Saturday, 27 September 2008


Looks like we're officially a pokémon household now...

The pancakes are trying to tell us something

...other than "you burned us!" Purely random occurrence:

Sunday, 21 September 2008


Car picnic (driveway)


"How Things Work" by Fergus:
1. Get angry
2. Break something (preferably by throwing it)
3. Check out the insides
4. See how things work
5. Attempt to put it back together again

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Ferg gets his Honky Tonk on for Lightning McQueen

The plan was to have a wee visual retrospective up and running in time for Fergus’ birthday last weekend but by the time the weekend rolled around, the half-built video required a bit more footage. Not a problem, I thought - we’ve still got gift-opening at home, a party with his main-man Quinton and celebrations with Grandma and Grandpa to document. And in the end, all that was achieved. But plans for the video (including, shockingly, more of Fergus bouncing on the trampoline!) got sidetracked significantly by “Fergus-and-the-case-of-the-Lightning-McQueen- piñata”.

Natural observers at heart, our kiddos have witnessed - from a safe vantage point - many a piñata beaten to a pulp at birthday parties and solstice celebrations alike. Oh sure, they’d get in on the mad-candy-scramble at the end but never have they partaken in the actual stick-wielding, carnage-creating bliss. So we got Fergus a “Cars” themed piñata (and thankfully Gillian and Mom told me you had to actually fill it yourself) and strung it up, only to find out that it was not a whac-a-mole type piñata but rather its gentler, tamer cousin, a ribbon-pull piñata. That made sense, we thought, as this way you get to still have the fun, release the candy, AND preserve that fine cardboard-n-paper, automotive craftsmanship.

Fergus-and-the-case-of-the-Lightning-McQueen- piñata featuring the music of Detektivbyrån (Honky Tonk Wermland)

Fergus said, after watching this video, “I love Lightning McQueen. But I don’t love Lightning McQueen”. A good thought for this day! You can sense his heartfelt, yet confused, adoration in every tortured swing, stomp and toss inflicted upon the defenceless (yet still smiling) beast.

Saturday, 13 September 2008



On the day he was born, Fergus laid in the middle of our big bed, quietly soaking up the September sun, and slept.
Still and quiet.
At peace with his journey into this world.

This confused us to no end. We were not prepared for this. What would we do? All we knew about babies, from our experience with Effie four years earlier, was that they screamed and needed us ALL. THE. TIME. Babies did not just lay there and go to sleep by themselves?

How exactly were we supposed to spend 24 hours a day by his side without him, gasp, actually needing us 24 hours a day?

On the day after he was born, Fergus did not lay in the middle of our big bed, he did not quietly soak up the September sun, and he did not sleep. Actually, from that day forward Fergus has wiggled, yelped, sneered, laughed uproariously and stormed his way through life with wild abandon.

What a relief! Thank you, our obstinate little Goose, for being you.
And Happy Birthday!

Friday, 12 September 2008

Doggone It, People Like Me

So the other evening I was flipping through some channels and came upon something that struck me as really odd. Now I realize that I have been away from the intelligence that is cable television for a few years but still, I was pretty sure that what I was witnessing was not right, even for a reality program. I think the show was called “America’s Next Star” or something (I dunno, I refuse to Google it). And there, standing all alone on this stage in front of a live audience, and - through the miracle of satellite - hundreds of Palin-supporters at home, was this little four year old girl with a microphone in her hand having recently finished singing or dancing or licking ice cream or something. And there she was. All by herself. Taking criticism from a panel of judges! I nearly fell out of bed (luckily the toys piled next to it propped me up). The first judge even spewed out some drivel about the girl being a Princess but not quite ready to be a Queen - to which I thought “what four year old girl wants to be a Queen anyway, they’re old and evil. Princesses is where it’s at”. But the girl just stood there listening to how although she had “won over America”, she didn’t quite have the chops to continue on in this illustrious program. Not a tear was shed. She just starred at the judges with these big eyes, nodding as if to say “yup, I’m not good enough… I shoulda tried harder” (somewhere, off camera, a parent was mouthing “suck it up girlie girl”). The second judge was Ozzy’s wife so she can be forgiven what with her fine pedigree and cool accent and all. But, when they showed the presenter to be Jerry Springer and the last judge to be that has-been Night Rider guy whose last starring role was on Youtube playing a shirtless, hamburger eating drunkard… BAM, it hit me. The whole thing was a prank. Ha! Those kooky SNL guys crack me up every time!!!

Four year olds! What a talented/ potty-trained/ stoic lot they are, eh! Today is the last day of Fergus’ stint at being a four year old. Phew! He can go back to head-butting walls, smashing up toys and peeing on the driveway without someone judging his every performance.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Beef in Wine Sauce

What the heckfire is this girl doing????

Peeling carrots of course...

This Wii thing has gone too far!

Mainlanders invade

We had a super visit with Grannie and Grandad over the weekend (Grandad's first trip back to the island since they abandoned us moved away last Spring).

And we had fun celebrating Grannie's birthday with a piratical theme.

Until, that is, Grannie got her gun out and started shootin the whole place up.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Updated Video

This version seems to work more consistently...

Life is Good Video - Youtube version

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Life is Good video

Three months later, here's a video for the May, 2008 Life is Good Unschooling Conference - starring the nine heads of Frank!
Interesting timing, given we're sadly missing the final Live and Learn Conference this week.

Life is Good 2008

Life is Good 2008 from mesmith on Vimeo.

(if the embedded version here isn't playing for you, try clicking on one of the hotlinked "Life is Good 2008" titles above or below it, they'll take you right to the source and should work fine)


Yesterday, on the day before not going back to school, Fergus celebrated by watching Scooby Doo all day. The rest of us spent the afternoon preparing for a photo shoot. All of this because Gillian had talked to a reporter for a good hour about unschooling and, under the threat of the newspaper sending out a freelance photographer, we decided we would just rustle up some pics we had taken ourselves. Only problem... the picture was supposed to show us doing something schooly in the woods and after a couple of hours scrolling through the archives we unearthed a lot of "playing" in the woods, but very little in the way of documented "learning". Darn uncooperative unschoolers! In the end, and after everyone put on clothing, we recreated the deer bone photo (this time with fewer pj's):

The article in question was a full page feature in the Vancouver Sun today on one professor's ideas of re-defining schools. His philosophy revolves around kids studying one topic (like dust - his example, not mine) for 12 years. Apparently, "interest is high"! Gillian was sought out as an alternate voice, though she feels she came off as "just a mom" who can not speak proper English in comparison with the erudite professor. But obviously the article was written for a certain purpose, and that purpose obviously had nothing to do with showing a lovely mother and daughter hovering over some bones in the woods and everything to do with an over-powering photo of a professor standing in front of a concrete jungle. Page hog!

Anyway, Gillian got a few words in. You can read the article here.