Thursday, 21 April 2011

The First Bites of Spring!

It's been spring for weeks now, and I've been not-so-patiently awaiting the emergence of the local asparagus. The first asparagus signals to me the kick-off of the growing season. Normally, around these parts, asparagus starts shooting out of the ground in the beginning of April. This year, the local growers have had a tough spring full of chilly nights and frost-covered mornings. Finally, today my favorite local asparagus farmers Middleton Six Sons Farms, opened up their roadside produce stand and with that I finally felt the glow of springtime.

This year I have a lofty goal of not only eating locally this spring and summer, but also putting as much by as possible to keep us through the winter. I plan to shop at farmer's market weekly for our produce, visit local farms and u-pick farms orchards, buy organic (locally) as often as possible, and buy local meat from reputable farms (grass fed when possible). We've also started our own mini-homestead in the backyard with our two lovely chickens. I hope they turn out to be a great egg source in the coming months. Our garden will begin to grow soon and we will eat from it and preserve what we can. We also plan to dig a small root cellar to store our potatoes, carrots, and the like. This is all a very exciting chapter for us to undertake and I can not wait to see where it leads.

For now, I know that we will be eating loads of asparagus as long as it's season lasts. It all started today folks and I'm elbow deep in broken stalks, a pot is ready to blanch in, the food saver is running, and soon the freezer will be a little more full. Let's see how many 20lb boxes we can work through this season!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Tot School Thursday: C is for Caterpillar

This week in tot school, we finally used our Letter of the Week curriculum, and learned about the letter "C". The kiddos really had fun with it, especially the art projects. We paired our activities with reading Very Hungry Caterpillar and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. B bear has both nearly memorized now. I'm not looking forward to returning the latter to the library this week.
 I also found some fun "C" thing on No Time for Flashcards, and of course we couldn't talk about caterpillars and not do the classic egg carton craft.

For more fun Tot-School Ideas check out 1+1+1=1 and other participating blogs by clicking the image below.

Friday, 8 April 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, visit SouleMama.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Tot School Thursday: Counting Eggs

 

   Last weekend I made these little counting eggs for B Bear to help teach him number recognition and order. I found this idea on Counting Coconuts, but instead of using fabric paint, I decided to embroider the numbers on the felt.

   B has played with them a little bit, but surprisingly L is completely captivated by them. I introduced the eggs to the twins while B was out at his grammie and papas house. L and A poked at them a bit and A quickly lost attention. As soon as A was off doing something else, L swooped in, grabbed the little bucket and took it to a quiet spot where he could play alone.

    He spent over a half an hour dumping the bucket and then putting them all back in. After that half hour, I sat down with him and he would hand me one egg and wait for me to say, "That's an eight!". Then he would smile and hand me another one.

    I've left the bucket of eggs out for a few days now, and my little man keeps going back to them, over and over again. I guess the time it took me to cut felt and embroider numbers, was time well spent! I only made the numbers 1-10, but I think I'm going to make 11 and 12, because the little bit of OCD in me is really irritated with ten eggs, since we all know eggs come in dozens.


For more fun Tot-School Ideas check out 1+1+1=1 and other participating blogs by clicking the image below.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Planting Starts

 B Bear and I took advantage of the twins' long nap time today and planted our starts! (or at least the first set of them) He was fascinated by the pellets that expand when you add water, but not so much with the seed planting. He did help me sprinkle seeds in, quite a few more than necessary, but oh well. We planted two kinds of tomatoes (Black Krim, and Cherokee Purple), eggplant, jalapenos, sweet bell pepper mix, parsley, thyme, and basil. I have many more things to start and even more to plant directly in the soil.

There are so many things I'm looking forward to this growing season. I can't wait to watch him learn about the plants as they sprout and grow, to get covered in dirt with him in the garden as we prep our soil, to teach him which plants are weeds and get pulled, and transferring the starts to the soil together and help them grow. Most of all I look forward to picking fresh produce from our back yard and teaching my son where good food comes from.

I made a promise to my sons over a year ago and I have not held to it as well as I intended to. I've been lazier (aka very busy with a million other things) than I should be. Their well being is the most important thing to me, and I am getting back on track with their nutrition and chemical exposure NOW, and our garden is a big part of that, and a big part of teaching my boys about nutrition.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Help us name the girls!

We've had these lovely ladies for two weeks now and we can not seem to come up with names for them. There is only one name on the table for the yellow one, Minerva Louise, but we're not set on it.

Without further ado, meet the girls. Any name suggestions are appreciated! More to come about the chicks soon.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

April Sensory Tub

I've been slacking on the sensory tub for too long! When I put it together, I fully intended to change it up every month and keep it "new" and "fun". L spent the day with his Grammie yesterday, so B, A, and I went to Hobby Lobby to restock our art supplies. I have to say, it is so much easier to shop with only two kids! I had no idea!
I browsed through the Easter basket section and ideas for a Easter Themed sensory tub kept coming to me. I bought a couple of little packets of confetti (bunny shaped and flower shaped), some little wooden flowers, small felt Easter eggs, small plastic eggs (hopefully to be replaced with felted wool eggs that I'm working on today), and B's favorite: pom poms. This time I dyed the rice pink and green with Wilton Icing Colors, and baked it at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes. I threw a little bright green Tupperware spoon in for him to scoop with.

The kid LOVES it. Next month my goal is to avoid the plastic items in it, and make it a bit more natural. If you are thinking of starting a sensory tub, Counting Coconuts is a great place to stop by for inspiration. Her April tub is pretty darn awesome.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

A Safer Bath: Boon Flo Review

A while back (okay months ago), when the twins were becoming more active at bath time, I started shopping for a faucet cover. It seemed like I was constantly trying to keep them from bumping their little noggins on the spout.

The only ones that I could find around here were either shaped like cartoon characters or rubber duckies. neither of which are quite my style. I started browsing online, and I found the Boon Flo. Eureka, finally something I won't feel like I need to remove before house guests come! Boon Inc. was generous enough to send me the Flo to review.

I love almost everything about the product. It comes in three colors: pink, blue and green. The blue is perfect for us, since it goes well with our shower curtain and towels. It fits easily onto the faucet by simply squeezing it, and is remains snugly in place. When it is in place it still allows access to the shower diverter. The Flo is soft and helps to protect against head injury. I can just sit back and watch my boys splash, no longer worrying about them smacking their heads on the faucet.

When you turn on the water, it shoots out away from the faucet like a mini waterfall. It is much gentler than the faucet alone. My boys will sit in the tub while the water is running, as long as the Flo is attached. Another major selling point for me is that the Flo is phthalate, BPA, and PVC free!

The Flo also has a bubble bath dispenser. It is easy to fill and dispenses with the push of a button. The running water makes it bubble up into a very nice bubble bath. The only downfall to this, at least with our particular Flo, is that it drips in between baths leaving a sticky bubble mess behind. It really isn't that big of a deal however, because as soon as you turn the water back on, it rinses right away. We've chosen to just not use that  part anymore, since we use natural bubble bath that is a little pricey and we don't want to waste it.

Overall the Boon Flo gets an A+ from us, and is one thing that I'll be giving parents-to-be, at future baby showers. You can purchase it at many online retailers, including Amazon.com.  

Friday, 1 April 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, visit SouleMama.

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