summer can officially begin, well kinda …

summer school

i am not so sure my students would agree with this above image!

ahhh, my first week of summer vacation. i taught remedial summer school this year, and i finished last friday. i can happily say that all of my boys (i taught ten boys in total in both english 9 and 10) passed. but, it was not easy. if i had a full class of 30 kids there is no way i would have been able to help half of those boys as much as i did, and to have them be successful and pass. whew, i am thoroughly exhausted and am looking forward to my four weeks before the  school begins again.

despite being officially on vacation, i still have some work to do. every one who is not a teacher thinks that we teachers are so lucky to have three months off a year, however in reality, my work follows me home most nights and school breaks. and, now that i have four weeks vacation, i will be spending some of that time preparing and revamping my courses for september, and working on my website.

before all the teacher jokes begin, i just want to say that a large portion of teachers go into this profession because of the following reasons: (1) they love working with kids, (2) they love their subject(s) they teach, (3) they want to make a difference in someone else’s life (aka. selflessness), and (4) they are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure as many kids as possible are successful.

i will be the first to admit that there are teachers in our profession who do not teach for the above reasons. and, unfortunately those teachers are the ones who give the rest of us a poor image.

i am way off track here. i do not want to start a teacher-debate. i just wanted to point out that for the next four weeks i will not be receiving a pay cheque, but i will be working hard to ensure that in september my new students will be learning revamped and new materials. here is my question to ponder: how many of you would give up some of your vacation time to do work?

happy summer!

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weeks in a blur

summer

the last three weeks have blown by and have been a complete blur. i started teaching summer school on july 2nd, and i found out what and where i was teaching about four days prior to starting. seriously. four days.

and, since i teach daily, and cover approximately two weeks worth of material each day, life is busy. when i am done teaching, i mark like crazy, and then try to spend every available minute with baby bird and my husband.

this is why i have not had a chance to blog because life is so busy and time is so limited. phew. i have six more days of summer school and then my summer can officially begin!

july long

we had the distinct pleasure of being invited to our neighbour’s parent’s orchard on the lake in osoyoos for the july long weekend. it has been an exact year since we were in osoyoos last, and that was for our neighbour’s wedding at the orchard. needless to say, we were looking forward to a fun weekend! i will let the photos speak for how much of a blast we had!

the orchard

this was the view from our trailer. unbelievable.

arbor

pond

the pond on the property. the lake is just on the other side of the trees on the far side of the pond.

char lounging in the pool

the kids loved the pool. baby bird was in the pool at 8am until just prior to nap time. right after nap and a snack she was back in the pool until dinnertime!

pool girl

slide time

there were a lot of outdoor toys besides the pool!

baking time

water pump

the orchard has so much charm, and neat antiques.

carving

playing in orchard

the kids loved running through the orchard and finding fallen fruit!

tag

no fun weekend would be complete without a game of chase

baby bird

gearing up for the canada day parade!

parade

parade goers!

yay canada

we had such a fantastic weekend. thanks so much to our neighbours for the invite and for the grandma and pops for their hospitality!

colton’s banana bread

i found this recipe to make banana bread for our little neighbour c, due to his allergies to egg and dairy. this banana bread turned out great, and was really yummy. the baking snobs, our husbands, did not even realize that this recipe was different from the previous one. enjoy!

egg-free & dairy-free banana bread

colton's banana bread

ingredients1.5 cups flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt

3 tbsp applesauce
1 cup mashed bananas
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil

preparation

grease loaf pan and turn over to 350 degrees.

mix first set of dry ingredients. mix the wet ingredients and add to dry mixture. stir until just moistened and fill loaf pan.

bake 50-55 minutes and cool in pan for a few minutes prior to cooling on rack.

 

adjusting for allergies

20130629-075912.jpg

our little neighbour c has just been tested by a naturopath for allergies because he was struggling with eating and skin issues.

it turns out that he is allergic to eggs and all dairy. this caused some stress in his mommy’s life because she is an avid baker and cook, and now she was going to change her normal baking habits and her grocery shopping ingredients too.

we both have been doing some research to find recipes of our favourite meals and baking so that little c can enjoy them too!

i made the banana loaf above so that he can enjoy it with the rest of us on our canada day long weekend away together!

so far, it’s a success because not only does it contain ingredients that his tummy can handle, but it is really delicious too! recipe to come soon!

homemade laundry soap

laundry soap

my neighbour and i have been talking about making our own laundry soap for a while now, and we decided to make it this week as we are both nearing the end of our store-bought containers. the reason we decided to make our own laundry soap is because of a few reasons. one, the cost savings is huge. the cost of all the materials is approximately $20-25, and this gives us enough supplies to make approximately four batches of the recipe. and, each recipe makes approximately 7 litres of laundry soap. secondly, this laundry soap is very eco-friendly, and we are both interested in using environmentally-friendly materials for the sake of the environment, and our young children. baby bird’s buddy c has extremely sensitive skin and has dreadful eczema, so we are hoping this will help his skin (especially since sensitive-skin friendly is ridiculously expensive).

so, we found a simple recipe on david suzuki’s wesbite, created by his queen of green, lindsay coulter. it is was super easy to make (20 minutes-ish) and the ingredients were easy to find.

liquid laundry soap recipe

ingredients
1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup washing soda
1 cup soap granules (grate a bar of eco-friendly soap)
7 litres of water
10-20 drops of essential oil (lavender, sweet orange, tea tree or lemongrass)

preparation

fill a large saucepan with 2 litres of regular tap water. add soap granules and heat until diluted.

eco-friendly-soap

while water and soap granule mixture is boiling add borax and washing soda to your pail. fill your pail half full of hot tap water and stir. when soap mixture is ready add it to your pail and top up your pail with more water. stir.

borax

ecop

add essential oils and stir. let cool.

essentialoil_lemongrass

store mixture in a container. note, the soap will become more gelatin-like and some liquid will separate. and, if your whites need a boost, add 1/2 cup of baking soda to your wash.

i haven’t ran a load yet with the homemade laundry soap, so when i do i will report how it goes! happy laundering!

ten year anniversary

today is the ten year anniversary of the day we lost our mom. i cannot believe it has been ten years. some days it feels like just last week, and other times it feels like a lifetime ago.

mom

above is one of the last photos i have of my mom. it sits in our living room and every day baby bird and i say hello to oma. my mom was so important to me that we named our daughter after her. and i plan to tell baby bird all about her namesake as she grows.

my mom was a great woman, completely selfless. we had our difficulties when i was in my teenage years, but i am sure all mothers and daughters go through a phase where they cannot agree on anything. she was always there to lend a helping hand, no matter the task.

i think of all the things that have happened in our family over the past ten years, and all the moments she missed, but i know she was with us every step of the way. my nephew, k, was born in early 2004, i was married in 2010, my brother m in 2011, baby bird was born in 2011 … and many other amazing moments occurred. i am influenced by my mom with so many decisions still, and i love all the valuable things she taught me growing up. i cherish all of them so much.

today we will honour my mom, therefore we will stop by the cemetery later to drop off flowers and get together with all of my brothers, sister-in-laws, and opa to celebrate an amazing woman.

mom, we love you and miss you.

dating 101

dating

i had to speak with my grade nines about dating as part of their health and career education curriculum. for a few days prior to speaking with them, i thought about what i would have liked to hear as a fifteen year old about dating.

despite the fact i would probably be horrified to hear about dating from my english teacher, i felt i had a strong rapport with my class that i could speak candidly with them about dating. i shared with them that this is what i wish i had been told as a kid about dating.

1. respect – have respect for your partner AND respect for yourself.

just like the bible teaches us to do to others as you would have them do to you, this can be applied to dating as well. if you want to be treated with respect it needs to be reciprocated. however, with that said, if someone is not showing respect to you in a dating relationship, then you need to re-evaluate the relationship. if your partner is not willing to show you respect than they do not deserve to be your partner, as long as you are showing respect to them.

respecting yourself means that you have to be honest with the reality of the relationship. if it is not what you expected than respect yourself enough to end it promptly. if your feelings change, than respect your partner enough to be honest about your feelings and end the relationship. it may feel crummy, but in the long run, your partner will appreciate the honesty and will move on.

2. trust

in a healthy relationship there should be a level of trust between partners. if there is not mutual trust between partners than the relationship is not healthy, and therefore, needs to be re-evaluated. just like “what happens in vegas, stays in vegas”, the same should be with a healthy relationship and the intimate details of that healthy relationship. now, there are exceptions to this, of course. if someone is in an unhealthy relationship, details need to be shared with someone who can help.

3. values

each person should have a set of values that they deem important in a relationship. for example, do they value respect and trust? or do they value humour and spontaneity? these values are important because it helps you to establish what you are looking for in a relationship. for example, if you want to wait to have sex until marriage, if you do not find someone with that same value, sex could put stress on the relationship. at least have candid and honest conversations with your partner about what you are both looking for in a relationship. so many teens rush into sex and do not have conversations about it. if you are both wanting to have sex, be sure to have a conversation about protection. if you cannot handle the conversation than you are not prepared to have sex and all that sex bring to a relationship.

i don’t claim to have all the answers, but i felt that this was important to share with these kids.

family matters

wow, it has been too long since i last blogged, and i have no better excuse than i have been spending a lot of time with my family.

my niece and nephew have been in town a lot over the past few months for tournaments for hockey, lacrosse and baseball. we have truly enjoyed watching all the sports activities and the extra family time with them. baby bird adores her cousins and they dote on her so much. and, all the aunties and uncles, and opa, have been attending games to cheer loudly!

cousins

my fave girls

family is very important, and we want baby bird to understand the importance of family. and, we want her to understand that if there is anything she needs she can always turn to her family for help and support.

june already?

okay, i must be in a time machine! how did we get to june already? time is going by so quickly!

and, if it is already june that means my baby is 18 months old! ahhhhhh!

time is going really too quick, but i am loving each new day and each new adventure with baby bird!

 

18 mos