Sponsored Post: Kiwi Crate.

We’ve been enthralled with Kiwi Crate for quite some time now, when Wildflower received a 6 month subscription for Christmas one year, back when they were simply Kiwi Crates. Since then, we now get to choose between Koala Krate (ages 3-4), Kiwi Crates (ages 5-8), and Doodle Crates or Tinker Crates (9-16+). With an uninspired mama and kids who are longing to run wildly out of doors in the warmth that has yet to creep in, we’re looking for something to spice up our homeschool days, so we ordered ourselves two crates, a Koala for Moonchild, and Kiwi for Wildflower (they do have options for sibling add-ons, while just ordering one crate).

We have to tell you that our favourite part of ordering the crate, is the excitement that ensues while it rides home from the post office on the lap of its new owner– it’s not every day the wee ones receive mail!


All of the treasures always comes neatly packaged in a coloured shoe box, charming little crafts underneath, and magazine on top. We always hold our breath while we peek in, to see what surprises will lay stashed in the box, and the kids spend a few minutes guessing how each piece will be used….


IMG_3698In Moonchild’s Rainforest crate, we put together the butterfly/ caterpillar craft right away. The stripes and dots were easy for little hands to stick on, and big sister could easily narrate the instructions, since step by step photos are included.
IMG_3701He ate through one green leaf…We read the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, and then our caterpillar turn inside out, and…..IMG_3704Out came a beautiful butterfly!

In this crate is also enough craft supplies to make a rainforest themed rain stick, and a balancing tree game, and we also have other activities to complete in the Imagine! magazine, a full-colour booklet with lively comic-style cartoon stories related to the rainforest. It could easily be shared between two siblings. At the back of the magazine, is a list of books we can sign out from the library to help us learn more about the rainforest. We took some time to look at a documentary online, talk about some rainforest animals, some environmental issues, and the layers of the rainforest, itself. We will easily turn this crate into a couple of weeks worth of Rainforest learning.

IMG_3705In Wildflower’s Arcade themed kit, we received enough wooden pieces to make a claw and some pompom critters. kiwiWe also still have a whole selection of games to play in the Explore! magazine, as well as the activity where we get to turn the kiwi crate into a game too. This little magazine is more advanced than the Koala Crate’s, and this edition gives a game to work on Math skills with WildFlower as well as some suggestions for library books on simple machines. PapaBear gave a lesson about using the small wrench, nuts and bolts, pattern, and instructions while he guided the kiddos through the claw-making project.   IMG_3711IMG_3709IMG_3714As for the claw….well it has quickly found many uses…IMG_3736

If you are interested in trying Kiwi Crate, you can make your purchase through this link or the one to the right of our screen, and both you and I will receive $10 off of our purchases. 

Thanks for supporting our family.


IMG_3695Spring has made her appearance, and after a tolerable version of now you see me, now you don’t, I think she’s here to stay, casting her youthful glow upon everything outside of our threshold… IMG_3684We can feel the anticipation building before the levee gives way and our busy season takes over, replacing our nights of catching up on yet another season of our favourite shows (gotta fit it all in, since the library only lends them for two weeks!) with more meaningful, tiresome work. Any day now, our tradition of sitting by the fire will be replaced with late nights spent working on projects for this summer’s festivals, weekends will be spent hauling soil to the new garden beds, and there’s that trench to dig to accommodate power lines out to PapaBear’s new workspace. That’s just the list before the summer heat kicks on. We know it’s coming, and so we’ll squeak out just one more day of peace and tranquility before we give into the flow of this seasonal shift….until then, we’ve been enjoying…IMG_3673 IMG_3666

   every shot of our children’s fingernails proves that that I’m not an airbrushing/blogging mommy… IMG_3679With every changing season comes a new set up on the front porch…this year, we decided to make it as simplistic as possible, to make room for early morning (well, not that early) coffee and tea drinking, since it catches the morning sun…sigh. IMG_3677
IMG_3676We hope spring is treat you well….





It’s a bit too raw to say if this is really it, to speak it out loud. This post needs only one word in its title, since we owe it all to milky…

IMG_3625Thlee. He turned thlee today. ezra2Tonight, and almost every night preceding, he falls fast asleep in my arms. Tonight that tiny little furnace snuggles up to me, the smell of vanilla cake still lingering on his nose, and he says the words that nearly break my mothering heart,

“I really really need some miwky, mommy”.

For the first time in his three short years, I say to him,

 “I don’t have any more milky honey”.

We whisper quietly back and forth to each other like this for a few minutes before he softly begins to cry.

 “The miwky is runnin away…”

         He’s three, I remind myself, and nursing him for three years is something to celebrate.We’ve made it through a tongue tie, through nights of cup feeding, tube and pinkie finger feedings, split and infected nipples, new teeth, and 4 bouts of mastitis. We did it, and I’m…tired. “

 “Can I please check and see if there is any left mommy?”

 I don’t feel like celebrating.

Milky needs can be met with love and snuggles and whispers about our day, I remind myself, but before I know it, silent, hot tears are spilling down my own cheeks. It’s then that he looks up at me in the dark. By the light spilling onto the bed through the opening in the door, I see his sad little eyes meet mine before he asks,

    ” Can I see your eyes mommy? They are wet, like mine?”

                                  “Yes”, I admit sadly, honestly. “I love milky too. My eyes are crying because I   love you so much. I am so proud of you for being three. You can lay in my arms, and I can sing you a song. That will help us tonight.”

     ” I don’t wanta song; I want someone to give me some miwky,” he whimpers.

A few minutes pass before he snuggles up on my chest, yawns, and falls asleep, proving to me that he no longer ‘needs’ my milky, but that he does, in fact, need me. As for myself, I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready to run out of milky…



A Swift Kick…

I’ve spent week contemplating life and its counterpart death; the way we often do upon the realization that it is, indeed, a fragile balance. With my maternal grandmother being quite ill, my uncle recovering from heart surgery, and a dear young man I knew in my younger days having passed away far too soon, I’m feeling a bit somber. There’s nothing like sickness and death to knock us off our high horses of invincibility. I have noticed though, that with the wisdom that accompanies these types of experiences, that it’s easier to dig in and be helpful than to sit back and worry the way I once would have, so instead I’ve been cleaning, scrubbing, and schlepping alongside my cousin, preparing for my uncle’s homecoming this week. I’m digging up addresses to write to those who are grieving, and I’ve done my best to support my mother as she cares for her own. Because what else can we do? And my realization? What I spent last week complaining about, I’ve looked at in a new light. Life has a funny way of kicking me back up when I’ve been down. And although those things that bother me about my own life are real and deserve acknowledgement from me, somethings will always be more important…..


Things I’m appreciating a little more than usual this week…

Ashiko lessons with Papa Bear
magsanddad1 magsndadample egg production

IMG_2950 little hands that can manipulate a screw driver to build this creation…IMG_2969 and this…2




This Weekend

I’ve officially done it. After weeks of procrastinating, planning the upstairs re-do, complaining that I don’t want to do it, I finally lost my marbles and tore apart the kitchen. Well, what can I say? Something needed to be reorganized, so why not begin with an entirely different room of the house. I didn’t just wipe out the cupboards and line up the half-filled jars of peas and beans, nope, cause that’s not how I roll. Actually, I decided to paint the inside of the pantry. Why? Cause this gal likes to use what she’s got, and since what I’ve got is not 6 rolls of the same shelf paper, I busted out the can of Cuban Cigar, paint that is, and I plastered those scratched cupboards with some milk-chocolaty brown. When I crawled out of bed this morning and stumbled into the kitchen like a cyclops, you know, with one eye open, I was reminded, that once again, I’ll be spending the day trying to bring some kind of order to my generally disorganized kitchen. Saturday will be followed by a day of schoolroom organization (insert crying mommy), and if all goes as planned,Sunday will be filled with a lot of coffee drinking and planning how to begin the upstairs redo….I love me a good circular plot.

We hope you have a lovely weekend
Happy Wintering,


Homeschool Update

We’ve spent the long winter days indoors, focusing on our studies, which at the tender ages of 6 and almost thlee, means a lot of stuff that could actually be mistaken for fun. Anyone who knows me at all will attest to the fact that I’ve always struggled with creating and following a structure, so it only seems fitting that this chapter of my life should be centred around just that. Doesn’t it always seem as though the lessons that take the longest for us to learn resurface until we face them? Since this is something I really have to focus on, I can only hope that the results will have some longevity to them. For now, here’s a peak at some of the tasks we’ve been up to, nothing complicated or tricky, but proof that it’s happening, nonetheless. homeschool8math with manipulative and stickershomeschool4homeschool1beading necklaces
homeschool2project based on The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. We spoke about the character traits of Edmund, and then we made a rainbow of Wildflower’s character traits.

a bin of treasures to trace

homeschool5watercolour painting, monster trucks, of course homeschool7converting measurement from imperial to metric, and yes, those are squashIMG_3067
and the new favourite pastime, colouring everything black


until next time,





Teamwork, Feminism, and Support for the Hardworking Men.

Our Valentine’s/ Family Day (real thing in Ontario) was definitely subpar, considering Wildflower and myself were horizontal for most of it. Flu-stricken and bedridden is how we spent the majority of the day made for lovers, and Family Day (yes,I’m not kidding) was spent in much the same fashion only with less jumping out of bed. It’s during times like these, when I am forced to turn off the outside world, forced to move slowly, and appreciate simplicity, that I realize how wonderful my life is. I know my life is grand, but sometimes, a little extra love goes a long way in helping me appreciate what I have. I witnessed, from my bed, in a semi-conscious state, the way my partner speaks to our crew, the way he cares for them when I am not around; not to mention, I have freshly folded laundry in my drawers this morning, and I didn’t do one load of laundry this weekend. In a world where our roles are no longer defined by our genders, it can still feel tricky without very clear lines deciding which chores and expectations belong to which partner. One can easily say duties should be spilt 50/50, but with so many variables, what does that really look like? woodpileIn the beginning, we thought it would be simple– whoever had the best job would be the parent to go to work, but very quickly, I realized that I wanted to stay. So now that Papa Bear is our bread winner, the one who ventures into the world everyday, it’s apparent that my responsibilities are centred around home. I manage the bulk of the homeschooling and the chores inside of our house, while he tends to those on the outside. On our property, that list is currently about five years long, and those are just the realistic goals.papa This is not to say that we don’t occasionally team up, swap, work out alternate systems, or stand around a take photos… but we tend to fall into these roles because they are supported by our strengths. Lets face it, I haven’t touched a lawnmower since I moved out of my mother’s house, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. As much as I’m learning about some of Papa Bear’s trades, most of the build it, repair it jobs, even those involving crazy glue (long story) are his. He never makes me feel badly about those things. He never whines that I won’t partake in my share of his duties. In a household that strays from stereotypes and social norms, it often surprises me that we have followed these traditional male/female roles. How is it that I, myself, the believer in equality, am the first one to protest my chore list, until I realize, that perhaps it is my expectations of my husband that are most unfair, since I can’t expect him to take on half of my work in addition to the list of his own that he can barely manage, the way the world expects ‘a good man’ to do. tea

My work, does not have an 8-5 day. I don’t get scheduled lunch breaks, and I certainly don’t get to leave my job at the end of the day, so I’d be lying if I wasn’t occasionally resentful that he is entitled to these things, but then, I come to my senses and remember that this is what I asked for. This is what I longed for. It doesn’t make it easy, but I do know that I am fortunate to be here, at home, with our children. I know that I am putting in the long hours for our own benefit, and not someone else’s. I’m the woman on the home front, and we are a team. I, generally, in some way, get to see the product of my sweat equity. bountyMy work is HARD, and at the end of the day, my feet are often so tired that I have to stop before I’m finished. It’s not only back- breaking, but also emotionally exhausting; however, this also means that the rewards that I reap are that much greater. This is where I get to insert all that stuff about being the one our children will remember being around, knowing how deeply they love me, and witnessing their daily growth and progress, and I am so grateful for what he has sacrificed in order for me to have this. Not to mention, as our children grow, my showers become longer; they don’t have to fall in-between the confines of my commute, my family, and my workplace. I can pour myself a cup of coffee, and I can tell my ‘co-workers’ to wait just-a-second if they don’t want me to lose it. When they are busy, I can even take time to learn a new skill, read a book, have tea with supportive friends, or sew. I have the creative license over our daily life, and I can see that these are things that aren’t so easy for him to miss out on.

arrow Although there clearly are benefits, it is difficult to leave the system that previous generations have carved out for us. Some traditions are habit forming because they worked for the majority of the people while others are rooted solely in oppression. Women with choices are a new breed because, let’s face it, things still are not ‘equal’, and the world is still waking up to this fact. (Ladies…it’s still not equal!) But that’s a post for a different day. Feminism plays an invaluable role in our world, and contrary to many people’s beliefs, its is not interchangeable with burning bras (although I have considered it), protesting crudely, and turning men into boys. This would be doing a great dishonour to women as a whole. Feminism is meant to create an equilibrium– a balance of the majestic, nurturing, sensual feminine energy, and the strong, level, protective, masculine energy. So we’ve gotta support each other, respect and value each other’s strengths and fill in the gaps with our own talents. Which in our case sometimes looks a little like Papa Bear taking on last week’s laundry, and myself lending my hand to this summer project…gulp. IMG_3032

Wish us luck,



Winter Wonder Land

I’m a secret lover of winter. It’s not so much that I like the cold, because I don’t, and it’s not that I like the high cost of heating a very old farmhouse, or chipping ice off the top of the animal’s water bucket, cause well, I don’t. oldwagon

But isn’t there something about the beauty that winter brings?wagon2

Something about the unpredictability?

IMG_3129The opportunity to explore a different side of nature…whimsyThese moments, all captured during the same week, represent a snippet of the rollercoaster of a season we have been experiencing here in Ontario. This winter has been unlike any I can remember– a beautiful mix of sun and warmth, rain and mist, and ice and snow. trailWhen we live interconnected with the world outside our door, mother nature can play with our bodies–the way she plays with her elements. Her cold temperatures wear us weary and and her shivery snows cause everyday routine to become even more tiresome and lengthy. Just when we can’t take one more flake of snow, the clouds open up, sending the snow trickling into puddles that make any child suit up and head out doors. The sun will shine, and we’ll discover bits of last summer have survived under the wintery, white blanket.whimsy2IMG_3146

I appreciate the time spent indoors– the opportunities for creation, the pots of tea and coffee warming on the wood stove, and the time to reflect.When it’s cold, we retreat indoors, venturing outside only if needed, and occasionally for some fort building or nature walking. When it’s freezing, we snuggle on the couch, close to the fire, reading stories and watching something together on tv. When it’s warmish, something in us wakens, we begin to dream of the days to come, and we find ourselves wanting more, and then it snows, and we’re back to the beginning again. But time indoors allows for me to become introspective, to reexamine what works and what needs improvement.There is something in me that gets off on rebirth, in small, refreshing doses. I’ve been spending this winter thinking a lot about our business and how quickly we need it to progress versus how slow and steady we’d like it to grow. I’ve been thinking about our family, as we enter a new phase with our children. I’ve looked around and found that our older two have begun to take on their shares of household responsibilities, and I’ve noticed that I’m no longer alone. I find company in the three that we have raised, and I’m pleased to say that most of the time, I quite like them. I find us on the brink of an entire upstairs reno, and I can’t help but put that chaos off for just one.. more.. week. Sometimes, when great change is lurking, I’d rather retreat until I’m certain the time is right. I’m dreaming of flowers and of restoring the work of my great (fabulous!) aunt who spent her life here, in this house, crafting the gardens into masterpieces. I can’t wait to sink my hands into the cool soil….mothersdaypostHappy Family Day weekend




Nothing compares to the peace and serenity that comes from being at home. It seems I’m reminded of this simple joy with every passing December. I’m always the eager beaver, filling up our plates with Yuletide cheer, although I had promised myself that I wouldn’t overload, like last year. But with our hearts  so concentrated on our home, leaving it several times in a week makes for hurried kiddos and a grumpy mummy. I’m not saying we should never leave, I’m just saying, I’m working towards spacing it out a little, and spending the coldest months here, mostly, by the warmth of the fire, in our slippers, or perhaps here, in our homeschool room, catching the afternoon sun. IMG_3079

I feel like we’re kicking off the new calendar on the left foot, which is the right one, in my opinion, since I hate cliches. We’ve plotted and planned ‘all the right things’, new goals for being more active, being kinder to one and other, organizing ourselves just a little bit more, finally organizing some of those ducks that have been out of line for far too long. This past year was really the year that got the ball rolling for us, and Papa Bear and I can’t fight the feeling that we’ve got to absorb as much of the downhill energy as we can in order to get where we’re going. IMG_3056 IMG_3057 IMG_3058
























































But more importantly, we’re looking under the surface of all those ‘right things’, and we’re asking ourselves the most important questions…How can we do it all without forgetting about each other? Without investing enough of our energy into our Magnum Opus, or the three of them that is, since, the plural form of Magnum Opus, is not something I whip out on a regular basis. How do we not forget about ourselves, whose needs are so important, but so easily set aside as too selfish, or not as important as_________?IMG_3005



















Papa Bear and I spent a lot of time these past few weeks, talking about taking care of each other, and how it’s a difficult thing to balance with taking care of everything else. I love to be in love, and I love to be loved and to give love in return, and I know he does too. Often, when we are ‘busy’, we drop the things that we love the most, in order to avoid being selfish. So sure we’ll pay that bill, we’ll return those emails, mop the floors, and fold the laundry, since we can equate these things as being for other people, but we don’t put on our lipstick or kiss our partner hello. These things that take only seconds, these things that are so important in our lives, to give us support, to pat ourselves on the back, to give us an energy connection that will fuel us until the tipping point of bedtime, they get lost in the endless stream of things that are more important. It’s only after having this kind of hiatus from the outer world, this time to talk and hear what is on each other’s hearts, that I realize, I have been neglectful, not just to my partner, but to myself. IMG_3004



















If you place your hands together, palm to palm and fold your middle fingers down, you’ll notice how easy it is to separate your thumbs. Those represent your friends, the people who have supported you in your time of need, but who come and go as you grow and change. Your index fingers move apart from each other quite simply  as well. These represent your parents, who raise you up and send you into the world. If you are lucky, they will be there for you until the end of their days, but ultimately, they will, eventually leave you as well. Try to separate your baby fingers, the ones that represent your children. You will give them everything that you are able. They’ll leave you wiser, and warmer, and greyer than before, but they too, will leave. Now take a look at your ring fingers, the finger that may or may not be embellished with a strong round ring, symbolizing a promise of everlasting love and commitment. Try to move these two fingers apart….it’s not so easy is it? These fingers are not meant to separate, since they represent your other half…IMG_2986









This person deserves the most of us. We only get what we give, and sometimes, we both just …forget. Life is meant to be lived with someone to hold our hand, and it can be so easy to lose sight of this, as we look forward rather than beside ourselves. IMG_2987IMG_3034




























Speaking of companions….meet Kamo!




In a Moon’s Time

Life has been slowly rolling back to normal, these past two weeks. The tree has lived out its needly life and has just been packed away; we were bold enough to leave out the twinkly lights and grapevine arches around the doors, and we’ve been packin’ it in early each night after a warm dinner that we’ve shared around our family table. We’ve tried to start the year off right, giving us lots of room to slack off as the year progresses. There have been new additions to our family, new toys, clothes, and of course, Big Brother’s dog Kamo, but as the universe would have it, where newness comes in, we make room by sending old energy out. This year, pardon my melodrama, but my macbook has seen better days, and she, as I’ve decided she’s female, is headed into the shop to hopefully be saved, and so here is my little post, written on this foreign device, to tell the world, whomever is listening, that I’ve been gone, and I’ll be back. Hopefully, I’ll be back in less than a moon’s time.