Friday, July 25, 2014

Sour Cherry Harvest

Since we've planted our little sour cherry tree, we have only gotten about 2 cherries a year from it. This year though, we've managed to get about 50 or so, enough to make this yummy crumb cake. Exciting stuff, haha! Aren't sour cherries so picturesque?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

All About Beavers

At the moment we are fascinated with beavers. We have been watching a few documentaries on the animals that have captured our interest. This one on youtube is superb and this on CBC is great too.  And then there is this short one where a guys gets really up close to some beavers. We've made a needle-felted little beaver and Kesten has a baby beaver stuffed animal. On Sunday at the Historic Site, we got a close up view of a (dead) beaver that was waiting to be skinned. It was a big one and it was very cool to examine it up close! And yesterday we had plans to do a short hike with some friends to go see an old beaver lodge out in the Research Forest north of town. As we were unloading from our cars and getting our bug spray on, their dog started growling at something at the trail head. And then she gave chase and something very large started crashing through the bush. Very large. It was either a bear or a moose. Either way, we called off the hike. We'll try again later when there are fewer bears around. Instead we headed out to their beautiful home in the research forest. We visited their chickens:

 Went for a walk and climbed some hills.
 I got to see beautiful Tezzeron Lake and Kesten enjoyed throwing some rocks in.
 At home, to make up for not seeing the real beaver lodge, we made our own from blankets and chairs.
 Cedar's activity mat made a great tunnel entrance.
Kesten pretended to swim into the lodge and had fun eating his snack inside. And then made me crawl in to read him stories.
 And Cedar got into the swing of things with her new little beaver hat and tail. I'll post the new knitting pattern when I get around to typing it out.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Most Delightful Visit

 So much happening and so much to catch you up on! Isn't summer glorious? My sister and her family were up for a week just recently and we had a wonderful time together. Her son is 6 months older than Kesten, and while the boys had some typical 2-year-old spats, they really had a lot of fun together. They were up during a real heat wave, when our temperatures were getting close to 40c on some days. Too hot for this girl, who is now acclimatized to northern summers.
We beat the heat by heading to the beach. Here is my sister and her son enjoying our little boat.
 And the boys had a blast in the sand.
 A trip to the Historic Park was in order. The boys traded some furs for a prize.
Too cute! I like how they are sitting as far apart as possible!
 We went for a little hike one morning to take in the sights of our forests. Nature discoveries are so exciting!
 Kesten tried some more challenging terrain to hike over.
 We all picked some wild raspberries at the end of the trail to reward us for our hard work.
 In the cooler evenings, the boys headed out for a bike ride. I liked to take a dip in the lake each night before bed. It helped bring my body temp down and made it easier to sleep.
 And of course there were fans and spray bottles to keep us cool during the heat of the day!

 Look at the focus of those two as they colour! I'm glad they had this opportunity to visit each other.
 I've got more to update you on in a bit, including a new knitting pattern.

Friday, July 4, 2014

A Love of Letters

Kesten has a new interest right now, and I love seeing him so engrossed in learning. Kesten's latest obsession is letters. As someone who has been trained as an Early Childhood Educator, I am a big believer in children learning through play. I believe in following their interests and building upon those. I don't agree with the use of flashcards and other methods of trying to get very young children to learn to read and write. When it is age appropriate, children will learn these skills much faster than trying to force it on them when they are too young. I believe that children will pick up a lot of knowledge to help them out in school just by being in a print-rich environment. So, with all that being said, I have been amazed by Kesten's interest in letters lately. I think it started when we were reading him the story Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. We pointed out the 'K' and said, "Hey, 'K' is for Kesten!" After that, he has been picking out 'k's everywhere. At first it was just big letters all on their  own. There is a board with all the letters of the alphabet on it at the playground across the street. He started to search for the 'k' there. But soon he was picking out tiny 'k's in words. He points them out in the stories we read, in street signs as we are walking, on labels in the grocery store. "K! Kesten!" he says when he sees one. And now he has added more letters to his repertoire. 'X" came next, because it looks a lot like 'K' and he would get them confused a lot. 'D" for daddy, 'M' for mommy, 'P" for Parker (his cousin), 'C' for Cedar, and 'N' for Noah (his friend), all get pointed out these days. He likes these letters because of their personal significance to him. They all stand for names of friends and family. 

He has been playing with "alphabug" (a gift from his Grandma and Grandpa when he was just a baby), listening to it sing the alphabet and he shout out the letters he recognizes.

 We put some paper up over our fireplace and we started to add different letters that begin the names of his family and friends. He likes to go over and point them out to me (as well as colour and add stickers to his paper!).
We have a few different alphabet books too, that he likes to sit with and point out the letters he knows. I think he is just excited that he can recognize some of the shapes in this magical text that mommy and daddy seem to be able to read stories out of! It truly is fascinating to see into the mind of a learning 2 year old!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Crafting: A Felted Otter Playscape

Well, the crafting urge struck again. Who knows how I find time for it, but naps (for the kidlets) certainly help, and this time Kesten was willing to help me with the wet felting. 
So this time I wanted to make a little river otter habitat. I wet felted this part and added some needle-felted details.
 The otters made their home in a burrow on a hillside by a pond. The old tree stump marks the spot of their main entrance.
 A stream runs by the side of their burrow and a little tunnels leads to it. The pond is full of fish to feed a hungry otter family.
 Inside the burrow, dry leaves line the floor, making a soft spot for the babies to roam.
 Daddy otter can dive into the water to hunt for fish while baby slides down the hill and plays.
 The otters love to roll around on their backs, just like dogs.
 I needle-felted the daddy and baby otter, along with three little fish (one is at large- Kesten likes to bring the fish into the bathtub with him). I plan on making a couple more otters to finish up the family.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Happy Birthday!

Yesterday was a certain little boy's very special 2nd birthday. The night before we had the house all ready for when he would wake up in the morning.
 Presents ready and waiting...
 We hung streamers over his bedroom door. He was so excited in the morning when he got to run through those!
 So many presents to open and enjoy. Here he is playing with his new garbage truck.
 He cooked himself some eggs in his new kitchen.
 Cedar was all pooped out from the partying. Kesten had energy to spare though. He was dancing around the house with excitement all day.
 When it was time to eat cake, Kesten made us re-light the candles four times so he could blow them out again and again.
 After dinner he went for a bike ride with his new helmet.
He is such a sweet, caring, fun, smiley, energetic, funny little boy and we love him so much! Happy Birthday Kesten!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The First Two Days of Summer

 We ushered summer in by celebrating National Aboriginal Day at the Historic Park. They had some fun events and free hamburgers.

This is inside the fur warehouse at the Historic Park. This is only a fraction of the amount of furs that would have been here when this was a working fort.
 The furs hanging in the foreground are muskrat and in the background are lynx. Note the old graffiti on the walls.
 At the trade store, Kesten got to trade a rabbit fur for a prize. This is a fun thing they do for the kids that come through the park. The kids have to make up a story about their fur and choose an animal that it came from. They then try and barter the fur for a prize. We pretended that Kesten got a grizzly bear and that he wrestled it down with his bare hands. Pretty impressive.
 Next we checked out the drumming. This man made the mistake of letting Kesten drum. Kesten would not give the stick back and made the man sing song after song.
 Look how happy he is! What a good time he had!
Later that night David and I watched the fireworks from our balcony. When you live in the North, it doesn't get dark at Solstice until after 11pm, so that's when the fireworks start. We happened to be already awake, because my little girl doesn't like to go to bed until midnight. 
 Today I went for a mountain bike ride with my friend and when I came home, I found these two watching the world cup. And Cedar was blissfully asleep.
 After dinner, a walk to the lake was in order. Kesten promptly stripped down and headed in to throw rocks and sticks.

 Cedar is growing like a weed!
 Look at those smiles! She gives us smiles all the time now.
 And look at that beautiful baby chub!

 My little girl <3 p="">
What a blissful way to start summer!
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