mommy – daughter weekend

Jayla recently enrolled in our local school. This is her first experience with school; homeschooling being her only previous experience. She was so excited about going, but after the first day she found it quite difficult to settle in. She was homesick, shy, unsure of herself, nervous. Of course she ended up getting sick with two different viruses in two weeks; so she missed quite a few days and that certainly didn’t help matters. Now into her third week of school she has attended every day so far this week (no more illness — knock on wood). She is making friends, and settling into the new routine wonderfully. I knew it would be a challenge. It has been difficult on both of us; after all we have spent 9 years together. It was time though, and we are very happy that we persevered. I am so very proud of Jayla, for all of her accomplishments thus far.

After such a challenging two weeks we really needed this little time away at one of my favourite places in the whole world — Thirteen Moons Women’s Retreat — to spend some time away from home and to reconnect with one another in this peaceful, beautiful environment.

art cards

Our family is a single income family — I am a stay-at-home-homeschooling mother; and so from time to time we struggle with money issues (I personally have a love hate relationship with money), but it has been worth it for us so that I am able to spend this quality time with my children. My middle daughter Lianne is in grade 10 now and attends a high school that really focuses on the arts and we absolutely love that. Lianne is really quite artistic and is part of the art club at school as well as sketching and drawing constantly at home. She also loves music (especially singing) and was in the school’s production of Seussical the Musical last year. Her school is offering the arts department a school trip to New York City in the spring and Lianne is absolutely foaming at the mouth to go. Money is very tight around here, and so we are not able to just hand her the money as perhaps many of her friends’ parents are able to do. But Lianne is determined to go.

She wants to raise the money herself so that she can go on this once-in-a-lifetime trip; and we absolutely want to support her in this. So she came up with the idea of using some of her original drawings and having them made into note cards.

Here are Lianne’s 12 different art card designs. They are all original art work and are printed on white card stock paper and come with an envelope. Each card measures approximately 4.25 inches X 5.5 inches. The cards are selling for $4 each or 3 for $10. All the money raised will go towards Lianne’s school trip to New York City in the spring. If you are interested in purchasing some art cards please contact me at cbell9115@hotmail.com or leave a comment here at the top of this post

Jayla wanted to participate as well and so she designed this cute snow people card. She is donating all the money raised selling these cards towards Lianne’s trip to New York City in the spring. This card also measures approximately 4.25 inches X 5.5 inches. It is original art work and the cards are printed on white card stock paper and come with an envelope.The cards are selling for $4 each or 3 for $10. If you are interested in purchasing some art cards please contact me at cbell9115@hotmail.com or leave a comment here at the top of this post.

The music department at Lianne’s high school is organizing the trip to New York City. The purpose of the trip is to explore and experience the Arts and Culture available in New York City, including Music, Drama, Visual Art and Dance. The students will not only view high quality Arts productions and exhibits, but will participate in workshops with professional artists, and see many of the famous sites and sounds of New York. A performance by the students at a venue is possible as well.

If you are interested in purchasing some art cards please contact me at cbell9115@hotmail.com or leave a comment here at the top of this post.

Posted in art

candlelight fair

On the weekend, Jayla and I attended the annual Candlelight Fair at the Toronto Waldorf School. We have been attending this fair for several years now. My favourite part is the puppet play. This year it was an african folk tale called Akimba and the Magic Cow; a story of a poor man who repeatedly loses his magic animals through the trickery of his friend, and the friend gets his payback in the end in quite a humorous way. What a treat to hear all the little giggles coming from the front of the room at the end of the play.

Another treat for us that day was that friends of ours arrived and spent the day with us. The last we heard they were not going to be able to be there, so it was a pleasant surprise for us that they were there after all.

Many of the children’s activities are for the “children only”. No parents or guardians allowed. We big people have to wait outside the room and wonder about the magical goings-on inside. Each year I try to get Jayla to describe it in more detail. She did three activities this year: visiting with the Good Witch and receiving a cookie, walking through the magical Woodland Pond and receiving a gift from the Princess of the Pond in exchange for the gift of dewdrops from the children and shopping in the Children’s Corner.

Here are a couple of photos of the goodies that Jayla purchased in the Children’s Corner shop.

And every year we end our day in the little woods behind the school. This is where the children who attend the school play every day. What a magical place.

Now we just have to wait a whole year to do it again.

will – an update

I am a cat person, through and through. I love all animals, but I just have a special connection with cats, and with this fellow in particular. I think this is because of what we have been through together already in his short (6 months) life thus far. He is fully recovered from his injuries. The vets are amazed at how quickly and fully he did recover.

He is quite a pretty boy and is so soft and fluffy and cuddly. And he is totally my baby; he has completely attached himself to me as his main “person”. He is now six months old and so it was time to bring him to the vet to be, well, how do I put this delicately?….he will never be a father.

“Everything I know I learned from my cat: When you’re hungry, eat. When you’re tired, nap in a sunbeam. When you go to the vet’s, pee on your owner”. – Gary Smith

fall walk in the woods

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This morning, Jayla and I went for a walk at one of our most favourite and local conservation areas. I love the smell of the woods in the fall.

Here is a sampling of the conversation we had:

Jayla: “Mommy do you believe in fairies?”
Mommy: “Yes, I do.”
Jayla: “Yeah. Fairies are nice. I have never seen one, but I am sure they are nice.”
Mommy: “Yes, I’m sure they are nice too.”
Jayla: “If I ever saw a fairy; I mean if they ever let me see them, I would keep that secret. If I told someone then they would probably want to put them on the news and I’m sure the fairies wouldn’t want to have their faces “flastered” all over the news.”
Mommy: **sniggering to myself** “Absolutely. I mean who would want to have their face “flastered” all over the news.”
Jayla: “Yeah, that would be bad for them.” “It is much better that they are a secret”. Don’t you think so Mommy?”
Mommy: “Yes, I do.”

There is a special spot in these woods where we have constructed a little fairy house. It is at the base of a tree. It curves inwards and there is a perfect spot just big enough for a modest-sized fairy family dwelling. There is a roof made from tree bark, and a large bed made of moss. They even have a fungus table and plates made from acorn caps.

Every time we hike in these woods we go and visit our fairy house and make any necessary repairs. Today Jayla found some tiny little mushrooms and put them on the table in their little acorn cap plates.

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“[W]hen the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies. And now when every new baby is born its first laugh becomes a fairy. So there ought to be one fairy for every boy or girl”. ~James Matthew Barrie, Peter Pan

weekend with my girls

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My oldest daughter began university this fall. Yes, university. I can’t believe I have a daughter that is old enough to be attending university. We are all very proud of her accomplishments and she is very much enjoying post-secondary education thus far.

This weekend Kiera came out for a visit. She is currently staying with her grandparents who live closer to her school. So, when she is able to, she comes home and visits with us. This was one of those weekends.

Saturday was spent doing a variety of things – Jayla had an art workshop; Lianne had rehearsals for a school musical she is in; the dog went to a rabies clinic to get her vaccination and the rest of the time we just hung out here at home.

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On Sunday, the girls and I met up with my parents at Lang Pioneer Village for the day. It was the annual Applefest there. The weather wasn’t the greatest, but we had a fun time anyway.

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jayla and little ellie

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I have been a fan of Jennifer Murphy and her adorable bears and other stuffed creations for some time now. Last fall I was drooling over her latest creations and Jayla happened to see a bear that she absolutely fell in love with. Her name was Ellie. And the funny thing is, one of Jayla’s dear friends (she lived right across the street from us) is named Ellie. It was just too much of a coincidence. I decided then and there that I absolutely had to purchase a Jennifer Murphy bear for Jayla and it had to look like Ellie bear and it would be for her 8th birthday gift. Jennifer Murphy is an amazing artist, and an even more amazing person – so kind and generous. So, she made a custom bear for Jayla working within my budget – voila “Little Ellie”.

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My camera decided to take a vacation this summer; but it is working now and so I was finally able to get a few pictures of Jayla and Little Ellie together. She adores her. And so do I.

Check out Jennifer’s blog.

happy fall everyone

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Today, Jayla and I made a dragon bread together to celebrate Michaelmas – the feast day of Saint Michael the Archangel.

“England’s patron saint, Saint George, was the Archangel Michael’s earthly representative. In heaven Saint Michael was the angel who threw Lucifer out for his treachery, and on earth Saint George was famous for slaying dragons and rescuing princesses.” – Mrs. Sharp’s Traditions by Sarah Ban Breathnach