Archive for the ‘family’ Category

Scones and Memories

sconeWhat do you do when you and the babe aren’t feeling quite up to par? When the big kids are climbing the walls and you really don’t want to send them back out to the mud pit that used to be your yard? Why, you ask your five year old if she wants to help you make some scones. Then what do you do when you can’t find your trusty scone recipe? You find a new one and hope it works out. What do you do when the new recipe is a complete flop? You slather it with extra jam and cream and eat them anyway. Then what? Well, you send the kids back out into the mud, after all that’s what is really important, right? Full bellies, play exhausted kids and happy memories.

family, food, home • Friday, November 20th, 2009 • 8 Comments »

Cloth Diapers

cloth diapers.jpgSo many things that are better for us and the environment are so much more expensive than the alternatives. As a family of six on a pretty tight budget, we can’t always do the better choice. We try where we can, such as starting to garden and grow our own food, lowering the thermostat and just wearing extra clothes etc. One decision we made was to use cloth diapers, we switched over when our now five year old daughter was a year old. I have never regretted this decision. When I found out exactly what is in disposable diapers I never wanted to put them on her tender tush again. I talked my hubby into switching and got to learning the basics. We went with prefolds and covers instead of the all in one diapers as these were much, much cheaper. Even now with our fourth baby, I still prefer prefolds as I personally think they are easier to clean and still much, much cheaper. Even the bigger size that we use on our 15 month old was still only $2 dollars a diaper. Granted she grew so much so quickly when she was little, we were buying new covers in bigger sizes for a while, but that evened out and we haven’t bought anything new since she was about six months old. When all is said and done, we have probably spent $150 total and these will last until she is potty trained. When we had babies in disposables, we spent $150 in less than four months and that was on the cheapest disposables available. I have been so thrilled knowing that it is so much better for the babe, the environment, and most definitely the wallet. I get such a thrill whenever we are in a store that sells diapers, just thinking that we aren’t paying a cent. Even when she is out of diapers, they will still make great cleaning rags, so they just keep giving. As far as laundry goes, on average, it’s only two extra loads a week, so not much extra time at all. When the weather is nice, there is something about hanging them all on the line, something strangely peaceful and calming. Call me strange, it’s ok. This is one choice that we have made that we really love, and any chance I get, I tout the benefits of cloth diapering. For a while when we first switched, I was the only one in our town that did, so I had several people calling and asking questions. It was a lot of fun, and now quite a few other people cloth diaper as well. If you still have little ones in diapers, perhaps you can consider switching, you won’t regret it.

family • Tuesday, November 17th, 2009 • 29 Comments »

New Things in My Kitchen

artdesk.jpg My mom recently gave us this beautiful child size desk. It now has a home in the corner of our kitchen, as our art desk. On top are coloured pencils, glue, rulers, scissors, erasers, and little folded paper books. We also have our Usborne Spotter’s Guides for quick reference and our nature bowl, which from this angle looks empty, but it’s full of rocks and dried flowers and a couple of acorns. artdesktopdrawers.jpg The top drawers are filled with different sizes of papers and the bottom drawer, which came with a metal divider, is filled with bits of string, yarn, fabric and sparkly papers. There are also some crayons and cardboard tubes for crafting. art desk bottom drawer.jpg I deliberately kept it pretty empty so that it is easy to get to all of the materials, and hopefully it won’t get too messy. Next up is my new farmhouse kitchen table. The photos don’t do the desk and table justice as the lighting in our house is really bad. Since we have lived in this house we have been eating around a small built in table. It has always been tight squeezing all of our family around it, but with the addition of the babe, it just wasn’t working anymore. We were so cramped that I ended up with food from the babe’s fingers all over my sleeve and sometimes in my hair. Needless to say, we needed a better solution. farmhousetable We’ve been keeping an eye out for a good table and we hit the jackpot when we were at our local thrift store last week. The same day that we found the stool, we found this table. It is almost six feet long and exactly what I was looking for. It was scratched up and one of the legs was loose, but with a fresh coat of paint and some tightening of the legs, we now have a super sturdy, beautiful kitchen table. The best part is that it cost $20, and I can’t tell you how fantastic it is for the six of us to sit around a table and have room not only to eat without chewing on someone else’s elbows, but there’s even enough room to put extra food on the table. This past weekend, Hubby ripped out the table and painted the walls and tore out some cabinets that cut the room in half. It is so much better now, much more open and the whole space feels so much better, and brighter. I forgot to take pictures of the cupboards that he took out, but I did snap a picture of the wallpaper that was covering the whole kitchen. Let me just say that I am so very glad the walls are now a beautiful shade of antique white instead of this. bluestrawberries Hope you all have a great day.

family, home, kid's art, thrift store finds • Thursday, November 12th, 2009 • 19 Comments »

Writing Backwards

backwards writingI love this picture from my daughter. She has really taken off with writing and I just love how when she runs out of room, she just rounds the corner and writes backwards. I’m not sure if you can tell but when she hit the end she started on the next line which says “made this for” and then turns back around and writes Grandma. I do love little one’s writing. It says so much about them, doesn’t it? I used to write backwards a lot when I was little. I hear this is pretty common with lefties, which explains me, but my daughter is a righty and does this a lot. I love it. Pretty chaotic around here still, trying to put things back into place after some demo work and lots of painting. Hope to have some pictures on Wednesday for you. Let me just say that I am loving my kitchen now, it’s no where near done and not by any means perfect, but it’s so much better than it was. Hope you all had a great weekend!

family, homeschooling, kid's art • Monday, November 9th, 2009 • 9 Comments »

Have a Great Weekend

snowmanThis photo was from a couple of weeks ago, when we had the big blizzard. Thankfully we’re supposed to hit 60° today so we have big plans to throw open the windows, shift a few things around, and do lots and lots of painting. I can’t wait. What are your plans for the weekend? Whatever they are, I hope you have a great one. See ya Monday!

family, home • Saturday, November 7th, 2009 • 6 Comments »

Homemade Pita Bread

pitasEvery once in a while I like to make sandwiches using pita breads, but I almost choke at having to pay $3 or $4 dollars for a package of six. Let’s face it, they are hard, taste of nothing, and are filled with a bunch of nasty preservatives. Yesterday we decided to make some, and I was absolutely thrilled with how they turned out. I searched for a recipe online and ended up using this Pita recipe. It was really easy, but just a little time consuming, though I had two kiddos perfectly willing to help out. After tuckering out from the kneading, my six year old went off to play and I finished up. I had forgotten how sore my arms were after holding a 22lb. baby for five hours the other night, but it was a good workout and I made it through. They were a huge success and the first four out of the oven were eaten immediately. I followed the recipe exactly and used my cast iron pizza pan to bake them on. These will definitely be made again, they were so good. I knew they would be better than the store bought ones, but the difference is unbelievable. Try them out, you won’t regret it.

family, food • Friday, November 6th, 2009 • 16 Comments »

Tic Tac Toe From Nature

woodentictactoeMy kids love tic tac toe, especially the boys. I often find bits of paper with their games scrawled on them, so I was excited to see this in a book I recently checked out of the library. Green Crafts for Children: 35 Step-by-Step Projects Using Natural, Recycled, And Found Materials is excellent. A lot of kid’s crafts books have maybe one or two projects that I would actually want to do with the kids, but this has a bunch, so many that I’m going to purchase the book. My six year old gathered all of the sticks and rocks and I helped him tie the smaller sticks into crosses. The boys have been playing with it and are really enjoying it. I love that it is made of natural materials, and love that there was more than just playing a game involved. There was gathering of materials, creativity and time involved in making it, and then the fun in playing it again and again. This is just the first of many projects out of this book that we will be working on, you guys should definitely check it out if you can.

family, home, kid's art, nature • Thursday, November 5th, 2009 • 9 Comments »

Paper Flowers

paper flowersA couple of weeks ago I was brainstorming for ideas for decorating my girl’s room and making paper flowers was one thing I thought of. Last week I saw Lisa’s paper flower tutorial which is great. There are also some paper flowers in Green Crafts for Children which is a fantastic book. I ended up using Lisa’s tutorial as a base but used tissue paper that was 8" x 8" instead of 8" x 16". I also rounded the corners for more defined petal shapes. I love how they turned out and my daughter had a lot of fun making a bunch. We made enough to fill a silver bucket for her dresser (I’ll show you all the finished bouquet as soon as her room is done). You should definitely give these a try, there are so many variations, and they are inexpensive and quick to make. They were a huge success.

family, gardening, home, kid's art, nature • Monday, November 2nd, 2009 • 10 Comments »

Charlotte’s Web

sunset play nightYesterday was a blur of normal day activities, baking bread, washing diapers, math, very short naps for the babe, lots of snuggles and reading. The day finished off with all of us going to the local community college for a musical performance of Charlotte’s Web. My kids loved it, my oldest cracking up quite a few times. It was a busy, very long day, and by the time I got the babe to sleep it was 10:00, time for me to go to bed. Today I’m off with the babe for a day of some fun with my mom, hopefully getting some more Christmas cookies baked and in the freezer (all part of my plan to not go insane in December). I just wish that by turning the clocks back tonight that it really meant that I’d get an extra hour of sleep, in reality it just means the kids are up an hour earlier. Have a great weekend, everyone!

family • Saturday, October 31st, 2009 • 3 Comments »

Homemade Christmas Ornaments

cutting out patternat sewing machine.jpgstitching ornaments on.jpgstuffing tree ornament.jpgcompleted ornament.jpgpaper and fabric ornament.jpgMy kids were thrilled when I told them that this year, instead of using our normal christmas tree ornaments, we are going to do a homemade tree. I should have known that they would jump to it straightaway. For a couple of weeks now they have all been making ornaments out of paper, crayon, coloured pencil, markers, and plenty of cutting and glue. A couple of days ago my six year old said he wanted to make one out of fabric. He worked it all out on paper and showed me what he wanted. Apart from ironing and threading needles, he did it all, including using the sewing machine for the first time. He loved working on it and was so proud when it was finished. I just love the art my kiddos come up with and this was no exception. It will definitely have a proud place on our tree this year.

family, kid's art, sewing • Thursday, October 29th, 2009 • 10 Comments »