Premier Of The ‘Magic Garden’…

The ‘magic garden’, ‘secret garden’, ‘creative corner’, or whatever it is called, is back in action again, after being ‘packed away’ for the winter….


πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

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Dandelion Sorbet

It seems to have become an annual tradition to make dandelion sorbet – and this time it was Alfie who suggested it…

So Alfie and I set about picking the dandelion heads…


Alfie insisted that we left some ‘favourite’ dandelions for the bees. And one we just had to leave because it was so beautiful….


The one on the left. We looked closely at it’s beautiful petals, the way it was so perfectly formed and it’s stunning colour. It made me smile to know that Alfie can appreciate such things, if you catch him at the right time! πŸ˜†

We then set about the giant task of cutting off the petals…..


Once we had boiled 3 cups of water, with 1/2 cup of sugar, and 1/2 cup of honey, we added the petals, and left the mixture to simmer for an hour.

Then we sieved out the petals, added 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, poured it in to a container, and put it in the freezer…but not before Alfie tasted it, to make sure it was ‘just right’…. πŸ˜‰

More Spring Things This Week!

This week we (Maya and I) have continued with Easter crafts, mainly in the name of pompoms…

   
 
And Ted has been continuing with Easter eggs…in clay form…

   
…and biscuit form…

  
  
  
  
Alfie has, as always, been drawing drawing drawing…..

  

I love our tulips…

  
…and as well as playing lots of lego (and some Mario!) with Leon, he has been enjoying lots of outdoor play with his friend Lilly… 

 

Alfie so much prefers the sunshine. 🌞

The kids have played with friends, and yesterday Ted and I truly enjoyed a neighbourhood walk to feed a neighbour’s rabbit…

Admiring neighbour’s decorated Easter houses…
 
Having fun with a neighbour’s cat in the sunshine…

   
    
 (Ted just happened to have a rope with him 😏)

…feeding the rabbits in their posh ‘hutch’ – though they didn’t want to be seen….

  
..playing on the rocks…

  
…and watching the water in our neighbour’s backyard lake…..

   
    
 
We are so lucky to live in an area where wildlife is so ripe, in so many different ways – and I’m so happy the sun is finally starting to shine! πŸ˜„

‘SkΓ€rtorsdag’ And Easter Weekend 2016…

Just before school broke up, Alfie, Ted and I decorated the Swedish ‘Easter tree’ inside…   

 …and because we had so much ‘PΓ₯sk-ris’ (birch tree branches) left over from the scout meeting, Ted and I decorated one for outside too… 

  

 The Easter weekend starts in Sweden with children dressing as ‘Easter witches’ (PΓ₯sk-kΓ€rring), and going from door to door exchanging homemade Easter cards for sweets…

This year Alfie’s friend Love joined us…   

   
…and this year was the first year they went off alone, with their friends Lilly and Andrea…. 

   

Maya took Ted alone…it was the first time I had seen Easter witches on scooters….πŸ˜„ 

 

On Good Friday we had a family trip to the cinema to see ‘Zootropolis'(3D!)…. 

 

….but we also had homemade ‘hot cross buns’… 

 

….and on Easter Saturday we enjoyed the first real Spring day! We had our garden Easter egg hunt…

  

  
  
   
 …played outside, and Richard and Leon even planted some bulbs!
       

  
     

 
Of course, I couldn’t not read our favourite Easter book to Ted last night….  

…and this morning, on Easter Sunday, after Alfie left out carrots for the Easter bunny (PΓ₯sk Hare), he left the kids with a little packet each…

   

In which were chocolates and jelly beans, and seeds for planting 😊….  

Today we are going with the kids Swedish grandma on a long nature walk, and to eat Easter lunch in a log cabin restaurant. πŸ˜ƒ

Happy Easter! πŸ£β˜€οΈπŸŒ»

This Last Week (or so)….

I’ve been a little behind at posting – mostly because I’ve been ill – so very ill – with a terrible sore throat and a terrible cough. Ted had it last week, and Alfie over the half term. I hope no-one else gets it…

Anyway, Richard has been away in the US, and my mum has been to stay. It’s been one of those chaotic weeks, with sick people, sleepless nights and argumentative little ones especially… But I suppose, some weeks are like that…

Still, we had some nice moments…at the ‘TjΓ€derstigen’ in Tyresta park…   

 
 …doing Easter crafts at the church playgroup…   

 …hanging out by the river in the forest…

 
…a trip to the aquarium….   

     

   

….and to the local play park…

  
 Alfie was proud of his bag he had sewn at scouts…  

 Maya turned 12…       

      

  

…and we have been looking for, and finding, signs of Spring…. 
      

    

And so that was this week…. 😊
 

  

 

 

Caterpillars & Butterflies

Despite the awful weather we’ve been having (rain, rain and more rain β˜”οΈ), we did have luck in finding a caterpillar the other day…

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…which naturally brought us to the story of ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’….

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…followed by the making of egg carton caterpillars….

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..and kitchen paper butterflies…

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With Alfie I read a more detailed fictional book – with a lot of facts in it….

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…before we all headed off to the butterfly house, where we saw both the pupas…

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..and the butterflies…

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IMG_7166 πŸ˜ŠπŸ›

Tadpoles

Yesterday we took the kids to a local lake to look for tadpoles….

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…and we were lucky to find quite a few….!

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We took a few home (but just a few), and using directions from the library’s ‘Pettsson & Findus’ book…

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…set up our own tadpole habitat.

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Sand at the bottom, a few rocks for when they sprout legs, and a few leaves from the lake. Be sure to use water from the lake and keep it cool – and don’t put the habitat under direct sunlight. Food? Fish food works fine.
We took the time to then read and learn a little about frogs, from both a factual book…

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…with great pictures, and clear succinct explanations.
And a fictional book – a story about a girl who collected tadpoles, and what she did and how they grew…

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We also read a factual book about toads (with real photos, which Alfie preferred) from the library, to learn about the difference between frog and toad….

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πŸ˜ŠπŸΈπŸ‘

Dyeing Eggs With Natural Materials

Yesterday afternoon Ted and I tried dying some eggs with natural materials. We chose (frozen) blueberries, cumin, turmeric, beetroots and coffee.
Each bowl was filled with enough water to cover the egg, 1 tablespoon of alum, three tablespoons of vinegar and the natural material.

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All the eggs (except for the blueberries which I’m going to use in a bread tomorrow) were boiled, and then put to simmer for around 30 minutes…

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I was actually a little disappointed with the outcome – I thought the colours would be much stronger…

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…though admittedly they are quite ‘Spring’ like! 😊
The blueberry colour I thought was much better, although I decided not to boil them and instead cook them in the Easter bread later (a recipe I have never tried before!)…

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Always good to experiment with new things however! πŸ˜‰πŸ”¬πŸ”πŸŽ“

Lovely Simple Easter Crafts : Painting Eggs, Egg Holders & Felt Eggs

We’ve continued our Easter crafts with an old favourite which we do every year….

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…plus a craft we’ve done many years ago, which looks lovely and is very effective, and that we will use at the Easter lunch on Sunday….

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…and a completely new craft, which I’ve fallen in love with…(involving taping a plastic egg closed with electrical tape, covering the egg with wool roving, putting the egg in a cut off stocking and tying, putting the egg for a spin in the washing machine, and then again in the tumble dryer, before removing it from the stocking)……

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I just love this last craft! πŸ™‚