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Monday, January 31, 2011


One pair of Osh Kosh overalls, 8 messy toddlers, and one tiny child.

I have two friends who are sisters. They are two lovely Ojibway Women named Steph an Christina. We have raised our kids together and it has been a journey. Our best story came to it's conclusion (for us) this morning. This is our story of the traveling pants.
Once long ago (18 years this March) Steph gave birth to her first Child. As a young Mom of meager means (we all were back then) she scoured the thrift stores for nice baby clothes. One day when DC 1(S) was about 2 she bought him a pair of costly Osh Kosh overalls. She hoped she would get her monies worth.

After her DC 1(s) out grew these cute pants she passed them to her sister whose first child DC2(c) was just about the right size.

The two sisters thought it was so nice that their children were passing on these wonderful overalls. And after DC 2(c) had out grown them Steph's daughter DC 3(s) was turning two an so back the overalls came.

As DC 3(s) was out growing them the two sister talked about what to do next. Steph had been forcibly sterilized. Yep the government was still doing that to Native Women in the 1990's. Christina was single and the pants were still good!

And so the sisters talked about it and brought me the pants and told me their tale. Happy to be included I dressed Sunny Not - DC 4(i) in this story - in them. She wore them through thick and thin. And I laundered them with care.

The next child born in our little circles was SW, followed by Christina's little Rose 6 months later. But the flower was not so little and so she became DC 5(c). This was the first time that the pants traveled out of birth order. Then they came back to me for SW as DC 6(i).
Something else to add is that Steph bought the pants in a size 4. The sisters had fat babies. My oldest two were tall skinny babies.

From here the pants stayed with me as the sisters had no more children. Runner became DC 7(i). Ko-Ko who was (is) really tiny became the oldest wearer of the travelling overalls. She officially became DC 8(i) at age 6!!! -She is the one tiny child mentioned at the top.

We thought the story was over, but as you know I had one more baby up my tubes :)

The sisters were at home with me as I laboured and birthed Indy. During my early labour they asked me "do you still have the overalls?"

I laughed "Of course I still have them!!!!"

Today the circle completed itself for us three friends. Indy is wearing them, shoving the pockets full of little cars, enjoying the pockets. This pic is the one I took this morning and immediatly mms'ed my two friends. Indy is DC 9(i).

Of course now that DS 1(s) is 18 and one of us (to be nameless, but not me) will turn 40 (the other two not far behind), we realize our Grandma years are nearly here. To some of my readers this may seem young, but this is Indian Country and well, how else do you think we have the fastest growing population in Canada? I can only wonder what it will be like to pass these on to our grandchildren, or which of us will be a Grandmother first?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Putting a house together

The move has happened but there is still so much to do. The garage has boxes haphazardly stacked in it, waiting to be sorted and put away. The old house still has Grandma Claus living in it (with a friend) as we build a ramp. We still need to do a deep down clean of it. Plus bikes, sleds and camping gear still needs to come. There is some furniture (new to us) that we can pick up tomorrow.

The school room is coming along. All thats left is the school table, chairs for the table (exercise balls) and the whiteboard know the school part. Well Grandma Claus wants to buy the balls and we can't cut the table down to size till we have the balls and the whiteboard paint has to wait till Friday. I am however very happy with things at this point. We had some furniture and storage in the school room before the move (which I posted). Now we have in the tv and wii (indoor exercise and documentaries) and my office where I write all their curriculum. Much of the rest of the house us organized with just the dinning room, laundry and my room (of course) left. Yes I wanted it done by today. But I am still happy. I know I can be done by Friday fir my Tupperware party.

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Moving Day

It is not done although a great deal of work has been accomplished. The day had it's ups and downs. But we all know moving is emotionally stressful. There were tears at times but there was also much laughter.

At times we wanted to wring the necks of some children. But we were also left with an overall feeling of pride, especially SW, and also Ko-Ko. SW however showed us he is becoming a Man. He will start his training. I do think he will be ready before 14, this is good, more time to learn to be a good Man.

Some rooms are really coming together. Some still need much work. Here are pics of the living room. Really starting to look good we think :)
I am ending with a pic of SW. Not from today cuz he was to busy for one. Just cuz he really made us all proud today.

I am also very thankful. Our family and friends really came through for us. Grandma is not mobile. Aunty had limited mobility. I AM mobile but with bad knees and worse hips I have bad days. Really bad days. And after moving boxes all week and then falling down the stairs today, Grandma Claus declared me out. Down three adults, we are so thankful for family and friends.
Pilamaya ye

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Tonight was the end of Ko-Ko's second term in gymnastics. She completed level two, an part of level 3. She is thrilled! Next term starts next week an she has been making use of spare time at the new house to practice. The school room is big enough for he to do this in, which is great. It is nice to see her be so happy with herself. It was also parent picture night :)

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Ko-Ko and Runner are trying to maneuver a heavy-ish box down the stairs. They are arguing about how to do it when ( exasperated) Runner declares
"Ko-Ko just doesn't understand the physics of sliding "

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Countdown to moving...3 days

Our school room is coming together nicely. Today we brought over to van loads if boxes. Then DH went off to work and the kids and I unpacked everything and put it away.

We have two linen closets. One for bedding and one in the larger bathroom for towels.

After sorting out toys and more kid books we but together the new chairs and set things up. The large picture frame will be filled with homeschool photos.

I gave one of the fabrics I am going to use for those cute fabric stools and a quilt. Also I will be covering an old tv stand for the downstairs tv.

There is much to do but this room (at least) is starting to cone together.

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SURVIVING THE COLD & Countdown to Moving Day

We Move In Four Days!

And with that looming, packing and getting things moved to the new house ahead of time is a priority. Yes we are getting a U haul, but the more work done now, means the less there is to do later.

However, as mentioned yesterday, it got COLD here. -27C (-16.6F) feels like temp of -33C (-27.8F). We did our best to get chores done. We had a hot lunch. And then we headed out to Walmart. It is warm there. That is my reason. I bought some furniture for the school room that I didn't plan on buying. It will be nice in the schoolroom which is the end goal. You will see it when I have it set up :)

When we got back the house was still cold, (you can see in the pic Indy kept his boots on to keep his feet warm), but being warmed up the kids were ready to go. We got Indy's toys packed up (except trains and Legos to keep him occupied for the next few days).

Indy got right into packing. Actually he has been waiting to do this.

Tonight it started to warm up (sooner then the weather earlier predicted). the kids went to bed comfortable. Tomorrow will have a high of -3C (just a few degrees below freezing). Us adults all cheered and made a game plan for the next few days.

We also made arrangements for a fundraiser for Aunt Lisa's Powwow (the Algonquin Park Powwow). It was all Auntie Claus' idea. We will host a comedy show. DH's good friend is a comedian and helps manage a yuk yuk's club so he is helping us out on this. I won't mention our headliner's name until we get confirmation but I think this will be a real successful the very least it puts the fun in fundraiser. (Warmth sure is motivating:)
Video Of Indy Packing To Move.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cold and Work

Today's temperature in south east Ontario is...
-27C (-16.6F) feels like temp of
-33C (-27.8F).

Yep, it's cold. I warmed up in a hot bath tub after work. My feet hurting from the cold. I worked all day from noon to 10:30pm. This is unusual for me.

I accomplished nothing at home

I had a disagreement with a co-worker. Trapped by the question "I want to ask you something but I don't want to offend you". I said "go for it".

The questions were not offensive.
But when I sad how I saw myself (as a Lakota married Mohawk, bit as a Canadian or American- since my Nation lived in SD) and was then told I was wrong, I that offended me. Sorry but I do not have to see myself according to the wishes of others. This is my Nation, an no amount of colonial attitude can tell me otherwise.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011


Today my friend Christina and I, along with Indy and her little nephew built a set of pre-fab shelving units for the schoolroom in our new house. We then unpacked school stuff and put them away. Some was set aside, the books I use most when writing curriculum will go with the computer desk. There is still lots of space for toys as well. After this pic u re-organized some more when I realized some of my containers fit underneath.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Indy's Lego

We are busy again today. The old washer died the other day and the dry is not so efficient. So DH and SW are bringing them up from the basement. A scrapper is coming soon to take them. In the meantime we have gathered laundry to take to the laundry mat, got school work printed (I have hopes)

and Indy is playing Lego. He likes making planes. His Lego creations are getting more and more identifiable. The little Legos are at the new house. He is however just as happy with the big ones.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Full Moon Ceremony, Midwinter Moon

It was a long day. Shoveling the driveway, the ceremony circle around the fire, a path from the house to the circle. I am thankful that Grandmother Earth and the winds brought warmer weather which did make the shoveling easier. Shopping for groceries and firewood. I am so thankful my Mother drive me for this. Cleaning the house. Again I am thankful, Ko-Ko was a big help. Baking and cooking.

I made more blueberry soup, blueberry cheesecake brownies, and for supper chicken broccoli braid. I got that recipe from all

I was exhausted on my feet by the time I sat down for supper. My bad knees and hips ached so bad. After supper we sat down at the fire for the circle and I just looked into the fire and it was so so beautiful. The flames were more lavender and blue then orange. Just looking at it was worth all the work. After the ceremony I took a pic of the fire (can't do that during). It doesn't show the colour so well but if it was beautiful.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011


We are at the new house. This is the first time the kids have been in it. They are thrilled. They can't believe how big it is. Murther can us adults ;)

We are not moved in. Just showing the kids, having supper. We will be bringing some stuff over each day till moving day.

My room

Grandma's room. We will be building her a Granny suit an then this will be the sewing room

Dinning room

Living room view a

View b

School room. I couldn't fit it all in :) isn't it amazing

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It's Top Ten Tuesdays. Click the link, and join in!

In the last three days we have tossed our house into a dumpster...well some of it. We are getting rid of the junk we don't need. Here is the lis that has been inspired by these last few days. I call it...

Top Ten Things You Do AND Don't Need

1. You really Do need a dumpster to move and de-clutter

2. You Don't need 4 packs of 25 fit telephone cord when you own cordless phones. I convinced people we didn't need 8 packs. 4 was the compromise.

3. You Do need to organize as you go. It means you can still live in your house and it will make moving day easier

4. You Don't need unlabeled VHS tapes...we don't even have a VCR player so what good are tapes? Grandma Claus insists however.

5. You Do need duct tape. Obviously cuz you need that for everything in life :)

6. You Don't need multiple boxes of files from when a parent went to university...I am sure the info isn't even relevant any more.

7. You Do need markers for labeling.

8. You Don't need ten yr old styrofoam plates from the dollar store...who packed these?!

9. You Do need to get all your laundry done. We will be making a laundry mat trip.

10. You Don't need your husband in charge of packing :) Better let him toss and do the heavy lifting.

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Monday, January 17, 2011


There is nothing like wajopi (blueberry soup) on a cold winter day!

It is -27C today. It is cold. I wish we were moved today. We take possession today but we do nit move for a week and a half.

So today us a perfect day for some traditional Lakota wajopi and bannock. Doesn't it look yummy?

We put on a soup pot of water. Dump in a large bag of blueberries. A couple cups of sugar an boil and reduce until a deep purple on your spoon. It should taste like blueberries. If it tastes watery you are not done.

Serve in a bowl with bannock on the side or over vanilla ice-cream.

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Sunday, January 16, 2011


Tomorrow is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I have a number of worksheets ready to do with the kids. Since we are very busy tomorrow we will do these later in the week. But I thought I'd share incase anyone was interested.

I found great FREE printable at there are many out there is you google it.
MLK worksheets / biography/ speech analysis - (I put this together from 2 or 3 different things I found. Unfortunately I can not find my original links :( but this is what I have.)
MLK picture time line
MLK coloring page
MLK crossword
MLK draw & write
MLK craft, peace dove and for this you need the dove template
After this we will do a similar study of Rosa parks, and then more briefly cover some other African Americans in history.

Some other places with printables.
Activity village

Saturday, January 15, 2011


We all have our own phrases. Sometimes we don't know where they cone from. I always tell the kids to "pick up the floor" meaning to pick everything up off the floor. I don't know why I say it this way. The kids always make a comment about it.

Today we are clearing out the house. We have a dumpster. There us lots of floor to pick up :)

SW walked into the living room and says "Mom, I finally picked up the floor.". :)

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Thursday, January 13, 2011


I have always had an issue about time and schedules. Straying from it by others sometimes makes me scream. I have been on an endless search to find a solution.

I tried getting everyone up later so they would have more sleep and push the schedule back...didn't work, they were slower.

I tried getting everyone up earlier so they would have more time to get ready...they were slower still.

I tried no morning schedule. Our afternoons fell apart because some concentrate better in the morning. Mostly Ko--Ko. I wondered if this has to do with the ADD, but not sure.

I tried different schedules.

It happened out of no where!

My new cleaning schedule means we get to school work later. I am so into the joy of cleaning i just go with it :) And in the process I have stopped yelling in the mornings.

Cleaning; No, Enjoying cleaning has made me a happier person! It has made me a Mom who screams less. I was raised by a screamer and it is a hard habit to break. One I have been working on, failing at and crying over for, well 14 years I guess. I have yelled, on that really bad day, and during an all out kid fight. But I have not started my day with my children like a screaming tyrant.

Could cleaning be the answer to everything? Who knows, I guess I will find out. I have been working on a new cleaning schedule with the kids. I decided that since cleaning one room bit by bit worked so well for me, I will do the same with them. They each have a room. I lend a helping hand where needed...mostly in the living room as it gets the daily, on going living mess added to it. And I am keeping up my kitchen. It takes me about 20 minutes to clean my kitchen. The. Whole. Kitchen. Even under the microwave, yes everyday. Two of them today showed me what they were most proud of, and that is the ticket. I want them to be proud of their cleaning. The pics today are Ko-Ko's and SW's proud spots. :)

I can't wait till we move. We will have a start in clean and just do our new daily up-keep. I have got to get the rest of the family on board. I am working on a plan for that.

Tonight Ko-Ko has gymnastics, after that I am going to go enjoy a movie. I hope you all have great days and find what makes you happy inside. I have got to tell my friend Marie. I used to tease her about her perfect house (in fun, I always told her that really I was just jealous), now I get it, she enjoyed keeping her house like that and it is way for fun doing up keep cleaning then it is cleaning and scrubbing the weekly mess.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Today we got up early. 7am. We don't do that anymore except a special occasion. I consider a full nights sleep one of the many benefits of homeschooling.

The night before I had the kids get out the clothes they would wear. I informed them they would wear sweats and snow pants, and boats, and hats, mitts, scarves (or dickies), and 2 pairs of socks. I also made sure socks got washed....lots of them.

The morning went surprisingly well and we left on time. Woo Hoo. Good thing to cuz the roads were awful, not so bad there were cancellations, but still bad. Indy stayed with DH; a feels like of -17C (1.4F) is not weather I wanted to be dragging him through fresh snow in for 1 1/2 hours.
We arrived, and met up with friends from our homeschool group. The group was 12-2 yr olds today. We started with a puppet show and an introduction to signs of animals (scat, chews, and prints, they left out homes, but remembered it later in the woods).

We played a short game of scat bingo. Ko-Ko and SW won. Then in groups we were given two suspect card and a card showing prints and scat from various animals. we matched up our suspect cards and discovered we had a beaver and a weasel. Next was to determine what "crime" happened between these too. Don't like the idea of the circle of life as a crime but I get that it was a game to pull in the older kids (it worked in that regard, so that is good with me). The weasel of course can take down the beaver. This may surprise some but the whole weasel family are very skilled predators able to take on larger animals.

We then headed out. we played a deer and coyote game. It was cute, like 'mother, may I' but the deer are in the center, with coyote advancing in. Ko-Ko was last deer standing. This and the bingo pulled her out of an earlier funk. Yeah.

The walk was gentle with stops. I was glad. Hiking through trees I am allergic too is not necessarily good for my asthma :) We went off the trail and looked for signs. Prints were covered as was scat due to the on going snow fall. We did see a borrow hole from an animal. It was being filled in so hard to tell how big it was originally. We stopped and fed some chickadees. I got video of this. I am waiting for the go from other Moms to post the video. I will add it then.

Later we looked for pods holding larvae. The kids saw all three types, elliptical, globe and bunch. I didn't see the elliptical. We also saw one holding a praying mantis.

The kids broke into family groups here and were given counters to count pods. My kids found 67. They were the over all oldest family though, with no little one to slowdown for (every other family had little ones).

We all left in a good mood munching on Indian tarts. To make Indian tarts, make some bannock dough. Flatten into rounds. Place glob of jam (or maple syrup) in the center, not to much or it will spill out sides and they won't pinch together. Gather up edges and pinch together. Deep fry and toss in a bag of icing sugar.