Thomas

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Waiting for Spring

Spring is almost here!

Jumping in puddles, insects, fresh spring buds on trees and flowers. The anticipation after a long winter is almost unbearable, but here are a few spring activities to get us into the mood for a change of season.

1. Puddle jumping

Every spring when the snow begins to melt, one of the first things we do is find puddles. We really enjoy cracking the layer of ice that formed on the top of puddles when it's still just cold enough to freeze the top layer.
It's so neat to see the water moving under the ice.

2. Looking for new Buds

When the weather turns warmer, we always check out the branches of trees and bushes we pass by. Once the new Buds start appearing, we know the world will soon be changing from white and grey to green, Brown and every other beautiful colour of the rainbow.

3. Hunting for Insects

I'm not  too into this one. I still find insects creepy (yes even the pretty ones). However, we always seem to start gathering different types as they emerge from a winter sleep (or hatch, change etc).

This year we are planning an ant farm, to see how they act together.

4. Starting a Vegetable Garden

Every year around this time, we begin our indoor planting. We start the tomato and cucumbers inside early. This year we are adding pumpkins and zucchini, so there will be other indoor starters this year.

5. Spring Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are always fun, but as spring arrives, there are many new and interesting things to find, letting us know spring is finally here.

We love celebrating the beginning of every new season with some seasonal activities to get us in the mood for the upcoming season.

What kinda of activities do you do to bring in spring?

Let us know and we will try them out.

Peace, joy and love until next time.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Snow Fort

Winter's here!

Although our snow didn't fall until December this year, when it started it didn't stop. And what else to do with all that snow? Build things with it of course.


My idea started before snow hit, and I attempted to build a small hill to slide down in the backyard. With some wood as the start of my sides, I started piling up the snow. I dug out paths and built up the walls, with some help of course from my little helpers. Most of the time they were more interested in trying to climb while I threw the snow up, but we all had fun.

As I made the hill higher, a second idea hit me. Why Not build a fort the slide could go into?


I started more walls, and with that a second hill, this time to dig out a shelter similar to a quinzee (winter snow shelter).

By the end, we had a snow shelter, a tunnel, a hill to slide down and another snow "room" with just walls.

Unfortunately, it's beauty didn't last because we had a warm spell (+3 Celsius in mid January?!) but the fort still stands.

What keeps you busy during cold, snowy months?

Peace and love until next time.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Our Winter Fun

Winter this year has been great so far.

Lots of snow, even some sticky snow days (an unusual treat for us here), and warm weather (not as many days below 25 degrees).

From snow people to forts check out what we've been up to so far this season.

Here's a few sneak peeks before I get my posts all published. Its been too busy the last little while, hope to spend more time here soon.

Enjoy!

bottom of the hill

Santa Claus parade

after a blizzard

sticky snow
Stay tuned for what we've done and more!

Peace and love.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Wednesday Fun~Playing with Dough

I rarely buy play dough. I've made it for as long as I can remember, and I often use the same recipe my mother used, a slowly cooked recipe that turns out extremly well. Most of the time.

However, For this play, I used a recipe I found in an old pamphlet style cookbook my grandmother gave me a couple of years ago, with no cooking involved.

Before I even had the chance to gather the materials, my daughter came in, demanding she do it on her own. Since the dough is simple to make, I said yes.
I read the recipe out to her one ingredient at a time, and she measured them into a large bowl, all by herself.
After making it once with my small amount of reading help, she made another batch on her own from memory. It turned out better than the first batch.

Of course the children spent hours playing with it over the next few days, and even created some creations to put into the oven to dry and paint afterwards.

Peace and joy until next time.


(Apologies for no pictures, I've been having technical difficulties lately)

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Adventures with flavoured gelatin- Jiggly Jelly Cutouts

I have wanted to do this for awhile with the kids- make jello jigglers, like we did when I was a kid. As part of a series I'm doing with the flavored gelatin powders, or jello, I decided to make this simple childhood favorite as a dessert the other day.

First I took the packets of jello and made sure they were COMPLETLY dissolved in the boiling water.  I used 2 cups (500ml) of boiling water to 3 packets of flavored gelatin mix. (We used orange)

After it was finished dissolving (which took longer than I thought it would) I poured it into the pan I had ready for it. I used a Pyrex rectangular pan with high edges. (I would recommend not using one with such high sides, because the cutouts were difficult to remove without damaging them. Next time I will be using a cookie sheet with higher edges instead. I think that will work better.)

It took about 3 hours to completely set. Once it was set, I carefully placed the pan into a sink with hot water for about 15 seconds. After removing the pan from the water,  I then took a cookie cutter and made some delicious jiggling flavored gelatin mittens!

You can use any cutters you prefer, seasonal or your favorite ones. I decided on mittens and moons because it's STILL winter here.

Next time I'm going to try just cutting them into cubes to pop into our mouths one at a time!
They hold together well, and  are very easy to eat with just your fingers-no spoons or bowls required!

A fun, simple treat using ingrediants most of us already have at home. And fun to eat as well!

Do you ever play with your food? How do you do it?

Peace and love until next time.


(Again I apologize for no pictures. I WILL make sure to get some up as soon as I can. Technical difficulties.)



Sunday, 18 September 2016

Making Compost

My daughter decided to make some compost, and it turned into a neighborhood affair.

A few days ago she put together a 5 gallon paint bucket (cleaned out of course) with mud, grass clippings, left over foods, leaves, paper, water and of course all the worms she could find.

My children along with a couple of others from the neighborhood spent quite some time mixing and adding different things, such as orange and onion peels, grass clippings, worms, leaves and small twigs,  taking turns between the 4 of them for each stage, stirring the concoction with a large stick.

Of course, we will have to continue adding materials and observing it over the year to see how it turns out. Maybe by planting season next spring it will be ready to use.

Over the weeks preceding this activity, I've been talking a lot about compost, how different materials break down and the purpose of insects and worms during the decomposition process.

In addition to learning a lot, they all had so much fun playing around with everything that goes along with making good soil.

Do you compost? Please share your compost piles and ideas, and how you get YOUR family involved with it.

Peace and joy, until next time.


(My apologies for no pictures. I'm working from my phone right now and it's decided to not want to take pictures lately. I WILL update with pics when I can.)

Monday, 1 August 2016

Easy Snack Ideas- Microwave S'mores


Most of my family loves s'mores (I just recently found out that the kids dad does not enjoy them as much), but when we moved into our new house there was no fire pit. So i had to improvise when the kids started begging for s'mores even though we don't have a place to roast the marshmallows. The idea was so simple. Make microwaved s'mores. Why hadn't I thought of it before?

"Let's find the ingredients, I have an idea" I said to them. Little girl races to the kitchen

"I'll get the chocolate chips I know where they are." And she excitedly climbed a chair and grabbed them. We also needed marshmallows, graham crackers and microwaveable plates.

I had the kids place graham crackers on their plates, and we had to figure out how to make the chocolate stay on top while heating it up. I squished my chocolate chips into my marshmallow, the kids just places theirs on the tops.

We noticed that the marshmallows get really big in the microwave while cooking. We also discovered that if you put them in too long they get hard and too chewy to enjoy.

Simple, fun way to snack on s'mores without a fire.

if you don't have a microwave, I'm sure it will also work in a toaster oven or big oven. I'd like to try it there and see if the marshmallows brown like over the fire.

Peace, love and happy snacking.