Many of you already know about my family’s Solstice tradition of finding gratitude for the past year and then later making Wish Bread to talk about all our hopes for the coming year. This year I’m feeling extra grateful. I’m grateful for my and my family’s health and safety after I was in a car accident this afternoon.

Roche de Boule

Winter has finally hit us after some warmer than normal temperatures. Cam and I watched the grader this morning ploughing the road while we talked about upcoming holiday events with friends. I told him I wanted to go to town to get groceries before the xmas busyness and while he didn’t want me to drive on the icy roads this day, he admitted that we couldn’t do without those groceries. I drove to town on my own today which was a nice treat since I usually have the kids with me.


I drove without any problems. I took it slow and careful and yet on the way home, going up a hill in the truck, I accelerated a bit too much to compensate for going so slowly around an earlier turn and the truck swerved! I took care to not over compensate with the wheel but still spun off the road and into a ditch. The airbags deployed but thankfully they didn’t hit my face. I was now facing downhill in the ditch on the other side of the road.

So happy

I am so grateful to not be more hurt than I am; it could be a lot worst than sore muscles.


I’m also grateful for the many people who stopped to see if I was all right. The people who called 911. The volunteer firefighter who came out in his own vehicle to offer assistance. The man who stopped and gave me a huge hug and a shoulder to cry on and waited with me for the ambulance and police to arrive. The ambulance attendant who brushed off my worries of putting her out because I clearly wasn’t that badly hurt. For the good advice and for listening to me cry. The RCMP member who stayed with me until the tow truck came and kindly chatted with me to take my mind off the situation, even if only briefly. For the ride to the hospital and for the great support she offered me.

Going fast

I’m grateful my kids weren’t in the car with me and that no one else was hurt in the accident. When Cam came to get me he was less concerned about the truck’s welfare than my own. (Obviously but it’s still nice when it happens.) My dear neighbour for watching our kids while Cam came to get me.


Yes, I’m feeling pretty grateful. I’m reminded not to take life for granted and to not waste a moment. Please drive safely out there!

ps. Lake skating is better than car accidents. If you have the option do the skating instead.

Hitching a ride at sunset

It all started with a conversation with a friend’s mother in law in the late spring. We weren’t talking about curriculums or home schooling even and honestly, I can’t remember what exactly we were talking about. I do know that that conversation sparked an urge to looking into home school curriculums.

Gorgeous sky!

The next few nights I did some online research. All the curriculums I was seeing looked terrible! I didn’t want to replicate school at home! While I was sitting thinking I must be crazy to consider a home school curriculum I had a phone call with a friend and she suggested I look into the Oak Meadows curriculum.


I was hesitant at first glance at the Oak Meadows site since every other curriculum I looked at was so wrong for us but was quickly drawn into the overview for each grade. It seemed fun and gentle. It’s nature based and open to different learning styles. Was it too good to be true?

I searched out reviews and the only negative reviews I could find were that this curriculum isn’t structured enough! That’s perfect for us, especially coming from using an unschooling approach up until now.


Why do we want a curriculum after never using one before? Unschooling has been good for us but I’ve noticed that Lily seemed to want more and we didn’t really know how to get “more” without some help.

Last year Cam and I spent a lot of time focused on finishing our house so we could move and we weren’t as active outside or with the kids as we usually are. I think every week I wrote to our Self Design Learning Consultant that we’d kind of been ignoring the kids and that I didn’t know what they were up to. I don’t want to discount the time they spent entertaining themselves (often in the forest) while we were working on the house but I know I was feeling a bit disconnected from them at that time.

Stuart Little

Before moving forward with the Oak Meadows curriculum I wanted to talk to my Learning Consultant and my kids. My LC didn’t think I was as crazy as I worried I was and suggested I give it a go, so long as I was open to giving it up if it didn’t work and she reminded me that it wouldn’t be a failure if we decided to not continue. My kids heard about the various topics and projects in the curriculum overview and were excited about how it sounded.

We bought the curriculum and you know what? We love it! It’s the “more” we wanted and needed and we still work on it at our own pace and inclination.


We traveled in the night to Prince Rupert earlier in the month after receiving a phone call from my friend, Kim who was feeling like early labour was upon her. Kim and Josh are the friends that bought our house so it felt strange driving back into my old driveway and walking up to my old back door. The house looked the same but then it also looked different with all our furniture missing!

I wasn’t sure how it was going to feel being in the house that I loved so much and not have it be mine anymore. I’d just days before said to some photography friends that I miss my old house’s charm and light. I still don’t know my new house’s light well and it’s far from charming.

I was pleased to realise though that my old house was exactly as it should have been. I still love the house and mostly because my friends have cared for it and made it their own. There are curtains up where I always meant to hang them and there is paint on the walls upstairs adding so much more personality to the rooms. I know that my friends will continue to work on the house making it better and better.

Kim 1

Kim’s labour was on and off. Mostly on in the evenings and slower in the days. We stayed close to home with a walks around the neighbourhood from time to time to encourage labour. Kim rested a lot and we’d drink tea, shuck broccoli seeds, wander the garden and watch all the neighbourhood kids play. Everyone was very happy to see Lily and Leif back in the hood!

Josh fed us like kings! Each meal was so fantastic and I sorely missed all the gourmet meals once I got home. What a treat to have someone else cook for you!

Kim 1a

I’d brought my birth pool with me as an optional labour tool. We set it up and Kim seemed to really enjoy how it felt to be in it, especially when labour was more on than off. When labour really started going a couple days after our arrival it was three in the morning! I will forever be grateful to my friend Lynn for picking up the phone when I called at such an atrocious hour and then allowing my kids to come and sleep over at her house. I’ll never forget this.

Let me tell you (as I get a little choked up again) Kim was SO strong! I was so impressed with the way she handled labour and there wasn’t one moment where things got away from her. Even the hospital staff were surprised and impressed with Kim calm progress. Less than 12 hours from when active labour started, Emi was born!

Kim 2

Emi had skin to skin contact with Kim for a good long time after her arrival and nursed easily right way. We were all exhausted but then also feeling the high of excitement from meeting this new babe. I didn’t want to stop looking at her but then I was also eager to see my kids after their night away. They’d apparently had a terrific day with Lynn who kept her kids home from school to hang with Lily and Leif.

kim 3

It felt so good to be back at Kim and Josh’s for a good sleep that night. Kim, Josh, Sam and Emi came home the next day and I was starting to think about heading home. I still had so many people I wanted to see and things to do while on the coast but I also realised that Kim’s family needed some time on their own and we needed to see Cam again. I did take a few more pictures before we left.

Kim 4

A beautiful family.

Kim 5

(More pictures can be seen on my Flickr page, starting here)

Lily’s Get Food Camp had a chance tour local organic farm, Healthy Hug Farm. This farm has been in the Hug family for multiple generations and it was a real treat to see how it runs.

235.365 Hug Farm

The kids picked bouquets to trade for picking a bit of veg for lunch.

Presenting flowers for trade at Hug Farm

And Joe told us all about his family farm.

Joe Hug starting the tour of his Organic Farm

Hug Farm Jenny Dog

We walked around to the different gardens around the farm. What a gorgeous spot. So very long ago, this land would have been river bottom making it incredibly lush today.

Heading off to explore one of the gardens

Beets Carrots

Off to the back garden


We all got a chance to pick some carrots!

Picking carrots for lunch Leif picked one too!

For lunch

Kids Get Food Camp!

Garden Boxes

Lily was in a week long Kids Get Food Camp hosted by Groundbreakers Collective. I wanted to share some of the images from this marvellous week and pay tribute to this worthy local program.

Princess Gardens Princess Gardens

The kids worked in the gardens, examining and identifying the plants. They weeded and harvested. They cooked and baked a variety of meals for themselves from the bounty they collected.

Playing a plant identification game Eating the lunch they prepared!

Lily made friends and laughed and played.

Princess Gardens

Leify wasn’t old enough or confident enough to join the camp this year but he was happy to be close when we were at the garden and watch the kids at their activities.

233.365 Leify was happy to watch the kids

Sweet Pea Lunch at Two Sisters

I loved to hear from Lily about each day’s morning smoothie ingredients fresh from the garden. Of course she’s a huge fan of smoothies. Some of the foods that they made were Pesto Pasta, Coleslaw, Pizza, Zucchini Chocolate Cake, Salad and Frittata.

Kids Get Food Camp

Basil 234.365

The kids would harvest food for the Honour Table everyday where passers by could take picked produce and leave a donation behind. The kids also worked on their own garden boxes throughout the week. Painting the outsides, filling them with soil, planting small plants and starting seeds and even decorating the soil with small pretty pieces of broken pottery to add colour!

Honour Table Filling her garden box with soil

Everyday they ate the lunch they made together and helped each other wash the dishes afterwards.

Washing the dishes

Leif and I spent most of the camp time in town running errands, enjoying the local bookstore, coffee shop and restaurant but when we were at the garden it was lovely to sit in the sun and watch the kids have fun. We also saw bees and butterflies!

Untitled Cauliflower

Can’t wait until next year’s camp!!

Tag around the greenhouse

What a day for a float. Sunny, hot and with friends.

Gorgeous day

Our friends came out a couple of days early to pick up their girls from the conservation camp that Lily was also attending. The forecast wasn’t looking that good so we packed some rain gear for our float. We didn’t need it though because the sun shone and it was warm.

Leify's turn

It was Shannon’s birthday this day. She went for a swim and we picked her up a bit downriver!

Woo hoo! Swimming in the river!

The real highlight of this day’s float was Hallelujah corner where the water was faster and the swimming was good. Leif and I got off the raft before the fun because we weren’t sure what to expect and we sat on the point watching and taking pictures as the smiling trio paddled through the water.


Hallelujah Corner

Hallelujah Corner

It turns out the corner wasn’t very difficult to manoeuvre at all. Cam, the kids and I have since done this float by ourselves with no trouble.

Right after the corner is a deep swimming pool with a diving board and rocks to jump off of.


Leif was very quiet this week without Lily. Not a sad kind of quiet but just not really as talkative.




Shannon and Ben swimming together.


What a gorgeous spot. I do so love this part of the province I live in.