As a 40th birthday gift, I gave a friend a photo shoot. So yesterday, we went to the dormant train bridge that hangs over the Ottawa river. we had a great time taking photos, and I learnt so much. The experience showed me that I have a lot of learning to do. I was humbled. It taught me that I am still mastering the art of focusing! There is so much more to learn, but the great part is that, I love learning and I love photography. I believe that with those two ingredients, I can make it happen!
I was in Botswana 3 years ago. So much has happened since then. It seems like forever ago, and I am so glad to have the pictures to remember the beauty, and awe inspiring wild life. I have been revisiting these pics, because in December, I will be displaying some of them at the Wild Oat on Bank Street. My plan is to get the chosen ones printed on canvas. It will feel very good to see my artwork displayed for others to see!
Ivan has striking eyes, they shine bright green. This photo reminds of how children are always looking at us, to set the example. They are little monkeys, and the saying: "Monkey see, monkey do" definitely applies to them. They imitate us in our strengths and our weaknesses. This is one reason why we must parent with awareness, and truly know who we are. It doesn't mean that we must be perfect, but notice our imperfections, or moments of frustrations and talk about it with our children. If we are frustrated we can say: "I am frustrated right now." If we had a moment where we raised our voice and behaved poorly, we talk about it. In this way they learn how to deal with their feelings, they become self-aware themselves, and learn to talk things through, when things get difficult.
Children are watching our every move and act as our mirrors, as to who we are. They are our little buddhas and with awareness, discipline and compassion we can learn from them and ourselves. We most also remember, that they see all the good that we encompass, the love, the understanding, and the sweetness that we project into the world.
The height of spring is upon us. The bright greens of fresh growth is vibrant, the bugs, new plants and the hot sun is here, and we are happy for that. This weekend was a perfect weekend to sit back and appreciate the fruits of mother nature's efforts. It was a Jay and Annie weekend, as the kids were with their dad. On Saturday we left the beauty of our lake (above), to visit Michele from Beyond Gluten Free and her family. They recently built a yurt up on their land near Rupert. Here is Michele in her "I am fending off the bugs outfit."
On our way to their land, we passed Juniper Farms, an organic farm. We decided to be spontaneous and stop. We left with the fixings for a small organic garden of beets, lettuce, onions, cabbage, kale, spinach and swiss chard. Neither of us have planted a garden before, so we are keeping our fingers crossed that it goes well.
I am in week 5 of Beyond Gluten Free's program and cannot express how inspired I am in the kitchen. It's as though I have learnt a whole new way of cooking. My slow cooker is always simmering with broth or a stew. I have a stash of gluten free cookies in the freezer for those days where I just need something sweet. My meals consist of 80% veggies and 20% meat, which means that I am eating way more veggies than before. I am learning to love sauerkraut and basically having fun in the kitchen. Do I miss gluten? yes, I do. I miss it when I am at a party and I see a platter of breaded shrimp, but I feel empowered in being able to say no thank you and reach for the veggie tray.
This week's "MOMENTS" shot demonstrates the joy of spring. Yesterday, we went to the park and the dandelions were sprouting and the grass was a fresh green. The kids picked flowers and rolled in the grass. I revelled in their simple joy of simple things. If only as adults we could find such joy in the simplicity of life! Things do not have to be as complicated, as we make them!
On Friday, we turned our backyard into a photo studio. It was so much fun and the children really enjoyed themselves. Here are some of the results.
We hope that you had a wonderful Mother's Day, and that you felt celebrate and honoured as you should be.
Our backyard is not huge by any means, but it is enjoyed by all the children. My favourite part are the tree stumps, planks of wood, bails of straw and bricks. These items are used daily and at any given moment there is someone building, climbing, balancing, and even helping one another navigate the labyrinths that were created by their very hands.
In my opinion these have more value than the stationary play structures you find at the park. These movable pieces give the children a chance to create, to build, and organize their own play environment. In this way, they problem solve, work together, and gain confidence as their skills improve. It is a joy to watch them, especially when the older children, help the younger ones. This is where unorganized play, creates the building blocks to learning.
I love the above picture, and the one below. It was taken a couple of weeks ago. On this day Lukas and Lucia played for a long time walking in the circle of planks that they had built. They laughed great big belly laughs, and enjoyed themselves tremendously.