Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Making a Rainforest

It so happened the my son was sitting though one "boring" church service and paging through a magazine called The Banner. It was the August 2011 one. This publication has a section called, "Just for Kids," and this particular month's was all about the rainforest (Really Cool Rainforests by a Mrs. Baker).
There was one part in it called Rainforests in a Bottle, and E decided in church that he better go home and make one. So. . .that is what he did (with a little help from Dad!)
They took a 2L pop bottle, cut it in half, put rocks in the bottom, and covered it with potting soil, just like the directions said to do. They added water to moisten the soil, and put a small strawberry plant inside. Then they attached the "top" of the bottle using clear packing tape.

The directions said to put it out in the sunshine, and that no more water was needed  because the water inside the bottle recycles itself and the plant should grow. (See all the droplets on the sides of the bottle?)
And according to Mrs. Baker, "You've successfully created a rainforest!"

Pizza Pasta

My kiddos were part of a the summer reading club at their local library. In addition to the reading they did at home, there were various shows/presentations that they could attend. One that we went to was put on by The Old Spaghetti Factory. It was a cooking show, where they connected the need for reading and writing with working at the various levels within the restaurant. They also had some of the kids help them make a special secret recipe created just for the event.

Well, not so secret, I guess, when they give the kids the recipe, right?

So, my son came home and wanted to make it. It was called "The Old Spaghetti Factory's Secret Pizza Pasta Salad."

So, he put together the ingredient for the dressing: 1 c. tomato sauce (we did a home made version of the kind we like. OSF obviously used their tomato sauce recipe), 1 c. ketchup, 1/4 c. diced onion, 3/4 c. olive oil, 1/4 c. brown sugar, 1/4 c. red wine vinegar, 1 t. basil, 1 t. oregano, & 1 t. black pepper
Then he added  cooked pasta (3/4 c. to each 1/4 c. dressing), added diced mozza cubes, sliced pepperoni, and even tried to decorate it with fresh basil like the chef did!

This was supposed to be a "cold salad." He wanted to try it warmed up, so we added a bit more dressing and a bit more cheese, and baked it briefly in the oven.
Add a little garlic toast. . .yum!
Thanks to the Old Spaghetti Factory for the recipe and the fun of making it at home!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A white dress. . .

A long time ago. . .
my best friend and I got dressed up. . .
 and decided to spend the rest of our lives together.
 Thank you God for many wonderful years!
And. . .as I was looking through some photos, my kiddos wanted to know what it was like. They remembered their Grandma's wedding, but it seemed very different to them than the pictures they saw in the black photo album. Then. . .all was quiet and I though the moment had passed. I went on to bake some snacks. E suddenly came upstairs with a big white garment bag and said, "Try this on!" Someone had found my wedding dress! Princess A of course couldn't resist a "princess moment" so. . .
Photo was courtesy of E ("because that is what happens when girls wear pretty dresses, you know. People always take pictures of girls in dresses and boys on bikes.")
It still fits! (I kinda do that every year (or more if needed!) after a baby. . .make sure I can still squeeze into it!)
The excitement of it all prompted my two older ones to have a pretend wedding. It was adorable! I love my kids! They are so creative and so darn cute! (I'm very, very biased, of course!) All of a sudden, Princess A came out of her room looking like a princess and E came upstairs in his best black clothes, and it was announced that it was time to sit down so the wedding could begin!
They got dressed up in their "wedding best" and had a ceremony of their own.
And, of course, there always has to be a picture of the ring. . .
And the dancing that goes along with it all. . .
(E said he knew what the boys are supposed to do for the dancing and then proceeded to help Princess A do a twirl and then a lift in the air! I couldn't help but giggle! I think he did okay!)
I love my kiddos! They make my life so full of overflowing joy!
And I love my hubby--of course! Happy Anniversary!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Vancouver Lights

Last weekend was the last day of the Celebration of Light, so the hubby and I took a trip to Vancouver  to see it all. When doing some searching, I found this Self-guided Art Walk in Vancouver (mainly Stanley Park) and I convinced my hubby to do a bit of it together! My goal was to take pictures of each one we saw (knowing we probably wouldn't be able to walk around to all of the downtown and park art), but after the first few of me forgetting to snap a shot, I gave up on the photo idea!

Here we are by the Olympic Torch
By day and by night!
 We took a few photos to show the kiddos--things we had seen from a distance earlier in the week, or things we had encountered in books.
 E has a fascination with the Titanic and wanted to see a cruise ship up close to compare, so we needed a few photos for him!

 This above one was great too--because we saw it at night as well, and it has lights flashing. I was very impressed with the artist's thinking behind this piece.
(As a teacher, it'd be neat to see students try this on a smaller scale, and at a primary level maybe just a 2D work would be great to try)

Here are some of the totem poles by the Sea Wall.
 Siwash Rock
 There was an artist selling his photographs and cards of these rocks he had created. He was showing some people passing by how he did it~they just didn't have the talent he did!

 The hubby--although he'll probably hate me for posting a picture of him/us looking tourist-y! (I loved his hidden interest in finding the places I wanted to see!)
 Us at English Bay. We had gone out for dinner, and then realized we should probably scout out a spot as the beach was already jam packed with people! Some friends who passed by were happy we had been there and joined our SUPER-GREAT spot! Since we had some time to spare, I figured out how to use the "fireworks" setting on the camera before the fireworks started! I think the photos turned out alright. 

It was loud and beautiful!
It was Canada's night, so of course it was superb! :)

a few (more) cards. . .

Oops! I realized I already had a post started about some cards I had made, only I never posted it! So here are a few more pictures of some super simple cards I've made using scraps (see my last post about a few cards). I don't have any of these cards anymore. . .they were all sent out!

(This top one I made during GEMS once. One of my girls couldn't focus long enough to get through a whole lesson, so we started making cards together so she was being "creative" and using her hands. I figured if we were sending out encouraging cards to her friends, family and people in the church, maybe she was still learning all those important God-lessons that she might have learned through doing the full lessons.)

I love this one. . .simple, easy, but kinda cute. . .and I like the pink and green combo.

A few cards. . .

I don't claim to be a super-great card-maker or scrapbook-creator like some of the people I know and the blogs that I visit occasionally, but I enjoy doing it, whether they turn out okay or not. I was pretty proud of myself for getting my baby's scrapbook all done by the time he was 15 months. It is not nearly the size of my other kiddos, but it captures all that it needs too!

In the last little bit I have been trying to make cards out of the "scraps" I've collected. My dutch thriftiness says I can't throw out something that can be used in the future, so I figured it was about time I tried to use some scraps, to see if they were even useful! In addition to that, a friend of mine let me borrow her huge box of Stampin' Up sets, so, I figured I had to be able to create something if I compiled all the resources!
So here are a few. . .
And a few more. . .
Another thing I've been trying out is using the stamps to make"pop-ups" (or whatever the correct term for this is!) and using one of those blending brushes for watercolour pencils. I may be 10 years behind in stamping techniques, but I have had a few pockets of time before I need to head back to work, and I thought I would take advantage of it!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Summer so far. . .part 3

Our summer adventures continue. . .for those of you who care (and have been bugging me to post again!) to see how we are spending our time!
Funny how prayers are answered. . .E loved going to the Agrifair so-o-o much that he was convinced that we should go again on the last day of it. We kinda told him that it was fun to do once, and we'd go again next year. But he still spent some time pleading his case with God, telling him how much he loved God's great animals and creation. :) As a parent, I told him about how God sometimes says no to prayers and that I didn't really want to pay for a day to the same place again. (Sorry!!!) But on the last day, it turned out we got some passes (Thank you, Chief!) and we ended up going again! This time we watched some different presentations, including E's favourite--Trials Stars Bike Demos. Now he thinks he should being doing "tricks" on his bike! Great!
Here is our little guy in the stroller, all ready for another day out and about!
This time I remembered to bring my camera, but didn't really use it a bunch! Here are the kids milking a "cow."
Here are the kiddos playing on the tractors again! They loved it!
Then we had to try out the climbing wall again! Princess A wanted to give it a try this time too, and although she didn't get very high, she loved it!
E trying to go higher each time!
And here are our balloon-making friends!
After the bike show, Princess A thought she should learn to ride her bike without the training wheels. . .I think we have a ways to go!!!
Little A getting in on the action as well--helping with the training wheels!
We had a day out at Crescent Beach, too. Everyone loves looking for crabs, hermit crabs and other sea creatures on the beach as the tide goes out. This was little A's first year to explore, and he didn't hesitate to find shells, rocks, and sea creatures along with the others!
With the tide out, we could walk quite a ways out. . .too far to keep up with my little camera. We love stopping in White Rock, too, to check out the Pier (and the view of the fish, sea gulls and the jelly fish) and the white rock. It's a tradition. It's what we do.
The next day we went out to Stanley Park in Vancouver and took in all the sights at the Vancouver Aquarium. The place was packed!!! (Not so ideal for the jogging stroller we took in!) The favourite was the dolphin show, followed by the Birds of Prey show that was there for the summer. E pretty much had the one from the Greater Vancouver Zoo memorized, so it was good for him to see some new flying friends to learn about! They pretty much like it all. . .except that 4D show!!! So. . .one day the hubby and I will have to go to see more than 2 minutes of that!
Trapped! Well, exploring anyway!
The kids loved the huge aquariums and the colourful sea creatures. Little A tried to talk to them all. He wasn't so fond of the dolphins--their splashing and jumps scared him, but he loved the creatures that moved slowly!

Here we are in the "rainforest." If you put your hand out, a butterfly would land on it! We saw parrots and macaws, sloths and stingrays. It was neat for E after learning about the Rainforest in school this past year.
Here's just a few photos of some of the things we saw. . .

Being a fan of Wild Kratts, the kids loved hearing about all the conservation efforts and what they could do to help save the animals. (I have a few suggestions to offer the Aquarium to save my sanity when visiting a place like that. . .but that is another story!) We went to Stanley Park and the kids water park afterwards to collect some shells and walk a bit. And then we got stuck in Vancouver traffic. Yuck! Oh well!