Monday, April 23, 2012

Pictures of Our "Tax Return Dreams" Turned Reality

Every year Steve and I dream and joke about all of the things we could purchase with our tax return. On this list of items there is always talk of a hot tub, a sauna, a fireplace, new floors, a bunkhouse, a trip to Kilimanjaro or Europe, etc. But, usually when we receive our tax return there are more important things to take care of last year we were in desperate need of a new exciting.

So, this year we decided to finally make a few of our "tax return dreams" become reality by investing in new floors and a wood stove for our "cabin house." The girls and I spent the day watching two nice gentleman from Soo Fireplace and Stone intstall a wood stove into our living room that just had new wood floors installed in it this past week. It was fun to watch the process. It got a little boring in the middle, so we took a walk down to sunny Monocle Lake. Autumn found a few interesting aquatic bugs that we captured to study. When we returned we were greeted by a transformed living room. We haven't had our first fire yet because I want to make sure we have read through the manual and have all the proper tools and some really dry wood, but I can't wait! And the floors...Aaaahhhhh....I just can't express how wonderful and freeing it feels to be rid of that stained white carpeting! I am now actually looking forward to having company over.

I am using the little red trailer to the left of the truck below to meticulously sort through everything we moved out to the house, and I am loading it up with the items that aren't going to be needed at this house. Hopefully we can make one trip into town with these things and be free of a lot of the clutter that has been weighing our family down. It is really exciting, and the more I focus on this goal the easier the letting go becomes. My Mantra: "Less is more...Less is more....Less is more..."

Hopefully by the end of next week we will feel completely finished with the moving/renovating/cleaning/sorting process and we will be ready and free to enjoy summer to the fullest!
Here comes the stove...ME: "How heavy is that thing?" WORKERS: "lots and lots of grunts...HEAVY!"

Walking on the lake to get out of the workers hair. It was super windy today! Definitely needed those hats and gloves!

Here it is! Obviously we don't have our furniture back in....but the girls don't mind. They have set up camp with the couch cushions and lots of puzzles and board games. They don't want any furniture back in because they say this way is more fun. The only complaint I have is that blue tube coming off the back. It is the air inlet. I asked the workers why it couldn't be black? Anybody else have a wood stove with a blue air inlet? Maybe we will paint it?

Playing Stratego. I was trying to get a shot of the tiled entry. We still have to put trim up around the walls.

The house echoes right now since it is so empty. Last night I took an unpacking break to play guitar...It is fun to sing in an empty room. I thought to myself, "I sound better than when I sing in the bathroom!" Echoes make any voice sound better.

The ash pan came with a bunch of different tile options. We thought this one would be perfect for our place.

You can see our Forsynthia bush in full bloom (yellow) out the window. I was talking to my Dad on the phone and he said that their bush has already finished blooming. (They live five hours downstate.) It is so weird to think that those 5 hours make such a difference in weather!

I can't wait to have our first fire! Hopefully it stays a bit chilly outside for the next few weeks (at least in the evenings) so we can use it a lot. I have a feeling it will be extremely enjoyable this winter.

In the end, we are happy we were able to make a few of our "tax return dreams" come true. Its so weird that we get excited every year for this's not like it is a gift from the government...I have to remind myself that they are the ones taking money from us. But, at least they didn't keep it all.

What do you usually do with your tax return? Do you have any "tax return dreams" of your own?  Already Steve and I both agree that next year's dreams will include installing wood floors in the bedrooms!


P.S. If you have a wood stove, any tales of wood stove incidents, suggestions, tips, memories etc. would be greatly appreciated!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Autumn Reciting "The Walrus and the Carpenter" by Lewis Carroll

Tonight Autumn recited "The Walrus and the Carpenter," by Lewis Carroll for our Home School Fine Arts Festival. We were so proud of her! This was a very long and difficult poem for her, and it is easy to get nervous and mix yourself up when standing on stage in front of lots of people. But she fought her nerves and made it through without even a hiccup. I don't know if I could have done that. Every now and then the girls will do something that almost makes me jealous....this was one of those moments. Way to go Autumn!

Alaina Recites A Few Poems at the Home School Fine Arts Festival

Alaina recited two short poems tonight at our Home School Fine Arts Festival. Home school families in the area got together for an evening of food and entertainment. The students displayed artwork and projects that they have been working on throughout the year and they also performed on the stage. It was a wonderful evening and we were so proud of Alaina!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Turkish Delight

Today Autumn finished making her Turkish Delight for her "Narnia" project that is due tomorrow. This recipe was a bit trickier than the toffee, but we think it turned out great. None of us had ever tried Turkish Delight before so this was really fun to make.

3 envelopes of unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup of cold water
1/2 cup of hot water
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 cup confectioners sugar

1. Soften gelatin in cold water and set aside.
2. In saucepan bring hot water and granulated sugar to a boil, stirring all the while. Then lower the hear and add the salt and the gelatin. Stir well and continue to simmer and stir for 20 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Then stir in the lemon juice and lemon extract.
4. Rinse a 6 inch square pan with cold water. The pan should be wet but not with standing water. Pour the mixture into the pan and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to stand in a cool place overnight.
4. Moisten a knife in hot water and cut around the edges. You might need to warm up a metal spatula and slide it around underneath the candy. Then tip it over onto a plate that has been covered in powdered sugar. Flip it over and coat the other side. Cut the candy into strips and roll like logs, and then cut into cubes and roll in the powdered sugar again.
5. Eat.....just don't be too greedy like Edmund!

Homemade Toffee

Yesterday Autumn made toffee for part of her "Narnia" project that she is preparing to present at our home school Fine Arts Festival on Friday night. We were surprised at how easy it was to make and even more delighted with how yummy it is! Here is the recipe that she used:

2 cups of granulated sugar
2 cups of salted butter
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup almond slices

Prepare a cookie sheet by covering it with aluminum foil or parchment paper.

Measure out the chocolate chips and almond slices.

In a saucepan combine the butter and sugar. Cook over medium heat until the mixture starts to boil and a candy thermometer reads 285 F or 137 C...Stir constantly with a wooden spoon while doing this.

When the proper temp. is reached remove the mixture from the heat and immediately pour onto the prepared pan. Spread evenly with the wooden spoon, then sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the top. Wait one minute, and then smooth your spoon back and forth over the top to spread the melted chocolate around. Now sprinkle the almonds. Then place in the fridge for a while until the toffee hardens. When it is hard break it into pieces. Then share...or Autumn says that if you are ever in Narnia if you dig a hole and bury some of the toffee, a toffee tree might grow!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Materialism/ Minimalism and Inspiring Quotes

Here are two websites I just enjoyed visiting:

“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there'd be peace.”
- John Lennon

“It is the preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else that prevents us from living freely and nobly.”
― Bertrand Russel

“Every increased possession loads us with new weariness.”
― John Ruskin

“Let your home be your mast and not your anchor.”
― Khalil Gibran

“I’ve often wondered where Jesus would apply His hastily made whip if He were to visit our culture. My guess is that it would not be money-changing tables in the temple that would feel His wrath, but the display racks in Christian bookstores.”
― R.C. Sproul

“Eyes blinded by the fog of things
cannot see truth.
Ears deafened by the din of things
cannot hear truth.
Brains bewildered by the whirl of things
cannot think truth.
Hearts deadened by the weight of things
cannot feel truth.
Throats choked by the dust of things
cannot speak truth.”
Harold Bell Wright, The Uncrowned King 

 You say, 'If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.' You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled. --Charles Haddon Spurgeon 

 Thousands upon thousands are yearly brought into a state of real poverty by their great anxiety not to be thought of as poor.—Robert Mallett

 Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves. --Edwin Way Teale

 He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. --Jim Elliot

 man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit.--D. Elton Trueblood

Learn to live a life of honest poverty, if you must, and turn to more important matters than transporting gold to your grave. – Credenda

That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest. -- Thoreau

469 BCE. Socrates. “The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”

500 BCE. Lao Tzu. “Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”

1 BCE. Seneca. “It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.”

5 BCE. Jesus Christ. “Sell your possessions and give to the poor.”

6 BCE. John the Baptist. “The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise.”

330. Saint Basil. “If one had taken what is necessary to cover one’s needs and had left the rest to those who are in need, no one would be rich, no one would be poor, no one would be in need.”

55. Epictetus. “Contentment comes not so much from

1817. Henry David Thoreau. “Cultivate poverty like a garden herb, like sage. Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Things do not change, we change. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.”

 1876. Francis Jourdain. “One can furnish a room very luxuriously by taking out furniture rather than putting it in.”

1872. Bertrand Russell. “It is preoccupation with possession, more than anything else, that prevents men from living freely and nobly.”

1836. Anna C. Brackett. “We go on multiplying our conveniences only to multiply our cares. We increase our possessions only to the enlargement of our anxieties.”

1834. William Morris. “Have nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

1900. Antoine de Saint-Exupery. “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

1899. Edwin Way Teale. “Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves.”

1895. Lin Yutang. “Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone.  The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.”

1886. Mies Van Der Rohe. “Less is more.”

1879. Albert Einstein. “Make things as simple as possible but no simpler.”

1879. Will Rogers“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.”

1920. Elise Boulding. “The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.”

1918. Vernon Howard. “You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.”

1936. Tom Robbins. “Any half-awake materialist well knows – that which you hold holds you.”

1936. Richard Bach. “The simplest things are often the truest.”

1935. Harold Kushner. “Our souls are not hungry for fame, comfort, wealth, or power. Our souls are hungry for meaning, for the sense that we have figured out how to live so that our lives matter.”

1935. The Dalai Lama. “If one’s life is simple, contentment has to come. Simplicity is extremely important for happiness. Having few desires, feeling satisfied with what you have, is very vital: satisfaction with just enough food, clothing, and shelter to protect yourself from the elements.”

 “Anything you cannot relinquish when it has outlived its usefulness possesses you, and in this materialistic age a great many of us are possessed by our possessions.” - Peace Pilgrim

A Bad Case of the "What Ifs"

Do you ever feel like you own too much stuff? Today I do.....

After much conversation and debate our family has decided to rent our "town house" (where we have currently been residing the past two winters) and move back out to our "cabin house" full time. We had purchased our house in town thinking that it would make life easier and that we would enjoy being closer to everything during the school year. It has been convenient being able to walk to the University and the library and go to the gym/pool in the evenings. However after these two school years in town, we all agreed that we miss the nature, outdoor activities and peace and quiet of Brimley more than we enjoy the convenience of town. Plus, taking care of and living in two houses makes life more complicated in some ways. So, this decision means that we need to move all of our stuff (except the furniture) out by May 1st!

"This should be easy," I think..."since we don't have to move large items like the couch or our beds or dressers we'll have barely anything to pack, right?!" WRONG......

Yesterday I began the process of packing up many of our belongings in anticipation of this coming Saturday when we will hopefully be blessed with good weather and the time to do most of the move. During this process I am becoming more and more disgusted with how much stuff we own. What I imagined would be a small pile of boxes and bags in the corner is taking over the entire living room.

On the flip side, right now our "cabin house" is almost completely empty and every time we have spent the weekend out there it feels as if we are on a wonderful vacation because there is no clutter to constantly sort through and pick-up. I've been loving the feeling of the house being empty so much that I am dreading bringing all of this junk back to it. Of course, I know there is a solution to this problem....I can weed out what we don't actually need to move while I pack. However, I am finding this trickier than I first imagined. "Need," is a hard word to define when it comes to all of our belongings. What do we really use every day? I am discovering that I am having a hard time sorting through our belongings because I think I have a bad case of the "What If's...."

You know what I mean, the "what if we get rid of these baby clothes and then decide we want a larger family?" "What if I donate these 4 pairs of shoes that I don't like and haven't worn in a year, and then my current pair of shoes gets a hole in them and I wish I had a spare pair to wear and all of a sudden I realize that I would have loved to replace them with a pair of the shoes I just got rid of?" "What if I come up with an amazing invention idea and need to utilize that pair of broken skis that I picked up for free on the side of the road last winter, or that pile of scrap wood to build it?" "What if I all of a sudden need all these extra coats and gloves and hats and blankets and weird workout equipment and toys and games and puzzles and kitchen gadgets and clothes and nicknacks and outdated electronics and piles of VHS and DVD's and CDs and books and magazines and craft supplies and tools and sports equipment.... etc. etc. etc. that we don't ever currently use?" "What if I get rid of this and then find out it would have made the perfect gift for so and so..." "What if I see this item on the Antique Road Show ten years from now and it is worth ten thousand dollars?" "What if I get rid of the memory when I get rid of the item?"   "What if........."

I think the hardest stuff  to sort through are the items that feel like they represent who you were or what you accomplished in your past. Steve and I have quite a collection of trophies, medals, certificates,  plaques, ribbons, t-shirts, sweatshirts, personalized team jackets etc. from all of the sports we participated in  high school and college. They were great to receive at the time, but now they just feel like clutter. What do you do with stuff like that? Leave it in a box in your garage or basement for years until it eventually gets moldy and ruined? Store it in the shed, which is dryer, but takes up precious space? Take over even more precious real estate in your closet? Or, do the unthinkable and donate it? Donate it? But "what if the girls want to see all of the cool stuff Mommy and Daddy accomplished when they were younger?"

Yep, I've got a bad case of the "What Ifs..." It sounds so silly right? I know that I want to have a house that feels clean and uncluttered and is easy to take care of and yet I am letting 'fear' get in the way of accomplishing this goal. I guess it is like that with everything in life...we often don't go after and accomplish our dreams because we are fearful of the future and the unknown....."I would like to go skydiving.....but what if the parachute doesn't open?" "What if the plane crashes?" "What if it tastes bad, or its scary or it hurts or I embarrass myself or I fail?"

I guess the other reason I am finding it hard to let go of certain items that I now consider clutter is because it forces me to realize we wasted our money. The thing that we just HAD to have at the time is now considered a useless piece of junk. What a waste of money!Remembering how much we spent or how much it was worth at the time makes it harder to let go of. "But we can't get rid of that, it was $30 bucks!"

Well, for the next couple of days I will be doing battle with my "What Ifs."  I need as much encouragement as I can get. I would love to hear from you!  Answer one of the questions below or share a story of your own in the comment box!

Do you ever struggle with letting go of possessions?

Have you ever gotten rid of something and regretted it?

What tips do you have to share on ridding your house of clutter?

 What items in your house could you not live without?

 What is your biggest clutter problem?

P.S. I just read this blog and liked it a lot...check it  out:

The Opposite of Materialism Is Freedom

Friday, April 13, 2012

Bonne Fete and Les Fees de La Nuit


Yesterday was Alaina's 4th Birthday! We all had a great time helping her to celebrate. In the morning we went out to Brimley for "Muffin Moms" which is a women's bible study that meets at our church every Thursday. We stopped at a grocery store and picked up a few doughnuts on the way. When we got there Autumn took charge of throwing a mini birthday party for Alaina with the other kids that usually attend. They had doughnuts with candles in them, they played pin the ballet shoes on the ballerina (drawn wonderfully by Autumn), musical chairs, and duck duck goose.

After Muffin Moms we went over to the Brimley Public School Library where we volunteer by re-shelving books and worked there really quickly. Then we hurried back into town so Alaina could make it to story time at the Bayliss Library. She wanted to wear her birthday crown and say "hi" to Mrs. Lehman, the librarian, and some of her friends.

When we got home Steve was there. He had taken the afternoon off work to spend some time with us. For lunch we decided to eat some of Alaina's birthday cake and ice cream (it was carrot cake with cream cheese frosting). Autumn had collected over time a bunch of really nice presents for Alaina from thrift shops in town, and she had wrapped them and set them all out for her to open. She gave Alaina a cute summer outfit complete with sandals and a sunhat, a little porcelain box with a necklace inside that said "sisters", an angel doll that she bought at AWANA,  and a nightgown. Alaina loved her presents and you could tell Autumn was really proud of herself.
Steve and I gave Alaina our gift, which was a card with tickets inside to go to see the ballet that night. She was so excited! Alaina got to talk to Grandma and Grandpa Veramay on the phone and then we went on a nice walk around town. At the end of our walk we ended up at the Christopher Columbus Hall for their monthly Spaghetti and Meatballs dinner. We sat next to a nice couple from our church and had a good conversation....while the girls coated themselves in spaghetti sauce. Then we hurried back home because Steve and Autumn had to go to math class.

While they were at math Alaina primped herself for the show by putting on her ballet outfit complete with ballet shoes and tutu. Then, we jogged up to the Fine Arts Building at the University where we met Steve and Autumn after class and we all went in to see Les Fées de la Nuit," or "Fairies of the Night." It was the perfect show for the girls to see... full of colorful props, beautiful fairies and scary goblins...and a story line that they could actually follow. It had an intermission and during that the girls danced in the hallway. At the end of the show Alaina and Autumn were invited back to meet the "fairies." The ballerinas saw her birthday crown and all started singing her happy birthday! Alaina was embarrassed and covered her ears. We snapped a few photos with the dancers. Alaina was terrified of the goblins! It was a great show and is still playing this weekend. We recommend you go and see it.



After the show we had to run back to Steve's classroom where he had forgotten his cell phone. Autumn got to show us where she is "tortured" every Tuesday and Thursday evening and Alaina had fun writing her name on the chalkboard..

When we got home Alaina talked to Grandma and Grandpa Eles on the phone. Alaina shares her birthday with Grandpa Eles, which makes it extra special! Then I read the girls a few birthday themed books that I found at the library and it was off to dreamland.

Alaina said her birthday was lots of fun, and we all enjoyed ourselves as well. We can't believe she is 4 years old! Time really does fly when your having fun....

We All Love You Alaina! Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Fiberglass is a Pain in the ....

This is a picture I found on the net that looks exaclty like what I discovered.

We are getting ready to move back out to the cabin for the summer and possibly rent our place in town, and so there is much cleaning to be done. Yesterday I had my eye on the shed. It gets so cold here in the winter that a lot of jobs that I am sure we would do right away if we lived in a warmer climate get put off until spring, (at least that's our excuse and we're sticking to it) and the things I needed to remove from the shed are great examples of this. There was a broken dishwasher, a box spring for a queen bed, a grill and mini fridge left behind by our summer renters, two large wooden "dressers" that had come with the house but that we didn't want, a pile of skis, ski boots, and ice skates, clothes that needed to be donated,  recyclables etc. etc. etc.

So, even though it was windy, it was sunny enough that I decided to do battle. However, as soon as I started dragging all of the items out I realized there was a problem. MOUSE POOPIES (and chipmunk and maybe rat too..they were big....)! They were all over everything!

Our shed has insulation in it and last year I wanted to tear it down but never got around to it.....this pushed me over the limit.......this was disgusting, I just had to do something! So, I dragged a lot of items to the front yard with the help of Autumn and her neighbor friend and we put free signs on everything. Steve and I have discovered that when the item means nothing to you and/or you don't have a pick-up truck or don't want to visit the dump, this is a surefire way to relieve yourself of clutter. I decided if I didn't do it then that this stuff would possibly still be sitting there five years from now.  Wow! Within a half an hour almost everything was picked up from the curb! (Except the boxspring.. which I am sorry to say is still sitting there. What should I do with it?) Then, I went to the hardware store and got some protective masks, gloves, eye protection and big garbage bags and embarked on what I soon discovered would be....


My first pull of insulation from the ceiling caused a rain shower of seeds, peanut shells, and mouse/chipmunk/rat poop that left me gagging and horrified. I'm talking, it sounded like one of those rainforest sticks you always see at museum gift shops. I immediately became paranoid. "If it is like this through the whole shed I am sure to find something dead.....or worse..... alive!" I thought. As I worked my way down the walls, bagging this nasty pink putrid cotton candy (I might never eat the stuff again) it only got worse, until the insulation was just shredded into piles of tiny pieces. I was ripping out wall panels like crazy and just beginning to convince myself that it wasn't that bad with my rubber gloves on, and cheering myself up with the fact that at least I wasn't running into spiders, when I pulled a sheet of insulation and 3 mice went darting all around the shed right past my feet! I ran out of there screaming bloody murder. " our neighbors not only think we are starting a community dump in our yard, but I am sure they think I am psychotic!"

After pulling myself back together I re-entered the shed and continued on my adventure. I learned that you shouldn't assume something (like an overhanging fluorescent light fixture) is lightweight while balancing on a cooler in an attempt to remove it. (Big Bruise!). I learned that apparently when people insulate they go right over the top of work tools, gloves, baseballs, socks, old papers and receipts etc?... I learned that the insulation from one tiny shed can fill seven 55 gallon garbage bags! I learned that staple gun staples can easily slide into your finger. And, I learned that when your husband arrives home from work and discovers the yard still covered with shed items and tons of giant garbage bags (only because you had hopped in the shower for a second to wash off all the mouse poop and fiberglass) he might forget to tell you how proud he is of you for the great job you did, because to him it looks like you just made a big mess! And most importantly I learned that I never ever want an insulated shed or garage again! Or at least, I never want to have to remove fiberglass insulation again if it has been infested by rodents!

But, now it is done. The shed is all swept out, the items are put back away, the bags will soon be taken to the dump and the holes where the little critters found there way in will be plugged and sealed. And the crowning touch...some mousetraps will be set!

My advice to you...if you have an insulated garage or shed you had better set a lot of mouse traps! I wouldn't wish that kind of job on anyone!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter 2012

I hope you and your family had a wonderful Easter Weekend!

Here is how we spent ours...

 On Saturday Steve took the girls out to the cabin. They spent the afternoon biking, but the real reason they went out was to tear up the carpeting. When we first bought the house in Brimley the carpeting was white....the big problem is that this lovely white carpeting ran not only through the living room but also under the dining room table! Carpeting under a dining room table grosses me out no matter what color, (it is up there with carpeting in the bathroom), but white? It didn't take long for our girls to prove that this is a VERY BAD IDEA. So, the carpet surrendered and came up easily,  and this coming week we will be replacing it with wood floors. I am so excited!........"What is that? You say you just spilled your entire glass of grape juice on the floor? No big deal, I'll just go get a rag." "Ooops, you just bumped Mommy's coffee cup....that's O.K." I am fantasizing how I might react and about how much easier it will be to clean up the daily disasters that occur in out house with wood floors. I am also imagining how much more likely I will be to invite company into our home. We had the carpeting cleaned once last year, but afterwards it seemed as if the stains only became worse and worse. I couldn't fight them anymore and we didn't have the money at the time to do the floors. It was so embarrassing that I literally didn't want to have company over for fear that they would think I never cleaned!

While Steve and the girls were working in Brimley I stayed in the Sault and did some spring cleaning/sorting, and also worked on washing the walls in the bathroom in an attempt to get all the sticky off of them after removing the wall paper. I felt like the boy from the Karate Kid..."wax on, wax off." Washing walls with tiny remnants of sticky paper all over them is actually a bit of an arm workout.

When Steve and the girls got home we dyed hard boiled eggs, as is the family tradition. We were enjoying ourselves so much I forgot to take any photos!

On Sunday morning the girls awoke to an Easter basket filled with oranges and plastic eggs containing gorp, (way to try and be healthy Easter Bunny.) There were a few eggs hidden around the house, but the jackpot was outside, and it had started pouring! I guess the Easter Bunny doesn't watch the weather channel. But, it didn't matter to the girls. Amid much shrieking emitted from Alaina's powerful lungs they suited up in their raincoats and ran around outside collecting their Easter treasure. These eggs had jellybeans in them, and managed to stay surprisingly dry. Of course these were the eggs the girls had been hoping to find. They had given up candy and most sweet treats for lent, and so it was a big deal to finally get to eat some again.
While this was going on Steve was frying up pancakes to take to our church's Easter breakfast. Then, it was off to the early church service that started at 8:30 a.m. (Steve invited his runners to accompany us and two of his male athletes came to church with us which was really nice.) The first service was special and many church members stood up to read passages from the Bible, including Steve and myself. Then everyone went downstairs and partook in an amazing potluck breakfast. There were so many yummy breads and rolls and muffins and egg casseroles...mmmmm! But, the best part of that meal for me was the fact that I got to drink my first cup of coffee since giving it up for Lent. It was a wonderful cup and I really enjoyed, but at the same time I couldn't help feeling a little guilty for drinking it because it had been such a challenge to avoid the temptation and it was just so easy to go and pour a cup. It was almost a bit of a it I had 'given in.' Then we stayed for the second service. It was my turn to teach the pre-school class so I taught a lesson using a homemade version of the 'Resurrection Eggs' that I found online. It really kept the kids attention as I let each child around the table open one of the eggs and then pass around the symbol found inside while I read the accompanying Bible passage. At the end of the lesson I gave the kids some plastic eggs to go hide around the room and we did a mini egg hunt, which was fun.

After church Steve and his two athletes went out to Brimley to do a 2 hour long run, (saying 2 hours and then long seems a bit redundant doesn't it?) and the girls and I came back into the Sault where we devoured far too many jellybeans, chocolates and egg salad sandwiches and spent the day relaxing/playing etc.

Overall it was a great weekend!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Week-End Book Report #3

This week we did much less reading than usual due to all of the holiday excitement. However, it is nice to have a light reading week now and then....

Here is our rating scale: (if it scores a 4 or 5 then we recommend it)

1= we'll never check this book out again.
2= If there was nothing else to read we could suffer through it.
3= Enjoyed it once, but once will probably be enough.
4= We would be happy to check this book out again, and will probably look for it again on the shelves. We would recommend it to a friend. 
5= This goes on our list of all-time favorites.We could enjoy it numerous times, and will probably check it out often or already do check it out often. We would recommend or buy it for a friend.

Rating: 3 1/2 (Autumn) Science,  Bayliss Library

Rating: 3 1/2 (Autumn) Anatomy and Physiology,  Bayliss Library

Rating: 3 1/2 (Autumn) , Narnia Project, Inter-library Loan

Rating: 3 1/2 (Autumn) Science, Bayliss Library

Rating: 4 (Autumn) Poetry/Geography, Bayliss Library

Rating: 4 (Autumn), Biography , Bayliss Library

Rating: 4 (Sarah) Homeschool Ideas, Bayliss Library

Rating: 4 (Autumn and Alaina) Geology, Bayliss Library

Rating: 4 (Sarah) Homeschool Ideas, Bayliss Library

Rating: 4 (Autumn), Biography, Bayliss Library

Rating: 4 1/2 (Autumn) A bit of everything about eggs, autumn found this very interesting especially since we were doing a lot with eggs for Easter, Brimley Public School Library

Rating: 4 1/2 (Autumn and Alaina) Biography, History, Bayliss Public Library....the illustrations in this book are fabulous!

Rating: 3 (Autumn) Math, Bayliss Library

Rating: 3 (Autumn) Anatomy and Physiology, Bayliss Library.....A bit on the old side!

Rating: 4 (Autumn) Biography, Bayliss Library

Rating: 4 1/2 (Autumn) Science, Bayliss Library....We have read this book before and it inspired us to start picking up trash along the beaches near our house...

Rating: 2 (Autumn) Biography, Bayliss Library...we didn't like this book because it was written as if the reader already had a HUGE amount of background knowledge about who Shakespeare was and about the plays he had written...too many dates dished, too many play titles dished, too much uninteresting information.....definitely not written with younger kids in mind.

Rating: 3 1/2 (Autumn and Alaina) Science, Bayliss Library....even though this is old we still learned a lot from the book.

Rating: 5 (Autumn and ALaina) Bayliss Library...we like to look at the beautiful illustrations and make-up our own stories.

Rating: 5 (Autumn) Audiobook downloaded from Bayliss Library website

Rating: 5 (Autumn) Audiobook downloaded from Bayliss Library website.