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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

5




Henry has transformed into a five-year-old!


As a baby, Henry never had a favourite blanket or stuffie, but over the past year, he has treated his Ultra Bee Transformer toy like a baby doll. Henry tucks it in at night and brings Ultra Bee with him everywhere he goes. So, to celebrate this milestone birthday, we went with a Transformers themed party at our Forest School.


The highlight of the party was the scavenger hunt through the woods. Henry and his Autobot friends were sent on a mission to save our planet from the evil forces of the Decepticons. Once they found the Energon crystals, the Autobots were also rewarded with an Optimus Prime pinata.


Big, fat snowflakes began to fall as we were gathered around the campfire, roasting hot dogs for our lunch. It was incredibly beautiful.



The hot chocolate station I had set up inside our cozy cabin was a hit with the kids. Mix-ins included sprinkles, whip cream and mini marshmallows. Later, we sang Happy Birthday and enjoyed a piece of cake. I baked the cake, but I have to give Mike credit for creating the Autobot symbol out of red fondant. He did a great job!

It was really cute to watch Henry open his presents and homemade cards from his friends. He was so excited about each gift he received and he complimented all his friends on their beautiful drawings. He was spoiled with thoughtful presents and I was so proud that he enthusiastically thanked everyone for his gifts.



Thank you for transforming me into a mother, Henry. Happy 5th Birthday, sweetheart!


Autobots, roll out!







Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A Hygge Halloween


With all the candles lit, plenty of warm jack-o-lantern soup in our bowls and my family carving the pumpkin we picked up at our local farm together, Halloween has truly been a hyggelig event this year. I enjoy making the change of seasons a happy time in our home.


In honour of the spooky season, we hosted a spooktacular and served Halloween-inspired food including; Franken guac, a creepy charcuterie board, mummy dogs, a skeleton veggie tray and spider cupcakes for dessert.


As for decor, the dollar store was on point this year-pumpkin lanterns, a black lace spider web table runner and witches' brew potion bottles. Meanwhile, Henry and Rosie were busy getting crafty at our kitchen table and made potato stamp ghosts, toilet paper roll bats and mummy mason jar luminaries. Holiday magic always sparks a childlike spirit in my heart.


Henry and Rosie are excited to go trick-or-treating tonight in their handmade costumes. We go green for Halloween by creating DIY masterpieces out of things we have around the house and by making old costumes new again (e.g a dance costume I wore twenty-five years ago!)

Presenting my little Transformer "Optimus Prime"...


And her Majesty, the Queen.


Happy Halloween, friends!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Fall Family Time


Childhood is fleeting and I don't want to miss a moment with Henry and Rosie.


One of the benefits of teaching them at home is that we don't have to cram family time into weekends. Homeschooling is a lifestyle choice and I love that it affords us the freedom to spend so much time with our kids.


We're not just giving them an education, we're making memories! We are learning in the forest, at the kitchen table, at the cottage and even in a fort we built in our living room. I love that I get to make learning fun and that I can say YES to building a real robot.


As Henry and Rosie are learning, so am I. Homeschooling is an educational journey for the whole family. When I joined a local homeschool activity co-op, I thought I'd find a group of moms who dressed like they lived in the early 1900s, but instead, I found parents who are educated professionals including teachers and doctors.


Henry and Rosie have no shortage of time with friends-each week they attend Forest School, homeschool co-op, math playgroup, hockey and run club. Sometimes, we actually have to decline invitations so that we can get our homeschooling done.


I can't predict how long our homeschooling journey will continue, but for now, our family has found an amazing opportunity to learn and grow together.


Meanwhile, Fall festivities are in full swing at our house and we've been busy checking activities off of our bucket list; apple picking, bake Grandma June's famous apple pie, have a traditional turkey dinner, visit Pumpkin Inferno at Upper Canada Village...check! check! check! check!


This week, we're looking forward to hosting our cousins and taking them to our local pumpkin patch.


Meanwhile, Halloween costumes are being made, I'm finalizing the menu for a soup SPOOKtacular that I'm hosting and we're exploring our way through a list of family friendly hiking trails in our area.


The fall issue of Ottawa Family Living Magazine was recently delivered with the Ottawa Citizen and my article How Modern Moms Meet Other Moms was published on pages 32-33. You can read the article online here.


Happy Fall, friends!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Happiness Is...Summer

Life with a four-year-old and a two-year-old is a lot of fun. I am loving this season of life! Henry and Rosie are not only close in age, but they truly share a close bond. One day we were visiting our good friends and the kids were upstairs playing. Suddenly, I heard Rosie crying and before I got to the top of the stairs to see what was the matter, I heard Henry sticking up for his baby sister.

     "Hey! Don't do that to my sister!" he said. It was the sweetest thing!


These two have had a great start to their summer. At the cottage, we spend most of our days in the water. The kids love to swim, hike and canoe. When we're in the city, we like to attend different festivals and go on adventures with our Homeschool Activity Co-Op. The best part of being a working-stay-at-home-mom is that both kids will be joining me at Forest School this summer. I love spending my days with them and I treasure our time together.


Rosie's new phrase of the week:

     "Mama! I'm happy!"


And I smile every time I hear her say it. She's been diaper-free since March and is a spirited little girl. Meanwhile, Henry graduated from his balance bike to a bike with training wheels. He is very coordinated and is looking forward to starting hockey in September.


Mike and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary this month. We spent the day at the cottage and enjoyed a date night at the restaurant where we held our wedding reception. On the way back to the cottage, we made a quick stop at the cute little church we were married in on June 11th, 2011.


Life with this man just gets better and better! He's an amazing husband and daddy. For Father's Day this year, I threw my Blue Jays fan a baseball themed BBQ. He loved the burgers in a basket idea and enjoyed the sugar free/grain free chocolate torte I made him for dessert.


Speaking of celebrations, my girlfriends and I dressed up as 1960s go-go dancers to celebrate Andrea, the beautiful bride-to-be. I am so looking forward to this wedding in September.


My article "The Trekking Tribe" was published in the summer issue of Ottawa Family Living Magazine and even though I completed the course in April, I just received my certificate for completing the Forest School Practitioner's Course. It's made of wood!


The summer has just begun and I feel like we've done so much already; strawberry picking, the RCMP Musical Ride Sunset Ceremony, the Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival and a visit to Upper Canada Village. I'm looking forward to camping in a national park this summer (and using our free pass), visits with faraway friends, a trip to Toronto to visit cousins and a family vacation at the cottage to celebrate Canada's 150th with our very own fireworks display off the dock.



Ah summer, I love you!
     



Monday, January 30, 2017

Rosie's 2nd Birthday


The theme for Rosie's birthday came about because I feel the world is in need of some rainbows right now. Also, Rosie loves to colour and often asks to play a colour flash card game I found in a dollar bin at a big box store. It was admittedly a really fun party to put together.


The house was transformed into a rainbow explosion of love.




My favourite appetizer was the rainbow fruit skewers..,and the cheesies.



I didn't attempt to bake that famous seven layer rainbow cake. Those cakes look amazing, but I feared we'd all poop in technicolour. So, I kept it simple. Presenting my lopsided, double layer vanilla cake:



Happy Birthday to our colourful girl who loves all things Red, Yellow, Pink, Green, Purple, Orange and Blue.



Kids can never have too much cake in their lives-or too many rainbows.


Happy 2nd Birthday, sweet girl! It's going to be an exciting year.