29 August 2008

Bananasub



And yesterday, Hubs made Spud a banana mini sub! Equally as popular as the banana plane the day before.

28 August 2008

Bananaplane




Hubs made Spud a special banana for breakfast yesterday. He cut the banana lengthwise and used the first half for the fuselage of an airplane and the second half for the wings. The tail fins were also a nice touch and the Nutella windows were a delicious addition.

26 August 2008

Wee Archeologist

MATERIALS
·Tub [or large bowl or other container]
·Bag of oatmeal [or corn meal, lentils, or other grains]
·Small trinkets found in the bottom of the toy box [I raided his recently acquired treasure chest]

I had a bag of old random grains that I have used for an indoor sandbox on a rainy day [incidentally, also on a day that I was going to vacuum anyway].



After hiding the wee treasures in the grains, we used different tools to dig out the goods.



Spud developed a pretty intricate system that involved another bowl in which he could carefully pour the grains.



He also had some less than conventional techniques.



It all worked.





It was also nice to have a special place to put the booty.

14 August 2008

Apple Carrot Salad

4 T. Olive oil
1/2 C. Pumpkin seeds, roasted [pine nuts would also be good]
4 T. Lemon juice
2 T. Maple Syrup or Honey [optional]
4 Carrots, large, shredded or grated
2 Apples [sweet and crisp], large, shredded or grated
1/2 C. Dried cranberries

I made carrot and apple match sticks with my mandoline, put them in a salad bowl and added the lemon juice right away to keep the apples from going brown. I could have just as easily grated them or even chopped them up in a food processor if I was in a real hurry. Next I heated the oil in a pan and toasted the pumpkin seeds until they browned and made popping sounds. I added them to the salad along with the craisins. I used a little maple syrup for Spud's portion to take the edge off the lemon. This is my current favourite salad. And it holds up pretty well the next day so you can make extra.





13 August 2008

An Octopus Garden



I cut up a European wiener with a cross-cut on the end of each piece so that when they cooked they would turn into mini octopuses. I remember wieners and beans as a favourite of mine growing up. I don't know why it's taken me this long to introduce it to my 4 year old. As a result, he was skeptical at the idea of mixing the two ingredients but when he saw it on the plate he said "Mama, it's so cute. It looks like an ocean of octopus". He ate every last bite.

12 August 2008

Circle Farm Tours

LANGLEY | 1 HOUR FROM VANCOUVER


Expose our city kid to the farm life and buy fresh food, locally. Both reasons we decided to participate in the self-guided Circle Farm Tour through one of our local farming communities. Do all large cities have these? I don't know but I hope so because it was really great. Currently there are 6 farming communities in our regional district that participate in the program.

We checked out, Langley, which has 12 participating farms including 2 wineries, a nursery specializing in rare tree species, and an equestrian facility. We decided that 12 was too many and narrowed it down to 3; I chose a berry farm and a turkey farm and Spud chose an alpaca/llama farm. They happen to be numbers 8, 9, and 10 on the map [found on above Langley link].

8. STERLING FARMS
Sterling Farms specializes in raising animals with fine fleeces such as llamas, suri, alpacas & cashmere producing goats. We were greeted by a friendly man who promptly showed us into the pens where the very curious animals roam. Spud was particularly interested in the babes we saw ranging from 3 months old to 4 days old.








9. KRAUS BERRY FARM


They sell strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, freshly picked corn and green beans as well as their trademark berry shortcakes and old fashioned berry milkshakes. And the pies look amazing! You will also see donkeys, horses, a small toddler playground and facilities.





This glorious thing is stuffed in the middle with berry goodness.



I don't need to say exactly how I feel about this mountainous berry pie, do I? I believe the picture says it all.



10. JD FARM

The farmgate store sells their specialty turkeys that are certified free of antibiotics and animal by-products. We loaded up our cooler in the trunk with frozen turkey pieces, turkey meatballs and nitrate-free turkey sausage.

I'm really looking forward to trying another circle tour.

09 August 2008

Science World

ONE OF SPUD'S FAVOURITE MUSEUMS | VANCOUVER



Science World just never disappoints. With its IMAX theatre, 2 floors of interactive and stimulating activities, live science shows, and travelling exhibits, my Spud is always a happy customer. Today we decided to take public transit to add to the overall adventure of it. Spud likes taking buses and riding the train so first we hopped on one of those small 'community shuttles'.



And then on the SkyTrain.



We got off at this stop. After Spud watched a few of the trains come and go we went down the stairs and crossed the street to the big, shiny silver ball at the end of False Creek. You really can't miss it.



We spent the next 4 hours reconstructing the bones in a human body puzzle, climbing inside a huge cedar tree, petting a corn snake, shooting balls into a waterfall with an air cannon, constructing a spaceship using giant lego, sending a rubber chicken flying up to the second floor using a giant sling shot, lifting our own body weight using our arms and a pulley system, watching a film about space, making music, and on and on it went.

WHAT ABOUT LUNCH?



We wanted to have lunch at the Granville Island Public Market so we walked to the dock on the other side of False Creek [2 minutes] and hopped on one of the False Creek Ferries [could also catch an Aquabus at the same place].





After a cute 10 minute boat ride we had our choice of great Indian, Mexican, Ukrainian food among many other cuisines. Sometimes it's nice to simply load up on fresh fruit at one of the farmer stalls and then pick up something heavenly at one of the bakeries. Terra Breads makes gorgeous Olive Bread, for example.

07 August 2008

Card Structures

SIMPLE TRAVEL ACTIVITY
Take an old deck of cards and a pair of scissors and you have a compact activity for the wait at the airport or the hotel.



Cut a perpendicular slit into the middle of each of the four sides.





Put two slits together to build cities or other structures.



06 August 2008

Ruby Lake Resort

KID-FRIENDLY COTTAGING NEAR VANCOUVER | SUNSHINE COAST

We stayed in one of the cottages as seen here behind the trees and bushes. The structure in the foreground is a covered space by the lagoon that guests use for meals.



You can see more cottages on the right here and one of the barbecue huts on the left which overlooks the lagoon.



And we had breakfast in this gazebo on our last morning.



But the resort also has these charming safari-like tents. Some of which have covered back patios looking into the lush, green rain forest. The tents have fireplaces, a bed, and electricity but guests bring their own coolers and barbecues to use at the picnic tables out front. Larger family-sized tents are also available.



At the main entrance there is a popular gourmet Italian restaurant with a great patio.



There are dozens of examples of typical West Coast architecture in its most natural form. This is a large common covered area that shelters a ping pong table but would also be nice to use on a rainy day. We stumbled across it on a little hike we took one morning.



We also found this playground.



And this stunning amphitheatre.



And several organic vegetable gardens protected from deer by driftwood fences.





We stumbled across a zen garden beside a large chicken coop of sorts which also houses pheasants, a peacock, and heritage turkeys.



The gardens are fantastic. And sometimes larger than life.



At every turn there is an interesting sculpture or feature of some sort.







These driftwood sculptures are everywhere.





And interesting places to rest.



There's swimming and canoing in the lake across the road and a resident massage therapist. And all of this in a bird sanctuary.

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