For “About Joy”, please click here.
This section is about our FAMILY and what we have learned from them.
Because of the nature of this business in writing curriculum that is very family-oriented, we thought you’d like to know something about our family background…
I (Joy) was homeschooled by my mom for kindergarten, back in the day when homeschoolers were very rare or non-existent in our geographical area. My mom had been a highly-gifted teacher in one-room schoolhouses and town classes and simply wanted to take the opportunity to teach her own children (my older sister and I) how to read and begin our formal education. She had also trained teachers and was sort of a specialist in literacy and loved art and drawing. My dad had also been a teacher in his early career days, a couple of his favourite subjects being Canadian history and geography. Later on, both of them returned to the public system as supply teachers in several schools, with my mom being called in for elementary teachers and my dad working in both elementary and secondary levels. Occasionally, my dad also supply taught in my high school classes and that was fun too. Throughout my education, my parents were very much involved and my teachers appreciated much of that. Both Mom and Dad were also Sunday School teachers and leaders in ministry settings for most of their lives, designing quite a bit of the lesson material themselves. And my sister and I grew up singing together, playing a variety of musical instruments, and doing puppet stories for all ages – young children to seniors in nursing homes.
We moved to live next door to my maternal grandparents in the Lake Huron/Georgian Bay area of Ontario after I finished grade 1. They had a small farm with a variety of animals that we helped to care for. My grandma had wanted to become a teacher but had to help at home with a disabled father after grade 8 until shortly before her marriage. She was well-admired baker for church and family events and remained very keen on anything she could learn including (minor) construction skills, advanced sewing and quilting, politics, history, herbs and so on. My grandpa was also a self-taught student of lifelong learning. He only finished a grade 6 education but earned a very likeable reputation that put him as chairman of the school district for a number of terms, despite his level of formal schooling. In their younger years before I was around, Grandma and Grandpa had helped to begin an evangelical church in our small community too. Grandpa was also a Sunday School (adult class) teacher for many years and their other daughter was a leader in developing VBS programs and other children’s ministries. My paternal grandparents immigrated as Russian Mennonites before meeting each other. They raised their family on a Niagara fruit farm and were active in their church with teaching Sunday School and quilt-making. Both sets of grandparents were strong believers and fervent prayer-ers. Also among by my extended family are other teachers, a principal, children’s ministry leaders, an artist, and musicians. It is a blessing to have this heritage of Christian faith and of creative education. I am thankful for my family’s impact on my life and will try to share some of what I’ve learned over the years from them in these webpages.
Now, I will introduce to you, the next generation… our “garden” of blessings!
Rather than publishing their real names, they helped to choose their own webnames. These kids are very important in previewing curriculum, storybooks, and other materials, coming from a real and authentic child or teen-perspective!!! They let me know (in a very honest manner) what they like, what they don’t like, and even help to improve a few publications by joining me in its design. 🙂 And yes, those are THEIR toes pictured on the top of your page – they loved posing for that!)
So, meet Weigela (our oldest), Petunia (girl), Bachelor Button (B.B.) (boy), and Hollyhock (girl) and read about how they have helped our “Peppermint Stick” style to grow here.
Then, meet Tulip (boy), Dandelion (boy), and Sunflower (boy) and read a bit about what they’ve impressed on us here. Sweet Pea (girl) is our littlest, a 2016 surprise.
The rest of the webnames are the Elderberries (my parents who came to live with us for a few years until they moved into a seniors’ residence, mentioned above), Poppy (Daddy—Rob, mentioned below), and Peppy (Joy). My “Peppy” web name based on my former MBC (Muskoka Bible Centre, years ago) children’s ministry youth staff nickname because I liked peppermint candies!
Rob also grew up next to his grandparent’s farm in Southern Ontario. He received his business administration degree with a math minor from Wilfrid Laurier University. Rob helped profs/teachers there as well as in his previous schooling as one of the top students. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CGA) and works as a senior audit specialist/manager in the Muskoka District.
Joy and Rob were married in 1998 in Waterloo, ON. They happily returned to real “country living” when they had very young children. “Poppy’s” interests include baseball, biking, math, chocolate, reading, photography, homemade bread, and times at home with his wife and children. He does a lot of hammering and sawing, moving dirt, and doing the dishes, among other home skills.
For “Peppermint Stick”, Rob looks after most of the bookkeeping aspects, occasionally edits, previews a lot of resources (especially those for teen/adult literature studies and math resources for middle elementary to gr. 12), and moves lots of boxes of books around!
The best word I (Joy) can think of right now to describe him is “faithful” – Faithful to God and His Word, even in challenging times, faithful to his family, faithful in prayer and testimony, faithful in the tasks facing him.