Cardboard Challenge

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The school that I teach at decided to hold a school-wide “Cardboard Challenge“, inspired by the youtube video “Caine’s Arcade“. There were many reasons why we decided to take on this challenge, but... READ MORE

Hands-on Inspiration

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It seems like an old concept, “hands-on” learning; but isn’t that what the new curriculum in British Columbia is really all about?  I always feel inspired by the local “Hyde Creek Salmon Festival”.... READ MORE

Weekend Away

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I enjoy a fall weekend away, just to relax, spend time together and to notice the changes of the season. Fall walks are my favourite kinds of walks.  Through the woods, or even along... READ MORE

Cloudy summer day? Bake a pie.

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 We’ve had plenty of days like this lately, but in my opinion, it’s the best weather for berry-picking.   We have farms like these a few blocks from our house, which makes it convenient.  And... READ MORE

First Days of Summer…

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  We’ve been starting our summer out right with all of our favourite beginning of summer activities.  This is the Point Roberts Marina.  I’ve been getting more time to run.  Here’s my favourite route... READ MORE

Explorer Art: Northwest Passage

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          My students have been beyond excited to learn about the first Canadian Explorers, especially the stories, the risk and the adventure.  I came upon this book, called Northwest... READ MORE

A Few of My Favourite Things…

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Over the holidays, I get time to enjoy the things I love the most: To name a few; running and hiking in nature, trips to the library to take out many books, time spent... READ MORE

Peach Season

posted in: Recipes | 0

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I have to admit, I’m enjoying the slower pace of the days at home with just Myles now that both the girls are in school all day.  So we have time to leisurly browse Kin’s Marketplace and,

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maybe it’s just a little past peach season, but I couldn’t help but notice the barrels and baskets of bright peaches.

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Myles was quite intrigued with them as well.

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So we picked some out, chopped them up and baked those peaches into delicious and moist peach oatmeal muffins.

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Great for packing up as school snacks or just serving as warm after school snacks.
Enjoy a great start to your week!!

Making Peanut Butter

posted in: Recipes | 0

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When I think fall, I often think of nuts.  All different kinds of nuts:  acorns, chestnuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds and peanuts.

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It was one of those days.  A sunny autmn day in October with the late afternoon sun streaming in through the windows, when after work and school the kids settled into shelling peanuts.  They don’t have to be shelled by hand, but that is part of the fun.

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The kids were fascinated,

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that adding only two tablespoons of oil to two cups of peanuts and a wee bit of salt,

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would make it into the creamy stuff that they love to eat.  Completely natural, no additives or preservatives.

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Now we can add autumn nut to summer berry.

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Hope you are enjoying your week!

Decorating a Girls’ Room

posted in: Home Projects | 0

I was going through some old photos and discovered this somewhat shocking photo of my daughter’s room in our previous house.  At the time we were trying to find ways to fit her things into a very small room.  We bought this loft bed, thinking that it would create a lot of space underneath, but instead, it was very high and squishy for her to sleep on and it left the rest of the room with a lack of shape and purpose.  So we sold the bed and found an adorable daybed on Craig’s List.  It’s a discontinued item from Ikea.  We rearranged her desk and bookshelf and framed some of her own paintings.

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Then ah, the room felt and looked much, much better.

Refinishing an Adirondack Chair

posted in: DIY | 0

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Sometimes projects come full circle.  Last September I posted about refinishing this chair the following summer.

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I had some photos of me sanding down the chair and painting it with paint left over from our front door.  But thankfully, I have the after photos.  The amazing result of just a little care, attention and a bit of paint.

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Next summer, I’ll show you the entire front porch…

Making Sand Candles

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

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We’ve spent our last week of summer at our beach house.  It’s the perfect place to get messy, sandy and to make stuff.
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I don’t know about you, but I remember the craft shack at summer camp and I loved making sand candles.  I decided to try them with the kids this year and they loved it, especially my oldest one.

We went to the beach to collect sand and used interesting shapes to make a mold.

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We hung regular string with these skewers over the holes, but holding the string over the hole seemed to center it even better.

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Our kitchen turned into a mini labratory, with wax and colours melting.  We used wax dye bought from the store, but I heard that crayons could work just as well.  We found it best using separate containers for each colour.
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We experimented pouring layer after layer, and trying different colours together.  And voila!  Our funky candles!

Spider Research Chart

posted in: Lesson Plans | 0

It’s It’s that time of year when spiders are busy creating their webs and having their offspring.  I am so excited to post my first free item on teachers pay teachers.  It is a research chart that can be used in a variety of ways in the classroom.  It is a way for students to compare facts about different kinds of spiders, or to share spider facts with other students in the class.  The idea was given to me by my son, when he wanted to research many different kinds of spiders at once, but I didn’t want him to labor over detailed reports for each.

Spider Research ChartIf you are interested in downloading a copy of the chart, simply click on this link: Spider Research Chart.  Enjoy your research!

Beach House Before and After

posted in: Cottage Life, Home Projects | 0

Our beach house was built by my grandfather in the early 1960s, and it was given to us in 2001, right before our oldest child  was born.  Every summer we work away at it, making updates and repairs as best we can with what we can afford.  So here are some of the before pictures, some old ones from my grandmother:

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and now (so far…)

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Cupcake Decorating for Kids

posted in: Crafts for Kids, Events | 0

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One of the easiest and least expensive birthday cakes we ever served at a party were cupcakes decorated by the young guests themselves.

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We bought cupcake icing in an aerosal container in a couple of different colours and then supplied M&Ms, coloured candy stars, sprinkles and other toppings found in the cake decorating section of the grocery store.
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The girls were extremely focused as they shared and added the decorations to their cupcakes.  We let them make several and then put them all on a desert platter when finished.  You can also buy pyramid-shaped cupcake holders as well.  When we sang Happy Birthday, we brought out the cupcake platter with candles on top.  To add to the desert, we used a floral foam in the bottom of a vase and skewered some fruit to make our own fruit bouquet.

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The girls were excited to eat their own cupcake and the skewers as well.  A great idea for a home birthday party!

Spool Knitting or Tube Knitting

posted in: Crafts for Kids | 0

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This summer, the kids really got into tube knitting after trying it out at a the Maritime Festival in the summertime.

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What fascinated me is that the artist used a home-made knitting tool, that she had created from coloured card-stock, popsicle sticks and patterned tape.

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We discovered some patterned duct tape at Walmart and used that when we made our own at home.  It’s great to have home-made ones because you can use them with a large group and even have older kids make their own tubes.

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The knitting itself is very easy.  You just tie the wool on (we discovered you have to use regular wool, not thick wool), loop the wool around each one of the popcicle sticks, then put the wool on top of the loop and lift the loop over the line of wool.  Some very clear instructions about how to do the knitting can be found here at Craftinsanity.com.

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Keep doing that over and over, pulling tight until all the wool is used up.  My only question is, what to do with the knitted tube when finished?

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I think my favourite idea so far is to make a knitted cactus!:)

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