Archive for the ‘family’ Category

A Date with my Hubby and Art Wires

barn.jpg It’s a very rare time when Hubby and I get a day by ourselves, but my mom generously offered to watch the three bigger kids while we took the babe and went off for the day. As anybody with kids knows, sometimes it is really hard to get an adult conversation in while they are still awake. Since the babe doesn’t talk yet, we were able to spend the whole day talking, while we were actually awake enough to think straight. We drove 40 minutes away to a town that has a few nice things to do. On the way we saw this fantastic barn and some gorgeous trees (most of the ones where we live went straight from green to dead because of all the snow, no autumn colours).orange trees.jpg We walked around the historic downtown for quite a while and stopped at a local brew pub for a quick lunch. It was so nice to be able to get out in the fresh air, it was a gorgeous 70°, and do lots of walking and talking. After some more walking we went to a bookstore where we were able to leisurely browse through some books and magazines until I almost jumped out of my skin as a mouse scurried by my feet. I do not like mice, I do not do well around mice, mice are not my friends. I have an irrational fear of them and seeing this little guy put me on edge. They say that the best way to face your fears is to jump headfirst, right? I’m seriously considering going to a pet shop to hold the mice because I really do not like being controlled (through my fear) by these little guys. Anyway, that’s another story…buffalo.jpgOn the way home we saw a bunch of buffalo, they are truly magnificent creatures. Then we passed one of the windmill farms near us. Some people complain that they are an eyesore, but personally, I think they are beautiful and calming. I often think it would be nice to grab a blanket and a book and sit in the middle of a windmill farm. Not really a possibility, but still.windmills.jpgOh, and on Sunday I tackled one little project. I hung some art wires (well, cotton yarn) for the boys to hang some of their artwork. I’ve been meaning to do this for some time, but I just never got around to it. Now for less than a quarter, the boys have somewhere to arrange their never ending supply of artwork, and it adds some nice colour to their walls as well.art wire.jpgI’ve got lots planned for this week, so it if goes according to plan, I’ll have several fun things to share with you.

family, home, kid's art, nature • Monday, October 26th, 2009 • 7 Comments »

Fresh Air and Sunshine

shoesI’ve decided we don’t walk nearly enough. When I was a girl and we lived in England, we walked all the time. If we could walk instead of drive, we did. We walked to and from school every morning, and I’m pretty sure it was 45 minutes each way. I think we miss so much by not walking more, the fresh air, exercise, and sunshine does the body and mind such good.pebblesYesterday was a bit of a hectic day with normal day to day stuff and then the babe had a well-baby appointment. She was pretty fussy after some vaccinations, so when we got home and had an hour before supper, I bundled everybody up and headed outside.dead flowersMost of what we saw wasn’t anything spectacular, just normal things like rocks on the roadside, flowers that had been wiped out by the snow and frost, yet still remained beautiful in their own way. cracks in the roadCracks in the road and puddles to jump in were next on the walk.puddlesThere was nothing extraordinary about what we saw, but that’s where I think the magic comes in. It was really nice to just be outdoors. The sunshine, crisp cool air, exercise and just every day nature was making everybody feel better. I felt less stressed, the babe calmed down, and the bigger kids had a great time running around and just being themselves.end of the road viewThis view, however, was spectacular. It is what we see at the end of our road, and was the perfect ending to a refreshing, energizing walk. We were able to go home, eat supper, and settle all of the little ones down to bed, where they fell fast asleep, exhausted and content.

family, nature • Friday, October 23rd, 2009 • 13 Comments »

Birthday Adventures

mountainsIt’s official, I’m one year older. The birthday celebrations have been spread out for a couple of days, lucky me! On Saturday we packed the kids up and enough picnic food for all day, and drove an hour and a half up into the mountains. Let me just say, they were even more beautiful than the pictures could possibly show.mountainsWe walked around part of the massive lake, and saw some beautiful horses.horsesWe also visited the local museum to see a quilt exhibit.quiltquiltsWe had so much fun, the weather was gorgeous, the food was good, and the boys had a ton of fun climbing on every rock imaginable.my guysSunday we went to my mom’s house where she cooked me a wonderful meal, gotta love those traditions. Afterwords, we spent the afternoon doing a little birthday shopping. Can’t wait to show you all some of my goodies tomorrow. Hope you guys had a great weekend too.

family, nature, sewing • Monday, October 19th, 2009 • 8 Comments »

Fall Weather, At Last

mumsme and babyprairie grassesAfter several weeks of freezing temperatures and lots of snow, we are finally having some fall weather. I absolutely love it. Yesterday was warm enough to snuggle the babe up in my sling and bundle up the rest of the kiddos and take a nice little walk after dinner.Unfortunately it started to rain, so we had to cut it short, but it was so nice to be out breathing in that fresh, crisp air. I snapped the photo of the mums before all of the snow, unfortunately they didn’t survive, but I’m hoping they’ll come back next year. I do love the colours of autumn and I am very glad that we now appear to be having some more time before winter hits again. I’m off for a weekend of birthday celebrations, hope you all have a great weekend!

family, nature • Saturday, October 17th, 2009 • 8 Comments »

My Great Grandmother’s Recipes

great grandma's recipesMy mother recently gave me my great grandmother’s recipe box. I have been having lots of fun looking through it. There are quite a few recipes I want to try, including her butterscotch pie. I am equally confused and enthralled with the fact that there are no directions, just a short list of ingredients. How on earth do I begin to make this? I’m not sure whether it was just a recipe that she knew so well there was no need to write down how to make it, or if in her generation it was just silly to assume that someone wouldn’t know how to make this pie. Either way, one of these days I’m going to try it. These are the kinds of things that I am excited to pass down to my children, memories and traditions of the women before me. Thanks mom!

family, food • Thursday, October 15th, 2009 • 12 Comments »

Our Little Girl’s 5th Birthday

birthday crownThis past weekend was our little girl’s 5th birthday. We woke up in the morning and there was a solid foot of snow on the ground, we were snowed in. We really try with our kid’s birthdays to have it be more about memories than stuff. We let them choose what the meals are for the whole day and if it is possible, what to do that day. Even though we couldn’t go anywhere, it ended up being a great day, with lots of fun and snuggles. After donning her birthday crown we ate bacon, cheddar scones from the recipe in The Pastry Queen: Royally Good Recipes from the Texas Hill Country’s Rather Sweet Bakery & Cafe, which were absolutely fantastic. They will definitely be made again, and again. We had plenty of hot chocolate and Christmas music, after all it was snowing. little crocheting handsThis year for her birthday gift, we put together a sewing basket filled with all the goodies necessary to start crocheting. I found a neat old sewing basket at an antique shop last month and had fun picking out pink and cream cotton yarn, several crochet hooks in colours she would love and Kids Learn to Crochet by Lucinda Guy. This book is fantastic, and it really hold’s her attention. Incidentally, it is also really helpful for me as I am just learning how to crochet as well.learn to crochetThere was lots of playing in the snow, making snowmen and snow angels, plenty of black forest gateaux, and lots of snuggling with her new crochet hook and yarn. She mastered the slip knot and was thrilled to complete a chain of 23 stitches with just a teeny bit of help. Five years ago I held a tiny baby girl in my arms just seconds after she was born. My how time flies, and now she has grown into a beautiful, funny, imaginative, loving, creative 5 year old. We are so grateful to have her and look ahead to many years of love and laughter. Happy Birthday little one!

books, crochet, family, food, sewing • Monday, October 12th, 2009 • 9 Comments »

Our First Real Snow

first snowSo much for fall, yesterday we had our first real snowfall. We’ve had a few flurries and flakes during the last week, but not enough to play in. Yesterday morning we woke up to a winter wonderland, and there were squeals of delight from my kiddos. It is supposed to continue snowing until next week, and probably longer, so I made soup for lunch. I’ve been planning on trying to make soup and bread for lunch on most days in an effort to keep tummies filled with nutritious, inexpensive, and most importantly, warm soup. When I was a child, one of my favourite foods was cauliflower cheese (I grew up in England), and I was thrilled to pieces when I found a recipe for cauliflower cheese soup. I was skeptical at first, but as soon as I made it, I was in love. One of the big draws for me is that it is pureed, so some of my pickier kids can’t complain when they see a bowl full of veggies, nothing to see here folks. Just a creamy white pureed soup that is delicious. I can’t remember where I found the recipe as I scrawled it on a piece of paper quite a while ago. I just couldn’t handle making soup in 90 degree weather, but now that the bitter winds and snow have arrived, it’s perfect. One batch makes enough for all six of us, and goes really well with oatmeal bread. In an effort to spread the cauliflower cheese love, I wanted to share the recipe. I’d love to hear if any of you try it and like it.

Cauliflower Cheese Soup

  • 1Tbsp. butter
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 large cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 large potato, peeled and diced
  • 3 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • salt/pepper to taste
  1. Melt butter in a pan and saute the onions until soft.
  2. Add cauliflower, potato, broth, and milk, and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, uncovered, for approx. 30 minutes or until the veggies are soft.
  3. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the cheese until it melts.
  4. Blend well, and enjoy!

I use my immersion blender to blend the soup right in the pan, but if you use a blender, remember not to fill it more than about 2/3 full and to remove the plug from the top and cover it with a towel, because a boiling hot soup explosion is definitely not a good thing.

family, food, nature • Friday, October 9th, 2009 • 11 Comments »

Birthday Bunting

birthday buntingI am in the middle of last minute crafting for my little one’s fifth birthday, and this is one project that is now complete. She is growing up so fast, and boy is she excited about her birthday. I am not a big fan of buying a bunch of decorations to be used for one day and then to be tossed, so I was thrilled when I saw the idea of making homemade decorations that would last indefinitely. It is such a simple idea, I don’t know why I never thought of it. This bunting is made out of vintage fabrics, with some more handmade bias tape. My little one is so excited and loves the idea of decorating with it. I love the fact that years down the road she will be able to look at these decorations and have such wonderful memories of all the birthdays gone by.

family, home, sewing, thrift store finds • Thursday, October 8th, 2009 • 5 Comments »

The Picnic Blanket

picnic blanket Here it is, our new picnic blanket. I was making the bias tape I showed you the other day for this. I fell in love with the idea of this blanket when I first received my copy of Handmade Home. I knew I just had to make it, and I finally did. I raided my stash of vintage sheets and used an old pink bedspread we didn’t use anymore. I made the bias from an old vintage sheet that I loved. I absolutely love the way it turned out. We used to lay out an old comforter for picnics, but how much better it is to unroll a handmade blanket made solely for the purpose of picnics. I’ve really been working on decluttering and though it seems excruciatingly slow at times, I am trying to get to the point where everything we have is something that we actively use and love. Since we have been going on regular picnics this summer, it is just what we needed. It is decidedly feminine and with three guys in the family, I think I will be searching for some more masculine vintage fabrics to make a second blanket as well. It is a pretty good size, but I think two picnic blankets will give us a little bit more room to spread out. Unfortunately we will probably only be going for a few more picnics before the weather turns bitterly cold, but in the meantime I plan to enjoy it completely and then look forward to next spring when it can be put into use on a regular basis again.

family, nature, sewing, thrift store finds • Saturday, October 3rd, 2009 • 17 Comments »

Being a Tourist in Your Own Town

the wranglerSometimes it’s a lot of fun to be a tourist in your own town. Last week after we went to the farmer’s market, we decided to walk around town a bit as the weather was glorious. All too often I fail to see what’s around me because I’m so used to it.giant bootThese giant boots are all around town, my kids love looking for them.iron horseThis horse sculpture is made up of hundreds of pieces of scrap metal. My oldest who loves anything to do with horses, was fascinated.train depotThis is the old train depot which has been turned into a pub and a railroad museum. It was a lot of fun to try to look through the eyes of a visitor to our town, I was able to see a lot of things that I usually pass by without thinking too much about.

family, travelling • Friday, October 2nd, 2009 • 3 Comments »