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? 😊

Monday, February 27, 2017

Still on a Declutter Kick

Another month has flown by since I last blogged. I find it hard to blog when I don't really have much to blog about -- or a least not much that my two readers would care to read. 😏

 I continue to be on a decluttering kick. It's a slow process though because my days are filled with pleasant interruptions: coffee dates with friends, much taxiing of children and other special things like university students home on reading break. Embarrassingly, there are a few areas where I just cannot -- or rather do not want to declutter. The one is my craft stuff, and the other is photos/memorabilia. Can you say overkill? I plan to change over to digital scrapbooking one day, but right now I want to use up what I have. It's pretty hard to use up what I have though when I don't even scrapbook anymore. I've set a goal to start again this summer. However, I REFUSE to buy more stuff. I am going to make due with what I have.

 Scrapbooking and card making stuff -- including two boxes of ribbon.

 More scrapbooking stuff and various idea books.

 These hold craft supplies for the kids as well as stamps and stamping products.

 My ridiculously huge wool stash.

Paper and stickers, among other things.

We have been blessed with a large home that allows for this sort of excess, but that doesn't mean I like it. I have already said to the Engineer that when our children all start leaving the nest, it is going to be time to downsize. I would like to see another large family put this house to good use. Do you think I can be picky about our buyer? Looking for: large, busy family to buy and enjoy our house and property as much as we do/did!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Touques {and an Afghan}

I found this pattern for a knitted hat on Pinterest (where else? 😀). I knitted the first four in a solid colour. The pattern was easy to follow and they were turning out well, so then I decided to get creative. Stripes!! The remainder of the hats all have a stripe or two or many in them. They are knit in the round. If you are a knitter and have knit using round needles, you know that knitting in the round will put your stripes off kilter (think of a giant spiral) each time you start a new colour row. I even learned how to fix that! I am becoming a little addicted to wool. I made an afghan for Peach, have one started for Beans, and one planned for our master bedroom.

These belong to the four youngest. The pink ones being the three youngest.

Next was Nathanael and his girlfriend's.

Then came the bumblebee hats as I called them. These were for Peach and two of her high school friends who ended up at the same university and in the same dorm. These are their dorm colours.

Next were the ones for Beans and her boyfriend.

Then I knit this and and crocheted a neck warmer for me. I think I wore it once with the coat I planned it for and then the zipper broke on the coat. I do not fix zippers, so I had to get a new coat because it was COLD out. My new coat is black so...

I made myself and the Engineer matchy hats. His is the one with the stripe.

During the holidays, I made this one just for fun. I call it the accordion hat. 😊 Beans just thinks it is ugly. Oh well!! I think it is fun. I don't know who is going to wear it, so for now it goes in the bag of random-hats-I-made-just-because.

Last, but not least is the afghan I crocheted for Peach. The wool comes in a mixed yarn ball that you see in the background. These photos were taken when it was not quite completed. It was already dog approved however. 😃

There were a few other knitting and crocheting projects I completed, but they are currently not around for photographing, so they will have to wait for another day.

I have switched from knitting to crocheting for now because I can take most crocheting anywhere and not worry about dropping stitches.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Buh Bye 2016!!

I know! Here we are already ten days into the new year and I am finally saying goodbye to the old year. I guess blogging still won't make the priority list this year. I'm going to try, but I am not promising anything.

I won't say that I am unhappy to see the back of 2016, but I will say it wasn't one of my more memorable years in a positive sense. If I had to label it, I would call it the Year of No Accomplishments -- for me anyway.

I seriously did nothing. Perhaps that is why the huge absence of blogging. One would think that with all the children attending school again in September that I would be voraciously reading, cleaning and decluttering ( a never ending battle in this house) like a madwoman, photographing up a storm, and doing all manner of creative activities that I crave and love.

Nope. None of that happened. In fact, I spent three weeks in November on butt rest due to a stress fracture of my toe. Lame. (No pun intended.) I originally smashed it in May. I thought it had healed until I put on a pair of my favorite boots. Within an hour, I wanted to have my toe removed. It was awful. Suffice it to say, they are no longer my favorite boots. 😏

Those three weeks and the weeks since have not been entirely a waste. I did knit. A lot. I made hats. All my children plus a few extras received a touque for Sinterklaas this year. It was quite satisfying to know that I had made everyone a hat. 

I was so excited for September. I was craving quiet like crazy and hoping the quiet days would fuel me for the busy evenings and for about a month it did. I was walking (outdoors or treadmill) almost daily, I worked in my gardens, I baked, and I'm sure I did some other things too, but every day before I knew it, the girls were getting off the bus.

By October, I was unconsciously avoiding social interaction outside my family and a few close friends as much as possible. The butt rest the next month helped with that and it wasn't until late November, early December that I realized it. 

An emotional breakdown? Mid-life crisis? I have no idea. The crazy thing was and still is, I am content. My days are my own even if I don't do anything or go anywhere. My evenings mostly involve shuffling children to various activities, so I feel that I need the peaceful days. I have a select few friends that I love getting together with for coffee, but other than that I am happy to just be at home.

For 2017 I have set some goals and plans. I have put together my version of a bullet journal. Mine is absolutely nothing fancy. It contains most everything I do and the things I want to achieve. If I get brave, I might share portions of it.

So, happy 2017 ya'll! In case you are wondering, the rest of the crew here are all healthy and doing well. There is never a dull moment. 😁

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Back to School

The summer holidays have come and gone, although the weather here certainly does not indicate that yet!

On Sunday we loaded up Peach and all her belongings for her first year of university.

 We delivered her to her dorm (the same one as her brother was in when he was in first year). Then took photos of the science buildings she will be studying in. They're just a very short walk from her dorm. She is taking an Honours Science Psychology. She gets her brains from her dad!

Today, I sent the remaining five off to school. Yes, all of the kiddos are back in school again. Beans and Squirt are off to grade eleven and grade nine.

They are sure that people are going to have a fun year continually confusing them! :o)

After much prayer and discussion, meeting with the principal and others, we chose to send our three youngest to the public school this year. They have a strong special education program there and we feel that it will really help them out -- especially since it will continue into secondary education as well. Our only big trepidation is that they are placed age appropriate. That means Bella is in grade eight, Bright Eyes in grade six, and Peanut is in grade four. If you know our girls, you would know that none of them are ready for those grades in any way. We will see how this year goes.

As I am typing this, I am feeling a little overcome by the silence in the house. It's not a bad thing at all, but it is going to take some getting used to again. :o) Hopefully it is a great year for all of us.

Sorry! No photos of Nathanael. He is in his third year of study, still living in the same house, with several of the same roommates, and working at the university pool when he is not studying. All is well!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

August!? No Way!! {Part 1}

Yes, once again the blogging has been sadly lacking and here it is mid-August already. There hasn't been any lack of events around here, but blogging has just not been a priority. It's been the HOT summer I had been hoping for ever since summer turned to autumn last year. Thus, much time has been spent outdoors soaking up the heat and the sunshine!

My dear hubby turned fifty on June 11. We had a special time of family togetherness over the course of the weekend. On Friday (the 10th) my parents, along with our brood and their significant others enjoyed teriyaki steak on the barbecue, baked potatoes, and well, it's been so long, I forget what else. We had pies that I baked for dessert. Murray loves pie! Rhubarb, cherry, and his absolute favorite -- pecan pie!

Saturday was spent with most of Murray's family at his niece's wedding.

First dance with Grandpa. Murray's brother (her dad) passed away in December of 1995 from cancer.

Then on Sunday (the 12th) we attended Peach's graduation from high school. I am in denial that we already have two children who have graduated from high school. It cannot be possible!

The squad celebrating.

Then ten days later on the 22nd, was Squirt's grade 8 graduation.

 In case you are wondering, she is wearing Converse. We couldn't find sandals that she liked, so she decided to wear Converse. They will go great with her uniform when she starts high school in the fall.

 Giving her part of the valedictory address which she shared with one of her best friends.

They shared their graduation cake.

Our first beach day was early this year. June 23rd and the children were all in the lake.

Even the slightest north breeze creates some great waves for swimming in!

Next thing we knew, we had survived June and then it was Canada Day!! I let the two oldest girls have all their friends over for the afternoon/evening. You would have hardly noticed that there were eleven extra young people hanging about except for the rate the food disappeared. :o)

 Waiting for the annual Canada Day parade.

 Discussing the rules for a game of capture the flag.

 Dinner time!

 The two youngest had their very own spot.

 Don't even ask because I don't know! :oD

So thankful for this great group of friends!!


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