Archive for the ‘Family Fun’ Category

I am constantly searching the web for free printable learning materials to share with Pookah and Tootsie. Check out this amazing pack I found on Living Montessori Now from RoyalBaloo and Logi Bear Too!

Earth Day Free Printable Packs

It includes TONS of great Earth Day activities for kids from toddler to 2nd grade.

Earth Day is Monday, April 22nd. Have you thought about celebrating bit of environmentalism?

Plant a flower. Hug a tree!

tree hug blog


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Did anyone else feel like THIS last weekend?


Yeah… us, too!

We spent all of Saturday playing outside. We finally got into the garden, too. Tootsie and Pookah raked leaves, Silverback mulched them and helped move our composter, and I dug, pulled, cut, and shovelled ’til I couldn’t move my aching bones.

It was awesome!!!

I love the first day of culling out the flower beds and turning over the new, dark, earth. I have big plans for this area this year.


Pretty icky, now, huh? The picker bushes LOVE this area. I pulled them all out and Silverback helped me lay down some black plastic to solar kill the weeds. The garage wall will make a nice back drop for a flower garden on top of this stone wall. You can’t see it, but it’s there under the weeds.

I can’t wait to post pics of it when it’s done.

And we FINALLY got our peas into the ground. Along with some lettuce and spinach. Carrots are next!!!


I hope you had the chance to get some fresh air and play in the sunshine.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe were planning to start our seeds the other day and I was about to go dumpster diving for containers when I got “Monday-ed.”  By that I mean that somehow dinner got ruined (don’t buy discount tortellini, okay?) and we had to order delivery. (Note to self: be more prepared for last-minute menu changes) As a bonus, Pizza Hut puts their wings in these nifty metal trays perfect for lots of things! Yes. I save them. Don’t judge.

So here we are creating masterpieces with dirt. I sprung for the Jiffy Mix because we had so much luck with it in the past. The girls had marigold seeds they collected last year and a gift of Lilly seeds from Pookah’s friend (thanks!). While they were busy planting those, I worked on Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kohlrabi. It’s easy. Just put water and seeds in the starter mix. Detailed instructions here.

Pookah & Tootsie starting flower seeds

Pookah & Tootsie starting flower seeds

We put a single seed type into each container and then wrap with a plastic bag to keep the moisture in. Pookah wants to remind you how important it is to label each container. Then place them in a warm spot where you will remember to check them daily. Guess where we keep ours.

Always place them where you will remember to check daily for signs of germination

Always place them where you will remember to check daily for signs of germination

You can see the condensation beginning already. That moisture is not going anywhere. And now we wait…

Actually, we have some cleaning up to do. We made a fabulous mess.

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Vintage Lemonade

Is there something deep in your soul that longs for simpler times?  Do you imagine yourself in the Country Time commercial, swinging from a tire swing over a lake in the hazy heat of summer?  Forget the powdery mix, we have found the authentic taste of summer.   

Pookah and I mixed up this delicious old-fashioned version and the pitcher was empty in no time.  It’s more of a technique, really, that can be altered to your taste.  Isn’t that really the best “recipe” anyway? 

Put your own “twist” on this one.

First, wash the lemons, then use a vegetable peeler to carefully remove the yellow skin of 5 lemons.  Avoid the white pith as much as possible.  You can use a zester as a quick alternative, but it will require more straining later on.

grate or peel the lemon rind

This step makes your home smell so fresh! 

Sprinkle 1-1/2 Cup granulated sugar over the lemon rinds and allow it to sit for 1 hour until the sugar has absorbed the lemon oil.  Resist the urge to stir or squeeze the lemon peels.

Boil 5 cups of water and pour over the lemon peel/sugar mixture and allow to sit for 20 minutes.  Again, resist the urge to stir, just let them steep.

Meanwhile, squeeze and strain the juice from your lemons.

Remove the lemon peel from the hot water mixture and discard.  Add in the juice.  Now taste and adjust water and sugar according to your personal taste.  The lemon oil from the peels give the drink a bit of a sour touch, which creates a unique depth of flavor that can’t be found in those powder mixes.  

Enjoy with a big straw hat and someone special.

For pink lemonade, puree a handful of strawberries or raspberries and pour the puree through a sieve when adding to the lemonade.

For HOT PINK lemonade, we used blueberries. 

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A few years ago, I was inspired by a gal named Valerama to learn to make suet cakes for birds with the fat leftover from the food we eat.  Here is a pictorial of how we do it.  (more…)

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Preserving the Season

Preserving Fall Leaves

I know I’m not alone when I say that Autumn is my favorite season.  Who doesn’t love the cool weather, bright sunshine, colorful leaves, pumpkins, apples, cider, and lots of outdoor fun?  Yesterday, we went exploring in the neighborhood and collected leaves.  Pookah’s favorites aren’t the most colorful ones we could find… they’re the brown crispy ones that break apart in your hands!  She loves the crunch and the feel of them.  When a wind kicked up and gathered the leaves into a nice group, we all delighted in swooshing through them.  Admit it, you kick up the leaves when no one is looking, don’t you?  Tootsie is drawn to the effect of the leaves on the trees as they twinkle against the blue sky.  She can’t take her eyes of them.  And me, I just like the fresh air.  Autumn is a hiker’s dream. (more…)

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