acreage renovation: a garden for brother + sister bear

This spring we decided to make a garden for our children. We were wholly inspired by “The Berenstain Bears Patience, Please” after reading it to them. They begged us to have their own garden just like Brother and Sister Bear. One that they could till, plant, weed, and water and grow whatever they wanted. Of course we had to agree to such eagerness.

We used my small corn garden for their new garden. It was south facing and the best location in our yard for one. Geoff ripped out the old and temporary fence we had around it to keep the animals out. Then the kids and I each took a shovel and spread our composted food into it. We also moved all of the rocks and heavy stones from behind the garage. This was all hard work but they did very well. Next, Geoff rototilled and worked the compost into the garden, expanding it by a lot. Finally, he built a new fence to go around it.

I spent an entire spring morning planting seeds with them. I planned it out and made all of the little holes in the dirt. They wanted corn, carrots, cucumber, sunflowers, tomatoes, snap peas, watermelon, and flowers.

The kids meticulously filled each hole with seeds. Then we watered it all. They continued to water on the days where it didn’t rain. Within a few weeks we had sprouts. From there, and with occasional weeding, we had a full (albeit somewhat messy) garden!


They are so proud of their work. I am, too! Mostly everything came up, and we snack on their snap peas daily. I hope to do this with them every year until they are no longer interested. It’s such a special and rewarding thing.

Emory

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recipe: favourite whole wheat bread

This a recipe that I have been making weekly for years now! It’s big, soft, almost fall-apart-melt-in-your-mouth bread. It’s like a warm hug in food form! I make it with 50% whole wheat and 50% all-purpose flour, so that it’s not overly dry but also not overly unhealthy (as far as bread goes). You can really mix up the ratios yourself, though. Add more whole wheat if you would like it to be healthier, or less whole wheat if you prefer whiter bread. Additionally, it contains no eggs or dairy for those who are intolerant of them.

Halve this recipe if you are wanting a smaller yield. Or if you’re like me and you prefer to have extra bread to freeze, follow the directions exactly! Enjoy!

Favourite Whole Wheat Bread

Makes 4 loaves

Ingredients:

1 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp active dry yeast
4 cups warm water
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil, plus more to grease
1 tsp salt
6 cups whole wheat flour
6 cups all-purpose flour
Butter or margarine

Steps:

1. In a large bowl, add the sugar, yeast, and warm water. Mix well, then cover with a tea towel for 15 minutes or until the yeast has bubbled.

2. Remove towel. Next add the oil, salt, and flour- the whole wheat first followed by the all-purpose one cup at a time. Make sure to stir in-between each cup. (It will work out to be 12 cups exactly, but it could also turn out to be closer to 11 cups or 13 cups depending on how you prefer the texture of the dough.) When the dough is no longer sticky, transfer to a floured surface. Knead for another 5 minutes until smoothed out. Form into a ball and place in a new, large, oil-greased bowl. Cover with a tea towel. Put in oven with the light on for 1 hour to let rise.

3. After dough has risen, remove it from oven and punch it down. Then grease 4 loaf pans with oil. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces. Form into the shape of a loaf and place each one in a pan. Cover loaves with a tea towel and leave on countertop to let rise for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, set the oven to 375°F.

4. After dough has risen for the second time, remove tea towel and place all 4 on the middle rack of your oven. Bake for 35 minutes or until a deep golden brown. Remove and brush with butter. Let cool down before slicing into them.

Note: This bread should be stored in an airtight container or wrapped in tin foil at room temperature. Do not refrigerate. They keep well up to a few days. Otherwise, you can wrap them and freeze them up to a few months. (Pictured is a loaf that has been frozen and thawed!)

Emory

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happy easter

Happy belated Easter!!

I had the idea to have an Easter egg hunt in a field after first reading “Happy Easter, Little Critter” to our children last year. It’s one of our favourite Little Critter books and it’s just so darn cute.

So last year, I hid some eggs in the field directly behind our house and one afternoon that Easter weekend the kids searched for some eggs. I documented it all. Even though I was newly pregnant and very nauseated, we all had so much fun.

This year, I decided to hide the eggs in the farmer’s field beside the park that we walk to almost on a daily basis. It has a few more hills and trees than ours, and I thought that it would be a different experience for Remy and Wilder.

Also, baby sister was here to join us this year and she certainly made it all much cuter!

In all honesty, they love searching for eggs more than the gifts and the chocolate they receive at Easter. I hope to continue this tradition for many years to come. (I may even include the neighbour children next year just like in the book!)

Hope your Easter was hopping!

Emory

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3 months old

Beau is now 3 months old! This month marks the last of the 4th trimester already.

Honestly, these newborn days are flying by. For the most part, she is a delightful little girl who smiles and coos the day away. She has been spitting up a lot more lately, which can make her more irritable, but with some changes on my end I feel as if we should be able to get a handle on it. I will start to give her probiotic more regularly, and plan to not nurse her for as long as I do. I’m just counting my blessings that she doesn’t have infant acid reflux like Remy did. Those were some hard days.

With that, here are Beau’s latest milestones:

– she received her 2 month immunizations

– she went from the 50th to the 85th percentile in weight

– she is discovering her tongue

– she is starting to give open mouth kisses

– she pushes her soother back in using her hands

– she is starting to teethe and is often chewing her fists

– she has laughed twice!

– she tries to sit upright from a reclining position

This month we are planning on buying her a Bumbo chair because we think she is ready for it. She is growing so quickly- even fitting into 6-12 month clothing! We love her so much and cannot wait to see what she does next.

Have a lovely week!

Emory

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remy is six

Tomorrow, our beautiful, smart, funny, social Remy girl will be 6 years old!!

We will always have a special place in our hearts for the one that made us parents and who taught us about parenthood. She is such a light in this world and we couldn’t be happier than to call her our daughter.

We love you, sweet girl! Happy birthday!

<3 Mama

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