Monday, December 18, 2017

Homeschool Band

This year, the homeschool band was a brass quintet of fairly senior players... and Cole.  Cole improved so much this season.  He started in September, barely able to hold a note for 5 seconds, to confidently playing all the Christmas repertoire at this year's concert.

Thanks, as always to Mrs. Shew, who is the more gracious, patient and generous bandmaster ever.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A Season of Performances

Christmas brings all kinds of performances around here.  The nutcracker at the NAC and the Christmas co-op recital being the most recent.  This Friday marks the end of the fall term and we are all ready for a break.  It always comes sooner than I expect and I am always anxious we haven't gotten enough done, but the snow is here and it's hard to say no to a frozen pond, so we'll pick up the books again in January.  

Glen Gould's Steinway... sweet.

For onto you a Child is born

Play Practice
Mary and Joseph presenting the infant Christ to Simeon

Cutest Inn Keeper ever

The Angel Gabriel

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Newaza - ground fighting - tournament

Epic Judo tournament at Takahashi Dojo today: 

Essy 5 wins 0 losses
Cole 4 wins 1 tie

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Books Lying Around

Seven years ago I would have written "lying around" as a title without wondering, "Is this the Lie that needs a direct object?  Is this the right use of to lay/to lie???" Seven years ago I did not know what a direct object was.   I do now.  I still checked grammar girl.

Several weeks ago now, a newly out-of-work homeschool mom asked if I might be interested in some books she was retiring.  That's what happens when you do a good job teaching your kids... they grow up, they go to college, they become productive adults and don't need to you grade their biology exams any more.

This mom opened her house to me and poured out what would be hundred and hundreds of dollars in books (and bookshelves to put them on...)  There were thousands of hours of work and love in these books.  They had her kids' names in them.  They had little stickies and notes in them.  There were books with broken spines that had dog eared pages and books that had scribbled comments in the margins like, "Argh, I don't get this question!!!'  That was mostly the math texts... They are a tangible history of a selfless mom and her now three grown kids.  "Her master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant!'" Matt 25:23

God is Faithful.

So now these books have filtered into our day.  They are in their various stacks for each of my three kids.  They are sorted on the shelves.  They'll get new stickies and they'll get tea on them and they may have broken spines by the time we are through with them.

God is still Faithful.

"He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to His heart; He leads those the have young." Isaiah 40:11

Thank you, Carol.  For everything.

Trampoline in Pictures - photos by Gabe

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


Jason turned 40 this past week and we celebrated it for a full week.  

I have lots of things to say about this man and the work the Lord has done in and through him.  I am so grateful for his testimony. I am over-blessed by God's mercy in giving saving faith to Jason.  

I have lots of pithy things to say about why I like Jason so much, but the biggest reason is found in Ezekiel 22:30.  The prophet speaks for God saying, "And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land." Jason has been a foretaste of the faithfulness that can only be found in our shared Saviour, Jesus Christ. He is a gap-standing-man and I so very, very glad he was born.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Dressin' up 2017

Soon to be mommy of four...
I think she's a zombie, she might just be a tired mom.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Changing focus

This year has been a big shift for Gabe.  Grade 9 has a very different type of course load.  It has less subjects per se, but significantly more requirements: tests, reports, challenges, competitions.  It's been a blessing to watch Gabe take this year on with a sense of ownership.

He has started a small web development side business.

He did three independent sites this September - one for our church, one for his EV team and he was offered a 1-year contract from the Middleville Fair to maintain their webpage.

I'm pretty impressed.  You should check them out:

500th Anniversary of the Reformation
The Pioneers EV Team Challenge
Middleville Fair

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Education of Esther Braden

Many days Essy gets shuffled around the boys activities, put in front of a workbook, and asked to  empty the dishwasher for me...  but not Tuesdays.  Tuesdays she gets poured into by my sweet friends.  This group of little guys are shepherded around the forest.  

They spend the morning memorizing scripture, working through Nancy Ganz's Bible commentary for children, naming the flora and fauna they've seen during their walks, doing art history, reading lovely books and drawing in their nature journals.   They are fed food almost too good to eat and just generally loved and cared for.  

I am so very thankful.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Hawk Moth

Cole's math was completely arrested this morning when he saw this guy out of the corner of his eye.  Perhaps the last time he does his math on the back porch.

"Spike" is now in the terrarium and we are waiting for him to turn into a Hawk Moth.  We'll keep you up to date.

Band 2017

I would say that the highlight of Gabe's week is Mrs Shew's homeschool band.  This year's group is more of a Brass Quintet.  Which is awesome.

After much cajoling, Cole has joined on the trumpet and is doing pretty great for this first week.

Essy is the practice bandmaster at the moment.  She wants a cello.

Thanks so much, Mrs. Shew.  You really make our week.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Middleville Fair

Puff Ball - Standard Bantam - Silkie - 1st prize 
Penny - Game Bantam - Old English Game Hen - 1st prize

A good day at the 167th Middle Agricultural Fair

Friday, September 15, 2017

Polar Dip - Silver Lake Church camp 2017

Gabe (far right)... being a crazy... 

Small Halls Beckwith - The Abrams and Sacha!

Part of Gabe's birthday present was tickets to The Abrams concert at Stonefields.  I am a very pompous music snob, because I am from Toronto and that's what we do... we mock everything that isn't at the Brunswick House or Lee's Palace.   It's not intensional.  We really are just that arrogant.  

But this concert - WAS THE BOMB!!

The opener was Sacha.  Normally you wait for the opening act to be done so the main act can just hurry up and play, but Sacha was totally awesome and super sweet and very tuneful and I loved her and I loved her fringed jacket almost as much!!  She gave Essy a free CD and signed it.  Go like her on Instagram.  Sacha Visagie

The Abrams were the best live band I have ever seen.  I can't really add much more hyperbole than that.  James Abram was an amazing fiddle player.  Totally amazing.  Their basist played for The Strokes and a bunch of other awesome 90s bands and he was the coolest basist player, pretty much ever.   They were talented and totally into it and humble-hearted and they ended the show with "God bless you" and after the show they chatted it up wit the kids and told them to practice their piano.  

I loved them.

They are playing at MacDondald's corners in a few weeks... we might go, for Jason's birthday, or because it's Friday or something...