Monday, June 27, 2011

Biker Babe

Do they make leather jackets in a 12 month size?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Caton's Island

I'd heard rumours about Caton's Island summer camp.  As our friend, R, says, "It's New Brunswick's best kept secret!"  Every year in early June, the NB homeschoolers rent the camp.  Space is limited, so reservations are an absolute must.  We registered our spot last the nick of time!

What a great time we had!  For a flat fee per family (whoo hoo to the family of 9 who got the best vacation deal ever!) you get 4 days of all inclusive summer fun. 

We canoed.

We swam (it was a tad chilly).

We had our own cabin.

We went horseback riding.

We went rock wall climbing.

We watched rainy-day movies.

We played games.

It poured and poured on Saturday, so we missed out on the rope course and zip lining.  Still, we had a blast. 

You need to cross the water by barge to get to Caton's Island.  Once you're on the island, you're away from phone, car, internet and all other distractions.  There are miles of trails to explore, and the scenery is breath taking.  It's beautiful, serene and almost otherwordly with it's driftwood beaches and forest beds strewn with acorns and pine needles.  It felt good to be away from it all. 

Our spot is already reserved for next year.  

Monday, June 20, 2011

This Weekend I Learned...

...something very important while I was chatting with some (obviously) wiser, more experienced moms.  You know how everyone says that God won't give you more than you can handle?  Well that's a Big. Fat. Lie. 

  God gives us more than we can handle all the time.  That's why He's there to help us through it.  If we had it all under control, then we wouldn't need him.  We wouldn't seek him.  We'd be prideful, cocky and full of ourselves.  I mean, more than we already are. 

  So, when you think you can't handle it on your own anymore - you're right.  You can't.  All you need to know is how to give it up, and hand it up and let Him help.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Gnome Giveaway Winner

Congratulations, Kendra!  You're the winner of the gnome giveaway.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Dandelion Pesto

School has wound down.  A bit of math here, lots of reading there, but for the most part we're done and done and done.  I mentionned summer school before, and here's a sample of what that means.  We're learning about plants and wildcrafting.  Right now we're halfway through a unit on dandelions. 

We made dandelion pesto.  It was quite good, actually.  The kids even tasted it.

If you want to take a crack at it, here's the recipe:

Dandelion Pesto

2 cups dandelion leaves
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan

Combine the leaves (clean, pesticide free, duh) and the garlic in a food processor.  Add the oil and the parmesan and process until it looks like pesto.  Serve it on pasta, or crackers. 

Couldn't be easier!  Very healthy!  Yum yum!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Gnome Village & A Giveaway!!

Finally, the gnome village is finished! 

I nestled it into a flower bed in the shade of a big old pine tree.  The fallen needles help keep the weeds at bay, and make for a pretty even surface.

Welcome to Gnomesville!

The Manor House - Home to the oldest and most well-to-do family in the village. Note the craftsmanship & attention to detail that only the very wealthy gnome can afford.

PS - That craftsmanship is not my own.  Kate & Eric get all the credit for this beautiful house!

A gnome bachelor decorates with gifted items from his mum...braided rug, welcome mat and chair from the matched set in the Manor House. To the annoyance of the other villagers, he leaves his Christmas decorations up all year.

Nestled in the trees away from prying eyes is the Recluse. He lives off the land and guards his quiet life closely.

 Mrs. Gnome is busy in her household. Her family's laundry flaps gently in the wind. Her apron hangs on the post, waiting for such a time when she might make acorn flour cakes. Later, she will pack up her picnic basket, complete with checked tablecloth, and take Mr. Gnome and the children out for lunch.

 View from the look-out...keeping an eye out for scoundrels.

 Mr. Gnome enjoys fresh milk & fruit everyday. Mrs. Gnome holds a high standard for her family. Only the best here! Notice the felted leaf rug, bought from The Recluse gnome.

So there you have it...a quick peek at the gnome village. 

Would you like your own little gnome?  Here's your chance to win one! 

Here are some ways to enter.  Each is worth one entry.

Leave a comment (one entry) about the following questions:  Did you have something similar to a gnome village as a child?  Did you invent secret worlds?  Did you have a private hide-out that only you knew about?   

Visit my Etsy Shop and "favourite" it (one entry).

Blog about this giveaway, and link back to this post. 

Be sure to leave a comment for each time you enter.  I'll choose a winner randomly on Friday, the 10th!

Friday, June 3, 2011

The End is Near!

It's June, the sun has finally warmed up (relatively speaking, of course) our little corner of the world, and the end of the school year is in sight.  I've been working away at figuring out next year's curriculum.  The problem isn't finding books or programs.  The problem is deciding which of the multitude of choices to use!

This year we used First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind, by Jessie Wise.  A hit since it is simple to teach, and easy to follow for the kids.  The book is for grades 1 & 2, so we're set for LA for next year.

Reading began with a phonics program, but once the basics were covered, it was mostly practice.  We read aloud every day.  This is Maddie's favourite part of school.  This year alone, we've read through The Chronicles of Narnia (all 7 books, unabridged), some Little House on the Prairie, and we just finished A Little Princess. 

Last year we went with the mother of all math programs - Saxon.  Maddie hated it.  HATED it.  This year, we switched to Horizons.  It's much more cheerful and there isn't nearly as much fuss to complete it.  Hopefully we'll be done the entire books (there are 2) by the end of June.  It amazes me how much kids are expected to know by the end of grade 1 and 2.  I remember starting multiplications in grade 3.  I am sure I didn't do pre-algebra in grade 1.  But, lo and behold, kids are pretty smart.

French has been an issue.  Although NB is the only officially bilingual province in Canada, it doesn't actually mean that New Brunswickers are bilingual.  Some towns are very french (like Grand Falls, or up north), and then you have Carleton County which is almost exclusively english.  Since learning a language is all about practice, it's very difficult to get enough of it here.  Nevertheless, we're working on it.  I've been teaching them comptines from my childhood and they seem to like this much more than repeating meaningless (to them) phrases.

I decided not to stop school for summer vacation.  We'll slow down and take many days off, but I've learned the hard way that taking a 2 month break does not work for us!  I'll post more on that later.