Marissa’s Blog

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New Babies on the Farm

New Babies on the Farm

It’s been the week of new life; our garden is starting to grow well (as are the weeds!) and our little farm is bustling with activity. Lots of babies making their appearance.

Little Gardens

Little Gardens

Gardening is never one of instant gratification; it’s a slow process at times. Except for the weeds. They have this ability to grow overnight it seems. There is so much to be learned from a garden and I’m grateful for our bit of land where we can get our hands in the dirt together.

May Day Celebration

May Day Celebration

May 1st saw the sun shining brightly and cheerfully for our May day celebration! This has been a long awaited celebration by the girls, especially after reading of the May Day Celebration in the book, More All of A Kind Family.  I admit, I love planning parties and I...

A Pie Birthday Party; Aneliese turns 8

A Pie Birthday Party; Aneliese turns 8

Our sweet Aneliese turned eight today. Our girl, our first born is growing up fast. Months ago, Aneliese asked for a pie party for her birthday; pizza pie, apple pie, and banana cream pie. And so that's just what we did. Then she asked if we could have supper, picnic...

{Nature School}

{Nature School}

Quite a while back I started reading about Forest Kindergarten where early education is spent almost exclusively outdoors. We spend a good many hours of our lives out of doors but there was still something so intriguing to me about the intentionality of this type of...

A little bit of Christmas

A little bit of Christmas

I admit, by the time mid December finished the steamroll that began flattening me in November, I was ready to find a cave and hibernate until Spring. But I didn't. I love traditions and I love all the festivity around Christmas but this year many things were just too...

Advent Countdown & Christmas book list

Advent Countdown & Christmas book list

When I first saw the idea a few years ago of wrapping 25 books as a Christmas countdown, I thought it was so great and wanted to do that with the girls. Fast forward the five years that it took from idea to action and the girls think its absolutely fantastic. One of...

After a long while

After a long while

I received a comment a few weeks ago from a lovely reader asking if I would start updating my blog again. Oddly enough, I've been feeling the blogging bug again although it feels as if I've almost forgotten how. My hiatus wasn't actually a planned event; it just sort...

Penny at a year old

Penny at a year old

Penny is just over a year old now. She did get a birthday celebration from the girls in December when she was actually born. She eats almost as much as a horse and is quite picky about which food she likes but she is a fantastic companion for our little family....

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Christmas in Pictures

Christmas in Pictures

We had a very quiet Christmas, just our little family of five for the first time ever. It was nice, perfect for us for this year actually. I cooked way too much food though and we've a lot of turkey to eat so I'm quite certain that this won't become the norm! We...

Kathleen turns Three

Kathleen turns Three

Our dear precocious Kathleen turned three on Sunday. The first picture is her reaction to coming down from her bed and seeing her new crown (Santa Lucia inspired). Her reaction to her entire birthday continued about the same, so happy and funny because she doesn't...

Meet Blue

Meet Blue

We've a new arrival to our tiny farm! Our highland jersey cross, Sugar, was due to calf at the end of this week. The 19th on my calendar to be exact. However, we were surprised with an early arrival. It was a wet but warmish night and Dan went out late in the evening...

Maud Lewis; Capturing Joy

Maud Lewis; Capturing Joy

Part of my school plan for the girls is that we will do an artist study for a couple of months at a time. This includes studying their style, medium, personal life and most of all the beautiful images that they create. This might sound a little much for a four and six...

Watching the Waves

Watching the Waves

We've had a lot going on lately and my head often feels like it's spinning with the renovations that are on a deadline, homeschooling, animals, yard work and house work. Plus I often like to think that I can do more than I already can't get done so I try to sneak in...

Toad’s Lost Button

Toad’s Lost Button

We are just over a month into this school year. If you were to follow my instagram, you would see sunshine filled pictures of my darlings working away at the kitchen table, Farmer Boy being read under a bright Maple tree, and colorful, pet filled lane way walks. It...

Fisher Lake 2014

Fisher Lake 2014

Through the warm generosity of some friends, we were able to spend Dan's birthday weekend in a cabin on beautiful Fisher Lake. The past couple of years, its worked out that we have a few days to vacation in September and we've decided that we love it. It's still warm...

First Day of School-2014

First Day of School-2014

It felt a little frantic and sooo disorganized in the past couple of weeks as I tried to wrap my head around homeschooling again this fall. A good portion of the summer was spent with my family in BC and I suddenly realized that September was almost upon us. I still...

Storm Arthur

Friday night we celebrated the opening of the coffee bar that is now sharing the Dan Froese Photography studio space and the weather cooperated in giving us a perfect evening. Saturday morning however, we awoke to high winds and power outage. We're somewhat used to...

June Garden~2014

June Garden~2014

I had this post ready to go last night and then my iPad closed it before I could save it. An incredibly frustrating thing at 11:30 at night when I should have been sleeping. The above picture is my weedy tomato and pepper patch. I'm fighting a bit of a losing battle...

Daisy Crown, Pony & a Girl

Daisy Crown, Pony & a Girl

It started out with the girls asking me to show them how to make daisy chains, then Cecily asked for a crown. Once I placed it on her head, she said that she needed to run out to show Max the pony. This sounded like a perfect opportunity so I asked if I could come out...

Chicks 2014

Chicks 2014

After 21 days of much questioning from the littles as to when there would be chicks, we heard cheeping from under Mama Hen yesterday. Between Aneliese and I, there were many, many "just a quick peek". To do a head count, to check if that little one had dried out and...

A Tree Swing

A Tree Swing

We have a big old willow tree in our front yard; the only really big tree in our yard. Today Dan made the girls a rope swing. They couldn't have been any more delighted. I was working in my garden and Kathleen came and led me over to watch the inaugural swings so I...

In the Garden: May 21

In the Garden: May 21

My parents spent the past week visiting and brought with them blissful, sunny weather. I didn't do a lot of gardening while they were here but did spend some time here and there while the girls played and played and played. Plus, my dad and I did attack the monstrous...

A Farmhouse Tour: My Sewing Room

A Farmhouse Tour: My Sewing Room

When we first moved here, I had my sewing room in a larger room upstairs. Well, actually it was simply a room that held messy piles of all my stuff. Dan was using this small room as his office for teaching violin until this fall when he began teaching at his studio in...

A Farm House Tour: The Laundry/Boot Room

A Farm House Tour: The Laundry/Boot Room

Yesterday was Mother's Day and after my breakfast in bed and sweet cards from my girls, we spent the day around home. I cleaned and did some fresh decorating along with reading stories, chatting, napping,  cuddling, and eating meals made by Dan. At ten pm as I...

Little Bud’s First Bouquet

Little Bud’s First Bouquet

I mentioned last fall that Aneliese and I were venturing into selling flower bouquets at the market this summer. She has been asking to do if for well over a year and so we decided to try it. After a family brainstorming session, she settled on Little Bud's Bouquets...

Mud Pie Kitchen

Mud Pie Kitchen

Recently, Dan discovered a hole in the yard with the wheel of the trailer that he was backing into place. It turns out that it was a hole that Aneliese had dug in order to get dirt for making mud pies. I remember spending hours mixing up mud pies, cakes, and cookies....

Now she is Six

Now she is Six

Aneliese turned six last week. I keep looking at her and wondering just when the little baby turned into this tall wiry girl with adorable freckles scattered across her nose. A couple of weeks before her birthday, Aneliese had been telling me how fun she thought a...

The Happenings of Late

The Happenings of Late

Sometimes it's sunny and warm so we pile outdoors in our bare feet to play in the dirt. Three crazy girls have even played in the sprinkler. Penny has released Molly from her duties as the girls faithful companion; in fact she has taken to it in a way that Molly never...

Sewing with Aneliese

Sewing with Aneliese

I'd suggested that she might like to do some sewing with the intention of setting her up with some cloth in an embroidery hoop and a needle and thread. As we were choosing some fabric, it become clear that Aneliese had a different scheme in mind. She wanted to sew...

Evening Tea

Evening Tea

Like most people, we've got a lot on our plates, a lot happening in our day. And like many families, it can become so easy to get caught up in "busy" that we don't take time to connect with each other and to simply enjoy being a family. There's a common idea that...

Bringing Spring Indoors: Forcing Flowering Branches

Bringing Spring Indoors: Forcing Flowering Branches

I'm trying to keep a good attitude, really I am, but winter this year feels kind of endless. This from someone who usually loves winter. I don't know, everything just feels kind of old, cold, and tiring. But there, I'm trying to keep my chin up. Look at those apple...

Learning at home: A simple ocean inspired nature plate

Learning at home: A simple ocean inspired nature plate

I love that with some simple intentional steps, it's possible to encourage kids to learn through their natural curiousity. I don't think that my kids are unique in that they are thirsty to learn about and understand their world; I see the same thirst in so many...

Getting Hay

Getting Hay

Dan laughed at me taking pictures and said that I'm giving you the romanticized version of getting hay because generally he goes for hay in the dark after the girls' bedtime. Sometimes he and I unload and carry to the barn together which is lovely farm romance. More...

Around the Farm in February

Around the Farm in February

It's been a rough couple of days on "the farm". I blame it on the wind. The recordings in the farm journal haven't been fun. February 14: Wind blew part of the shelter over. February 14: Wind blew grain storage door open. Cows got into the grain. February 15: Called...

A Midwinter Farm Day

A Midwinter Farm Day

The girls haven't been coming out to do chores with us much this winter. It seems it's either cold and windy or slippery and sloppy so usually Dan and I tag team caring for the animals (Though truthfully, Dan does the lion's share.) However, this morning Dan left for...

Penny (Our latest addition to the farm)

Penny (Our latest addition to the farm)

January had been a full, non-blogging sort of month. I've been meaning to blog, really I have but I just never seem to find the time. Partly because we've been spending a lot of time keeping the house warm and the animals relatively comfortable through the storms that...

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Merry Christmas, Friends!

Merry Christmas, Friends!

It's been a beautiful, crazy, unusual, and perfect-for-us Christmas. Full of fun, quiet, noise, food, friends, just us, and family via facetime. The girls have been soaking up every minute of it, especially the fact that their beloved daddy is taking the week of...

When the night is long…

When the night is long…

This morning, I walked through snow up to my knees to gather the greens for Christmas decorating. I could hear the laughs and calls of my three precious girls playing in the snow with their daddy before he left for work. I found a perfect little tree for the girls to...

How to Show Gratitude to Public Service Workers this Christmas

How to Show Gratitude to Public Service Workers this Christmas

As we give our girls love filled gifts that encourage them in learning the gratitude and delight of being generous gift receivers, we also want to help them in the practice of being generous, thoughtful gift givers. One of the ways that we are doing that is by...

Sledding and a Giveaway winner

Sledding and a Giveaway winner

We've officially gotten our big snowfall...in fact it's still coming down. The girls are of course thrilled and have taken up sledding in the front yard. Dan made them some starting ramps to add a little more pizzazz to their sledding experience. They are quite...

I’m 30! (A Birthday Giveaway)

Today I'm thirty years old. I feel that I should have some deep meaningful reflection of my life over the past 30 years but alas I don't really. If I find some deep reflections, I'll be sure to share them with you. For now though, I'd like to share a gift. I kind of...

Kathleen Claire turns Two (& Tree Day)

Kathleen Claire turns Two (& Tree Day)

Our little Claire-y bear turned two yesterday much to her two sisters' great delight. Her response was a little "Meh" and a little annoyed at waking up to an empty room because they didn't wait for her. This sunshiny girl is rarely without a smile but she does take...

On my Island

Have I told you about the island in my kitchen before? Well, its huge and beautiful; we found and bought an section of an old bowling ally for a fraction of the cost that a hardwood counter top would have been. Solid maple and six feet long, I dreamed it up and Dan...

The day of a four year old

The day of a four year old

I'm a little late as Cecily's birthday was on Saturday but I wanted to share a few pictures of her day of celebration. As I snuggled my newly four year old after she crawled into our bed during the wee hours of the morning, my memory went back to those teeny tiny days...

Peace- Advent 2013

Peace- Advent 2013

Jesus replied... "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’" John 14:27 & 28 This week, we light...

It’s morning, Mama! (Some sleep deprived wanderings)

It’s morning, Mama! (Some sleep deprived wanderings)

I just passed a night of attempting to sleep with a congested toddler whose idea of sleeping with me is to push herself as close as possible and then proceed to squirm in peaceful bliss for the remainder of the night. She slept well. I imagine Dan also slept better...

The Practice of Advent: 5 Ways to Embrace Hopeful Anticipation

The Practice of Advent: 5 Ways to Embrace Hopeful Anticipation

Photo Credit: Dan Froese Photography Several years ago as we were beginning our little family, how we would celebrate Christmas was part of many discussions. We wanted to establish traditions that celebrated the coming of the Messiah and the gift of his birth. At the...

Dull November

Dull November

Dull November brings the blast, then the leaves are whirling fast. Susan Coolidge   Dull. As Aneliese’s rhyme of the month describes, that about sums up November for me. It’s quite honestly a difficult month for me.  It’s grey, grey, grey with only brief...

A Day in the life of a Homesteading Mama

In the spring and summer months, our days are filled with gardening, chickens, riding, milking, building, visitors, photographing weddings, and the occasional day at the beach snuck in. Right now though, while Dan is still going hard with family and grad photography,...

No Sew Cloth Menstrual Pads

No Sew Cloth Menstrual Pads

I've been using cloth menstrual pads for six years now. A few years ago I was organizing a pad making party to make cloth menstrual pads for a group of school girls in Uganda. It was something that I shared on my blog and I am still getting emails from individuals and...

31 Days of Nature Walks: Nature in an Urban Setting (Guest Post)

31 Days of Nature Walks: Nature in an Urban Setting (Guest Post)

I know, it's the 31st and I haven't posted 31 Nature walks. I'm a little behind in a lot of things. Make that a LOT behind. I'm not sure if I'll get to the rest of the posts on my list but for today, I'm delighted to share a guest post from my friend Beth  ....

31 Days of Nature Walks: Rainy Sunday

It's a wet rainy Sunday where the cozy living room and warm fire is far more inviting than the great outdoors. Rainy days during a Nova Scotia autumn have a way of seeping right into my bones in such a way that I'll admit that other than the time spent slogging...

31 Days of Nature Walks: Let’s Climb Trees

31 Days of Nature Walks: Let’s Climb Trees

We were out collecting acorns to make acorn coffee, which is a whole other story, and the girls were running like little squirrels to fill their baskets. Before too long, Aneliese dropped her basket at the base of the oak tree and began scurrying up the...

31 Days of Nature Walks: Close to Home (Guest Post)

31 Days of Nature Walks: Close to Home (Guest Post)

{Guest Post by Lola Brown} This year, our summer was full.  Jammed to the absolute max.  We moved, renovated our old house, settled in to our new farm house, built fences, accumulated animals (rapidly), raised and slaughtered our food and then quickly...

31 Days of Nature Walks: On a Sunny Afternoon

31 Days of Nature Walks: On a Sunny Afternoon

  We are getting to the end of the really warm days of fall and still haven't even close to finished ticking off our list of to be done before winter. Monday is Dan's Saturday where we putter around the yard and house working on the various jobs that need doing....

31 Days of Nature Walks-Little Buds Bouquets

31 Days of Nature Walks-Little Buds Bouquets

For well over a year now, Aneliese has been asking to have a table at the market selling flower bouquets. She loves to run out to her garden or around the pasture and yard gathering flowers for the center of the table and she really does it beautifully. At this point,...

31 Days of Nature Walks: Kids, Apples, Ponies

We've done it before. All three girls riding at once I mean. Putting Aneliese and Kathleen in the saddle with Cecily in the doubler while I lead our pony, Max, means that we can leave the pasture and visit the trails. We don't move particularly quickly but it's a fun...

31 Days of Nature Walks:Unknown Beauty (Guest Post)

{Guest Post by Dea Daniels} Our new gift-of-a-Labrador arrived within minutes of the phone call. Two unexpected events. One, the arrival of cheerand energy and a new beginning. The other, the announcement of a heartbreaking trauma; a loss forever etched in a mother’s...

31 Days of Nature Walks-Keeping a Nature Journal

31 Days of Nature Walks-Keeping a Nature Journal

My mom always included keeping a journal as part of our homeschooling and I still have a couple of mine. Sometimes they are very straight forward, “Today we went for a ride up Polar Springs. Mary Workman came to visit. We had stew for supper.” Or Other times I pour...

31 Days of Nature Walks-Leaf Rubbing

31 Days of Nature Walks-Leaf Rubbing

A very important part of Aneliese's day is doing art. Today we were short on time and so I decided to do a combination of art and nature walk. A very important part of Aneliese's day is doing art. Today we were short on time and so I decided to do a combination of art...

31 Days of Nature Walks-Canoeing, just the two of us

31 Days of Nature Walks-Canoeing, just the two of us

For the first time in five and half years we had a night away with just the two of us. Our girls joined the Brown clan and we headed back to Milford House for one of the last days of their season. Given the fun that we had together for our vacation this summer, the...

31 Days of Nature Walk-DIY Chestnut Letters

31 Days of Nature Walk-DIY Chestnut Letters

A few days ago I told you about our chestnut collecting adventures and that I suspected that we had actually found horse chestnuts. With a little leaf identifying, I conclude that they are horse chestnuts but must be a different variety than I am used to. They could...

31 Days of Nature Walk-Keeping our world clean

Since the girls were tiny, we've been teaching them the responsibilities that we have in caring for our earth. Part of why we raise animals and grow vegetables is so that they can see and practice ways that respect and value what we have been given. Hopefully as they...

31 Days of Nature Walks-Gathering Chestnuts

This afternoon the girls unanimous wish was that we would take a picnic and go play on the hills at Fort Anne . On one of our many visits there this summer (it's their favorite place to go play.), I had noticed a large chestnut tree and had made a mental note to...

31 Days of Nature Walks- In Memory of Opa

31 Days of Nature Walks- In Memory of Opa

Today will be my first spontaneous post of the month; the previous ones hurriedly written and readied for posting before Dan took his work computer (and our only working computer) with him to Ontario. I'll just tell you ahead of time that it's not totally nature walk...

31 Days of Nature Walks-Keep it Simple

As a mama with three little ones, I know that especially in the cooler months it can be hard to get everyone dressed and out the door. We are blessed to be just yards away from hours of exploring in our own backyard but I know for many it just isn't that easy. Perhaps...

31 Days of Nature Walks-Seed Saving

31 Days of Nature Walks-Seed Saving

There are just some days when the rain and the cold weather don't cause one to spend much time outdoors. Oh, it's true that we can pull on our rain boots and coats with a warm bath at the end of our walk and at time we do that. Some days we choose to enjoy nature...

31 days of Nature Walks-Marking the Boundaries

31 days of Nature Walks-Marking the Boundaries

We've been working on getting our back woods fenced in for our cows. Highlands are especially good at foraging and we've noticed that they often seem to head for the rougher growth before tackling the green grass. We're hoping that in time they will even create paths...

31 Days of Nature Walks

31 Days of Nature Walks

I just realized that it has been one year of this blog, so Happy Birthday to my happy little space! October was also the month that I joined in the 31 days of blogging challenge which is what I'm writing about today as well. Last year my 31 days was on my blogs name,...

Memories at Milford House

Memories at Milford House

We've been waiting until Dan's busy season eased a little to take advantage of some days at Milford House. About 30 minutes drive from us, it's a perfect distance for us to take a few days. We've been the before while Dan was doing photography work and knew that it is...

An Early Fall Mantel

An Early Fall Mantel

'Tis the season for pumpkins, apples and sunflowers so the girls and I kicked off our regular fall trips to the nearby apple orchard for some apples and pumpkins. On our way home, we wandered the laneway, eating a few last blackberries and gathering bits of fall...

Starting Kindergarten

Starting Kindergarten

We’ve officially dove into homeschool kindergarten! Last week as the first day of school came and the big yellow buses began to pass our house, I had a mini parenting crisis. Could I really teach my girls? Was this really the best thing for them? Is Aneliese missing...

My girls in September

My girls in September

After a cold, rainy day, it warmed up in the evening and we all needed to get outside. We're trying to slowly get all of our seven acres fenced in to give the cattle more grazing space so that was the evening plan for Dan and we all decided to join him whether to...

Hello September

Hello September

Oh September, how did you come so suddenly? We finished off our full summer of visitors with Dan's parents and Oma. We seem to have a gift of packing way too much into a few short days, but it was really wonderful to have them. Oma came bearing Irises from her garden...

Chores Together

Chores Together

Dan & I have talked about wanting to do a video of morning chores together and so were pretty excited to have Lola join us one morning. Most morning we all go out together and we move slowly but it is seriously one of my most favorite parts of our day and family....

New Studio & A Kitchen Party

The days of summer are moving quickly; sometimes I want to cling to them and enjoy each one while others see me waiting for Fall with the hopes of a slower pace. Between lots of amazing company, including two families at once who brought the number of little girls in...

7 Lessons I’m Learning About Gentle Parenting

7 Lessons I’m Learning About Gentle Parenting

I’m a gentle parent but I haven’t always been that way; I’m not always that way now but I always want to be. I’m a gentle parent, but I’ll just be straight up and tell you that not everyone would consider me that. When I began my parenting journey I brought my own...

The Art of Preparing for Guests- Dea Daniels

In the wee quiet hours of morning, I’m sitting sipping my morning coffee. I, who never really drank coffee, now sip a morning coffee. I attribute it to being able to pour thick, lovely cream from Sugar the cow in it. Anyways, I digress. With the arrival of my parents...

Garden; July 4, 2013

Garden; July 4, 2013

Between rain, chickens, weeds, and sun burn, the garden has been a bit frustrating this year. I've lost track of how many things I've had to replant since my first update but it's more than I like to think about. That said, with the sun from the past couple of days, a...

Sometimes Love- Celebrating Eight Years

Sometimes love looks like two people gazing into each others eyes; just the two of them in the world Or sometimes love looks like a coffee date for two joined by hot chocolate for three minis Sometimes love is like six white roses and a pair of white flip flops While...

8 Ways to Encourage Adventurous Eating

8 Ways to Encourage Adventurous Eating

  Our kids like food and they like to eat. I wouldn’t say they are big eaters exactly but they certainly enjoy their meals. They each have things that they really like and things that they would prefer not to eat. I’m not going to say that there are never...

Farm Journal Edition: A Broody Hen

  I actually have a note book that has a section to journal my garden and a section to journal farming. I thought that it seemed like a fun idea to share bits of that here every now and again. Baby animals are a particularly delightful part to share. Much more...

To the designers of children’s bathing suits

Dear Children’s Clothing Companies, Today I went looking for a bathing suit for my five-year-old daughter. The warm weather is here and we realized that last years was too small. I loved the bright colors and patterns that were available, just beautiful. My delight...

The unromantic side of farm life. (A post without pictures)

I had many plans of posting this week, really I did. We took a beautiful trip to PEI to celebrate the marriage of our friend Erin. An absolutely beautiful wedding, Dan did the photography so if you want to see some photos, go here, they are pretty gorgeous. Once we...

Planting a Miss Rumphius Garden

When Alice Rumphius was a little girl, she vowed that when she grew up she would travel the world and live in a house by the sea. “ There is a third thing you must do,” her grandfather told her. “ You must do something to make the world more beautiful.” Miss Rumphius...

Garden: May 26, 2013

I've been meaning to take some photos of our gardens so that I could share their progression as they grow and finally got to it today between the rain and some planting. Then I got the idea from Soule Mama of sharing a weekly progress update and photos; I probably...

A morning with Kathleen

A few weeks ago, when we dug out the spring/summer clothing, we found the little rain boots that were just Kathleen's size. It didn't take her long to catch on that they allow her to march through even the muck comfortably. With this discovery, she has become an eager...

Life within Social Media

I want to thank each of you for your kind words and encouragement after my last post, learning to love. As usual, when I get a little more personal, I hovered over the publish button wondering if I really should. I don’t (or try not to anyway) write for the response...

Learning to Love

I heard this song, Just Give Me A Reason, last week and rolled my eyes at the first couple of lines. But then the lump in my throat grew as I heard these words, Just give me a reason Just a little bit's enough Just a second we're not broken just bent And we can learn...

The Family Milk Cow

We've somewhat settled into having a milk cow and I thought that I’d share a post  (or two or three) on the addition of a milk cow to our farm and I figured that I better do it before I got really comfortable so that I’d remember all those newbie,...

A three year old’s broken leg

Did I say that Cecily’s leg wasn’t broken in my last post? Change that, it is in fact broken. Across the tibia and curving up into her knee. They put the cast on her on Monday and then we were back in on Wednesday because she had already destroyed the first. The...

Farming with Children

Our lives just received an added slight interesting dynamic for the next while.  It was a beautiful sunny spring day and as Dan had the morning off, we spent it outside doing the spring hen house clean out, turned the garden, and played with compost. The girls were in...

Five years old

To turn five is a big deal. A very big deal. Aneliese made herself go to sleep quickly just so that the morning would come quickly. I can hardly believe that my firstborn is already five. Happy birthday, precious girl.

Sunday Gratitude

It's been a bit hard week, not terrible just hard. We've had the stomach flu and between three sick girls and mama (all at the same time), the laundry overflowed and Dan was kept hopping. I'm a bit of a wimp at times so I felt like I was never going to feel better and...

These busy days

My, how these days have been flying by. All of our animals came this past weekend and we have been a little chaotic while getting settled. We have some kinks to work out in our pens and pasturing situation but mostly we are loving it. We've been milking Sugar and are...

April: 30 for 30 challenge

It’s April and the past few days of sunshine have been amazing. Dan’s been working hard on the shelter and fences for our new addition while there is light and then, trooper that he is, works his other jobs after dark. The girls have been loving playing in the field...

“Now, go and tell the others that I’m alive!”

*The sun seemed to be dancing and gleaming and bounding across the sky, racing with her and shining brighter than she could ever remember in the clear, fresh air. And it seemed to her that morning, as she ran, almost as if the whole world had been made anew, almost as...

Seder & Good Friday

We began the days of Easter by sharing in Seder or Passover. We are not Jewish in our faith or practice but we share the same need for the Messiah, the Lamb. This was our first Seder and so there was a great deal of referring to Messianic Seder within a google search...

“I want to see the water.”

We needed to take a drive this afternoon for some furnace oil (Making note for next winter that we need more firewood.) and truthfully, an afternoon drive is when Dan and I have our best chats while the girls nap. As we were getting ready to go, Cecily said that she...

Playing with Balloons: Toward Independence

Kathleen had just woken up from her nap and immediately found the balloons that the big sisters had forgotten to put away after playing with them. Aneliese and Cecily love playing with balloons but with Kathleen’s propensity to gnaw everything, I’ve told them that...

Nature tells a story…A Guest Post

  I've become a monthly contributor for my friend Beth of Red and Honey which I am very excited about. This month, being so close to Easter, I'm sharing a simple but meaningful way that we share the Easter story and the life of Jesus with our girls. I'd love it...

Adding to the farm

I've been in a busy, preoccupied state lately. The weather can’t decide between spring or winter and my moods seem to swing right along.  But the sun peeked out after what seemed to be weeks of grey and the warmth beckoned us out to play. Kathleen wore her rain boots...

Maple Nut Granola {Soaked Version}

I posted a picture of my granola ingredients soaking on the Becoming Kindred facebook page and was asked if I would share the recipe. I intended to share it sooner but life always seems to have a way of changing what I intended. A little side note as a recipe...

Make your own Beeswax Tea light candles!

Every once in a while I disappear from this little space for a week or so. Most often, I don't actually intend to but I am learning when to let things slide for the sake of something else. This past week was spent on a little getaway with friends. The two older girls...

Dill Pickle Popcorn Seasoning

Popcorn has become a snack staple in our house. Sometimes I think that we eat it a little too much but it is seriously such a quick, cheap, and easy snack! Not to mention it is a relatively mess free option for traveling or when out and about.  And as interesting...

Paint choices-Thoughts on my growing daughters

Do you know that for all the hours that I spend teaching and preparing my girls for a life independent of me, sometimes I forget that I'm not raising little replicas of me? Sometimes I forget that while I play a huge role in shaping their character, they will some day...

Pumpkin & Red Lentil Curry

Lentils are a relatively new addition to our family menu. Other than enjoying them in the dal that our friends made whenever we would share an Indian feast, until this past year, they weren’t legumes that I had cooked with much. However, they have become an important...

Small Bump

Last week, it was four years that I sobbed and prayed as our wee baby left me. There were many days of hazy sorrow as my body recovered and as we came to accept that our little one was gone. Knowing that to all outward appearances we appeared fine but feeling so...

A Woodland Valentine’s Mantel

When we put in our wood stove in the living room, we had to take out the the 113 year old, hand carved mantel. Now, living on the east coast where everything is older that isn't so old but to this BC girl, that was crazy. It's a pretty fancy mantel too, with a big...

Sleep? Who needs it.

  Friends, I'm tired these days. You know that bone tired, I-think-I-might-cry sort of tired? That's my camp this past week or two, or maybe it's three, I can't remember now. I actually looked at my bed and considered taking a nap while the girls were all playing...

On a Saturday

It's been a cold snowy week here and it snowed today as well BUT the sun did shine for a while today. Our poor chickens even ventured out for a while although they are not impressed with all the snow. I don't really have a lot to say but here are some pictures.

Kathleen’s eyes

Kathleen had her follow-up appointment from her eye surgery yesterday. As always, she is amazing. They spend close to an hour doing tests so see how her eyes respond and while she is absolutely exhausted by the time they are done, she still smiles and waves as we head...

This is life

I think that I had something really meaningful to post tonight, but I can't remember. See, our septic tank is backed up and we have a history with backed up septic tanks. Like, this one time just a few months after we were married, I went to move a load of laundry...

Simple: A Guest Post

Sean is a good friend of ours from college days. We were glad to break bread (well biscuits ) and share a bowl of soup on our veranda with him this past fall. I'm honored to share his words here. "The man of simple intention works in an atmosphere of prayer: that is...

When the sun comes out & 5 Ways to get Outdoors

The winter months in Nova Scotia often seem dreary to me, it's just so grey. It's warmer here than winters in Alberta but there I found it much easier to make the choice to bundle up and go outside. Here, I have a hard time convincing myself that it's worth it even...

Epiphany 2013

More and more, I find that as we practice the spiritual seasons and events in our lives, I see how my mind and spirit have naturally followed these seasons over the years. Now, our practice has simply given voice to this flow of worship. It's always a bit hard for me...

Almond Meal Brownies (Gluten, Grain, & Refined Sugar free)

I shared this recipe a couple of years ago as my first gluten free success. My gluten free cooking has come a long way since then but this recipe is still a favorite. It was Cecily’s first birthday cake and then I made it again for Kathleen’s first birthday. I am...

A New Year {2013}

It’s the beginning of a new year and the time for goals or resolutions. It’s the time to look at one’s life and make some changes.  We bid goodbye to the old year and ring in the new with celebration, weak though it may be, depending on the current place of our life...

2015-2017

2014

2013

2012

2012

Merry Christmas!

Our house is decorated for Christmas. Our tree has been hunted, brought home and decorated. The greens have been hung. Baking has been done and shared. There are still presents needing last finishing touches, beds to be made, and a feast to prepared. These next days,...

The Unusual Nativity; A Christmas Memory

I've been trying to write some of my memories down both for myself and for my girls to have one day. I wrote this last year as I prepared for my first Christmas away from my family and I thought that I would share it here. As we were setting up our nativity(s) the...

Five Christmas Baking Favorites (Gluten Free)

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is the baking. I remember eagerly waiting for the shopping trip where my mom and dad would come home with all the baking ingredients. Chocolate, maraschino cherries, rice krispies, walnuts, marshmallows, and sprinkles were  things...

Butter Tart Squares (Gluten Free Shortbread Base)

Oh butter tarts, how you delight my taste buds with your buttery sweetness nestled in that flaky pastry. But you aren't the same now in our gluten free lifestyle. So you have been replaced with squares. Thank you though, for your flavour inspiration and I'll be...

DIY Card Holder/Art Display (Repurposing Chicken Wire))

"One man's junk is another man's treasure" Maybe this reveals my trashy tastes, but I've found this old adage to often be true. Our home is mostly furnished and decorated with articles that others no longer wanted. It might be that we see treasure in the trash. It's a...

The darkness is glowing…

I've tried to write so many times in the last few days. And there are no words. I mourn with those who mourn. I weep with those who weep. The Darkness longs to cover the Light. Hatred wants to snuff out Love. How long? How long? Why, why, WHY? Sometimes, the darkness...

Peace-remembering the lights and the Light

A couple of years ago, I wrote about why there are no lights on our tree. I’ve been wanting to renege on that commitment this year. I have just had this longing for the warm twinkle of lights on my tree and mantel. I also know that the girls would be so thrilled. I...

And now you are three

You entered the world so tiny, yet so full of life. Somehow even in those first moments, you drew people to you. Perhaps because you were so tiny, so perfect or perhaps already then you had a special spark. This was an important birthday to you, this day of turning...

2012 Advent Reflection: Hope, “Come, Lord Jesus”

Yesterday was the first day of Advent, the week of hope. I wrote last week about anticipating Christ amidst the chaos and as I began writing this I sat in my living room that looked as if the girls dresser drawers had all of its contents overturned onto the floor. My...

Hand dipped Beeswax Candles

My friend Lola and I got all old-fashioned the other day and made our own candles.  For our first try they turned out pretty great. I haven’t lit any of mine but Lola burned hers during a power outage and said that they burned really well. I’m no expert so I’m not...

Entering into the Advent: Part 1

The season of Advent is drawing closer and I just don’t feel ready. Oh, I have the candles for the Advent wreath, I have the basic outline of our days written from previous years and I even have a new book of advent reflections for Dan and I to read together. My...

Repurposed Wool Sweater Bunting Doll

I have posts for recipes, advent thoughts, book lists written and almost ready to post but somehow I haven't been making the time. Next week, there is plenty of time, next week. I'm booked for a Farmers and Traders Christmas Market in a week and haven't gotten much...

When it is dark

I’m trying to count my blessing today. For I have a lot of blessings. I wonder though, is it okay to acknowledge the tough things without discounting the blessing? There are some things that are weighing heavy on my shoulders today and while I prefer to dwell on the...

Eggie Pancakes

We have fifteen happy little hens. So we eat a lot of eggs. I mean, a LOT. Cecily went through a lengthy list of all the foods that Aneliese and she “wuv”, and finished with, “ But I don’t wuv eggs”. Point made. Our hens, when they aren’t hiding out and laying under...

Re: Surgery

Thank you all for thinking of us and for praying yesterday. I fed Kathleen just after midnight as planned and she settled in and slept until 5:30 when she normally wakes up to eat. She played with her daddy for a while and didn't cry! Then she drank the apple juice...

11 months and Eye Surgery

“That is the happiest baby I have ever seen.” Those are words that we hear often about our sweet Kathleen Claire and she lives up to them. Somehow she has been gifted with an extra helping of glad delight.  She shines her still toothless smile on every one and causes...

Five Minute Friday: Quiet

Quiet I fear quiet. I fear that to quiet my voice is to admit insignificance. My voice was never meant for silence. Was it? I never wanted to be a loud emphatic voice. I’ve never longed to be heard by the thousands. But I have never wanted quiet either. I wasn’t meant...

Homemade Toothpaste using Eggshells or Calcium

I’ve been brushing my teeth with egg shells. No really, I have. It sounds crazy but I can explain. I’ve been having trouble with my teeth for a few years now. This is partially because I vomited at least 10 times a day (no exaggeration) for most of my pregnancy with...

Lessons from an Iris

The Iris has become my life flower. It started when I told Dan’s grandmother about the irises that my mom had given me from my growing home when they were getting ready to move. Now, I say, “Oma, I need some irises.” . We head out to her yard and she gets irises for...

Ballet

Today was the day that we've been waiting for! The girls began dance (I'm just assisting with music etc since I don't know how to dance). Aneliese hardly knew what to do with her excitement for beginning ballet and she loved it! Cecily, on the other hand is a little...

Friends; thoughts on Disability and Friendship

The end of the month is here.  I had written these thoughts that I have to share today weeks ago but then misplaced my notebook. I’m choosing not to think about the pages and pages of my heart words that were sitting at the coffee shop for the eyes of strangers; if my...

To seek adventure

I’m resting and trying to beat a case of Strep Throat antibiotic free (I’m on the mend I hope but I’ll still take suggestions) but I can hear the girls climbing up the banister as Dan tells them just how high they can attempt today. My daughters like to test the...

Learning to Play

I played with my children today. You might be thinking (in a sarcastic tone of thought), “Wow, what an accomplishment!”.  Really, though, I’m not very good at the honest, fully heart and hands present, playing.  I get kind of bored. I have other really strong areas in...

Thoughts on Pain

When it comes to pain, we all generally choose to either fight or flee.   The injury is inflicted, the pain begins, and often aside from conscious decision we choose one of the above.    This applies to the big stuff in life and the little day-to-day stuff. Marissa...

When you have a baby…

When you have a baby, everybody tells you about how fast it will go.  About how over the moon in love you will be.  About sleepless nights and first steps. But no one ever tells you that there will be times during your baby’s childhood (and oh my, probably adulthood)...

How to respond when your child has been abused

In my previous post, I talked about the proactive side of protecting our
children from abuse. I shared some thoughts on the ways that we parent
can better equip our children against abuse. You might be wondering how
these last two posts relate to becoming kindred;
I sit here with great sadness in my heart because I know that so many
times despite our best efforts and our deepest desires to protect our
children, they are not always protected. They are not always safe. Our
children may experience things in life that are incredibly hard and that
we as parents will hardly know how to respond, love, and connect with
them through those painful things but this is a place where they need us
to connect with them.

Proactively Protecting our Children from Abuse

For most of us, as parents, we would protect our children
with our lives. From early mobility we are teaching our kids appropriate
responses to danger. However, many of us are at a loss when it comes to
protecting our kids where they are most vulnerable. I do my best to teach my
children safety and good habits, but I don’t spend a lot of time considering
ways that they could get hurt. I do however, struggle with a deep fear of my
children being abused, be it physical, emotional, and especially sexual. My fear
is that I won’t be able to protect them from those who would prey on their
vulnerability. I fear that I won’t see the signs or that they won’t come and
tell me. I fear that I won’t teach them what they need to know for abuse
prevention and handling.

I have these fears but I am learning to choose not to live
within them. Instead, I am learning to face them, for myself and my children; I
want to equip myself and my children.

“I like you” Part 2

As a young woman, I remember day dreaming about the bliss of married life. My friend and I
gushed how we simply could not wait
to “joyfully submit” to our chosen mates. We pictured how we would come
alongside as ‘helpmates’: quietly and dutifully supporting these might men in
prayer, and cheerfully creating home and children and pretty plates as we
trusted these individuals to lead our families through dreams and debt and drudgery.

Um…are you kidding
me?

A new week and an introduction

It’s the beginning of a new week. It feels like Saturday
although my brain keeps reminding me that it is in fact Sunday. Its getting
late and as happens when our family gets a cold, our three girls seem to take
turns waking up in the night so I’m a little tired. Well, maybe a lot which is
why I have a timer set for fifteen minutes.

On safe places and vulnerablity

I’m a little behind but I thought that I would do some catching up.

It’s technically day 20 but I missed day 19. I thought about
trying to write something yesterday in the evening but instead Dan and I spent
a couple of hours breathing out the busy hours of the week. And laughing. I
love it when he makes me laugh.

A cord of three strands…

  I went into marriage with eyes wide open. I knew myself too well to believe that to share life intimately with another would be a sunset ride into happily ever after. I loved and respected Dan, but I knew his struggles, his weakness. And he knew mine. To most,...

Where’s Jesus?: a glimpse of the Kindred

Sitting next to me, book in hand, her troubled voice uttered words that felt as if she had glimpsed my very core, “ Mama, I’m looking for Jesus. I can’t find Jesus. Where’s Jesus?” Cecily was looking for a story about Jesus but her words described how I so often feel....

Fiddler’s Green Harvest Party*

With the day being quite cool and windy, we changed plans from a big party out in our pasture to a mostly in the house party. Some gathered around the wood stove in the living room, some sat around the inherited family table, while still others clustered around the...

When You Realize Your Life is a Vapor

The moon swells full outside the window, and our boys can't bid it goodnight.  photo credit: Kelly Teague {flickr creative commons} My husband and I watch as our preschooler presses his nose to the glass, leaving a frosty imprint. Tonight the stars burn brighter than...

Harvest party and a few links

Our harvest party is over and I think it was quite successful. With the rain, damp, and general cold of the weather, much of it ended up being indoors so with the 50ish people who came, we were cozy. But, it was pretty relaxed and fun with shared food, chatting and...

on a Saturday Eve

  It was fire prevention day with our local fire department. Dan took his photo booth and the girls watched a car door being opened, took a couple of rides in the fire truck and had their picture taken with a real fire fighter! Aneliese’s idea which surprised me....

I like you

He was next to me; near enough to tap his foot with my own, but far enough that I could stare at him through my hair without him feeling it. The table between us held popcorn, wine, and the pipe I had purchased for him that first Father’s Day. A small bonfire crackled...

Talking with our children about sex

Talking about sex with our children is probably rated as one of the hardest topics but it’s also a crucial one as we are part of building the foundations of our kids lives. We are trying to carefully guide our daughters through these early years, and to set them on...

An Invitation

Community with others is very important to us; we want to build friendship with those around us by taking part in daily life with them.  One of the dreams that we have for this old house is to host events and parts and we have spent a good deal of time trying to plan...

Perfect Motherhood

My
revelation was that in some ways, I am on the defensive regarding my role as
“just a mom” and that in order  to be
legitimate, I need to do it perfectly or at least be striving for perfection.
As I was mulling this revelation, it was timely that I read the following quote;

“I hear two main messages from our culture: first, that
motherhood is a distraction, an interruption from what should be important to
me – mainly myself and a career. Second, if a woman does choose motherhood, the
only way for it to have meaning or value is to do it better than anyone else,
to be a supermom who perfectly balances career, cooking, chauffeuring,
cleaning, personal time, and date nights…a super mom who has a perfect house,
perfect husband, perfect job, and perfect kids – because if you’re going to
focus on motherhood, it is only worthwhile if everything is perfect.”                                                                                  Beyond
Bath Time
– Erin Davis

 That quote
struck me because I often find myself believing that i must justify my
career choice of being a mother by doing it perfectly. After all, I can
list so many other
women who are great and committed mothers while still having another
career. I
also know plenty of other moms who, like me, are fighting the feelings
of
failure up against their own expectations and/or the expectations of
others? Were
we intended to be perfect mothers? And I mean perfect by both our
standards or
the standard of others. Is perfection what our children, spouses, or the
world
need from us?

Fall Pictures

I love my little family. Never have I memorized the details of any faces as I have their dear ones. The life and beauty that they display to me, fills me with delight. And this is my beautiful friend Jenny

The feast of Thanksgiving

Today was the day of thankful feasting. We’ve been treated royally all weekend by our friends Jenny and Jeff. The warm welcome of friends is much to be thankful for. While Jenny and I cooked, Aneliese directed the placement and completion of the thanksgiving tree. In...

Ocean Thoughts

It will be later when you read this, but I will have written it here on the beach in the quiet of the morning. I find company in the roll of the ocean, the resting birds, and Molly. Dan suggested that I go technology free but somehow I knew my words would find voice...

Thanksgiving

Today, we are on the highway driving past the beautifully changing fall leaves. We are off to find Thanksgiving. I’m feeling a little sardine-like with how we fit in our vehicle now. A glance in the rearview shows Molly’s ears flopping in the wind (yes, she is always...

One of those days

It’s just one of those days. I’m guessing that we all have them but I’d really prefer that I didn’t. There are the happy days, the sad days, the intense days, the emotional days, or the sick days; there even the just a day days. Then there are there are the days that...

Housekeeping

I am sorry to interrupt your regularly scheduled program with this house blog keeping message. In the three days that I have been using this site, I have noticed a few glitches and have had some pointed out to me. So please, if something isn’t working right,  would...

Diversity and 8 ways to teach our children

Photo: danfroesephotography She was sitting and drawing a picture full of people and while she drew, she was carrying on a conversation with herself. Since I was right there, I assumed that I was welcome to listen in. As she chose the crayons for the skin, she said to...

The Spirit

I’ve only made it to day two and already I spent the past hour struggling for words and so tempted to just go to bed. I had wanted to start by giving you a little glimpse of my soul but that is more difficult than you might expect. Today Aneliese asked what a soul was...

31 days

I had planned to get Becoming Kindred up and running before October but as life happens, we are celebrating October 1st and the 1st day all in one! I’m learning to be okay with things running according to a different schedule than mine which really is a big deal for a...

Welcome!

Welcome to my new blog, Becoming Kindred! I’m glad you joined me here. Most of you will have come from my old blog, Confessions of a Young Mama and I thank you for making the switch with me.  I’m a little butterflies as I get ready to make this new little place public...