Hello! It seems like I haven’t been doing much posting lately. Guess I’ve needed a break from technology wherever I can these days. Down side is that I have been getting behind on reading some of my favourite blogs and commenting.
We had a lovely visit with Dawn and the kids yesterday – we have so much catching up to do but the hours go by so quickly and the kids are playing so loudly (happily!) that sometimes it’s hard to hear! Dawn also hand delivered the Star books from the giveaway at Mud Puddles – so excited to dig into these with the boys! Thank you, Dawn and Annie, your site rocks! The boys love looking at all of the wonderful nature photos.
Gotta say I’m glad that Dawn is a day late with the Make and Listen Along post for the week because I just haven’t gotten to much posting and had something to share this time around. So a quick post then it’s off to swim lessons and the eye doctor for my checkup after my LASIK surgery I had done last Saturday. Still healing but wow it’s so nice to see without glasses after 30 years! Look at all of the contact cases I’ve collected over the years! Off they go to the second hand store (yay!).
Last week while looking for a bachelorette gift for a friend my boys and I came across some neat cookie cutters – a great excuse to make easter cookies! There are three different cookie cutter shapes: circle, rectangle, and heart. You slide letters into the bottom and press these into the cookie. Very fun!
I haven’t done much sewing lately but I’ve been wanting to make these cases for the boys for at least a year. We don’t give a lot of gifts for easter and try to make it about the season, celebrating spring and new life, so these little owls seemed to fit into the giving. I had a great time hand sewing these up to fit their iPhones (our old ones). They also got a Pokémon book (of course!) and some animal spirit cards. It’s all about the animals over here!
As for listening, it’s been the usual CBCR2 with a little Happy thrown in amidst the sound of the raindrops as of late.
Mother Earth, she is yawning and stretching after a long sleep, and slowly waking up. That is nice. 🙂
This past Saturday was my birthday. There was no way I was staying inside and thank goodness it wasn’t a Wednesday or we would certainly be having a storm of some sort as past Wednesdays have shown. Luckily, after the last Wednesday’s crazy blizzard with hurricane force gusts (oh yippee) the weather took a break and much of the snow melted. It was damp and muddy but just fine for going outside if you asked me! 😉
I love peeking off the trails and finding little fluffy bundles of friendly lichen like these pixie cups. So wonderful to see!
If my search was correct, these are British Soldier lichen amidst what we boys and I call a Fairy Forest.
I was so excited to see this little guy – a sure sign of spring! Coltsfoot!
A very common lichen here in NS – Old Man’s Beard.
The boys took a break at Prince of Whales Tower. Then Stephen joined them as I went trampling around in the mud.
We ended up at the shore and spotted this blubbery dude out on the rocks! Sea lion I do believe! Wish I’d had my other camera at this point – oh well. Can you see him/her hanging off of the rock over the water? I know it’s not very clear but I couldn’t help but take a picture anyway.
One spot overlooking the harbour was perfect for some javelin throwing using old broken branches. Good fun!
As we left the park the blue sky appeared for a bit, something we haven’t seen much of these days! A good day indeed.
On Jan 3rd we had a crazy blizzard. The police shut down the malls and the bus system. It was beautiful to see from inside our cozy home and the boys even went outside to play in the -17C plus windchill weather!
The next day we went for a walk at our favourite spot. It was now -15C and barely a breeze. We dressed warmly and it was sooo worth it.
I knew it would be painfully cold with bare fingers so I didn’t bring my DSLR. I am regretting it now as I post here because the images would have been so much better. I brought along my small point and shoot and many times I manually focused for the snow and it just wasn’t that sharp as my painfully frozen hands tried to maneuver the dials. It’s hard exposing without a viewfinder so I apologize for the not so great exposures. Brrr!
Nonetheless, we had an amazing time out in the winter wonderland. It was sooo beautiful and showed us some things we wouldn’t normally see on a snow-free walk on the trials:
Remember those felt candies from the last post? Here they are all laid out in a pattern so that we would know how to thread them all on since we make red and green ones. This was Xman’s work. He simply began placing two reds and one green and it worked out perfectly. It measured 5 feet long! I figured we could thread 10 beads between each candy and L said we would need 500 beads. Oh my! Luckily, we had 550 so we were good to go!
I cut a 12 foot piece of quilting thread and started adding the candies then beads as L then pushed them down to the end of the line where Xman took out the pins from the candies and pushed the beads against them to keep them closed. It was great teamwork and in less than an hour we had our garland with some left over! I haven’t taken a picture of the garland on our bannister because it was too dark by that time but you’ll just have to believe me that it looks great – or at least we think so and we really enjoyed the process together.
Next came my job of grating the beeswax for our solstice candles for today. I only scraped one knuckle. Not bad for my track record. 🙂
I tried hanging the wick line with a clothespin attached to the bottom to help straighten it out but this didn’t work. The wick had been rolled in a ball for so long I almost decided that there was no way to straighten it out so it would sit in the middle of each candle. I decided to take my chances and just added a bit of wax to the bottom of each dixie cup and then place the end of each wick piece in and let that dry before adding more wax. Once the wax was dry I gently pulled up the wick and straightened it out by clipping a clothespin to each wick then resting the clothespin on top of the cup.
We were now ready for Solstice!
We also decided to begin a new tradition. I find that the holiday season goes by too quickly. Once the frenzy of gifts is over, we rush off to relative’s places for visits and dinner and then suddenly it’s time for home and bed. So this year, we decided to have small gifts in the boys’ stocking for every day up to Christmas beginning with the Solstice. A nice way to celebrate the shortest day of the year and the holiday to come. The boys were so surprised to see a gift in their stockings. Oh, two gifts!
These pocket microscopes are wonderful portable magnifiers and the boys were thrilled. They can zoom 20-40x, have a focusing lever and an LED light. Not bad! Next we would open the geodes and look inside, but first, mother must go off to work so the geode breaking would have to wait.
Once I arrived home from a very busy workday we lit the candles inside our previously made lanterns.
We then each took a turn in saying what we have been thankful for during the past year. L decided we could light four candles today, three tomorrow, two for the 23rd and one for the day before Christmas. Sounds like a great tradition! Happy Solstice to all!
This week we have been making holiday decorations. I was aiming on the beginning of the month to begin crafting but better late than never! And from time to time the boys run outside all suited up and play until they are too cold or too hot. It’s wonderful to see them playing in the snow!
We have a favourite book for our holiday crafts. It’s our go-to book when we get stumped on ideas. The great thing about this book is that many of the projects are relatively fast and something we can all do together.
At this moment we are making felt garland where you cut the felt into strips, roll and then string together with beads. It’s a bit of a process but things moved along much faster when I realized that I could use my rotary cutter to cut the felt strips – love that cutter even more now!
During our crafting L had been looking at an old Chikadee magazine. They used to get the Chirp, Chikadee, and Owl mag subscriptions from some friends and are good enough they keep going back to them which is great because L left the room and came back with two paper towel rolls taped together. He said it was a didgeridoo like in the magazine. Very cool idea! So, we took a break to find some videos on what the didgeridoo sounded like and even how to make the sounds. I think we have a new project on our hands!
I chose this video because the musician is amazing. It’s 9 minutes long but so worth it. Listen while you work! 😉 You can also find a didgeridoo made with wood shaped like the Fibonacci spiral on Youtube. Very impressive!
They also practiced the sounds with some left over plastic shelving tubes stick together!
We’ve also been listening to a bit of holiday music but X usually gets sick of it unless it’s Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree over and over again! Then it’s Yo-Yo Ma. Then he asks for the music to be off. There is something nice about the quiet while we crag from time to time. He may be onto something there. 🙂
Back to crafting! We made 50 candy rolls and Xman was great at rolling and pinning! Remember, if you do this you must place the rolls into pyramid shapes as you go along…
We also tried starting a fire which didn’t work that well as it had rained the day before and we didn’t have much kindling/newspaper as starter at first. Another family arrived who happened to have a bunch of newspaper in their car which proved helpful as some of the kids were very determined to get that fire going. I must say, despite the wet wood, we did manage to make it work eventually. It was fun for them to see the different ways that wood, leaves, and paper burned. I think next time we need to make some of these starters from the summer edition of Alphabet Glue and come prepared!
Later in the week I had a big order for a family photo shoot to prepare so the boys sat down to make their own Pokémon cards. There was a lot of drawing, colouring, cutting, and writing. It was quiet with all of this studiousness. I have to say it was so lovely. Gypsy was curious and hopped up on Xman’s chair to get a little closer to the action.
Yesterday morning, as you may know, was a solar eclipse. It was not only an annular but total eclipse! We were very excited to see if the sky got even a little darker from our wee spot on this earth of ours but with all of the overcast weather we did not see a thing. If we had had a clear sky we would have been able to see some of the eclipse from our area, most likely the annular part. However, the boys had a great idea on how to view the eclipse another way using their Star Walk app on their iPods. It showed them where the moon, sun and the earth (among other celestial bodies) would be at our specific location and exact moment. It was the next best thing I’d say! I know, it looks like the same picture twice but that is because it is! Both boys took a screen shot so they would each have their own record of it and I could show them on the blog. Even Stephen, right?
There are some pretty incredible images of the eclipse here. Did you see the eclipse in your area? We’d love to hear about it. Feel free to share a link to your pictures if you have any!
These boys had waited patiently (not!) for their birthdays and on Thursday it was Xman’s turn to be super excited. He already knew what his present was as he is the one who found it but now he got to use it! Super fun!
We had cheeza (cheese pizza) for lunch after Xman helped me with the cake then off we went to the play café again with some family and friends. After much running and chasing we had a light dinner and a library visit before heading home for birthday songs and cake and a very late bedtime!
Happy birthday, my love, you are indescribable!
X brought his Snap Circuits to the table that he had received last year in order to get ready for what was to come…
Snap Circuits Add-Ons! Now he can make an AM/FM radio, an LED number count-down and more!
On to decorating the cake and chocolate acorn Pokémon.
He looks quite good for 61.
As X had done for L so too would he do for himself. He played Happy Birthday on the keyboard while we sang!
And, of course, we have the traditional family photos!Mr Xman you are super awesome and a little silly too. Thank you.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again, on a day like today it’s best to be outside! Off went to our favourite park – we were there yesterday finding mushrooms and chickadees and more, oh my!
Today was another search for mushrooms, not for picking, just identifying. And with mushrooms we always find moss and lichen, so many wonderful kinds for which we love making up names.
Before we left I found that Annie and Dawn were putting together a nature exchange and decided that we would start a collection for this as well which we will show once we have collected.
The sky was perfect as the sky always is with wispy clouds and the scent of ocean and pine in the air. A beautiful day to be thankful on this day of Thanksgiving and a perfect way to celebrate!
It was a busy day at the park so we decided to venture off the paths and into the forest to find what we could find, treasures that have always existed but tucked safely away. Nature never disappoints!
L found a walking stick! 🙂
Stick balancing which is always fun and worth the time.
We found a path through the trees.
A wonderful day indeed then off to home to prepare our Tofurky dinner but not without some newfound treasures and some oldies but goodies as well.
It’s been a great weekend for us all and especially for L. This weekend he had his 9th birthday. Wowza!
This is a post with A LOT of pictures for those family and friends who do not live nearby.
We started out at a play café called Rebel Space with friends. They had a great time together and tired each other out indeed!
From there were went for some lunch and then to the library. In the parking lot we found many a fire truck so, naturally, we went to visit some trucks and the boys got to go inside of them and try out the firehose too!
I found it interesting to learn that this particular truck is no longer used to carry more than two firefighters. The seats in the back (sorry I didn’t take a pic!) would have been facing sideways facing each other which wouldn’t be safe if they were t-boned. They changed the truck seating about 6 or 7 years ago. This truck is still used as a support vehicle for extra equipment, communications (they have a fax), and other supplies.
The boys loved aiming the hose (a smaller hose than the firefighters would have used!) at the target. Xman wanted to use the hose twice.
Lucas only wanted to use it once but he hit the target so quickly I only managed to catch the end of it with Stephen untangling the hose.
I managed to get a video of X the second time around!
This truck is used at the interpretation centre to help the public become more aware of fires and fire safety.
Off to the library for a bit of reading…and relaxing…we came home with many a comic books and then some!
On the way home we stopped at the market for eggs and some fun chalk drawing by L. Have you seen a crockasoraus before? If not, it looks a little something like this.
L loves to make long squiggly arrows…
When we left the market the sky outside reflected in this building looked pink in the windows’ reflection. I had to take a pic. Lovely.
Lucas: “I slept off and on like an elephant last night I was so excited!”.
I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. Apparently, he explains, it’s true, elephants only sleep four hours at night and not all at the same time. 🙂
L was so exited in the morning and he brought his favourite stuffy, Milkshake, that has been with him since birth to partake.
“No pictures, please!” L was specific about the few things for which he asked. This is his first model to build.
I had no idea L already had a hot wheels type Blue Angel which is one reason why he wanted this model. I think there will be more of these!
Lego? Is that Lego? 🙂
This set came with cool transparent stickers!
A new scorpion character.
Lego Galaxy Squad Star Slicer. Pretty cool, I have to admit. Nice mantid!
Our most awesome friend, Sharon, came by for the big day as she has known the boys since they were in my belly. She is totally in love and we love her too! She helped decorate the cupcakes to be Koopa Troopa shells. Xman helped add the white icing too. L placed them aside. A good system going to keep things moving! Oh yes, and these were little mushrooms with eyes! Cute Koopas! Happy Birthday, L! Of course we had to make room on the table for his Lego and winged friends!Xman decided to run over to the piano and play a song for a sing-along. So fun!
After the sweet celebration we went out to the book store and came home with the Lego Playbook that L has wanted for like, foreverrr.
It’s very cool…
We always take a family photo at the end of each birthday. Some nice ones and some fun ones. Happy birthday, sweet boy! We love you!