Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Homemade Water Beads

Brrr! It is quite chilly today, nothing like one would expect for the end of July! Yesterday Joseph wore boots because he complained that his feet were cold. However he was among the group of complainers when I said it is to cold to go swimming.

Have any of you ever used water beads for sensory play? I was going to buy some but found a recipe online for edible water beads. Since the homemade version was cheaper I decided to try them.

I put a scoop of pearls in each dish so I would have multi colored water beads

Sloppy, goopy play!

I wasn't impressed with the results but after rereading the recipe I discovered it called for instant large pearl tapioca and I had the regular kind. The balls were kind of sticky but I added water to them and the girls played with them for quite awhile. I added fresh water when they were finished playing and stored them in the refrigerator for several days. They eventually began smelling sour. Sometime I want to make them using the correct tapioca or maybe I should just buy the real thing. 

Instant Large Pearl Tapioca

Bring water to a boil, add tapioca and boil five minutes. I boiled mine longer since I didn't have the instant kind. Rinse thoroughly in cold water, drain and add food coloring. Let set five minutes then wash in cold water and enjoy!

One of our cats killed a baby bird this morning. Kiana and Joseph were so upset. Kiana couldn't stop crying and Joseph promptly set to work building a cat trap. I asked what he plans to do with the cat when he traps it. He thought he will just let it live in the trap. I told him that wouldn't be kind. His next thought was to build a fence in the woods and pen it up so it couldn't catch any more birds. Tristan saw the bird just before the cat got it and said it's leg was twisted so I tried to explain that this way the bird didn't need to suffer. Neither Kiana nor Joseph thought that made a difference but Joseph did give up on building the fence. Both children are back to loving their cats.

Friday, July 25, 2014

A Fun Day

My sister Shari and I took the children to Cherry Crest Adventure Farm today. They loved it and so did mom!
Joseph loved these chicks. He is my animal lover. He kept holding the chick up to his face and rubbing its soft down over his cheek. He would have spent a long time cuddling the little fellows. His siblings weren't quite as fascinated and were impatiently waiting to see the other animals, so he had to put it back in its box.
There is a sheep behind the fence...Joseph was feeding it pellets

There were two kids there. An employee brought one out for the children to touch. They were adorable!

Watching the goats.

The hay tunnel was another favorite

This slide was the highlight of the day!

Lincoln Logs... you could build your own cabin

The Slingshot, each person was given three tennis balls to shoot




The inner track was for the younger children. Tristan was tall enough to go on the outer track. They were allowed to go around the track a couple of extra times because there wasn't anyone waiting to ride.

We finished the day with some yummy frozen yogurt and many sweet toppings. 

Kiana is currently building an "Adventure Tent" outside. She said all the people in the world may come to it. Tristan is busy taming the newest kittens on the place. I can't step out the door without sidestepping kittens. The children drag them all over the place. When the cats get tired of it they run off into the woods. Then you can find little people sitting just outside the woods, patiently waiting for them to come out again.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


We were at Dean's Uncles cabin over last weekend. Just our little family which the children were sure would be so boring. After we came home Tristan said, "You were right mom, it wasn't boring, I had fun!" Isn't it amazing that mom can actually be right sometimes. :)

There are a lot of trails through the woods so these vehicles drank quite a bit of gas. 

                         Kiana was allowed to drive the golf cart in the yard. She was so proud of herself!

                                                                    Eating breakfast

Saturday morning Dean made sausages on the grill

He also made some yummy burgers over a wood fire.

If you build a fire you need to roast marshmallows

Joseph likes his marshmallows burnt, so he puts them right in the fire

I bought Melissa and Doug reusable sticker sets awhile ago. The girls had fun decorating the Chipmunk House with the food and furniture stickers. 

                                 We watched tadpoles swimming and saw a few fish jump in the pond.

I enjoyed a leisurely walk along the dirt road that goes by the cabin. I was sort of hoping I would see a bear but at the same time I was relieved not to have run into one. I did see a deer and several chipmunks. There were lots of Monarch Butterflies flitting among the flowers as well. None of them were still long enough for me to get a picture.We came home feeling refreshed and lazier than ever, if that is possible. The children helped unpack everything then we took a quick swim and drank blueberry milk shakes before bedtime.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Kitten And Swimming

Did I ever tell you I love summer? We are thoroughly enjoying the pool, it is a great motivator! Yesterday the children and I weeded our incredibly weedy garden. After the rain we had the weeds began growing faster than the vegetable plants. There was much grumbling coming from the weed pullers until I told them we will go swimming when the job is finished and if anyone wishes they may stop pulling weeds but they won't be going swimming either. Thankfully we all were able to enjoy the water. Joseph has excema and the chlorine in the pool is very hard on his skin. We have tried all kinds of things to keep his excema from flaring up, steroid cream, natural products... and nothing worked. Someone told me to try coconut oil. I found it at our local grocery store and at $6.99 a jar it is much cheaper than somethings we have tried. Best of all, it works! Joseph will remind us if we forget to put it on before he goes to bed. Tristan got a bad sunburn while canoeing the other weekend. We put aloe vera gel on his sunburn and then rubbed in this coconut oil. The coconut oil kept the skin soft which helped alleviate the pain.

We had a busy family day on July 4. Dean finished the bathroom and I did house work and baking. We made mt pies, s'mores and singing apples over the fire for supper then watched Ephrata's fireworks. 

Tristan roasting apples over the fire. You roast them until the juice begins to squirt out and the apple is soft. Then peel it, roll in cinnamon sugar mixture and enjoy! They are a new favorite of ours. Taste almost like hot apple pie.

If you don't have chocolate bars for your s'mores, try peanut butter cups. It might be a good idea to have a cup of coffee to enjoy alongside these s'mores as they are really sweet.

One of our cats had a litter of kittens. Joseph is so perplexed as to where she got them. I tried to explain but I obviously wasn't doing a good job as he thought for a bit then said, "She must have grown them overnight." Our cat population is growing rapidly. We had one cat which was fine. The Tristan found a litter and tamed them. Three cats still wasn't to bad but then two more showed up and now we have yet another litter. I don't mind if they stay out at the shop and in the woods but when they get in my flower beds and sit on my porch and meow through the screen door, I get a little defensive. I can't complain though as the children spend hours holding them. Joseph put one in the pool. He couldn't understand why his cat wouldn't like swimming!