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Holiday Highlights

In my life these weeks

From watching a wild fawn nurse to being with family, from sewing a dress for Miss 10 to making applesauce, life has been full this past month.  We visited family and friends, we camped, we drove more than 6000 km (~2/3 of that in the rocky, forested Canadian Shield), and we enjoyed life at home.  It was a peaceful time, full of blissful relaxation.

Our travels began with a few oopsies: we took the wrong small tent, forgot the camp stove, took boiled eggs but forgot raw ones, and forgot our jackets.  Fortunately, each of these problems was easy to solve.  We had roasted marshmallows for breakfast the first day, my husband and I bought matching jackets (and I got to wear both of them when we were shivering on the north shore of Lake Superior), my son bought a new little tent on sale, and we now own more than one camp stove.  The rest of our camping trip went smoothly, and we made so many happy memories!

We also did a lot of work around the house and garden, read a lot of books, visited the zoo, held baby squirrels from a wildlife rescue, and played a lot of games.

In our homeschool

Lots of real life learning, from harvesting onions and making pickles to seeing a lynx (?? it was enormous and had tufted ears, but had a tail as long as its back, so who knows what it was) cross a Canadian Shield Road and visiting waterfalls.  We also made chocolates, visited the art gallery, and spend a lot of time with cats and kittens.

In our garden

A lot of weeds can grow in a few weeks, but so can a lot of vegetables.  Tiny plants had grown big and were producing vegetables.  What’s more, although we had poor germination this spring, some new beets and carrots have come up!

We are harvesting cucumbers, garlic, onions, chard, herbs, carrots, plums, cherry plums, apples, raspberries, summer squash, beans, and more.

Our flowers are blooming wildly:  hollyhocks, red poppies, pink double poppies, purple coneflower, black-eyed Susans, day lilies, sedum, yarrow….

Most wildflowers have finished blooming, but the wild cucumber flowers are filling the air with their sweet perfume, and the golden rods are starting.  We also have some Joe Pye weed, and the lithrum is gorgeous.

In the kitchen… Applesauce, dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, and lots of one-pan meals.  One-pan meals were great for camping and are yummy at home too.  We’ve also had pizza, double chocolate chip cookies, and pancakes as well as watermelon juice.  Yum!

Some of my favorite things were

  • After an over-busy spring and summer, doing absolutely nothing but sit in the car for the first few days of our travels.
  • Spending time with family and friends, chatting, playing, celebrating, tubing, walking.
  • Eating wild raspberries, blueberries, saskatoons, and even strawberries (!).
  • Seeing incredible views of Lake Superior as we drove along its north shore.
  • Exploring warm rocks edging this cold lake, catching tadpoles, and clambering everywhere with the kids.
  • Coming home.
  • Working together to harvest our garden.
  • Knowing my husband had killed the bat that was flying around our house.

Questions/thoughts I have…  I love writing, reviewing, and blogging, but had been doing too much of it this spring and summer.  After this long break, I realize I need to determine boundaries and limits.  How to do that realistically is beyond me, though.  For now I’ll just keep on trying, each moment, to ‘do the next thing’ that God gives me to do.

Fitness… Walking, hiking, gardening, but no swimming.  It was much too cold for that.  My steps averaged about 10,000 a day, and one day I walked 15,000 with no ill effects!  We’ve been eating well—lots of produce from our garden and orchard as well as from my parents’ and my sister’s gardens.  Travelling gluten free was a bit of a challenge, but it all worked out.  My no-cook back-ups were unflavored yoghurt, rice cakes, cucumbers, and precooked sausages.  Not exciting, but easily available and very versatile.

Things I’ve been ‘working’ on

  • Sewing, helping Miss 10 embroider, admiring the crafts and decorating in the many homes we visited.
  • Enjoying a family reunion far away.
  • Harvesting the garden and preserving.
  • Reading.
  • Thinking about the next school year.
  • Studying the history of math and science, focusing on a Christian point of view.

We’re watching

Belles on Their Toes with the girls, Sense and Sensibility (Miss 13 and Miss 15), The Little Princess (Miss 10 and Miss 13, with cousins), one of the new action movies (the men of the family), and a live production of The Merry Wives of Windsor (my husband and I).

I’m reading… Psalms (almost finished).  I finished Replenished, Three Decades of Fertility, Small Town Girl, and Winter in Full Bloom, and am still reading Mathematics: Is God Silent?, The Discoverers, Captivating, Standing on the Promises, and The Passionate Mom.  That is really too many books at once, and my mind is starting to feel scattered.  I’m planning to review most of them.

Reading Aloud… My husband finished Matthew and is now reading Acts for our meal-time Bible reading.  When he is busy working, the children and I have restarted Ezra.

I’m grateful for …. Family.  Travelling.  Coming home.

Quote or link to share….    The Most Important Thing You Need to Know About Yourself and Why.  The gospel, presented in a story form that helps us realize its message in a fresh way.

This post is linked to Kris’s Weekly Wrap Up .


  1. Glad you had a good summer and that you are writing again!

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Thanks, Sarah Elisabeth! 🙂

  2. JoAnn says:

    Sounds like a great summer and travels. I know spending time away from work this past week has helped me realize some areas I need to change too. I love when the Lord uses things like our vacations to help us learn what He has for us. 🙂

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Here’s to holidays! Maybe that’s partly why the Israelites had to take 3 weeks off every year…and then every 7th year as well.

      I hope we’ve both learned our lessons well. Glad you’re safely back from your holidays.

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