It’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.We walked around part of the massive lake, and saw some beautiful horses.We also visited the local museum to see a quilt exhibit.We 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.Sunday 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.
Archive for the ‘nature’ Category
After 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!
Not our typical early October weather, but beautiful all the same. Entire trees encased in ice. Leaves that normally would have long fallen off the branch by the first snow, encrusted with snowy jewels. Flowers in full bloom drooping under the weight of freshly fallen snow.
So 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
- Melt butter in a pan and saute the onions until soft.
- 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.
- Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the cheese until it melts.
- 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.
Just one more reason I love the prairie.
This past Friday we visited the new Children’s Village at the Botanic Gardens in town. I was absolutely amazed, and the kids had a blast. I think this is going to be our new go-to destination. They had statues, and sculptures…. a large wooden dome with plenty of wooden chairs and a big bucket of chalk for all those budding little artists….wooden paths through the pond leading to teepees….plenty of hands on experiments….not to mention, a door leading to a far away land…and of course a puppet theatre…There were many other fun things including, sand pits, a floating bridge, plenty of picnic tables, and a grassy area for sack races. There were also plenty of beautiful plants, flowers and veggies growing around the village. We had so much fun and the kids have been asking over and over to go again, now if only it wasn’t 34 degrees and raining. Hopefully we’ll get another little patch of nice weather, when I’m sure our first stop will be this amazing children’s village.
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.
As a homeschooling mama, I always have my eye out for different and fun ways to learn things. eeBoo Flowers alphabet rummy is a game we love. They are well designed and sturdy, the pictures are colourful and there are little faeries on each card. Since we’ve started playing this game my kids have soaked in some of the flower names without even trying. They recognize many of the flowers when they see them out and about, and I’ve learned quite a few myself. Our favourite version of the game is Pick A Posey, which is basically Go Fish. At 8, 6, and 4 all of them can manage playing it well, and we all have a great time doing it. Anything that can combine learning and fun is good in my book, and these fit the bill perfectly.
During this last part of summer we quite easily slipped into the habit of packing up a picnic every Saturday and heading out to a park or lake. It has been wonderful to get out and see some beautiful scenery. The children enjoy running around breathing in the fresh air, and seeing a bunch of different plants and animals along the way. Lately I have been trying to be more observant of the nature around us and have been quite surprised at what I can see when I just keep my eyes open. This afternoon out brought plenty of bees, butterflies, rabbits, a deer, beautiful old wooden gates and a sculpture made entirely out of horseshoes. I’m loving that this has become a bit of a routine and will be sad to come to the point where the weather prevents us from going out quite so much. I do look forward to walks and picnics as the autumn continues, as the trees are now starting to change. I love the fall colours and the nip in the air.
I’ve always loved Usborne and DK books as the way they are done works well for readers and non-readers. There are so many pictures that my kids that can’t quite read yet are happy to sit and look at them for quite a while. My oldest son, when he first started to really read, was also happy to look at them as he was not intimidated by the short little blurbs. I’ve been drooling over these Usborne Spotter’s Guides for a while now and was thrilled when my mom handed me a big stack of them when she returned from her trip to England. They were a gift from a good friend of ours. As a homeschooling mama, I love these kinds of gifts. These books are fantastic, and they are small enough to throw in a backpack for when we go to the lake or the park. They are colourful and filled with tons of information, not to mention internet links. We love them and my kids have been pouring over them since the day we got them. They are a great addition to our nature section on the bookshelf. I am thankful for such a thoughtful and generous gift.