Lifestyle

We Went on a Field Trip.

by Vicki

Homeschooling has been going well.

Better than I thought it would.

We haven’t started sending Peyton to “real” school yet, so I guess that’s a pretty good indication that we are surviving. 🙂

IMG_0847Over the last couple of weeks we have been learning the letters “L” and “A”. Along with these letters our units have been about Leaves and Apples. I thought that this would be the perfect time to visit Chudleigh’s Apple Farm.  Aunt Danielle, Kiera and Carter joined us which made a fun day even more fun! We were blessed with the perfect Autumn weather and were able to enjoy the sunshine as we explored the farm, picked apples, slid down giant slides, watched animals, and ate some yummy treats.

IMG_0881IMG_0872IMG_0890IMG_0886Homeschooling Bonuses: we were able to choose a day to go that had beautiful weather, we could stay from 10:30-4 without worrying about catching a bus, and I got to enjoy the farm with all of my kiddos! IMG_0921IMG_0939IMG_0935Visiting Chudleigh’s is one of my favorite Autumn traditions. What traditions do you have for this beautiful season? IMG_0861

 

 

 

Lifestyle

Fall into Nature.

By Katie


 

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I think I can safely say fall is my favourite season.

Of course, I safely say that at the start of every season.  But, I really do love living in a part of the world where there are four distinct seasons.  I love each and every one of them and would have a hard time moving to a country that doesn’t have the warm rains of spring, the heat of summer, the cool breezes of fall and the snowy wonderland of winter.

But, back to fall.  Fall has just started and the temperatures are still warm during the day but oh-so wonderfully cool at night.  I have put additional blankets on our beds.  I have pulled out warmer pajamas for the littles.  I have bought fall mums. I have stacked cords and cords of wood for our fire place.  We are all set for the coziness of fall and winter.

This season also brings the start of school.  We are planning on homeschooling our littles but they are currently still too young for too much formal education.  Atticus is 3.5 years and Vivien is 2 years.  Atticus could technically be enrolled in preschool, but I wasn’t going to be too gung-ho with him this year.

Buuuuut then he found my preschool books.  And begged to start.  BEGGED.  So I acquiesced to his request.  I have a few of the Kumon early learning books and a couple of dry-erase books from Costco.   We don’t do school every day, but most days we do manage pull it out for 10 or 15 minutes.  Vivien colours and cuts while I do some tracing/numbers/maze-ing with Atticus. (I just got this colouring book for Vivien to start.  I am excited to see if she enjoys it.)

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Anyways, all this is to say that since we are planning on homeschooling I have connected with homeschool groups in our area.  This is the first year that I am actively participating in some of the activities.   One of the programs we were introduced to is the Little Cataraqui Creek  Conservation Area  Home and Early Learners program.

 

Its done in 3 3-week increments.  The program connects your kids to nature with different hands-on activities.  (It also gives Mamas good ideas to do at home. )

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I love this program, and so do the kids.  So it’s a win-win.  We are sad that today was the last day of this session, especially since we will most likely miss the winter session due to the 2 littlest littles who will be ex-utero by then.  I am hoping to be able to participate in the spring session again.

It is so, so good to be outside with my kids for a couple of hours just discovering this incredible creation that God has given us.  There is so much to see if you just stop to see it.

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One of the cool ideas we did today was to try find matching colours from nature to the paint chips the organizer handed out.  The kids were thrilled with every match they found (though one of our colours was green. It was hard for me to be excited after the 1000th green leaf they found).   It’s definitely something I want to do at home, or on our walks.  I also want to get magnifying glasses for them (great stocking stuffer!!) since its incredible to see the intricate workings of nature.  And it’s also so cute to see them walking around with a magnifying glass stuck to their eye!

What’s your favourite season?  Have you been out and about in nature this fall?



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Lifestyle

The Calf

by Kara


There was a calf on my porch.

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There’s often a dog on my porch. I’m used to her.

There are always two cats in my house. I’m used to them.

 

But the calf was new.

He showed up yesterday, with my husband and brother-in-law. He was born prematurely, and he needed some special attention. We made him a bed of grass, my husband fed him some milk, and a calf spent the night sleeping on my porch. I spent the night waking up my husband and sending him to go check the calf. I think my husband only listened to me once.

This isn’t the first time my husband has brought home an animal that needed some extra attention. A year ago, he brought home an adorable grey and black kitten. She was so tiny, the runt of the litter, and had been abandoned by her mother. He told me we would take care of her for a week or two, just until this kitty could make it on her own. That kitten grew into a beautiful big cat, the cat who is snuggled beside me on this couch, who loves people and isn’t particularly fond of the outdoors. I grew attached to her in those two weeks we were caring for her, and every week I found another reason to keep her for another week, until she became a fixture in this household and we no longer talked about bringing her back to the barn.

I’ve got to admit, I am not as good at taking care of a calf as I am at taking care of a kitten. My husband did all the work, although I tried to help. I tried to help the calf move into a more comfortable position, but I couldn’t quite guide him properly. My husband came over and deftly moved the calf’s legs and head so they were better supported. I tried to help feed the calf some milk. I was doing my best to prop his mouth open when my husband warned me about the very sharp teeth that calves have just behind their bottom lip. I promptly handed my husband the milk bottle, and my daughter and I watched from a safe distance as he fed the calf.  I wasn’t very good at taking care of the calf, but I was good at checking on him. I peeked out at him throughout the day, as I was cleaning and vacuuming and baking. I was careful not to use the door beside him too much, so I would not startle him. I talked to him as I hung out my laundry. I left him alone for an hour and a half, while my husband was milking and I was preparing for a meeting. I went to check on him again when my husband came home.

 

There’s no longer a calf on my porch.

He never had much of a chance. I could see that in the way my brother-in-law looked as I scratched the calf’s forehead when they brought him over. I could hear in in my husband’s answers every time I asked if the calf was okay. I knew it when they told me not to name him.

I named him Bertie Perkins.

I cried over a calf today.