30 October 2012


This past Saturday I had the opportunity to do something that I have been wanting to do for years...

I met with a group of people who came together to make cheese...


It was so fun watching the magic occur after the rennet was added.

The cheese came together quite quickly. I was surprised by how easy it was. Why haven't I done this yet? One reason was a lack of rennet (which I now have and so there are no excuses!) and the other was I suppose a fear of the unknown...what if I mess it up? what if it is really hard? One thing I have learned over the past few years is that few things are as difficult as they seem and the only way I can really mess things up is by not trying them at all.

The ball on the left is the one made by me... it was delicious! I can't wait to make some at home...and see what else I can try.

18 October 2012

My little piece of heaven...

Today I hugged my kids a little tighter.

This morning I accompanied my youngest to the pumpkin patch with his class.

There is something about watching five year olds find the perfect pumpkin.

so proud of himself.

And then I took one too many photos...

and things became silly. I love every picture of his silly face.

I smiled at his eagerness to line up for the bus many minutes before anyone else. Today was his first time on a school bus and he was so excited.

I was so grateful as I watched him. Grateful that I could be there. Grateful that I have been able to stay home with my kids while they are little. Grateful for all the time I have had with them.

When I returned to the school it was recess and my middle son's eyes lit up when he saw me and he ran over to me for a hug. I was so happy to have that hug. So grateful to receive a hug even though his friends were watching. He said he hadn't been feeling well and was wanting to come home and miraculously I arrived just as he was wishing that he could go home. I brought him home and bundled him up on the couch with a movie. It felt so good to see his happy face and hear his little voice saying "Thank you so much for coming to get me mommy".

I anxiously awaited the end of school so I could pick up the two boys who were still at school.

My daughter agreed to babysit while I ran down to the school to get them. On the way there I thought about how big she is getting. How much she has matured over the past months and what a help and a friend she is to me.

 We are busy planning our third annual girls day for November and we are really looking forward to it. 
She is growing up so fast and it really freaks me out that she has so few years left at home. My babies are growing up so fast!

After school I decided to surprise the kids with a treat and made chocolate chip cookies and hot chocolate with whipping cream. While I baked I let the boys play video games...

They were so happy... Thursday is not one of their regular days to play. They played until I called them to the table for a treat.

I loved watching how happy they were. Today has been cool and drizzling...warm cookies and hot chocolate was much appreciated. 

They were so happy and really it required very little effort on my part. We get so caught up in the day to day routines it was nice to spoil them a little. I wanted them to know how grateful I am for them. How much I love them and how I am not just about nagging them to do homework, and clean their rooms, and hurry up because we are going to be late...I need to bring more fun into our lives. 

At least once in awhile. We do that during the holidays but during the school year everyone is always so busy that sometimes we forget to stop and enjoy each other. 

I was reminded of that over the past couple of days as I read "Heaven is Here" by Stephanie Nielson. Her story is so heartbreaking and inspiring. Reading it made me want to hug my kids a little tighter each day and reminded me what a privilege it is to be a mother. How lucky I am to have been blessed with four beautiful children. Today I am filled with gratitude for a wonderful husband who works so hard to  take care of his family and who really loves me. I sometimes forget how rare that is. After fifteen years we are still best friends and even more in love than the day we were married. He is so good to me and I am so happy that I have him. My family means so much to me and even though I tell them every day, I don't always take the time to show them. 

Thank you NieNie for reminding me that Heaven IS here. I think I will appreciate my life and express my gratitude just a little bit more after reading your book. 

If you haven't read it yet...go out and buy it. I can't imagine anyone reading this book and not being affected by her powerful message of hope and gratitude. On a side note... it also made me want to get out and run. If she can...I really have no excuse.

16 October 2012

New Classes

Today I registered for my first e-class.

I have been looking at it for awhile.

Hosted by one of my favourite bloggers (and bag makers)...

Jeanne Oliver.

I am so excited to take the class and hopeful that I will get something out of it.

I hesitated in registering for weeks.

The course is on creating a "Creatively Made Home"...

Those who know me know that I move... a lot.

I have been married fifteen years and have moved ten times... four times in the past four years. I find it so hard to make the houses I live in my home. I am always so busy with school and packing or unpacking (not to mention four kids) that I seem to find very little time to decorate or do much to create a homey feel. I hope Jeanne and crew can give me lots of ideas and help me out.

And on a side note...

Today I received a VERY large box full of textbooks.

My next four classes start November 1st. Four courses... and a couple of them are the classes that I didn't really want to take, but needed to in order to fulfill graduation requirements. I am a little nervous about the amount of reading I have to do. There are a lot of books and not one, but two of the classes came with reading files in the neighbourhood of one thousand pages...each. Glancing over it I think I have more than ten thousand pages to read by the end of February... and thirteen essays...and four exams...my head hurts just thinking about it... as Scarlett so wisely said "I'll think of it tomorrow".

Tonight, I will think about the e-course instead and go to sleep with a smile.

Class starts next week!

01 October 2012

Food and Farm Tour

Saturday afternoon my family and I were able to sneak out for a little bit and take in part of the food and farm tour that was happening in our area.

We had a pretty busy week-end and so I wasn't able to visit all of the farms and see everything I wanted to; but, what we did see was awesome.

I love open farm days...this Saturday was a self-guided driving tour to visit the participating farms. We stayed so long at the farms we visited that we only were able to see two...yes, two.

The first farm we visited was a pumpkin patch that works on the honour system. I loved it. The patch was huge and the kids were able to run along the wide road path and look in at all the pumpkins. They were so excited. I loved looking at all the funky gourds and even picked a few corn stalks for the front porch.

After checking out the prices...I loaded up on gourds and pumpkins...now I just have to figure out what to do with them. I picked out a number of sugar pumpkins so I see some pies in my future.

The second farm was a beautiful old orchard filled with big trees (not one of the new orchards that look almost as if they are growing grapes with little trees espaliered along wires).

The view from the orchard was beautiful. It was tucked away in the back of a property... I had no idea it was even there. It can't be seen from the road. What a great surprise at the end of a very long driveway.

They had many varieties of pears and apples - many of them very old - some I have never heard of. The farmer was the fourth generation to run the orchard which was started just after his family bought the land in 1910.

I walked away from the tours with mixed feelings. I was so happy that we were able to go and walk around and learn more about local agriculture. Wandering around outdoors, looking at food growing is my happy place. I love it. I loved that the kids were outside and learning about where food comes from (or at least should come from). I loved picking an apple off the tree and crunching into one of the best tasting apples I have ever had and listening to my kids rave about how good they tasted.

But, I was a little sad too...first because I had to leave wishing I had a place of my own where I could go out and pick an apple every day while they were in season. Second - listening to the farmer say that he will be the last generation in his family on the orchard because he wants his son to go to university and get a real job. He explained how working on the farm generates so little income and made me wish that more people would pay attention to their food choices.

Fresh local food tastes so much better and in many cases is cheaper than what can be purchased at the store and even if it does cost a little more it is so much better for all of us.