The View Around Here ~ The Week in Photos

Things are coming along well with the house getting mostly finished so we can finish moving in. Here's some of our week, in photos.

Damien has been building beds for the girls. In the course of our move we gave away the girls' old beds because we thought they were ugly (though solid wood and very useful). Our plan was to someday construct pieces of furniture that looked nice and worked better in smaller living spaces.

You know the oft-quoted words of William Morris, "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."  - that's what we're working towards. We want kid's beds that are low profile, that will easily fit in loft spaces, are aesthetically pleasing, and have adequate underbed storage space.

We took advantage of having easy access to an amazing array of wood working tools (while our friend works on the house) and decided this was the week for that project. Those will be done by early next week. Yes, more pics to follow and perhaps plans.

Céline is back at the sewing machine, and this feels like home.

We didn't take the sewing machine to Montréal and it's nice to have it available again. You see that doll laid out on the corner of the table in the photo below? That's a doll commission Céline is working on. A project that was put on hold for awhile during our packing, her birthday trip and our month in Montréal

Taking time out of the busy-ness to chill with a documentary - streaming via satellite. I am so thankful the internet works as we had hoped it would! 

No coffee table? A plastic tub will work just fine, thank you very much. And notice - the blue tarp is down so instead you see the lovely birch leaves. I do love this view. 

More sewing, and look - deck rails!

The cooking, eating, dishwashing (we don't do much take out and paper plates, even when we move), crafting, living, and pretend-play "set ups" stops for nothing.

As a fine layer of sawdust settles over everything in the house the kids are unfazed - of course. This day was a rolicking boat ride on a stormy ocean sea. (Kids working out in their play how I feel about life right now?)

That shirt in the upper left - that's laundry hanging from a metal rod in the ceiling. I have no idea why that rod is there, but it comes in handy since we once again, are living without a clothes dryer

Look here! A project done. The deck completed. My tomatoes have had a rough time of it and are the scrawniest looking container tomatoes you've ever seen but they are starting to produce fruit. They are tenacious. 

You'll notice a gravely yard and blue tarp in the background. Because a new sewer and well had to be dug there is no "yard" after all that digging. Just leveled rocks and dirt. Lots of rocks, this is a mountainside. You won't be seeing gardening photos anytime soon, though I did get the compost bin set up this week.

The outside is a construction zone with wood, plywood, metal sheeting, scaffolding, tarps, and refuse scattered about. Which is why I'm not sharing many outdoor photos. 

It's not all work around here! You see the "mountain" hump in the deck photo? Well, between our chalet and that mountain lies a gorgeous river. This river:

It's a salmon fishing river and there are certain restrictions about where you can swim. I'm learning those as we go. This particular spot, just down the hill from our house, is "officially" closed to swimming, or so I'm told. We'll see.

There are other places along the river to go. Many access points but this one is the most beautiful we've found so far. 

And that's the week. A lot of project work, some homeschool "studies" (reading in the hammock and other activities not pictured), a lot of cooking and eating (not pictured), and lots of playing outdoors for the kids. 

Next week we'll set up the girls' new beds and organize their room. Laurent will get his own small basement room in August - it's time to separate the boy from the girls.

The room you see Damien working in (in the first photo) will be emptied so we can move all our boxes out of the trailer so we can sell it. Hopefully we'll have more river play and swimming next week and maybe even finish an e-book

Happy Weekending!

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  • Nicole

    Nicole on July 13, 2012, 3:09 p.m.

    Nice! Love the photos! I got a chuckle out of the kids around the computer: we don't have tv, haven't for years, and that is "weird" around these parts in California. The lady who cuts my hair simply cannot believe that my family of 4 sits around a laptop when we feel like streaming a movie or putting a DVD in. She said, "that would never fly in my house." Well, it flies just fine with us, but it is kind of funny seeing a photo of what it looks like to huddle around the screen! Thanks for sharing your life with someone across the continent!

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  • Nicki

    Nicki on July 13, 2012, 4:56 p.m.

    WOW! What an awesome space to live in, those views, those trees, that river. I'm quite envious but so happy for you.

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  • JenP

    JenP on July 13, 2012, 6:47 p.m.

    You would have a hard time prying me out of that hammock by the river...what an amazing place to call home! Thanks for sharing a little slice of your life with us.

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  • Charmaine

    Charmaine on July 13, 2012, 9:27 p.m.

    Aaaaah lovely! So jealous of the river. And the hammock. Bliss.

    I live in the city but sometimes think how lovely it would be to live somewhere like you do. But whenever I venture out of the (small) city I live in, every biting insect in a 10-mile radius descends upon me, quickly making me grateful for my city life! :)

    Still, you make it seem so beautiful, and I'm sure it is.

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    • renee

      renee on July 13, 2012, 9:35 p.m.

      It's interesting... we were expecting a lot more insects here and I think normally there is (we have to install special, very tightly woven screen on the windows to prevent the little no-see-ums from getting in) but it's been dry here for 2 weeks and that keeps the bugs down.  You are right though, there are bugs in the woods and that is part of the reality. You should see our legs! Actually, no, you shouldn't!

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  • Rana

    Rana on July 14, 2012, 12:15 a.m.

    Those pesky no-see-ums are evil. Talk about an annoying insect. I love all the photos. That river is beautiful. I bet you can't help but breath deep when you go down there to sit and relax. I know I would. I'm so happy for you all. Enjoy it Renee!

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  • Emily

    Emily on July 14, 2012, 4:45 a.m.

    Your blog has been inspiring to me lately, as we are just considering a move to a small (750 square foot) cabin in the woods, with young children. I wonder how far you are from civilization? We would only be about twenty minutes from town, but there are not a lot of other kids there, which worries me as the kids get older.

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    • Michelle

      Michelle on July 14, 2012, 11:50 a.m.

      You could live in a wonderful suburban neighborhood without a lot of kids too. Or you could move next door to your child's best friend then circumstances change unpredictably in their lives and they have to move.

      I always say that siblings make the best playmates and Renee's blog demonstrates that well.

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      • renee

        renee on July 14, 2012, 12:24 p.m.

        Wow, thanks Michelle for that endorsement. It's true in our case that siblings are the best playmates. We used to live in town and have only recently moved to the woods (in the past year). With younger chilldren we only visited with friends once every couple weeks - and we drove to meet them. This kind of arrangement seems totally doable with a 20 minute drive to town you mention. FYI - we are currently 15 minutes from town, but it get's "rural" quick on our road. So although we live in the beautiful mountains we're close to town, which I like.  I have never had a home where a flock of neighborhood children are hanging out with us and vice versa (my kids hanging out at the neighbors). Not because I didn't want that type of friendship for my children (though I am very protective of my young children, they didn't play at people's homes who I didn't know and trust - too risky), it just didn't work that way where we lived. This raises a deeper issue I have wanted to write about for some time. There are many, many ways to "do" family life. Friends for your children, at a young age, need not be a primary concern in your decision making. Making a home of joy, love, understanding, respect, and friendship (with family) is more important.  When your children are young is the perfect time to make big changes in your life. I wrote about that here. This reality will become their normal and it's much easier to establish habits than change them.  I think our culture places too much emphasis on the "socialization" of young children. Young children need friends don't they? Not so much, if you ask my opinion. Unless of course they are on only child in which case they probably need more friends so mom doesn't have to be playmate all the time.  I'm working on a homeschooling socialization piece right now because we get so many  "you're kids are so well adjusted" and "they get along so well!" (people find this surprising for being unsocialized homeschoolers maybe?) comments from people (in real life). I want to write this not as a "my family is the example" but "there is another way".  I will say, it does get trickier for friendship as kids get older. Good friends for Celine, and her siblings as they grow, is a primary concern for me in these coming years. I pray a lot about it. This is one reason we wanted to make our big move when we did, the longer we would have waited the harder it would have been for our kids as they became more attached to friends. Because we value you this for our young adults we are willing to drive and make other sacrifices in our time to help them connect with friends. But that's the stage we're at and I don't think younger children need that. So, that's a very long comment to say - you do what you feel is best for your family - as a whole. A happy family grows happy kids. 

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        • Lori

          Lori on July 16, 2012, 11:31 p.m.

          This is a topic that I have wanted to talk to you about, Renee, and I do plan to use your homeschool coaching soon. What a great service! I think that people who have access to neighborhood playmates cannot imagine it any other way, and I get the impression they might even feel sorry for us for being so dependent on our own family for friendship and "socialization". I have always been keenly aware that you can't have it all. When you choose one path you give up another. The flock of neighborhood kids is great, but my quiet family life is great too. One is not better, just different. Our family does live in a suburban neighborhood, but we are so secluded from the rest of the neighborhood that we feel and live like we are in a cabin in the woods. And we are still 15 minutes from "town"! I think anyone who wants to move to the woods should go for it! I think part of the key is how much you enjoy being at home, which we do. I have a cousin who says she would be so lonely without daily interaction with others, and I get that too. I am a homebody, however (who loves to get out and travel too), and I love my home base in "the woods". We also made our big change when the kids were young. I agree that helps.

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  • Susan

    Susan on July 14, 2012, 1:59 p.m.

    I had to laugh when you talked about your tomatoes . Mine sit outside our kitchen window . They would win the prize for the worst looking . Next year I planned to study about gardening . We are gratefull for the farmers who grow our food.

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  • Cinnamon

    Cinnamon on July 15, 2012, 5:37 a.m.

    I am enjoying following your move, settling in and organizing. Such a beautiful area. Of course there is beauty everywhere you just have to find it. But there, where you are, it's jumping out at you everywhere you look. The mountains, the river, the lovely trees!!

    How nice it will be to have the beds done and kids moved in to their own space. We all need a bit of that don't we?!

    Breathe deeply and enjoy -

    ~Cinnamon

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