Sweet Bella Vita

a dash of motherhood… a sprinkle of homeschooling… and a pinch of photography ( with a side of compassion )

July 10, 2016
by LisaA
0 comments

If you don’t have a dog…

this is an excellent quote !

“If you don’t have a dog–at least one–there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life.”    ~Vincent Van Gogh

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For  all of us who have lost a special pup … they will always hold a special part of our heart .
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Day 4 today … I will eventually stop counting the days that go by without Bianca in it.
I was and still am so sad that I didn’t notice that my son is really struggling with this loss as well.
If anyone has any advice please message me , thanks!
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~Lisa

July 10, 2016
by LisaA
0 comments

if you live your life waiting for the storm; you will never appreciate the sunshine

 

One of my kids wants another golden and wants to name her Bianca and I told him right away that won’t be happening. There was only one Bianca and she is gone and we must accept that she is not replaceable. I think  this is his way of dealing with the loss that he wants to fill… as I know he misses her very much.

I am no where close to wanting another dog at the moment. I have lost 3 in the last 9 years. My heart feels completly broken and with each one they have taken a piece of my heart with them. 

And Bianca in particular has taken a very large piece;  perhaps becuase she was the last of the trio;  perhaps becuase she lived the longest or becuase she was so attached to me and I to her. I found comfort in her so many times and even after the death of her sister … we found comfort in each other.

I can’t take the pain; yet I keep thinking how privileged I am to feel this pain. How many can say they loved so deeply ? how many can say they were loved so deeply ?

She loved me. I know she did becuase it was in her eyes… and I felt it deep in my heart.

I sit here crying.

I sit here thinking how can I go on without her… I don’t want to live a life without her in it… yet I remember feeling this way when my parents died as well… how does one pick up and go on? 

I have done it before; yet I can’t tell you how. Somehow it happens … the tears dry up and life goes on. 

I hate the house feeling so empty. Yes we have Jazz at the moment. She is with us for about another 7 months.  I think 1 of my kids will take it very hard when she goes as he is completly attached to her. 

Although  I had to send her away for a few days as I could’t take her. She was making me mad… and it was’t her fault … so I felt it was better she goes away for a bit. The fact that she is so young and healthy I think was making me feel mad… and that she is here and Bianca is not.

One of my favourite quotes … “if you live your life waiting for the storm you will never appreciate the sunshine”

and yes; If I live worrying about loss what kind of life am I living?

I loved her … for 13 + years she gave me so much happiness and love … would I give that up just avoid this pain?? … just to  avoid feeling such sadness… right now that I am crying my eyes out I want to say yes but I know I wouldn’t. I would not change a thing about having her in my life!

I feel like I could go on writing about her forever…  like maybe if I keep writing about her she will somehow come back. 

Puppies are cute and cuddly … but there is a certain kind of something that comes with an old dog that has  been by your side her whole life … a certain kind of familiarity … a certain kind of companionship.

I am trying to work on a video of Bianca as I did one for her sister … but I am having a much harder time … as Bianca lay  by my feet while I worked on her sisters’ video and I spoke to Bianca and cried with her as I did this  …. and now I find myself alone looking at pictures of Bianca. 

but I will get there soon. 

a friend gave me this quote and it struck a cord with me 

“It came to me that every time I lose a dog it takes a piece of my heart… And every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of theirs. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are.”–Unknown

and this brings me to 72 hours with her gone. 

thank you to all the wonderful friends who have messaged me such sweet messages… I am overwhelmed with the amount of love. 

~Lisa

July 8, 2016
by LisaA
0 comments

goodbye sweet Bianca

I am devastated.

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I can’t sleep.

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I can’t eat.

all I want is to have you here with me. I want to touch your soft ears. see your smile.

my heart is broken.

you are gone.

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you were here and now you are not… and I can not grasp how this is possible after 13 and 1/2 years.

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you have been my everything, for as long as I can remember. my rock when your sister died on us. my shadow around the house. my best friend. my companion on walks. the last one I saw before I fell asleep and the first one I saw when I opened my eyes.

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you were always by my side, even when in so much pain you chose to come up the stairs just to be close to me rather then stay where it was cooler and more comfortable for you.

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your love for me and us was greater then the pain you were going through.

always by my side.

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you always had a smile on your face. I am so happy you chose us. I am so grateful for all the years you gave us. so grateful for how you looked after the kids; with your gentle stare and the love in your eyes.

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I want to say be free … run … find your sister ( give her a hug for me) . Take those breaths that were so hard to take the last few days. stretch those legs that no longer supported you. but i greedily still wish you were here with me.

but I hope you are no longer in pain.

I think you were scared to leave me at least that is what I felt from you the last few days … and I was scared for you to leave as well… but know that you are in my heart; you will always be in it.

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Thank you for choosing us as your family. Thank you for giving us 13 years of love. Thank you !!!

Rest in Peace
Bianca

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February 9th 2003 – July 6th 2016
my sweet, always smiling, gentle love

i am devastated … i know this will pass… I have loved and lost so many that i sadly know this pain too well… i am so sad she is gone… so sad and yet i hope she is no longer in pain … i was lucky to have her for 4,896 days and i feel privileged as only a few get to experience this kind of love.

~So I wish you all this kind of pain one day for it shall mean you loved!

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~Lisa

May 4, 2016
by LisaA
0 comments

conference chat ~ living organically

If I were asked to give a conference chat; my topic would be living organically.
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How does this tie into homeschooling  you may ask ,
well I like that my kids are learning to eat healthy foods and take care of themselves and the environment.
I think the number one thing we can show our children is how to live as naturally, simply and organically as possible!
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By that, I mean everything from cleaning products to the food we eat … from the clothes we wear to the products we use on our bodies and even the chemicals in and outside our homes.
Every purchase we make has an impact … and every dollar we spend leaves a message.
What kind of  message do you want to leave?
What kind of message do you want your kids to take on from your actions?
I want to support our local organic farmers.
I want to support natural healthy sustainable products.
I want people growing and making these items to be healthy and not have to worry about their own health just to make some money and I want them to be fairly compensated for their work 🙂
I want natural clothing that doesn’t contain toxic chemicals.
I love that…
  • my kids can tell you all about GMOs and organic food.
  • that they know how to read the labels.
  • that my kids are learning about protecting the environment and that if they spill something they reach for vinegar to pick up the mess.
  • that my kids tell me about stuff that isn’t healthy and what is healthy.
  • that they know what the fair trade label means.
  • we sell or recycle stuff we don’t use or need; to live as simply as we can.
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So thanks for joining me on this virtual conference….
I hope I have inspired you to question everything  and show your kids to do the same to live as naturally as you can 🙂
~Lisa

February 24, 2016
by LisaA
1 Comment

art

I have 2 kids that love to create art, and I mostly just supply material and let them do whatever they want. I do sometimes initiate a project; but I like it more when they come up with their own creative stuff.

My 8 year old loves to make his own comic books … and he makes pop up art, kind of like 3D.

This was a really easy and neat paper bag creation …

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I also love taking them to art workshops where they work on a project. 

This was our most recent one …

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Also check out my fellow Canadian homeschool bloggers and their posts on Art here!

~Lisa

January 27, 2016
by LisaA
2 Comments

organization

We are back this year with the monthly Canadian homeschool blog post … to kick start the year let’s talk about organization!

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One of my favourite things to do! 

I love the feeling of purging and getting everything cleaned up; as it is so rewarding. 

My husband thinks I am a little crazy with my system but I like my system as it works really well for me … I basically make a huge disaster by dumping everything out and then have no choice but to go through it all.

but there is order to my chaos

I have 4 categories 

  • throw / recycle 
  • give away 
  • sell 
  • and keep 

the keep gets organized on the shelf in my homeschool room.

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My kids sometimes have a hard time selling stuff but what encourages them is getting the money from the sale. 

There is  a great app that you can use locally called varagesale … and it is awesome because you can sell small things like baby pjs on it or all those toys that start to pile up … and it quickly adds up … I have sold probably over 300 items so far on it.

I encourage you to declutter your homes and rooms … it is so much less to tidy up and you really don’t need all that stuff; trust me !

Another neat thing I love to do is switch things up. I move the furniture around … and even switch rooms … it always feels so refreshing when I do that !

These are a few before and after photos of when I redid a room and switched it around … I moved my homeschool to another room and made my family room a simple quite calming reading room 🙂 I also purged a lot of the stuff on the shelves when I did this.

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a few other tips …

  • get a new shelf or storage system that can hold all your stuff neatly.
  • don’t impulse buy … ask yourself if you really need that item
  • give the room a fresh coat of non toxic paint 
  • but again… the best thing to do is get rid of the stuff you don’t use!

So get to it!

and if you want post a before and after picture on instagram with the hashtag #homeschoolOrganization to showoff all your hard work please do 🙂

~Lisa

Also check out my fellow Canadian homeschool bloggers and their posts on Organization here!

December 20, 2015
by LisaA
0 comments

8 year old finished processing santa

So a few hours went by after blowing the lid on the whole santa thing … and my 8 year old is in front of me and brings up santa. I look at him unsure about what to say as I wasn’t sure if he wanted me to tell him again as he perhaps wasn’t sure he understood what I had said earlier or he wanted to pretend he does exist and go with that. I asked him “do you want the truth or do you want me to tell you something you want to hear?”

And he hesitated and his first answer was “both”, Which made me sad for a second but then he quickly said “I want the truth.”

So I still felt a little down as I felt like I killed it for him but then I remembered a letter I had saved several years ago that was written  by another blogger and I went to get it and used parts of it to help explain.

He asked me for clarity; if I am santa….

I said “no. I am not Santa. There is no ONE Santa.”

“I am the person who fills your stocking and I wrap your gift under the tree with dad’s help.”

“I imagine you will someday do this for your children, and I know you will love seeing them run down the stairs on Christmas morning and sit under the tree with their faces lit with Christmas lights.”

“This won’t make you Santa, though either.”

“Santa is bigger than any person, and his work has gone on longer than any of us have lived. What he does is simple, but it is powerful. He teaches children how to have belief in something they can’t see or touch.”

“It’s a big job, and it’s an important one. Throughout your life, you will need this to believe: in yourself, in your friends, in your talents and in your family. You’ll also need to believe in things you can’t measure or even hold in your hand. Here, I am talking about love, that great power that will light your life from the inside out, even during its darkest, coldest moments.”

“Santa is a teacher, and I have been his student, and now you know the secret of how he gets down all those chimneys on Christmas Eve: he has help from all the people whose hearts he’s filled with joy.”

“With full hearts, people like Daddy and me take our turns helping Santa do a job that would otherwise be impossible.”

“So, no. I am not Santa. Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness. I’m on his team, and now you are, too.” *

What really made him light up was when I told him he was santa too !

and it was in that moment that all the doubts and questions of ‘should I have said all of this’ disappeared  🙂

My 8 year old is so excited about the spirit of santa and thrilled that he knows about the magic… so perhaps I haven’t messed up after all 🙂

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~Lisa

*the letter I used can be found at this site; http://www.cozi.com/live-simply/truth-about-santa and I believe the original author is Martha Brockenbrough

update: a week has gone by since I told him and he seems more excited and happier then ever

December 14, 2015
by LisaA
0 comments

the day I told my kids about the Easter bunny and Santa

The day I told my kids the Easter bunny doesn’t exit or Santa for that matter and they didn’t loose it on me.

It’s been years in the making.

I fell into the Santa trap when my first was born. We got him toys and said they were from Santa, and I regretted it ever since. 

They never sat on any Santa lap and some years they didn’t even give Santa a letter so I really have no idea how they believed in him as I was never one to encourage it fully; besides wrapping ONE gift and placing it under the tree.  As I got smarter after the first year where I said ALL the gifts were from santa. I got only one gift from santa after that.

I am not sure what made me do it; as I didn’t grow up with any Santa. I don’t think it is a very Italian thing (there is ‘babbo natale’ ofcourse in Italy but the Italians have ‘la befana’ instead that is more popular; but she comes on January 6th) 

Anyways, every Christmas since that first Christmas (technically second as his first Christmas he was only 6 months old) I dreaded Christmas and hated  the whole Santa thing and it got worse once both my parents were gone as with no family it is a hard celebration. 

And so it’s been years I have been secretly hoping they would just realize; ‘yeah there is no Santa and it’s mom and dad’ and we would be done with it; But with each Christmas it felt like it was never going to happen. 

Then, causally over breakfast this morning, my kids started talking about the  Easter bunny (I have no idea how the topic came up)  And oddly enough  the easter bunny  has only come to our house  maybe a couple of times but for some reason they believe in it so much.

So I casually said with out even thinking really “there is no such thing as the Easter bunny!” 

And they looked at me and said “what” ?!? 

I was bracing myself for a melt down, but instead I got “I knew it!”  and a whole bunch of giggles from my 8 year old. 

Then my oldest said “1 down 4 to go!” So at that point I thought what 4? so he says Jack Frost (for some really odd reason ?!? And the sandman … Yeah I was as lost as you are)

So I say, “yeah those are not so real either, but then again,” I said,” I am not so sure if they are or aren’t.”

Then the conversation casually continued and then came Santa and I causally said “yeah santa isn’t real.” 

I gripped myself, expecting all hell to break loose and instead just got a “I knew it”  with lots of laughs from my 10 year old, while my 8 year old left the table as he needed time to process what I had just told him. and my 5 year old was completely not caring about what I was saying.

Everyone left the table and I was happy it ended there, as I knew the last one coming was the tooth fairy and well that was the only one I wasn’t quite ready to give up. 

So all is good in our home. 

Jack Frost and  the sandman may or may not be real. 

The Easter bunny is definitely a non existing thing and Santa well perhaps if my 8 year feels he is real then he really is real in his mind and heart.

As for the tooth fairy she is very excited for the next tooth she will collect 😉 

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And as for Santa I do believe he is real but he isn’t a ‘he’ but rather a spirit that is in all out us.

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In my next post I will tell you what happened to my 8 year old when he came to see me after processing everything.

~Lisa

December 10, 2015
by LisaA
0 comments

florence… gelato

What better treat to enjoy while walking around Florence then a gelato!

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I highly recommend a stop at ‘Edoardo gelato biologico’ (not only is it organic ice cream… but it has VEGAN options too!!!) it is near il duomo.

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and this concludes my Florence posts 🙂

if you missed the others find them here:

Florence, Piazzale MichelangeloPiazza della Signoria, Il Duomo

If you go I would love to hear what you liked and disliked about Florence :)

~Lisa

December 9, 2015
by LisaA
0 comments

Florence…il duomo

Please see my post on Florence here 🙂 and my 1st and 2nd top places to visit

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Lastly, you can’t go to Florence and not visit the famous “Il Duomo di Firenze” (Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore) … my kids were blown away with the size of it and the ceiling inside is incredible. The ceiling was painted between 1572 and 1579 by Giorgio Vasari and Frederico Zuccari. I could have stared at it for hours, the detail is magnificent!

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I tried to capture different angles of it … but it is so big … difficult to do !

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~Lisa