Easy Snow Globe

This is a fun little project the kids loved making last year and were just as thrilled to pull out of the Christmas decorating box and see them again this year.snow globe
Here are the supplies you will need:snow globe
– Figurine ($3 at local toy store) and tree ($1 for 3-pack at dollar store)
*Note, make sure figurine fits in opening of globe!
– Globe (I used a jar from a dollar store $1)
– Snow (here I used finely shredded coconut and sugar to add sparkle)
– Glue gun
– Marker

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I am sure it is pretty self-explanatory to do this but here are the steps:

1) If the jar is not even all around, close lid and make a mark on lid where the front of the jar is so you will know which way to place figurine.

2) Open lid and hot-glue figurine and tree to lid

3) Fill globe with snow, close lid and voila!
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Halloween: Tissue Ghosts (easy and fun with kids)

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Of all the fun crafts my mom involved my sister and I with when we were kids, this one stands out as my favourite and my kids seem to love it too. It is about as simple as you can get as far as Halloween crafts go and great for all ages.

Supplies:
– Kleenex (tissue)
– White thread
– Marker

1) Take one tissue and scrunch it into a ball.
2) Wrap second tissue around first and twist to form the head.
3) Wrap thread around neck of ghost and tie knot leaving enough tail of thread to be used to hang onto something.
4) Make dots on face with marker for eyes and mouth.

We have hung them from our dining light but are also great in a window or anywhere really. Another great option is to pick a branch and hang them from the it.

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Lilacs

There is something about lilacs that fills me with happiness. Perhaps it is because the scent of them brings me back to my childhood where I had a lilac bush outside my window.  I recall bedtime in the spring when the sweet scent would fill my room and make sleep a pleasure – a rare thing at a young age when bedtime is never a favourite time of one’s day.

It has been a beautiful year here for lilacs and unfortunately, they have come to an end until next spring. Here are some pics from the last couple of weeks.June7_2013_1 June7_2013_2 June7_2013_4
Lilac bush out laundry room window (makes doing laundry a little more enjoyable)June7_2013_5 June7_2013_6
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Storms, Dragonflies and Goslings

Two days ago there was sweltering heat and this morning I have the fire on and it snowed again! Here are some photos taken two days ago on May 22nd. What a day!

First there were the storms, then sunshine and goslings followed by a special appearance by hundreds of dragonflies.

In the morning we had a brief but very intense storm. Here are some photos of the approaching storm.
Approaching storm 8:54:19 am

8:55:21 am

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8:55:57 am

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Rain sweeping across far shore 8:57:31 am

 

Rain moving in 8:58:01 am

may23_2013_5Wind and rain getting closer 8:58:34 am

may23_2013_6Holy (insert swearing)! 8:59:02 am


This is about the moment when I realized I am probably one of those people who will end up in a tornado because they are to busy taking photos instead of taking cover!

It seems Daisy knew how to take cover. I found her wedged in the corner of the laundry room.


A few minutes after the storm passed and my nerves settled, I noticed the pea-sized hail remaining on my daughter’s shirt which was left outside in the rain.

Goslings

Later that day you wouldn’t even think it would have been possible to have had such a storm – other than the debris from trees scattered about. The weather turned sunny and steamy from all the rainfall and it was an incredible evening. The geese and their goslings sure seemed to enjoy it.

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dragonflies

A little earlier in the day when I walked outside, I had noticed hundreds of dragonflies flying around and had to be careful where I stepped since they were in the process of transforming from nymph to dragonfly. They had just come out of their exoskeletons and were pumping their wings to prepare for their first flight. I find it a rare occurrence to catch that moment since it only seems to happen for a day or two and I was happy to see so many dragonflies especially since the mosquitos have been wicked lately!

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Picture of dragonflies with their nymph exoskeleton (probably not the accurate term)
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Beautiful wings which have not yet flown.
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We noticed some of the dragonflies were on the ground in places where ants had found them and were trying to eat them, so the girls and I “rescued” as many as we could by gently letting them walk onto our hands and then relocating them to a safer place. may23_2013_13 may23_2013_14 may23_2013_15 may23_2013_16 may23_2013_17 may23_2013_18Gently blowing on its wet wings to help straighten them out.

After “rescuing” upwards of 20 dragonflies, I read this article which made me question if it was wise to let the girls hold them with bare hands. The dragonflies must not have felt threatened since they didn’t bite and I didn’t want to spoil the experience for the girls but perhaps a bite would have ruined it anyway. I would love to hear what you think. Was it the right decision to let them hold the dragonflies?

Have a wonderful weekend and wherever you are this weekend, I wish you no snow!

Trying To Stay Sane in An April Snow Storm

It is April 12th and we are in the middle of a snowstorm! Since the kids have a snow day today, I am trying to think of ways to keep them busy and me sane. Here are some fun and easy activities we have tried recently.

Balloon Rocket

Need: straw, string, tape, balloon, 2 chairs
• Cut a straw and put a string through it
• Tie one end to one chair and the other end to another chair
• Blow up a balloon and hold end closed while taping it to the straw
• Slide balloon and straw to the end of the string which has the balloon opening facing the chair
• Let go and watch the balloon rocket fly!
• The kids liked it when one child would let go and the other child would lie under the string so the rocket would fly over them.
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Goo Science

The goo is sometimes liquid and sometimes solid and so much fun! Scientists would call this a “colloid”. You can roll it into a ball but if you hold the ball in your hand, it will liquify and run through your fingers. The kids could probably play with this for hours.

How to make it:
• Put about 2 cups of cornstarch in a bowl
• One child slowly adds water a little at a time while other child mixes with their hands
• Once you get the perfect consistency of liquid/solid it is time to play

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Snow Storm!?!

Well, it is April 12th and we are in the middle of a snow storm :/
Here are some pictures from about an hour ago. Notice the confused robin looking for worms. I think it has kind of an Angry Birds expression on its face, what do you think?
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The girls are home from school since buses are cancelled so I am trying to keep them busy. I am going to do a follow-up post next of some fun activities we will probably do.

A Fire a Coyote and Other Stuff

Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day. The kids and their dad did a yard cleanup and burned some of the sticks and leaves they raked. The girls were so excited to have a real fire and pretended they were camping. They even got to roast a real marshmallow 🙂

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At dusk, we had a surprise visit from a coyote. By the time I got my camera, it was already too far for a good picture but I thought I would show the best one I took anyway. I posted a few better photos I took a while ago here. It had it’s eyes fixed on some geese on the ice. Needless to say, we kept our dog Daisy in for the night since we don’t want this to happen to her again.
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On another note, I snapped this photo below of a garden the girls made out of their toys. It seems planting the seeds has also inspired them.
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Happy Sunday!

Dreaming Of Vegetable Gardens And Loving Spring

A couple of weeks ago we planted some starter seeds indoors for veggies to be transplanted into our garden when it is warm enough outside to do so. It is exciting to think that we have survived another winter and soon the earth will be awakening again. Already, the skies are beginning to fill with birds on their return flight after spending a winter in some warmer, less hostile climate than Canada in the winter.

I have to admit I love pretty much everything about living in Canada, but there are always a few moments in the winter when I wonder what in the world I am doing living in such a frigid and desolate place. Once the majority of the birds fly south and the animals go to sleep, the silence can be both lovely and lonely at once. Hearing the honking Canada Geese or the excited call of the Red-Winged Blackbirds makes my heart glad and I long for the lullaby of the Spring Peepers which I know will soon follow.

Here are some pics from planting the seeds with my daughters.Image

So far, this year we have pre-planted seeds for the following:
•Green Beans
•Dark Green Zucchini
•Dwarf Green Curled Kale (only Kale seeds I could find – should be interesting)
•Long Green Cucumber
•Chioggia Beets
•Sugar Snap Peas
•Lettuce

And a few flowers:
•Morning Glory
•Nasturtium (I love these in hanging baskets and also for adding colour to the garden, and their flowers are edible and nice in salads with a slight nutty/spicy taste)
•Candy Stripe Cosmos (remind me of my grandmother’s garden)

Here are some photos from a few years ago of my daughters planting and caring for the seeds.Image

And a few photos from the harvest.Image

If you have any gardening stories or just general spring gratitude, I would love to hear.

Have a great weekend!

Fun, Easy Easter Egg Garland

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This idea is entirely thanks to my 8 year old. She wanted to decorate for Easter and loves cutting out snowflakes at Christmas time. She combined the two ideas by drawing and cutting out an Easter egg shape, then folding it in half twice and cutting out shapes as you would a snowflake. Be sure to only cut the shapes from the two folded sides. We finished by putting ribbon through a hole in each of the eggs and then hanging them up. So easy, fun and looks great! Such a clever little monkey 🙂

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