We’ve been printing photos, taping, cutting, sorting…and printing photos again. Portfolio time! Maybe it’s because I only did it with the two older kids this year, or maybe it’s because we’ve done this before, but the portfolio-making process went much more smoothly this year. It got one step closer to that lovely, calm trip down memory lane that I was hoping for (in vain) last year. Almost. There may have still been tape issues. Ahem.


But now they’re done, sitting on my kitchen counter, gleaming and ready to go to school, chock full of our love of learning. This may sound crazy, but I’m actually looking forward to the evaluation! If it’s anything like last year (and I have reason to believe it will be even more fun), it will be a time when my kids, bursting with pride, talk excitedly, en français, about everything they did this year. The principal and teachers will encourage them. We’ll share what worked and asked for advice for what didn’t. We’ll talk about something we all have in common: the love of learning and the joy that comes from seeing kids own that.

I see that love of learning at the Nook every day we’re there: kids enjoying being together, soaking up the knowledge available to them from so many different people in their community. Today, Zahra did capoeira with a teacher who has more than a decade of experience in this martial art. She worked on a pop-up book that she co-wrote with a friend. She painted a picture of a lamb in a class led by a professional artist. Noah collaborated with a small group of kids his age to draw cartoon characters and then worked on a pop-up book with his friend. He made a kite in Building Club that he later put to the test.

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And then we all learned a lot when Mr. Quinn came in to give a talk. He started with plant identification—black currant—and then asked someone to check if there was a wagon outside. There was—and so we all jumped on for an impromptu tractor and wagon ride. It was a stunningly beautiful day, blue sky and a light breeze. Mr. Quinn drove us through the farm, stopping to give quick lessons on the apple orchards, bees, biodiversity, poison ivy, strawberries, waterfowl and more. I wanted to know where the two brown oxen were, and sure enough, we found them out grazing in the fields amidst the Christmas tree plantation. It was such a great experience for the kids and adults alike! And as I looked around the wagon at all the wonderful people I get to spend two days a week with, I couldn’t help but feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

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And then again when I got home and checked my Facebook page to find out that several people are as excited about seeing our portfolios as the kids and I are about showing them. My cup runneth over.

We ate dinner on the deck while watching the chickens. Our Hungarian Yellow hen, Marcia, is broody now and has been sitting on fertile eggs since Sunday. Every day, we take her off her nest and make her walk around outside the coop for a bit, eating grass and drinking, until she obstinately jumps up on the outside of the nesting boxes and demands to be let back in. These fertile eggs come from our friend Mari and include two Silkies (which might be frizzles) and two Ayam Cemanis (a special all-black breed).

When the mosquitoes got too fierce, we came back in and I got the kids ready for bed. But just because there were a couple more hours left in the day and that’s plenty of time for one more learning experience: Mr. Quinn called to ask us to babysit chicks and lambs again! So here’s a picture of our little pensionnaires for the weekend. How easy is it to love learning when it involves these balls of fluff?!? The farm and Rare Breeds Canada have been key to our learning experiences this year.