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.