October 31…

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It’s that year again where little kids dress up in costumes and go door to door looking for candy…

but not our kids.

If you’ve been reading my blog for the past year, you already know we do not celebrate Halloween.   We’re use to going against the flow of what everyone else calls normal and we are also use to the reactions of people when they find out.  Most people give us that veiled smile, as they say something that sounds like they understand while their eyes cry out “You are causing your kids irreparable damage by withholding this holiday from them!”

It’s the same reaction we get from most people when we tell them we home school.

Here’s the thing…if we were to not celebrate Valentine’s Day people wouldn’t even blink.  If we were to not celebrate Easter a lot of people would just shrug.  If we were to say we don’t celebrate Christmas due to our beliefs, people would be politically correctly intrigued by our differences.  They would wish us “Happy Holidays” while trying not to offend us, but skipping Halloween will apparently insure that our children will need years of counseling.

I get tired of having to explain our choices and quite frankly our children just don’t get why we have to.   They are more than happy to do the activities we do in place of Halloween and the only time they feel left out is when people continue to ask them if they do.

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Instead of trick or treating, we checked into the John Carver Inn and spent the day swimming.  The kids went down the big water slide as fast as their little legs could carry them back to the top.   We had the pool to ourselves all day and I was able to relax in the hot tub reading while they played.

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Eventually they were hungry and exhausted and we made our way back to the room for pizza, candy and a movie.

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It didn’t take long for everyone to get their energy back and we went back to the pool for a lot more fun!  When we walked in we were surprised to see another family with lots of kids playing in the pool.  It turns out we aren’t the only one who don’t celebrate Halloween.  All the kids were thrilled to meet each other and the other mom and I hung out in the hot tub chatting (they home school too).  We had such a fun evening with them that we swapped emails and plan to meet up again at some point!

Once again, we had a fabulous October 31!

Confessions of a Fabric Junkie…

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Big D and the Little Professor have decided they want to create a show about my love for fabric and quilting.  The Professor thought it would be fun to focus on my quilting – maybe film the process of my work.

Big D had a whole other take on it.  He pictured a dark and shady documentary that would shed light on the obsessive-hoarding side of my need for fabric.  Of course he stated this as we were on our way home from a big fabric sale at Joann Fabrics.  What he doesn’t realize is that I saved him a whole lot of money this past weekend!

It’s really hard to pass up a great fabric sale…so hard, that I can’t and I didn’t!

I shopped and I shopped….and I shopped some more.

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I wasn’t buying fabric for any specific quilt, I was doing what is called…

stash building.

Just between you and me, stash building means buying fabric just because I like it and I want it and maybe someday down the road I will use it to complete a fabric selection for a quilt.  The perfect missing link!

Even though I was technically stash building I did manage to find some very nice colour families that will make some great quilts.

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Pink and Yellowy – Orange

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Black and Cream

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Grey and Yellow

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Aqua and Navy

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Green and Cream

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Orange and White

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Navy and White

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This looks like a repeat but this one is actually Black and White.  I’m thinking of doing a Boston Commons quilt with this one.

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There were also a few different fabrics that didn’t match anything, they were just beautiful!

There were more fabrics, too many to post but all of them just as gorgeous.

Some people like to look at flowers, some like to stare out at the deep blue of the ocean…

I like to submerse myself in colourful fabric and take in the unique patterns.

I like to dream about what could be with each one.  It soothes me and relaxes and it brings a smile to my face!

**** No budgets were blown by the purchasing of the above fabric (that’s just how good the sale was!!!)

Pin Collecting…

As everyone well knows, I have a few hobbies that I enjoy…mostly quilting, but I’m not the only one in our family with a hobby.

  Big D (yup, still trying to find a nickname for Daddy) has one too – he collects and trades Disney Trading Pins.

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These pins are not for trading.

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Other pins will be traded for pins that will complete these collections.

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The kids collection.

He has well over 100 interesting Disney pins at this point and his collection keeps growing.

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His collection started a couple trips back with two pins that caught his eye – Tick Tock Crock eating Captain Hook and Mickey with a Lightsaber.

Some pins he buys online, some he buys or trades for at Disney and some have been gifts from friends.

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This Hoop-Dee-Doo pin was a gift from friends on their Disney trip!

We love it!

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These three were gifts for the kids from another friend of ours.

We have very thoughtful friends!

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The children and I bought these for Big D’s birthday this year.

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He and the kids bought me this one on our last trip…

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…and we bought him this pin album to keep his collection in.  At this rate we may have to buy him another one on his next trip but that’s ok, I enjoy contributing to his Disney pin obsession.

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Some of the pins are really cool, some are really pretty and some are pretty funny!  I can see the appeal they have to him.  I’ve been tempted to collect them myself but I’m pretty busy with my own hobbies so I’ll leave the pins to Big D.

He and the kids also like to trade pins with the Cast Members when we’re at Disney.  The Little Professor is especially talented in this area and can spot a good trade from far away!  I like the social interaction it provides for the kids.  It gives them the chance to approach a safe stranger and begin a conversation with them where they can develop basic social skills, like looking the person in the eyes and speaking clearly – not always easy with people we don’t know.  It helps builds confidence.

 I can just hear my friends and family pointing out my need to turn everything into a learning experience.

Since they are “Disney” trading pins, all the pins have our favourite Disney characters, show a Disney place or Disney item on them which makes it even more exciting.  The kids love to point out what or who each pin represents.  Out of all the pins we have we’ve only been stumped once…

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If you know who this is, please let me know!!!  We just can’t figure it out.  I vaguely recognize the character but I can’t place him.

Happy Pinning!

Star Quilt…

I finished this quilt at the beginning of last month, just in time to take it to Ohio and give to my little cousin.   I’m so pleased with how it turned out.  The colours are even more vibrant in person.

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I started with the paisley print on the back and drew the colours out from there.

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I had an idea of what it would look like in my head but during the process I started doubting myself.  It happens with every time!  However, I think it turned out even better, especially since it was my first star block.

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I really love this quilt!

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I did a variety of machine quilting on this quilt which differs from my usual overall stippling.

I left some spaces without quilting to give it a puffier look and to give the quilt more texture.

On the white borders I did stippling but I added hearts into it.

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I think it’s time to advance my machine quilting and try some more difficult designs on future quilts.

I would love to get a long arm machine one day!  A girl can dream!

Bogs and Frogs…

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Last Saturday we had the pleasure of visiting a cranberry farm with our home school co-op.

Not only was it very interesting but it was beautiful!

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We watched as the cranberries were harvested by machine…

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and by hand.

 It was interesting how the bogs were each slightly lower as they went so that once one bog was harvested the water could be drained down into the next allowing that one to be harvested next.

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While on the tour the kids were given trivia questions to answer.  There’s never a lack of volunteers in a group of homeschoolers!

(I just love this picture of the little Professor in his sweater that Nanny knitted.  It’s now way to small for him but he loves it so much he can’t give it up!)

Throughout our whole visit Benson (the yellow lab) followed us from bog to bog demonstrating his frog hunting skills.  Apparently he’s so good at catching and eating them that he’s cleared the bogs of all frogs since he didn’t catch a single one while we were there!

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At the end we were given samples of freshly picked cranberries which the children bravely attempted to eat.  It was quickly followed by some crasins which were much more enjoyable and then followed by some cranberry baked treats and of course cranberry juice.

The baked treats were the favourites!

As it turns out, the farmer’s wife is from Ontario and she moved to the US to marry her husband years ago!

A very familiar story indeed!

Nanny

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For those of you who have not yet heard, Nanny (my grandmother) passed away last Friday.   It was quick but peaceful and now she’s in Heaven with our Lord.  I don’t say that lightly either, I know she is there and I will see her again one day.

I had a hard time deciding on whether or not to write a post about this.  I wasn’t sure if this was something I wanted to share but every time I tried to write about something else, I just couldn’t.  It didn’t seem right.  So I’ll keep it simple and tell you a little about my beautiful Nanny…

Nanny was dignified.  She never went anywhere without having her hair fixed nicely and her make up on.  She was stylish and her outfits were well thought out.  She was independent and smart and had a really good, dry sense of humour.  She always made me laugh.  She didn’t put up with nonsense from strangers but she had all the patience in the world for her grandchildren and great grandchildren.  She was kind and thoughtful and never forgot a birthday.  She still sent me birthday cards every year with money in them, to this day.  She always wrote “buy yourself something nice” and underlined it with little curvy lines.  Nanny appreciated nice things.  She would always serve tea and biscuits or cheese and crackers whenever we visited and she would do it on fancy plates with beautiful napkins.  She would also send tea and biscuits and beautiful napkins for me with whomever was coming to visit us – every single time – and she would also send the children treats too.  Nanny was one of a kind!

I love her and I will miss her but I am comforted knowing where she is.  When we came across her bible, she had Revelations 21:4 underlined and it really spoke to me.  I know, without a doubt I will see Nanny again and even though I miss her now, there will come a day when we will be together once more.

Revelation 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”