Tuesday, 14 January 2014

January! (and a backlog of photos for future posts)

Its been a good and beautiful busy time for us, and I'm excited that I have made a list and checked it twice... putting "write a blog post" this week. AND ITS HAPPENING!

We are deep into Winter here in Niagara, with the beginning of January leaving about 8 inches of snow. NO missed days of school. (SK was home for the holidays)... and we spent lots of time shovelling, building forts, and generally being a typical Canadian family.

Our tenant moved out after Christmas, leaving us with the two rooms downstairs again. After some calls, I managed to extend out home to 2 lovely Korean homestay boys for 7 weeks. We are one week into their visit, and we are all getting comfortable with one another. Still learning our home rules, and to speak English only while home, but... hey. These two boys are doing really really well, given that they are so far from home, in a new country, eating new food, time zones, culture, etc. I cannot complain at all.

SK lost his first tooth as well. Very exciting, as this little gem held on for a solid month before finally wiggling free.

We have been very mindful of his sensitivity, and have been working to be compassionate, mirroring parents. His ability to communicate with us, emotionally, is outstanding. I am very proud of him. He knows himself very well. Its actually pretty incredible.

Jennifer Kolari, who wrote "connected parenting" is heading up this change in our parenting skills. As everyone, we are life long learners, and I am thankful our son sees that we are imperfect, and always learning how to be better parents. He is incredible with his sister too. Their bond is so beautiful.

HK is budding her first teeth, and we are still wading into the waters of baby-led weaning and solids introductions. Lots of advice from lots of friends and professionals, so we are sifting. She is not able to sit-up unassisted quite yet (so almost there), but LOVES family dinner time, where she perches herself on her daddy's lap and is socially enjoying the table. We've got a VERY busy little lady. She wants to be involved in everything, and takes LOTS of opportunity to express her personality.

I am so thankful to our friends who have our best interests in mind, and I am SO thankful for God's grace in to many areas of our lives. More to come on the holidays, new traditions, some back-blogging from this last summer's harvest (incredible abundance in our garden this past summer.... must post!) and more international-student adventures.

I also did get around to putting those bottles to use (a blog from before) and I used them for this years canning exchange. Will blog about that too. :)

Friday, 31 May 2013

AJ's Science Fair Experiment

I named this blog Sunview St. because this street is an extension of my childhood in many ways. It's nurturing, familiar, safe, and full of adventure. At the end of our street, there is a lovely park, and a cool creek that our little guy loves to "have adventures".

We are blessed to have both affordable access to such a wonderful neighbourhood, and also the luxury of having so many awesome "childhood" necessities like room to roam and get dirty.

There are some super families who live here. We have known the VT family for about 8 years now. They are a constant source of love and caring kindness in our lives. When we were looking for a home back 5 years ago, our real-estate agent Nathan lead us to "Sunview St." It's really name it not actually Sunview Street... that is actually the name of the street I grew-up on in Waterloo, ON for 22 years. AJ, one of the VT's sons lives on our street, and I have known him since he was a little guy.

He and I share a similar interest in that we like growing stuff. His brother too. More about him shortly :o)

AJ has a school science fair project coming up, and he has some interesting observations that I would like to pass on to the blogging world.

I interviewed AJ this past weekend at his kitchen table.

Here is what we discussed:

Me:    AJ, how did you come-up with your topic?
AJ:     Mom and Dad helped me come-up a few ideas when we were brainstorming. At first, we were thinking about a topic about food, but then we thought of the topic of seeing how plants grow under certain conditions.
Me:   Interesting! Tell me more!
AJ:    Well. I came up with the idea of playing two different kinds of music to two of the same plants. We started out with tulips and put classical music on for 1 hour for one plant, and heavy metal on for another plant for one hour. Then we moved onto cucumber plants for the second phase.

Me: What is your hypothesis for your experiment?
AJ: I think that the classical music plant will thrive far better than the heavy metal one.

Here are the visual results from the first experiment:

----- tulip plant photos here ------

Then AJ went on to explain that they needed to get some new plants, because the bulbs were seasonally over with. This is where I come in.

AJ: We got the new cucumber plants from you.

I should add here... Julia and I jumped the gardening-gun this spring and planted a few plants that really didn't need a head start in February... ie: Melon and Cukes... so giving AJ a few "experimental plants" was a load off my growing table and motherly mind. They were beginning to look "spent".

Back to the interview...
Growth Chart for Cukes

Me: So when you began playing music for the cucumber plants, what did you notice.
AJ: {he walks over to the fridge and brings me a sheet that he has been documenting the longest points of growth of both plants } I have noticed that the classical music plant has a slight difference in growth.

Me:   Did you change anything when moving to a new series of plants?

AJ: Well, we wanted to increase the music time first. So we went from one hour of music to two hours. We changed nothing else. They were both in the same window, received the same water, etc.

This is the cucumber plant that has 2 hours of classical music played, daily. Lucky thing!

This is the plant that has heavy metal played to if for 2 hours, every day. Kinda looks like me during daycare days! FRAZZLED!

The two plants together. 
So, what do you think? Are plants effected positively or negatively by the environments they are placed in. I will be the first to admit that I speak to my seedlings (and now teenager plants on a daily basis. Call me crazy... but I think it's working just dandy :o)

My friend Nadine, writer for Local-Lux.com has commented while sitting on our living room that its incredibly peaceful and tranquil. We are planning a home-birth in that very room... and I am excited to be surrounded by life, giving life, giving life.