Saturday, June 30, 2012

Why I haven't Posted much in June...

I know this.

Several times this past month, I would sit down to write a post, and nothing, absolutely nothing would come to mind.

Now here we are at the end of this month, and I uploaded the June pics from my camera. I figured out why nothing came to mind....

I was pooped.  Just plain pooped!

There were 250 pics of things we did, from just the month of June. Whew!

Here's the gist of it...

We finished our first year of home schooling! Yay!
To see more details on what that included, check out my blog at the Heaslip Homestead.

Here's a pic of the flowers in one of the boxes on my balcony. 
I will post more about our gardens soon.

On Father's Day, daddy took Lucas to his first MLB game. The Toronto Blue Jays. He was especially excited since they took the go train to get to Toronto. The younger two boys cannot wait until they turn 8 to go to their first game!


While they were there, the younger two boys and I celebrated Father's Day with their grandpa Jim by going to Safari Niagara and getting ice cream at the Dairy Bar. 


They were pretty pumped about trying out the bungee-trampoline ride.


We were all excited to spend a whole weekend with grandpa to ourselves.

Then  we had a bunch of random outings...

 Here's a pic of Carter and his best bud at Port Dalhousie.

 We went to a couple BBQ's at my sisters - where of course we had water balloon fights.


We hosted a bonfire for a bunch of friends.


mmm, smores!


Christy, our student from China had her prom. Jodi took the pics, and then her family stayed for a yummy Paella Dinner and we laughed well into the night!

We went to the Drive In with friends to see Madagascar 3 and Snow White and the Huntsman.

I hosted a giant baby shower with my other sisters for my sister Stephanie. A post all about that will be coming soon too.

 I took the boys to Niagara-on-the-Lake, where they enjoyed the giant fountain.

We watched Nick Wallenda's historic walk over the falls on TV, it was way too crowded to brave going the 15 minutes up the road. But my BFF Jodi however had a press pass and got these amazing shots!

Then, Christy had her graduation from highschool. We are trying to work up our courage to say goodbye to her after having her live with us for 10 months. Our gift to her was a memory album of our year. She cried. I cried. That was 2 days ago. She leaves tomorrow... I feel waterworks a coming.


Add to that:
+ a bunch of swims and visits with friends 
+ a funeral
+ birthday, poker and summer parties
+ a charity event called Raid my Closet
+ Midwives appointments 
+ veterinarian appointments
+ pickups at the Organic Farm
+ fruit picking 
+ home renos
+ hosting a dinner for Christy's parents visiting from Macau
+ maintaining the homestead

=  ONE TIRED MAMA!!! (no wonder my feet are swollen)

If you don't see another post for awhile.... now you know why 

Lot's of love,


There's something about a Wedding in May

There really is something romantic and wonderful about going to a wedding in  May. We were honoured to be able to attend Chris' cousins wedding in a little country church and hall in the town of Hagersville. My husband grew up round those parts, so we enjoyed the day immensely and even squeezed in a quick visit with his stepdad and wife between the ceremony and reception.

  I had a great view of the bride just before her grand entrance.
 I love capturing moments like this, you could feel her excitement and anticipation.

 It was a lovely traditional ceremony and I especially loved the vows they exchanged.

They day was truly a celebration of their joy. There was much laughter 
in both in the ceremony and reception to prove it.

It was while I was sitting in the service, I was reflecting on how sometimes I feel like wedding ceremonies are more meaningful and important to the married couples who are in attendance, than perhaps even to the Bride and Groom (excepting the legal aspects obviously ). 

I  was reminded of an article I had read in this months Thriving Family magazine by Focus on the Family. It was written by Timothy and Kathy Keller - Living Out "I Do" reiterates that marriage vows are not supposed to be a declaration of a current or present love, but a mutually binding promise of future love, no matter what.

That's why I think it's more meaningful to the already married couples. Because it's an ongoing reminder of the commitment they made to each other (whether it was weeks or years previously) before God and witnesses. A living reminder that at one time they shared a "present" love much like that of the bride and groom before them, however now, they themselves are activity living out their own vows - that "future love" they promised to each other however long ago. 

I loved this wedding because I believe the Bride and Groom share that kind of commitment to each other, and I was honoured and blessed to be a witness of this covenant and also to have the reminder of a May wedding fourteen years ago, when I was the one wearing white and full of the joy of love

Friday, June 1, 2012

What I Read in May

I read fewer books this month...let me explain.
First of all, I spent a great deal of time researching curriculum changes for next year. That's now complete and I'm happy with my choices. Second we've been pushing to finish our studies this month because it's getting harder and harder for the boys to focus when they (actually we all) would rather be outside playing, gardening, exploring, etc. So we're almost done! Yay!

Finally, I mentioned last month that I would be reading:

So after reading 1/2 of The Well Educated Mind, I slowed things down. The Author Susan Wise Bauer encourages you to read the classics and to really digest what you are also says reading a whole lot of books really fast is symptomatic of our society of fast food, TV and the world wide web. (gulp)That we are dumbing ourselves down by not diving into books that require serious contemplation (including FICTION and a different approach to reading scripture). It is one heck of a book with very good I've decided to challenge myself to the reading list in the book (which they suggest would take YEARS to complete) Ha!

As a personal note: the below list kind of terrifies me, but many of the books I've always wanted to read, and now I find  so much of our home school curriculum refers to them too. So as terrifying as it is, I'm also oddly excited. PS. I'll still be reading other smaller books as I've always done, but not as many, because I really do want to increase my intelligence and educate my kids in the same way. 

Included in the book are her suggestions of 30 great books to read from 5 genres: Fiction, Autobiography, History/Politics, Drama and Poetry. The books are listed chronologically and she suggests reading them in order. The genres are broken down into 5 chapters with an detail explanation how to read them and a synopsis is included on each title with the best edition to read.

The goal of the mini challenge is to read at least 3 books in each category.  Any book read can be applied to the 12 classics in 12 months challenge.  Listed are the first 15 suggestions in each category, however you may choose from any title listed in the Well Educated Mind.
(Those written in Blue, I already own, and some I've should start there - those written in Purple, I'd like to try next) By the way, this is not a complete list. :) Wish me luck.


Don Quixote - Miguel De Cervantes
The Pilgrim's Progress -John Bunyan
Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne
Moby Dick - Herman Melville
Uncle Tom's Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe
Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
The Return of the Native - Thomas Hardy
The Portrait of a Lady - Henry James
Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
The Red Badge of Courage - Stephen Crane
Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
The House of Mirth - Edith Wharton
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf
The Trial - Franz Kafka
1984 - George Orwell


Augustine - The Confessions
Margery Kempe - The Book of Margery Kempe
Michele De Montaigne - Essays
Teresa Of Avila - The Life of Saint Teresa of Avila by Herself
Rene Descartes - Meditations
John Bunyan - Grace Abounding in the Chief of Sinners
Mary Rowlandson - The Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration
Jean Jacques Rousseau - Confessions
Benjamin Franklin - The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Henry David Thoreau - Walden 
Harriet Jacobs - Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself 
Frederick Douglass - Life and Times of Frederick Douglass 
Booker T. Washington - Up from Slavery 
Friedrich Nietzsche - Ecce Homo
Adolf Hitler - Mein Kampf 


Herodotus - The Histories
Thucydides - The Peloponnesian War
Plato - The Republic
Plutarch - Lives
Augustine - The City of God
Bede - The Ecclesiastical History of the English People
Niccolo Machiavelli - The Prince
Sir Thomas More - Utopia
John Locke - The True End of Civil Government 
David Hume - The History of England, Volume V
Jean-Jacques Rousseau - The Social Contract
Thomas Paine - Common Sense
Edward Gibbon - The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Mary Wollstonecraft - A Vindication of the Rights of Woman 
Alexis De Tocqueville - Democracy in America

Aeschylus - Agamemnon
Sophocles - Oedipus the King
Euripides - Medea
Aristophanes - The Birds
Aristotle - Poetics 
Everyman (14th Century)
Christopher Marlowe - Doctor Faustus
William Shakespeare - Richard III
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
William Shakespeare - Hamlet
Moliere - Tartuffe 
William Congreve - The Way of the World
Oliver Goldsmith - She Stoops to Conquer 
Richard Brinsley Sheridan - The School for Scandal 
Henrik Ibsen - A Doll's House 

The Epic of Gilgamesh 
Homer - The Iliad and the Odyssey
Greek Lyricists 
Horace - The Odes 
Dante Alighieri - Inferno
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 
Geoffrey Chaucer - The Canterbury Tales
William Shakespeare - Sonnets 
John Donne 
King James Bible - Psalms 
John Milton - Paradise Lost 
William Blake - Songs of Innocence and of Experience 
Williams Wordsworth 
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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