Sunday, 22 September 2013

Sleep randomness

This post is just a bunch of random pictures taken over the last week or so . . . but they all have to do with sleep. 

When we were at the cottage a few weeks ago, the kids thought it would be fun to switch roommates for the week.  So Victoria and Austin shared a room and Samara and Denver shared a room.   Denver slept on the bottom bunk and Samara slept on a single bed in the same room.  We shoved a dresser in between the two beds to prevent them from falling out.  On the first night, everyone was tuckered right out and fell asleep really quickly.  When Mike and I went to bed, we checked on the kids and this is what we found in Samara and Denver’s room:

We didn't even hear her come out of her bed and into Denver’s.  Isn't it so precious how they’re snuggled right up together?  It was too cute not to take a picture!   

The other night when we asked Denver to go get ready for bed, I heard him calling me a few minutes later.  When I went to tuck him, he was waiting ever so patiently for me.  I love the pose!

The other night Austin was away at a sleepover and so Denver was alone in his bedroom.  He really missed his roommate!  Their beds are just mattresses on the floor right now as we’re doing renos.  Instead of sleeping on his own mattress, I found that he had crawled all the way over onto Austin’s mattress. 

Victoria called me to come and see something the other morning.  She had Frodo all tucked in for a nap . . . in her bed!  

And that's it for the random sleep pics.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

New shoes and new skill

This post is also from quite a while ago but I wanted to still get it on the blog.  Samara had been asking me over and over again for new running shoes.  I kept telling her that she didn't need new ones because the ones she had were perfectly fine.  But she insisted that she didn't like the ones she had and she had her eyes on a new pair at the store.  She had them all picked out and asked me about them every time that specific store was mentioned.  So one day she was out shopping with Daddy and guess what she came home with?  Yep . . . new shoes!  

I guess she hadn't been asking the right person all along.  LOL!  Anyway, these particular shoes she wanted so badly were shoes with laces so I told her that she needed to learn to tie them by herself.   Up to this point, she never really had a reason to learn to tie.  In fact, I'm pretty sure with all the velcro and slip on shoes they make now, a person could get through life without ever learning how to tie a shoe.  But she was bound and determined to get these new shoes and now she was bound and determined to learn to tie them.  We tried learning the traditional way but it's actually pretty complicated.  I found it difficult to teach and difficult to learn.   And then I remembered something I had pinned a while ago and went to look it up.  It's called "magic fingers" and it's a different way to teach a child to tie their shoes.  I watched the video a few times over and figured out how to do it.  I showed Samara and in no time she was tying those shoes on her own!  

It's so cool and she surprises anyone that sees her do it.  I took a video of her tying them using the magic fingers method and I will try to post it here.  It's my first time adding a video to the blog so I hope it works! 


I've been meaning to post this for a while now and am finally getting around to it now.  Austin and Samara both signed up for sailing this year in June.  Austin had done it two years ago and this year I asked Samara if she would also be interested.  Because of their ages, they were able to go in the same group - and therefore in the same boat most of the time too.  I'm still amazed that my kids have taken sailing . . . they would have never done it or even been exposed to sailing without this opportunity.  

The classes were held for three hours twice a week for the month of June.  They were taught not only how to sail, but everything else that goes along with it.  Each day they had to get their own boat ready, hooking up the sail the proper way and then pack it all up properly at the end of the class.  This was always a lot of work but they got pretty proficient at it by the end of the month.  

Austin and Samara were usually together in the same boat - once in a while the instructors would switch the kids around but they preferred to be together.   And they worked so well together.  The instructors even commented on how well they steered and maneuvered their boat working together and with the wind to go exactly where they needed to be.  It was really cool to see.  Often times buoys were set up as a course and Austin and Samara would whip around them almost without effort.  I loved watching it.  Sometimes if the wind wasn't too strong and the water wasn't too rough, they would sail out into the lake . . . but other times they just sailed down the river.  I only have pictures of them in the river as I could watch from a bridge up above.  

And speaking of rough waters, on the third last class of the session, the waters ended up being quite rough - more rough than it looked from the marina.  Samara ended up getting quite an upset stomach and the instructor had to bring her in to me.  She was pretty sad and decided she NEVER wanted to sail again.  When the rest of the kids came back in, they all looked a little green too - including Austin.  I tried not to talk too much about more sailing but I did want them both to finish up the classes.  It turned out that the next day the kids both had bad colds so we missed the class.  The next time we went was the last one and Samara was determined she wasn't going to get in a boat - and Austin wasn't thrilled about going without her.  I talked her into at least preparing the sailboat with Austin and when it was time to get in, she was pretty determined not to go.  After much discussion and coaxing (from me and the instructors), she got into the boat.  It helped her to know they weren't going far (not into the lake) and that if she started to feel sick at all, she could come right in.  It ended up to be the best class of the whole session.  Austin and Samara really showed what they had learned and when they had competitions with other sailboats, they won every time.  And Samara was so glad she ended up going as she had a really good time.  And I was glad we ended the sailing season on a high note!  

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Fishing at the Cottage

Our most favourite thing to do this year at the cottage was fish.  I would say at least 75% of our waking hours were spent fishing.  It gets easier and easier every year as the kids get older.  They are learning how to put their own worms on the hooks and even take the fish off when they catch them.  We had the perfect fishing spot and the kids were pulling in lots of little sunfish, large mouth and small mouth bass and some small pike.  Nothing worth keeping but still a lot of fun for the kids.  

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Art - Crayon and Shoe Polish Batik

Our art project this week was a type of batik (the idea came from here).  The kids each got a blank piece of printer paper and covered it in crayon.  The goal was to colour quite dark and completely cover it so no white was showing.  The next step was to crinkle them into a ball and squish them up, flatten them out and then repeat a few more times.  Here they are all coloured, crinkled and ready to go.  

The next step was to take shoe polish and smear it all over the artwork.  We used a sponge for this part so we wouldn't use too much.  The paper gets a little more fragile after it's been crinkled so you have to be careful when applying the shoe polish.  Denver's got torn in the middle at this step but I think it actually adds to the piece and looks pretty cool.  When we were done, we mounted it on black cardstock and called it a success!  

Samara's masterpiece
Austin's masterpiece
Denver's masterpiece
Victoria's masterpiece

More cupcakes

This time Aunt Christy requested Cookie Monster cupcakes . . . and Victoria was up for the challenge.  She started with chocolate cupcakes.  

She made plain white icing (vanilla) which needed to somehow become blue.  I know there are products you can buy to make icing the colour you want it but we're not there yet.  So instead of using a bottle or two of food colouring (it takes a lot to make it dark and also makes the icing watery), we used jello powder to colour it (idea from here).  It works amazing and also flavours the icing at the same time.  We still actually used a few drops of blue food colouring to make it a bit darker.  

Next came the tricky part.  Victoria used the tip that has all the little holes in it to make the icing come out "hairy" or like grass.  It was hard because it kept clogging and we would have to take it off and rinse it out every few minutes.  Kinda frustrating . . . but it was worth it.  

Then she took mini chocolate chip cookies and stuck them on for Cookie Monster to eat.  

She used white icing for eyes and stuck chocolate chips in them for the pupils.  I wasn't sure if the chocolate chips would be too big as we just had regular sized ones but they were perfect.  

And here is the end result.  I love them.  They are so cute!  

Good work Victoria!  Aunt Christy obviously loved them!  

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