Vases for Mom; Glass Painting

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I found the idea in a pioneer crafting book and right away I knew it would make a great gift for Mother’s Day. I found 3oak the glass paints and vases at Michael’s... READ MORE

Cardboard Challenge

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The school that I teach at decided to hold a school-wide “Cardboard Challenge“, inspired by the youtube video “Caine’s Arcade“. There were many reasons why we decided to take on this challenge, but... READ MORE

Hands-on Inspiration

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It seems like an old concept, “hands-on” learning; but isn’t that what the new curriculum in British Columbia is really all about?  I always feel inspired by the local “Hyde Creek Salmon Festival”.... READ MORE

Weekend Away

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I enjoy a fall weekend away, just to relax, spend time together and to notice the changes of the season. Fall walks are my favourite kinds of walks.  Through the woods, or even along... READ MORE

Cloudy summer day? Bake a pie.

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 We’ve had plenty of days like this lately, but in my opinion, it’s the best weather for berry-picking.   We have farms like these a few blocks from our house, which makes it convenient.  And... READ MORE

First Days of Summer…

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  We’ve been starting our summer out right with all of our favourite beginning of summer activities.  This is the Point Roberts Marina.  I’ve been getting more time to run.  Here’s my favourite route... READ MORE

Explorer Art: Northwest Passage

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          My students have been beyond excited to learn about the first Canadian Explorers, especially the stories, the risk and the adventure.  I came upon this book, called Northwest... READ MORE

Terry Fox Run

posted in: Events | 0


Terry Fox is one of the most inspiring Canadian Heroes I know.   His passion, dream, determination, will and endurance are beyond admirable.

Everyday he ran a marathon.  Every day.  He ran on lonely highways through the worst of weather, enduring pain, discouragement and eventually the spread of cancer which took his life in 1981.

When I was a student teacher, my sponsor teacher took out a gigantic folder of photos and newspaper clippings from the time that Terry Fox did his Marathon of Hope across Canada in 1980.  She was making a display for the school.  As she put in the staples, she told me she had attended Terry Fox Secondary High School and that every year, her family attended the Terry Fox Hometown Run.

Her enthusiasm about Terry Fox got me really interested in who he was, his dream of a cure for cancer, and the run.


Now every year, rain or shine, I attend the Hometown run myself.  Even the year that we taught in Kuwait, Mark and I ran the Terry Fox Run put on by the Canadian Embassy.  Apparently Kuwait’s run raises one of the highest amounts of money in the world.


As we approach the run, the crowds are already gathering.  This is the largest turn-out they’ve had for a couple of years.  The weather is fantastic.  There are bands playing, and people registering, buying t-shirts and finding a place in the starting line.


The run starts with O Canada, then speeches by local people who new Terry, such as his gym teacher, and often Betty Fox, Terry’s mother, is there to give her heart-warming words.  One year we got to talk to her after the run. (I am proud to say that I was the first female to finish that year in Pt. Moody!)  Betty Fox was so fascinated with Miranda, who was only five months old then.  Rick Hanson, another Canadian hero, usually speaks at the Hometown run and we saw him come across the finish line today!


Just before the race starts, Never Give Up on a Dream is sung, which brings tears to many eyes.


Then off we all go…  Some running for fun,


some running for family and friends with cancer, and some in victory of cancer that’s been overcome.


The run is 2.5K, 6K or 10K.  There are runners, walkers, bikers, roller bladers, and in our case, a runner, a walker, a stroller and two on scooters.



I think what I take from this experience most is not so much about cancer, itself, but about Terry’s character.  About his dream and how he followed after that dream with such perseverance.


And now, years later, his vision continues as people all over the world run for Terry’s cause, and the money and research has helped people to survive.


Now that’s the kind of legacy that I hope to pass on to my children.

And them to theirs.

Renovating a Cottage Bathroom

posted in: Uncategorized | 2

Remember the days of pink bathrooms, stiff plastic shower curtains, carpeted flooring?! and those floor to ceiling over the toilet storage containers?

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Well, we have been working hard to remove some of these lovely features in our cottage bathroom.

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The linoleum was an update from the original carpet (one of the first things we changed), but now it’s time for that to go too.


We changed the sink, added wainscoting to cover up the horrific plastic base board that had been peeling off and attracting bugs!  We (by most of the “wes” I mean my husband), installed a dual flush toilet, which has worked wonders for our septic.


Our last project was new tile and fixtures in the shower that we just completed this summer.

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It’s been a gradual process, since we have been doing it ourselves, but we are pleased with the more updated look and enjoying our new loo!

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How to Make a Graham Cracker Campsite

posted in: Crafts for Kids, Events | 0

Well, I guess it’s not too late for a wee summer craft.  I saw ideas like this and this on the internet when I was searching for ideas for a “camping” birthday party, and I thought, if kids love making gingerbread houses out of grahams at Christmas time,


I bet they would also enjoy making “graham tents” in the summertime.

And so the kids made little “campsites” out of graham crackers, regular icing, an ice cream cone (for a tree) and a jelly bean campfire, with pretzel sticks for logs.


We also made a birthday cake to match.

The graham campsites were very cute and enjoyed by all!

Camp Themed Birthday Party

posted in: Events | 0


We set up a tent, a wading pool, and Mark finished a playstructure that he was building for the kids, and voila, we have a “campsite”, a “lake” and an “outdoor adventure center”!


The kids love making these candy skewers at the “canteen”,

as well as these “smore packs” (1 scoop chocolate chips, 1 scoop Honey Grahams, and 2 scoops mini marshmellows).


“Ranger Mark” took the kids on a hike in the forest across the street where they searched for a “wild kat”.

The kids found written clues as well as binoculars and magnifying glasses along the way.  The “wild kat” turned out to be Kit Kat bars in the end.  The kids collected all of their camping items and goodies in their “waterproof camper bag”.


Happy seventh birthday, to a friendly, fun-loving, caring, creative, thoughtful and insightful girl.

We love you Megan!!!




posted in: Recipes | 0

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One thing I love about summer is growing and eating.  I was inspired by my mother-in-law’s potted herb garden, pictured on my last post.  As we left their place just outside of Bellingham, we stopped at Trader Joe’s and I spotted a beautiful basil plant for only 2.99.


I have a particular fondness for basil.  I found this simple recipe for bruschetta on line.


Serve it with baguette brushed lightly with olive oil.

Light, healthy and soooooo delicious. Mmmm Summer.

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

posted in: Recipes | 0


It’s been exciting growing our very first garden.


I’ve actually been surprised at how eager and involved the kids have been


watching things grow, picking,


and of course eating.  We eat the zucchini raw,


or baked into things like these chocolate zucchini muffins.

I also noticed a few zucchini recipes in the August issue of Martha Stewart Living.  We are looking forward to harvesting a few more veggies before summer is through…

Hawaiian Birthday Party

posted in: Events | 0

There’s that peacefulness before a party, before the guests arrive, when things are finally in place.
The dollarstore had loads of Hawaiian goodies.
The surfing station was ready to go.
The decorations were hung, and then came the best part:  the kids.

I didn’t get a lot of photos without faces, but you can just imagine the splashing, laughing, bouncing on the trampoline, playing pass the coconut, and here’s some hula lessons by the “hula master” himself.  Oh and we did the limbo too.

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There was a “luau lunch” on planks of wood with tablecloths over top.  The kids sat on the grass.  The kids used toothpicks to skewer ham, cheese pineapple and maraschino cherries.  There was also tropical fruit, including papaya, mango, honeydew and cantaloupe.

Mark made a volcano cake which erupted with jello mixed with lemon juice and baking soda.


Happy fifth Birthday to you, our sweet Maggie girl!

Fresh Squeezed

posted in: Classroom, Cottage Life | 0


I was completely inspired by these young entrepreneurs.


With the right ingredients,


brainstorming and collaboration,


careful preparation,


good advertising,


and a great sales strategy,


profits can indeed be made.

Now we are off to the candy store (the remaining change will be donated to the SPCA)

Way to go kids!!!

Salt Spring Island

posted in: Cottage Life, West Coast | 0


We recently returned from a camping trip to Salt Spring Island, one of the larger Southern Gulf Islands.


We were completely charmed by,





the cheerful farms,


the endless hills and fields outlining ocean views,

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the vineyards draping the hillsides,

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the bustling villages and markets,


the fresh-baked breads, hand-made art,


the views,


wildlife (including orcas),


and the many ocean-front beaches and lakes,

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but most of all we noticed the warm, welcoming and friendly people of Salt Spring Island.  We will definitely go back again!

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