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#61 of 705 Old 12-06-2009, 05:42 PM
 
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i guess the thing for me is that there are a lot of burnt out kids out here in england, where they start out at 4 in full-time school, and by the time they are 8 or 9, their peers in europe who started at 7 have surpassed them. the 9 year olds i know here seem totally exhausted, there's so much pressure for them to do extra-curricular stuff + homework, there isn't any time to play, and from what i've seen in my very small sampling, they quickly forget how to. doesn't seem so great to me i have several close people who are teachers here and they are appalled at the emphasis on testing...sound familiar?

*
Kind of what I was wondering about too. Great to have the novelty of "homework at age 5-6 and the teacher's gushing approval when you "hand it in" but fast forward 4 more years, and then another 4, and i'll guess that the homework+ extra curriculum overload, + the lack of remembering *how* to play and be playful in your being, will soon exhaust this next generation.

It's definitely a push to get the kids "ready" for the grade 4 testing to keep test scores up...and readying some of those for the bigger machine of consumerism. My don't I sound positive!!

I just wonder, if the kids had a say, if they could look into the crystal ball of how the next 12 years of their lives will play out, what would they choose? What will be important, time to learn at their own pace, romp and cloud-gaze at 11:00 in the morning, or more and more and more pressure and expectation and conformance? A human doing or a human being?

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#62 of 705 Old 12-06-2009, 08:31 PM
 
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Testing and education are two separate things. And learning in a good school can and should incorporate play. I don't think you can automatically assume that all children will lose the ability to play because they attend a full time school program. That assumes that their parents have surrended complete control of their children body and soul to the education system. Which I'm sure some do, but certainly not the majority. I know a broad range of children of varied ages who come from unschooled families, home schooled families and mainstream education families and they ALL still know how to play and embrace their inner child. I think that has everything to do with the type of development that is encouraged in the home, regardless of the education choice of a particular family.

And believe it or not, some kids are the type of personality that like structure and like homework/worksheets. Like mine, who totally loves "homework" despite the fact that it is not mandatory and doesn't elicite praise. It's just the way he is - which is the polar opposite of who I am. I think it is grossly unfair to children as a whole to assume that only one way of learning, whether that be unschooling or structured learning is right for ALL children.
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#63 of 705 Old 12-06-2009, 11:04 PM
 
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Hey everybody. We're back from our weekend in Courtenay. The kids had a number of meltdowns, likely due to the fact that the agenda was largely being set by the parents. It was stressful in that way and I'm glad to be home where there is room for everybody to spread out and do their own thing.

But the place itself was amazing. I'm totally in love with the Valley. It was truly beautiful (helped that the weather was clear and sunny!) and all the outdoor spaces - from rugged alpine hiking to beachcombing - appeal to the nature lover in me. We had a spectacular meal at Locals (and the kids actually were great there, thank goodness) and can't wait to go back and eat there again. Emily declared Cake Bread's Italian Loaf to be "the best bread I've ever had!". I was blown away by the variety of local and ethical/organic foods. Here it is hard to find sources of ethically raised meats but we found signs for such things everywhere. Pork, chicken, and beef right off the farm. We even went to a place that processes meat for local farmers and bought salami, black forest ham, and other treats ALL local. So many farms less than 10 minutes from downtown Courtenay sell eggs from a cooler at the foot of their driveway (the honour system is not dead!). The whole place was just so peaceful. And spectacular views whether you looked to the mountains or the ocean.

And...to be honest, there was talk of perhaps moving there...! We're definitely thinking about it.

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#64 of 705 Old 12-06-2009, 11:43 PM
 
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I love it there too. Every time we go I madly look at properties for a while, then the dust settles and we go back to being here. There was a great property in Courtenay for sale in the summer, several acres, an older house, fruit trees and just inside the city. Very nice. It had me drooling.

I need some "city" in my "country," so Courtenay and the areas around it are just perfect.

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#65 of 705 Old 12-06-2009, 11:57 PM
 
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Glad you liked Courteney! I find it a really crunchy place and yeah, its really an eye opener as to how many organic, local food places there are. The summer farmer's market is just amazing. I've found organic chicken, pork, beef, ostrich, and even emu for sale there. I like the locally made cheeses there to by "Natural Pastures". That, and a sourdough loaf from CakeBread make a great meal.

The only thing that I miss though when I'm there is the lack of selection of asian foods. I don't think I could live without a T&T or Hon's... And where would I go for good Butter Chicken and Naan??

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#66 of 705 Old 12-07-2009, 12:13 AM
 
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Mmmm, butter chicken. What was I going to say?
We live without a T&T on the North Shore. A little rough going, but we are used to it. Although I do crave okra sometimes. That and steamed buns. I don't make a good steamed bun.

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#67 of 705 Old 12-07-2009, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dido1, I have no problem with anyone choosing full day kindergarten for their child, or paying for full day kindergarten, and I'm sure the average private school's version of full day kindergarten is great! The problem is that 1. our public schools are not adequately funded to provide to care for the whole 5 yo child for a full day and 2. as a taxpayer I don't want to subsidize full-time kindergarten for all children because IMO this change will only serve a minority of children. I would support families getting direct support based on need and appropriateness rather than imposing this on all public school children.

I'm speaking as a taxpayer who is already subsidizing the educational and childcare choices of others while receiving little in the way of tax breaks or financial benefits for my choices.

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#68 of 705 Old 12-08-2009, 05:34 PM
 
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Glad you liked Courteney! I find it a really crunchy place and yeah, its really an eye opener as to how many organic, local food places there are. The summer farmer's market is just amazing. I've found organic chicken, pork, beef, ostrich, and even emu for sale there. I like the locally made cheeses there to by "Natural Pastures". That, and a sourdough loaf from CakeBread make a great meal.

The only thing that I miss though when I'm there is the lack of selection of asian foods. I don't think I could live without a T&T or Hon's... And where would I go for good Butter Chicken and Naan??
Most of the ingredients for butter chicken are fairly easy to get...and very easy to store.

The moving thing is...complicated. I don't want to move out of North Van - ever. But, we're going to have to at some point. We just can't afford to live here, anymore. We'll stick it out until ds1 graduates (only a year and half!!), so he can stay with his friends, but...then we'll probably head out...and I have NO idea where we'll go. We've thought about the Island.

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#69 of 705 Old 12-08-2009, 07:04 PM
 
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Only a few days left in our online auction (closes noon Friday) - take a look!
Here are a few items that might interest those here:

Cloth diapers: name brands, lots of stuff. Current bid: $61
Mayan handmade cloth breastfeeding/pregnancy dolls (5): $5 & $1
Maplewood Farm 1 year membership: $30
Books - lots of variety: $5 max, most at $0
$50 gift card to Stroller Strides (Richmond) $0
Pampered Chef items, jewellery, lessons & classes (horseback riding, martial arts, etc) & much more!

Please read the first page for instructions on bidding increments, payment & pick-up. The site is a little quirky, so bear with it. It does work really well.

Thanks!

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#70 of 705 Old 12-08-2009, 09:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know a broad range of children of varied ages who come from unschooled families, home schooled families and mainstream education families and they ALL still know how to play and embrace their inner child.
I think that concerns about children's ability to play are justified, and that public schools may be playing a part in contributing to those problems. For example, an article from Britain:
Quote:
A generation of children are being "contaminated" by a cocktail of addictive computer games, test-driven schooling, increased traffic and an irrational fear of strangers which leaves them unable to play outside, according to a lobby of more than 270 experts.
[...]
Writing today, they say: research evidence underlining the "marked deterioration in children's mental health" has continued to mount, insisting that a "key factor in this disturbing trend is the marked decline over the last 15 years in children's play".
Also, in response to a fascinating article on the Tools of the Mind curriculum, an author writing about the American public school system:
Quote:
In the past decade, we have moved toward standardized tests for kindergartners and a greater amount of structured instruction for young students. The pressure on teachers, in many cases, forces us to reduce the amount of time we make available for creative play. I believe the researchers are suggesting that this creative play results in an increase in student self-regulation. It seems to me that the more we pile on test preparation and scripted curriculum, the less ability students will have to focus and to exercise self-control. They will also exhibit less curiosity.
Most of the children in our cohousing community play and learn really well, but they are all in various private schools or special programs in public schools, so they are hardly typical. Everyone has a stake in mainstream public education, because the majority of our future citizens will be educated there.

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#71 of 705 Old 12-08-2009, 09:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Piglet, I don't recall you getting permission from the Vancouver(ish) Tribe to move to the Island



Of course I want what's best for your family. But still...

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#72 of 705 Old 12-08-2009, 10:51 PM
 
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Most of the children in our cohousing community play and learn really well, but they are all in various private schools or special programs in public schools, so they are hardly typical. Everyone has a stake in mainstream public education, because the majority of our future citizens will be educated there.
I love how you framed this final point Ksenia. It's so true. And yes, I want my kids to embrace their inner child as well as, and possibly more importantly, the child on the outside looking in who is just learning how to navigate the social world and all of its' constructs. I would like my kids to be there to welcome in those new or different children to their space so that true community can be achieved. I struggle with seeing "play" being coveted by those who are taught exclusionary behaviours and are taught to keep the outsiders out. It is a clique-ishness I haven't experienced with HL groups, but that I did witness for an entire school year as I made the effort to be around my Ds's school each day, every day while he attended his heart-breakingly painful K year. Being a home-based parent made that observation a reality for me, I could watch the interactions and observe the rules and exclusions in motion, and hit home with a clarity like nothing else would have. My Ds's innate ability to welcome, joyfully, anyone into his play was met hard by same age kids who had clear "rules" about who was acceptable to play with and who was acceptable to push around. This to me was not play. Chasing a butterfly to catch it quickly and deftly on my Ds's hand or to feed a chickadee in the school playground were events met with ridicule by his age-mates. His play wasn't accepted at all. The children who bullied were quite savvy and charismatic when they needed to be, and so I didn't see it at all being attributed to their development or other challenges they may have faced, in learning areas etc. IMO, it was learned behaviour, and I made up my mind then to preserve my Ds's ability to find joy in his play, and in his being, and not have to hide it to fit in. So we joined the life learners already further along the trek and I still have the delight of having my now (8!!!) year old "skip" around the house, creating Christmas wreaths out of cedar scraps for his Playmobil peoples' farmhouse, while his brother serves us "bean tea" from his tea pot, smiling. This to me, in our life, is play.

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#73 of 705 Old 12-09-2009, 03:20 AM
 
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Ksenia quoted:
Quote:
In the past decade, we have moved toward standardized tests for kindergartners and a greater amount of structured instruction for young students.
Today I was at Chapters to pick up Math Smart 7 for one of the boys that I work with and was astounded to see a series of books:
"Getting Ready for Kindergarten"
"Getting Ready for Preschool"
"Getting Ready for Pre-K" !!!!!
I was astounded that there were books out there targeting parents of PRE-Pre-K kids (age 2-3), to get a jump on thier academic development.

Mom to Kayleigh (05/07) Jacob (05/09) and Ned decluttering 615/2010
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#74 of 705 Old 12-10-2009, 12:23 AM
 
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Piglet, I don't recall you getting permission from the Vancouver(ish) Tribe to move to the Island
Lol. You're sweet. It's a tough decision, but I confess once I opened my mind to the idea of leaving it seemed perhaps to be a good time. The kids haven't settled into much here in the way of classes and activities - which has been fine so far and what they want. But I do sense they are both on the cusp of being ready for more. Sasha is starting to actively seek out friends on the playground and at group activities, and I feel Emily is ready to get into more structured activity, such as the SD Learning Circles. There's also a Farm School there, like an outdoor school, which I think both kids would love. The homeschool community is smaller there, but more close-knit (I suspect) because they're not so far-flung from each other. Here we have dear friends but seeing them gets tricky with us all so far apart and doing different programs, etc.

Plus, I can make it work with my teaching at UBC by staying with my Mum when I have to come into town, and it looks like DH could also make it work for his job. It would mean him being away 2-3 days a week most weeks but it appears the travel costs of that may be absorbed by his work. One of the four grandparents is now pretty much full time on the Island, two others are only in Vancouver half the year. Then there's what you get for your real estate dollars there...Seems like if we're going to do such a move, now might be the best time for our family rather than waiting until the kids are older.

Anyways, we're planning and thinking and pondering. No firm decisions yet but I'll keep y'all posted!

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#75 of 705 Old 12-10-2009, 06:41 AM
 
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piglet, here's the true test. if you decide to try it, and everything falls unbelievably into place, it is probably the right decision. i looked for a home in vancouver that would suit our needs better, for years. when we decided to look at living in london instead, i literally found the place we're in now, the very first place we looked at in person - love at first sight on the internet - and bizarre things like, the next door neighbours are girls exactly my children's ages...which is tricky as they are 5 years apart!...and it is what i've been wanting for so long. not only that, it is nearly impossible to find in london! i've seen it happen with another friend, as soon as they made a decision, it was like the world lined up to solve all problems in the most incredibly, over-the-top positive way.

of course i readily admit that you'd be living my alternate life so a little vicarious over here

i had a moment of hope that i may yet persuade my city boy, when he told me this is now his favourite show. you can find longer episodes online. delightful.

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#76 of 705 Old 12-10-2009, 01:49 PM
 
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artparent you are so right. I'm not what anybody would call religious or even spiritual, but I have learned throughout my life that things have a way of working out and leading me in the right path even if I'm looking down another path. We've made offers on three places here and each one has fallen through for various reasons. Other little things happening, with just the right timing, led to considering the Island. I don't know yet where we'll end up (we haven't given up our search here just yet) but I feel we're close to figuring out what is meant to be for us.

On another note, this weekend we're finally going to put up some decorations. It just hasn't felt like Christmas to me (maybe I need to start going to shopping malls, lol) and yet it's 2 weeks away! Anybody else doing some decorating? I'd like to do some holiday baking, too.

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#77 of 705 Old 12-10-2009, 02:08 PM
 
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Can anybody share their homelearning experience with me? Reading Autumn Mama's post reinforced many of my feelings about public school, but I still don't feel I have enough information to make an informed choice. How did you reach your decision? How do you network with other homelearners?

Diane, SAHM to DD (June 05) and DS (April 07).
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#78 of 705 Old 12-10-2009, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Vancouver Mommy, there are a lot of homelearning groups that are pretty casual and you could just drop in and get to know homelearning families. We started going years before my eldest was kindy aged and it really helped me to feel more comfortable. Homelearning is unique in every family. In the lower mainland you'll find homelearning children attending "schoolish" places on a part-time basis, you'll find families who are doing whatever interests them, you'll find children sitting at the dining room table scribbling in their curriculum workbooks, and you'll find every permutation imaginable. The cool thing about living here is that the homelearning community is large enough that homelearning families usually have the opportunity to connect with other families that share their style and philosophy. If you join the hs-van yahoogroup, you can read lots of past threads from parents who are on the fence about homelearning...and the responses can be really interesting and inspiring.

Homelearning works for us because ds would almost certainly have problems in public schools, and I don't know of any private schools that would be able to offer what we want for him.

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#79 of 705 Old 12-10-2009, 04:08 PM
 
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On another note, this weekend we're finally going to put up some decorations. It just hasn't felt like Christmas to me (maybe I need to start going to shopping malls, lol) and yet it's 2 weeks away! Anybody else doing some decorating? I'd like to do some holiday baking, too.
We're doing an activity advent/countdown calendar. Our activity for last Sunday was to decorate the house, but dh ended up working all day (at home) and we weren't able to do anything but get our sleigh set up outside. But, our activity for tomorrow is to pick up our tree (and movie night - we do a Christmas movie every Friday), and we'll be decorating on Saturday. I'm finding the calendar is really helping me feel like it's Christmas...but dd1 and ds2 have been insane. I'm having trouble getting anything done right now. DD2 isn't feeling well, and wants to nurse all the time - and I've never been able to nurse hands-free very well. DD1 and ds2 are so hyped that they're trashing the house every day and squabbling and...ugh!

I did get my first batch of Nanaimo bars done on Tuesday - but most of them went to the bake sale for ds1's choir at school. My first batch of shortbread is also done. After I go buy a bunch of gift cards (donation for Family Services, gifts for two nephews and gifts for ds2's preschool teachers) and get my in-laws gift in the mail, I'm planning to tackle something else baking-wise...but I'm not sure what, yet.

I love Christmas!

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#80 of 705 Old 12-10-2009, 04:36 PM
 
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ugh, blech, no, no christmas here this year yet. I need to festivize it up around here though, especially since we're going to have our christmas early and then take off on a road trip up north to live on the beach for a few weeks. pretty stressed about money, but thankfully camping is low-cost fun . my dad and step-mom are here, though, so the first part of our journey will be in cottages/motels, etc, and then when we drop them off on the 29th we're meeting friends and camping until the 3rd. yay.

but as for now I have stress-induced laziness BIG TIME and I have zero christmas spirit or motivation to do anything holidayish... we do have the kids' gifts, but I need to pull together some stocking stuffers -- we'll just use regular socks I think (unless my parents brought our stockings from their house and haven't mentioned it yet) and just throw in a few things that would be good for our road trip and that'll be christmas!

on the subject of homelearning... it has worked really well for us up until this year. it's still fine, but I'm really missing the vibrant vancouver homelearning community -- it's hard to do it without like-minded people around, and there just isn't as much to do here either. we signed up for a ton of classes and burned out on those, and I'm looking forward to having more energy (classes are pretty draining for my kids) to just follow our interests like we used to. I'm so totally pre-occupied with the adoption that it's hard for me to think about much else, but I find that the occasional trip to the library for inspiration is nice. I am going to do a little focused work with my kids to help them improve their skills in math and writing because I'm not convinced that homelearning will carry us all the way through anymore. I'm sure I'll feel differently when we're back in north america where there is more support and community for homeschoolers, but if we were to stay here I'd put the kids in school for sure. luckily we're not staying here... I often have to remind myself of how much they're benefitting socially from NOT being in school, and that does a lot to ease my mind about the fact that we're all just in a really lazy slump right now. but those never last too long, so...

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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#81 of 705 Old 12-10-2009, 11:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's been pretty Christmassy around here! The tree went up on Dec. 1 and so did most of the decorations (but we don't go crazy with the decorations), and we've been doing lots of xmas crafting. Our last session was very successful. We bought those transparent glass ball ornaments and the kids did a mixture of putting stuff inside them and glue gunning stuff to the outside. They are actually pretty cute and funny. We used some nature stuff, some glitter. and various odds and sods from the craft bin. Stockings are tough, but I'm excited because I ordered lumps of coal for the kids from ebay . Not because the kids are naughty, but because I know that ds in particular has always been fascinated by the lump of coal idea (not an idea we introduced ) and he seemed to feel that it would be awesome to get a lump of coal. We've been getting xmas books and DVDs from the library and listening to xmas music on the internet. I'm not a super xmassy person, but it does create a focus for activities at a potentially gloomy and miserable time of year. Now I have to get hardcore for cabin preparations -- I love going there but ugh is it ever a lot of work...just prepping food for 5 days in advance feels pretty overwhelming, let alone the crazy packing required.

We went for a 1.5 hour walk today and Wolfgang was thrilled with finding needle ice. That's what homelearning looked like for us today Vancouver Mommy...freezing my butt off while my child investigated every single patch of needle ice on the trail .

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#82 of 705 Old 12-10-2009, 11:39 PM
 
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We went for a 1.5 hour walk today and Wolfgang was thrilled with finding needle ice.
So that's what it's called! In elementary school we used it to maintain a little "ice slide" along the path through a field. I think it started as an ice patch that developed when it snowed a little, and we kept it going for weeks, repairing and maintaining it in the morning and then taking turns gliding along it at lunch recess. Cool.

We're not too Christmassy yet. I found my favourite Xmas CD set, but my favourite CD in it is missing. And my little faux tree is at MIL's and I haven't had a chance to pick it up yet. Still not sure where it's going to go yet. I did dig out our Playmobil Advent Calendar. I think this is its 3rd or 4th year of use. But the tree will go up this weekend. And the rest of the stuff... I've sort of started the shopping, but I have no idea what to get Emily. And Wes is the usual mystery.

Lori : mum to Emily (nov94) and Calvin (jul 03), : and : married to : Wes
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#83 of 705 Old 12-10-2009, 11:53 PM
 
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We went for a 1.5 hour walk today and Wolfgang was thrilled with finding needle ice.
I loved that in elementary school. I would spend all of the winter lunch hours looking at needle ice. Truly. I still really like it.

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#84 of 705 Old 12-11-2009, 01:37 PM
 
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Wow, I've never seen needle ice! That looks really neat!

We're getting into the spirit of things here. Emma's recently discovered ice skating so we've been doing that most weekends. The tree is up, the decorations are scattered all over the house (naturally) the kids decide they suddenly want to decorate the floor, the kitchen counters, etc.

I have no motivation to go Christmas shopping though. I bought a couple of stocking stuffers at Daiso but thats about it. Oh, speaking of Daiso.... I found the ultimate stocking stuffer! Its mug sized cup cakes that you can bake in 1 minute using 1 egg. You just crack the egg into mug, whisk it with a fork, add the cupcake mix in, mix again, and nuke it for a minute. Up comes this perfectly formed and fantastic tasting cupcake. I was absolutely floored. I know its probably not the best nutritional value but for the novelty of it...

Does anyone know where to get wooden hair combs, the kind that holds your hair up, around the lower mainland? I'd like to get something like this: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php...age=2&includes[]=tags&includes[]=title

Mama to Emma (7) and Sarah (5)

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#85 of 705 Old 12-11-2009, 05:02 PM
 
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The holidays are here?!?

Yes, I am slowly getting in gear, though this year feels different. We'll be having dinner with my sister in Maple Ridge, and hopefully my mom, who at first was feeling like "a bother" (her words) because now that Dad's gone we can't really do it at her house any more. At 85, she's a little frail to handle cooking up a bird anymore. And no one wants to stay there and do it for her, sooo...she'll be driven from Ladner to Maple Ridge and back again, and last I heard she was being a bit difficult about it. All of the other family members have spread out to include their own immediate children and grandchildren (I'm the youngest of 5), so it's weird. I'd just stay home but we've never done a turkey and I don't want the pressure of Christmas being my first attempt!

We have dressed some windows in glittery window snowflake clings (bought ones) and also homemade tissue snowflakes using these as our guide. It was fun to discover boxes of oranges, with white wrappers and have a use for them! The ultimate in repurposing. We also are planning to add onto our 4 year-in-the-making red and green paper chain, and some baking.

We're either getting a permit off of the internet to harvest our own tree out of the forest this year, or like last year, packing up the John Deere wagon and heading next door to the tree farm and chopping one down there. Then tie it onto the wagon and pull it home! It depends on how much energy we have and how much snow we get...baking today...Nurtured by Loves's pfeffernuesse and our old family ginger snap recipe that the boys love.

I'd love to attempt our centuries old shortbread recipe, straight outta old Scotland that my Gramma and Aunt used to make when they were alive, I miss it so, as I do them. We shall see. Every family member who's tried to make it since, has sort of made it the same, but I think they (Gramma and Auntie) just had the kneading knack, YK? It was my Dad's favourite, his taste of "home", and I think of the family clan history every time I bite into a piece.

Greens come into the house soon, too to dress up surfaces, and make into some garland. House lights are up and we might do a shrub outside that will be our Solstice tree this year, with pinecone birdfeeders we'll make and cranberry strings. Can birds eat popcorn?? We might throw that on too...

Christmas music, me lurves it all! The older the better! We have been enjoying the oldies as well as our family favourite the Barra MacNeils. This Cd is a real treat if you've never heard it. The boys request it every year until I'm tired of it. Oh, and the winter lullaby CD by Shawn Colvin, sooo sweet!!

Ksenia, what have you found on the Internet? I haven't found anything yet, except samples of partial songs....wanna lend us your Google secrets?? Or links??

ERIN, : simple living mama, on the path to simplicity with DH, Scott, Matthew, 8 Brendan, 5 : and a garden full of
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#86 of 705 Old 12-11-2009, 07:51 PM
 
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Our last session was very successful. We bought those transparent glass ball ornaments and the kids did a mixture of putting stuff inside them and glue gunning stuff to the outside.
We did that, as well, but no glue gun - just glitter paint. DD1 and ds2 each did two ornaments, and we sent one set (one of dd1's and one of ds2's) in the package for my in-laws. I'll wrap up the other two for my mom and stepdad...and the last few kicking around are for us.


ETA: I didn't know that ice had a special name. I thought it was the coolest thing in the universe when I was a kid, and I still enjoy it. Now, I can tell the kids what it's called. Thanks!

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
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#87 of 705 Old 12-11-2009, 09:44 PM
 
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Our fav Holiday music is Barenaked for the Holidays

We decorated EARLY Nov 15, or something like that...


So envious, I'd LOVE to move to the island, but alas dh being a bus driver...needs a large city

75% Crunchy 25% Smooth
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#88 of 705 Old 12-11-2009, 10:18 PM
 
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I'd love to attempt our centuries old shortbread recipe, straight outta old Scotland that my Gramma and Aunt used to make when they were alive, I miss it so, as I do them. We shall see. Every family member who's tried to make it since, has sort of made it the same, but I think they (Gramma and Auntie) just had the kneading knack, YK? It was my Dad's favourite, his taste of "home", and I think of the family clan history every time I bite into a piece.

Yes, shortbread requires a very particular texture. After 17 years of baking the family Christmas cookies, I still don't have it to the texture that my grandma used to have, and I have her recipe.

Tricia, treehugger.gif wild.gif geek.gif mama of dd (6) 

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#89 of 705 Old 12-11-2009, 10:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ksenia, what have you found on the Internet? I haven't found anything yet, except samples of partial songs....wanna lend us your Google secrets?? Or links??
AccuHolidays (most horrible name ever ) has many different Xmas "channels" -- each picture is a different channel.

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#90 of 705 Old 12-12-2009, 03:46 AM
 
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Wooden hair combs - try Ten Thousand Villages? Or the Asian bamboo/wicker/etc store on Oak at 16th? Somewhere on Granville Island? I have to say that I've used plastic French twist combs like that, but found that I got much better results using two 2 or 3-prong combs. They didn't hurt as much going in and were much less likely to break off. Though wood would be more durable, as long as your hair was always dry when you put it in. Beautiful item...

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AccuHolidays (most horrible name ever ) has many different Xmas "channels" -- each picture is a different channel.
That looks good, but you're right, horrid name! (heaven forbid we should have inaccurate holidays. snerk.) I discovered Telus TV has a free video on demand holiday crackling log fire. Yes, we can have it all pixellated on our TV next to our empty real fireplace. Better than the small freezer we decorated with construction paper one year to look like a fireplace, the year Emily was born!

Well, today DH had signed up for the "gingerbread house contest" at the staff and grad student party, but didn't think he'd have time, so he invited us. We weren't doing anything much, so we hauled our butts out there. We went with DH's idea and made a cool "tornado" GBhouse, complete with cars strewn around a the roof broken and off. We'd have knocked the little tree over too, but I didn't think the icing would hold. We didn't win, but that's ok because the prize was a gift certificate to a bar on campus (we don't drink). And now we have a fabulous kooky gb house to decorate.

Emily's friend is coming over tomorrow afternoon for their now annual cookie bake-a-thon. This year they're also doing up some mochi so Calvin will be able to have something too. So I've tidied up the kitchen (which of course required a trip to Ikea for a new Trofast unit) and things should proceed smoothly!

Lori : mum to Emily (nov94) and Calvin (jul 03), : and : married to : Wes
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