Monday, October 4, 2010

Weekly Update

Every week I plan a couple days for the kids and I to just stay home and relax together.  Yet every week we are busy every day.  I don't know how this happens but it is something I need to work on.  This week I was able to get out for a bit to go to a soap making workshop.  I've always wanted to try it but never got around to it.  It was amazing how easy it really was.  I thought working with the lye would be a bit tricky but by the end of the workshop I managed to make about seven bars of all natural soap...I chose lavender, tea tree and mint scents with seaweed for exfoliating.  They smell so good...and it was fun to get out and do something just for me.  On Monday Maddy had her hip hop class and then we headed to the park to meet some new friends.  By the end of the couple hours there the kids were all already asking to go to each others houses...the time flew by!  Tuesday we all headed to Everdale Farm.  If you've never been it is a must do in the area. Everdale is an organic farm and environmental learning centre.  They have created an environment that shows you how agriculture can be sustainable, how to be more energy efficient, and the importance of  healthy land for healthy people.  It is, as they say, a living classroom.  We did the farmer for a day program with some of our Barrie homeschooling friends.  What a day!  It rained...the whole day!  And that only made it more memorable.  The kids started out picking organic vegetables, cleaning and preparing them for soup and salad.  They had discussions about the importance of free range animals, and experienced carding sheep wool to make bracelets.  They spent time in the meadow with the sheep and carried around the chickens.  In the end they feasted on the soup and salad they made themselves.  It was hands on learning all day and they loved every minute! Ali has expressed an interest in volunteering there now and they are eager to have him, so we are making plans in that direction too.  So...we made it to Wednesday...time to slow down.  We took a day to sleep in and then headed to the donkey sanctuary.  It was an ideal place to meet people who could tell us all we needed to know about raising these adorable equines.  They have over a hundred rescued donkeys at their farm and it was easy to fall in love with them all.  We can't wait to get ourselves a few!

Every Thursday Maddy attends an enrichment program.  While she is off I usually take some time to bake and cook with Katie and Ali.  This week Katie helped make lemon poppy seed loaf and Ali made a chick pea salad.  I wish I had taken'll have to trust me...they were delicious!  Friday ended up being a home day...Maddy was not feeling great and no one really felt like going out so we hung out watching tv, playing games and knitting.  And thanks to our awesome new homeschooling friends, we had company for the afternoon to just sit and chat! Saturday?  errands..errands...and more errands.  But Sunday brought us a lovely visit with Cindy and Dad, and waaayyy too much coffee!  The kids helped Bill and Jeff clean up the "waterfront" for winter and it totally looks smashing!  In the afternoon Cindy and I took Ali, Maddy, Josh and Matt to donkey sanctuary again for their  World Animal Day celebration.  We totally froze our butts off!  And that meant more hot coffee from Timmies on the way home!  Now...I can't sleep from too much caffeine and I need to get ready for another busy week.

Friday, October 1, 2010

A New Approach

It has finally occurred to me that I am a neglectful blogger.  I don't mean to be it just sort of happens.  So I've decided to take a new approach.  When we started blogging it really was a way for family and friends to be able to follow along with our travels.  It is still a great way for the people who don't see us often to be able to sneak a peak at our new adventure learning how to live simpler on a farm...quite a change from what we've done in the past.  The most important reason I keep blogging is really for my kids.  I want them to be able to look back and see what has happened in our lives and what they were a part of.  I could hand write, scrapbook or dictate it.  But let's face it, technology has just made it so much easier.  So I blog.  I can write, photograph, video tape...and keep it all in one place.  And friends and families comments means it can be interactive for the kids as well.  My intention is to do a weekly journal of our activities...this will be challenging for me but i will give it a go!  So if you don't hear from me each week please send me a nice reminder...i may need it for the first while.

Monday, September 6, 2010

August: Outdoors at the farm

Ali's new bunny Muffin

Ali's latest catch

Our tree frog

A boy and his snake

Our resident artist

Maddy's new bunny Zyla

Kayaking on the pond

The pond at dusk

Saturday, September 4, 2010

August 26th...WHAT??...Already??

So the summer is coming to an's unbelievable really.  The weather has slowly been shifting and hinting at fall around the corner.  We have some amazing things to look forward to with the harvest season... but I don't want to go there yet.  You have to see what we've been up to for the past couple months since we moved into the farm.  It has been a mix of buzzing activity and a calm serenity. The kids of course have spent as much time as possible in the water.  Even with the weather changes they have been in daily, if only the water is cold now!  Sure doesn't stop them though!  Ali has been saving his money and finally bought his kayak.  It's such a joy watching him cruise around the pond inspecting all the nooks and crannies.  The animal activity still hasn't slowed down here either.  The night the kids and I stayed up to watch the meteor shower,  Maddy found a little tree frog hanging about.  The boys have been catching an abundance of snakes,frogs and toads...some a little too close to the house for my comfort!   As many of you already know we also have two new little baby bunnies.  They are just the sweetest little girls...and I'm partial to things with fur...Ali named his Muffin and Maddy's is Zyla.  They have already grown so much in the two weeks since we got them...looks like they are going to be big bunnies!

The bunnies aren't the only things growing around here.  You should see out little Katie...she has definitely gotten taller.  More importantly, she is doing some new things with such ease riding her bike and scooter with the big kids, drawing some amazing pictures, singing the latest hits, playing board games with us, and cooking with me in the kitchen.  She is even creating her own recipes that are in her words "seriously good".

Through out the last month we've enjoyed dinners and potlucks with family and friends, sitting on the deck watching the sunset over the water, visiting local farms and meeting new people, farmers markets, preparing the barn, painting, late night movies, visits from grandma and grandpa and cousin meaghan, library days, play dough marathons, all night knitfests, tenting in the yard, sleepovers, baking and amidst it all a whole lot of relaxing!  With the end of summer quickly approaching we are focusing on spending time visiting with friends and family before we start hibernating...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Okay! We did it! We are in our house now and beginning to settle in. It will take some time as we have lots of painting and fiddling to do with the house...but we're in! Yeah! I'm getting requests for the other evening I managed to sneak out and take a couple...inside pictures will come eventually! But for now the kids are enjoying the water, the space and their not so new neighbors!

Sunday, May 23, 2010




It seems like I've been neglecting our blog for a while now. Well...not really. I have been thinking about it a lot....mostly asking myself how on earth can I possibly update everyone when soooo much has been going on? I'm not sure I can do it in one post but here's my try! (and certainly not in the right order!)

Our biggest news is that we found a house. We are so excited to have found such an amazing place and are counting the days until we can move in. We certainly worked hard to get this property...I found it by chance and we all fell in love with it the moment we pulled up. It is an 1860 farm house with a few additions, a big barn, garage, workshop, a separate artist studio, paddocks and lots of pasture. There is a great swimming pond for the kids and 34 acres for the kids to roam. Our dream to have a farm has been a topic of conversation with the kids for so long and now it is a reality. The kids are already planning for of chickens and goats, miniature ponies and even snakes have been floating around. And I am seeing a nice big garden in my future! All of this seems too good to be true but there is more!! For our first year on the road our travelling partners (the Goodman-Caines family) became part of our family. We realized that we all really like being together. It's as simple as that. So when this property had the benefit of actually having two homes it just made sense for all of us to be together again. Fun times ahead!

Right now we are staying in a house(hmmm...i use that term loosely) in Innisfil while we wait again for our motorhome to be fixed...the first week we had it back we had a flood and now it is being reno'd. So many moves and changes...another reason we are looking forward to a permanent home again!

What else have we been doing? The kids and I have been volunteering at a local organic farm every week with Laurie and her boys. It is such a great relaxing environment to be in...everyone helping each other, chatting and laughing. We've met some wonderful people doing this. The kids have been able to watch baby chicks grow up, plant seeds, plant herbs and vegetables. They are learning so much about gardening and what it takes to run a farm. And they get to do it all with their friends.

We also just came home from a week in Tennessee. We had been looking forward to attending ARGH (Autodidactic Radical Gathering of Homeschoolers) for a long time and we were not disappointed. It was a four day gathering in Roan Mountain State Park with thirty or so other unschooling families. Imagine that...being with so many children and parents in such a relaxing and welcoming environment. We met so many wonderful people and the kids are already asking to go back for the next one. Who could blame was never ending nerf gun wars and late night socializing with old and new friends. I think we'll be back!

Through out all this the weather has been great so we have been spending time at the beach and park with friends just hanging out. Too many sleepovers, campfires with friends, late night gaming, visiting with family, homeschooling fieldtrips....well..lets just say we have been busy!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What have we been up too???

It seems a lot of our time these days has been spent trying to find a place to live. It's definitely challenging. We are trying to live as normal as possible, but let's face it...not so normal when you're living in a hotel! We want to find a house but we are definitely not willing to settle for anything less than what we really want this time around. Sooo...funny enough the motorhome is almost finished getting the work done on it so we will picking it up and moving back in. We are all soo excited about it! The kids keep asking when we can get back in it. Right now we are looking for a campground...only a few open this early in the season. Hopefully in the next couple weeks we will be out of the hotel and things can really get back to normal! The kids can get outside and run around more parking lot! And we can cook! Imagine that! In the meanwhile the house hunt continues and we have been out as much as possible hanging with friends! Good weather for exploring the outdoors!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Maddy!

Maddy turned 11 today! I decided to have a surprise party for her...I'm pretty sure she is the only one in the family who would enjoy this...and she didn't suspect a thing! It was so fun to see the expression on her face...the complete joy at seeing all her friends together to celebrate with her! I'm pretty sure we managed to pull off a birthday she will not forget!

Monday, March 22, 2010

I really want to take a minute to thank Leslie from and also for choosing me for a beautiful blogger award. I started this blog as way for our family and friends to keep up with where we were and what we were up to, but it has become so much more now. I'm happy that others are able to take something from it as well!

The requirements for accepting this award are as follows:
1. Thank the person who gave you the award.
2. Pass this award along to 15 bloggers you've recently discovered and whom you think are fantastic!
3. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.
4. Share seven (7) things about yourself

Seven things about me:

1) I knit everyday...really!

2) I don't like chocolate

3) My favorite movie is still The Big Chill

4) I'm happiest when I'm with my family

5) I can't miss an episode of Grey's Anatomy

6) I love music but don't like to dance

7) I'm a night owl

It's been over a month since I've posted....I've been putting it off somewhat I guess. I wasn't sure what direction this blog would be taking. We left California over a month ago to visit family and friends back in Ontario. What I didn't know then was that we would not be going back. With work requiring more of Bill's attention here in Canada we made the decision to move back. It's interesting that the decision was easy to make...there were no regrets or what ifs...we were just as happy to come "home" as we were to leave almost two years ago. It has been really great to be able to see everyone and know that we can still easily see them again. And really, I am feeling a little relieved on the homeschooling front. It is just so much easier in Ontario than anyplace we visited on the road. I don't feel like I have to be looking over my shoulder all the time. And I was not looking forward to having to register the kids with the school board and following their rules...we are natural rule breakers I guess! Now that we are back we are really looking forward to exploring so many places in Ontario that we never took the opportunity to get to know. There is so much to do here...and I think our trip really opened our eyes to how we really like to spend our time. And that is outside in nature. The kids love to run, climb and explore so being in the forest, or exploring a riverbed or foraging for wild's just a more enjoyable time than any of the "touristy" things we did. So that's our focus right now. We are looking for a farm and some land to give the kids space to grow and create a place for ourselves that we can pursue some of our interests. We can't wait to have some farm animals, grow a garden and continue to enjoy a much simpler life. It's time to put down some roots again.