Friday, May 30, 2014

Everybody Does Their Own Thing

It's a small window of time till those birds can no longer be spotted as easily and so we lay down the books and take advantage of the weather and the barely budding trees. As long as we bring along scooters, a bike, and snacks, everyone is happy. Everybody does their own thing and it makes for an enjoyable adventure!
Point Pelee is the birds' first landing place after a long and tiresome flight and so, my friends, Annie, Cathy and I cottaged there, hoping to catch them before they dispersed north. Two days of staring through binoculars brought me a little closer to the Creator as I stood many times, marveling over the intricate details of colours, lines and feathers. Breathing in the fresh air, walking for eighteen hours between the two days left us tired, peaceful and hopeful for what we'd soon be capturing in our binoculars at home.
This one likes to have her photo taken :)
Somehow, every little thing becomes a gun.
We received a sweet welcome from this Common Yellowthroat the other day.
Identifying the subtle differences between each Thrush keeps things interesting.
Aw, how cute is this Bay-breasted Warbler?
This Mourning Warbler flitted down beside me while the "professional birdwatchers" were looking for him at Pt. Pelee.
Sweet Redstart
Funny, how my friends were searching for this Wood Thrush and when we got home, we realized I had a photo of him on my camera :)
Tiny Yellow Warblers at Pt. Pelee were as plentiful as Robins are here.
Trying to view a flycatcher. We call this the "neck-breaker".
Friendly Chestnut-sided Warbler. He followed us around.
The little Loft Cottage we stayed in at Pt. Pelee. It overlooked Lake Erie.
I had never seen a Scarlet Tanager before!
This Northern Goshawk landed on my neighbour's roof the other day.
Picking flowers makes life lovely.
Loved hanging with this knowledgeable lady.
Funny Green Heron, oh, how you make me laugh!
Beautiful Bird-Nerd (Annie)
Married outdoors-ys :)
I call this Cedar Wax-Wing, the Captain of the Guard.
My little birder. Oliver puts a sticker in his bird book on every bird he's spotted. He's my most interested kiddo.
Three of these Elegant Indigo Buntings in two days? My surprise from God.

Togetherness is the most important ingredient in all this nature-hiking we've been doing lately. I'm so thankful we can each enjoy our own thing while remaining within close proximity to each other and to the living, breathing creation. If you're not a nature-seeker, I encourage you to get a magnifying glass and binoculars and get out there! You'd be surprised what you're missing in your area!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Breathing In His Grace

She plunked out the chords and her sisters gathered around. They chimed in, "Every step we'll be breathing in Your grace. Evermore we'll be breathing out Your praise..." I watch from the kitchen doorway and smile. How quickly they grew from toddling, chubby, little ones to worshipful, unified, lovely ones. Oh, the blessing!
Found this amazing wall. Unplanned rainbow shirts? Even more amazing :)
A discouraged friend visited the other day and needed encouragement to trudge onward in her homeschooling journey. She witnessed one reason after another in our crazy, untidy, noisy home, that there was peace underlying it all and that her own wee ones truly were benefiting from her sacrificial choice. My girls sat down at the piano in the living room and that momma paused in drinking her tea and chuckled, "Cue the worship music!"  We had a good laugh as it seemed that the family singing was a plan to be the icing on top of our convincing argument. Of course, she noticed the less than beautiful moments too. But although we are so far from perfect, we are grateful for the freedom to home educate. Breathing in His grace.
 Cousin Clara's first birthday!
Hanging with cousins after swimming lessons.
First riding lessons on her own.
My favourite benefit of homeschooling? Tossing the books as soon as the rain clears and heading for the woods--where we get drenched anyway. We return home, dry off and cozy up for a read-aloud and a snack. Unforgettable memories. Breathing out His praise.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Spring Perfection

Mother's Day brunch with my mom and sisters and their kids, sitting outdoors with my mom-in-law and family, standing quietly in the woods, my children dirt biking past me as I photograph birds, my husband flying his mini-plane nearby... it's spring perfection and I'm bubbling with gratitude. (1593-1598)
1599. texting Annie in Pt. Pelee to find out which birds she's spotted
1600. her son getting his 100 birds pin for finding 100 different species of birds there
1601. these spring days with few leaves so birds are easier to capture by camera
1602. getting schoolwork done quickly so we can go to the woods every single day!
1603. meeting new homeschoolers on the hiking trail
1604. how my mom-in-law called me just to say she got her first hummingbird to her feeder
1605. how I then put mine out and got one right away too! (I'm convinced they watch us!)
1606. Meg's fantastic awards, including special judge's awards in her dance competitions
1607. camaraderie of dance moms from years of driving and watching :)
1608. how Terry raced to see them and made it just minutes before she came on stage
1609. how Oliver cried his eyes out when he had to leave his caterpillar in the woods
1610. how his two sisters comforted him
1611. for mangoes