Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Spring Break

It's late on the eve of April Fool's, and I'm sitting here in the family room with my feet on the coffee table, wrapped in a blanket, feeling very glad tomorrow brings the return of our regularly scheduled programming.

Spring Break, with all its hustle and bustle, and time away, was wonderful... but our family thrives on routine and scheduling, and this mama is tired.

We started off with Ellie passing her first "regular" level of swim lessons! That was a huge victory for her, and the best part was that I purposefully didn't mention that Ellie had any sort of special needs. For too long, we've gone along with the labels, thinking that was the most helpful thing, but Ellie is so much more capable than people give her credit for!
We spent most of the first week of break recuperating! These kids slept in like nobody's business!

The joys of easy mornings

Ellie's learning all about seeds, and plant life cycles. She loves her seedlings, and is always excited to check on them in the morning!
I think we may have over-seeded our cucumbers! 

We were fortunate to be able to go up the Coast for the second half of the break. We rented an awesome beach-side house, and spent almost a week in total absence of technology! No tv in the house, no phones, nada. IT WAS BLISS!!

We made a point of hiking every day that we were away.

Can you believe we started at sea level? And that this small girl, who was told she might never be able to walk on her own, made her way to the top completely under her own power?! 

We're working on getting Jakey to take time to smell the roses, and not just zoom through life. Ellie takes her time, taking everything in, and hollered at the boys to come back up the hill to check out her neat find of a heart-shaped stump.

 We walked the beach several times a day, looking at the sea life, checking out cool rocks, and living the life. Ellie used to struggle with walking on sand, and especially with walking on uneven rocks. Not this time!! She was a super star!

Jakob's favourite activity, other than drawing and reading, was "walk only on the logs". I didn't realize how much of a challenge it would be, or how fun it could be! We played videogame-style, alternating between being Player 1 and Player 2, switching who led as we went. It was awesome, and I already miss it so much!
 Our second "major" hike was Soames Hill in Gibsons. It's something like 450 ft in elevation gain, over a short distance, which meant LOTS of stairs. In September, our goal was for Ellie to be able to walk up and down stairs using both legs. She has worked tirelessly at this, and everyone who has been to our house has undoubtedly heard me say "use both legs!", or "go back down and come back using both legs". Her left side has always been weak, but you never would have been able to tell based on how she tackled Soames!! She climbed, and climbed, and could have kept going, except we were as high as you could get. She's really something incredible.

We learned all about sea creatures at the Marine Science Centre in Gibsons Public Market! 

 Ellie was especially fascinated by the spotted prawn tank, where four prawns were fighting over the remains of a sea anemone, which may or may not have died of natural causes...
That smile. the one when she's learning and loving it, that makes homeschooling 1000% worthwhile

 Check our those balancing skills! Seriously, we worked on balance beam abilities for YEARS. This ramp is on a decline, headed out to the wharf. I'm so excited she's made all this progress, maybe this will be the year of the bicycle!!

 Ellie picked a book out for the trip on drawing fairies and mermaids. She brought along a little notebook, and happily drew fairy after fairy. Her drawing skills are so cute, they make me giggle! It's amazing how low muscle tone affects everything, right down to the tips of your fingers. That she did these all on her own (ie, not watching me make the shape, and then copying) was super impressive.

Seriously so nice to have traded #screentimeforgreentime, and spent the week #outsideandunplugged
We all feel so much more connected, both as a family, and to nature. Have you checked out Healthy By Nature? My friend Jennie has spearheaded an awesome campaign to get people outside, and back in nature. Follow her on Instagram: @healthybynatur for ideas on how to get outside more often!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Quick January Recap!

Working on knife skills

Following Raddish Kids Recipes

Riding lessons!!!

Eating outside when it's nice out...



Daily Routine

Math work
Making bread

SO proud

Being outside every day

Monday, October 15, 2018

Adjusting to the new normal...

If you had told me, even half a year ago, that I would learn to love homeschooling, I would have told you that you were crazy.

I clearly remember the first week, when both my kids were in full-day school, and I had actual time to myself. I loved that time. I loved my work, I was in shape, I felt good. But, Ellie was not being pushed to reach her potential, and change needed to happen.

I may have lost all my "me" time, and I miss it, but the reward to seeing her thriving is undeniable! Although I often reach the end of my patience by the end of the day, every morning I am grateful that we have another day to spend together, exploring the world together.

Today, after we drove Jakob to school, had done our chores, and after her tutoring, we decided to go on a Colour Hunt nature walk. We needed a few groceries, too, so we packed our bags, and went out into the incredible October sunshine. I have needed days like today, and the weekend. When the sun is shining, and the air is crisp, it's hard not to feel grateful for what we have.

Ellie was a superstar colour finder! We started with red, and worked our way through ROY G. BIV (plus PINK!). 

Jason's been working a lot lately, and is on a business trip this week, so I'm flying solo with the kids. I'm glad both kids have their activities, where I can catch up on what needs to be done, and plan ahead for what I'm able to. I am SO grateful the school has hot lunches twice a week. I can't even tell you how awesome that is!

Now, if only I could carve out some exercise time, that would be amazing. 

The last 6 weeks

We went on a big adventure to Denmark

BIPAP still works overseas!

We explored the most wonderful risky-play based "nature" playground, complete with Nature School

Ellie really enjoyed testing her abilities

I really wish playgrounds at home were designed with so many options for decision making! This was such a challenge for Ellie to climb, but she was determined to do it. 

The other grown-ups in our group were slightly freaking out abut this one, but Ellie rocked it!

Ellie has decided she wants to model. Haha, she's so funny! She loved shopping in DK!

First Roller Coaster!!!

Being at a real castle has triggered Ellie's new obsession to find a prince!

We walked, and walked, and walked!

The forests were magical

Ellie and the Little Mermaid

Back home and straight into Yoga Classes! Tiny Yogi <3

Walking Piper

Visits with her BFF

Embracing her chore list!

Learning to Roller Skate

First Cousins sleepover at our place... the girls helped me make pancakes

Incredible October Hike!

Happiest dog ever!