Monday, July 28, 2014

Camping

We just got back from a fun little camping trip to a nearby town called Burns Lake. Burns Lake has fantastic mountain biking trails and a great little (free!) campground right beside them. We camp here ever year for the Big Pig Mountain Biking Festival and races, but this year we decided to do an earlier camping trip as well, to ride some of the trails we don't get to see in the races. Since we have two little ones, we had to take turns watching the kids and riding, and while the other was out on the trails, we took the kids for hikes and walks, and Kesten rode his little run bike. The berries are all ripe and we picked some wild strawberries and huckleberries to enjoy for breakfasts.




 Cedar's first time camping! She did really well!





Swimming, biking, hiking, berry picking, wildlife viewing, loons calling, owls hooting, outdoor sleeping, and memory making.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Sour Cherry Harvest



Since we've planted our little sour cherry tree, we have only gotten about 2 cherries a year from it. This year though, we've managed to get about 50 or so, enough to make this yummy crumb cake. Exciting stuff, haha! Aren't sour cherries so picturesque?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

All About Beavers

At the moment we are fascinated with beavers. We have been watching a few documentaries on the animals that have captured our interest. This one on youtube is superb and this on CBC is great too.  And then there is this short one where a guys gets really up close to some beavers. We've made a needle-felted little beaver and Kesten has a baby beaver stuffed animal. On Sunday at the Historic Site, we got a close up view of a (dead) beaver that was waiting to be skinned. It was a big one and it was very cool to examine it up close! And yesterday we had plans to do a short hike with some friends to go see an old beaver lodge out in the Research Forest north of town. As we were unloading from our cars and getting our bug spray on, their dog started growling at something at the trail head. And then she gave chase and something very large started crashing through the bush. Very large. It was either a bear or a moose. Either way, we called off the hike. We'll try again later when there are fewer bears around. Instead we headed out to their beautiful home in the research forest. We visited their chickens:

 Went for a walk and climbed some hills.
 I got to see beautiful Tezzeron Lake and Kesten enjoyed throwing some rocks in.
 At home, to make up for not seeing the real beaver lodge, we made our own from blankets and chairs.
 Cedar's activity mat made a great tunnel entrance.
Kesten pretended to swim into the lodge and had fun eating his snack inside. And then made me crawl in to read him stories.
 And Cedar got into the swing of things with her new little beaver hat and tail. I'll post the new knitting pattern when I get around to typing it out.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Most Delightful Visit

 So much happening and so much to catch you up on! Isn't summer glorious? My sister and her family were up for a week just recently and we had a wonderful time together. Her son is 6 months older than Kesten, and while the boys had some typical 2-year-old spats, they really had a lot of fun together. They were up during a real heat wave, when our temperatures were getting close to 40c on some days. Too hot for this girl, who is now acclimatized to northern summers.
We beat the heat by heading to the beach. Here is my sister and her son enjoying our little boat.
 And the boys had a blast in the sand.
 A trip to the Historic Park was in order. The boys traded some furs for a prize.
Too cute! I like how they are sitting as far apart as possible!
 We went for a little hike one morning to take in the sights of our forests. Nature discoveries are so exciting!
 Kesten tried some more challenging terrain to hike over.
 We all picked some wild raspberries at the end of the trail to reward us for our hard work.
 In the cooler evenings, the boys headed out for a bike ride. I liked to take a dip in the lake each night before bed. It helped bring my body temp down and made it easier to sleep.
 And of course there were fans and spray bottles to keep us cool during the heat of the day!


 Look at the focus of those two as they colour! I'm glad they had this opportunity to visit each other.
 I've got more to update you on in a bit, including a new knitting pattern.

Friday, July 4, 2014

A Love of Letters

Kesten has a new interest right now, and I love seeing him so engrossed in learning. Kesten's latest obsession is letters. As someone who has been trained as an Early Childhood Educator, I am a big believer in children learning through play. I believe in following their interests and building upon those. I don't agree with the use of flashcards and other methods of trying to get very young children to learn to read and write. When it is age appropriate, children will learn these skills much faster than trying to force it on them when they are too young. I believe that children will pick up a lot of knowledge to help them out in school just by being in a print-rich environment. So, with all that being said, I have been amazed by Kesten's interest in letters lately. I think it started when we were reading him the story Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. We pointed out the 'K' and said, "Hey, 'K' is for Kesten!" After that, he has been picking out 'k's everywhere. At first it was just big letters all on their  own. There is a board with all the letters of the alphabet on it at the playground across the street. He started to search for the 'k' there. But soon he was picking out tiny 'k's in words. He points them out in the stories we read, in street signs as we are walking, on labels in the grocery store. "K! Kesten!" he says when he sees one. And now he has added more letters to his repertoire. 'X" came next, because it looks a lot like 'K' and he would get them confused a lot. 'D" for daddy, 'M' for mommy, 'P" for Parker (his cousin), 'C' for Cedar, and 'N' for Noah (his friend), all get pointed out these days. He likes these letters because of their personal significance to him. They all stand for names of friends and family. 

He has been playing with "alphabug" (a gift from his Grandma and Grandpa when he was just a baby), listening to it sing the alphabet and he shout out the letters he recognizes.

 We put some paper up over our fireplace and we started to add different letters that begin the names of his family and friends. He likes to go over and point them out to me (as well as colour and add stickers to his paper!).
We have a few different alphabet books too, that he likes to sit with and point out the letters he knows. I think he is just excited that he can recognize some of the shapes in this magical text that mommy and daddy seem to be able to read stories out of! It truly is fascinating to see into the mind of a learning 2 year old!
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