Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Here we are, almost December, and I just realized I didn't post pictures of the kids' costumes this year.  Story of my life. 

Eva (as Jasmine), Gen (bumblebee), Maddie (tooth fairy), Graedon (Spiderman)

As a treat (or was it a trick?  Hmmm?), I made these cupcakes in a jar.  The kids had so much fun breaking the spiderweb to get to the cake.  Next year I'm going to make them again with a few adjustments.  I'm thinking half the cake in the jar, then serve them with a scoop of ice cream between the cake & the web.  Yes.  Very good.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Solar System Convo...

We are so blessed that Rich gets to come home and have lunch with us most days.  I usually try to get the conversation going by discussing our morning, and what happened in school.  This week we started learning about the solar system, and our planets. 
On a side note, poor Pluto.  To spend all those years as a small, but important planet and then to be dumped like that.  Rejection is hard. 

After the usual banter, I said, "Hey, Daddy, guess what we're learning in school?!  We're learning about planets!  Maddie, what's your favourite planet?"

Maddie said, "I like the blue one!  What is it, Neptune?"

Eva chimed in, "My favourite is Earth!"

I said, "And some planets have rocky surfaces, like Earth, and some are made of gas!  Richard, what's your favourite planet?"

Richard, grinning, "I like Uranus!"  Laughed!

Eva, totally not getting it, "And Dad!  Uranus is gassy!"

By this time, Richard and I are practically in tears.  Maddie just looked at us like we were nuts.

And this was one of those rare moments when I got to see what my husband was like as a 12 year old boy. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Leaving the Boob Tube

We quit TV.  We have, approximately, been sans telly for about 6 weeks now.  Following a month of hell, amidst a fit of screaming, tantrums and gnashing of teeth, we banished the TV to the basement.  It sits there, hulking, while we piece together our lives, correct habits and attitudes acquired from the screen and get to know each other again.

I knew I wanted this, but I was unprepared for what would actually happen once we got rid of the thing.

Boredom.  The kids wandered lost for a few days, whining.  Nothing to do.  And then, after they realized how annoying being bored was, they DID something about it.  They broke out their crayons.  They pulled on their coats.  They dusted off their bikes.  They made tents in their bedrooms.  The perma-drool look they had adopted from staring at the screen began to dissipate, and their gaze cleared. 

Fights.  Oh my goodness.  Now the kids HAD to interact.  They could no longer forget their differences and switch on PBS kids.  They stand their ground more.  They offer, counter-offer, settle.  They negotiate (sometimes kindly, often not).  They learn that there really is no escape from conflict, not really.  But there IS a way through it.

Work.  I didn't have time to do it all before.  After my TV time, I was too tired to do much of anything.  Now, of a sudden, my housework is slightly caught up (slightly, but that's better than not), I'm sewing more, reading more.  I'm doing more work. 

Judgement.  How many people have been to our home, and how many have said, within minutes of entering, "Um.  You don't have a TV?"

Empty space.  What am I going to do with that yawning space in the corner of the room?  How will I rearrange the furniture, now that it doesn't all need to point toward the telly?  How awkward...will we need to face, gulp, each other??

Loss of quality time.  The nightly TV date with the hubby is no more.  Now we talk.  Now we sit at the table and chat, each with a project in hand.  The "other wo/man" is gone.  We're enjoying it, and each other, more.

Tongue in cheek, this post, but secretly...I think the kids are actually enjoying this television free home.  Not so secretly, so am I.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Last Chance

  This week we had one of our lasts.  It had been surprisingly warm for November, and we packed up our school books early and I sent everyone to enjoy what could very well have been the final day of fall.

The air was eerie heavy.  The sky was frowning, the clouds were racing and the light was like dusk, even though it was mid-day.  We ran, we played, we planted, and we took full advantage. 

It felt like our last chance. 

The last chance to bury garlic bulbs, in hopes that it miraculously survives the freezing winter (isn't any bulb a miracle?).

The last chance for gum rubber boots and soil dirty hands.

The last chance for bare legs and summer dresses.  Last chance for casually thrown sweaters and jackets hung on tree limbs.

One last chance...

And, bonus, check out the latest fall fashion in rural New Brunswick:

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Singing With Graedon

Graedon still takes long afternoon naps.  For that, I am thankful.

When I put him to bed, he always asks me to lie down next to him and sing him a song.  His favourite is "the moose song", aka Down By The Bay.  He giggles at every verse I make up.  I can see his little mind imagining the moose kissing a goose, the snake with the garden rake and the mouse in a tiny house. 

Sometimes he asks me for songs I don't know.  Sometimes he makes up his own.  Sometimes he mixes up songs.  The other day he sang The B-I-B-L-E...you know the one?  He finished it off as, "...the B-I-B-L-Eeeee!  Eye-ball!"  Close, Graedy, close! 

I've never been one to lie down with my kids when they go to bed.  I'm usually pretty tuckered out by that time, and if I were to do that with each kid, it'd be midnight before I hit the sack.  I really do enjoy the few minutes alone with Graedy, though.  He's pretty great.