Thursday, June 30, 2011

Latest Thrifting Treasures

I love our local MCC thrift store and frequent it occasionally (I rarely come home empty handed so I need to limit how often I go - less during the school year, more during the summer). The kids and I biked over yesterday and these are the three treasures I found:

First off, I love footed glass bowls! I have a growing collection. I found this dainty crystal version for $1 then carried it around the store knowing that if I put it in the cart, little Ari was sure to break it. I imagine serving jam in it at a beautiful brunch! I usually make a nice brunch on Saturdays - maybe I will up it a bit and use my really pretty dishes to serve all the food!

Secondly, I found 2 boxes of 4 1/4 x 4 1/4 inch arctic white wall tile by Dal Tile. One case is unopened and one case has only about 5 of the 100 missing. They were $10 per box - new they would have been $0.28 per tile so about $54 for both boxes. Not a massive savings but certainly a deal. I am not sure where they will go but maybe in the powder room?

Finally, this beauty I had seen the week before and I was hoping was still there. I hesitated then and thankfully, no one bought it. At $8, this was the best deal! I told Jay we must name the dress form as that is just what you are supposed to do - he gave several options and finally came up with "Lacey". I liked that one so Lacey she is! She is in need of being recovered but for now, she works just fine like she is. Obviously I couldn't take her with me on the bike so we had to make a return trip to get her and the tiles.

All in all, a successful shopping trip!

Any great thrifting finds you have found recently? Do tell!

Monday, June 27, 2011

One Very Fine Lady

This past weekend I had the pleasure of helping my grandmother celebrate her 96th birthday! Can you imagine? 96 years! She was born in 1915 as the second oldest (oldest daughter) of 15 children. From the time she was young, she was always a very hard worker and helped to take care of the rest of her family. She is a very resourceful and crafty lady, still sewing her own clothes and baking her own buns to this day. I have many fond memories of my grandmother. It was her encouragement to use her sewing machine that cultivated a love of creating with fabric and thread. She always had scrap fabric by the machine and was never concerned about what we did with it or how we sewed. We learned by trial and error because of her generosity and patience. Shortly after she married at 20, she learned she would never have her own children. 20 long years later, she adopted my newborn mom and a couple of years later, adopted my mom's sister. She is a godly woman who loves her family dearly and gives and gives and gives. She is generous and patient and a woman of prayer. I love her dearly and enjoy being with her. I don't go to see her often but really should - she cannot possibly have that many more years left and I would love to listen to more of her stories. So, happy birthday, Grandma! I love you!

PS: If family history has anything to do with it, Jay and I could be married for a very long time! His grandfather died at 94, I believe, and he has 2 great-uncles that are in their 90s - one just turned 97. My great-grandmother on my dad's side of the family lived to be 104. My grandmother just turned 96. Maybe Jay and I will live to be married for 70+ years - that would be so awesome! Then again, we both know that the Lord gives life and the Lord takes away - family history really doesn't make that much of a difference! ☺

Sunday, June 26, 2011

3 Times the Fun

What do you do when you have lovely arching willows, a roll of rope kicking around and far too many tires left on your property from the previous owner? Why, make a tire swing . . or two . . . or three!

(And, yes, I am well aware that there is still garbage standing up against that little shed - some of it was removed right after this photo and the rest will go, too! It is just a small indication of the many random things we have found all over this yard! It is like a treasure hunt except it is not treasure. So, I guess we can call it a garbage hunt!)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Family Affair

Mom asked me if I wanted fall-bearing raspberries at our new place. Absolutely! I love raspberries and having them both in summer and in fall? A no-brainer! No problem, I could dig some of hers. Correction. I had to dig ALL of hers. Didn't really seem too many while we were digging. So, I bag them up in two large bags and drag them home. That was Sunday. Yesterday, I loaded up the kids and the raspberries and headed out to the country to plant them. My father-in-law was kind enough to come till up the garden for me to prepare for the raspberries. He went home and I got to work. While I was digging the trench, this is what the kids were doing:

Big helpers, huh?

I guess they got tired of hanging around and doing nothing because when the trench was dug, I had a couple of eager helpers. RJ hauled the raspberries to his side and Pepe laid them all out so nicely.

I planted them while the kids ran off and amused themselves in various manners. First row finished. 40 plants. Not too shabby. Repeat whole process for row #2. 80 raspberry plants and we only finished the first bag. Now to water them. Oh, I should mention that though there is technically running water at the country property, we have not yet managed to get the pump working this year so watering the raspberries means hauling 5 gallon pails of water out of the well and carrying them over to the garden. Repeat 10 times. I am sure the effort will have seemed worth it when I am eating those wonderfully juicy and plump raspberries but for right now, I just want a nap!

PS: Thanks, mom, for helping me dig the raspberries. Thanks, dad, for tilling up the garden, and thanks to my little helpers for your hard work helping me plant them! This really was a family affair. Now if only someone with plumbing experience (dad) could get the pump to work, that would really make me happy. I might even share the raspberries!

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Father's Day to Remember

I don't usually hang out with my dad on Father's Day. It's not that I don't want to. It is just that there is usually no time. This year was different. This year, I had this brilliant idea that my sister, my brother and I should take my dad golfing on Father's Day. If you know anything about how I golf (or the rest of my family, for that matter!) or if you know anything about the personality of my family, you know that a golfing experience would certainly be . . . painful? Hilarious? Pathetic? Memorable! Certainly, above all else, it was memorable! Since this was only my second time golfing, I was BY FAR the absolute worst golfer . . . on the entire course, I am sure! But I managed to come home will only a few less balls than I lost in the woods (it helped that I also found 3 to balance the numerous ones I lost), I never threw my clubs in frustration, I am showing no signs of having infected myself with poison ivy (it was rampant in the bushes where my balls always ended up) and I had a lot of fun! I love my father and am so glad that I was able to spend time with him yesterday. I have given my share of ties (my father is the largest tie-collector I have ever seen and enjoys a really nice tie!), written a few notes, but I think this year I will remember for a long time. Maybe, just maybe, when his memory is no longer good and he forgets this day ever happened, he will let me golf with him again. That is probably the only time he would repeat yesterday's . . . adventure! I love you, dad! Thanks for the memories!

Friday, June 17, 2011


I wandered outside this morning, gazing at the lilacs in bloom, watching the butterflies flit from one blossom to the next. I meandered over to the birdhouse that was still holding all those black-capped chickadees yesterday. In fact, I took a photo of them, all growing up and crammed together.

This morning I saw one peeking his head out of the door. I wasn't sure if it was one of the parents or one of the chicks. Without hesitation, it took a jump out the door and started flying. As soon as I saw the wobbly path it took, I knew this was a fledgling! I was watching the chick fly for the very first time. I ran inside to grab my camera and watch nature in action! The first chick I watched fledge was a fairly good flyer, considering this was the first time. It flew from bush to tree to bush and back again. Mom and dad were busy squawking at him/her, though I wasn't sure if it was to cheer it on or out of paranoia! I was certainly nervous for it. We have a neighbour cat that loves to hang out in our yard and I was going to do whatever it took to protect this little flyer.

As soon as that one chick was out of the nest box, another chick made its way to the door. It sat for a long while at the entrance just checking out the world.

Mom/dad would come and feed it little green worms and continue feeding the other chicks that were now scattered throughout the lilac hedge. Finally, this last little chick made the jump and flew/fell in the nearby flower bed.

It was certainly much smaller than its siblings. I watched it for a minute or two hopping around on the ground and determined it was not ready to be out of the safety of the box. I got some gloves and scooped up this adorable little guy and put it back in his nest box. Mom/dad were grateful, I imagine, and continued to feed him. But, he was more determined to leave than I imagined and about 1/2 hour after putting him back, he was out again. Still hopping on the ground. So, I gave the glove to Ali and let her hold this sweet little baby.

After a few pictures, we put it on a branch in the lilac hedge. It was safer there than on the ground. Mom/dad are sure to find it.

I can only think that sometimes this is how the Lord feels about me. Sometimes I take a jump into something I am not ready for. He watches and waits to see what happens then swoops in to protect me from danger. He watches over me like a hen gathers her chicks under her wings (Matthew 27:37) This has certainly become much more vivid today!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

So Far in June . . .

June has been a fun month full of good times. Some of the things we have been up to include:

Helping daddy in the chicken barns

Church Picnic

Zipping on the zip line

Cheering on the big kids

Watching Pepe excel at baseball

Watching RJ excel at soccer

And to think of all the things I wasn't able to get pictures of like the BEST fireworks ever right here in our little town, a date to see the Titanic exhibition (fascinating, really!), the AJ in soccer and AJ & RJ in baseball (more to come and so will the photos!). I love summer and all the fun things it entails! Now, for the second half of June!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Remember those black-capped chickadees that made a home in one of my birdhouses? Well, I knew there were eggs in there but today I noticed the mom and dad spending very little time in the house and a tonne of time gathering insects to bring to the house. That could only mean one thing - babies!

If I counted correctly, there are 10 little babies in that tiny nest! How a bird 5 1/4 inches long and weighing only 11 grams manages to lay 10 eggs is beyond me! Just in case you wanted to know, an average brood is 6-8 eggs so our Mrs. Black-Capped Chickadee is a bit of an overachiever!

I just love the tufts of feathers sticking out of the back of their head! So adorable! And, I am guessing, very newly hatched!

School. Is. Out!!

Yes, the Falk Academy of Learning is official out for the year! Yippee (insert happy dance here)!! Well, to be truthful, AJ has a couple of pages left in his math workbook but none of it is new information and therefore very independent work. Both boys have been finished with their Language and Phonics for about 3 weeks and geography was finished about 2 weeks ago. Science was completed today as we finished the last couple of pages in Apologia's Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day (which we all loved - next year it is Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day!). These are the two lap books they made that accompany that study.

I bought them through knowledgeboxcentral (I think) and though it was great for me as it was the first lap book we did, I won't buy the pre-made ones again. I have a specific way I like to do the lap books utilizing the space the best way possible and as many different fonts as necessary to make it artistically fun to look at. I also cannot stand when the text box has been left around the text or when all cutting lines and folding lines appear the same as a solid black line (for me, solid lines are cutting lines, dotted lines are folding lines).

Back to the point! Though I am glad that school is done for now, I really enjoyed teaching the kids this year. It is certainly a stretching experience, mostly in my character development, but I am so thankful yet again that I have the freedom to teach my family throughout the day about more than just school subjects! We are able to have great talks, lots of laughs (admittedly, some tears), fun activities and a whole lot of together time. I always say that we will take this homeschooling journey one year at a time but I am positive we will be embarking on this journey yet again come September. After all, I received their geography curriculum for the next couple of years this week and I am excited to start prepping it!

So, what now? Well! Let's see, there is major organizing/decluttering/cleaning that needs to happen, some painting, a few beds need to be built, a bunch of sewing to complete to name just a few summer projects. I MUST learn to manage my time better. I am a terrible time manager and yet I still manage to accomplish a good deal. Not as much as I would like but enough. Imagine all I could accomplish if I would manage my time better. A few things I would like to see happen that are seriously lacking right now - quiet time for me each morning, a time to workout each day and time to craft/create each week plus a better cleaning routine. Those are things that are of utmost importance to me so this summer I must learn to manage my time! I some tools to help with that so we shall see how that goes. But, for the remainder of this week, I will just marvel at what we accomplished this year and do a bit of cleaning. Maybe we will take a day to spend in the country doing some more tree-clearing there. That is, if it stops raining!

Any plans for your summer?
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