Monday, November 24, 2008

3 years old!

That's how old Little One is today and here she is trying out her birthday gift - her very own digital camera!

And here she is trying out her camera in the field. She insisted we had to go on a hike so she could take some pictures.

I'm sure you will be seeing some of her pictures in future posts. :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A beginner driver

Yesterday I took my girl into town to write the test for her learners permit and she passed! I even let her drive herself to work last night, with me in with her, of course. She did a good job, though she was quite nervous. She even got to drive home from work! Her big brother picked her up in his truck and let her drive home! I still can't quite believe that. It really made her day. I still haven't managed to get a picture of her holding her permit. She was busy tarring shingles for her dad most of the day today. :) She's one amazing girl and I love her to bits!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sweet Sixteen

That's how old my oldest daughter turned today. She said she didn't want anything special for her birthday but I had to make it special somehow. She's such a treasure I just couldn't let the day pass without doing something special for her. She had to work this afternoon so I got busy while she was working. I got some little balls of her favorite chocolates, wrapped them in squares of tissue paper tied with ribbon and stuck them on a clubhouse toothpick so that it looked like a little flower. I made 16 of these and got one of her best guy buddies to help me round up 16 guys to deliver them, one at a time, into her at her place of work. It was so much fun, and she loved it! She didn't have a clue that I was behind it all until she got home. I meant to get a picture of her with them but I forgot - hopefully tomorrow.

The picture above is one she took of herself with the candy bouquet her aunt made for her for her birthday.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

An unexpected guest at our door

One day this week Little One and I were in the living room when we heard a faint knock knock at the door. We looked at each other, and Little One said, "Somebody's at the door". I had been wondering if I had actually heard a knock or not, but decided I must have so I went to answer the door. We have a window in our door and you can clearly see who's at the door before you get to the door. I was kind of surprised to not see anyone, and then I thought maybe somebody was playing tricks on us and hiding by the side of the door, so I went closer to see. That's when I saw the woodpecker sitting on the railing of our bridge! It flew away before I got a chance to let Little One get a glimpse at it but she thought it was pretty funny that a woodpecker was knocking at our door. She likes to tell everyone about it.

Though I didn't get a picture of the woodpecker that was at our door that day, DD did get a picture of a woodpecker on one of our walks a week or so ago. This woodpecker didn't seem to notice us and stayed there knocking at the trees close by when we walked by. I wonder was he the same one that came knocking at our door?

Friday, November 14, 2008

The beauty of frost

The ground was covered with frost this morning, but it was a beautiful day. The girls and I decided to go for a walk and we were amazed by the beauty of the frost. Here are some pictures that DD took:

Little One wanted to take a picture too, so here's the one that she took:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I smoked the house out!

I tried to light the wood stove this afternoon, but failed miserably! I just cannot manage to get it lit without splits and we were out of splits. It drives me crazy when that happens! Anyway, I didn't get it lit but it sure created a lot of smoke. DH made it even worse when he tried to light it! I ended up taking the girls for a ride just to get them out of the smoke filled house. Dh finally had the fire going and the smoke cleared out when we got home. I'm kind of glad he had the same problem. He seems kind of peed at me for having difficulty, but he couldn't say much when he had the same trouble. He also made more splits for me. :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Failing miserably

It seems that I have lost all desire to write anything right now. The good thing is that I have done more house cleaning, playing with little one, and scrapping than I have for a long while, but the sad thing is I was really hoping to get to write more. I have been more faithful in writing on my scrapping blog than I have this one, but that's because I've also been scrapping so I have things to share on that blog.

Opps! Gotta run! DD just came and told me that NCIS is coming on. It's our show to watch together. Chow!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Home Again!

Yippeeee!!!! Not so happy to come home to a sink full of dishes and a couch full of clothes and garbage! Some young man is going to get a tongue banging when I see him tomorrow. He's staying at a friend's place tonight.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

It's so hot!

I can't wait to get back to my nice cold house. :) Every time we visit the inlaws I suffer with the heat in their house. They have a wood stove and they often make it so hot that they have to open the windows to cool down, and then they stuff the stove again to heat it up again! I can't take the heat at all! I spend most of my time in the bedroom with the window wide open.

We have a wood stove at home and DH tends to do the same routine as his parents with overheating the place, but I think I'm finally getting through to him that you don't have to do that. He's not been home much lately and I've had to control the woodstove and I've managed to do it just fine without having those times when the heat is unbearable.

The temperature outside here is not at all hot. Actually, it's quite cold. Little one was looking for mittens this morning when she was outside with her dad while he was doing some yard work for his mother. I went out for a while too, just to get out of the heat of the house. It hit me in the face when I came back in though.

Regular visitors to my house know to dress warm or bring a sweater because I prefer to have the heat on the cool side. My philosophy is that you can always add another layer until you get to a temperture that youare comfortable with if you're cold but you can only remove so many layers when you're hot. :)

Friday, November 07, 2008

Not doing so well...

...with the blogging challenge. :( I missed posting again yesterday. I tell you, I am really having trouble adjusting to the time change. It's thrown me right out of whack. I didn't even realize that I hadn't posted yesterday. Oh well, I've failed to meet my goal of posting every day in November, but I'm still going to try to post everyday. I need to work on a routine of some sort.

Anyway, nothing exciting to share today. We had a 6 hour drive today. We are visiting DH's home. FIL is still in the hospital so that means that most of the time I'm at home trying to keep letting one from tearing MIL's house apart while everyone else is visiting at the hospital. I'm trying real hard to keep a right attitude but it is hard. I usually stay in our home rather than make the trip to visit with DH simply because it is easier on Little One and I to be in our own familiar territory, but we came to visit this time because it's been a while since we have and it will probablly be a while before we do again. The weather will soon interfere with the visits as winter driving is not fun, especially in the area of the island were DH is from. It was nice to see Little One giving her grandfather hugs and kisses today, and I know he enjoyed it. I wish he was at home so we could spend more time with him but we can only keep her in the hospital for so long.

Anyway, I have to go try to get her to settle down again.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Ack!!! I missed posting yesterday!

Yesterday was a crazy day at my house. It started with a bang and kept on throughout the day.

I didn't manage to get anything done in the morning before little one got up. Once she was under foot I accomplished little without her right by my side.

We had library books that needed to be returned to the library. The library is in a community an hour away. Our community library is just about a two minute walking distance away from us but we don't like going to it because it is a part of the highschool. It's just not as comfortable walking in there during school hours so we go to the library in the community I grew up in. We usually make a fun day of it, though lately we haven't been able to do that so much because of the tightness of finances. Anyway, that cut into my time yesterday to do anything else.

I also had a scrapbooking layout that I had to get done yesterday to get posted today. I didn't get to work on that because Little One was underfoot so I was up til 1 in the morning finishing that.

The really sad thing is that I didn't get to do any writing yesterday at all! I just can't concentrate on writing when little one is stuck to me like she was yesterday.

I'm wondering if I'm going to get any done today. I haven't yet, because once again little one is stuck to me. I was hoping to get some time tonight but DH is out and I feel sleep calling. This is also my TV night. So You Think You Can Dance Canada and NCIS come on tonight. I'm so tired I'm not sure I'll last through them so I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens. I'm sure going to have a lot of making up to do when I finally get to sit and write.

Does anyone else find that all you want to do is sleep since the times went back? It's really affected DD#1 and I.

Enough rambling from me. I've done my post for today and I'm off to try to stay awake and see what I can accomplish.

Monday, November 03, 2008

I need more time in my days!!

I'm going crazy trying to fit in everything that I want to do!

I did manage to fit in some writing this morning before the girls got up. I'm now up to 3633 words in my novel, but that's still short of where I should be by the end of the day. I really need to find some time to write a bit more tonight to stay on target, but I don't know if that's going to happen.

I have a scrapbooking layout that is due to be posted in a forum Wednesday night, and I haven't even started it yet. I only finally got an idea of what I want to do for it this afternoon, and it's just a rough idea that still needs lots of thought. I was really hoping to get to work on that tonight, but I don't see that happening either.

I'm bushed! I feel like I need to go to bed. I've had a good day.

Did some great work with DD#1. Especially enjoyed teaching her some math topics that we hadn't touched on before. I think she got them. Also had some fun with her playing the guitar hero game DS#1 bought this weekend. He said it's an early Christmas present for the family.

I also had fun with little one. She's discovered how to use scissors and had a ball cutting up paper today. I spent most of the day picking up the scraps. She did have some very creative moments. She made a fish and a bird and a witches hat. She's so cute! I need to try to get pictures of these creations of hers.

I also managed to do my wii fit today! DD#1 and I bought the wii fit as an early family Christmas present a few weeks back. I've set a goal for myself to try to do some wii fit every day during the month of November. It is so much fun and I feel great when I do it.

Anyway, I think I'm going to call it a night and hopefully get up early again tomorrow and accomplish something before the girls get up again.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Outward vs inward

I was struck by a portion of the scripture that I read during my Bible reading time today. A section of 2 Chronicles 30:18-19 says "May the good Lord provide atonement for everyone who prepares his heart to seek the Lord God of his father, though he is not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary."

This is a part of Hezekiah's prayer during a passover ceremony he conducted as part of the restoration of temple worship during his reign as king. There had been very strict rules about how people were to prepare themselves to take part in the passover but these rules had been neglected. It may be because they had forgotten the rules or because they just didn't take the time to follow them, the scripture is not clear on that. Whatever it was, King Hezekiah prays that God would look past the outward and look at the hearts of the people.

I believe this is something that God is much more willing to do than we are. I think it is us, not God, that gets hung up on the outward. May we, like Hezekiah, learn to look past the outward, because if the heart is right, the outward will eventually follow, but it doesn't do one bit of good to have everything in place on the outward and not have the heart in it.

Saturday, November 01, 2008


Okay, so I think I'm crazy, but.....inspired by Penelope, I, too, am going to attempt to blog every day for the month of November. I didn't actually sign up to be a member of NaBloPoMo, so I am unofficially doing this, but I think it's a great challenge.

I am going to be so busy this month trying to meet the NaNoWriMo challenge that I won't have much time to put much thought into my blog posts but I am going to try to post something everyday. It may simply amount to an update as to how I am doing in the NaNoWriMo challenge, or something as mundane as that so don't expect anything wonderful.

Anyone else want to join us in this challenge? I'd love to hear from you if you do.

BTW, I did start the NaNoWriMo challenge today. This morning I managed to pound out 1588 words towards my goal of 50,000 words. I've set myself a goal of doing approximately 1500 words a day, broken up into three slots of time and aiming for 500 words per time slot. I figure there will be some days when I go over and some days when I go under but that should get me close to the goal.

I was shocked when I sat down this morning and wrote over 1500 words without stopping! Funny thing is I really hadn't decided what I was going to write until I started. I had a rough idea in mind with one main character and one supporting character but that's it. I didn't even have the characters well thought out at all, but it seems to be falling into place.

I'm hoping to get some more time to write later today. I think I need to take advantage of this momentum because I don't think it's going to last. Would be great if it did, but reality is that I won't always have the time I would like to write, so I must take advantage of the time when it comes.

This is not a story that I have any illusions of ever having published or anything, it is something simply for me. I have always loved to write and always wanted to write a book and maybe some day I will, but this one is just for me. The main character is based very loosely on my maternal grandmother and the story is based roughly on her life. The supporting character is based loosely on my maternal grandfather. I also love to work on family history and would love to some day put together a family history that could be passed on to our relatives. Maybe this will give me more of a drive to do that too.

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed my writing time this morning and rather than feeling drained and not wanting to write anything else, as I thought might happened, I feel inspired to write more and want to try to keep my blogs updated during this time. I sure hope this continues!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

NaNoWriMo page for Canadian Home Educators

Woah! It's been a long time since I posted. Life has been extremely crazy! Not only have I not posted, I also have not been reading or commenting on blogs much. Sorry about that, everyone, but sometimes you have to let things go for a while. We've had some stressful things happening and some major changes in our household. I really miss reading and commenting on the blogs and I'm hoping to find more time for it before too long.

DD#1 and I are loving working our way through the highschool hand book on the NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program site. It is great! We're getting excited about November! It's definitely going to be crazy times.

Because I noticed that a few of the participants in the Canadian Home Educators Blog Carnival have mentioned that they are going to be taking part in the NaNoWriMo, I decided to start a special group page for Canadian Home Educators, especially blog carnival participants, on the main NaNoWriMo site. You can find the page here. I thought it would be nice for us to be able to encourage and share with one another as we take on the challenge.

Hopefully my blog won't be totally neglected during Novemeber, while I'm working on my word count for NaNoWriMo, but I'm not making any promises. :)

Thursday, October 09, 2008


Have you heard about NaNoWriMo? How about NaNoWriMo's Young Writers Program? If you haven't you should check it out. Tonia reminded me of it recently. I wrote a post about it on the HSN blog I manage. It's worth checking out, I promise. If you decide to try it out, let me know.

Little One Discovers YouTube!

I fear I've lost the use of my computer! Little one has discovered nursery rhymes and songs on YouTube!

It all started innocently enough when she crawled up onto my lap while I was working on the computer and asked me to sing to her. She fed me the songs she wanted me to sing. I got stuck on the words to one of her requests, Hush Little Baby, and did a google search to find them. That's when we discovered the world of YouTube Children's Songs and Nursery Rhymes.

We listened to a number together, with me clicking to different ones to try. Little one was enthralled! Finally I'd had enough and needed to do other things. Little one wanted more. I set her up to listen to one while I went to do some housework. She sat happily singing along.

Suddenly I noticed that the song I had set up was done and another had started! She had discovered how to use the mouse and start the next song! I was in shock! I had to be sure it wasn't a fluke. I let her alone and watched in amazement as she did it again and again.

All is lost! I know have to share my computer with my not quite 3 year old!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

National Newspaper Week

Did you know there was any such thing? Did you know that this week is National Newspaper Week? I didn't. I never heard of it before, until last month when I was searching for possible learning themes for the month. It was listed on the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers Association (NLTA) 2008/09 Observances Poster. It piqued my curiousity and I went searching. There wasn't much to be found. I couldn't find any mention of National Newspaper Week in any Canadian or Newfoundland and Labrador resources. If anyone knows of any please point them out to me.

I did manage to find some American references to it and some resources for it. I also managed to find some Canadian resources that could be used in a newspaper themed study so I put together a post about National Newspaper Week for the HSN blog that I am co-ordinator for. You can check it out by clicking here if you're interested. There are some really great resources there.

Oh, and by the way, the 25th edition of the Canadian Home Educator's Blog Carnival has been posted. Be sure to check it out if you haven't already.

Monday, October 06, 2008

A saluate to my firefighters!

This week is Fire Safety Week. Earlier today I published a post about it on the Newfoundland and Labrador Homeschool Nations blog that I am co-ordinator for. In that post you will find all kinds of links to information and activities. Inspired by Fire Safety Week I decided to post a saluate to my own firefighters.

DH is the Fire Chief of our community's volunteer fire department. I searched through my pictures for a picture of him in his fire gear to post but I couldn't find one.

DS#1 has been a member of the volunteer fire department for almost three years. He couldn't wait to be old enough to join and he sent his application in the day of his 18th birthday. He loves the work and has actually decided that it is something he would like to do as a career.

Here are some shots of him in action:

Being on a volunteer fire department means that you are on call 24/7. They both have their pagers attached to them at all times during the day and the pagers are sitting on their night tables by their beds at night. The pager may go off at any time and if at all possible you are expected to respond ASAP. This is something that my men do quite willingly. Sometimes it's quite funny to watch them scrabble the second the pager starts buzzing.

I am proud of them for their willingness to give up their time to be an asset to our community. I am thankful for all the members of our volunteer fire department that do the same. They are a very important part of our community and today I want to send out a salute to them all.

Featured in the 25th edition of the Canadian Home Educators Blog Carnival

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Prayers for the Stauffers

Juanita, a dear friend and fellow homeschooler, could use your prayers. Her 14 year old daughter, Emily, was attacked and killed while on a walk yesterday afternoon. Emily was a beautiful young lady inside and out. Her dad wrote a short blog post about it today.

Accept your self part 2

I found Celtic Mom's post through Mary's post, and what they were saying went along with the accepting yourself journey I've been on.

Celtic Mom talks about how we compare yourselves to others and end up with an "unjustified inferiority complex". She reminds us that we are all unique and each one of us is special in some way, but the sad thing is that we tend to focus on what we think is wrong with ourselves instead of on what is right. She challenges us to find pride and joy in being who we are, instead of wishing we were someone else.

That's not always easy, but it is important. We have to remember that God created each one of us unique and if we are busy trying to be someone else, then we are missing God's plan to be who He means for us to be. Instead of looking at others and trying to be like them we need to look at ourselves and be who we were meant to be.

I know all this, but I still couldn't bring myself to list 10 things I like about myself like Celtic Mom and Mary asked. I like the idea, but it's just too hard. Sorry. I am, however, working on seeing the positives, not the negatives, and even trying to realize that some of what I see as negatives may in fact be positives. I am meant to be me, not a carbon copy of someone else.

Accept yourself as you are

I seem to have struck a cord with many with my recent talk about how much I hate pictures of myself and how I'm trying to get over it. For many years now I have joked that I am alergic to cameras. I avoid them, at least the front of them, as much as I can. You would not believe how many paper pictures I have ripped up and how many digital pictures I have deleted over the years. Because of that, there are very few pictures of me, especially since I've been married and had kids.

Finding the scrapbooking hobby a few years ago made me realize how sad that is. According to pictures, I have pretty well been absent from our family's life for years. I can't go back and change the past, but I can change the future, and I've been trying to work on that, but I really haven't been that successful. I haven't been able to let go of the fact that I don't like pictures of myself. But I need to get over that. The importance of it was really driven home to me recently by this blog post, which was drawn to my attention the day after the writer of the post died, just a few days more than a month after she wrote the first post.

Earlier this month DD was getting ready to go out and looking like her beautiful self and I wanted to take a picture of her. She agreed on one condition, I had to get in the picture with her. Reluctantly I agreed. I hate me in the pictures. I almost deleted them right afterwards, but I kept them for her. I've never posted them anywhere but I am going to post them here as encouragement for you. Here are the pictures DD took that day:

Here are a couple of pictures I took of myself and Little One the day after I read the post I linked above:

And here's one I took of me. The great thing about a digital camera is that you can take lots and delete lots until you finally come up with one that is passable, if not totally acceptable. This was the best of the many that I took so you can imagine how bad the others were. ;)

I challenge you to do as the lady I linked to above said, "hand over the camera and get in those photos!", or have some fun taking some self photos of you with your kids, or even you alone. Don't let another day pass with your kids not having a picture of you, especially one of you with them. You may not like what you look like in the pictures, but it is the you that your kids love. Be brave - get in those pictures, and keep them, and post them even. Accept yourself as you are.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Tag, You're It

Janet tagged me, and while I often avoid a game of tag I'm in a strange mood this morning so I think I'll play for a bit. She also got to me by mentioning that she has Newfoundland connections. :)

Here are the rules.
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag sixish people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know he or she has been tagged.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Now for Six Random things about me:
1. I'm a chocoholic, but I'm not a chocolate snob, just about any chocolate will do. :)
2. I would love to be bilingual. I loved French in highschool, but hated it in college. I think the best way to learn a language is to be surrounded by it. If I had a friend near by that was bilingual I'd make her talk to me in french all the time so that I could learn.
3. I sometimes joke that I am bilingual because my sister and I drive my mother and DH crazy speaking pig latin when we don't want them to know what we're talking about. We've kind of developed out own version of pig latin and can converse in it quite easily, while others that know pig latin have trouble following us.
4. My optometrist says I have the weirdest eyes he's ever seen. I'm near sighted in one and far sighted in the other and he declares that my eyes are older than me.
5. I have never dyed my hair, except for that one time when I tried a wash in wash out dye once as a joke. I wear my grey "sparkly" (as my DD calls them) strands with pride. I've earned them. :)
6. I had all 4 of my children by C-section and the last 2 are 13 years apart. I had the last one while in my 40s and had to endure a doctor advising me to consider terminating the pregnancy because of the dangers to both me and the child because of my age, inspite of my assuring him that I considered this child a gift from God, albeit a surprise gift, no matter what. Both Little One and I survived and are as normal as can be, well, that actually depends on who you talk to I guess. :)

Opps! I relly got carried away with this. I meant to keep it light and fun, but got a little serious in that last one. Oh well. There it is.

Now, I'm going to break one of the rules. I'm not going to tag 6 people. Instead I'm going to say if you read this, consider yourself tagged. Play if you want, don't if you don't. Let me know if you do decide to play because I'd love to come read about you.

Thanks for the fun, Janet!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Glassy Beach

This week some of the homeschooling families in our area got together for a hike to glassy beach. We were blessed with a beautiful day for it and we had a great time. Here are some of the children enjoying their adventure.

Glassy beach is a beach in a small cove in our community that is covered with bits of broken glass and pottery that have been rubbed smooth by the ocean and the elements. You can dig way, way, down and still find mostly the smooth bits of glass and pottery. It is really neat. It's a bit of a hike to get there and the beach is quite small, but it is well worth the visit. Here Little One and I are searching for treasures

We went there for the first time years ago and I was awed by it. It seems to me that there is not as much there now as there was then, probably because there have been a lot of visitors since then and many people have taken bits of the glass and pottery for souvenirs and to use in crafts. I have heard that the town was trying to institute a by-law restricting what people take from the beach in order to protect it as it is. I can understand that, but I can also understand people wanting to bring a little home. We didn't bother to bring any home, we brought home some great pictures instead. :)

Here are my two beautiful daughters. This is the only picture I took. The rest were taken by DD#1.

Little One looking out over the ocean.

My beautiful eldest daughter sitting on a rock looking over the ocean. She took this herself!

Me. DD insisted this one was a keeper so I was a good mommy and let her keep it. I'm really working on trying to let my children have more pictures of me because they are so few.

DD took lots of great scenery pictures too. Here's a sampling:

Monday, September 22, 2008

Wanna trade Candidate cards with us?

A few posts back I mentioned that DD and I were planning on making Election Candidates Trading Cards. Shortly after I posted that DD and I were chatting and we came up with what we think is a great idea. We thought it would be neat to actually trade Candidate cards with others. Read on to see if you're interested.

We have decided that our cards will be 3 1/2 x 2 1/4, the size of a normal playing card. On one side of the card we will have a picture of the candidate, something to indicate the party the candidate is running for, and the riding the candidate is running in. The other side of the card will have information about the candidate - name, age, and a short bio including information about family, work, education, political experience, etc. There really won't be room for a whole lot of information so we'll have to see what we can fit. We are hoping to get cards made representing each of the candidates in the seven ridings in Newfoundland and Labrador but we will definitely be making cards representing each of the candidates running in our riding.

Most likely the design of the cards will be done on the computer and then printed and front and back stuck on to cardstock to make the card. This would make it pretty easy to make as many cards as you wanted of the same kind. If we decide to make the cards without the computer somehow we could still scan the finished cards and make duplicates if needed.

If you decide to make cards representing the candidates in your area we would love to trade with you - you sending us a set of your cards and we sending you a set of ours. Anyone interested? Leave a comment to let us know

A whole new twist

Our election studies have taken a whole new twist. I found out that a friend decided to run as a candidate for our area and I offered to help with his campaign. I've never done anything like this before and it really gives you a whole new side to the election process. I didn't realize before all the work that goes into an election campaign!

Today DDs and I were busy putting together lawn signs.

DD was thrilled to get to use DH's chop saw to cut the posts for the signs.

She made fun of me when I struggled at first with using the power tool to screw the placards onto the posts, but I got the hang of it before too long.

She had a better understanding of how difficult it was at first when she finished cutting the posts and tried her hand at using the power tool, but she soon got the hang of it too.

Even Little One had a part to play. All on her own started taking the finished lawn signs and putting them up with the others.

It was a new learning experience for us all on all kinds of levels, and it was fun to all be working together.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

First Homeschoolers Hike of the year!

Not this past Friday, but the Friday before, some of the homeschooling families in our area got together for our first hike of the year. We decided to try out the new boardwalk that has been built in one end of our town. It's not completely finished yet but what is finished is beautiful. We had a great day for the hike and we got some great pictures. In the one above you can see little one trotting off after the others thinking she's just as big as they are. In the picture below she is enjoying a cookie from a stash of homemade cookies that one of the moms brought. They were yummy!

I took a group picture of all the children but I won't post it because I'm not sure how everyone feels about having their pictures posted on the web. Some of the older children weren't too pleased about posing for the pictures but it turned out really nice.

Here's my oldest dd clipped from the group picture:

And here's little one, my youngest dd, clipped from the group picture:

I even got DD#1 to take a picture of little one and I on the hike. Pictures of me are rare because I always try to hide from the camera but I'm realizing how silly that is and how important it is that my children have pictures of me with them as they are growing up, so I'm trying to be better about getting some taken.

The pictures below are beautiful scenery pictures DD#1 took while we were on the hike. She has a real eye for taking great pictures. She actually took all the pictures on the hike, except for the group pictures that she was in.

It was a great first hike and I'm looking forward to others throughout the year.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Election Candidates Trading Cards :)

Inspired by part of Renee's post today, DD and I have decided that the next project for her political studies will be to make player/trading cards for the candidates that are running in our province in this election. The front will be a picture of the candidate and the back will have information about the candidate. We will probably include something on the front to indicate the party the candidate is running for. We're pretty excited about this idea! It will be something neat to add to her election 2008 lapbook. I'll post pictures when we actually get some done, which will probably be a while as we gather information and work on a design.

Who knew elections could be so fun!?! :)

Another homeschooler watching election happenings

I've been watching Becky's blog for a while now. She often gives me food for thought. I kind of thought she would be having something to say about the federal elections. While I may not always agree with what she says, I like hearing what she has to say because she causes me to think. If she's okay with her, this is where I will link her posts on the election.

Cracking up II

Coming back with their marbles

On the shoulders of...

Opportunities and opportunism

Highs and lows on the Canadian Campaign Trail

Friday, September 12, 2008

A pause for what is truly important

Once again Ann causes me to stop and consider what is really important. I have been so caught up in so much. My blog has been overtaken by election posts as I try to encourage learning along those lines. It, too, is important, but I must not forget what is truly most important.

In Ann's post today, titled A Place for Everything..., she tells us, as only Ann can, about her prayer bench. It's simple, yet extraordinary. I love it. I want one like it. I love how she's thought it all out and made sure that it serves the purpose it is set to serve - to make prayer a visable, vital part of the every day, every moment.

Thank you, Ann, for the reminder to pause and consider what is truly important.

Consumer costs

According to this article, consumer costs, including the price of gas, is one of the issues that leaders will be addressing in this election.

In this article Jack Layton explains some of his plans in this regard.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Political Ads and Party troubles

Often times parties encounter all kinds of troubles during a campaign and often times these troubles are associated with ads and statements that are made without thought. Here is where I will collect links that have to do with that in this campaign.

This Toronto Star post talks about the Puffin Poo ad that the conservatives pulled.

This Canadian Press post talks about a statement made by Ryan Sparrow, a top Conservative Campaign official, to a father of a dead soldier.

CBC article about the same incident.

Conservative Candidate makes joke about listeria outbreak.

Leaders Travels

A great idea would be to create a map to use especially for tracking the travels of teh party leaders during the elections. It would be a good way to get some review of the layout of our country and the different provinces, along with following current events and learning some politics. You could make this as creative as you want. Design your own mini airplanes for each party, making it easily identifiable with the party, and park it at each place as you learn about the leader visiting that place. Create an individual mark of some kind for each party to leave on each place as they leave so that you have a permanent record of where they leaders have been.

Here I will link articles that I come across that talk about the leaders travels:

This article lays out the leaders travel plans for Thursday, September 11

This article includes information about the leaders travels on Friday, September 12

This article says that Layton and Harper will be in Newfoundland and Labrador on Saturday.

This article gives some information on leaders travels for Monday and also gives information on some issues.

Military Issues

One of the issues in this election is that of the Canadian military, especially as related to our role in Afganistan

In this article Taliban claims to increasing attacks on Canadians in attempt to influence elections

In this article party leaders react to Taliban claims.

In this article Harper commits to to a 2011 end date to the Afganistan mission.

Provincial Candidates

Here I will collect links about the candidates that are running in our province.

This post announces that Ryan Cleary will run for the NDP in the St. John's South riding.

This post announces Craig Wescott running as Conservative candidate in St. John's east and Merv Wiseman running as Conservative candidate in St. John's south.

This Western Star Article announces candidates in St. John's East riding - Craig Wescott for the Conservatives, Walter Noel for the Liberals, and possibly Jack Harris for the NDP

This Western Star article talks about the candidates for the Random riding - Liberal Judy Foote, Conservative Herb Davis, and NDP Terry White.

This Western Star article confirms Jack Harris running for NDP in St. John's East

This article points out how Westcott and Cleary have in the past publicly ridiculed the very parties and leaders they are now running for.

In this article Jack Layton laughs off Cleary's former remarks about him and his party.

This article is mainly about Cleary running for the NDP but it also mentions other candidates.

This Western Star article announces conservatives have candidates in 5 of the 7 ridings. Craig wescott in St. John's East, Merv Wiseman in St. John's South, Fabian Manning in Avalon, Herb Davis in Random, Andrew House in Bonavista.

In this Western Star article Gerry Byrne talks about his plans.

This Western Star article introduces Lacey Lewsis as the conservative candidate for Labrador.

This Western Star article announces Mark Kennedy as NDP candidate in Humber riding.

This Western Star article announces the candidates in humber riding - Liberal Gerry Byrne, Conservative Lorne Robinson, NDP Mark Kennedy, and Wayne Bennett for the Newfoundland First Party

In this article Fabian Manning says he expects to win, but some voters tell why they won't vote for him.

Labrador not happy that candidates running in their area are not from their area.

Reminder and update

DD learned a lesson today. She had used one site for information in making her poster about the candidates in the different ridings in our province. When my dad was visiting today he noticed that some of the info wasn't right. Turns out that the site we were using has some information from the last election posted and haven't updated it for this election. It was a well needed reminder for us to not just depend on one source for your information but to be sure to use more than one source and be sure your sources are reliable.

Also, I got a call from the Student Vote people today. Their program is available for homeschoolers so be sure to check out their website and register.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Williams' "ABC" Campaign

This is a topic that is of specific interest to us Newfoundlanders.

Newfoundland and Labrador's Premier Danny Williams thinks that Prime Minister Stephen Harper backed out of a promise he made to Newfoundlanders during the last election. The promise had something to do with the issue of equalization. As a result, Primier Danny Williams, though he is Conserative, has launched an "Anything But Conservative" Campaign and has said he will do his part to see that Newfoundland and Labrador has no conservatives elected in the upcoming federal elections. For the most part I really like our premier but his thinking in this matter baffles me. Maybe I'll understand it better once I research it, or maybe I'll just be all the more baffled, we'll see.

In this post I will be collecting links that have to do with Premier Williams' and his ABC Campaign.

I only have a rough idea of what the whole "equalization" thing is all about so I need to learn more about that. As I get time I will try to find links that will help with that and the equalization issue may end up becoming a separate topic but for right now I will deal with it here.

This article tells about Williams email to MHAs seeking support for his ABC Campaign.

This article states that only one of the MHAs, Elizabeth Marshall, has said she does not support the campaign

This article says that the ABC campaign is making it difficult to find candidates and volunteers for the Conservatives in Newfoundland and Labrador.

In this article St. John's East Conservative candidate, Craig Westcott, explains his argument against Williams' campaign.

In this article Craig Westcott and Merv Wiseman, another Conservative candidate, speak to the equalization issue.

This article tells about Premier Williams sending a letter to each of the main party leaders detailing specific questions to answer.

Here you can get pdf's of the actual letters.

This article tells about Danny Williams attacking Stephen Harper in a speech. I have debated whether I should just leave this as links to articles with no comment about them but I just can't resist with this one. Danny Williams complaining about Stephen Harper's cuts sounds a little like the pot calling the kettle black. Many Newfoundlanders are upset at the way that Danny has been running things in Newfoundland and Labrador. He has done many things that he deemed necessary for our province, even though they may not have been popular. I think Stephen Harper has done the same thing in running things in our country. Also, it seems crazy for a member of the Conservative party to say that "the future of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians — and indeed all Canadians — will be very bleak under a Conservative majority". It just doesn't make any sense!

In this article Danny Williams says he may take his ABC campaign to other provinces.

This Western Star article talks about local MHAs support of the ABC Campaign.

This article talks about the media emailing MHAs about stand on ABC campaign.

This article talks about the cost of the ABC campaign.

This article talks about Danny Williams increasing his attacks.

In this article Harper addresses Williams ABC campaign.

Article talking about Conservatives helping other parties.

Williams has a website for his ABC campaign.

Williams takes ABC campaing to Manning riding.

The Leaders Debate

The Leaders Debate is a televised debate between the leaders of the main political parties.

There has been a big fuss about who should be participating in the televised leaders debate during this election. Here I will collect articles about the leader's debate in general and articles about the debate. If you have any link you think I might be interested in adding, please leave a comment.

In this article the Green Party threatens to go to court if they are excluded.

This article reveals that the networks have ruled that Green Party will not be a part of the debate.

In this article Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May, accuses Harper and Layton of threatening to boycott the debate is she was a part of it.

This site was posted by the green party about the issue.

This article announces that the networks have changed their minds and the Green party leader will be a part of the debate.

A Toronto Start Editorial about the debate about the debate.

Information about the debates to be aired October 1 and 2.

This is ridiculous!

According to this news article, Elton John is playing back to back concerts in St. John's on October 2nd and 3rd, but rather than stay in St. John's over night he is flying back to Halifax after his concert the first night and flying back again for the concert the next night!

I am not a concert attender at all. I hate crowds. I also hate overly loud music, except on very, very rare occasions for very brief moments, like when DD and I occasionally bomb down the road singing at the top of our lungs to our favorite songs. I also don't understand the outrageous costs ($112.50 each!) for tickets to these concerts. I could find a lot of other uses for the money. But to each his own.

I am also not a big Elton John fan. Actually, I'm not an anybody fan. It's not that I don't like Elton John's songs or music. I do like some of it, but I like a variety of music at different times depending on my mood. After reading this, however, I am even less of an Elton John fan.

I take it as a bit of a snub that he isn't staying overnight in our province. It just doesn't make any sense to me! Maybe there is a logical reason, but I sure don't see it. All I see is a snob that thinks he's above staying in what he considers a lesser place. I could be wrong, but that's what I see. I'd love to know the reasoning behind the decision.

Thoughts anyone?

Monday, September 08, 2008

It's Federal Election Time!

I love to use current events as a jumping off point for our learning. This morning DD and I brainstormed about how we could do that very thing with the upcoming election.

She came up with some very basic questions to start with - why is there an election? what are the different levels of government and what are their responsibilities? We discussed this some and discussed how we could do more research into these questions and the different ways we could present our findings. She's thinking about doing a "Politics" lapbook.

I had already done a little research for possible resources last night and found a site called, "an independent website which contains educational resources and links for Canadian teachers and students, and information about federal, provincial and territorial elections in Canada." This looks like a really great resource that I hope to use in the future, as well as during the current federal election.

DD and I perused the Canada Federal Election 2008 portion of the site after our brainstorm session and had a great discussion time. Our perusual promoted more ideas. She plans to contruct our own Count Down to Election Day poster to keep it fresh in our minds and to get all of us talking about it. She's also planning on making a poster of the ridings in our area and filling in the candidates running for the different parties in each riding as we learn about them. She may also make a little mini booklet about the party leaders.

I was thrilled with how she jumped right into the topic and actually seemed to enjoy it. She reminded me that during an election a few years ago she had set up a voting booth in our house and everyone had to cast their vote for the local candidates. I had forgotten all about that. Then I told her about the Students Vote Organization I learned about through the NoDice site. I don't know if the program is open to homeschoolers or not but it would be a neat thing for homeschool groups to take advantage of if it is.

This lead to a discussion about the voting age limit, which lead to a discussion of the history of the right to vote, which is most likely going to lead to more research and project possibilities.

So, we're off and running! Are you doing anything to incorporate the election into your learning? I'd love to hear about it if you are.

Edit: Just found some more great resource sites!

Link to Learning is a site "Linking you to web sites supporting the Ontario curriculum." Although it states it is specifically for Ontario Curriculum it can be a great resource to any homeschool. This resource is not specifically for the election but I found this work sheet, about the different levels of government and their responsibilites, from the site. In reality there is nothing fancy about this worksheet and you could quite easily just make your own without printing it off.

Government in Canada is the site you are supposed to use to fill in the worksheet. It has great information about the different levels of government and their responsibilities.

Canadainfo is the main site where the page above is found and it is another great resource, not just for the election.

Election 2008 is a specific section of this site for the upcoming election. It looks like it will be a great resource. It answers DD's question about the timing of the election, among other things.

I'm trying to decide if I should just added resources to this post as I find them, or make a new separate post each time I find new resources, or if I should make a special section in the sidebar for the resources I'm finding. Any thoughts on that?

EDIT: I have decided that rather than add to this post I will be making new posts about specific election issues. You can find all thet posts about the 2008 federal election by clicking on the federal election 2008 label at the bottom of this post.

EDIT: Just a reminder to be sure to check the validity of facts and statistics and not to rely on just one source of information. DD and I have discovered that the Nodice site information is not correct for your province, at least as of September 11. Also, the Students Vote program is available for homeschoolers so go register!

revised and published in the October issue of Homeschooling Horizons Magazine and also published on Homeschooling Horizons website

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The drive to be number one

Debbie makes some great points in her recent post titled "One week in town and ranting all ready...". This particular quote is very thought provoking:

"I read somewhere online the other day that over 80% of parents encourage their kids to be at the top of their class!!! Over 80%!!! Now I know it's been awhile since I have sat in math class, but it doesn't take a genious to know that 80% of all kids will not be at the top of the class. So what about all those kids who fall short?? How do they feel when they know their parents want them to be number 1, or at least number 2 or 3, in their class, but they just can't do it?"

There's nothing wrong with encourging our children to be the best they can be, but there is something wrong in expecting them, and passing that expectation on to them, to be "the best" at whatever they are involved in. Failure is inevitable if that is their expectation because nobody is best at everything. We need to encourage our children to compare themselves to themselves, and steadily work at improving themselves, rather than compare themselves to others and try to surpass them. Big difference.

Comments lead me to great site

Just yesterday Julie commented on a post I made a while back. This lead me to check out her site. What a great find!

Homeschooling Ideas is where Julie, an experienced home educating mom of 6 years living in the UK, collects homeschool ideas to share. Lots of great stuff here!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Happy Anniversary to Me!

21 years ago to day was my wedding day.

It hasn't always been easy or fun, but we're still together today.