Sunday, December 19, 2010

Water Bottle Slings, Christmas Trees, and Lasagna

Well a couple days ago I shared what the girls have been making for Christmas gifts.  I haven't done a whole lot of crafting but the other day I made these water bottle carriers.  Now I am not much of a sewer but this tutorial at Make It and Love It was very clear and made it very easy to do (I did have a few fights with my sewing machine as it continues to dislike me, but I made it through).  So the girls are getting new water bottles with nice slings to go with them for Christmas.  My husband works at a furniture store and came home with a big box of upholstery samples one day.  That is the material I used to make these which is why they aren't all done with the same material.

In other news, since we had put our tree up on a chest, I was hopeful that LK wouldn't be able to get into it.  However, at ten months old he has decided that climbing is a fun thing to do so he can now get into more stuff then ever before.  Here he climbed up onto the table that our Nativity set is on and pulled a star ornament off the tree.  He is really proud of himself.

And now I bet you were wondering about the lasagna in the title.  I just wanted to share this tidbit as I thought it was quite amusing.  As hubby was picking out some songs to sing in church this weekend.  Sky suggested that he sing the "lasagna" song.  It took as a while to figure out that she meant "Hosanna".

Well that's all for now.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Teacher Gifts

If your like me the last day of school is coming up and your frantically trying to think of a gift for your children's teachers.  I'm never sure what to get them and I am working from a limited budget, but I did want to give them a little something to show our appreciation for all they do.  After some debate I decided chocolate was the way to go.  They can serve it up at a holiday gathering, regift it as a hostess gift or to the mailman, or freeze it for a sweet treat when the holidays are just a memory. 

Then I came across this M&M nativity legend and decided that M&M's it would be.  I purchased a couple bags of M&M's and then printed out the M&M nativity legend and glued it onto card stock.  The girls made their teachers a card and then I tied it all together with some ribbon.  Hopefully they will enjoy it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Homemade Fun

This Christmas the girls (Star especially) have been into making gifts for others.  Star has gotten into sewing and is enjoying it and Sky has even been doing a little bit.  We have the book Homemade Fun by Rae Grant and the girls have been getting ideas from there.  It has a good section on hand sewing.  (We have her other books Cooking Fun and Crafting Fun too and you can find many of her projects from here books at her website here.)   We really enjoy her books.  One thing though is they have no pictures of completed projects.  This can be a good thing in that you are not comparing your craft to the picture perfect one in the book.  However, when we first got these books Sky was not into them as she couldn't read much and without pictures she couldn't pick out what she liked.  Star has always really liked them and I really like the vintage graphics in the books.  So I would recommend these books for ages 7- 12 or so.

Sky made this purse for her cousin.  She came up with idea, did all the stitching herself, and made a crocheted chain for the handle.

Star made this stuffed bunny for LK.  She started this project when I wasn't even home.  She traced the pattern onto the fabric and cut it out all by herself.  Then I looked on YouTube to find a video on how to do a blanket stitch and she took it from there.

Now I realize that these are not works of art but they turned out pretty good for the girls having done most of the work themselves.  In the past they would have wanted to make these things but I would have ended up doing all the work.  This way they got to feel the joy of making something themselves and learned some handy skills along the way.  If you notice both projects involved sewing on a button and that is a something everyone should know how to do.  You never know when you will lose a button.

One other thing that Star made was this "I Spy Jar" for another of her cousins.  It is simply a jar filled with rice and small "treasures" that you have to find in the rice by moving or shaking the jar.  She just went on hunt for small items around the house put them in a jar and filled it almost to the top with rice (you want to leave some room so the rice can move around).  You can find more pictures and instructions here

So those are a few things that the girls have been working on this December.  It has been a joy to watch them create things to give to others.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

O Christmas Tree

Star and Sky decorating the Christmas tree.

Today we put up our Christmas tree.  The girls have been asking for weeks to put it up.  It is one of our favorite Christmas things to do.  Daddy sets up the tree and puts on the lights.  Then we let the girls do all the decorating.  They love looking through the ornaments and finding their favorites.  Also we have a lot of homemade ornaments that they have made through the years and they always seem to remember who made what.  (Amazing considering they can never remember to pick up their socks even after being reminded a thousand times.)  Our tree is definitely not fancy but fun.

We have a small artificial tree that we put up.  I love the smell of a real Christmas tree but they can be a little pricey here on the prairies.  This small tree we inherited from my Aunt and it is really old but it still works.  It doesn't take up too much room which is nice as our living room is full!!  Also we can put it up a little higher so hopefully LK doesn't knock it over.  We may get a real tree again in a future year but this is working for us this year.

Last year I bought this Little People Nativity Set as our other one was quite destroyed.  If you have little ones I highly recommend this or some other nativity set that they can play with, without doing much damage to it.  Kids love to play with the figures and act out the Christmas story.

Star setting up the Nativity Set under the tree.
LK playing with the Nativity Set.

That really is the extent of the decorating we do.  We hang our stockings up and have a few other odds and ends that we put out; but the real highlight is the Christmas tree and Nativity set. 

Now that the decorating is done I just have to focus on keeping the place neat and clean which is always a challenge for me.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Advent Time!

I know this post is coming a little late as advent is nearly half over but I thought I would share with you what we do during advent.  We have an advent wreath which we light during our evening prayers.  The girls really like lighting the candles and blowing them out so it makes our prayer time a little special.  The other tradition we have started is having a Jesse tree.  For our Jesse tree I just clip a branch from one of the bushes or trees in our yard, put it in a flower pot and keep it in place with some stones.  In some places I have read that a Jesse tree should be green but this works for us and then we put up our evergreen Christmas tree a little closer to Christmas.  I use the devotional and symbols found here with our Jesse tree.  For the ornaments I just printed out the symbols and had the girls colour them.  Then we glued them onto some red and green card stock and used some yarn to hang them on our tree.  It isn't much but I know the girls appreciate the little extra effort.  The other day Star said that her favorite time of day is lighting the candles on the wreath.

Our Jesse tree and Advent wreath.

Oh, and as we light the advent candles we sing this song to tune of Jingle Bells.

Advent time, Advent time,
It' Advent everyone.
It's the getting ready time
to welcome God's own Son.  (2 times)

One (two, three, four) candle(s) on the wreath,
Shining oh so bright,
Help us all to think about
The coming of our light.

How do you make Advent special on your home? 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010



Outside my window...the sun is starting to set and it is not even 5 PM.  The days sure are getting short.

I am thinking...about Christmas gifts.  There is a flurry of crafting happening here as we make some gifts and cards.

I am thankful family.  My children bring a lot of joy to my life.

From the kitchen...I have some homemade chicken soup simmering on the stove.  It smells delicious.  I hope it tastes as good as it smells.  I think I may make some biscuits to go with it.

I am wearing...jeans, a t-shirt, and a sweater.

I am creating...water bottle slings for the girls for Christmas.

I am going...nowhere today.  It is nice to have a full day at home.

I am reading...Flowers on Main by Sheryl Woods. A fluffy, feel good romance.

I am keep a peaceful feeling all through December.

I am music playing in the background.  I seem to always have music playing lately but that is better than having the TV on in the background.

Around the house...I cleaned out some kitchen cupboards yesterday, got rid of a few things and organized them a bit.  They are looking a lot better.

One of my favorite things...a hot cup of tea.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  I have to clean out the porch and take the recycling in.  The girls have skating on Friday and I plan to do some shopping while I am in town.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
LK trying to grab the camera as I take his picture.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Baking: Ranger Cookies

Well it is time for me to start thinking about doing some Christmas baking.  I don't do a lot of baking but we do have some favourite cookies that we make only at Christmas time.  I am looking forward to shortbread, gingerbread, and sugar cookies.  However, as I don't have any baking on hand right now I decided to make these Ranger cookies first so we can snack on them and save the Christmas cookies for Christmas.  I wouldn't really consider these cookies a healthy cookie as they are fairly high in sugar and fat but they are pretty filling and make a yummy snack (and the oatmeal means they have to be somewhat healthy, right?)  I did reduce the sugar a little in this recipe and it was still plenty sweet.  I also used 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 white flour.  The cranberries give them a little bit of a festive feel as well.  Enjoy!

Ranger Cookies

1/2 lb (1 cup) butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups oats
1 cup corn flakes (crushed)
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
2 cups shredded coconut

Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Then beat in eggs, one at a time.  Add vanilla.
Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Then add to cream mixture and stir until well blended.
Stir in oats, corn flakes, dried cranberries, and coconut.  Drop by tablespoon onto cookie sheet and bake in a 350*F preheated oven for 8-10 minutes.
If desired you can roll the dough into logs with the help of flour and wrap well with cling wrap.  Freeze wrapped cookie dough logs.  When ready to bake cookies, take logs out of the freezer and slice into half inch thick cookie disks and bake as directed above.
Recipe makes approx. 3 1/2 dozen cookies.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

It is a busy season here with girls skating a couple times a week and other seasonal activities popping up so making a menu is more important than ever.  Otherwise I know we would be eating less that healthy meals and convenience food.  Admittedly not all my planned meals are super healthy but at least I have an idea of something I can serve that is better (and cheaper) than eating out.

Monday: Roast chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn.  Monday is one of our skating days so I will do the chicken in the slow cooker and have the potatoes ready to go before I leave.

Tuesday: Smokies, perogies, and mixed vegetables.

Wednesday: I need to make some bread so we will have chicken sandwiches with the leftover roast chicken on fresh bread.

Thursday: Chicken noodle soup.  I will make some soup using the carcass from our roast chicken.  I might get the girls to make some biscuits to serve along side.

Friday:  Beef Stroganoff, egg noodles, and peas.  I will make the stroganoff in the slow cooker as Friday is one of the skating days so we don't get home until supper time.

That's the menu for this week.  What's on your menu?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sky's Birthday, Christmas Shopping, Getting Sick

Sky and her cousin celebrating Sky's 7th Birthday.

I'm back!  I know I have been MIA for a little while.  Last weekend we went to the city to visit Grandma (and Grandpa and various aunts, uncles, and cousins).  While there we celebrated Sky's 7th birthday.  (7 already! I swear the older I get the faster time flies).  For her birthday we took  her to the Science Center.  They have a lot of interactive displays and play areas there and the girls had a lot of fun.  Then we had pizza and of course cake at Grandma's.  Lot's of my siblings were there and it was great to visit with everyone.

Also while in the city I took off by myself for a couple of hours Saturday morning and got most of my Christmas shopping done.  It was nice to shop by myself for a change and I went early enough that the stores were fairly quiet.  We try to keep things pretty simple for Christmas here.  The girls get one gift from us usually $20 to $40.  This year Star is getting a build a bear kit as she really wanted a teddy bear, Sky is getting a mega block set as she likes to build, and LK is getting a wooden playset.  In addition in their stockings they are each getting a board game, a craft kit, a book and a few other trinkets (like a new toothbrush).  LK's stocking is a bit slim as he is a little young for games, books, and crafts but I don't think he will mind.  We draw names for the adults on my side of the family and keep a price limit at $30 to $40 dollars.  This year we decided not to exchange gifts on hubby's side of the family.  That keeps Christmas shopping pretty simple and we spend a lot less than the average person on Christmas.  I am happy to be mostly done with Christmas shopping.

When we got back from the city we all (except for Sky) got sick with some sort of stomach virus.  It was not a fun week but we are all finally recovered and things are starting to get back to normal around here.  I hope your week was a better than mine.  But here's hoping that since the virus went through our house now we will all be healthy for Christmas. (Wishful thinking maybe, but I am hoping).

Thursday, November 25, 2010



Outside my is a beautiful cold, clear winter's day.
I am thinking...even if it is cold, I should spend some time outside.

I am thankful for...a warm house.

From the kitchen...yesterday I made blueberry muffins for breakfast (yummy)! Tonight I am making tuna patties, oven fries, and carrots.

I am wearing...maternity jeans (no I am not pregnant but they are comfy), a t-shirt, and a nice warm sweater.

I am creating...ornaments for our Jesse Tree.

I am help out at a pancake breakfast at the girls school tomorrow morning.

I am reading...a book by Debbie Macomber.

I am one else in our family gets sick.  Sky was sick on Tuesday.  She's all better now and hopefully no one else gets it.

I am is pretty quiet right now. LK is napping and there is some soft music in the background.

Around the house...the living room needs to be tidied yet again.  LK gets into everything now and it is hard to keep it looking nice.

One of my favorite

A few plans for the rest of the week:  We are heading to the city for the weekend. We will be staying at Grandma's and celebrating Sky's 7th birthday.  I am also hoping to get a bunch of my Christmas shopping done.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
Our house still has the original windows and frost builds up on them.  But we are enjoying the beautiful designs the frost makes.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Homemade Baby Food

I have been making most of LK's food myself.  I have made fruit, vegetable, and meat purees.  Now he is slowing moving on to table food but I still feed him purees sometimes, particularly when the meal we are having isn't very baby friendly.  Now I always thought making the purees was a lot of work, but when you just get down and do it, it doesn't take very long.  And because babies don't eat a whole lot it will last for a long time.  I freeze the purees in ice cube trays, then pop them out and keep the frozen cubes in ziploc bags.  While I did start LK on commercial rice cereal I have quickly moved on to making my own baby cereal.  Usually I make oatmeal or barley cereal. 

Now I don't always use homemade baby food.  I have picked up some store bought commercial baby food when it goes on sale and I use that when I am away from home.  For example I will be packing some this weekend when we travel to Grandma's and will be using it if I need to.  As with so many things it doesn't have to be an all or nothing situation.  You just do what you can and when you can't you do the next best thing.

There is so much information and lots of recipes out there for homemade baby food.  If you are at all interested in homemade baby food check out: and

There is also a new movement (which is really just going back to the old ways before blenders)  known as baby led weaning which skips the purees altogether and goes straight to serving the baby table food.

You can find more out about that here and has a page on baby led weaning as well.

However, you choose to feed your baby enjoy the process and relish those smiling, messy faces.

LK snacking on some pears.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I am very late in getting this posted.  So without further ado this is our menu for the week.

Monday: Leftovers

Tuesday: Oven omelet, fruit salad.

Wednesday:  Lasagna, broccoli, potato rolls

Thursday: Tuna patties, oven fries, carrot raisin salad.

Friday: We are headed out of town for the weekend so we will clean up the leftovers or grab a quick sandwich before hitting the road.

I hope you are all having a great week.  For menu ideas head over to

Saturday, November 20, 2010

First Haircut

Today LK had his first haircut.  It was getting really long and needed to be done.  But let me say this, "Cutting a nine month old's hair is not easy."  He kept trying to grab the scissors.  When I held his hands down, he kept turning his head trying to see what daddy was doing.  Holding his head still was nigh near impossible.  So we gave him some snacks and tried to quickly clip while he was distracted.  He wasn't distracted long.  So it wasn't the best haircut but I still think he looks really cute.  With a few days growth I don't think it will look bad at all.

Here is LK before haircut (and yes combs are really yummy).
And here is the "after" picture.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Random Act of Culture: Hallelujah Chorus

In my blog surfing today I came across this video and thought it was really cool.

This past weekend, shoppers at the the Macy's in Philadelphia were surprised when over 600 choristers who were there mingling with regular shoppers suddenly burst into Handel's Hallelujah Chorus. It's pretty awesome.

The Opera Company of Philadelphia was instrumental in bringing it together to perform one of the Knight Foundation's "1000 Random Acts of Culture" which they'll be doing over the next three years across the country. Accompanied by the Wanamaker Organ - the world's largest pipe organ - the singers burst into song at exactly noon.

Check it out.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010



Outside my is overcast and few large snowflakes are slowly drifting down.  It is cold out.  Winter is here.

I am thinking...that my son is a handful as he is currently pulling papers out of the garbage.

I am thankful for...being able to stay home and spend time with him.

From the kitchen... I have potato rolls rising on my counter and will making some BBQ beef to go along side for supper.

I am wearing...jeans, t-shirt, and a zip up sweater.

I am creating...some Christmas planning sheets.

I am have to clean up my kitchen later.

I am reading...A Mother's Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot.

I am fit in some exercise later today.

I am playing in the background and LK's jabbering as he is trying to reach the computer mouse.

Around the house...there is lot's to be done as usual.  A vacuum and mopping of the floors is on the agenda.

One of my favorite things...reading.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  I have parent teacher interviews on Friday, the girls have skating, and then I think we will be having some company for the weekend.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing

Winter means bundled up babies but he doesn't seem to mind.

Visit a Simple Women's Daybook to see more daybooks.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Homemade Toys

When it comes to young kids homemade toys are often just as good or better than store bought and they are much more frugal.  We all know that at a child's first Birthday or Christmas they seem to enjoy the paper and box that the toy came in more than the actual toy itself.  Below are two things I made for LK.  The smaller bottle is a shaker made from an old plastic spice container.  I filled it with some beans and lentils from my kitchen and taped the lid closed.  Simple and easy.  Of all the rattles and shakers we have this one is his favorite.  He can see the things inside and he enjoys shaking it around. 

The coke bottle I filled half full with water and put a couple drops of blue food colouring in it.  Then I put about 1/3 cup of oil in.  This one even the girls enjoy playing with as they shake it around and then watch the oil and water separate.  It has spawned some science discussion as they ask why the oil and water do not mix.  (Although the answer is beyond even me, it has something to do with water being charged positively on the oxygen end, and negatively on the hydrogen end. Oil does not have a charge (it's neutral), so the oil does not mix with the water.)

So there you go.  Some simple homemade toys that cost pennies to make.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Well another week is here and so it is time again to think about what we will be eating this week. 

Monday:  The girls have skating today so a quick and easy supper is on the menu.  Whole wheat oatmeal pancakes, bacon, and apple sauce.

Tuesday: Roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, peas.

Wednesday: Golden potato rolls, leftover roast beef, raw veggies.

Thursday: We will either have leftovers or I will make some sort of egg dish.

Friday:  The girls have skating again so I will make some lasagna ahead of time and have it baking in the oven to come home to.  I hope to make two and freeze one for a future skating night.

Saturday: Homemade pizza

Sunday:  Something simple, maybe soup and sandwiches.

There that's my menu for the week and one thing I can cross off my to do list.  For more menus check out

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Simple Womans Daybook

I have come across a number of blogs who participate in the Simple Woman's Daybook and I enjoyed the posts.  So I have decided to participate.  Here is my daybook for today.


Outside my is cool and cloudy.  The trees are bare of all leaves.  Winter is arriving.

I am thinking...about my husband traveling on the roads today.  I hope they are not too icy.

I am thankful family and my nice warm house.

From the I am baking bread.  I am also making some cinnamon buns with the bread dough.  Mmmm good.

I am wearing...grey sweatpants with a T-shirt and a zip-up sweater.

I am creating...a crochet scarf (to be a Christmas gift for my mother-in-law).

I am going...nowhere today and it is nice to be home.

I am reading...Remembered by Tamera Alexander.

I am hoping...for a relaxing evening.

I am hearing...some music from VBS playing on the computer.

Around the house...Star is working on some needle point, Sky is doing a craft with stickers, and LK is trying to help me type.

One of my favorite things... fresh bread.  My loaves are ready to go in the oven.

A few plans for the rest of the week: We are butchering a beef this weekend.  Time to restock the freezer.  Also on Friday the girls don't have school and I plan to take them skating.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

9 Months Old and Getting Into Everything

LK with his elephant at 9 months old.

LK is now 9 months old.  Wow does time fly.  He is a very proficient crawler and can zoom across a room in no time.  He can also pull himself to standing and cruise along the furniture and walls so nothing is safe from him anymore.  We have strategically placed our coffee table and infant rocker in front of our entertainment unit to try and keep him away from all the fun buttons that there is to push there.  And remotes?  What is it with kids and remotes?  You cannot leave them anywhere below waist high or he will have them in 15 seconds flat.  He likes to grab them, push all the buttons messing the TV, satellite dish, PlayStation, etc. completely up and then bang the remotes violently on the floor so that even if we knew how to fix up the mess he made; we cannot as he has now damaged the remote beyond repair.

At his 9 month check up we discovered that he now weighs 22 lbs and is 29 inches tall.  This is exactly the upper limit on the infant carrier car seat we have.  So I had to purchase a new convertible carseat for him to ride in.  I got the True Fit  for a good price from Zellers and so far we are liking it.  I like that you can adjust the harness height without rethreading it. 

So that's whats new with LK.  He is still breastfeeding 4 times a day and continues to eat more and more solid food.  He sleeps through the night most of the time.  In general he has been a fairly happy, active baby.  He does like a lot of attention though which is making it harder to get everything I want to done but I am enjoying him and trying to learn to be flexible.

LK getting into trouble under the computer desk.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Well, it has been a while since I last posted.  I have been keeping busy with the kiddo's and their activities.  As well this past weekend we had a large birthday party for my father-in-law who turned 70.  We served supper to about 50 people  (Not me by myself, it was a group effort and I really did very little).  So I had a bunch of company for the weekend and I have a bunch of turkey I need to use up.  Here is the menu plan for this week.

Monday: Chicken (turkey) stuffing casserole.

Tuesday: leftovers

Wednesday:  This will be my bread making day so we will have BBQ turkey sandwiches on fresh bread.

Thursday: Beef Teriyaki and mixed vegetables.

Friday: Fettuccine Alfredo

Saturday: Not sure yet probably something simple like cheese bread and raw veggies.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

I hope everyone had a great Halloween.  The weather was really beautiful here which is unusual for Halloween in Saskatchewan.  We don't generally do a lot for Halloween.  This year the girls did want to go trick or treating and with Halloween being on a Sunday we were able to go in the afternoon.  We met up with some friends in town and enjoyed a nice walk around town chattting as the kids ran door to door getting their treats.  Hubby didn't come along as he had work he wanted to get done around the yard but he made up for it by carving Jack-O-Lanterns with the kids in the morning.  They had a great time and the girls were able to clean their pumpkins pretty well.  They then drew the faces they wanted on a piece of paper and Daddy tried to replicate it on the pumpkins.  They turned out pretty well if I do say so myself.  Carving jack-o-lanterns is one Halloween tradition we do every year.

Cleaning out the pumpkins.

Star with her Jack-O-Lantern.

Sky with her Jack-O-Lantern.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Winter Stuff

Well today we are getting our first real taste of winter.  It is cold, windy, and snowing.  So that meant it was time to bring out the winter jackets, snow pants, boots, mitts, toques, and scarves.  I have a big rubbermaid bin into which all the mitts, toques and scarves get thrown into.  Today I dumped it out and sorted through all the stuff in there.  I threw away anything that was worn and/or ragged as well as the mitts with no mates.  The girls each have a small bin in the porch for their stuff, so into each of their bins went one set of mitts, a toque, and a scarf.  The rest of the good stuff went back into the large bin for we will need many extras throughout the winter.  I used some cardboard to divide the bin into three sections.  One each for the mitts, toques and scarves.  Hopefully that will keep it a little neater so that when we are looking for something we don't have search through the whole bin. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Hamburgers

Tuesday: Chicken noodle soup and biscuits.

Wednesday: Mini meat loafs, oven fries, and cooked carrots.

Thursday: Oven omelet and fruit salad.

Friday: Slow cooker lasagna

Saturday: Fettuccine Alfredo with chicken.

Menu Plan Monday is at

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cloth Diapers

This past week Simple Mom did a series on cloth diapering.  So I thought I would share with you how and why I use cloth diapers.  My mom used cloth diapers for all her children.  If  you remember I am the oldest of seven children so I had changed many a cloth diaper before becoming a parent.  This made it a fairly easy choice for me as I already had experience with it and knew that it really wasn't that difficult.  The main reason I cloth diaper is for the money savings.  I got many cloth diapers from my mom when I had my first child so I do it old school with flat folds, diaper pins, and I use a variety of diaper covers (pull ons, velcro on, whatever I can find for cheap). 

Here is a picture of a diaper folded and ready to go.  This one actually was a receiving blanket.  (They make great diapers and are pretty cheap.)  I believe this is called a kite or triangular fold.  If  you search on YouTube you can find lot's of videos showing various ways to fold cloth diapers.

Here it is pinned on LK.

And here he is with the water proof diaper cover on.  This one velcros on.

Now I don't exclusively cloth diaper.  I use cloth diapers when I am at home and disposables when I travel or am going to be away from home for a while.  There is a great post at Simple Organic about how cloth diapering doesn't have to be all or nothing

I don't find it to be any more difficult dealing with a poopy cloth diaper than a disposable one.  I just dump the poop in the toilet and throw the diaper in the diaper pail.  I wash diapers about every three days and I don't launder them any special way.  I just throw them in the washing machine like any other load of laundry.  I do line dry them in the summer like I do all my laundry.  (The sun does a good job of removing any stains there may be.)  In the winter I either hang them in the basement to dry or use the dryer.  The nice thing about flat diapers is they don't take much time to dry.

My diapers drying on the line.

So that's my cloth diapering story.  Like I said my decision to cloth diaper was mainly a financial one but I am glad to be also doing some good for the environment.  If you are interested in cloth diaper check out all the great info at Simple Mom and just give it a try.  It isn't as hard as one might think.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Patience...Something I Need More Of

My daughter Star (9) is slow, I mean she moves at her own pace which is usually slower than I would like.  She takes forever to get ready for school, she is the last one changed after gym class, she usually runs out of time to eat her lunch, and she just moves at a slow pace.  This has caused me no end of frustration over the years.  I am always after her to hurry up.  However, the other day the thought came to me, "Why am I always in a rush?"  I am one of those people who likes to always be on time and often we arrive early even with Star slowing us down.  Yelling at her hasn't sped her up all these years so why do I continue to do this.  I need to work on being patient and letting her move at her own pace.  If she gets distracted I can gently remind her to stay on task  but I have got to stop yelling at her to hurry up. 

The other day at the rink after skating I was getting impatient with how slow she was getting undressed  but as I watched her meticulously clean her blades and put her skates away I realized she wasn't going slow to defy me.  Actually she was doing what I asked and taking good care of her new (expensive) skates.  If supper was five minutes later that night it really wouldn't matter but having her take care of her own stuff without me jumping in and rushing her along would matter to her.  As I was thinking this I remembered how when I was a kid playing ringette and hockey I was often the last one out of the dressing room and I never remember my parents getting annoyed, or constantly harping on me to hurry up.  As the parents of seven with most of us in organized sports if anyone had a reason to rush it was them. 

So the next time I tempted to yell at my kid to hurry up just because I want to get home I am going to remember to follow the example my parents set and be patient, let her do it herself, relax, and realize that there really is no need to be in a rush.  And maybe, maybe if I don't rush her everyday, when we really do need to hurry, she will move a little quicker (But I'm not holding my breath).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Although my menus are never that interesting it is one of the main reasons that I blog.  For years I have wanted to get into menu planning and tried many times using many methods but until I started this blog I never kept it up.  Posting my menu every week is keeping me accountable.  So here is my menu for the week.

Monday: Leftovers

Tuesday: Spaghetti with tomato meat sauce.

Wednesday:  Leftover spaghetti sauce on french bread, topped with cheese, and baked in the oven.  Broccoli and cauliflower salad.

Thursday:  I plan to make bread on this day and I think we will make egg salad to go with the fresh bread.

Friday:  Cheddar-Cauliflower soup in the slow cooker and Golden Potato Rolls.

Saturday:  Hamburgers and salad.

Sunday: Not sure yet.  Probably something simple.

For more menu ideas head over to

Sunday Afternoon at the Ranch

Today hubby had some work to do on the corrals at the ranch and we all went along.  The day before he had brought back some little fish for the girls to look at that he found when working in the creek.  So the girls brought some strainers along to try and catch some fish. 

Sky searching for fish.

Star soon got wet and muddy so she was hanging out in the feed trough.

They did not catch any fish but they did catch a water beetle and some other little water critters that I couldn't identify.

Star was feeling tired and got a little bored so she ended up reading in the van (where LK was napping).  Sky however seemed to have lot's of energy and ran up and down the hills.

And here are the men using the tractor to pull the fence up.

It was a nice Sunday afternoon.  I hope we continue to have nice weather for a while.

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Late Update On Our Thanksgiving Weekend

Sorry I have been MIA for a little while.  Things are busy here as always and as LK gets more mobile I have less time to sit at the computer as I have to chase him around.

Last weekend was Thanksgiving here in Canada and most of my family to came to our house for the weekend.  On Saturday we worked on our garage roof.  Now our house and garage have matching green tin roofs that will hopefully last for a long time.  Sunday morning was church and in the afternoon we played games outside as the weather was nice.  We played Capture The Flag, Home Free (also know as Hide and Seek Tag) and Sardines.  I only played a little bit as I had to look after LK and cook dinner.  But is was a lot of fun, good exercise, and it was great to have an activity that was fun for everyone.

On Sunday night we ate our Thanksgiving dinner.  We had turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, sweet sweet potato casserole, and corn (froze from the garden).  For dessert we had apple and pumpkin pie (made by my mother) with whipped cream.  It was all very delicious and of course we ate a little too much.  We have much to be thankful for this year and it is always good to take some time to remember that.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Magic Mud

The other day I had to take our van into town for an oil change.  Hubby was home so he volunteered to watch the girls after school until I got home.  When I arrived home this is what they were doing.  Playing with Magic Mud.   Magic mud is simply made with cornstarch and water.  If you squeeze it, it hardens into a solid.  If you open your hand it will melt away like a liquid.  It is really cool stuff.  The girls had fun playing with it.  It is a little messy, but as it is just cornstarch and water, it is not too hard to clean up  (Hubby did most of the clean up anyway since he started the messiness.  How awesome is that?)

Oooh, Star and Sky love the sliminess of it all.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Well, I am a little late in getting this up as always.  Even if I don't get it up in time though I have been working on making a menu every week.  This really helps lessen meal time stress as I don't have to make a decision every night on what to make.  On the menu this week:

Monday: Wraps with seasoned ground beef, cheese, lettuce, peppers, salsa and sour cream.

Tuesday: Cheddar-Ham Oven Omelet with fresh bread and fruit salad.

Wednesday: Beef Teriyaki, Rice, Broccoli, Beets

Thursday: Perogies, Ham, Carrots, and Corn

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Steak on the BBQ, potatoes, peas, and carrots.

Sunday: We will be having our Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey, mashed potatoes, broccoli salad, corn, and sweet potatoes are all on the menu.  And of course pie for dessert: pumpkin and apple with whipped cream.

For more menu ides head over to

Sunday, October 3, 2010

An Impromptu Camping Trip

With harvest finally being done and the nice weather continuing we decided to go on a one night camping trip to Buffalo Pound Provincial Park this weekend.  It was good to get away even for a day.  Camping is a great way to just get away from it all.  It can be a bit of work but when you are only going for one night you only have to pack the bare essentials.  There is not much you can't live without for one day.    We arrived Friday evening, set up camp, cooked our supper over the fire, and then just sat around enjoying the fire and snacks.  My two sisters, and one of my brothers joined us and we helped them set up their tent in the dark.

Saturday morning after breakfast we went on a hike.  We hiked to this old house.  It was built in 1903 and is pretty impressive looking.  It is part of the Nicolle homestead.  It was a good hike, we got some exercise, and enjoyed a nice fall day.  

In the afternoon we spent some time on the beach.  It was pretty windy but the girls still enjoyed playing in the sand.

LK enjoyed crawling around outside eating leaves and dirt.  However all the fresh air tired him out and he had a snooze in the stroller.

After going on another short walk through a marsh on the boardwalk, it was time to head home.  It was great to get away even for a little while.