Weekend Favorites

Alright, now it feels like spring is on it’s way! Such a beautiful weekend of melting and sunshine!

We spent the weekend relaxing. 🙂

Ben and KayliaWhile Anika was at a friend’s house on Saturday, Ben worked on Kaylia’s reading skills. She now knows how to tell the difference between the words “big” and little”!:)

KayliaShe also took advantage of Anika’s absence by using the time to make a necklace for her big sister.

We celebrated the return of the geese…


…and the melt of the snowman.

meltingAnd we enjoyed BBQ food three times in one weekend! Nothing makes it feel like summer is on the way like a BBQ!

supperWhat did you do with your weekend?

January Photo Challenge, Part Two

Time for a little update on the photo challenge Anika and I are doing together!

Day 8: Nature





Day 9: Words

Kendra: Kaylia’s sign-up sheet for the play she is planning to put on with her friends.

WordsAnika: The inspirational picture I drew for her the other day, when we needed to change how the day was going…


Day 10: One Photo Every Hour, for 10 Hours


Kendra – Breakfast Smoothie

9:00Anika: The tea party Kaylia had laid out for her, first thing in the morning 🙂




Kendra: Grammar with Anika!

11:00Anika: Her math reward for finishing up her schoolwork


Kendra: Getting lunch ready

12:00Anika: Eating lunch


Kendra: Unloading the dishwasher

1:00Anika: Listening to Adventures in Odessy1:002:00

Kendra – nap time!:)2:00*I can’t find a photo that Anika took for 2:00 – we must have missed it somehow!


Kendra – finding the girls all snuggled up, listening to more Adventures in Odessy!



Kendra: Playing outside!




Kendra: The long-awaited tea party


Anika’s view of the tea party:


Kendra: Making supper

6:00*I think Anika missed 6:00, as well…

Day 11: Picture of Food




We were almost done in on Friday!! A photo every hour, for 10 hours!! There was a lot of “What were we doing at 11:00 this morning??! Let’s try to take a picture of it now!!” (four hours later…)

Yes. Well. We made it. Now one photo a day feels like a breeze…

Thanks for the sweet feedback on Anika’s photos from the last post!:)

What Summer Looks Like

The sun is setting, someone’s for a hot air balloon ride over Niverville, and my hubby’s on the couch, waiting for me to finish blogging so that we can watch the first episode of the Canadian Amazing Race. (He’s sad that he’s not on it – it’s one of his lifelong dreams!)

I could go deep and spiritual here, but there’s something about a golden evening that makes me feel as though the words are few, and all I want to do is enjoy the beauty.

Let’s catch up on some summer photos – the ones I took during the last two months, but couldn’t share with you because I was always writing about favorite things.

So, for everyone who’s up for the deep thoughts I’m chewing on – they are coming. Slowly.

In the meantime, here’s a little bit of what summer is looking like around here:

watering the gardenleavesstormy skychipmonksaladflowersfernAnikaKayliaflowers

We have decided to only have salads or something barbequed for meals around here. I wish I could leave my oven off until September.

I am waiting for my next chance to shop at the farmers market. Maybe tomorrow??

We’re spending more time at the lake than we have before. (Not counting when we lived by it. We weren’t vacationing then!)

Our garden is growing like mad by now. I run out to pick lettuce, and feel like we’re all “living off the land”.

The girls keep going to bed later and later, because nobody wants to go inside on these beautiful evenings.

What are you soaking in this summer?

Looking for Magic and Adventure

We were going to go the playground yesterday afternoon.

We were trying to decide which park to walk to, when suddenly, Ben and I had a “Genius Parent Moment”, and told the girls we were going to the river.

Anika was not impressed.

Deep down, I was pretty sure she’d be fine. I have seen, over and over again, what happens to our girls when they get out into nature. Playgrounds are fun and all, but there is something completely different and wonderful about wandering around in the trees and crunching through the leaves.

So instead of the playground, we set off on a little adventure.




It didn’t take very long for Anika’s attitude to change.

You can’t be in a place like that without starting to feel the wonder and magic of it.

We explored and crunched and climbed trees and gathered sticks for a special little project this week.


On the way home, Anika said, “I had a lot more fun than I thought I would.”

We will go to the playground some other time.

But I always, always want to remember to get away on adventures. When we moved away from camp, I thought afternoons like this would be over. I was worried about our family losing the delight of wandering through the trees.


I’m not worried anymore.



Soaking Up Fall

Yesterday was golden. Really, was there ever a more beautiful fall day?

Who knew it would be the best day ever for family pictures?

I certainly did not know it two weeks ago when I arranged with our friend Morgan to meet with us yesterday, but we managed to pick a beauty! We spent a sunshiny hour with Morgan, wandering around in the glowing leaves.

Then Morgan left, and Ben hung out with our girls at his parents’ house while I went back and took a bunch of my own pictures. I love it that he gets how much I need to do that.

I really do need to go lie in a field and take pictures of weeds against the sky. It does something good to my insides.

What are your insides begging you for today? That sun is shining, and it’s just so beautiful, but sometimes we’re far too busy to notice.

When I finally slow down enough to go lie in a field of weeds, I realize how much I’ve been needing it. And when winter comes, I’ll be so glad I soaked up all this goodness now. Winter will be good, too, but I’m sure that when I go lie in a snow drift, I’ll still be remembering the smell of dry grass in the hot sun.:)



There’s No Right Way of Doing This

The other evening, I met up with my dear friend Julia for an evening to talk, eat, and enjoy some photography together. We walked around by the Legislative Building, and went down to the river, taking pictures of anything that caught our attention.

It was an absolutely beautiful evening, and I loved sharing one of my favorite hobbies with her.

What kept impressing itself upon me repeatedly was that although we were in the same place, often taking pictures of the same thing, we both have completely different ways of seeing things.

Juls loves to focus on the close-up stuff, while I am newer at this whole photography thing, and am still shooting all over the place, trying to get a feel for everything, and often feeling a little lost with my fancy new camera.

But when I mentioned this feeling to Julia, she reminded me that there’s no “right way” to do photography. It’s supposed to be art, and art can be whatever you want it to be.

For the rest of the evening, I kept thinking about Burt on “Mary Poppins” – he sings that song about his artwork, and says, “I draws what I likes, and I likes what I sees.”

Photography is such a powerful way of saying, “This is me. This is what I like, this is what the world looks like through my eyes.”

I learned to appreciate nature from my dad. He is always pointing out things he finds beautiful, and he was always thrilled when I would bring in branches of apple blossoms or berries from the trees in our yard. He said it showed how much I noticed things like that.

And I have always loved finding beauty in my surroundings, but I feel like photography enables me to share it with others. For that one moment when someone sees a picture I took, they are seeing the same beauty I see, too.

Maybe they wouldn’t have seen it if I didn’t point it out by taking a picture.

Maybe they would have rushed by without taking a second glance.

Sometimes I rush by, too. That’s the best part of taking an evening just to take pictures.

We walked slow, and looked long, and found treasure after treasure.

And slowly, I’m finding freedom in expressing myself in this way – in my way, whatever way it happens to be.

Oh Weekend, How I Love You

Weekends are wonderful, yes?

I thoroughly enjoyed this one. The weather was unbelievable, and it was so, so good to have Ben home for a day off. These days, most of his days off are spent going into the city to prepare for our big move, or he doesn’t take days off at all, to bank them up for the future when we know we’ll have to be gone from camp.

But Sunday was just a wonderful, relaxing, stay-at-home-all-day kind of a day.

There were pancakes in the morning.

(Kaylia wouldn’t show her face for the picture, so I got her under the table instead!)

There was a picnic in the living room.

There was reveling in the spring weather…

…and one last sled ride in the disappearing snow.

It was pretty much perfect.

On top of all that relaxing, Ben even had time for loading up all eight boxes of stuff I’ve purged in the last few weeks, to ship off to MCC. Yesss!

So pretty much, purging is the theme of my life, and you’ll probably be hearing a lot more about that this week. My new passion…

I’m working on a list of all my most practical purging tips and tricks, in case you’re wondering. In the meantime, I hope you had a most fabulous weekend.

I Love Spring

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!'” -Robin Williams

I really, really love spring. I love the smell in the air, I love the mud, I love the puddles.

Although I grew up on a farm, it would be a fairly inaccurate description to call me a “farm girl” at heart. My sisters were out on the tractors and combines, but I just wasn’t into that.

But I still loved growing up on the farm. I loved being outside, and living in the country. Whatever “farmish-ness” was not passed on to me from my dad, he definitely made up for in teaching me how to appreciate nature.

I feel like spring is the season that brings out all things natural in me. It makes me feel like those years spent growing up on the farm are not very long ago. We would explore every puddle, flood every boot, dirty every article of clothing.

And my favorite part? I don’t remember my mom ever saying one negative word about it. She kept a very clean house, but I never felt like getting dirty was looked down on. And my dad downright encouraged it.

I want my girls to experience spring in that environment. It is time to party. It’s time to get dirty. Oh, the sights, the sounds, the smells! Everything is new and fresh and exciting!

Have fun getting dirty!