Since you have decided to visit this page, I'm assuming you are sincerely interested in knowing more about me or someone in my family: my husband, Mike; my son, Jonathan, or my daughter, Jennifer, so I will be fairly thorough. I won't bore you with too many details--indeed a lot of details would be better NOT enumerated here! I'm probably noted for wordiness in my printed material, so I shall have to work at being brief. Fortunately for you, I am far too busy to write much. If I described to you everything I am trying to do you would be astounded or maybe appalled.... So many ideas, so little time!
I (Connie) was born in Saskatchewan in 1949 and moved to British Columbia when my mother died, about the time I turned 6. My father bought a restaurant (which he gradually converted to a crafts store) near an army base and I was required to work there whenever I was not at school. Because I spent a lot of time in the kitchen, I learned to be a fairly decent cook. Because I spent so much time serving customers (sitting for hours doing homework in the back booth) my normally excellent grades gradually dropped until I was just a "normal" student by the time I reached grade 8 or 9. It was a noisy and smokey environment from which I yearned to be free, yet I learned much by watching people come and go. People are fascinating to watch!
In high school I took the academic-technical program because I wanted to go to university and learn to be a teacher, but needed to have marketable skills in case that didn't transpire. It didn't; the closest I ever got to university was working in the registrar's office at Trinity Western College (now University), where I was able to take a couple of English courses in the evening. Later on, as a parent, I took a correspondence course ("Writing for Children and Teenagers") offered by the Institute of Children's Literature in Connecticut. While I learned many excellent things through this course, probably the one I value and use most is the concept of tightening up the writing--getting rid of excess, redundant verbiage--so as to make what remains active and interesting. If you don't think I have kept these skills, it's probably because I haven't spent enough time on this article yet! It's a good thing I took the "technical courses" (typing and shorthand) because those were the skills that paid my rent! I didn't own a computer or acquire keyboarding and computer skills until I was married, and then I used them to type student papers for my husband's fellow students. It bought a few cartons of milk for the kids and kept them in diapers...
I did manage to get to Bible college in Vancouver (Burrard Inlet Bible Institute), from which I earned a Diploma in English Bible. During summer breaks I worked at the Esperanza mission station on Vancouver Island, as a cook. Those were some of the best years of my life, and I cried buckets when I had to leave.
After I had been working at TWC for a number of years I received an opportunity I could not pass up--a chance to help start up the Canadian office of a humanitarian aid organization called World Concern. This may be where I developed most of my innate organizational skills. Over the years before and since then I worked at places like Household Finance Corporation, Outreach Canada, the Canadian Cancer Society, a doctor's office, etc. (If you want to learn more about what I did at those jobs, check out my resume.) Of course, I did have a couple of the obligatory waitressing jobs!
While I was working at the Canadian Cancer Society in Vancouver and attending Richmond Tabernacle, I met Michael Lacelle at an older singles group called ACTS--shortly before he went off to Eastern Pentecostal Bible College in Peterborough, Ontario. Long story short, we married between his first and second years there and so I uprooted myself from everything familiar and started a new life in Ontario--where life was much different. For one thing, people talked so fast in Ontario that I learned to talk fast, too, so as to finish whatever I wanted to say before I got cut off (I'm still not very good at it). I became pregnant immediately and two years later had another child. That's when we made our decision to home school our children, despite knowing nothing about it beyond having read that someone was successfully teaching their children at home.
We used an inexpensive unit study program called "The Weaver Curriculum" during our first years of homeschooling. It did not include math or reading, so we used their "1-2-3 Read" and then the Bob Jones "Reading for Christian Schools" for one or two years and the Miquon math series (which is apparently now being published by Key Curriculum Press, publisher of the Key To...series), then the Professor B math series--all of which I thought were excellent! We were aiming to graduate to the Saxon math series after we had the fundamentals down, but never made it. We spent a lot of time at the Recreational Centre swimming pool and the library, searching for interesting and truthful books on the subjects covered in The Weaver--and regularly came home with basketsful! I needed a lot of those books because I wanted to provide Canadian content in place of the American content provided in The Weaver. This was my entrance into the fascinating world of home school product development and sales. You can learn more about this in my Home School Introduction. Occasionally we joined with a local homeschool group for special classes and fellowship, but for the most part were on our own--and the library was a great help. In order to better understand how the earth got to be the way it is, we bought an excellent curriculum from Answers in Genesis, called "It All Begins with Genesis" when the kids were a little older. Mike and I actually prepared a creation seminar for our church at about this time. Eventually my technology-surrounded kids required more technologically-oriented educational material, so we "graduated" to Switched on Schoolhouse.
In the latter years of actively homeschooling, JT and JJ used their computers for most of their schoolwork. This was especially helpful when I had to do a brief training stint at a telemarketing firm and could not be home during the school day. We used an eclectic blend of curriculum of which the computerized portion included SOS (Science and Language Arts), Rosetta Stone (French), and Typing Tutor (Jennifer must be able to type at least 80 wpm now). The computers were also used for doing entries in their journals every day (both kids started writing books and are still doing so), for doing research and typing various papers and reports, and, of course, for communication with friends. JJ, especially, is fond of Facebook! JT likes to experiment with computer programs and used his lifetime of computer experience as a pretty good sales associate at Mike's Source by Circuit City store while he had it as a joint venture. When Mike quit that and went back to corporate status, JT and I were both put out of a job since family members are not permitted to work together under corporate rules. After that, JT was hired on at another Source store.
We did have non-computer subjects in the latter years, too: Mike taught Professor B's Power Algebra (book 1) and the kids used Writing Strands for composition. They really liked it! And, of course, there was always the Rec Centre and Bible--in the Weaver Curriculum and then listening to the Bible being read online. Surprisingly enough, the computer and non-computer courses were easily transported when Mike and I went on a Mediterranean cruise he had won at Radio Shack and we had to leave the kids with (different) friends in September, 2004.
In 2013, Jonathan was 24 years old and Jennifer was about to turn 22. My earliest memories of "homeschooling" are of Jon sitting on my lap in front of our computer at the age of 2--learning the alphabet. Now I can't tear him away from his computer. I have lost count of the number of computers in our home now—Mike and Jon were heavy into upgrading, building and repairing them in their spare time, and Mike was in demand as the go-to guy when friends have problems!
When we got unlimited high-speed Internet access a few years ago I created my first website (Connie's Quick Computers) and Jenn began putting stuff up on a kid's hosted website and several subsequent websites! She has written a couple books and placed them online for sale, one of which is All Else Fades, about her recent trip to South Africa. The website you are now surfing is my second--and I built it properly, using HTML code and CSS rather than the Microsoft WORD word processing program that I used for the first website. Wow, what a difference! All of us hope to do more of these things--it’s really fun!
Both kids registered at public high school for grade 9, where Jon began pursuing a Media Arts Major and Jennifer began pursuing Drama. Then they went on to Cambrian College, where Jon did a one-year Chef's Training program and Jenn did a two-year Journalism program, with a 6-week apprenticeship at CJTK (the local Christian radio station). But for the first several years, we were a homeschooling family and I spent a lot of time creating home school products for them and for sale. Motherhood and homeschooling totally re-oriented my whole lifestyle and although we are not a "real" homeschooling family right now, I still consider myself part of the homeschooling community. A significant part of this website is devoted to home schooling and products that I have for sale. Please check out the Home School section, if you have not done so already! Read the Home School Introduction for more specific information on how we got started home schooling and creating home school products.
Speaking of The Source by Circuit City, Mike had his Joint Venture contract for a year and a half (June 1, 2005 to January 31, 2007). His store was just a couple of blocks from our home, so Mike, JT and I were able to walk to work if necessary--which is good, ‘cause the car was just about on its last wheels! Mike was then transferred back to the store he started with when we moved to Sudbury, not as a joint venture--but as the "general manager" for the city stores! In 2012, though, he was transferred back to the local store as assistant manager after a heart attack in 2010 made general managership too difficult. He is much more relaxed and happy now!
I worked full-time at the store as a sales associate but focussed as much as I could get away with on everything but sales (checking the weekly incoming order, pricing, merchandising, fixing, cleaning, etc.). Despite not really being into sales, I learned how to do it fairly decently. Then at home I did the payroll and bookkeeping. I was also trying to create multiple-strand income from home--including through an e-Bay store--but didn't have much time for it until February, when I was no longer employed. I closed down and then re-opened my e-Bay store, then closed it again; however, I hope to keep some items (such as my new PDF home education products) posted in the regular way from time to time. (You can search e-Bay for my items under the username "biddercon".) Please take some time to explore the Home School section of this website where you will find detailed information about the home school products I have created, and save a copy of my printable home education product brochure. I thoroughly enjoyed building this website!
I'm still writing Canadian and Creationist curriculum material when I can, and for a while had a column in the local Christian paper. Those articles are now in the Faith Matters section of this website. Currently I am studying the Hebrew roots of my faith, and getting quite an education! If you would like to find out how I began this journey (by learning to keep sabbath) visit the Hebrew Roots Introduction. In connection with those studies I have been making many new friends at Paltalk and, of course, you are welcome to join us there. Sometimes I feel very much like Noah, going against the tide of public opinion but needing to do so in obedience to the call of God on my life.
These days gardening, preserving the harvest, and general prepping takes precedence over most other activities. Even the kids get involved on occasion. (Don't tell them I told you, though; they claim to have no interest and think we're going overboard.) I've learned how to use a pressure canner, a dehydrator, a Food Saver, and a Vitamix. Still haven't got the hang of my pressure cooker, and I'm about to learn how to use a Saratoga Jack thermal cooker, sprout seeds for salads, and ferment vegetables for better health. I've learned how to can beef and chicken, and sprout wheat and make my own flour. I'm experimenting with different bread recipes--and as of January 2013 am exploring gluten-free cuisine. Phew, I'm so busy!
But sometimes we get to meet with likeminded friends. There aren't many of us yet, but we love getting together! In 2012, Mike and I even got to go down to Chandler, OK, for Sukkot with two of the couples in our group--and we met a new family to add! In 2013 we heard about more like-minded people in southern Ontario and began joining them annually for the Feast of Tabernacles (and sometimes other feasts). How awesome to have so many new friends more-or-less nearby!
When I have time I continue to work on educational projects. If you want to learn more about them, please visit the Home School section of this website. I spend most of the rest of my time studying the Hebrew Roots of my faith and learning ways to improve my family's health. A major project that I worked on for a few years is now available for sale. The Curriculum for Life is a curriculum I wrote for Drs. Jeff and Andrea Hazim of Full Stature Consulting. They had produced a video-based program called "Lessons for Healthy Living" and asked me to turn it into a curriculum. What a delight it was to work on such a balanced and educational approach to health!
In November, 2016, we finally moved out of town to what we hope will be our final home in a small village in Northern Ontario. The property is much smaller, so that means less lawn to take care of. However, it looks like we might be able to have about the same amount of garden space on it--well, that depends if we feel comfortable enough to maximize the front yard. The house is also much smaller, but by downsizing and getting rid of a lot of stuff and organizing things in new and/or unconventional ways, we're making it work. I especially like being able to see all of my food storage items without bending over to get into a crawl space or messing around in a crowded garage.
At the time of this update, the kids are still with us. Jon (28) pretty much has half the basement to himself and is working diligently on setting up the workshop section of it so he can work on computers for customers. Jenn went to the 2017 World Martial Arts Competition in Korea right after she turned 26 in June. In the fall she will return to school for a two-year "Protection, Security and Investigation" program. Here's a picture of the car we had to buy her so she can get back and forth, leaving our car for us!
Here are some pictures of the four of us at the Sudbury airport. Jon doesn't like having his picture taken; he doesn't understand "sentimentality." Jenn patiently waits for our picture-taking spree to end! And--finally! I managed to get a picture of the parents with the kids--well, one kid anyway! Jon refused to have Jenn take a picture of him with us, so I had to settle for these pics. Hope you like them.
Mike and I are organizing (along with another couple) a 2017 Feast of Tabernacles at a Christian campground about half an hour from our home. This will be our first time organizing a Sukkot and we hope that this location will become our annual site.
I imagine that a combination of these will be my major focus for the days I have remaining in this age, and look forward to discovering what the Creator has in store for me in His Kingdom!