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Showing posts from January, 2015

Friday Links

Fort to Fort Trail in Ft. Langley, BC on a beautiful January day
Another month, another batch of awesome links. I found some great education, science, and art links this time around. Enjoy! 
*40 Creatives and Their Workpaces -- I love how simple so many of them are: just a desk, a window, and inspiring books and visuals surround most.
*This coat. If it actually came in my size I wouldn't think twice about the impulse buy. 
*This article is amazing and slightly concerning. Why can't we have these in North America?
*These global photos are interesting, beautiful, and at times, shocking: screen-use around the world.
* This Amazon Warehouse article was hilarious. I love the quote here, "The amount of stand-up life-size Justin Biebers I saw was unnecessary...” 
*We don't have any plans to travel aside from seeing family this year, but if we were going on an extended camping or backpacking trip, this Scrubba wash bag, and this portable clothesline would be my top two items …

The Rule of Threes

Costco aftermath
This is what my kitchen looks like for at least an hour after a Costco trip. I haul in everything after an exhausting journey through the busiest store (seemingly) in this country and I just can't do a dang thing more. For an hour. While I get a breather. And eat some obligatory reward chocolate. Eventually I'll get to those piles and everything will be put in it's proper place, but usually it stays like this for that necessary hour. 
                                                                          *** I don't think I'm alone in sensing that our culture has gone hog-wild with unrealistic expectations in just about every department, and I want to tell my friends, and anyone else who will listen, that we can only do so much in a day.  My husband once told me a friend of his pondered the busy-ness of our modern lives and said something to the effect of, "God gives us just enough time in the day to do only the things we need to do." …

#TheCreativityClub

The internet is like my most hated best friend. I mean, I don't really have one of those, but the information and activities overwhelm and excite me. I get bogged down with all that I'm consuming and communicating, yet I need it to stay connected to those I love. Artists, writers, cooks, and makers of all types inspire me from my living room but turning out creativity of my own is a challenge because of all that said consuming. 
I don't often join in online challenges, link-ups, or courses, but Elsie Marley of KCW fame is like my pretend cooler, older sister and I couldn't help myself when she came up with #TheCreativityClub. I had to join. Her ideas are so off-the-wall, like this awesome one, and I spontaneously commented an, "I'm in!" and here I was, in an online club. 

The internet is for the most part pretty anonymous unless you sign your name and you're someone famous (and even then, it's iffy), so if I hated the first week or never got arou…

Movies in the Queue for 2015

Our family has a penchant for movie watching. We all have our favorites and the genres we're normally attracted to (him: action and strong hero/epic theme, me: drama with class acting, honesty and redemptive stories, true stories), and although often when we sit down to watch it's something he wants to watch, I do throw in my trump card from time to time. Funny enough, almost every single movie I choose, we both end up liking, though I can't say the same for his choices....!

I keep a running list of movies (along with books) that I want to try to see every year. I hit between 50-75% of them, and I end up liking nearly all of them. This month I even crossed off a movie my friends have been bugging me to see for ages: The Princess Bride. I'm not sure how I escaped my childhood without seeing it, but it might have been the last cult classic of it's time that I wasn't familiar with. Of course I liked it! Here's what else I want to watch in 2015; click on the l…

Blue Birds by Caroline Starr Rose, and an Unlikely Friendship

When I was in mid elementary, my class was given the opportunity in something that would change my life forever. I know that's a bit dramatic, but looking back, it's one of those 'small step' times in my life that I can see how it made a difference in how I see the world. I signed up for a penpal who lived half the globe away. If my memory is correct than I was able to choose the top 3 countries or regions that I'd like to have a penpal from. For a large part of my K-8 career, I wanted to be an archaeologist, and I was ecstatic that I was able to receive letters from a girl my age in the country I read about a lot in my free time--Egypt.
When I received the first letter from my penpal, I couldn't wait to open it. The stamps, the envelope, the stationary--everything was so different than I had ever seen. This girl, my age, was named Yasmine and had dark eyes like me, and covered hair in her school photo. It was interesting to me that she would have her hair cov…

This Homeschooling Life, in Photos

One of my favorite things about homeschooling, aside from sharing great books with my children, are the programs or extracurricular activities I get to take my kids to during the day. Now that we're in British Columbia, and enrolled in a distance learning school, HCOS, I don't even have to pay a cent for them! Each child gets an allotment of funding and we choose to spend most of those funds on fun things to do for the kids (or necessary things, like swimming lessons) that we wouldn't always find in the budget otherwise. 

Ani just started her first official ballet class that is for older kids (5-7 year olds) and her teacher is wonderful. This full front pose is her trying to reign in her excitement before the first class, new leggings on and sparkly! (Thanks, Oma!)


I remember a lot of workbooks over my school career, and although my kids do fill in workbooks four times a week for phonics practice and math, the rest of our time looks mostly like reading aloud, going on err…

Local Fun: Free Swims in Surrey, BC

image via Surrey website

Ever since our family started and we decided to be on one income, we've had to be a bit more creative with 'field trips' and fun things to do that are good for the budget. I find it to be a bit of a game to master, the highest score going to FREE. Back in Lincoln there was a quarterly newspaper that held all the fun and local family-friendly events within about a 2 hour radius.
We don't have a paper like that out here, that I've found anyway (send those resources my way if you know about them!), but I have found the rec centers to be AMAZING out here. There are seemingly endless amounts of programs you can put your young students in, even better for homeschoolers is that very often you can get funding for them! Those don't include the entire family, though, just the kids. We've found that although it's not necessarily advertised on the website, each weekend there is a FREE 2-hour family swim time at one of four Surrey rec cente…

Friday Links

the kids playing with Lukka's ZomeTool (Creator 1)
Today I'm going to post some links, and I'm going to recycle them from last year back when I was doing the December Photo Project. I'm doing this because 1) December is it's own craziness, and 2) these are such good links I don't want anyone to miss them even though they were wedged between 25 photos. Enjoy your weekend!
*Artists play with their holiday food.
*Laniakea--the supercluster of galaxies that The Milky Way finds itself in, is not only beautiful, but mind-boggling. Watch this4 minute videothat is really well done. 
*Whether you can stomach Penelope Trunk's abrasive homeschooling arguments or not, her post "sitting is the new smoking" was pretty interesting.
* Mean tweets with Jimmy Kimmel is such a good waste of your time. This one, at :43 with Larry King made my stomach hurt I was laughing so hard. What?
*I am totally getting behind this trend of 'backstory' fairy tale movies. Th…

House Tour in Black and White Photos

Today is the house tour! I've finally got my act together, (don't look at the curtain situation, or lack thereof in most rooms) and took a few photos of each room in our new house. The kids' rooms are messy, partly because I snapped these during quiet time, when they occupy, play in, and untidy the room for 2.5 hours, and partly because I haven't done a deep clean with each of them in about a month. You'll get the general idea, though. I took all the photos in black and white to save you from the horrible colors of the paint. Really and truly, about 3 of my 5 least favorite colors are in this house, and we have no plans to change them because this house has already been sold to a developer. 
Above and below are two views of Ani's room, full of dolly items, My Little Pony figures, and books. We don't really dictate what goes on the wall or where, with the exception of a few pieces. I chose the spot for the 5-panel picture frame, made by her Aunty Kristen, a…

2015 Book List

Playing in the sand during a cold but clear day in White Rock
Although I like to take some time to personally reflect on the past year, New Years' is never something I overly celebrate or pursue as a Big Day for Goal Setting. I love a fresh, new year, but I prefer to do my goal setting around my birthday (29, 28), and keep it fun and for the most part, doable. I'm a big believer not in resolutions, but in the small, baby-step disciplines every day that lead to achieving goals. The lists I really love to make though, and inevitably add to, every first week of January, is a book list. I keep a pen and paper list in my notebook, but I like having it listed here, too, for memory sake, and to perhaps give you guys some good titles to pass on. 
I NEVER can cross off everything on my booklist. I loose interest, I re-prioritize, and I find books newly published that I'm dying to read. I have also enjoyed keeping a visual running tab on pinterest via my Bookshelf board. Looking bac…

Happy New Year // Welcome 2015!

Happy New Year, Dear Readers! 

2014 was lame and hard, and I'd really rather not do a recap. There were lots of little joys, goals reached, and family visits that were grand. Good points. 

Today, we're going to spend the day together and enjoy the look into the future. We've got a lot of fun things planned this year throughout the months, and we're looking forward to them, and keeping on.