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vancouverlori 09-06-2010 11:33 PM

The leaves unhooked themselves from trees
And started all abroad;
- Emily Dickinson

Welcome Lower Mainland Mamas!
(and Mamas to Be)

All local mamas are welcome here! Visitors are welcome to pop in too. We are brought together by our passion for conscious/thoughtful/attachment/respectful/wholistic/natural parenting, not always agreeing on the path but agreeing to respectfully discuss, share, and learn together. Feel free to join in the conversation and introduce yourself!

This is our thread for chatting online, discussing issues relevant to the Lower Mainland, and arranging meetings in real life. If you have issues and questions that are not specific to the Vancouver area, please start a new thread in the appropriate MDC forum (e.g. breastfeeding, discipline, health, etc.). You can also post a link to your topic in this thread if you are requesting input from your tribe members. This allows us to
1. adhere to MDC guidelines;
2. keep questions and responses organized; and
3. reduce thread traffic and allow readers more control over which discussions they engage in.

Meet-ups are sporadic and include gatherings at parks, Science World, and people's homes. Anyone is welcome to suggest a gathering time/place. Meet-ups are either announced in the meet-up thread in the Canada Forum or here.

Remember that to get email notification of new posts in this thread, you can post to this thread to subscribe or you can use 'thread tools' and click 'subscribe'.

Please note that our Vancouver(ish) Tribe has other threads in the Canada Forum, including:

* Vancouver(ish) Meet-up thread
* Knitting Group Thread: look in the Canada forum
* Vancouver(ish) Doctors for Children
* Vancouver(ish) Dental Resources for Children
* FAQ: Greater Vancouver Area Liveability and Affordability

sea island mama 09-06-2010 11:54 PM

Thank you, Lori!

robugmum 09-07-2010 01:06 AM

Definitely time!

Wow Tiffani! I'm so happy to hear your latest news - Yipppeee that you'll be back in these parts. I'm sure many of us can't wait to see you and the kids again, and meet your two newest lovelies!

dawncayden 09-07-2010 01:13 AM

Very exciting Tiffani

Autumn Mama 09-07-2010 01:16 AM

That's sooo awesome!! We'll practically be neighbours

I'm just so excited for you, and Mark and your current two and the two who you are destined to continue this journey with. Hurrah!!!

Piglet68 09-07-2010 02:07 AM

That's great news, tiffani! Fingers crossed on both counts (house and adoption)!

I've been so busy lately - business is booming and I've spent most of this holiday weekend working. We did make it to the Saanich Country Fair on Saturday and had a great time. The kids got their first "amusement park" experience and then we headed over to the animal barns. We'd been talking about getting some goats to help us with our land-clearing (they eat *everything*) and found a nice "goat guy" we chatted with and got some great information.

Not much has been happening on the property over summer, but soon it will be time for DH and I to head out with our chainsaws and brush cutters to clear some land around the perimeter and plan our new pasture for next spring (pigs and goats). Our two pigs were supposed to go to the butcher a couple weeks ago but us newbie's messed up and couldn't get them loaded into the transport trailer (they escaped from our pathetic "holding pen" and we chased them around while the livestock transport guy shook his head at us City Slickers. Hopefully we'll get them sent off this month some time (after building a better holding pen!).

We've spent summer getting to know our local homelearners and making some great connections. Very excited about the upcoming learning year.

Hugs to all!

MaybeGracie 09-07-2010 07:15 AM

So excited to hear your good news, Tiffani!

Anyone planning to attend the not back to school picnics happening this week? We'll be at New Westminster one today and possibly the Vancouver one on Thursday. We're not "officially" homeschooling yet but we are hoping to get to know other homelearners for the support and community as we begin this journey.

Azadehhast 09-07-2010 10:00 PM

I've also get some happy news that's related to not back to school.
My 14-year-old sister is moving up here from Washington state, to live with my husband and me. So I'm going to be a sisterly stand-in mama. It's fantastic news for her, because life at home is pretty tough. We're going to be unschooling, and we're all pretty excited (sis has always gone to public school).

So! Can anyone point me in the right direction for some local unschooling/homeschooling resources, meet-ups, or socializations? I'd also love your book recommendations, especially as it regards high schoolers and older children.

So many thanks to everyone for your super-kind words!

Piglet68 09-08-2010 12:34 AM

Hi Azedehhast! Great news about your sister.

I would recommend The Teenage Liberation Handbook. Also, The Unschooling Handbook. You may also like Real Lives: eleven teenagers who don't go to school, though I personally don't know much about this book.

I would also suggest reading lots of unschooling blogs to get different perspectives. One of my favorites is Nurtured By Love, and she has teenagers! Read back through her blog to find many great articles about unschooling.

I also highly recommend you join the Yahoo Group "HS-Van" (homeschooling vancouver). Excellent resource, great way to connect and get information on just about anything homeschooling related in the lower mainland.

Good luck!

kdtmom2be 09-08-2010 12:43 PM

Hi all, just subbing and saying hi. i'm still here, just very busy, have only been finding time to log in here every week or two. looks like everyone else has been just as busy!

The little ones are 1.5 and 3.5 and growing every day. DS is being monitored for FTT and while I agree that he is small I don't think he's FTT either. Fighting the system on this one. Trying to get more involved in the homeschool community for DD's sake, not having much luck with that yet though! Technically I have 2 yrs left but she's so far ahead of her peers with reading, writing, etc that I feel like I should at least give her some exposure to the things she is interested in learning!

Ellp 09-09-2010 12:04 AM

Just checking in here too... Thanks for the new thread! It feels like a new beginning in many ways.

Dd#1 will be homeschooling officially next week when we attend our first get together with other students in the "school" (yes, its ironic). Dd#2 also attended her first day of pre-school today. I can't believe that my baby is now going to school! I miss having a baby...sigh...

On other fronts, I think I've canned everything I can get my hands on... Tomatoes, salsa, jams (strawberry, raspberry, fig), pickles and peaches.

Oh, and my excitement of the day... My van brakes stop working as I was driving!

I had just taken my van into the dealership last week to get it checked as the brake warning lights had come on, and I was told by the dealership that the fluid that was dripping was "A/C condensation". They topped up the brake fluid as that was the "only" thing they found wrong and the warning lights went out.

Yesterday as I was driving, they came back on again and I made another appt. to go back to the dealership. Today, just as I was driving over the bridge to the appt., the brake pedal starts to go soft and by the time I reached Guilford mall, I was practically stomping on the brakes to get the van to stop. I had both kids in the van with me and I was quite freaked out. Turns out that I was completely out of brake fluid.

Roadside assistance came to the rescue and towed us to the dealership (5 minutes away). 3 hours later, my van is declared undrivable due to a critical broken part and they need to order it in. Thank goodness my parents live in Surrey and they came to drive us home. What a day...

widemouthedfrog 09-09-2010 12:50 AM

Oh my, Ellp, yikes! A similar thing happened to dh and I once upon a time, but without kids. With kids would be a whole lot scarier!

And some more for your family, Tiffani!

dawncayden 09-09-2010 02:36 AM

Ellaine, that's crazy! I'm so glad you are all ok.

Alison's Mom 09-09-2010 06:32 PM

Oh my goodness, Ellaine - scary!!!! Glad everyone is OK, though. And isn't your van pretty new as well?

Tiffani - that's really exciting - fingers crossed that everything goes well.

Not much to report - DD is in grade 1 and at school 9-3 (how did that happen?) DS will be at preschool 3 mornings a week, so I'll get a chance to get back into running, I hope! I'm signed up for the Turkey Trot 10K next month, so I need to get on that.

Ellp 09-09-2010 07:58 PM

Originally Posted by Alison's Mom View Post
Oh my goodness, Ellaine - scary!!!! Glad everyone is OK, though. And isn't your van pretty new as well?
Yes, thats the maddening thing. Its a 2007 Honda Odyssey and according to the ratings its supposed to be pretty good on reliability, etc. In practical usage though we've had problems with one of the wheels, a whining noise from the engine, 2 or 3 recalls, and now the master cylinder, after only 3 years. Dh's pretty ticked off as a result.

On another note, we attended the "Tri-cities Not back to school" picnic this afternoon. It was great! It was my first time at any homeschooling thing and I was afraid I wouldn't know anyone. (I hate being in groups where I feel like a total stranger.) Turns out I knew about a 1/3 of the people there.

artparent 09-09-2010 11:23 PM

tiffani, that's exciting! any chance you'll visit soon? we are stuck waiting for my visa, and still haven't left vancouver. we're having fun here but we haven't seen my partner in two months and it is getting to be far too long apart.


Alison's Mom 09-10-2010 04:06 AM

Ellp - we have an 07 Honda as well, and have had a couple of issues with it, which we are disappointed about given Honda's reputation. My 00 civic, on the other hand, has given us no problems at all. Hope you get the problems resolved soon!

Piglet68 09-11-2010 04:40 PM

Originally Posted by Ellp View Post
It was my first time at any homeschooling thing and I was afraid I wouldn't know anyone. (I hate being in groups where I feel like a total stranger.) Turns out I knew about a 1/3 of the people there.
This happens a lot, lol. I used to joke that when I ran into a mum I knew but couldn't remember where I knew her from, it was either MDC, LLL, or homeschooling and often all three! It's a nice, small world to immerse oneself in.

Storm Bride 09-11-2010 05:07 PM

Originally Posted by Ellp View Post
On another note, we attended the "Tri-cities Not back to school" picnic this afternoon. It was great! It was my first time at any homeschooling thing and I was afraid I wouldn't know anyone. (I hate being in groups where I feel like a total stranger.) Turns out I knew about a 1/3 of the people there.

I went to the one at Queen's Park on Tuesday. I hardly knew anybody - just two moms from Hula Hoot. None of the MDC moms who were there last year were there this year. I'm glad I went last year, and was more comfortable with the whole thing.

Len 09-14-2010 08:56 PM

Subscribing! No wonder I wasn't getting any notifications

Happy Fall everyone! Tiffani, that's very exciting that you are getting so close to having your babies with you and that you won't be too far away... You should start a "mailbox" to receive shopping parcels from the US and I would be your client and go visit

My littlest one started preschool yesterday, and it feels very weird to let go of him! He also wasn't so sure about letting go of me, but we'll take it easy at first... will have to find my way around now that apparently I will have some kid-free time on a regular basis.

I just read on another thread that Ladybug organics just closed..... does anyone know anything about this? I think I had order 20lbs of blueberries and the guy just emailed me yesterday saying he was too busy and that I would have them next week, and now I read this??? I hope I am not left berry-less!! althought it is so my fault for not being on top of my berries this year

On another topic, Avalon no longer sells organic butter, claiming they didn't have enough cream to match the demand! So I am looking for tips on where to get good local *organic* butter.... Avalon still sells their regular but I can't find it in the supermarkets I go to....
Piglet, was it you who was making her own butter out of whipping cream? how would that work, price wise?

And last but not least, I want to reccomend a lecture at the Waldorf school by Kim Payne, on Friday Sept. 24 at 7 pm. I have attended lectures by him before and he is AMAZING. The topic is Simplicity Discipline. It costs $10 but totally worth it, he is very funny too!

Ellp 09-14-2010 11:46 PM

Len: If you wanted to make organic butter from cream, where would you find the organic cream? I've never seen it in stores. FWIW, I've made butter from cream before (not organic), and really its just a matter of pouring the cream into a jar and violently shaking it till the butterfat comes together in globules. Then you strain out the butter, and using a flexible spatula, you "knead" the butter to separate the rest of the moisture out. At that point you can add salt and/or colouring.

I recall though that its a lot of work for not much butter. I think out of 1C. of whipping cream I got maybe a couple of tablespoons of butter?

As for Ladybug Organics, the first and only sign I got of them closing was that one e-mail. Very sudden and a little shocking.

widemouthedfrog 09-15-2010 10:53 AM

Yes, I hope Nyjel is ok - we were also with Ladybug. I think that you are out of luck for the berries, Elena.

gr8fulmom 09-17-2010 11:03 PM

oddly enough I saw Nygel today and asked him what was up... he does have a plan in the works and says he'll be able to share more on Monday... sounds like he may be back up and running in a slightly different form in a month or so... so I am just going to get my stuff at Organic World in Maple Ridge until he's back up... I guess its not for sure but he sounded pretty positive... I'm in Organic World all the time so it's not a big deal for me but I told them they better stock more avalon milk for me BTW Organic World just opened their restuarant/cafe and its great! pretty reasonably priced too got to go still the chicken soup I'm making

Piglet68 09-17-2010 11:18 PM

I used to buy organic cream from Avalon, though it was not as easy to find as their milk. I would make butter from that. Price-wise it wasn't much difference, a bit cheaper to make your own. It's actually very easy and if you have a mixer you can do it in just a few minutes. You also end up with the bonus of real buttermilk. But you do have to be very careful to rinse all the milk out otherwise the butter goes rancid pretty quickly. You can also add salt which I've heard helps with preservation...

anna_2 09-18-2010 04:36 AM

Just popping in to say Hi! Its been years i think...

I would highly recommend the talk with Kim Payne as well.

weliveintheforest 09-19-2010 04:29 PM

I've also seen organic cream from Valley Pride, but usually only 250ml size.
Hi Anna! and everyone... I'm still following along. Mostly settled in over in Duncan, kind of wishing we'd moved to Vancouver instead.

Len 09-19-2010 09:57 PM

Thanks for all the tips on butter making. I bought 1 liter of cream from Avalon (conventional, they are also short on organic cream, of course!) to experiment.

Out of 1 liter 1 got about 1 2/3 cups butter (maybe less) and .400 ml buttermilk. I used my braun hand held mixer with the whipping attachment, and it took a while! Afterwards, I wrapped the butter on a cheese cloth and left in a colander to drain, pressing once in a while. I added a bit of turmeric (don't tell my kids!) to make it yellow and it didn't affect the flavour.

So no real money saving, unless the cost/gain of buttermilk is taken into consideration. I've never seen organic buttermilk for sale. It was a fun thing to do, though :-)

artparent 09-20-2010 12:11 PM

bye mamas, heading back to england today (finally received my visa so i don't have to come + go so much)

will be back in the summer next year but do stay in touch!

we should plan a picnic/party/reunion in late summer!


vancouverlori 09-20-2010 09:06 PM

Originally Posted by Len View Post
Afterwards, I wrapped the butter on a cheese cloth and left in a colander to drain, pressing once in a while.
Calvin and I recently read "Little House in the Big Woods", and it describes the mom making butter. She would press her butter with a paddle and run it under cold water to get all the buttermilk out. I imagine it to be something like when they paddle sushi rice around to cool it.

Nice to hear the results of your experiment!

Oh, have any of you come across the Find a Stream website? I came across it in a web page, so I checked it out. There aren't many springs indicated for this part of the world, but there are a few, and so I discovered there's a little spring, called the Manzer St. Spring ('cause it's on Manzer St. in Mission), just up the road from Summit Learning Centre. Since I had to drop off Emily's school books from last year, Calvin and I went out to see it. It was a fun little thing to do.

FaithfulOne 09-20-2010 10:56 PM

Thanks for all the wonderful insights on making butter. I've always wanted to try and now I'm feeling motivated!
I second Organic World in MR....its excellent


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