Summer Sublime

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We’ve been enjoying more summer days at Pt. Roberts, days full of simple pleasures: running at Lily Point,horse fields, beach time with friends,project ideas,evening bike rides to the marina, tenting in the front yard,lunch at... READ MORE

DIY Rustic Shell Mobile

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I have a bit of a hobby collecting shells and making shell mobiles while we are staying at the beach house. I got the idea for this mobile from a photo in House... READ MORE

Homemade Playdough

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We’ve had some of these days off and on. There is a difference between “rain” and “showers”.  See we, Vancouverites have lots of different terms for precipitation.  Sort of like the Inuit have... READ MORE

Sensory Play: Mahjong

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We were touring a museum of early Chinese bunkhouses at the Steveston Shipyards. The museum had live props including a table with the well-known Chinese game, Mahjong. My children instantly gravitated to the table... READ MORE

Early Summer

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We started off our summer in our favourite place, Point Roberts, Washington.  It’s always fun to spot wildlife, The lettuce was gigantic this year!  The best part is going to South Beach everyday. Forth... READ MORE

Sunny Weekend

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Another sunny weekend full of BBQs and festivals.  We are ready for summer! READ MORE

Planting a Tree

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When we cleared our property to build, we had to remove most of the trees because they were in the way of construction or turned out to be dead. This spring and early... READ MORE

Summer Sublime

posted in: Cottage Life, Family Life | 0

We’ve been enjoying more summer days at Pt. Roberts, days full of simple pleasures:

IMG_1739running at Lily Point,IMG_1980horse fields,_MG_4966 beach time with friends,IMG_2068project ideas,IMG_2052evening bike rides to the marina,IMG_2061IMG_2066IMG_2035 IMG_2032tenting in the front yard,IMG_2023lunch at Brewsters while the kids are at day camp,IMG_2020 IMG_2016and more beach time with cousins.  Here’s wishing for more of the same!

DIY Rustic Shell Mobile

posted in: Cottage Life, DIY | 0

I have a bit of a hobby collecting shells and making shell mobiles while we are staying at the beach house.

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I got the idea for this mobile from a photo in House and Home magazine.

IMG_7548 I thought I could make more of a Westcoast version of that style of mobile.  I collected larger oyster shells, crab shells, sand dollars and driftwood.  Starfish could be used as well and purchased from Micheals.  I also used a foam, rope-covered ball that I’m pretty sure I purchased at Michaels.  I used a thick cone shaped grinder bit on the drill and carefully drilled a hole in the center of each item.  I had a couple of the shells crack on me and the driftwood even started to smoke, as I was drilling with the grinding bit, so I quickly switched to a regular drill bit for the wood.  Apart from that I managed to finish the drilling quite quickly and easily.

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All that is left to do is tie a knot in the rope and string all of the items on.

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And then something beachy to hang and enjoy!

Homemade Playdough

posted in: Crafts for Kids | 0

We’ve had some of these days off and on.

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There is a difference between “rain” and “showers”.  See we, Vancouverites have lots of different terms for precipitation.  Sort of like the Inuit have many different terms for snow.

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Showers are more brief and they come and go throughout the day.  I actually don’t mind showers.
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On a showery day, a great thing to do is make playdough.
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Homemade playdough is far better than store-bought playdough.  Especially when it is a huge, squeezable freshly made batch.
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Here’s our playdough recipe:

combine:  2 cups flour

1 cup salt

4 tsp. cream of tartar

combine:  2 cups water

food colouring

4 tsp. oil (I usually add quite a bit more to give it that smooth texture.)

Add wet to dry and mix well.  Cook over low-medium heat stirring frequently.  Remove from heat after mixture forms a ball and knead until smooth.  Place in a plastic bag to cool.  We got our recipe from a playgroup leader and believe me, they know how to make the best playdough.

So no matter what the weather, indoors,

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or outdoors, there’s playdough fun to be had all day long.

And here’s another recipe for my new recipe collection!

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Sensory Play: Mahjong

posted in: Classroom | 0

We were touring a museum of early Chinese bunkhouses at the Steveston Shipyards.

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The museum had live props including a table with the well-known Chinese game, Mahjong.

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My children instantly gravitated to the table and simultaneously began to touch, sort, match and pile the cube-shaped blocks according to the colours and symbols.

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They asked the young volunteer how to play the game, but she explained that it was quite complicated.  She did show the kids what some of the symbols meant.  They could have sat there for hours, even in the thick heat, intent on discovering how to play the game.

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After coaxing our kids to leave, I decided that we would have to get a game of our own (an idea which was met with much enthusiasm), and I greatly recommend the game for children in any home or classroom. IMG_1765

A cultural game for the hands and the mind, which perhaps one day I will actually learn to play!

Early Summer

posted in: Cottage Life | 0

We started off our summer in our favourite place, Point Roberts, Washington.  It’s always fun to spot wildlife,

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The lettuce was gigantic this year! _MG_4865_MG_4863

The best part is going to South Beach everyday.

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Forth of July parade,_MG_4949IMG_1853_MG_4934The firefighters entertained the kids by making a sprinkler with their hose!

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A community pick-up game of soccer.  Myles was in heaven!

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The firework display was unreal!  Shot off 15 meters in front of us and 27 mins long.  A great start to the summer!

Planting a Tree

posted in: Family Life, Home Projects | 0

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When we cleared our property to build, we had to remove most of the trees because they were in the way of construction or turned out to be dead.

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This spring and early summer, we did a lot of tree shopping.  We picked out an ornamental cherry, apple, oak and spruce tree to plant in our newly-landscaped yard.

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Each of the kids helped to dig the hole and plant his or her special tree,

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in it’s specially chosen location.

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Now a month or so later,

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we are greatly enjoying watching these little trees continue to grow!

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Nature Craft

posted in: Classroom, Cottage Life | 0
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I have a passion for observing children.  I am especially interested in their play, explorations and interactions.  One time I was teaching a unit to my class on soil.  I brought the children outside to collect “soil samples”.  They all had little plastic shovels and dug to their hearts’ content.  What I noticed was the quiet and the focus.  There were no dirt fights and none wandering.  They loved the feel of the earth and talked excitedly about what they were finding.
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My own children take pleasure in the riches of the earth.  I notice the art that they create from sand, shells, flowers and stones.
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They flourish in open fields, lane ways with wildflowers and with a walk in the woods behind our house, collecting, admiring and arranging as they go.
IMG_5278 I like to provide these opportunities and even notice their desire to reflect and draw afterwards.
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God’s power displayed in quiet ways.

“The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.” Psalm 24:1-2

How to Raise Tadpoles

posted in: Lesson Plans | 0

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Something very exciting has been happening around our home.

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Yes, the tadpoles are growing!

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The kids have been watching the tadpoles closely everyday.

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First they grew hind legs, then one front leg, then another front leg and then the tail started to shrink very slowly.

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Now the frog sits out on a rock and then hops back into the water for a swim.  Unfortunately one of our frogs died while we were away camping.  We weren’t sure if he was hungry or if our cat was somehow involved.  He is now lovingly buried in the backyard garden (we had a short ceremony for him).  We did more research for the second frog.  The “frog guy” at the pet store said he is too small to eat crickets yet, and suggested that we head back to the pond for some pond water filled with insects, larvae, and now we have a collection of small fish as well, along with a new tadpole!

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So far froggie number two seems content and froggie number three will join him soon, I’m sure then perhaps even more…

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Happy Frogging!

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