Friday, March 16, 2018

March Break 2018

We are generally not the type of people who go anywhere or do anything during spring break. Here are a few reasons why we don't: 1) I am so exhausted from the busyness of the normal winter activities that just thinking of packing and traveling with thousands of other people heading on vacation makes me even more tired, 2) it is way more expensive to travel during spring break season than other parts of the winter/early spring season, 3) our family is too big to be hotel conducive, and 4) not everyone in our family has their spring break at the same time anymore. Our two university students had theirs in February, and the five youngest were off this week. That being said, we ARE headed to Florida in April. We are pulling the five youngest from school for a week (we have never done this before 😐), renting a house and relaxing for a week. The two oldest will meet us in Florida a day or two after we arrive.

A week at home with no obligations and no expectations was more than I had hoped for! The girls all slept late. I slept a little late and then enjoyed a peaceful morning coffee each day while I crocheted, or read, or even watched some television. Then I would crochet some more, or go and sew. I also did a pile of ironing. In other words, I only did what I felt like doing all week. I haven't done something like that in years without feeling totally guilty. It was so fun!

The girls also spent time reading, watching some television, playing on the Wii, designing with perler beads, drawing, colouring. I don't think anyone went outside all week. I didn't really care though as the temperature has hovered around 0 degrees Celsius all week which makes it very damp. Plus it snowed. Every. Single. Day. Not that it accumulated because of the plus/minus zero temperature, but still. It is the middle of March. Oh well, the longer it stays like this, the later I will have to start mowing the lawn. 😁

Pictures are forthcoming.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Canadian Thanksgiving

It was a week ago already, and our gathering this year was small for various reasons. A funeral in another province, a child studying abroad, and some family dynamics that make the holidays difficult for a family member. We ended up celebrating with our children only. Nathanael's girlfriend Madi joined us too despite him being in Europe until late December. She arrived a little later than the rest of the crew who were at the mercy of parental drivers. I never did get a photo of us all at dinner. That was thrown off by live chatting with Nathanael. One of those moments where I am thankful for modern technology.

 Playing apples to apples while I get the food ready.

These two love the Wii!

 Some gentler disciplinary measures have this munchkin under my watchful eye.

 Someone is just hoping I will walk away from the table for a couple of minutes because that is all he would need to hoover down the entire dinner. 

A chat with my shaggy boy. We never knew he had curls like that! He sure didn't as a little guy. Poker straight and white blonde. 

Despite many changes again this year, we are blessed and have much to be thankful for.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Apple Picking

Two weeks ago was a PD Day. It's pretty nice to have all the girls home on the same day. I didn't know they would be, as three are in one school board and two are in another, but the PD Days match! Weather-wise, it was a strange day. Bright sun and then pouring and I mean pouring rain! After my wash on the line got rinsed not once, but twice, I decided I had better take it down.

 Yes, the one with the lovely smile on the far right is not one of mine.  We love having her over though!

 I can't get enough of the fall asters!

 Beautiful puffy autumn clouds.

 To storm clouds and rain in the distance!

And approaching very fast! We had to run to the store and still didn't make it before a good sprinkle got us!

What did we do with the apples we picked? Many were turned into pies and the ones that weren't were dried or simply eaten. Apple dumplings are still on the to make list. Maybe this weekend.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Swimming in September

Usually the last days of swimming happen on Labour Day weekend -- provided the weather is good. There may be a few unseasonably warm days in the month yet, and even well into October, but usually, they are few and far between, or the nights are so cool that by the time the day gets hot before we know it, it starts cooling down again. Not so, this September. I think overall, it was warmer than the entire month of August.

So what do you do when the pool has been down since Labour Day weekend and there's one warm day after another? You hit the beach of course!

We went Friday evening and again Saturday afternoon. Even I went swimming! Only the second time all year.

 Leo says, give me the sand over the water any day!

 He actually liked being buried. Until I was out of his line of sight that is. He is so attached to me!

It was a great way to spend a late September weekend!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Bad Hair Don't Care

Ever since we brought this little girl home, I have had issues with her hair. It is just weird hair. It always seems to look like it has split ends. Hardly gets wet when you run the shower head over it and is just plain wild!

We've gone from long to short to very short to long again. No matter the lang it is wild, frizzy, and a little untameable -- rather like her personality. 😊

Late in August, I decided I needed to do some searching to figure out if her hair was "normal" or if her early life somehow contributed to this crazy hair. It's normal. Normal in the sense that she has low porosity hair. This means the cuticles on her hair are very tight and do not absorb moisture easily. I am no expert on this yet, but I did learn, we have to treat her hair completely different than the rest of the family.

So now we only wash it once a week (which is likely still too often) and then condition it AFTER she is done showering. We squeeze as much moisture as we can out of her hair with a towel and then apply a conditioner with jojoba oil in it. Sometimes I will also add jojoba oil or sweet almond oil. If time allows, I pop a shower cap over it all, wrap it in a towel and let the heat from her head soften and open the cuticles so the product absorbs better and we get less frizz.



You can see that it takes FOREVER to dry. We still don't have it all figured out, but it is certainly more manageable than it has been. Next up will be learning to do styles that she can keep in all week without having to do much to it until her next wash.

Funny thing is, at this point, she could still care less about how her hair looks. She is a bad hair don't care kinda girl! 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Back to School 2017

There was a time when I hated the back to school season. The earliest I can remember is when I myself was a student. I was not opposed to learning, but I hated the structure, the being cooped up in a room all day, and not having endless hours to do my own thing.

I had a reprieve between the post-university years and my babies starting school. Those years held no feelings of sadness or anxiety. Then my firstborn went to kindergarten. Senior Kindergarten. I didn't even send him to Junior Kindergarten as is the norm these days. I should have known right then and there that homeschooling would be a great option for our family. Eventually, after a few much dread Septembers, we did homeschool. Five fun, interesting, frustrating, and wonderful years. If you ask my kids they will honestly say it was great. Then life changed again and we welcomed home our three youngest daughters. I had no plans to suddenly homeschool seven children. Nathanael was ready for high school and Squirt needed some special reading help. Thus closed the homeschooling chapter.

 Having seven children under one roof, there were days I felt that I hardly had time to breathe, let alone teach. I remember doing a happy dance once the youngest children boarded the big yellow bus that first September with all seven home. Then a couple years ago, we made the decision (for a number of reasons) to homeschool the three youngest. It did not go well at all, so last year, everyone was back in school. I did another happy dance!

This year I refrained from dancing (I was just way too tired) and simply breathed a huge sigh of relief. Then I spent the entire first week waiting for the inevitable phone call that has come the first week of school every year for the last four out of five years (they were homeschooled one year, remember). It finally came today. A certain child (who shall remain nameless) got hit in the head with a ball. If I had a nickel for every time that same child got hit in the head with a ball last year, I could go to Tim Horton's and have a coffee and a doughnut too -- provided I could have sugar.

Anyways, here are the obligatory first day of school photos. Yes, I did take them the morning of the first day, but I was so busy reveling in the silence and at the same time feeling overwhelmed at the mess my house was in, I completely forgot to blog!

From left to right: Shayanne grade 12, Bella grade 9, Jillian grade 10.

Jovy grade 5, and Sophia grade 7.

Crazy! I don't have little ones anymore. Really, I am quite okay with that. Life is a whole different kind of busy these days. I run a free taxi service it seems. 😏 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Under Constuction

Hello! Yes, I am still around. My crew is continuing to grow -- in size at the very least.  Life has been busy (and really whose isn't?) and crazy, and interesting, and fun, and difficult, and continually full of changes. I really really want to get back to blogging, but I do believe it is time for some changes on this old blog before I get back into the blogging. A new look, some new options, and perhaps even a new name.

The next week and a bit I will be in the depths of unpacking and packing up university students and getting the younger girls ready for school, but I will try to make a post or two. I cannot promise though. It is amazing how quickly my carefully laid plans get changed on me -- sometimes more than once.

In the meantime, here is a photo of our kitchen and dining room. Nathanael moved back home Saturday night after his summer internship and two straight through years of school and work. He's only been home for short periods since he started his second year of university. Even now, he has only moved home because the apartment he leased was sold to a new owner and he is off to England for three months.

I did say life here was far from dull didn't I? 😊

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