Showing posts from 2016


We had some extremely warm days to start the month. The week before Remembrance day highs of 16 - 18. This was great for being outside, but not so great for our rink. November 17 Hugh decided enough was enough and he got the rink going. Here it is November 20th:
Unfortunately, two days later the weather got warm again and it even rained. What work Hugh was able to do was melted away. You an see Hugh working on the lights here. The electrician came this week and got them hooked up to the breaker box. Hugh is more than a little excited.

There is a website called and Calder's hockey team set up an account to keep track of the player's shots. The first day Calder went out and shot we logged on and added his 200 shots. We also looked at the rest of his teams shots there were a couple of kids with over 1000 shots already. Calder immediately put his gloves back on and went back out to shoot. Can you say competitive? Since then Calder has literally shot until he got bl…

If I had a magic wand. . .

A couple of weeks ago I became aware how often Tripp gets mentioned by Calder. I would say, on average, he mentions him 4 - 5 days a week. Some of the things he has recently said:

"Our whole family is in this bathroom. We can't see Tripp, but he is here."
"Tripp is older than you, Boone."
"I think Tripp would play with Sam and Claire if he was in kindergarten. If he was in the other class he would probably play with Max."
"Tripp would sit next to me if he were here."

The art work around the world map was done by Calder at the end of August. You can't really tell, but Calder's name is cut out on the left hand side (it starts at the bottom). Also, not sure why he put the Ps on top Tripp's name! 

Boone also has started inadvertently talking more about Tripp. If you recall in the spring we had a little exchange that led from Tripp being dead, to heaven, to Kevin the minion. There have been a number of times in the last 2 weeks Boone …

Mathematician's Workshop

As I mentioned in my September post, I spent a significant amount of time in the summer revamping my Math 9 course. With an idea and the guidance of a math leader in our system, I created a Mathematician's Workshop. 
Every lesson is run over 2 days broken into 4 blocks (Teacher-led, Math by Myself, Math with Someone, and Math Technology). 
Teacher-led instruction looks exactly like how you picture math to be taught. I do lots of mini whiteboards to spice it up. What are mini whiteboards?  Every student is given a small whiteboard and dry erase marker. They are then asked a question (like "-3 - 5", during our integer unit, or "Find the surface area of a cube with side length 8" in our square roots and surface area unit). Students then do their work on the board. Sometimes, like in the first question, there is only a answer. Other times, like in the 2nd question, there is some work to be shown. After an appropriate amount of time I ask students to flash me their bo…


The biggest news in the our world in October was the snow. I heard on the radio that snow on my birthday (the 6th) happens once approximately every 100 years.
Midway through the month the snow was gone, but the early snow was certainly good motivation to swap out our fall gear for our winter stuff. 
The boys both wrapped up their swimming lessons at the start of the month and they both passed. We were a bit disappointed that they didn't get any skills checked off their next levels (as we thought they were capable of the skills. . . particularly Boone), but we will be registering them in their next levels regardless. 
We had a pretty eventful Thanksgiving. My brother fell through the attic of his cabin and broke 3 vertebrae (T11, T12, L1). He is completely fine, but it was certainly stressful and worrisome. The doctor told Luke that of all the possible outcomes he could think of after a man fell 16 feet, Luke's outcome was a best case scenario. We all felt very lucky. No one mo…

Summer Tidbits

These are a few little notes I wrote down for a post that never got written. I don't want to lose them, so I thought they might as well be published!

Boone adores his run bike. No desire at all to learn to pedal a bike with training wheels.
Lawson loves to read a book and has started to learn that her sleep sack equals bedtime and isn’t impressed. Lawson also loves her babies (stuffed animals) and blanket. Boone also loves his babies and “baby” blanket as he calls it. Don’t call him a baby, though. He is a big boy.
Calder loves to pound nails and use the drill. He actually started to put together a book shelf for me at the cabin with 2 x 4s . 8 foot long ones. Needless to say, Hugh would really like to start a project with him when he doesn’t have pressing cabin work to do (a leaky roof takes priority). Calder has also talked about making a fort in the bush behind our cabin. I think this is a fabulous idea and hope he is still keen next spring.

We have some BBC Dinosaur movies at…

Summer 2016

We spent 7 glorious weeks at the lake this summer. Highlights include:
·Hours on the boat. Hugh dumped the boys off the ski trainer tube in June and it took a while to get them back behind the boat. Funny, but not funny! My parents got the kids this giant tube for Christmas and it didn’t take long for Calder to be standing, jumping, and acting crazy in general on it once July hit. Boone didn’t love tubing, but he did do it. Lawson LOVED it and often would cry when we had her in the boat and not out on the tube. The tube was also great for floating. The kids loved jumping on it and off it. No one more than Lawson. She has perfected the belly flop and would do it dozens of times in a row (Hugh gained some serious upper body strength hoisting our girl back onto the tube). We also enjoyed many a picnic lunch on the boat. Meat sticks, cheese, pickles and veggies were our go-to. And nothing like a bag of chips on the side. Every. Single. Time. It was even hot enough for me to get into the w…


We started the month of September in a 100m dash.

Any teacher will tell you that the first week of school is one of the busiest and stressful time of the year. This was particularly true this year as I have an intern (who is lovely and great) and Hugh's school was overstaffed so they had to lose a teacher.

On top of this, Hugh and I are billeting a girl who is attending the softball academy at my school (she is also lovely). The softball academy takes place during the school day, but she also made the senior volleyball team, so we have been managing her practice and game schedule as she doesn't have her license yet.

On top of this, Hugh is the vice president of our local hockey association which means that he had to attend every ice session of every age group's tiering.

On top of this, the boys were in swimming lessons twice a week in the city. Calder started piano lessons (which he is really enjoying) and Calder also started hockey.

On top of this, Hugh took off for 3 day…


Well, it is abundantly clear that I haven't been able to balance things well enough in my life to make room for writing. The summer came and went and any plans I had for more writing were gone. I am not regretful of that. I spent lots of great time with Hugh, the kids, and our extended family and friends. I actually have a post started about our time at the lake, but no guarantees that it will get published. 

In the fall, I wanted to get back into a writing routine, but it always seemed like something else was in the way, or I was too tired to do it at the end of the day. I had Parent Teacher Interviews last night and part of our morning without students today is scheduled for personal wellness. I had full intention of starting a new math 9 unit for a couple of reasons. The first being I am now teaching Math 9 second semester which I hadn't planned on, so there is some serious work involved in getting it ready. The second reason is that I THOROUGHLY enjoy planning. I know. Mat…


All of Hugh's hockey buddies call him "Hammy".

Hugh has been calling Calder "Ham" for a long time. I can't even remember when it started.

Calder started calling Boone "Bean" when he first came home from the hospital. That evolved into "Boone Dog", "The Dog", and just simply, "Dog".  Boone is not a fan of nicknames. Often after we use one of his he will say, "I not Da Dog, I just Boone." Hilarious.

Boone has called Lawson "Dawsie" from about month two. (He called her "baby" for the first two months.) Last week Boone called her Lawson for the first time ever. It took a long time for him to put the "L" on Lawson. He would repeat after us "La La La La, Dawsie". He has said "Lawson" twice since the momentous occasion last week, but I think he got too much attention for using it and has moved back to "Dawsie". "Dawsie" likely isn't going any…

I wouldn't want to live without . . .

Our Children's Map of the World.

This map has been hanging on our wall for close to a year. Hugh had wanted a map for Calder and he spotted this one at Costco a while back. I personally liked the plain map of the world with countries that was also at Costco, but having seen how much our kids use this version of the map, I definitely think Hugh hit this one out of the park. Similar one HERE.
As you can see there are all sorts of animals, buildings, and people on the map. They are all named and have started MANY conversations at our house around sharks, ships, churches, and even vampires! I would say Boone looks at this map on a daily basis. This feels like a pretty good estimation because I have to tell him to stop standing on that wicker basket on at least half of those occasions. Lawson is playing with her snot here. Please ignore. 
Calder has used the map to find Syria when we were talking about refugees, locate China and Ireland when classmates took trips there, and even estimat…

Five on Friday

Calder is getting so excited for the end of school. He happily told us the other day that they were done reading at school for the year. This is his perception since they having the leveled readers sent home anymore!  Calder is counting down the days to summer (not surprisingly of course and the number is 8 including today). Calder was incredibly excited last week when one of his favs hoisted the Stanley Cup. We recorded it so Calder could soak in every moment when he got up the morning after. He is going to be in TV withdrawal the next few weeks. We don't have a lot of time for TV in the evenings typically, but we were letting Calder stay up later to watch the playoffs! Late = 8 pm. Hugh was SO pumped that Calder got obsessed with the playoffs!  Calder was recently speculating how great it would be to be a bird. "I could fly wherever I wanted. . . I would mostly want to just fly home or to the lake, though." In other bragging news, Calder can add and subtract integers.

What I'm wearing

After my Simons' flop, I recently picked up three pairs of jegging capris at Costco. I think they were about $16 each. I got them in grey (above), teal (also above), and white. I absolutely love them and have been wearing them like crazy. My favorite of the two outfits is the bottom one. The jean jacket is Mavi and I HIGHLY recommend it. In fact, I recently bought another. Exact same style, different wash. This jacket was recommended by both Deena and Christy, so you really can't go wrong. The scarf is one I picked up this spring (Gap). I heart orange and teal. Last week I mentioned trying to define my signature look and that bottom one pretty much encapsulates it. . .
And here it is again. LOVE this one too. Cardigan and scarf are recent purchases along with the grey tee (Old Navy). Jeans are old (American Eagle) and shoes are old (Nine West). I can't wait to recreate this one!
These. Jeans. (Gap). I can't get enough of them. I wore them to professional development o…

Five on Friday

1.  I am watching things grow with the kids these days. Hugh's Aunt Judy got me started growing romaine lettuce. You just stick the end in some water and watch. I will eventually transplant it to the garden when it has roots. It is amazing how much it has already sprouted up in the week we have had it in water. Calder also brought some beans home that will go in the garden. Two weeks ago the kids and I started beans, pumpkins, and butternut squash. They are growing like mad as well (forgot to get a picture!). 
2.  It has been cold and rainy this week. I am not going to complain about the rain. We desperately needed it, but seriously, did it have to be this cold?  The incessantly cold weather did give me a chance to make some soup. I think soup might be one of my favorite meals to cook from scratch. Night one I made the broth. I always freeze any chicken or turkey bones so I typically have a store for rainy weather. I also had some celery from my mom and dad's garden, which made…

Calder Update

Has Calder ever gotten into sports the last couple of months!?! Below he is at a Rush lacrosse game with Hugh and his buddy Kohen. Calder has been watching baseball, lacrosse, and now the hockey playoffs like crazy. In fact, he has stopped asking to watch any of his "shows". He just wants to watch sports. Oh. . . and add NASCAR to that list. Our boy loves his cars. I don't think that will ever change!

Here is Calder's funniest shark tooth yet. His permanent tooth pushed through in front of his baby tooth!  It was like this for weeks. No gap toothed grin for this boy! Below is the day it fell out!
Calder is doing so well in school. His teacher speaks of what a great student he is. Hearing her say these things actually makes me wish he used a few more manners and a bit more kindness at home! LOL. But, if he is going to be on his best behavior somewhere, I want it to be when we aren't around. Although it was great to hear about Calder's learning successes at pa…