Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Easylunchboxes = fast lunch

This was a REALLY fast lunch to put together! Today was the first day back to school after a 4 day weekend and I just did not have my act together this morning. I didn't even take a photo of Amy's or Rose's lunch this morning. Here's Heidi's lunch.

carrot sticks and celery, butterfly shaped sandwich, mini cupcake, grapes and strawberries

All of the kids were begging for cupcakes this morning. They each got one in their lunch. The rest of the lunch is pretty healthy so I think it's ok. All in moderation. I'm sure she'll ask for dip for her veggies as she always does -- so I'll add it at lunch time. I often put the dip right in the cup and then stand her veggie sticks up in in the dip and cup. As far as speed goes this took no time at all. Cutting a sandwich with a cutter is actually faster than trimming crusts with a knife. The longest time was spent cutting the veggies - but when you cut once for three lunches the time really is negligible. I should have timed it -- I think I took longer trying to take a photo with my terrible kitchen light!!!

Geocaching for GIS day

Today is Geographical Information Systems Day. To commemorate the day the Department of Conservation Services launched a series of geocaches and challenged everyone to find them. Boy was this fun!  As soon as I heard about this yesterday, I loaded an app on my blackberry, gathered up the kids and went off to search. One of the government caches was hidden in the Arboretum (#3) and when I searched online at (free basic membership gets you 3 downloads every 24 hours) I saw that there was another cache there also. I had no idea that geocaching was so popular here - there are so many to find!

I don't want to give away the locations so these are some seriously cropped photos!! I also won't tell you which one was which cache. Also due to my camera problem -- these are from my phone so not the best!

The Department on Conservation services had rubber GIS day bracelets in it as well as the log book-- Rose claimed the bracelet  I thought the others would not be happy having only one bracelet and 3 of them to share it but they did not mind at all. The fun is really in the hunt! Amy and Rose were racing ahead with the phone yelling "this way!" and counting down the meters -- 100m, 75m, 50 m etc. I kept calling them back so that we could stay together ( and also monitor that we were in fact going basically in the right direction! )

We also had a little fun running around in the park. It was slightly windy and overcast.

Even Emily was happy about our outing

We can't wait to find the one at Cooper's Island. The girls had just visited there on the weekend but I didn't know that they could have been searching for one!

There are some rules that everyone should be mindful of :
Sign the log book inside and read about who else has been there.
If you take any treasures out be sure to put a treasure of your own of equal or greater value in its place.
There are some little travelbug tags often found inside a cache and attached to a keychain or small item. If you take one of these out of a cache you must go to the website printed on it, log in it's serial number and retrieve it. Then you should put it into another cache and log it's new location online. Don't take it out and just keep it!! The owners can track online where their travel bug has traveled. If you just keep it and don't pass it on to another cache it will spoil their fun.

This was not an activity on our family fun list -- but by golly it should have been! Definitely adding it to the next list -- find at least 5 geocaches :) This was a great way to spend our day off while the teachers had a Professional day!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Easylunchboxes and no sandwich lunches!

We were out of bread last Thursday, so I sent some non-sandwich lunches and tried out the easylunchbox mini dippers again. So far we really like them!
Amy's Lunch
ham rollups, crackers, fig newtons and some carrot sticks in a mini dipper
goldfish & strawberries

Rose's Lunch
crackers, ham rollups, carrot sticks, ranch dip in the mini dippers
pretzels and strawberries

Can you tell how nicely two mini dippers fit side by side? You can actually fit 4 mini dippers in the large compartment of the easylunchbox!

Heidi's lunch
crackers, ham rollups, ranch dip, carrot sticks
goldfish & strawberries

This is not a mini dipper but a random little container that I had. I couldn't fit 4 of these in the large compartment. Everyone loved the change from not having a sandwich - especially Rose. I need to start being  a little more creative and not making a sandwich everyday. School is out today and tomorrow so I only have two days of packing lunches (and one day of packing a snack) this week. I'll try to think of something new :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pumpkin Shaped Sugar Cookies

Rose had her Me Museum last week at school. It's kind of a fun thing. Every week it's a different person's turn and they bring in some items and photos to share all about themselves. We decided to make some cookies to share with the class as it represents one of her favourite things -- cooking!

Here she is cutting out the pumpkin shapes

Putting on some sprinkles

Rose decided to take her spider craft that she made last week, some turkey cut and paste and colouring pages, some information about her name and a list of some favourites, her favourite book Bugs A-Z, her favourite stuffed animal, lots of photos of her doing various activities - gardening, swimming, dancing, gymnastics etc, a CD of her favourite songs, some family photos including our pets and lots of pictures of her cooking in the kitchen. She's really the go to kitchen helper in the family.  Collecting the photos is the part where I did the most work to help. We talked about what she wants to bring photos of and then I just used the computer to arrange them on the pages and type a description where it's needed. We don't have to arrange these like a project. The teachers have a special board and they put them up each week :) 

So how did Rose make these fabulous sugar cookies? Easy peasy. We made our favourite sugar cookie recipe -- Wilton Roll Out Cookies -- and added some neon pink and regular yellow food colouring to make the dough bright orange. Then I helped roll out the dough as this recipe is a no chill dough and is very soft and a bit tricky for a four year old to handle. Rose cut out the pumpkin shapes, added the sprinkles and I did the oven work.

This is the pumpkin cookie cutter that we used:

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Veggie Critters and Snickerdoodles for the Budding Chef Competition

Today was the Budding Chef competition at school. For ages 6 and up there were lots of cooking categories and some art and photography categories, and for ages 3-6 there was a fruit and veggie critter competition. 

Rose & Heidi made vegetable critters. They didn't place but they were happy with their participation ribbons. 

Rose made her spider out of a date, passion fruit, red pepper, green olives and green beans. The plan was to use a black plum instead of the passion fruit, but the store was out. Also I couldn't find any vanilla beans - but those would have made great legs!

Heidi made her caterpillar out of zucchini, summer squash, blueberries and green beans

The girls made these with really minimal help. Daddy cut the legs for Heidi and I helped Rose to cut the passion fruit for the red  pepper but they did the rest by themselves with a little direction. Everything is held together with toothpicks which made it very easy for them to push the toothpicks in and attach the next piece.

Amy baked and entered her favourite cookies -- Snickerdoodles and she won first place! She used the Betty Crocker recipe :) She did all of the work except for the ovens. She received a nice medal.

Here are a couple of other fun entries that I managed to photograph. 

Cookie pizza, cookies, brownies

caterpillar cake

Here are some of the other veggie critters. First place was the cauliflower dog which seems to have fallen over when I took the photo! second was the fruit owl and third place was a Humpty Dumpty.

My proud girls with their vegetable animals. 

Amy went off to a sleepover so I don't have a photo of her with her medal. I'll take one tomorrow and edit it in!!