{Making a Home} | Temporary Schoolroom

This past week, we have been setting up a temporary schoolroom for the children.  Since moving into the farm, we had used the dining room as our main learning space.  This has proved to be far from ideal.  I’m not sure if it is  the ‘newness’ of the space, or if there is some other subconscious movement afoot.  I crave order – visual, temporal, physical order.  I made the decision to temporarily sacrifice my studio space for the children’s schoolroom.

Brian and I took William with us to the little house to collect some more furniture pieces.  Everyone helped get them all moved in and cleaned up.  We have been refilling the shelves a little at a time as I try to work out our new organization.

Making a Home | Temporary Schoolroom

Making a Home | Temporary Schoolroom

Making a Home | Temporary Schoolroom

Making a Home | Temporary Schoolroom

Making a Home | Temporary Schoolroom

Making a Home | Temporary Schoolroom

Making a Home | Temporary Schoolroom

Making a Home | Temporary Schoolroom

Making a Home | Temporary Schoolroom

Making a Home | Temporary Schoolroom

Making a Home | Temporary Schoolroom

We started with our most treasured books: The Harvard Classics and The Great Books, and the enormous Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary that my mom gave me for my birthday when I was a gal.

It won’t do for the long term as it is much too small for everyone to work comfortably in for very long, but my hope is that it will allow us to work over the summer, when outdoor portraits are more prevalent, as are event shoots.  Perhaps there will be enough extra at some point this summer to allow us to finish the space we had originally intended for a schoolroom – an almost-500 sq. ft. space in the attached carriage house.


An early start for us today.


Brian and Caroline are off to New Hampshire to pick up our new evaporator pan, the last piece of our sugaring outfit before we can start making syrup.  Jack is doing some last minute work on the sugarhouse – getting the arch bricked up and the firebricks primed.  It’s a heavy job, that.  But he’s amazing – strong and hard-working.  I am so proud of the man that he has become.  His future wife will be blessed in him.

Maple Sap Boiling

The rest of us are inside doing Saturday chores and preparing for keeping the sugaring crew fed through the long days and weeks ahead.  We are baking bread, and preparing meals ahead wherever possible.

Buckwheat Flax Bread Dough

Buckwheat Flax Bread

12 hour days up in the sugarbush and in the sugarhouse – back and forth with sap and empty buckets – makes everyone really hungry.  I won’t be participating much in the actual sugaring the first couple of weeks because I am smack in the middle of a nasty flare.  It is messing with my mobility and fine motor function, to say nothing of the pain.  Tylenol is about the extent of the medication I can take (which is fairly useless) while I wait for the insurance to clear so that I can increase my infusions.

I’m hoping to have enough good hours here and there to finish the longies that I am designing for Georgie.  I’m loving them so far.  The yummy green is so appealing.  We have been longing for spring and something GREEN.  It has been a lovely long winter, and I love the snow, but it is time for some colour, no?

These longies will be joined by a jumper (sweater) and a hat, perhaps some wee socks or booties.  Once I have the draft pattern completed, I’ll be looking for three or four beta knitters to make up sets and see how the pattern works for them.  You can leave a comment below if you’re interested in knitting along, and sharing your progress.

Brendan Longies


And in other news (perhaps you saw my announcement on Facebook), Brian and I are pursuing the adoption of a beautiful brother and sister from Bulgaria.  We have to move very quickly – something we are not very good at here. I beg your prayers.  We have had our hearts broken so many times in the past.  The story of how they came to be known to us is truly amazing.  I will share it at some point.  Really, truly the hand of God.

We have decided to set aside all of the proceeds from our remaining birch syrup for our adoption fund, if you are interested in having something sweet on your table, and doing something sweet with that purchase.  I will also be putting all of the proceeds from my portrait photography toward our adoption, and getting the house ship shape for our new additions.  That means clearing out the room that I have been using for my sewing and crafts to use as a studio here on the farm, so that I can increase my available hours.  I’ll figure out later how I’m going to get my sewing accomplished (two first communions coming up and lots of photography props to make).  Nearly everything is portable, so I can have some sweet soul lug the machines down and back as needed.

The younger children don’t know anything about the adoption plan yet.  But I am preparing a Bulgaria unit study for all of us.  We will learn about the history, culture, music, art, language and food, about the geography and industry and government.  Jack, Caroline, and I previewed a beautiful video about Bulgaria this week and are completely smitten.  What a beautiful place and people.

I am finding so much to be inspired by for my artwork and photography.  I’m sure you will begin to see hints of it on the blog.

 Coffee Filter Flower


Sometimes the children will take out packs of flashcards to occupy their playtime.  The bright colours laid out on the floor really caught my eye.  We are so blessed to have beautiful things to use and to play with.








On the needles.

Last week, my reluctant knitter surprised me.  She began to knit.

I shouldn’t have been surprised at all, really.  It’s the way she’s always done everything.  She thinks about things, silently studies them.  She gives them a brief try, then puts them down for a loooong time, and ponders.  When she’s ready, she’s off like a rocket.  And not only quick and focused, but proficient:

On the Needles

She inspired her little sister, who took out her basket and sat down alongside and knit away. {notice how each girl not only chose her favourite colour, but was wearing it as well. 🙂 }

On the Needles


Knitting continued all evening until bed time.  Caroline’s striped blanket for her new room in her signature earthy colourway – greens and browns.

On the Needles

Sophie working on a skinny scarf for her big sister Cat, to thank her for the gift of her fully-stocked knitting basket on her last birthday.

On the Needles

It’s a good thing we raise sheep.  We now have four knitters in the house.

FCL Co-op: Save on Art and School Supplies

High quality art and school supplies (Lyra, Artemis, Stockmar) at 40% off our regular prices.  There is no need to buy bulk – just what you need.  But you must be a member to participate in the buy and enjoy the savings.

Included in the buy are:

Kite Paper
Main Lesson Books (packs of 10)
Lyra Super Ferby Graphite and Coloured Pencils
Stockmar Crayons
Artemis Plant Coloured Modelling Wax
Stockmar Modelling Wax
Stockmar Watercolour Paints
Blackboard Chalks
Wooden Painting Boards

You must purchase a membership to order from this (or any other) buy.  Membership is good for one year and allows you to order from Members-Only buys at deeply discounted prices.

I’m not online so much anymore, so I’d really appreciate your help in spreading the word about this awesome buy.  I will be loading more buys monthly (or more frequently).

Next up: Yarns and Fibres

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