Thursday, February 26, 2009

Small Successes


Small Successes: from Faith and Family:  
...all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. 
Blogging has been light these last few weeks. Lots has been going on away from the computer

1. I am drastrically reducing my computer time for lent: a brief check of email in the morning before breakfast if there's time, and then a short 30 min time, after lunchtime after my rosary.

2. Because I have been not on the computer all day (grin), I have had time to do all the laundry in the house, put it all away, vaccuum, and make homemade gluten free oreo cookies!!

3.  We made it to daily mass two days in a row this week.  Tues night was the pancake supper by the Knights of Columbus for Mardi Gras, and  Weds night was ash weds.  Amazingly, the twins were very well behaved!  I love going to mass midweek.  It's just the thing I need to help me get through long days.

Add your own at the Faith & Family website.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

See other daybooks at Peggy's blog.

For Today, Monday February 23, 2009

Outside My Window...  Sunny, but cold.  A light dusting of snow over the bird feeder.  

I am thinking... so many things on my mind this past month.  

I am thankful for... all the clean laundry in my house!

From the learning room... The Periodic Table of the elements, Division, Robert Frost, consonant clusters, prepositional phrases...

From the kitchen... Gluten free popovers (yummy!)

I am wearing... cotton skirt and tshirt, with a little apron tied on over top. My hair is up in a bun and my bangs need trimming. My little toes are cold so I should probably put on some socks. I need some slippers.

I am creating... order in my day: up at 6:15 for prayers, laundry before breakfast, rosary after lunch, computer time after rosary, bedtime at 9:30.

I am going... to Ash Wednesday mass in 2 days. Lent is coming oh so quickly!! 

I am reading...  Surrender by Carmen Marcoux ( a great catholic fiction about courting instead of dating)

I am praying... for a few special prayer intentions.

I am hearing... kids playing quietly in the living room, the hum of all the electronic gadgets that make my life easier (?), and the heater kicking in because my toes are cold!

Around the house... laundry is done and folded, waiting to be put away, my valentine's flowers are still pretty on the table, and school is done for the day!

Some of my favorite things... chicken noodle soup (homemade), good chats with friends over a warm drink, naps.

A few plans for the rest of the week... deciding on our lenten sacrifices, ash weds mass, choir concert on the weekend for E.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Small Successes


Small Successes: from Faith and Family:  
...all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. 
Here's mine:

1. I washed the kitchen floor and the mudroom floor. I sure didn't feel like it. I wanted to stay with my feet up on the desk reading all the amazing blogs out there... but I did it anyways!!

2. I homeschooled every day I wanted to this week.  We got math, spelling, religion, history, grammar, writing and art done!

3. I actually completed this blog post!! I really haven't been feeling very inspired to blog as of late, and I'm proud of myself for taking the time to get it done :-)  (where's my gold sticker?)

There! That wasn't so hard... and now I'm feeding the kids, it's almost bed time and I can soon curl up in bed with a good book.  Have a great day everyone!

Add your own at the Faith & Family website.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What do I chat about on twitter?

Go see my pretty word cloud :-)

Roses are Red...

From Drop Box
Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
Some kids are sweeter
Than we ever knew

This past valentines day was very special.  Daddy disappeared early in the morning and came back with his arms full of gifts for everyone:  McDonald's breakfast, helium balloons for the boys, flowers for the girls and chocolate and cards for everyone.  We had a lovely morning and everyone felt so special.    Later in the day, we all got ready to go to a family valentine's dance where they were serving wild game (boar, bison, hamburgers for the kids).  

Wanting to wish my dear grandma a happy valentine's day, I phoned her in the afternoon and we chatted for a long time.   She told me how her neighbor had been sick, and about her brother who was in the hospital with cancer... and how, not wanting either of them to feel sad on valentine's day, she had some simple flowers sent.  

I realized then, that this sweet woman, who had spent her life taking care of the people around her and giving her love to many many people, was probably sitting at home all by herself without her OWN flowers to cheer her up.  You see, my dear grandpa Pete had passed away a few years ago and she had moved to the city to live in a little condo by herself.

So we quickly changed our afternoon plans: the kids got busy making beautiful cards for grandma, and we got everyone ready to jump into the van and run to a last-minute flower shop before the dance started.  

Just as we were about to leave, little H the 3 year old comes running into the room with a big gift bag in her hands.  

"mommy! I have a present for Grandma!!"   

Upon further investigation, I discovered she was giving away an airplane tower from the Thomas the Tank Engine set in the basement.  

"hmmm... Well, don't you think she might like something a little more pretty?  She's a girl, remember? And girls like pretty things".

"Oh! I KNOW!!" ...and she took off running, coming back shortly with a beautiful doll from her prized collection that she recently acquired from a big girl at church.  She just loves these dolls.

We set off for grandma's house.  All the big kids got out, proudly rang the doorbell, waiting impatiently with their arms laden with gifts. Little H was holding the flowers, a card and her doll.  I'm sure it warmed Grandma's heart to see this crowd of admirers standing on her front porch in the snow.  

When it was H's turn, Grandma opened the gift, and H just beamed with joy... and then quietly said:

"Can you give it back on Thursday?"

Well... she IS only three :-)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

now that's serious!

H: I'm never going to ever play with you again!!

Z: Oh yeah! I'm NEver ever ever going to play with you ever again, even when the whole world starts over.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Kindness always finds its way back to you

E came home from art class with a Ring-pop. Basically a HUGE diamond ring made out of candy.  She was so distraught over when to eat it because she didn't want to share, but she didn't want to wait until everyone was having naps tomorrow.

Fast forward to after supper time when the kids were tasked with cleaning up the entire kitchen and table, loading everything into the dishwasher and wiping down the table (isn't it great having little kids to help out?).   E decided to be generous, and let Z have 3 licks of her ring pop.  

He was so inspired by her kindness that he gave her a beaming smile, and told her "it's all right, E... you go play. I'm going to clean up the whole kitchen by myself for you !".

What sweet little things.  See how a tiny speck of generosity (3 measely licks) can bring out the best in others?  I love kids.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Small Success (2)


Small Successes: from Faith and Family:  
...all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. 
Here's mine:

1. I was sick all last week, and this week the kids have taken turns with the tummy flu... I'm tired!! But tonight before going to bed with a good book, I decided to take the time to clean up so I could start the day fresh with an empty dishwasher and a tidy house.  That wasn't so hard afterall!

2. I ordered our new Vacation Bible School Curriculum for next year (so excited about doing one on St. Paul and the underground church in ancient Rome... ties in nicely with our history curriculum this year)... and we set the dates.  

3. I vacuumed the floors upstairs in all the bedrooms and straightened the kids bookshelves.. it's so nice and organized!!  It's amazing how many books you can find under beds and blankets and in closets and behind dressers when you start to look!!

How has your week gone?  It's easy to feel deflated by long weeks... especially in dreary february when winter is slow to end and the piles of schoolwork are slow to decrease.   For me, I'm looking to simplicity, in doing one small thing at a time.  I can do anything if I view it that way!!

Add your own at the Faith & Family website.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Bird Watching


Today we were surprised to see two biggish birds walking around under our spruce tree in the front yard. After looking in our bird books, we decided it was a Gray Partridge. There have been flocks of these around our neighborhood, and they are really cute. Pretty tame, and they just waddle here and there with all their little ones following behind.

This is Zs picture of one of them.

He put a check-mark and 'yes' beside it because the first attempt made him grumpy so he crossed it out.
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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Seven Quick Takes Friday

It all started with the yucky old carpets.  We wanted to replace them soon, and thought about hardwood... but it would be a shame not to replace the kitchen floor too, because then they would match, fade at the same time etc...  But then if we do the kitchen floor, we should really look at moving the 'island' because then if we ever did a big kitchen reno later we'd have this big area in the middle of the kitchen without hardwood... 


So, along comes the tools and the muscles, and our kitchen gets dismantled!! Watch for future updates. We haven't decided what to do from here.



Can I join the Dr. Ray Fan club??  I love this guy. His radio show is so hilarious, but at the same time he has such good common sense. Think Dr. Laura but not so mean.  I'm so excited he's coming to my city for 2 talks next month!!  (Albertans: he'll be at Canadian Martyrs on Sunday March 15th)


oh I'm out of interesting things to say already. This is going to be a boring list of 7.


Gardening... I need to order some seeds, but I have no seed catalogs. Where do you get these things?  I have to use my greenhouse in the spring and need a crash course in what I'm supposed to do.   I know it has something to do with seeds, water, and sun.  But beyond that??  HELP!!  I can't let this beautiful big gift from my grandma go to waste.


On that note, the nice lady at BC Greenhouses (where we bought our greenhouse) read my survey that I sent back and laughed at my note about how the kids locked the keys in the greenhouse (we think) because we can't find them anywhere and the door is locked and they were fascinated with it.  Anyways... she just wrote me yesterday and said she was sending me a new handle with a new lock and new keys!!!  

Let me tell you, this is the place to buy a greenhouse. Their customer service has been so far over the top that I want to buy another greenhouse just to deal with them again.  They sent me a lovely journal to keep track of my gardening, a beautiful key chain to hold my (lost) keys and a $10 gift certificate to Lee Valley!


WHAT is with the annoying rules that won't let Canadians watch TV online? URGH! Not like it's fun to watch hockey when your team loses anyways.


I'm going to bed. HA! No more witty blogging for me this week.  See ya next week everyone!

painting time

E spent the morning painting with her acrylics. She has quite a collection of various paints because her love of art has resulted in many art supplies for birthday and christmas presents. Today she painted a picture for me, one for her little sister, and one for Z her little brother. I love them all!

Little H (3 yrs) was happy to paint a real sunshine that she worked very hard on, and even the twins got into the fun with a paint-with-water book.

Z was busy at his weekly kindergarten class, and painted a picture of a guy in a hot air balloon.

Only Es three pictures fit into my scanner, and my sore throat is making me lazy so if you want to see the other kids' work, you'll have to come over and look at my fridge.

From Artwork 2009
From Artwork 2009

Small Successes


Small Successes: from Faith and Family.  
It’s important for moms to recognize that all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. So on Thursday of each week, we’ll do exactly that.
Here's mine:

1. I made it to daily mass on Monday this week!! I haven't been to daily mass for so so long and I really missed being able to go, so inspired by my retreat last month, I packed up the kids (all five of them) and headed out the door. We walked over to our local church and almost got there on time!!  Besides a short escape into the choir loft after communion, the twins did pretty good.

2. I got up almost every morning at 6:20 to say my morning prayers and get ready for the day without all the kids helping me.  One morning I didn't make it because I was sick and had been up all night.  But I did do my prayers later in the day.. so YAY!! I can do it!! 

3. I made cookies yesterday!! And a Chicken in the crock-pot and mashed potatoes and even gravy!!! It helps when I plan ahead and then follow through with the plan.  Most nights, I'm wondering what to make at 4pm.  

Whew! That was fun :-)  Wonder what I will accomplish next week?  Tune in next Thursday (if I remember LOL) for more of my small Successes.  Add your own at the Faith & Family website.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

And now for a poem

After reading a magazine for kids about wildlife (thanks grandma sonia!) E was inspired to write a poem and draw a picture to submit to their artwork page.  I like it!  We had just finished reading a poem by Robert Frost, and I think that's what got her thinking.

The Bird that Came out of the Blue
By EB age 8
When I was looking out
at the ocean so blue
I saw a wing
that looked just like a fin
But smaller, in my belief.
Many people have seen it before
Some say it's a ghost
but I named it
Bird of the Blue.

Linky link

Today, nothing exciting around here. I have an annoying cold and my throat is sore.  poor me LOL.

The kids are busy doing school work, and I'm busy surfing for fun and interesting things to print out and keep the younger 3 monkeys busy.

This is a fabulous website for preschoolers!! Lots of adorable pictures of princesses, pirates, bunnies, cars and dinosaurs to color.  The drawings are very simple and whimsical.  Just the thing little hands like to color. 

They also have alphabet pages to color. My little 3 year old just did the letter T page and it was perfect for her. 

She also is very excited to try dressing up the little princess online in a game where you just click and drag beautiful clothes.

Jan Brett is a popular children's author, writing wonderful books.  My favorite, being The mitten.
Her website is just overflowing with wonderful printouts for learning letters, coloring pages, mini-books and holiday ideas.  It's definately worth checking out!

As always, this is a fabulous site to visit.  I love love love playing with her paper toys and the kids enjoy great satisfaction when they can make them themselves.  Timeless.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


I was tagged... I feel like I'm back on the playground in elementary school :-)  (although i suppose spending time on the computer reading blogs and enjoying other women's company is a bit like recess!)

I was tagged by Melanie

6 things you might not know about me......

1.  I have a degree in Linguistics with a minor in psychology.  I also took half of an MA in linguistics and a year of Education.
2. When I was a little girl I lived in Denver, CO for 4 years and loved it there.  The snow in the winter and the warm days in the summmer were my favorite parts.
3. I love to read all sorts of books. The last novels I read were the Eragon series (written by a homeschooler).Any suggestions for a new novel to read? I'm looking for something light and easy with a heart-warming storyline.  
4. When I was a little girl, I used to fall asleep every night listening to the hockey games on the radio.  25 years later it's still the same guy who commentates.  
5. I don't own any pairs of pants! Crazy... except my jammies.  I love wearing skirts and pretty things.  It's so fun being a mommy.
6. God willing, I want to homeschool the kids all the way through high-school.  There is such a wealth of information and resources that I am convinced they can get a fabulous education at home, and grow into wonderful, gentle, kind, intelligent, thoughtful and independant peopole while doing it.  

Ok, I tag:

Here are the rules:
Rule #1 ~ Link to the person that tagged you:  That was another Melanie at 
Homestead and bread.
Rule #2 ~ Post the rules on your Blog.
Rule #3 ~ Write 6 random things about yourself
Rule #4 ~ Tag 6 people at the end of your post.
Rule #5 ~ Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their Blog.Rule #6 ~ Let the tagger know your entry is up.
Many Blessings!!!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Our little author

Here is a picture book that E was inspired to write last week. She is still in the process of writing her chapter book, and I can't wait to share that with you when she's done.

This one is about a little mouse who was really brave and went next door to visit an elephant and they became friends.
I didn't have time to scan all the pages, but here a few samples. I especially love the 'about the author' page at the end.

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