Sunday, July 29, 2012

I Scream for Ice Cream

I'll take a moment, now that Holly is sleeping, and Griffin is lying in bed talking about his day with Jai, to slip in here and do a quick update.  We've been busy, and getting less sleep than we need, and my brain, by the end of the day, is functioning far below average.  I can't even think back - luckily it's not me up there, going over our day!  Here's some pics, though, from a recent trip to Pearl's - the local ice cream stand. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Picnics and Other Joys

Here we are again!  The summer, it seems, is just GO, go, Go.  Don't get me wrong - I love it all.  But I won't deny that there is a part of me that is secretly looking forward to winter, to slowing down, to warm soups and hot tea.  For now, though, it is all picnics outside, and weeding, and bathing suits, and flying kites. And thank goodness for the rhythm of the year.  It is One of the Things We Love About Living Here.  Here are some of the others...
Some photos from Canada Day:

Some Photos From a Small Family Picnic:

All that and more - berry picking, bug bites, visiting, and thrifting.  Good days, which end in brown bath water.

For more summer pictures, you can visit my photography blog, where I am participating in the Let the Kids Summer Shot List.  We have been having fun.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Natural Playground Update - Two Years On...

Here it is, as promised, a little update on the Natural Playground.  I haven't really written much since we put it in, but there have been some developments.  We applied for some grants last year and used the money to add some cement culverts as tunnels, which the kids decorated with paint handprints, 
and now this year some musical instruments.  We added an amindala (like a vertical xylophone), a whale drum, and a set of listening tubes.  Griffin was happy to be the first kid to test them out.  Yup, pretty fun.

 And the old perrennial favourites still hold up - among them the sand box,

 and the climbing tree.  This (lucky?) old pine is almost always full of kids.  You can see in the background of the above picture that we also purchased some child-size picnic tables from a local non-profit group, and the plants in the foreground were a donation from a local gardener.

The night after we put the new pieces in, I was putting Holly to bed upstairs and could hear some chiming coming from the direction of the backyard.  It took me a minute to realize what it was, but then it put a big smile on my face.  Apparently the additions are a big hit.
Coming soon, we have big and exciting plans for a large addition, but I'll write more about that as we get started on it.  Until then...

Come to me, O ye children!
For I hear you at your play,
And the questions that perplexed me
Have vanished quite away.

-Henry Wordsworth Longfellow

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Summer and Stuff

Ah, these lazy, hot days of summer have arrived.  Now, if only the chance to be a little bit lazy would have accompanied them!
I made Strawberry & Ginger-Ale Jam.  Step One: Insert baby into Jolly Jumper (Holly Jolly Jumper, as we call it around here.)

Step Two:Sterilize jars, and hull and wash berries.

Step Three: Cook and Mash, with Sugar.

Step Four: Jar, and put into Hot Water Bath.  Darn!  Fruit float!  Last year I made a cooked jam, which used a lot less sugar, and had a different flavour.  I like them both, but so far the clear winner has been the Rose Petal & Rhubarb jam which disappeared from the jar in record time.

But that was just one day's work, ages ago now, it seems.  We had our sixth annual Canada Day BBQ, and I photographed a wedding on the same day (pictures of both forthcoming...)  We also added some new pieces to the Natural Playground (seperate post?) and got some stuff done in the garden (never enough, though, never enough.)
We painted (with piggy):

We drew, and practiced following lines:

Holly has been practicing her clapping:

 And, of course, play-doh was involved:

And I took (WAY too many) pictures of the kids:

So that's a random sampling of the hundred or so.  I just kept going as long as they would let me. And now I have to go.