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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

presently
























Right now, at this moment in time, I am full of optimism, peace and joy. It's a true gift, these feelings, and I am taking the opportunities to recognize and to be grateful for them.
We were given the news a few weeks ago about our impending transfer, which will take place this summer. Because the details are not 100% finalized, I am not going to disclose too much information just yet, but needless to say, I am excited and optimistic about the prospects. I will say this, it is where we had hoped and asked to go.
While the thought of new adventures, new beginnings and a fresh start in a new part of the country feels so good for my soul, I am also feeling deeply grounded in the present moment. Perhaps it is because I know that our life here in Beaver Creek, will soon be a memory, but at this moment, I am trying to really savour the moments and time that we have.
Today we spent a beautiful, glorious, warm and sunny day, out at Pickhandle Lake. With Noah's class, we attended the annual Muskrat Camp, where the local First Nations trap muskrat (for food and fur). Today there were no muskrat, but there was community, crafting, eating, laughing and plenty of fresh air. It was lovely.
It is memories like today, that make me want to take it all in. It's hitting me, that our time here in the Yukon is coming to an end, and if I actually stop to think about it, I feel a pain in my chest. The memories start flooding in. From our first year here in the Yukon, to the lonely and profound moments in this isolated community of ours, so much has happened over these past 5 years, and I have learned and have grown oh so much.  I want to remember this, to engrave it in my memory.
And so with these mixed emotions, I go on about my days. Some days, I am floating along, day dreaming about a new house (and what type of garden I will have). Other days, I am snapping photos and really am trying to be present, trying to archive my life here in Beaver Creek into my memory.

...

And finally, things that are making me happy:

~ the simplicity of banana chocolate chip muffins
~ a little boy who is beyond thrilled with himself for learning to sew!
~ yoga, with a dog at my feet
~ hot baths, chai tea, and an old back copy of my favourite magazine.
~ the smell of Burt's Bees baby bubble bath. I bought myself a bottle of it... for me!
~ painting, it feels so nice to pick up my brush and work on my latest projects.

xox





Friday, March 20, 2015

march break



















I was trying to remember what  the March Breaks of my childhood were like.
To me, they've always held  a special spot in my memory, because I often got treated to special activities and outings.
Trips to nearby towns, going to the movie theatre, going out for a rare and special dinner at a restaurant. Going swimming, out for the first icecream cone of the season, playing outside on warm early Spring days. There was something so carefree and special about March Breaks.
This year, the thought of having Noah home for a whole week slightly panicked me. Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with my boy, and we know how to have fun together, it's just, there isn't much to do here in our little community and I was worried that we would get bored ... and end up ultimately being couch potatoes.
So my first plan to conquer the boredom blues was to head into Whitehorse for a few days. We spent about 5 days in Whitehorse, visiting with friends, having playdates, going out for treats and just doing fun "town" things. We had originally planned to go to visit friends in another community (Mayo), but Noah fell sick with an ear infection and I had a stomach bug, so we spared our friends from getting sick, and stayed put in Whitehorse.
Whitehorse was fun. Trips to the library, 3 sleepovers for the kids with Sunny and Evey, a night in a hotel, sushi for lunch and Sunny's birthday party. We all had our fix of friends and social time :)
After our fun in Whitehorse, our return to Beaver Creek, wasn't so hard. We felt refreshed and I came equipped with a few ideas up my sleeve to keep us occupied.
On the first morning of our March Break in Beaver Creek (which was a Wednesday), I wrote a note to Noah and Katia, and let them know that we would be filling our days with fun activities. I told them that they could choose 1-2 activities a day from the list that I made. Noah was beyond thrilled with this idea and hugged all of us, exclaiming that this was going to be the most amazing week ever. Oh how easily he is pleased :)
Some of the ideas on our "bucket list" included:

~ make elephant toothpaste (I scored some high potency hydrogen peroxide in Whitehorse)
~ make our own zen gardens
~ make egg head gardens
~ have a friend over
~ bake something yummy
~have a Winter's picnic

Add in lots if outdoor play, plenty of free art time, face painting and more, and I think we succeeded at having a nice March Break.

How to Make Your Own Zen Garden

~ a small box (we reused a stationary card box, it has a lid, perfect for when we put it away)
~ sand (we used salt, because it's what we had on hand)
~ a small rake ( I made ours of wire)
~ a chopstick for drawing with
~ rocks, stones, shells 

Pour the sand into the box. Carefully choose a few small stones, shells or rocks to put into the garden. Quietly spend time raking and arranging the stones in your garden. Let your thoughts go, practice quiet meditation, whisper mantras or simple words to yourself. 

It's amazing to watch Noah and Katia "tend" to their gardens. They quiet down really well, and focus on the simple task of raking and arranging. To show them what a zen garden is, we watched a few youtube videos.
Happy Spring days my friends.
xox




Thursday, March 12, 2015

happy at home






















It's been nearly 2 weeks since we've returned from our oasis trip to Maui. It was bliss. It was paradise. It is now in the past, but parts of it linger in me. Just as a good trip should.
Growing up, I was always told by my mother, that we had gypsy blood in us (this was something that she was proud of!). Every summer, my mother and I would take off for a long roadtrip to the East Coast, and it was always full of spontaneity and side roads. Those summer trips taught me, that my heart thrives when it is given adventure and freedom. 
It's been almost two weeks of back to life. Back to homeschool, back to meal making, bread making, our usual walks on the fire break, our daily rhythms and routines. And while we have settled back into our lives here in Beaver Creek (for a few more months at least), I am happy to say that something in my heart that was awakened on our trip has stayed with me, and I have been feeling a very nice sense of balance in my heart and mind.
On our trip, I began a new journal. In it, I started to write about my search for happiness, peace and balance. I wrote about ideas and ways to implement some of those bigger ideas into daily practices. And I'm happy to say that I am doing it.
Painting, meditating, yoga, walks. Good gentle music, deep breathing, simplifying and praying.
It feels good. It feels like fresh air in my heart and soul.

 ...

In other news, we have been moving along with some new literacy activities in our homeschool studies.
A realization hit me the other day, that Noah will be in grade 1 next year, and I really want him to be well prepared for it. While talking with my good friend Natalie (an RCMP spouse and teacher), she gave me a good idea on how to use a morning message with Noah and Katia.
A morning message is a simple note that I write each day to the kids.
We read it together and then I ask Noah and Katia to look for certain words (site words), sentence structure (periods, capital letters, spacing) ect. It is also a fun way to talk about an idea or special event that we might be doing (St.Patrick's Day).
Another fun activity that I found via Pinterest was a word "sound it out" activity. I drew some very simple images of 3 letter words (bat, sad, mad, cat, dog, web, bug ... ect). Then I taped up the picture on our white board, and I get Noah to sound it out. He has done really well with this activity and seems to like it alot.
Finally, the last literacy activity that we have been working on are the Bob readers. Noah has caught on to these books and has already read through the first 3 books in the series. He really enjoys the books (they are simple and easy), and I can see that he is so proud of himself (as he should be!).
I really enjoy sitting down with him, or laying in bed, as we read the books together. It is such a nice bonding time and we are all so proud of him.
On a complete separate note, I bought the kids Where the Sidewalk Ends, and we have been reading a few poems every night at bedtime. They LOVE the poems.
So that's it from out end.
A few pictures from the last 2 weeks. Katia making lasagna from start to finish, family movie night, a visit to a White River First Nations culture camp (pictured, raising a wall tent and an elder starting a fire), a collaborative drawing done by Noah and Katia, and homeschool.
 xox

ps. the cat ears have returned!