Thursday, 30 July 2009


I ordered 30 pounds of blueberries through the Provident Living Co-op. I'm in blueberry heaven!!
I froze a bunch in bags, made jam and blueberry muffins. Oh how I love harvest season!!

I made blueberry jam....and then hours later I realized I wrote Grape Jam on the lids (???) I think I'm losing it. I do, however, make really good jam!! I was quite proud of myself for this little batch of canning. It was my first attempt at making jam.

Piles of blueberries in the freezer. It's a good thing! :0)

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Just learning as we write...

A funny thing about my kids is that they're a little obsessive about writing. When we're somewhere and the mood strikes them to write it's a big problem if we don't have enough paper or writing utensils for two kids. Sharing just doesn't work when it comes to writing-obsessive kids!

When I was teaching school, the last school I taught at used writing as the basis for a lot of the text the children used for learning in Language Arts. It was a brilliant approach, if you ask me. When they arrived in the morning they'd grab their writing books and they'd write about whatever they wanted. And the focus they had on that task was simply amazing. There was no rule about what they were to write, topics they were to write on, and there were no story starters needed, like you see in most classrooms. Their desks were in a circle and if one child was stuck on something they'd stand up and say, "Can I have your attention?" They'd then read what they had done so far and then ask for input from the other students. Sometimes if they didn't know what to write about they'd get inspired by the things other kids were sharing, and sometimes they'd stand up and ask for ideas from other kids. It was cooperative learning at its finest, if you ask me. Some kids seemed brilliant...and some well, they didn't quite seem as brilliant - but they all wrote. One boy in my class was really interested in tornados and he wrote about tornados every single day (no joke!) in Grade Two. And it was great!

So, since that approach was such a moving experience for me, I've always encouraged my kids to write. We don't always have a lot of time for it, but when summer rolls around I have always made the ominious announcement, "This summer we're going to write every day!" Usually they groan and roll their eyes at me. However, the funny thing is that they really do do long as I leave it to them to take the initiative. I just have to provide the fertile ground.

Peirce seemed to not have the same obsession for writing as Jill - but this summer he seems to be changing that. At first he wasn't doing it, but one day about a week ago he found my stash of empty notebooks (I have a fetish for notebooks) and he went through them and found a particularly beautiful one and asked if he could have it. Since then he's been writing pretty much every day. His writing isn't anything that would make you think this boy is a potential famous author. Instead it's just simple stuff that he is interested in. In the process, he is learning a lot about language and how words are spelled and, as a result of all that, his reading is improving too. It does my "teacher-heart" good!!

This week he is into lists. The other day he started making a list of his favorite words. Then he decided he wanted to make a list of different kinds of trees (don't ask me why! I have no idea!). Today it was insects. I finally taught him how to google because he kept wanting me to find a list, and write it down on stickies so he could put it in his notebook. He spent all morning today working on his lists of insects, and along the way he's learning about spelling, learning to use the computer, learning about insects, and having a great time. We had a few little melt downs when he'd somehow lose his spot on the internet - so I taught him how to make bookmarks so he can always get back to where he was if he accidently gets away from the page.

Ahhhh.....I love to see my kids do this kind of stuff!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Another day with my boy.....

So, today Peirce wants to know why bugs have six legs. I'm thinking, "You're such a brilliant boy" and admiring him for his curiousity...when he adds, "Because I wonder if they can still walk when I tear off their legs."



Not animal abuser!

Monday, 13 July 2009

When Mom Isn't Totally On Her Game

So, today, I pack a lunch for Peirce for Park and Play and I'm telling him what's in his lunch. He looks it over and says, "Well, I've seen better from you."

Friday, 3 July 2009

Stampede Parade

For a number of years we've received tickets to the Stampede Parade from fund companies that Allen does business with. Apparently the Stampede Parade was one of those things that got nixed from budgets this year, which caused a bit of a dilemma. We've lived here for 25 years or so and have NEVER curbed it!! This was our big chance at the experience (she said trying to be as positive as possible), so I got up at 6 am and headed downtown at 6:30....only to find out I was late!! After a bit of searching though and sweet-talking of security guards, we found ourselves a spot and I parked myself and waited for the rest of the gang to arrive. Allen went home and got everyone ready and then his brother came and picked them up and the fun began!! The parade was quite a lot of fun. Who doesn't love a parade?!

Peirce was the photographer this year. He took all these pictures

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Happy Canada Day!

This morning we celebrated Canada Day by having breakfast at our friend's, The Hawryluk's. We enjoyed visiting with everyone and were especially glad for the great weather!