Sunday, September 30, 2007

Nathan is EIGHT!!

Yesterday was Nathan's eight birthday. It's hard to believe the time has gone by so fast - and yet Nathan has always been one of those kids that is so much "larger than life" that it's also hard to believe he is only eight; he is so confident and self-assured. He is a kid who knows what he wants and is not afraid to go and get it! I am in awe of this incredible person who I have the honour of mothering. It's been a wild ride so far!

For his official birthday celebration, we headed up to Christie Lake (a local conservation area) with half a dozen boys for an afternoon of fun with some medieval weapons. This has been a big interest of Nathan's for the past few months. Using directions from The Art of the Catapult, Nathan helped his dad build a trebuchet and a couple of catapults (all kid-sized!) Nathan helped with drilling and sawing, and Joe figured out how to make it all work!

Here's Nathan getting ready to fire the trebuchet; the catapults are to the left.

Two of Nathan's best buddies give it a whirl. We had a few different sizes of projectile to experiment with. The projectiles hang from the trebuchet via a piece of string, and we discovered that the string length makes a difference as to how far the object will travel!

Some sword/lightsaber action rounds out the battle component of the afternoon!

A new Gamecube game!! I know what the birthday boy will be doing as soon as we get home...

The new lego sets needed to be built immediately!!
I think it's safe to say that a good time was had by all! I love all of Nathan's friends (most of whom we have known for years). It's been so much fun to watch all these boys grow up together and discover so many new passions together. We are so pleased that they were able to share in all the birthday festivities!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

An Afternoon at the Farm

The Community Shared Agriculture farm we belong to (Plan B Organic Farm) has an annual "Farm Day" near the end of the season every year. Today was the day!! We had fabulous, warm sunny weather and enjoyed a menu of local organic foods: Sausages or burgers, salads (from farm produce of course!) and organic ice cream to die for (seriously, the best ice cream I've ever eaten - Mapleton's Organic).

The only bummer was that I forgot my camera. Waahh!! I missed some seriously good photo ops. The kids (and there were a lot of them!) piled bales of hay into various configurations - a fort, an "igloo", and eventually a tallish tower-like structure. This led to jumping off said tower into a loose pile of hay below. The kids were all just in heaven - literally radiating joy from their pores as they soared through the air into the hay pile below. The parents were all being totally cool and relaxed and just letting the kids revel in the whole farm experience.

We also got to take a tour of the farm, meet all the farm dogs (there were several - and yes, Noah was in his glory!), chase chickens and roosters, play with the farm cat, and pick a pumpkin to bring home. It's really amazing to have such a close connection with the people who are growing your food. I was walking by a field of salad greens, and realized I would be eating some of those very greens in a couple of weeks.

All in all, the perfect way to spend a fall afternoon.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Bursting Back into the Blogosphere!!

It's been an embarrassingly long time since I've posted anything to this (or any!) blog. I needed to take a break from my cyberlife for a while to focus on some important things in the rest of my life - with my kids, my hubby, and well, a bunch of other things too.
I'm finally feeling like diving back in to a somewhat-regular blogging schedule, so hopefully you can count on posts appearing here fairly frequently once more! I am also going to stop trying to maintain multiple blogs and just use this one for everything and anything I feel like blogging about.

A quick update on some of the things we've been up to over the past few months:

In mid-June, we joined a bunch of other unschooling families in Watkins Glen, New York, for our second annual KOA Kamping Adventure together. It was great to see our friends from last year and meet some new friends too!!

The boys enjoyed hanging in their buddies' camper!! We hope to get a chance to visit them again before next year, now that they are moving a couple of hours closer to us.

In July, we went camping at Balsam Lake Provincial Park, and spent a day visiting with friends at their cottage on the other side of the lake.

Here's me with my friend Jenn's baby girl Paige, enjoying the lake

The rest of our summer was spent hanging out at the community pool, chatting with neighbours on the porch, and enjoying informal visits and spontaneous playtime with friends.
Nathan has developed quite an interest in medieval weapons in the past couple of months. This started with Age of Empires and a fascination with trebuchets. We are now exploring a book called The Art of the Catapult, and hope to have a few weapons constructed for a full scale boy-battle for Nathan's birthday party at the end of the month.
Noah is passionate about dogs right now and has to go "meet" every dog he spots when we're out and about (and that kid sure does have powerful "dog radar"!) He needs to know all the critical information about each dog - name, age, breed, gender. He then proceeds to tell each dog owner all about our dog, Marley.
Now that we're half-way through September, it's time to start thinking about the many holidays and birthdays we have coming between now and the end of the year, and do some advance planning so we're not completed overwhelmed. Oh yes, and I need to finish doing my fall preserving - more on that in the next post!