One thing that I’ve come to appreciate while living in the North is seasons. They are so distinct here, so tangible. Each season has it’s own beauty and I’ve learned to look forward to them all (though some more than others!)
My children know how I love the first Pussy Willows that burst out in early spring, soft and inviting. They amaze me how they survive bitter cold, and they give me hope that the long winter will indeed end. Spring brings vitality and hard work after the restful winter. It is when we prepare garden beds and plant seeds for the harvest to come.
Summer is bountiful. The garden produces food for the table and the children enjoy a well deserved rest from school. Summer always seems so short when looking back on it. It is so busy with the days flying by. Fall is brilliant and exciting. It is so unbelievably brief here. I love the stunning fall colours and the chill on my cheeks as I walk and take in the freshness and the new scents of autumn.
Winter is a time of coming together again as a family. We settle into routines. There is rest from outside labour. My time outside consists of leisurely walks where I have time to contemplate. Perhaps winter is the hardest season to enjoy. It is long and often very cold, but I wouldn’t want a year without winter. God knows that we need that time to rest and reflect, to have routine and draw together as a family.
As I contemplate the seasons of the year, I am reminded of some similarities in the seasons of life. I am in the summer of my life. It is a season of motherhood, of busyness and hard work. And like summer, it seems to fly by and I get to feeling sometimes that I don’t take the time to enjoy it enough. One day, this season will be over and I know that I’ll look back on it with some longing.
There are some reminders too that autumn will soon be dawning in my life. My oldest child is fast approaching the teen years and I find more grey hairs every year.
It is easy to look with longing at other people in other seasons and wish we could be there, but I fear in doing that, we’ll miss out on realizing the beauties of the season that we are in. I hope to be able to embrace each season, including the one I am in right now.
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It has been an exciting year for us as we’ve had opportunities to become involved with other homeschooling families. We did our first field trip in the spring and we’ve been able to attend a weekly homeschool skate this school year.
I’m still very independent in my homeschooling style and I’ve still chosen to register my children for schooling instead of distance enrolling them (which gives us considerably more freedom and considerably less funding!) but it has been a growing experience for all of us to be able to interact and grow with other families.
Yesterday, we went on our second field trip with a homeschooling group, a tour of both the Fire Hall and the Ambulance Station. The tours together took 2 hours and were very informative. The kids loved going in a real fire truck and got a real kick out of constructing their cardboard ambulances. I’ve heard that if a child ever needs to go in an ambulance, that having a tour of this sort before hand can alleviate much of the fear of the unknown.
I’ve been reminded of the importance of making sure the children know their street name and house number, as many children don’t know this information off hand (guilty part here!) And apparently good parents post this information on their fridges, so their children don’t have to try and remember under stress. Paramedics appreciate it if you kennel your dog before their arrival, and flashing your porch light on and off can help them find your house more quickly. (See, I was listening!)
Something that I found especially interesting was that a cell phone that is disabled can still contact 911. This creates a real problem for the 911 dispatchers, because they must try to pinpoint where the call originated using satellites and find out if the call was an emergency. So…. we were told to PLEASE remove the cell phone battery before giving a cell phone to a child as a toy, and do not put 911 as a speed dial number because of the risk of accidentally dialling it.
About 40 people (including parents) came for the tours which seemed like a pretty amazing turnout for such a small community. A big thank you to all who did the organizing and led the tours!
I’ll leave you with a few pictures of the event.
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I love it that children are so forthright; they haven’t yet learned to flatter. There have been times when I tried on a new skirt and the children have remarked that I looked beautiful (good). There have been other times when I tried on something new and they giggled and said that I looked funny (not so good!) I do keep in mind that this is the opinion of a seven year old, but I appreciate that it is an honest opinion.
Sometimes, the fact that children will say the first thing that pops into their head can be rather embarrassing. At church recently, one of my six year old boys said rather loudly, “Is that the bench for the old people?” when he noticed several seniors sitting in row behind us. What could I say? I felt like crawling under that bench! And then there is the dreaded, “Are you having a baby?” to a woman who isn’t. Oh my, children will humble us!
I was talking to a friend on this subject when she flipped through her Bible and pulled out a drawing that her daughter had made 20 years earlier. “It’s you Mommy,” her little girl had said all those years ago.
“What are all the wiggly lines on my face,” my friend asked.
“Oh those are your wrinkles,” was the quick reply!
I love it that this drawing has been kept safe these two decades and that it can still produce a smile or a laugh. It is a lesson that I am thankful we can learn from our children, how to laugh at ourselves! :)
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Unfortunately, we live quite a distance from our families, so visits from Grandparents are truly events in the lives of our children. They count down the days and their excitement vibrates through the house as the visit draws near.
When my Mom and her husband stay with us, they bring their little trailer and camp in our yard. On the morning of the day that they were to arrive, Myra announced that they should make a mail box and put it near to where the trailer would be parked. I was relieved as the project would keep them busy for a while, AND would stop them from asking every few minutes when I thought they might get here.
Sure enough, they were busy for several hours as they designed and made their mail box, mounted it on a stick and drew pictures to put in the mail box. One picture makes me laugh every time I look at it. Ethan drew it of my Mom floating in space.
Have a great weekend!
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