Monday, September 30, 2013

G.K. of the Day!

"I believe that the child has inside his head a pretty correct and complete definition of the whole nature and function of Art; with the one addition that he is quite incapable of saying, even to himself, a single word on the subject."

- G.K. Chesterton, Life and Letters, December, 1934.

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Seven Quick Takes vol. 61

Keeping my Quick Takes relationship alive - go visit Jen for the best of the best!


It definitely feels like Friday! 
Its been another full week around here. Or at least I feel it to be! We've had a glorious week of fall. Which in this land of the north needs to be absorbed and revelled in to your fullest capability. On Monday we went for a little picnic down our country road, sat out in a field surrounded by golden leaves and children screaming. I took pictures for a change, so many that I believe it will warrant its own post. Every day since the kids have been able to roam and run out doors even though a chilly Northern wind has started to sweep through. I'm still not thinking about the consequences to that wind...


And don't get any crazy ideas that she's rolling or anything...she's still good and immobile! Just the way I like 'em!

My baby turned six months yesterday! How did that happen?! It feels as if she's been here forever. Which is always the case with beautiful babies. How did we live without parts of ourselves such a short time ago? I really feel that the first six months are the toughest. Somehow around six months babies mellow out for the most part, ok, maybe not mellow out. Maybe we become accustomed to them more? In other words I feel as if I've crossed a mini-milestone! Its all downhill from here! I know, I'm a little delusional, but let me have my moment!


My culinary success of the week was making a giant pot of borscht yesterday with fresh garden veggies! Have I mentioned I love soup? And beets? I do! So borscht is a perfect storm of soup goodness. I forced every child to eat it for dinner too. Then I thought I'd have so much to freeze but by the end of dinner there was probably only a lunch sized portion left to freeze.'re so much work.


Our Ikea trip of last week yielded a couple of organizers for toys in the basement, meaning we're almost done with the basement overhaul!! I ordered kids around all week to start organizing toys in the basement that have just been kept in two giant boxes for the past ten months or so. We culled, and I hope I was ruthless, but all I got was a giant garbage bag to give away and a smaller garbage bag to throw out. Is it just my kids who play with a lot of garbage? And I'm not talking metaphorically. I mean there was a lot of garbage in the toy boxes. 


I keep wanting to post pictures of what I think has been massive progress in the basement redo-but every time we make a major step I say to myself, "As soon as the -blank- is done, I'll take pictures." Well, now I'm so close to actually getting things on the walls that I'm going to hold out a little longer. I'm sure you're on pins and needles...or not.


If you haven't yet read this great article from Verily Magazine; "A Tangled Web: Don Jon Highlights Real-Life Effects of Internet Porn", please stop and read it. I thought it was such a smart, well done article about pornography. And this magazine is doing everything right when it uses movies, to engage in topics from a Catholic/moral perspective. I just love that. I don't know if I really want to see the movie though...


The girls and I are going out of town this weekend for a bridal shower! That's pretty big excitement in these parts. I can't remember the last time I was away overnight without my husband. Or out of this house. I'm going to bet it was to have my last baby...that's when you know you don't get out much. Anyway, the shower is Sunday so I won't be making my Michaelmas goose for dinner but I will be driving home to see the finale of Breaking Bad. Does that make me a shallow person? I think I may tell the kids Michaelmas is Monday and throw in a chicken!

Have a fab week-end!

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Homeschooling Preschool/Kindergarten/Grade 1 Curriculum Extravaganza; or How Crazy Can I Be?

You're in the mood for a homeschooling post, right?

No? Well, you can hang out anyway to see if I'm completely crazy, or just come back tomorrow, either way.

Its the end of September, and I know everyone else has had fabulous curriculum posts already, but I thought I'd squeeze a quick one in - its still September...I'm still sort of organized...well, hey - we've started school already, I should get points just for that I think!

Before we get into the books, let me just accustom you to my line of thinking about educating the preschool through Grade 1 set. Firstly; I honestly don't have much time to devout to teaching in my everyday. Basically, one-on-one teaching time boils down to when the baby is napping. And that is primarily nap time in the morning. Secondly; because of this lack of time, etc. etc., I'm lowering my expectations. By a bunch! And I'm ok with that! I think its better for your sanity to attempt homeschooling with lower expectations according to what's going on in your real life. Homeschooling doesn't happen in a magical bubble - it happens at home, which is full know, life! So, with the knowledge I have two babies under 2, one still nursing, and three children of the age of just beginning to show varying degrees of interest in the sit-down kind of learning this is what I've come up with and I think its ample for right now, maybe even a bit much.

Now, I also want to say I have zero experience teaching homeschooling. But I was homeschooled from second grade through all of high school. I think that gives me a little more insight into homeschool realities, but you never know. I was also the oldest in my family, so I saw my mom educate each of my siblings completely at home. She also had a couple of babies after us oldest three were all school aged so she juggled a lot of babies as well as teaching. I hope this covers my wild presumptions I'm about to make, because I'm sure I'm going to make them and in a few short months I'll wonder at my naiveté.

Lets get ready to rumble.

Primary Arts of Language. I'm using this for reading, writing, letters, sounds, poetry, and reading aloud. It covers everything in an integrated way which I like, and it seems fairly incremental so far which I also like. I'm not sure if this will work with all my children, but so far they seem to not hate it and pay attention. Both wins. This program also seems to be adaptable to any age, and since I believe I'll be doing this for multiple years with multiple kids I like that. 

The only downfall of this program is it requires a lot of cutting and glueing on my part. Which, as we all know, is not even close to my cup of tea, but if this is my cross to bear I'm probably doing alright.
My main objective is to do a little reading and a little math everyday. We'll then throw in reading different books whenever we can, its a lot easier to read to everyone when babies are awake or nursing.   

Singapore Math. I read a few people recommending this program as a decent alternative to Saxon. Not that I hate Saxon, I did it through most of my schooling, but that five inch thick kindergarten teachers manual was a joke, so I wanted to boycott Saxon just out of spite! Its colourful, very repetitive, and so far liked by the kids so that's all I need. Really, kindergarten and grade one math...really isn't something to worry about.

Twenty-Six Letters to Heaven: A Catholic Preschool Curriculum. Since I haven't used this curriculum yet, I thought this would be a good book for Luke, since he'll want to do school but won't have quite the same attention span as Gemma and Dom, because he's three. I like the set-up of this book, with the emphasis on virtues and saints. Her books lists are also great, but if you think I'm doing every little craft - well, you'd be crazy. I'm going to use this as a more general guide to reading lists, and a nice way to introduce different saints.

Faith and Life. This was an easy pick because it really is the best catechism for children going, and because my mom still had every single book. We'll read this here and there, maybe once a week? That'd be great.

I'm going to come clean here and admit that we get funding in our province to homeschool. Yes, it means you have to sign up with a school board, the government knows who you are and where you live, which is a big downside and I would gladly give up my moola for parental freedom, but since its in our best interest to not go underground I'll gladly spend the government's money on really great books! 

Gyo Fujikawa's fairy tales and books of poetry. I am possibly Gyo Fujikawa's biggest fan. I just love his art, and I think these books are perfect for introducing a child to great poetry along with beautiful illustrations. I like these to be books the kids will just pick up to look at, then once they begin to read pick up and just read random little poems. Or that's the dream.

I mean. These pages are just beautiful.

More great books I didn't have to spend my own money on - but would have because they're wonderful. James Herriot's Treasury for Children: Warm and Joyful Tales by the Author of All Creatures Great and SmallAesop's Fables for Children, and The Blue Fairy Book. Did I mention I'm following the Ambleside reading lists for the young grades? They're really perfect for a good basis in classical literature for children which inspires the moral imagination. I don't know what my homeschooling philosophy is, but I'd say I'm a big believer in developing a moral imagination in children through good fairy tales and storytelling. I blame Anthony Esolen. I'll feel good if we come away from this year having read most of these books, not even all of them.

I thought now would be the time to buy the whole My Book House collection as well. I found a great deal on eBay after I found only four at my local Thrift Village. So if anyone needs Vols. 5-8 I can hook you up. I hope we can get into some routine of reading aloud from these at some point in the day. We'll see how it shakes down.

Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare for Children and How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare. Another dream of mine is to have small people walking around my house quoting soliloquies on demand. Ok, that sounds a little creepy, but I do want them to have a good acquaintance with Shakespeare from an early age. I'm not sure how we'll do it yet, but I figure reading this book will help. 

And there you have it. My schooling philosophy for this year really boils down to simply reading and math everyday, and reading aloud from good books whenever we can fit it. No worrying about subjects. No science projects. Just the basics and letting their precious, spongy little minds soak up everything they can. 

I really think that most preschool/early elementary learning is done through simply reading good books with your kids. Everything else is gravy.

I also am a believer that the things you think of as subjects just naturally get rounded out through life, and especially life at home. For instance my husband fills them with all sorts of scientific knowledge that I think is too much for them, but which they seamlessly absorb and can repeat to me verbatim days later, just in having conversations with them or seeing something new. We live on a ranch and are surrounded by nature so that leads to endless ecological, biology, questions. And we make more than good use of our library with scads of picture books. We also try to live liturgically, saints, feast days, and Mass. I've conned employed my little sister to teach a weekly "arts and crafts" lesson so I don't have to deal with glue sticks and my kids somehow learn the primary colours. I think this all sounds pretty good to me. 

Again, I'm totally stressing that I'm not an expert. But there are so many awesome homeschool blogs out there that should I get stumped I'm sure to find a little help and inspiration somewhere along the line. I'm also going to save all my crazy ranting for another post, another time. And trust me, there will be ranting! 

So with fingers crossed and dreams undashed, and maybe a good case of wine for me and you, I wish a very happy school year to all! 

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Seven Quick Takes vol 60

Friday, Friday Seven with the Great Fulwiler! Go see the better takes at Conversion Diary.


I'm only able to type right now because Nora's sleeping! Otherwise it would probably be just random, sporadic letters of my hunting and pecking with my one free arm. There has been oh-so much teething going on around here! As in I can't put her down without instant tears. I've started to refer to her simply as "She Who Must Be Held." I think its catching on. Probably by her first birthday she'll just be referred to as little She Who for short. 


Its just a matter of simple fact to say we pretty much have babies as close together as humanly possible, but still - BUT STILL - both my husband and I forget how bad teething can be. This is baby number five and we're still asking each other, "Was it this bad every other time?" Yes. Yes, of course it was. We just have blocked it out successfully as soon as its over. Its probably some kind of PTSD. 


Thank goodness I'm in the same boat as MamaH because she's so hilarious I laughed out loud, and not simply because I'm finding most things funny on such small amount of sleep. But really, you have to read her latest post on teething and Michael Jackson. I loved it. 


So I've been meaning to answer all your burning preschool/toddler/small person homeschooling questions, but all this homeschooling is really getting in the way. Irony. Spoiler alert though - I don't do much but its worth a post anyway!

We've had a better week this week getting into more of the routine of the reading/writing and math in the mornings, but I still feel as if I'm just running around with my head cut off. Which maybe never goes away. But I know I'll feel a little more comfortable once we establish a more stable routine. Me + routine = forevah.


I spent yesterday's nap time reading Pope Francis's interview with America and all I can say is: Wow. Its an amazing encapsulation of the Holy Father as a person and I just really enjoyed it. There is so much to unpack, and I'm sure most everyone will be talking about it, but I'm really glad I read it for myself in its entirety. Please give it a chance if you have a spare half I a slow reader?


There are so many topics discussed in the interview that I want to talk about, but I think I should ponder them longer in order to be coherent but my intial feelings are all really good. I love that he's challenging the staid idea of how the Church should function. And not on an officious level, but on the ground level. The basics. I feel its as if we've been living in a Church that has forgotten that its main goal of bringing souls to Christ. Its gotten bogged down in trying to be the self help, ecumenical, bureaucratic, substance-less, bland, unchallenging, building down the street. And by "it" I mean all of us. Its a group effort. Pope Francis's words are challenging.

I also loved how he talking about Ignatian spirituality which I think has been really out of fashion, or simply gotten a bad wrap because of bad Jesuits, or something. But the Ignatian spirituality is really a missionary spirit that the Pope is trying to inject into the Church. Its interesting to know where he's coming from.

And I loved when the Pope mentioned his favourite operas! Love it. And how he sent stories his students wrote to Jorge Luis Borges. Amazing. Love. 

But I'm still thinking!


The beloved husband and I are going on a date to Ikea today. I'm sure it will be everything you're imagining. We'll stroll through the strangely laid out rooms, argue about what type of bookshelf to buy, loose each other somewhere in kitchens, but be dramatically brought back together by either true love or those well placed arrows on the floor. 

Actually I'm really excited. I love my yearly sojourn to the Ikea and all things that I can't pronounce. I think we'll sneak a lunch too. I hope I don't forget to buy those Scandinavian cookies I like so much...

Happy Weekend lovely readers!

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett - What We're Reading Wednesday

Just popping in with a very quick review of what we've been reading lately, because I love linking up with the lovely literary ladies at Housewifespice! Go see them all!

Don't you just love it when a book can create its own completely different world? I was surprised that Bel Canto did this so effortlessly when its about such strange sounding subject matter.

Bel Canto's story centres upon the hostage taking of a party of international bigwigs gathered for a private performance of the world's premiere opera star. What follows is a completely unexpected portrayal of humanity. But not the ugly, malicious, survival traits that humans are driven to in time of crisis, but the simple and good ones like love of music, the development of relationships despite language barriers, and how love surprises even in the strangest of circumstances.

Ann Patchett's writing is wonderful. It is such a well-crafted book when so little of it relies on direct action. The prose is finely tuned and melodious just like the opera music she describes in the story.

I've never read Patchett before, and I'm not sure if she practices any faith, but her description of a priest as one of the hostages was very well portrayed. I seem to always be aware as to how Catholic characters are treated in novels, and in this particular book I thought the author showed a beautiful look at the faith and the work of a good priest. She also treated the sacraments in an almost devout and reverent way. I think its a pleasant surprise when secular writers are respectful of the sacraments and faith in their writing, and I think it's always a good thing to take note of when recommending.

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this novel for what seemed like such a bizarre storyline. I also really enjoyed all the musical illusions as I feel like a bit of an opera geek at times. But don't be put off by the opera-ness if you've never paid attention to it before, Patchett weaves it into the story seamlessly so you're not bored with umpteen pages of descriptions of librettos or anything. Check this one out if you're in the mood for a real novel of beauty.

Bonus Picture Book

I just had to mention this sweet book we've been reading around here the last couple weeks. The Cow Who Fell in the Canal by Phyllis Krasilovsky is a lovely childrens book that the kids have really enjoyed. Its a story of a Dutch milk cow who wants to see the big city and gets there in a surprising way. I won't spoil it for you!

The story is one of those simple stories that kids just seem to gravitate to. The illustrations are amazing. I love all the detail Spier puts into his work, and if you look closely at this one you see everything from little babies playing in yards, to beautifully drawn store windows with Dutch names. I also really love the portrayal of Holland with clogs, cheese, canals, and tulips. You and the kids will love it! (I can't believe this is out of print! We borrowed it from the library but now I'm going to track it down and buy it.)

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My Living Room - Now With Nicer Furniture!

I've been meaning to write up some kind of post about my recent living room updates for the last couple weeks - because we finally bought new furniture AND finally got it home! But you know what makes it hard to write a post about your living room? Having a clean living room of which to take photos! Miracle of miracles I rapidly cleaned up all stray toys and children one day and snapped a couple shots. (Seriously, home bloggers must have time and patience like I don't even know, because taking pictures of your house that actually look good is HARD!)

We bought our new furniture from La-z-boy and I recently bought some fancy Anthropologie curtains that I'm a bit infatuated with so I thought they deserved a blog post all of their own!

Without further ado let's hit some photos!

This is basically our living room. I guess I should have taken a shot from farther back, but our home is small, yet very open. As this is the end of the house, picture the dining room and the kitchen directly behind you in one straight line. That means from the kitchen you can see and hear everything in the living room, from the living room you can see and hear everything in the kitchen. Its small, but when having small children its actually been way more practical and conducive to family life that I would have thought when first moving in here. 

And yes, welcome to my love of orange. The orange can be a shock to some, but I'm being completely honest in saying that I've lived with it for 5 years and have absolutely no regrets. Its made me happy, has added great colour and personality to our rental home, and when living in a land of 9 month long winters you come to need big bursts of colour in your surroundings because outside is just white. The orange is only on a couple walls, with the rest of the walls being a light sand which tones everything down. 

Next shocker - yes, I also really love pattern. And I may have gone a little pattern crazy in here. Actually, I think I'm going to be editing either the blue pillows or the striped throw after looking at these photos, because enough can be enough sometimes! 

Here's the brand new chair. 

After I swore to myself I'd never buy a recliner...I bought a recliner. I found the most un-recliner looking one they had and then found an orange geometric fabric that I loved. I figured it wouldn't be placed right next to an orange wall so wouldn't look completely matchy-matchy, plus I would be able to have something orange even if we move and/or repaint. 

Its ridiculously comfortable even for short little me and my not so short husband. I think a good rocker is kinda a necessary evil when you have kids. There are just too many nights spent up rocking sick babies, or nursing babies, or reading to littles. I also chose this design of chair because I figured it was conducive to a child sitting on each arm!

Basically, I kinda love it.

And here's the new couch.
I've been fantasizing about a grey couch for a long while, and since I wore out our old couch being pregnant all the time we saved up for this one! I bought it for its comfort, depth, and simple lines. I'm glad I picked the fabric I did because I find it both really soft, yet durable and not prone to looking dirty when kids rub against it. It so far seems very wipe/wash friendly. But time will tell its real durability. 

Here's the pillow in what I think is a gorgeous floral print that came with the couch. Honestly, I never expected to like, and love, so many of the fabrics Lay-z-boy offers. I was tempted to get the chair in this fabric, but it turned out to be one of the most expensive fabrics you can pick, but since you don't have any extra cost for the throw pillows this was the perfect way to get the fabric for no added cost! In other words music to my husband's ears! Plus, I think my husband might have thought a giant floral a little too much for a chair. I probably would have too...eventually.

And finally the magical new curtains! I ruminated and looked forever for new curtains I would love for what felt like years, but once I saw these ones from Anthropologie I was ruined. They were not a budget friendly choice, but I am confident I'll love them for a long time so that makes it worth it to me. Plus, they're really the only window dressing on the entire main living area so that is a an important space to think about, and the added impact is definitely worth it! I would never go for Anthro curtains for a bedroom, but in the area most used and seen by every visitor, I think it's a good choice. But I do feel ridiculous for not knowing how to sew...

Its by no means perfect. I still want another chair, I keep hoping to find a thrift store find that isn't in dire need of reupholstery. With an additional chair I'd get rid of the random coffee table we have by the window and get a smaller kids table. The couch is longer than our previous couch so I need to get thinner end tables. I'd love to find some cool, vintage floor lamps and buy some trendy new lampshades. But that too is most likely a few months down the road. Oh, and new photos/gallery wall above said couch. The list goes on...

And there we have it. The new additions to our living room that honestly make me all kinds of happy. I've said it before, but I'll say it again, I really feel that the home is the important space in your life. For you the stay at home mom who is always at home and deserves beautiful surroundings, for your kids who you are teaching what is beautiful, and for your husband to come home to relax in. Also; in our time of life we aren't spending any money in entertainment, or vacations, or hobbies that involve money or time outside our home, so when you think about it that way this is the best way we can use our money for the most impact in our daily life.  

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Seven Quick Takes vol. 59

Meeting up with the cool kids and their Quick Takes. And Jen - whom I am dependent upon to make me a Chardannaydo movie!


Such a week. And it should have been a breeze because I had a visitor who made things fun until Tuesday. But alas, no. I feel as if I barely made it out alive. Frankly, I'm shocked there's wine left in the house.
This week Nora was teething all. the. time. As in screaming during her waking hours, and sleeping randomly in what should be sleeping hours. She was also glued to me physically, which never puts me in a good frame of mental health, but I usually do better than this week's sorry effort. Max, ever the communicator, still screams all. the. time and so far zero English improvement. So I felt as if one baby was screaming at me most hours of the day. As you could guess this leaves me all kinds of patience for the homeschooling. I feel as if I've hardly had a spare second. I just want to lock myself in a room and just sneak five minutes uninterrupted. And/or take a turn screaming. No big deal.


Almost inevitably I lost patience with the older kids. Who were really just being fine, if not a little sassy and uncooperative. And then I felt awful. I could see it coming from far down the line but I also felt impossible to combat my own grumpiness. I needed much more grace but was too tired stupid to pray for more. Why don't I catch on to how this works??


This came up when I googled "cartoon fish wife".

Ever wake up and find yourself a nagging fish wife?? Like everything that comes out of your mouth is a grumpy, screaming, command that you'd be horrified to hear coming from basically anyone in contact with other humans? This happens to me on nights where I get less than two hours of sleep put together. And it can go on for a while before I even realize it. I'm then shocked my poor children want to be around me. Or near me. Or related to me.


Before I became an illustrious stay at home mom, I had all these grand illusions that when I was an Illustrious Stay At Home Mom I would have scads of spare time to be all thoughtful and stuff. I mean, its not really in keeping with my character to begin with, but for some reason I thought that would be the time in life where I could do all sorts of kind and thoughtful things like make friends handmade cards, and bake gift batches of chocolate chip cookies for newcomers etc etc etc.

Lately I feel as if I don't even have time to do basic nice things. Like write my husband a note or card. Or pick up a gift for someone's birthday who is not in my immediate family. Of course the mantra of "You have to make time," rings again loud and clanging in my head, but what happens when you're at a point in your life where anything is something you have to make time for? I have to make time for everything. I have to make time for a shower. I have to make time to go grocery shopping. I have to make time to clean out my fridge for crying out loud. But I still feel as if I'm being lazy, or using my busy daily life as a crutch somehow. File this whole thing under, "Still Working On It."


I have such an addiction to glasses its ridiculous. And I'm not saying these will be my next pair...but I'm just saying! What do you think??


We're getting some family pictures taken tomorrow and I've spent all week trying to figure out what everyone's wearing. I don't want to go all tacky and make everyone wear a white shirt, but holy moly is it tough to figure out a "colour pallet" for seven people with clothes that actually look nice. Of course, I'm basing what everyone else is wearing on what I'm wearing. I'm no fashion martyr! (Ha! I like that...someone need to embroider that on a pillow for me!) Long story short - way too much time spent on something that you shouldn't spend too much time on. P.S. Pinterest, you don't help me at all!


Unrelated funny gram.

I think I'm going to use all my ambition for the day to make homemade chicken stock. Or workout. Both seems to be way more ambitious than I'm capable of today. What does it mean when you allocate your personal ambition for either household or personal tasks? What personality type is that I ask you? 

Ok, no more boring you with problem details! Have an acceptable weekend.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Five plus Reading Wednesday!

A Linking We Will Go! With Hallie Grace for Five Faves, and Jessica with What We're Reading Wednesday!


Visits from friends! You know me, Miss-I-Live-In-The-Middle-Of-Bleep-Bleeping-Nowhere! So a four day visit from my dear friend from way back...(gosh, dare I say 15 years? Am I that old?) is a wonderful, wonderful thing. She graciously came many miles with a smushy-cute little baby girl, who was completely overwhelmed by 5 kids in a small vicinity plus one very in her personal space bubble Max. But everyone survived and I had a great time.


This sweet children's cd.
You know me and children's music have a pretty complicated relationship. I hate to admit but sometimes those annoying cartoon variations get in my head and I sorta like em. But I'm aiming for quality! My children should probably grow up with better taste in music than I! 
I first saw this when music-smartie Rosie posted her fave kids music and I ordered it from the library and it is the sweetest thing. All the songs are in French, and sung by a sweet, sweet sounding woman who has a real retro vibe going on or, dare I say a quintet?, of male voices that my sons find both hilarious/awesome. Upon closer inspection it was first recorded in 1957 so that explains all its wonderful retro charm. The tunes are simple, traditional but still bubbly and kid friendly. I don't know if my kids will pick up any of the French, but stranger things have happened.
Don't get me started on me and my history with French. I'm Canadian, but took all of a year of French and both despised and failed it! Later on in high school when I was fairly immersed in classical singing I sang a lot of French songs, but I'm sure my accent killed many an adjudicator. Either way, I can't translate these songs for my children. And I'm ok with that.


This Richard Scarry book.
 Because I've been on a homeschooling, book ordering tangent of late I thought I should at least throw in a couple books that are more suitable/fun for Luke, the current three year old. I knew they've liked these Richard Scarry's in the past but had never seen this particular version in all its car/vehicle glory. And its about 110% up my boys' alleys. They have so far read it for probably 5 hours each, and I gave it to them about 4 days ago. That's a lot of reading for small kids! I really do appreciate picture books that can occupy little minds and keep them quiet for a couple of minutes so I love this book. Of course, Richard Scarry might not be on the Charlotte Mason book list but it does lend itself to bookishness. I count that as a major win.


Pillow Talk 
 Have I ever told you that this is one of my all time favourite movies?? Because it is. Its practically perfect in every way. Doris Day. Rock Hudson. Hilarious romantic comedy from the 50s. Perfect. I actually want all of Doris Day's clothes and jewellery. She has the most dreamy outfit matching coats! But the movie is exactly what romantic comedies should be. Silly, romantic, entertaining - with two stars who are likeable and worth watching! (I'm talking to you Water with Elephants.) Go watch it anytime you're feeling sad. Or once a year. Or on a date night. Or when your dear friend visits for fun. Or right now.


This pico de gallo from Costco.
You know what makes me feel like a giant chump?! The fact that I slaved many minutes chopping, dicing, slicing my own tomatoes, onions, and peppers for pico de gallo all these years when this wonderful stuff has been sitting at Costco for around $5 bucks. Seriously, I used to chop up a bunch of tomatoes at random times of the year because I love pico de gallo so much. I now eat this stuff by the ton. Its fairly spicy, is made with real cilantro and lime juice so I basically add a little more salt and lime juice and it tastes better than anything I minced in the past. The fact I went through five pregnancies without this is a travesty I tell you!

Wow. That turned out a bit rambly and all over the place...

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