Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Recognize this guy? Well, you might want to tuck his face into your memory - it could be useful 50 years from now when you're in the grocery store (or equivalent) and run into him. You'll know you've met Ben!
How about this lady? She's 60 years old in this picture, but right now she's running around with her brothers making chalk drawings on the driveway. We're not sure if she'll still have her pigtails in 2060. Yep, that's Emmi.

Both this pictures are from the Ontario Science Centre's Amazing Aging Machine. We took a trip to the Science Centre last week, and tried it out. The machine is best on people aged 8 - 12 (that's why there's no picture of me aged 87!). Pip's picture didn't work out, and Tim didn't want to try, but it was kind of neat, and a little spooky, to see the aged Emmi and Ben looking at us from the Aging Machine's screen. On the whole, I think they turned out quite well!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

In Which We Celebrate a Roman Feast

Our history curriculum this year is taking us through Ancient Civilizations, and we've worked our way up to Ancient Rome. We thought it would be fun to get together with some friends who are in a similar place in their history studies to have a Roman feast! We did some research and found a number of recipes that are based on dishes believed to have been eaten in Ancient Rome. And of course, we needed appropriate dress! Above is Emmi as "Iliona" in a flowy skirt and top, with her hair done Roman style. And here are the rest of the girls who came for the feast:

Our friends brought gifts for Saturnalia (a Roman holiday) that our children appreciated! Here Emmi is holding her clay rabbit:

The fellows also looked suitably Roman. Pip is dressed as a slave boy, and the other boys are wearing togas. From left to right you have "Alexander", "Pip, the slave", "Quintus Maximus" and "Tiberias". Tiberias is a tough senator while Quintus Maximus appears thoughtful, and Alexander just looks happy to be at the feast.

We had "sweet wine" (cranberry juice) to drink at our feast and had an appetizer of hard-boiled eggs with a dipping sauce. Then we had flatbreads with an herbed dipping sauce with "dormice" (chicken was the stand-in), and for dessert: almond-stuffed dates cooked in honey and Pear Patina (a custard-like dish). The Romans reclined to eat on couches, but we had to get by with blankets on the floor with a slightly raised platform for a table.

The other mother and I acted as slaves, bringing in the dishes and clearing up. But then the "slaves" got a chance to eat the leftovers (and have some tea) while the Romans charged about and played after their feast. It was a fun time, and also memorable - once you've become "Iliona" and had a Roman feast, you will remember all sorts of neat things about Ancient Rome!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Cookies

I hope you all have had a Happy Easter! We had a pretty quiet weekend, which was very welcome! Church services on Easter Sunday, and a visit from grandparents on Saturday, but no "big do". However, that is not to say we did not have some appropriate cookies!

Let me hurry to assure you that the Easter Cookie extravaganza is not me being a super-mom! Emmi got up early one day last week, got her schoolwork out of the way very quickly, and then wanted to bake some cookies! I helped her get set up, but she (and Pip) did all the work of mixing, rolling, cutting out, and baking. Unfortunately, my only good photo of her is with her eyes closed!

I helped her mix the icing, and found the colouring. By then, Ben was finished his schoolwork and came in to help decorate cookies.

The group saved a few cookies for Tim to decorate too. The results were impressive, and delicious! Bunnies, chicks, flowers, hearts, umbrellas and ducks of all possible colours ended up on the drying racks. And there is a nifty set of bunnies and chicks that spell "Daddy" when they are all lined up!

How would you like to decorate your cookie?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Summer is coming, and springtime is HERE!

The title is a line that Tim had in our latest Jubal concert. At the time, springtime wasn't yet officially here - but I found the line echoing in my head today! Here is what is on our front lawn:

And we had another sure sign of spring today, the inagural use of the laundry lines! I am so blessed to have such lovely, large lines - I can get almost 4 loads onto the lines at one time (especially if I use the top lines for small things like socks). There is something about laundry blowing in the breeze that lifts the heart - and the smell when you are putting it away in drawers, or pulling it out to slip onto little boys, or sliding between it at the end of a long day - is heavenly!