Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Notebook

I am a list maker. I am a note maker. I think of things at the strangest times. And for all of these reasons I have a notebook with me at all times.

The one with the flower binding is my current notebook.
The other just created for my gardening notes for the coming season.

This little handmade notebook is within reach most of the time, so when something pops into my head I can write it down. If I hear or read an inspiring quote, I write it down. If I dream up a kid friendly craft project or something interesting for me to craft, I write it down. When something warms me to my soul, I write it down.
I have websites listed I want to look at. I have things I want to do and recipes I want to create listed in my notebook. I have a list of things I want to do with Reece, things I want to experience with him and see through his eyes. They all get listed in the notebook and as time permits I can slowly make my way through it.
Every time I open it I feel a sense of joy for these handwritten notes, written in the middle of my day and sometimes even in the middle of the night. They are spontaneous thoughts, for the most part, things that pop into my head and from there I take the time to nurture them.
My notebook is more than just paper, it is part of me, a part I capture and make note of so I don’t lose it in the craziness of life. It forces me to slow down, to articulate my thoughts and to take the time to put pen to paper.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Show Me The Way

Since the day you were born, I have said to myself so many times...show me the way.
Show me the way my little man. Show me the way....
   to guide you

to nurture you 

to teach you
to mother you

 to journey with you

show me the way
I trust you my little man to show me the way today and every day onward
how to be the mother you need me to be.
Show me the way.

Friday, January 27, 2012

{This Moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. Inspired by Soulemama.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Catching The Sun

Winter sunshine is special...the way it lights up a cool, winter day. The way it makes the snow sparkle. The way it creates beautiful colours in the sky before it sets in the early evening. So, when I saw a project in The Rhythm of Family by Amanda Blake Soule, to create a sun catcher, I knew it would be on our winter project list.

We started on Monday by filling our bundt pan 1/3 full with water and putting it in the freezer to freeze. The plan was to freeze it outside, but with 9 degree weather here on Monday, that was not possible.

On Tuesday we added bits of nature we found on our walk. We then added some more water and this time we were able to put it outside to freeze.

On Wednesday, we added the final layer of water and set it outside to freeze. Once frozen we hung it outside to catch the sun.

I love the look in his eyes as he looked up to see his sun catcher.
A fun, easy project that excites both young and old alike.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Dishes Can Wait

On Sunday evening as we were eating dinner, Reece peeked out the window and commented on the colour of the sky. The sun was setting, creating a pinkish hue over the trees. He asked why the sky was that colour and I said it was the sun painting pictures before she went to sleep. 
All through dinner he watched as it changed and grew a little darker. Finally, just as we were finishing up he declared he was going outside. “Really?” I said, “It is getting pretty dark out there, that might not be such a good idea.” He would have none of it, he wanted to go outside and see the last pictures the sun was making and say good night.
So, on went the boots, coat, hat, scarf and mittens, and Reece and Justin were out the door. I stayed inside to get a start on the dishes. As I washed those first few dishes, I peeked out the kitchen window, I wanted to be out there too. So, I decided, the dishes can wait. I threw on my coat, boots, hat and mittens and joined the two of them on their adventure.
The last touch of pink as the sun set behind the trees.
To say Reece was happy to see me come outside was an understatement, he was so delighted. For the next hour, yes, hour, we played in the snow, ran around the yard following the snow trails Reece and Justin had shovelled the day before and just had some plain old fun.

So, yes there was a ton of dirty dishes in my sink on Sunday night and I am okay with that. Instead I spent the most amazing hour with my little man on his adventure, exploring, sharing and enjoying nature.

Can’t think of anything else I would rather do.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

On My Needles

I have been knitting away on a little project for Reece’s room the last few weeks. I am creating a little banner, based on the bunting banner, with the word DREAM on it. I have completed the knitting of seven rectangles and have just started working on the letters with some great fabric I picked up last week.

Since finishing the rectangles for Reece's banner, my needles were empty, until Justin whispered in my ear that he would like a new scarf. He did get one for Christmas, but I picked up some wool on sale a few weeks ago, not sure what I would do with it, and he really likes it. I think I secretly knew the wool would be used to make something for him, it is a deep green with flecks of orange and yellow, a perfect match for his green eyes. He mentioned how nice it would look knitted into a scarf for him. So, a scarf he will get.

And once this is done, I am getting to work on something for Reece from this book. Can’t wait!

What is on your knitting needles these days?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sunday Morning Pancakes

Sunday is our family day, which means we have a little bit of a leisurely start to the day. With a bit more time our go to breakfast on Sunday mornings is pancakes. I love them, Justin loves them and Reece, well let’s just say we often can’t believe he can eat that many pancakes.

As a nutritionist, I always try my best to create the healthiest meals I can taking into account the nutrients we all need for optimum health and well being. As vegetarians, I make a conscious effort to include grains which are protein rich and also provide an array of minerals. Quinoa fits this bill perfectly. And so today, I share with you our Sunday morning pancake recipe – quinoa banana cinnamon pancakes.

Quinoa Banana Cinnamon Pancakes
1/2cup quinoa, rinsed well
2/3cup short grain brown rice or millet
2 tbsp lemon juice

1 cup almond, rice or hemp milk
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp brown rice flour
1 medium banana
1 tsp cinnamon

Soak the grains over night in water in separate bowls.  Add 1tbsp of lemon juice to each bowl.

Next morning rinse the grains in colander and place in blender. Pre heat skillet

Combine milk of choice with apple cider vinegar, add to blender and blend until smooth.  With blender running add olive oil, sea salt, baking soda, brown rice flour, banana and cinnamon. Blend until well combined.     
Using a ladle, add batter to skillet, when batter bubbles on top, flip pancake and cook other side.
Keep pancakes warm on the oven while you cook the rest. And then serve with maple syrup and enjoy!

Leftover pancakes can be stored in the fridge or frozen individually.  For a quick breakfast remove from fridge or freezer and pop them in the toaster. 
***I have also made these pancakes using pureed pumpkin instead of a banana, absolutely delicious. 
Do you have a special Sunday morning family breakfast?

Friday, January 20, 2012

{This Moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. Inspired by Soulemama.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Space for Reece

As I mentioned yesterday, crafting has become a larger part of our life over the last few years, and the main reason is Reece. He loves creating.
Justin, as an artist, has an unbelievable ability to take a piece of rotting wood from the forest floor and create something so beautiful, I am continually amazed. I think Reece might get his artistic, creative side from Justin, well, maybe a little bit from me too. Wherever it comes from, Justin and I are eager to support Reece’s creative side.
We live in small home, and recently did some room shuffling to make use of as much space as possible. This little shuffled created a large room for Reece which we decided to separate a little bit with a wall. The reason for the separation was to create a bedroom and a play/craft/home school room for Reece. I wanted to create a space where we could play and create that didn’t interfere with his sleeping space, and this was the best way to do it.
In the play/craft/home school room we knew we wanted some kind of desk, an area to sit back and play and some shelves for organization. Take a peek at what we came up with...

I can’t tell you how much Reece loves his space. We only got his desk up last week, the same day Justin finished my craft table and since then we can’t get Reece out of his space and away from his “craft” table. He started calling it his “craft” table when we told him about my space and craft table. I guess he decided his desk was a place for him to create and that is exactly what he has been doing. Play dough, drawing, painting, building with blocks...you name it, he has been doing it at his craft table.

Justin and I hope this space offers Reece as much inspiration as our spaces offer us and we look forward to seeing what he creates in his space.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Space for Me

I have come to love crafting. I have to admit it is something I did very little of before Reece was born, but as Reece has grown, I have found much joy in creating with him and for him. Over the last year or two I have picked up my knitting needles, something I have not done since I was a teenager. I borrowed a friend’s sewing machine. I have been chatting more about crafting with other mamas. I have attended more craft shows.  I have been searching on line and in bookstores for books on knitting, sewing, felting, soap making and so on. It has been a wonderful adventure and I am enjoying the learning process of everything handmade.
When I borrowed my friend’s sewing machine, there was one thing I didn’t enjoy...getting it out of storage, setting it all up, getting half way through a project and having to pack it all up again and put it back in storage. Over the holidays, I started to think of a way to carve out a little space for crafting in our home and I did it!
The Christmas tree was in the way, so as soon as the tree was moved outside, Justin began his part in the process, creating a crafting table for me.
Here’s the space before:

Here’s the space after:

Here’s the space all set up:

And yes, that is my new sewing machine, thanks mom and dad!!!!

I have said it before on this blog; I am a lucky lady to have such a creative husband. His artistic mind continues to amaze me, and the quality of his work is fantastic. I am so pleased and happy with my space, it is full of love and inspiration.
I have chosen to include, on my craft table, a painting of Reece’s and the needles Justin made me for Christmas, as both an inspiration as I work at my craft table creating and as a reminder of how much love we have in our little family.

And I also added my own little creative touch to the table with a little knitted band and flower to adorn my needles.
Now I need to narrow down the projects on my list, and decide which one to start with.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Everything Happens for a Reason

I know it is a bit of a cliché, but I really do believe everything, well, almost everything, happens for a reason.  While we may not be aware of the reason at a particular time, if we take some time, give it some thought, we can usually find a reason.
On January 3 I received an email from a mom of one of the other children in Reece’s music class. She wanted to know if I was still going to put Reece in music class and where, since the teacher we were currently signed up with had cancelled the class. This was news to me, has I had not received an email that the class was cancelled. I have to admit, I was a little sad, this is the second time our music class has been cancelled.
We started the Kindermusik program when Reece was four months old. It was a great program; got me out of the house to meet other moms, and both Reece and I enjoyed the class.  Last spring the Kindermusik teacher closed her school, so we went on the hunt for another class.  We decided to take the summer off and that gave me a bit of time to find something. We began the Music for Young Children program in September with a new teacher, at a new school. It was going well, Reece was having a great time and I was amazed at how much he was picking up and retaining from week to week. We were all set to go back; when the email came...class had been cancelled.
I completely understand the teachers reason, with only two students registered; it just does not make a class. I guess this is what happens to toddler and preschool programs...most children are in daycare, preschool or school, which leaves little attendance in daytime programs. Does anyone else face this problem?
So, on the hunt again, I was lucky enough to find another teacher who was offering the second session of the Sunrise Program with the Music for Young Children Program – yay!!!!!
You are wondering what this has to do with “everything happens for a reason” aren’t you? Well, two weeks ago, we should have been at music class on Friday morning, with the program that was cancelled, but instead we joined a group of like minded mamas for a new program called Oaks and Acorns.
I got a last minute email from a friend on the Thursday night about this new program for baby’s birth to 5 years and decided to go, since our music class had been cancelled. And this is where “everything happens for a reason” comes into play. The instant I said hello to the two moms leading the group, I knew this was the place for Reece and I. Like minded mamas, trying to live a slow, sustainable life, interested in fostering a love of nature and the environment in their children.

The program is two hours long and we spend it outside exploring with the kids. Last week we tracked animal prints, we talked about trees and animal poop, and we went looking for porcupines in the trees. And yes, we spotted a porcupine and spent a huge chunk of time looking at it sleeping in the tree. We then began the hunts for quills and porcupine hairs, and we found some of those too! Reece and I had a wonderful time. He met some new friends, I met some new mama friends and we spent a lovely time with them enjoying nature and exploring. My heart and soul were happy.
Yes, that is a porcupine in the tree. Awesome!
One the way home, it dawned on me, that we were supposed to be at music class that morning. If the class had not been cancelled I would never had gone to Oaks and Acorns that morning. We never would have met the community of like minded mamas who are on the same path as us.

So, yes, everything does happen for a reason, a lot of the time, we just have to take time to see it.
On a side note, our new music teacher is phenomenal.

Have you ever been disappointed when something in your plans changed, but in the end it worked out for the better?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Days of the Week


Lately, the days of the week are coming up in our conversations with Reece. He will ask “what day is it?” I usually respond with the day of the week. We might chat about what day it was yesterday and what day it is tomorrow, and that is it. Then the next day, the same conversation occurs.
I realized though, that the actual day of the week really means nothing to Reece. Much the same as the time, a week or a month has no meaning to him, the days of the week as we know them really don’t mean that much to him. So, we have decided to create different days of the week based on the activities we do each day.
This will give Reece some concrete information that he can understand about what day it is and will allow us to create a rhythm to our weeks.

Here’s what it looks like:

Monday will be called Skating Day
Tuesday will be called Baking Day
Wednesday will be called Music Day
Thursday will be called Crafting Day
Friday will be called Oaks and Acorns Day
Saturday will be called Market Day
Sunday will be called Family Day
We feel like this is a pretty good balance of activities outside the home and activities at home, while leaving lots of time for free, imaginative play. I have made sure not to schedule two activity days in a row, breaking them up with a baking day and crafting day.
So far, we are all enjoying it and we are only one week in. When Reece asks “what day is it?” the conversation doesn’t just end, it continues. He wants to know when we are going skating, who is joining us at the rink, what are we going to bake and so on.
By changing the name of the days of the week to the activities we do on those days, we have created a greater opportunity for conversation, increased Reece’s awareness of what each day holds for him and created a rhythm to our weeks.
I will keep you posted as we go along.
Do you create a weekly rhythm in your home?