Since I haven't been posting much, this update will kind of be a mish-mash of topics!
The simplifying/purging saga continues. Above is my latest bunch of items on their way out of the house. I wanted to cut down the volume of books we have to what will fit in the schoolroom cabinet and one bookcase. Lots of the books were collected for free or very cheap from used sources, on the chance they were ones the kids would enjoy. When that has not the case, it's time for them to move on.
|Sewing Room/Office Closet|
I'm happy to say that keeping our home clean gets easier and easier as we slowly get rid of things we don't need, or even multiples of needs. The cleaner things are, the less stressed I feel. And more ready for adventure, since the important things are in focus. Bring on the adventures!
Here's our chica, unhappily working on a descriptive paragraph about Tunisia for Social Studies. She does not like assignments that don't seem relevant to her interests. She'd much rather be reading biographies about famous women, like Harriet Tubman and Jane Goodall. Or pinning memes off Pinterest about Star Wars... Such a unique person she is, definitely not "one-size-fits-all".
Since Kia and I are not eating gluten or dairy, our treats are very limited. Tim's and McDonalds have nothing gluten free other than oversweetened beverages, and Kia reacts to too much sugar much the same as she does to gluten. Cutting back on drive-thru snacking while we're out has been a blessing in disguise though. We have watched a few documentaries recently about the food industry and my kids now want nothing to do with McD's. Other than Rz. Rz points and shouts, "I want that!" every time we drive by.
I was wanting to try Black Bean Brownies for some time. I used a round cake pan this time, and with a basket of ripe strawberries nearby, we got all decorative and fancy. There was no flour at all in these, and they were very rich and delicious to savour slowly. I'll definitely make them again, more for the grownups though the kids enjoyed them in moderation.
Rz's best friend is his big brother. With all the choices of places to sit in a large room, he sits as close to Ry as possible when they watch a movie. They are regular Wii partners and Rz will sit and watch anything that Ry is interested in.
It's been so good to have J working from home these days. The kids are thriving on the extra attention. Last week we even got to go along on a business trip to Calgary for a few days. While J met with clients, we swam in the hotel pool, wandered the Chinook Mall and went on a little educational field trip.
We were so pleased to find a great hotel (Country Inn by Carlton) that included breakfast and a pool for just $75 per night in notoriously expensive Calgary. It was a little out of the way, out by the airport in an industrial area, but easy enough to access. The hotel was superbly clean, quiet and friendly. In fact, when we misunderstood the time and came down for breakfast an hour late, the staff bustled about and warmed up oatmeal, scrambled eggs, bacon and potatoes for the kids and me. We found this place on Priceline.com and had to commit to booking before they would divulge the name of the hotel. Glad we took the risk this time!
Here's Rz and his big sister, drawing before bed. Then tiredness overcame him right in the middle of a masterpiece, and we gently disengaged the pen before turning off the lights.
On Thursday, we took an easy trip by bus and LRT from the hotel to the Zoo Station, then walked to Telus Spark. It was a gorgeous faux-spring day and we congratulated ourselves as we walked on being so environmentally friendly as not to need more than one vehicle for our family of 5! (Hey - we'll take credits where we can get them!)
Rz spent a good half hour garbed in safety equipment, tentatively pounding roofing nails into a large chunk of timber under the watchful eye of an instructor. (Sorry for lousy phone photos!) I would say that was his favorite part of the whole day, well, until he spent the last hour and a half climbing ropes and ladders in their indoor play structure and we couldn't get him to try anything else after that!
Unfortunately, J has not been feeling great lately. To the point where, when we were in Calgary he took himself to Emergency one night to make sure he wasn't experiencing another kidney stone attack or kidney infection. Tests were negative, so they sent him home, but he is still feeling awful - having chills and night sweats, pains in his back and stomach and needing all kinds of sleep. Tomorrow I'm going to send him to his family doc or else find a Traditional Chinese Medicine doc in Chinatown that will figure out what's going on. For now, he can use all the rest he can get.
In conclusion, here's Kia and I giving a talk on the Theocratic School a few weeks back.