A little science and some bowling

I love it when we can fit in a science experiment using everyday items. We do need to get to the hobby shop to buy some supplies but for now it’s nice to be able to make do with what we have. So yesterday we sliced ice. It was fun to watch the wire cut through the ice and then the ice patch itself back up once the wire had passed through. Love this stuff. I always wonder why I didn’t when I went to school, though…I get to relive it now!IMG_5654IMG_5653IMG_5660Just recently a Home school Tween group was started on FB and so every week or other week this is something planned like bowling or going to an indoor play place to meet and get some good fun physical activity going. Hopefully once the weather here is a bit friendlier we can start something outside too!  There is also going to be a regular meet-up to play Magic: The Gathering!

Today we went bowling and the boys had a great time!IMG_5671Spare!IMG_5675These fast moving kids are no match for my phone in a dark bowling alley! Why are they so dark, anyway. I felt blinded when we went outside! IMG_5677Good times!!IMG_5681

Rain Sticks

What do you do on a very rainy day? Make rain sticks, of course!

Xman was a little reluctant at first but when we arrived at our friend’s house and he saw he would be using a hammer and nails, well, he got right to it like the rest of the boys. Good fun!


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After all that fun creating the boys needed a quiet break. 21Apr2015_Rain Sticks_05 How many times does it take to get good pic of four boys? 😉21Apr2015_Rain Sticks_06 21Apr2015_Rain Sticks_07 21Apr2015_Rain Sticks_08

Seeing green

We have finally experienced some mild weather here in the maritimes! I can still look out my window and see snow but it is far less than it was a couple of weeks ago. We are still getting a bit of below zero temps at night but I can see the grass and that is a good sign. The birds are not depending solely on bird feeder food any longer after a really rough winter with many birds not surviving. 🙁

We recently went to our local park for a good walk. Yay! 10 degrees! Oh how it makes you feel full of renewed energy as the earth wakes up and comes alive once more.

As you can see there is still some snow. The boys loved that they could still easily sit on top of this bench.

12Apr2015_Shubie Melt_01 Our favourite spot – the brook! It was so lovely to see water rushing loudly over the rocks as the snow melted in the sunshine.12Apr2015_Shubie Melt_02Looking for squirrels…12Apr2015_Shubie Melt_03 There is still plenty of snow and slushy ice on the lakes but it made for some good fun. 12Apr2015_Shubie Melt_04 The boys and I threw chunks of ice into the water and watched the slush catch the chunks. I couldn’t help but take some pictures of the ice chunks. 12Apr2015_Shubie Melt_0712Apr2015_Shubie Melt_09 12Apr2015_Shubie Melt_11And to wear only a hat and a hoodie? Awesomeness!12Apr2015_Shubie Melt_10 The ducks were busily foraging for food with their mates. 12Apr2015_Shubie Melt_12Bottoms up!12Apr2015_Shubie Melt_14 Love love love the moss!12Apr2015_Shubie Melt_15

Gotta love nature!

Mild days, birthdays and Easter

This past week has been filled with milder weather to the extent that we were outside in t-shirts shovelling snow off of the back porch and sweating a bit! It was very welcome weather. That being said there is still a ton of snow around and some of the banks are very high like the one pictured here after my birthday breakfast at Cora’s (the best breakfasts ever!). Wow! That’s a lot of snow. My birthday consisted of a greek salad and suishi. I didn’t want a cake. Gee, I must be getting old! 😉

Just yesterday, L finished his first knitted hat! He was very excited and wanted to try it out so he decided to continue the clearing of the back deck. It’s just ice left so it was hard work to crack. Our shovel broke a couple weeks back and the stores only carry spring items now so he used the car window scraper. Tough job but he got some ice free and loves his hat!

The boys were so excited for Easter and although we don’t do a lot of treats, just a good quality chocolate bar each and a bag of chips, the boys love it. I also made them each a Totoro (Amanda has a great Totoro tutorial here) as he is after all, a forest spirit, so a good welcoming for Spring! The boys love them!

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Totoro Us-and-Totoro

If you are interested in how this season was originally celebrated check out these links below. Both are a great read and to me, make this holiday even more meaningful. So enjoy the sun, the season and the treats! xx





Happy Spring Easter!



Hand made hand cream

Say that five times fast! 😉

I’ve been wanting to make hand cream for months and even had all of the ingredients. I just needed to do it. When I finally ran out of store-bought cream and the skin on my hands was like sandpaper, well, that was my motivation to get to it.

I used the recipe that’s been tagged for like forever it seems from Amanda Soule’s The Rhythm of Family Book. I do love her stuff and it calms me to read. I have to make some more felted bowls too. There will always be something to put into felted bowls!

The boys used the marble mortar and pestle that I’d bought eons ago. It looks so pretty sitting there on the shelf above the sink, hanging out with the wine and saké glasses. This is the lavender being bruised and wafting its scent so wonderfully throughout the kitchen.

23Feb2015_Making Hand Cream_01 23Feb2015_Making Hand Cream_04I showed the boys how to zero out the scale and then measure the ingredients.23Feb2015_Making Hand Cream_05 23Feb2015_Making Hand Cream_06Xman helped me grate the beeswax. I tried cutting it first but I don’t have a great history with knives and cutting only the things that need cutting, if you know what I mean. I find grating beeswax fairly laborious as far as ingredients go but Xman was determined to do it so I held my hands on the lower end, his on top of the block as we grated. No skin lost. Whew.23Feb2015_Making Hand Cream_07Lavender buds steeping like tea.23Feb2015_Making Hand Cream_09Melting, melting.
26Feb2015_Making-Hand-Cream_10We ended up with a lot of hand cream. Gotta say the oil mixed rather easily with the water (lavender) even with my cheaply purchased hand mixer. The motor did get a wee bit hot at the end.23Feb2015_Making Hand Cream_12I think I am going to have to buy more containers!
23Feb2015_Making Hand Cream_11The cream is wonderful and my hands are happy again! Take that, Winter!

Snow day!

It was so good to get outside yesterday and with good friends! We tried a new-to-all-of-us trail. The day was ‘mild’, coming in around -6C – add on windchill but we didn’t really feel it being in the trees. It was fresh and clear. The sky was blue. The kids ran around on the trail and slid on the snow. Xman and I made animal prints and looked for the real ones. We saw an eagle that L spotted which is always so amazing to me. I feel so, so blessed when I see one. We also saw another bird of prey, perhaps an osprey but not sure, followed by a crow. We spotted a beautiful robin all tuffed out, seeming to show of his wonderful red belly. (he was too far away for me to take a pic with my phone. should have brought my actual camera but I wanted to pack light). And F heard the tap tap tap of a woodpecker, once spotted, to be a Downy.


Our hand-made tracks.hand-made-tracksReal tracks. I love them!


Poor dude was so tired by this time, the bundling of clothing is not his favourite feeling. But making animal tracks, finding the real ones, and sliding certainly lifted his spirit. 🙂Xman-and-sunsteam-and-sun

Today, as the snow comes down in droves, it makes me want to relax my shoulders and grab a book, a blanket, and my knitting with my new Furls bowl (eek! love!) and my art. Yes, even on these snow days when I feel I can let things go a bit I still want to create create create! I will throw some yoga in there to balance it all out!


We may watch some videos today on the history of Canada to go along with our studies. But, I think for the most part it will be a Minecraft day and Erector set day (thanks for the goodies, Dawn and kids!) for the boys. I may just be persuaded to play a little MC too. Gotta say I do love it!

I may even get out my macro and take some snowflake pictures! Gee, this day must have more than 24 hours for what I want to fit in. Oh, I do have clothing to fix too… I’m so deluded! 😉


A little Mad Science and the joy of cleaning (when someone else does it)

Yesterday the boys were invited to a Mad Science birthday party. It was awesome! They had a great time learning about dry ice and carbon dioxide in different forms.
09Feb2015_Snow Fun0209Feb2015_Snow Fun04 09Feb2015_Snow Fun06They also got to make their own bouncy balls! Here is Xman getting some help from the fabulous Mad Science teacher. She is pouring crystals into a ball mold.
09Feb2015_Snow Fun07Next was the wait while the crystals soaked up the water to make…

09Feb2015_Snow Fun08…a bouncy ball! They really bounce too!
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Today, the boys decided to clean all of our apples once they realized that they float. I had to tell them about the whole ‘bobbing for apples’ challenge and why it’s so tough to get an apple. I’ve never bobbed for apples myself as I’d be sure to lose. I know, I’m no fun!10Feb2015_apple washing_01 10Feb2015_apple washing_02 10Feb2015_apple washing_03 10Feb2015_apple washing_04After the apple washing – which included cleaning the drawer for the fridge – the boys were so geared up to keep cleaning that they proceeded to mop and dry the floors, and dust. I vacuumed first and let them do the rest.

They loved it. And so did I. 🙂 😛



Snow Fun!

The boys had a great time outside yesterday. They went out in the morning which was great for the fresh air, stretching those bodies and getting some good movement in, plus the fun!

A couple of weeks ago we had filled up water balloons and added food colouring then put them into the freezer. The weather here has been all over the place, going from freezing to above zero so they never came out for fear of them melting outside. But the last few days have been so cold and with so much snow coming down that it was time. It was so neat to see the bright colours against the snow!

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The boys made little snow ‘forts’ for themselves. The back yard didn’t get the drifts of snow made for tunnelling but our front yard is pretty nonexistent so tunnelling so close to the street is not my idea of safety.

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Just enough room to lay down. I called him my snow vampire. 😉

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The boys had a great time and even found some chunks of ice under the layers of snow.

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Xman placed the slab of ice on the outside of his fort as his marker. I couldn’t see it clearly with the camera so he added the frozen water balloons in front.

He’s aiming but didn’t throw until my back was turned. Sneaky bugger. 🙂 Actually, he knew that was better as cameras do not like the snow!

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A little protection from the wind and a snug place to rest. 🙂

06Feb2015_Snow Fun04The boys took to the porch and made a little sliding area. Oh, if only this hill we lived on extended to our back yard! But they had fun nonetheless. I am so happy that they are enjoying the snow so much these days!

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Kiwi Crate fun

This morning was full of excitement as the boys opened their first Tinker Crate by Kiwi Crate. I cannot even recall how I heard about these cool kits but shortly before I ordered this one a friend had just received their first box and their daughter loved it. So we took a chance.

I ordered the Tinker Crate for ages 9-12. One for both boys. They shared well as they took turns putting together the kit with the directions.

They got to make a Zoetrope and isn’t that the coolest first project!! We’ve been wanting to make one but just haven’t gotten around to it so this was certainly a treat.

03Feb2015Zoetrope & Snow_01The kit comes with everything you need to make it, except scissors. So it’s perfect.

03Feb2015Zoetrope & Snow_02There are marbles that go below the base of the zoetrope to help it glide along smoothly.

03Feb2015Zoetrope & Snow_03The kit even comes with pictures to place in the film holder and they are numbered on the back to make sure they go in in the right order. It also comes with three blank sheets for making your own!

03Feb2015Zoetrope & Snow_05We had to show a couple of videos just for fun. The kit also notes some tips such as shining a light on the zoetrope as you spin it so that you can see the moving image better. It helped with the videos too.

Xman read through the whole Tinkerzine, a magazine that comes with the kit which explains the history of animation from the Lumber brothers to Edison. He was completely enthralled.

03Feb2015Zoetrope & Snow_06 03Feb2015Zoetrope & Snow_04L loved putting together the kit but once he’d played with it a few times he was itching to go outside and dig a tunnel through the big pile of ice and snow that came down yesterday. I can’t blame him. Super fun childhood memories for me!

Eventually we got to our lessons and the boys were the first to use my new yarn bowl. It arrived yesterday with the Kiwi Crate and they were excited to try it out. Is it awesome and on sale and the shipping is very reasonable. It is an early birthday gift from my husband. 🙂

You should get one. 😉

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L making his hat.03Feb2015Zoetrope & Snow_08 03Feb2015Zoetrope & Snow_07X making a scarf.

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L really wanted to go back outside and dig and Xman joined him with a ladle and a pie cutter to help cut through the ice which worked quite well. The ladle got bent a bit but all in fun, I say. The boys stayed outside in -11C plus windchill for over an hour and came in tired and sweaty. Time for a snack and warm chocolate mylk!

There was just a bit of ice on the windows this morning…

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Luckily, not all of the windows got the freezing rain on them. I was able to take a picture of the boys having a great time clearing away the frozen snow from the back door. Thank you, boys! 🙂

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Today we celebrate Brigid, the goddess of water and fire. It is now about halfway between winter and spring and as the sun is in our skies longer we start to notice the days are longer.

As part of our lessons today, we talked about Brigid (Saint Brigid is her Christian name) and read a story from Circle Round and then made Brigit soup and goldfish crackers. L decided to call the soup Fire Soup as the ingredients are like the colours of the sun and Brigid is the goddess of fire. The crackers, since I didn’t have fish cookie cutters and simply scored them into squares – someone should really make tessellated cookie cutters by the way – are now called Fire Crackers. Cool, right?

…and it was all sooo good!