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"There's no doubt in my mind that maybe two years from now or five years from now or ten years from now, we are going to find out what we know intuitively, that thimerosal, the mercury in the vaccines, absolutely causes autism and other learning disabilities." -- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

"Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos - the trees, the clouds, everything."
-Thich Nhat Hanh

"We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are."
-Adelle Davis

"The body, simply put, can heal itself of nearly all chronic degenerative diseases or conditions in much the same way it heals a cut or a sprain. The human body is a self-repairing system, after all. What you have to do is give it the right nutritional tools so it can unleash its fullest healing potential. And that comes from natural medicines found in the world of nutrition."
-Mike Adams

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship."

Romans 12:1, NIV


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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Using the Force

Remember how Jude had a Star Wars party in November?

Remember how I was making Jedi robes for all my boys? (Except Levi, who gets to be an Ewok?)

Well, three of the planned robes are complete, for Jude, Noah, and Jabin. Other than the foam-and-duct-tape light sabres we made for the party, though, they do not have any other part of the costume as yet.

That's okay. The robes look great. And yesterday, I took advantage of all my boys being home for Easter break to get an impromptu photo shoot in.

The robes were patterned after the one that Obi-Wan Kenobe wears in the second trilogy (episodes I-III--it took the boys a while to figure out how that confusing order worked. :-D)

The design of these was aided greatly by a tutorial found at I altered the design to have a rounded bottom edge so that it would be the same length all around, and also drafted each robe to the corresponding boy's measurements.

I did quite a bit of math to figure out the formula for making each robe perfect, as I hate waste, and didn't want to be cutting off and throwing away the great deal of fabric that the linked-to tutorial suggests. Perhaps I will get my own version of the tutorial and how to draft a Jedi Robe to fit posted on my blog someday.

These turned out awesome, and my boys love them.

Star Wars Jedi and Sith robes on boys

Star Wars boy Emperor
Jabin wanted to be "the Emperor." Um... the shirt kinda spoils the effect, though.

Star Wars boy Sith

"Give me a Sith Snarl!" I said. And he did... kinda. What IS that, anyway?!!

Star Wars Jedi robe
Jason and Jude made the Light Sabres out of foam plumbing pipe insulation and coloured duct tape. They get daily use around here.

Jedi boy, blue light sabre

Jedi boy with light sabre
Young Obi-Wan. :-)

Noah got a double-ended Light Sabre.

Jedi boy using the Force
He is also proficient in using The Force. :-)

While I was at it yesterday, I also photographed the costumes I made for their Christmas plays, neither of which they got to use. (Jude and Noah both got sick and missed their plays. Jabin was in his, but his costume was supplied by the school. Oh, well, there is always this year.)

I wanted Noah's angel costume to look a little more masculine and modern than the traditional "robe and sash and wings" look. So I bought an oversized white T-shirt, cream knit carf, and women's size small military-inspired jacket in cream from the thrift store, then made the felt top hat and bought the gold cord. Presto! Boy angel!

Modern boy angel

Boy angel costume

Noah wanted a "jumping shot"--so he could look like he was flying, I think.

Jude was supposed to be a shepherd. I had some tweedy-looking striped fabric and some nubbly-looking polyester "linen" fabric in my stash that I had intended to turn into a shepherd costume for years, so he got the whole shebang--right down to the kippah. For design inspiration, I looked at the costumes from the movie "The Nativity Story", from which I copied details like the reversed seams whip-stitched down, and yarn whip-stitched onto the sleeves for a piping detail.

Shepherd costume
Jude had the robe inside-out for this photo, unfortunately. The wind is whipping the hood over his right shoulder, which makes it look even more wonky.

Top of the Kippah
While most of the kippah was machine-stitched, I added hand-stitching details by top-stitching in contrasting fabric. I am really happy with how this turned out.

Little shepherd boy--with glasses?
Detail of cuff with yarn "piping". I miscalculated the neck size on the tunic an had to correct my error by deepening the gash and stitching the edges under--but it turned out okay, for the most part.

Love this face!
You see that snow that is just hanging around in the shadows of the trees in these photos I took yesterday? You see those dark clouds behind Jude's head in that last photo?

Yeah. They proceeded to turn into rain clouds, then snow clouds. It's been snowing since some time last night, and hasn't stopped since. Today, there has to be at least four inches sitting on the ground. Grr.

Not so bad in November... but it ain't November.


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Tuesday, April 08, 2014

In His Brother's Footsteps

Jude has been preparing a research and presentation project for the upcoming Heritage Fair, which he is doing in partnership with David M. Their project is talking about weapons and vehicles that Canada used in WWI. One day, after Jude had been reading up on tanks and had to get up for a moment to do something else, leaving his book on the couch, I looked over and saw this:

Get 'em started on reading young, I always say... just never thought to use a book on tanks before!

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

On the Levi in the House

In the last few weeks, Levi has had a growth spurt. He has now discovered that he is suddenly tall enough to reach the light switches. And the door knobs. And he's figured out how to use them...

That means that I am constantly finding lights turned on that don't need to be. Our bathroom door always remains closed (because he likes to climb up on the toilet and get his toothbrush out of the cabinet, which he then mauls to oblivion... or get into Mommy's makeup, which is worse), but the switches are outside the door in the hall. Whenever I go to the back of the house, both the bathroom fan and light are usually on these days. Since I don't have to go back there all that frequently, they have sometimes been on for a while. Oh, the joys... (Fortunately, although he knows how to turn the doorknobs, it's still kinda tough, so he has only really done it on his own bedroom door--which he was the one to close in the first place--and Jude's a few times, which he doesn't usually do because he knows he shouldn't!)

This li'l daredevil likes to do all kinds of things that give Mommy gray hairs. One of his favourite things to do is pretend he's an acrobat and put his toy truck into crazy places and balance on it. Besides the upside-down blocks container in the photo above, he has done something similar on the couch so he could see out the window while sitting on his truck. He has also stood straight up on the steering wheel and balanced there perfectly--thankfully, while the truck is firmly on the floor! He is always so proud of this feat (and it really is one to be proud of at this age), but I always calmly and firmly (so as not to startle him) tell him to get down immediately.

Gonna have to get this boy into gymnastics!

Just this week, he also seems to be phasing out his nap. This is strange, since last week he was sleeping for over two hours at a time, fighting a mild stomach bug. I don't know if his teeth are bugging him and keeping him from sleeping well, or if he really is outgrowing the need to nap already. He has still been napping every day, but usually only 30-45 minutes, as opposed to the much longer naps I am used to (and prefer! Mommy isn't ready for him to be done napping!!)

Levi is becoming quite the reader--he currently enjoys looking at books that have vehicles in them (of course), but we have let him graduate beyond board books to the closely-supervised perusal of other children's picture books. He also loves the books about animals that we have. Until the last few days, all four-legged largish creatures were "hoe" for "horse", but he is now starting to pick up on "nie-no" for "dino." 

Levi and Noah learn about cheetahs together.
In another new development on the language front, all vehicles up until this week have either been "tractors" or "truckos". On Tuesday, while we were walking back and forth from the autobody shop to Tim Horton's (a route that goes by Rentco and a very busy main intersection), he actually started using the word "hoe" for hoes, and used it correctly several times that day!

In less than two weeks, this little man will be two years old. He has now been part of our family for almost a year (on Sunday, the year will be complete) and has brought us so many blessings. We love our little Munchkin, and it would be tough to imagine our family without him.

I love watching you grow, little Levi!

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Honest is Good...

Jabin stabbed the soft-fried yolk on his open-faced egg sandwich and declared, "I killed my yolk!"

"Really? I didn't realize you were a murderer," replied Jason from his position by the stove.

"I only murder yolks," said Jabin. "Besides, he was being mean to me."

"I hope you don't start killing everyone who is mean to you," I called out from the office, where I was listening in. "'Cause that would be bad."

Without missing a beat, Jabin replied, "You're right. 'Cause Jude would be dead by now."

How sweet and pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together...

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Friday, March 14, 2014

Breaking News

Extra! Extra! Big announcement over at the Grace Notes blog.

Check it out!

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