The Mercer Family Adventures

The adventures of Craig, Kana, Grace Yuki and Wyatt Haku Mercer in Canada and Japan.

Order Out Of Chaos has finally launched!

I am happy to announce that I have finally launched my Order Out Of Chaos site ( It’s  a platform for project management and methodology which is what fills my work days. I love what I do and want to share it with others.

The purpose of the site is to:

  • Allow me to speak candidly about my thoughts primarily on project/program/portfolio management, secondarily on benefits realization management, change management and process improvement.
  • Explore how the above disciplines can be layered together and their effectiveness multiplied through systems thinking.
  • Allow me to explore the nature of variation (aka waste) and what we might do about it on the macro (e.g.: project management) and micro (e.g.: process improvement) levels.
  • Allow me to share tools and templates that I have either used in real life or want too but have not had the chance yet (perhaps even becoming a resource for new and veteran project managers alike?).
  • Share my experiences with using Microsoft SharePoint for project delivery.

I started creating content for this site back in the summer of 2012. Can you believe it took me almost 3 years to launch it?!?! Time flies when you are having fun. :)

Fred Mercer has finished well.

fred-mercer-UN-peace-keeperFrederick Joseph Mercer
March 12th, 1940 – March 24th, 2013

In loving memory of Frederick Joseph Mercer who, after a gallant battle with  cancer, passed away with his loving family by his side.

Fred was born in the country of Newfoundland in the city of St. John’s.  In 1957 at the age of 17, he joined the Canadian Armed Forces to serve his country. He then spent the next 21 years primarily with the 1st Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, then the 3rd Battalion PPCLI.  Most of his career was spent as a member of the band, touring the world and captivating audiences with their performances.  As a ”Band Rat” one of the highlights was performing in the Edinburgh Military Tattoo of 1962. Ultimately, Fred achieved his career goal of becoming the Drum Major for the band. When he wasn’t performing he served in the Anti-Tank platoon. After his departure from the army he took a position with Loomis Armored Car, safely transporting all of your money in and around Victoria for 15 years.  Upon his retirement, Fred took up golf.  Not one to take things lightly he became very good and in short order, recorded the first ever hole in one at Cordova Bay “The Ridge” Golf Course on July 9th, 1999.

Although serving his country was very important to him, what Fred held dearest to his heart was his family. Together with his wife Janice, they devoted their lives to raising four very responsible and loving children.  The family bond instilled in their kids will be his ultimate legacy never to be forgotten.

When Fred was first diagnosed with this disease he chose to fight it on his own terms, with dignity and honour.  This courageous position allowed him and his family to live with this illness and support him every step of the way.  Fred definitely set the bar very high on how to leave this world.

Predeceased  by  his sister Lorraine, Fred is survived by his wife  Janice, children Kirk (Sherri), Craig (Kana), Tony (Nicole) and Janet;  his grandchildren Karsen, Rielyn, Grace, Wyatt, Kaila and Jordan; siblings Rita (Robert), Paul (Jenny), Ken (Diane), Deb (Michael); cousin Jeanette and many nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to express their gratitude to the nursing staff and volunteers of the Palliative Care Unit (PCU) at Saanich Peninsula Hospital along with Dr’s Winsby, Kennedy, Jovic and Marsh. In lieu of flowers, please give generously to the Palliative Care Unit at Please specify ‘other’ and enter ‘Palliative Care Unit’.

A celebration of life will be held on Friday, April 5th, 2013 from 1:30 – 4:00 pm at the Royal Canadian Legion, Trafalgar/Pro Patricia, 411 Gorge Road, Victoria BC

Home School Log 02-07-2013






まずは、Franklinシリーズ。カナダはマニトバ州出身のPaulette Bourgeoisという方の作品で、TVアニメにもなっている人気シリーズです。主人公の亀、Franklinが学校や家、コミュニティで起こる日常的な問題を通して様々なことを学んでいくといった内容で、わかりやすくやわらかい文章で綴られた物語の中に、きちんとした教えが含まれていて、私も大好きなシリーズです。


Hurry_Up_Franklin.jpgHurry Up, Franklin
Franklin Is Messy
Franklin Rides a Bike
Franklin Fibs
Franklin’s New Friend






次に、社会科の学習で使用した書籍では、Chester Raccoon and the Big Bad Bully (Audrey Penn著、Barbara L. Gibson画)をご紹介します。





最後に、”A Drop of Water” by Walter Wick。

Walter Wickはアメリカ出身の写真家で、”I Spy”シリーズで特に有名です。



Home School Log 01-30-2013










Home School Log 01-29-2013

先週、結晶にとって初めての”Show and Tell”がありました。”Show and Tell”とはつまり、プレゼンテーションの第一歩です。クラスメートの前で、ひとつのテーマについて話をするのです。小学校低学年の場合、自分の宝物や特に思い入れのあるもの、大切な人からもらったプレゼントなどなど、何かひとつ物を持参し、それについて話をします。結晶に何について話をしたいか尋ねたところ、何か”日本的な”ことをテーマにしたいとのこと。色々と考えて・・・ではなく、意外にもあっさりと”折り紙”を使って”Show and Tell”をすることに決定しました。





さてさて、クラスに迎えにいってみると、結晶はうかない表情をしてます。”Show and Tell, どうやった?”っと聞くと、”うーん、うまくいかなかった・・・”と結晶。”緊張したん?”と尋ねてみると、そうでもない様子。よくよく聞いてみると、まず話す内容を書き留めていたノートの存在をすっかり忘れていて、いざクラスメートの前に立ってみたら何を話せばいいのかわからなかったということ。そして、みんなと一緒に折り紙をしようと思ったけれど、興味を示した子供達があまりいなかったとのこと。

それはへこみます。私だってへこみます。初めての”Show and Tell”が思ったようにうまくいかなくてごめんね、結晶。








Home School Log 01-11-2013


前に少し触れていますが、10月には担当の先生の2回目の家庭訪問がありました。いわゆる”国語”にあたる科目はもちろん英語になるわけなのですが、この科目を学習するにあたって私達は今期”Come Sit By Me”というテキストを使用しています。この”Come Sit By Me”は同じくホームスクールで子供を育てた方によるテキストで、カナダ人著者による子供向けの本/絵本を使い、1冊ごとに学習ポイントがまとめられています。指定の本の中には、これまでに読んだ事のあった作品や結晶が好む著者の作品などがいくつか見られたので、これなら割とすんなり入っていけるのではないかと思ったのがこのテキストを選択した理由です。








Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Mercer Family Christmas 2012Well another year is coming to an end. 2012 was all in all a pretty good year. Grace lost her first teeth, Wyatt used the toilet for the first time, Kana kicked up the home schooling a notch where there is a teacher assigned to help Kana with lesson planning and also provides report cards for Yuki. I turned 40 this year and I changed jobs at VIHA (I left the Project Delivery Office to become the project manager on the SharePoint Services project.

Other notable events this year include my Dad (Fred mercer) getting diagnosed with cancer which prompted a mini-Mercer reunion where my Uncle Ken (whom I had never met in person before), Uncle Paul & Auntie Jenny and Auntie Debbie (whom I last saw when Mt. St. Helens erupted) came out from all over the country for a visit. Also Gav & Rhonda Joth got married, Nick and Denise had baby number two, Jeremy and Aki has baby number two, James & Hiromi had baby number one and Kinya and Mel are expecting baby number one any day now.

We are very thankful for this year of 2012 and glad it didn’t turn out the way the Mayans figured it would. From our family to you and yours we wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Love and Prayers,
Craig, Kana, Grace Yuki and Wyatt Haku Mercer

Wyatt’s Plarail Party

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We’ve been building our Plarail collection over the last year and we got a big shipment of track sent over for Wyatt’s birthday. Obviously Kana, Yuki and I had to do most of the building since Wyatt is still a little young for three dimensional modelling. I tried to so some different things with the video (e.g.: putting the camera down at track level instead of the usual overhead shots) so this is mostly experimental and will hopefully lead to ever better plarail tracks and videos. So without further ado I give you “Wyatt’s Plarail Party – 2012-JUN-16)

For more information on Plarail visit

Scotch Fest 2012

Scotch Fest 2012

Auk wee I, Once again tiss time
to rattle the claymores and fill the Quaich.
Then let the flowing Quaich go round
and boldly let the pibroch sound
Till every glen and rock resound.

All wee clansmen and women are welcome
to the Eleventh Annual Scotch fest 2012.
So bring your See ya Jimmy and get ready to crack your kranium.

7:00 PM AT 2985 Harriet Rd Nov 24th 2012 Hope to see you all then.

For new people who will be coming
Please bring a bottle of
Single malt scotch to share.
If scotch is not your thing,
Well bring beer or wine and have a good time.

Welcome to the NEW and IMPROVED Mercers’ Website!

WebWe’ve been unsure what to do with our site ever since we moved back from Japan in the spring of 2007 as the site was totally focused on our life in Japan. We’ve made some minor additions over the past five years but nothing substantial.

Over the past few weeks we decided it that this website is our family scrap book, a time line of important events and as much as Facebook contains a lot of our lives…it doesn’t allow us to present all of the content in the way we want to. So we are REBOOTING and RELAUNCHING our website in WordPress and will be adding content (e.g.: recipes, Kana’s thoughts on homeschooling, family events, Plarail trains etc) regularly. In fact we’ve been adding new content already!

Craig, Kana, Grace Yuki and Wyatt Haku Mercer

Welcome to the party Pal!

Welcome to the party Pal! – John McClane (Die Hard circa 1988)