love that movie) and Kidz Bop 21! The boys love Kidz Bop and L put another 6 of the CD’s on hold from the library. Some of the songs are rather addictive!

As for reading…

I just finished Wild and let me tell you, I wanted to quit what I was doing and go on a soul searching hike. My goodness, what a gut wrenching, painfully honest journey she shares. Amazing. Read it, I say!

The boys are devouring the How to Train Your Dragon Series which is pretty cool. As a group we are reading The Mysterious Benedict Society and truly enjoying it. The other Doodle Stitching book just arrived for me at the library so I know where I will be heading tomorrow on the way to the boys’ drama class…oh yeah!

Today, we go tobogganing after drama and then a nice Skype with a good friend. Happy days!




The beauty of film

Last year (ya, that’s right) I took out my twin-lens Mamiya, bought some xp2. I was itching to shoot some film and shortly after I purchased a couple of rolls we had a lovely snowfall so I brought my camera outside while the boys enjoyed the weather. Later that week the boys and I went to a fellow homeschooler’s home where we were invited to partake in maple syrup making! We had so much fun and the boys were so thrilled experiencing the process, watching the sap drip so quickly into the buckets from the life-bearing trees. It was a wonderful experience, one they would like to do again, they told me as they saw me finally editing these images. Better late than never!

There really is something amazing about film. I love it. It’s totally different than digital and once I accepted that I was able to accept digital. I got my photography degree (BFA with major) using film. Yep, it does date me but that’s okay. I learned to create images from scratch, by hand, if you will. There is a real connection to the images, the moments you create when you use film and I think only those who have experienced this can relate.

What took  my sooo long to share? I scanned the images soon after they were processed but it took me until yesterday, so that’s almost a year, before post-processing – as in getting rid of the dust. That part of film I don’t miss! 🙂

XP2001 XP2002 XP2005 XP2006 XP2007 XP2011XP2010 XP2008 XP2012

Nature excursion and search

We have had a couple of fun weeks keeping our eyes peeled more than usual for fun and interesting bits of nature for our nature exchange. Two wonderful places we went were Lawrencetown Beach and Point Pleasant Park, and also a gravel road to find pyrite!

We had a great time and can’t wait to send our package off and see what we receive in return!

We went to the beach in search of fun things to exchange but spent most of the time enjoying the water – I planned well with the rain boots! What a glorious time we had and the boys can’t wait to do it again.

2013Oct22_Lawrencetown Beach_082013Oct22_Lawrencetown Beach_07Waiting for the water to fill up their boots!

2013Oct22_Lawrencetown Beach_13

Out comes the water!2013Oct22_Lawrencetown Beach_16Which makes for very wet socks!2013Oct22_Lawrencetown Beach_18Spotted some wildlife on the way home.
2013Oct22_Lawrencetown Beach_19Some fun flyers!2013Oct22_Lawrencetown Beach_22Point Pleasant Park
2013Oct26_Point Pleasant Park_01Sumac tree berries?
2013Oct26_Point Pleasant Park_04Perhaps some of you remember the Asian Longhorn Beetle passing through the park and destroying many a tree after Hurrican Juan had already thinned out the forest. It is still a beautiful place to go walking but where you couldn’t see from one trail to the next, at times you now can as the forest is much less dense. (sad face)

2013Oct26_Point Pleasant Park_06A short visit to the Prince of Wales Tower to see the canons and the canon balls.
2013Oct26_Point Pleasant Park_07 Permanent resident.2013Oct26_Point Pleasant Park_08Some of the left over stumps from trees that had to be cut down.
2013Oct26_Point Pleasant Park_09 I could not go without finding at least one mushroom!2013Oct26_Point Pleasant Park_15This was the coolest trunk! Look at those amazing swirls!
2013Oct26_Point Pleasant Park_20 2013Oct26_Point Pleasant Park_21Learning how to skip rocks.

2013Oct26_Point Pleasant Park_23 2013Oct26_Point Pleasant Park_24 2013Oct26_Point Pleasant Park_25

I am a few weeks behind with our Homeschool Adventures posts – those will come next, pinky promise! 😉

Belated Father’s Day and Happy 12/17 plus Summer Solstice!

This past Sunday was a great day for us. Not only was it Father’s Day, which we wholeheartedly thank the boys for (oh yeah!) but it was our Anniversary as well. We have been married 12 years and together for 17 as we got married on our 5 year anniversary. Thus, the Happy 12/17.

It’s been tough, a real challenge, you know? Sometimes we just don’t like each other.


There is no one else I would rather spend my life with than this amazing and handsome man. I’ve known him since he was 18 and I was 23. We were in our first year of art college at the foundation party when I asked him if he was drinking. He said his birthday was tomorrow and he promised his mother he wouldn’t drink until he was 19. He was serious and I was gobsmacked.

Who admits to that? He did.

I will never forget the respect I had for his morals of which I find these days/decades are down the tubes. Mine were slipping down a steep slope when we met. I was starting to feel I just wouldn’t find anyone who really cared about others, was truthful and stood by their beliefs. I knew then and there that he was someone I wanted to know, to be around. Forever.

Love ya, my man. You make me laugh. You make me humble as I take note of myself and my self-contradictions. You have made me a better person indeed. Thank you.

We may celebrate our 25th anniversary a year early to make it our 25th in 2025. Cool, right? 😉


We had just recently purchased a bike rack and were excited about having a beautiful day ahead of us after days of rain. We had talked many times of going on a family bike outing but we just needed to buy a bike rack first, of course. The boys helped Daddy assemble the rack. I love how keen they always are!


Lensbaby_005 Lensbaby_032

Once the bikes were mounted we had hopes that the rack would hold four bikes. It did a fair amount of bending and bouncing but we made it to the trail. Whew!

I had borrowed a Lensbaby Spark from work and brought it along as my only lens. Fun!


…zoom zoom…

Taking time for Lupins.


 We had an amazing time on our first family bike ride. It was a perfect day in every way!

Bike_84The next day I made a belated paleo carrot cake. You can’t rush a good bike ride and carrot cake takes time! Especially when it’s a new recipe. Carrot Cake is Stephen’s all-time favourite of cakes. But paleo? Well, even the boys loved it. Completely loved it! Thanks, Dawn, for the recipe. Now L wants one for his birthday!

As for the bike rack? It made its way back to Costco. Shifty bouncy thing it was. Made us nervous. We found out after some searching around that our car is only meant to handle two adult bikes on a hitch rack. Bummer. Need a new plan…

Today is a big day with L’s drama class’ evening performance after many hours of rehearsal. We were going to wake up to welcome the sun and then sleep when the sun sleeps but it’s going to be a long day for him anyway. We will, however, make our Solstice Strawberry Jam before we go to rehearsal…maybe with some bananas added this time…and a lot of sunshine!

Happy Solstice Everyone!




L discovers the cure for cancer of the lungs due to smoking

we were talking about the effect of smoking and L said, “If there was a pill like microphage and neutrophil white blood cells that eat bacteria, we could put the pill in water, wait until it evaporates, then drink it, then it eats up the smoky stuff in the lungs”.

I really didn’t know what to say. cute. then I had to look it up.