Saturday, November 22, 2008

Winter Learning Winter Retreat

Yes I have decided we/ I need that much needed winter retreat .A break from internet life . AHHHHHHH take a deep breath , and yes breath again . I've been completely overwhelmed again and we all know where that can lead
Being a mother of 6 I now know when burnout is coming on and the answer is always downsizing , returning to Him for our guidence , and ultimately simplicity is required . So I'm returning to that which leads us to have much contentment in our daily lives . Reconnecting with homeschoolers in the here and now in our own communities etc. no offence to the many blogger homeschools out there but we do need to admit when to much is to much ;-) . I also am reminded that almost everything He gives us is free , this includes our homeschool and especially regarding mission work ;-) This came to me after dh & I went to the craft store collecting items for activities for math games etc. the bill came to , well far to much . So I am returning to the cheap workbooks our children love for math no more hunting down singapore etc. which I never thought I'd leave by the way . Hey we change . Using our free math resources from the library for living math books and the free waldorf math taught in our own aboriginal languages . Now that is a gift and totally free . Using rosehips , acorns & sticks for math ;-) So I urge you no matter where you live He has no doubt given you also the utilities to do it cheaply and freely not needing to spend the huge amounts on curriculum or the need to keep up with others ;-) We are returning to our many wonderful winter road trips and the study of arctic animals this season . I continue to teach the children American / Canadian History Geography this yr. via our many resources . We will specifically focus on the Inuit and Dene as well . We will also be studying
dog sledding as dh & the boys are making a trip out for the real experience this winter . This has always been a dream of ds12 so who knows maybe it will become an annual event ;-)
I tend to want to be the curl up with a nice mug of cocoa gal and have the woodstove blazing lol . I'm preparing our advent cedar wreath and snow activities for the kids . We will be continueing with our chess group , karate & swimming . Planning a wonderful solstice party and getting our ice rink up ;-) We are also hoping the boys will be enjoying thier new metis guitar, drumming and fiddle lessons , goal childrens choir next year ;-) . I'll leave a nice link list of some books and activities we are doing over the winter . I'd like to keep up the copywork idea of the week but I'm just to beat for it right now . I urge you to try and spend at least a good month on one saint / holy person / proverbs or psalms so your children really get into the mind of the writer ~ mind of Him really ;-) I continue to use brainy quote myself or EWTN has some really good quotes from saints as well . You may look for more book ideas and links below the photos ;-) All in all we hope you have a wonderful Advent/ Christmas season . Much Love , la familia de Guadalupe

Books Mum is Reading & Interests
almond eyes and lotus feet ~ I love this book so much and have been craving to re-read it ;-)
Christmas in Calico ~ no idea how this is but it looks good
Lavender Lies ~ I love Susan Alberts books
Hans Brinker ~ reading this with ds12 but really it is for me ;-)
Mother Stories ~ this was a book of my grandmothers and not sure if it can be found
Home Education ~ I am re-reading Home education from the original CM series
Pocketful of Pinecones ~ this is again another I cannot put away
For the Children's Sake ~ beleive it or not I have never read this book !
Prayer in Your Life ~ I'm so excited to be doing this again ! Waiting on cds from my group leader .
Activity Books , Nature Study ,ETC.
Knee High Nature Winter ~ I love these books
Celebrating Irish Festivals ~ This is a beautiful Book
All Year Round ~ One of the most lovely books . I really enjoy the stroies provided .
Plants of the Western Boreal Forest ~ we use this mostly for our tree work
Family Fun Nights ~ we are also trying On Stage by the same author
The Catholic Home ~ I really like this book
Winter Day Play ~ we haven't tried this yet but it looks good
Crafts to Make in Winter ~ we have enjoyed most of Kathy Ross's books
Magic of Christmas Cookbook ~ gooseberry patch books are always good !
How to make a Quinzee ~ we always make several quinzees in winter
Build an ice rink ~ I really should take pics this yr.
Jan Brett ~ we are returning to Jan Brett this Season ;-)
Von Trapp Family ~ This is inspiration for Mum ;-)
Tasha Tudor ~ If you can find any of her Christmas Videos or Craft books they are wonderful
Religion for the Family
Our Holy Faith ~ I am really excited about using these with the kids this yr.
New ST.Joseph Baltimore Catechism ~ I of course still love this and will re-read it with the children many times ( all levels of course )
Mass Explained to Children ~ This is a wonderful book
The Story of Christmas ~ Jane Ray is one of our fav artists this book is absolutely beautiful
Books , Suppliers etc.
Chapters ~ we order most of our books from here
Bethlehem Books ~ just beautiful
Litte Flower Family Apostolate ~ most beautiful prayer books etc. beautiful for Christmas gifts
Cukierski Sacramentals ~ where we order all our sacramentals
Saintly Soaps ~ really , really , wonderful Christmas gifts !
Timber Press Books ~ I just found this

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Everyday projects

Yes mum possibly has ADD but then I don't like labels , right ;-) . Well I heard people with ADD need to be stimulated often so that may be me . Or I like the words creative , ecsentric , spirit led . I've had the thought maybe people with ADD are the best at intercession ? Who knows , did Thomas Merton , Deli Lama , Gahndi , ST.Francis all have ADD ? If so then I'm in ! So I'm not really crafty as in knitting or sewing .I absolutely cannot stand the sewing machine as anything done on it seems a chore . So I've been forcing myself to get it out just to teach the boys the basics .I am blessed to have a dh who can mend his own items so I see the value in the sewing lesson . I do absolutely love hand sewing it is therapudic and can be done slowly . I enjoy working with items like clay, sticks and tree materials of course squishing flowers , pasting flowers etc. I did enjoy quilting when we'd go to aunty's place and she'd have her frame set up in the living room .This was so everyone who popped in could take a turn at sewing the quilt . So I've made a batch of clay , cucumber & mint for friends for Christmas gifts and spruce resin for insence as well as making a winter fairy home in the garden . We've been collecting winter books from the library and hope Dad will get our ice rink done in the next month . Now as I type this I think hmmm do we have skates that fit .......another project . I'll come back later and give a list of some books we will be reading over the next several months . Winter can go on til april here so it may be awhile ;-) for now we hope you enjoy our pictures .

This Bird Seed was intended for the sparrows

These cute little sweetie pies
They tend to be my fav bird to watch
Seed was not intended for this pesky little feller , he even injured a sparrow one day !

Or this big ole blue fella comes swooping in bothering all
This was a game the boys played after I'd dug up the garden .It became a mining adventure just like runescape . PD would bury the stones Then the search begins ;-) where are those stones
Driftwood makes the best tool for mining by the way
To make spruce resin insence you first need a fire & a little dog to supervize of course

Tools should be old utensils , cans and pots etc.
Place spruce gum in can on fire , boil down about 1/2 hr . Place lid on top as the sap can catch on fire
Once boiled and ready strain liquid to get all the needles,bark, bugs etc. out
The colour is always differnt in the end . The finished product is just like glass or rock candy ;-) break into pieces and wrap in foil etc. to give as gifts . Don't forget the charcoal as well for burning . I like to call this Kateri insence ;-)I was going to not have a fairy house this winter but then I saw these old cuboard drawers and got inspired . We helped the fairies collect rosehips , pinecones, firewood etc. for the winter.
This made a lovely Aframe home & I love the curly birch bark

We prepared just in time ;-)
We covered the entrance with balsam branches , This home must smell delightful
The first snowfall is always so mystical
This formed a beautiful little snow covered cave , from our old summer fairy house

I like to think the fairies would keep thier animals in here if they had some ;-)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Memory of a Momma Dog

Being rememberance day here in Canada I thought it would be appropriate to post pics of our beloved Momma Dog chica whom we lost this past friday ;-) She was such a devoted doggie . Neighbours and friends all will miss her . She was such a protector of our family . Several friends have her puppies and she always wanted to give everyone a good tongue licking lol when visiting . She was a true mexican chihuahua as she loved the sun but not the water unless you were lounging beside it of course ;-) She atteneded the birth of he who gives joy and after that all cats were proptly chased from the bedroom lol . She would also patrol the perimeter of the yard walking along all fences making sure all bad kitties were not entering our space . Her latest activity was to catch mice .Now this was some feat as she tended to be blind as a bat lol . We had a small burial for her , dh made a small cedar box , the boys and I gorund up several tree leaves , needles & flowers from her favorite spots to roam ;-) We purchased a beeswax candle and carved prayers on this . dh and the boys dug her grave in our sacred heart garden which was one of her most fav sunny spots .I told the boys we shall plant something special therenext spring ;-) We all have cried much as she went very unexpectently . However we are reminded now all our little angels in heaven have a wonderful momma dog to play with & keep them in order ;-)

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

many a B day ;-)

We've been thru a very difficult week .I know my spelling is always off and I cannot make this post pictures not go on so long . I'm just not that computer literate .Hey that is why I have this blog I guess ;-)
Our Momma dog passed on today B is also for beloved and this she was . For now hope you enjoy the pictures and we are so happy to be refocusing on family , homeschool and all the wonderful new friends we are meeting via our homeschooling & bloggy blog too . Much Love to You all ;-)
B is for Bow ( and arrow )
B is for Belly, baby, buggy & boy
B is for bicycle

B is for broken Bonkle

B is for Better Bonkle
( Bonkle is our elf named by grandson )

B is for Bead

B is for Branches to make Beads

Drlling beads

Unfinished Beads & jojo's helpful paw lol The sanded , oiled finished product . Spruce, Birch, Pine , Cedar,Willow & Juniper

The center piece is from catfish creek ;-)

Stringing beads
Here we go a beautiful necklace for dr. Mark
B is for Box

This Box had many uses over the past two weeks

this is a game they found great fun . first you need an old icecream pail full of water . Set on top box , one uncle is needed to sit in box. One nephew is needed to tip over box and splash wow what fun ;-)
I am just amazed at how many marvelous uses the boys found in two weeks for free fun from such a wonderful box ;-) So what is this ? The unexplored

Who's this ? ;-)
Beanbag fun begun
They have no idea how to thread this what so ever . What they like the best is putting your foot down on the gas pedal lol
B is for bean too Bean basket
B is for birdseed

B is for bluejay
Biscuits begin ;-)
for some reason he does not like the feel of dry flour on his hands lol

mmmmmmmmmm yummmmmmmmmmm Biscuits after a day with box ;-)