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Beauty and the Beast Movie Activities

Beauty and the Beast may be Agatha’s favourite movie right now – though I think she prefers the live action to the animated, but that’s okay. For these activities either will work.

It took me a bit more time than usual to get the post ready, mostly because there was serious, but fun, work involved in these activities!

The first two activities weren’t actually time intensive. I had us read a book for the first activity. If you follow along on youtube, you’ll know Ella loves to read, and Agatha’s not far behind her. Ryan read, several dozen, stories to Cordelia and Brom, Ryan and I even managed to read something for ourselves as well. Though I don’t think either of us finished a book in one day! lol

Imagination is so important to me. We imagined what type of item we’d become if we lived in the Beast’s enchanted castle. I’m not sure what everyone decided in the end, but it involved a lot of giggling and plenty of imagination!

Our third activity took a bit more planning and a lot more work, but the payoff was priceless!

The kiddos all became inventors tasked with creating something useful.

Ella took to pinterest and decided to make a solar oven. She wanted to make s’mores. We made the oven as directed at first, but we decided it took too long to cook, and even after 40 min the pan wasn’t even too hot to touch with bare hands. So we decided to amp it up a bit!

We added more insulation inside, and more foil aimed toward the plastic cover. She also decided to wrap the entire outside in black paper, but hasn’t actually done that yet. After adding more foil and insulation, she was much happier with the results! She also changed the container she used, from glass, to metal.

 

Brom and Cordelia created chocolate chip dispensers to help make s’mores.  They used marble run pieces and held them over the marshmallows and let gravity do the rest. They were very happy with how their inventions worked!

Agatha wanted to work together with everyone else to make the s’mores as well. She decided to make a marshmallow dispenser. This took much longer than one day to make. She created it on her own, with only minor help from Ryan and I to problem solve or poke holes.

 

She started by finding a candy dispenser and looking to see how it worked. She noted there was a container on top to hold the candy, a gear inside to move the candy, and a chute for the candy to fall down and out.

She had a wheel for a toy paddle boat, she took parts of it and used it to create the mechanism that opens the door inside the machine. She attached an ice cream container and an inverted sour cream container together with he bottom cut off the sour cream container, and a trap door that opens upwards in the ice cream container. When she turns the handles on the outside of the sour cream container, the gear pushes the door opens and marshmallows fall out! Look at that joy!

 

After all the projects were finished being created they tried them out. The s’mores were good, but they much preferred the chocolate and marshmallows mixed together without the graham crackers. Ella then shook up some whipped cream to put on top their yummy confections.

 

 

I’d love to hear about any inventions your children make! Share links if you’ve blogged about them!

 

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Rhubarb Pudding Recipe

We’re hard at work on our next set of activities, but these ones take time. Our next movie is Beauty and the Beast – and our kiddos are inventing things! In the meantime, thinking brains and busy bodies need food! Unfortunately I’m not going grocery shopping until tomorrow and we’re out of store bought fruit. 🙁

The good news is my rhubarb’s been producing like mad for the past month and a bit! We’ve had rhubarb crisp and crumble almost every week, but today we wanted something different. Also I had egg yolks that needed using. So I decided to make pudding.

First, we LOVE pudding around here, it’s so easy to turn it into so many different things. It can become ice cream, custard sauce, pudding, crème brûlée or use it as a layer in trifle. YUM! So many options.

This one would be best, in my opinion, as crème brûlée, but my flame thrower is out of gas. It’s been out of gas for 3 years…

Anyhow on to the recipe!

IMG_6399  I used about 5 stalks of rhubarb – chopped up it made about 4 cups, feel free to use more or less depending on how much rhubarb flavour you want. Honestly, next time I’d use more, but I like a lot of tartness in mine. I think my kiddos were happy with the amount of sweet in this version.

Add the rhubarb, 2/3 C sugar and about 1 C water to a pot and bring to a boil. Boil for about 5 minutes. You want the rhubarb to break down so you don’t have any stringy bits. Boil longer if there’s still strings.

While the rhubarb is boiling begin making the pudding base.

I use about 1 C of milk to 1 egg yolk. For this recipe I used 4 egg yolks and 4 cups milk. Extra egg yolks are okay, extra milk will be too runny.

Heat the milk in a thick bottom sauce pan on medium heat, medium high at most. You don’t want this to burn! But my kiddos scream too loud for me to heat it slowly. It’s all about balance.

If you have egg yolks in the fridge, use 4-5 of them. Otherwise separate eggs, using the yolks and reserving the whites for future use.  IMG_6401

Combine the egg yolks with 1 C. sugar and 1 tbsp tapioca starch (corn starch also works). Once the milk is heated through and just beginning to bubble on the sides, pour a small amount into the egg yolks, mix, then add a bit more (about 1 tbsp at a time, maybe a bit more – I’m not an exact measurement kind of person when children are screaming for pudding).

About this point the rhubarb should be ready – scoop about a tbsp worth into a separate dish with about 1 tbsp tapioca starch – mix until the starch is wet through out, then add back to the rhubarb and mix well.
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Remove the milk heat, pour the egg yolk mixture into the pot, mix well. Add vanilla and almond extracts, mix well. Let cool both the rhubarb and milk mixture cool to room temp (this is the hardest part – I put mine in the freezer – did I mention the screaming children yet?)

Once cooled, pour the rhubarb into the pudding, mix to your fullsizeoutput_5273desired amount of mixed, then either serve or continue to cool until fully set. I served mine.

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This was such a refreshing dessert! It is very rich, but the richness combined with the tart rhubarb flavour was so good!

 

 

 

Rhubarb Pudding Recipe

Rhubarb Sauce

4 C Chopped rhubarb
2/3 C Sugar
1 C water
1 tbsp tapioca starch

Combine rhubarb, sugar, and water in a pot, bring to a boil.
Continue Boiling until all rhubarb strings gone.
Scoop about 1 tbsp of the rhubarb mixture into separate bowl with tapioca starch. Mix until starch is wet throughout.
Pour starch mixture back into pot and boil for about 1 minute.
Remove from heat and let cool to room temp.

Pudding 

4 C milk or cream (Cream make the pudding richer, the results is otherwise about the same)
4-5 egg yolks
1 C sugar
1 tbsp tapioca starch
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract (If using this pudding in a different recipe you may want to omit the almond extract)

Heat milk to just boiling (bubbles on edge of pot) over medium to medium high heat – stir often, careful not to burn.
In a separate dish, combine the egg yolks, sugar, and starch until light in colour.
Once the milk is boiling, remove from heat and temper the egg yolks by adding a tablespoon or two of the hot milk into the egg mixture. Mix well. I usually do this about 3 times.
pour the egg yolk mixture into he milk, mix well. Add the vanilla and almond extracts, mix. Then cool to room temp.

Once both the rhubarb and pudding are cool, combine, then serve and enjoy.

 

 

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Why Children Shouldn't Watch Peter Pan

Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom in Disney World has one ride that consistently has longer than average waits. Peter Pan’s Flight always draws crowds of people. It’s a classic ride from a beloved, classic story. Now that it has an interactive queue, it’s even more fun to check out this ride! The only problem is that my kiddos don’t really know the movie.

When they next wait in line and ride this ride, I want them to see the magic. I want them to know that they’re in the Darling children’s nursery. I want them to see Mermaid Lagoon as their ship sails overhead. I want them to live the experience as much as possible.

A few nights ago they watched Peter Pan for the first (second time for Ella and maybe Agatha). And they promptly declared they never want to see it again!

I wasn’t surprised, but a part of me is sad that a movie I once loved so much hasn’t aged well. Okay, the problems with this movie always existed, but the ideas were so pervasive throughout society that it didn’t stand out negatively. It’s the little things, the way Peter Pan treats Wendy. The way Tinker Bell behaves. The way the movie portrays native people. The way the movie places Wendy into the roll of caregiver. It’s the way Wendy goes on an adventure only to come home and declare she’s ready to grow up while the boys are ready for more adventure.

Ella and Agatha both told us all the things wrong with this movie. Even Cordelia and Brom were able to share that they didn’t feel good watching this movie. They’re still too young to pick apart a movie and understand the messages being given, but they’re very capable of feeling and taking in messages, even if the message is unintentional.

This viewing marks the end of a chapter in my life. I can see the movie through the eyes of my children and realize they need happier thoughts and movies that are more respectful to women and girls. Movies that show boys and men treating girls and women respectfully. They need to see movies that respectfully depict native people. It’s time to walk away from these old movies in an effort to brighten the childhood of my children and future generations.

Now we hope the upcoming Peter Pan (live action) remake will bring this wonderful story a fresh life that will bring magic and pixie dust to a new generation!

 

*                             *                                 *

 

This got longer than I intended, so I’ll tell you about our related activities in a separate post.

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Spring is Sprung

I love spring! Don’t you? After a long, yucky winter I really needed the past few weeks of sunshine and warmth! Our winters here are usually pretty chilly, but they usually have blue skies, sunshine, and lots of snow. It makes it bearable. This year our winter was still fairly cold, with warm days mixed in, but there was almost no snow, and more clouds. It was one of the worst winters in years, at least as far as lack of sun goes!

So having blue skies and lots of glorious warm weather means we’ve been outside almost every waking moment!

I had several rose bushes to dig out this year because I lost them over the winter. I also lost all my herbs, and several perennials as well. Snow is so important in our gardening zone! The snow protects the plants from the cold weather. Without it, the wind and cold was just too much for so many different plants.

 

Since I’ve found myself in this position, I’m taking the time to double check my garden map and rethink a couple plants I’d previously chosen. I rearranged a few things and think I like my new plan even better than the old one! It’ll take a couple years to get it just how I want it, but that’s half the fun.

Spring also means lessons are winding up for the year and that means more free time. Our Disney movie’s and activities are in full swing, I just need to write up a few posts about them. They’re coming, the hard work of planning, implementing, doing, and documenting has been done. It’s just a matter of writing it up on here. Yay!

 

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Mother's Day

Words for today’s importance and meaning escape me. Instead I’ll wish a happy mother’s day and share a few of my favourite garden finds from last season. I can hardly wait for my garden to fully wake up this spring! Right now only my plum trees, Heather, and Elephant Ears are in bloom, and I don’t have near enough to make my yard look pretty!

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Life has Happened and We've Been Busy!

I know I’ve been so silent over here, and I’m sorry! We’ve hit a strange point in the year when we’re super busy, but also not really doing anything new. Winter has worn out it’s welcome (more snow flurries today), but besides a few hollyhocks and peonies peeking through the mulch, spring hasn’t really arrived yet.

I’m working on a large sculpture right now, so most of my extra attention is on wire right now – which means our movie themes are on hold. Plus we had a rash of illnesses that prevented us from even going to see Beauty and the beast yet! 😮 I know! I’m shocked and dismayed by this as well! But don’t worry, we’re going on Monday to finally see it! (I can hardly wait!)

Ryan, Ella, and Agatha have been playing a ton of minecraft on our server and having so much fun together! Brom spent some of his own money to buy his very own video game (Lego Pirates of the Caribbean) he’s currently about 60% of the way through it – he’s had it for 2 weeks. If he isn’t playing, he’s talking about playing. Blackbeard is his favourite character. When we told him (one of) his middle names was after Blackbeard he fell right over with the biggest, goofiest grin on his face. He was one happy guy! lol

Last night Ryan and I went on a date – the first childless night out in 2 or 3 years! We often enjoy bringing our kiddos out with us, but sometimes it’s just really nice to get out on our own as well. We went to see Peter and the Star Catchers at the Citadel in Edmonton. We laughed so much and had so much fun. It’s pretty wonderful hitting this phase in life where our children are able to cope with us being out and we can go out and enjoy ourselves. It’s also wonderful to hit this phase in life where most of our children are mature enough to sit happily through  stage production with us. I really miss going to the theatre.

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It's a Colourful World

A couple times a year I order a giant amount of craft supplies from Crayola. We usually get economy sized paint, plus a few items we normally wouldn’t buy.

Today our order arrived and we have had so much fun playing with all the new colours!

Ella was super excited to get ‘grown-up’ pencil crayons, including watercolour crayons and metallic pencil crayons, as well as a beautiful colouring book.

Agatha received a smaller package of grown-up pencil crayons and the two girls received an animation studio to share (but really Agatha will use it more).

Brom and Cordelia received a paint maker kit that’s tons of fun, and includes a good upper body workout for free! Cordelia also received a large pack of pencil crayons to share with Agatha. And Brom received a Millennium Falcon filled with a bunch of different craft supplies. He was angry the pencil sharpener wasn’t a magnet and refused to use anything in the set hahaha. Though he did love the paint. 🙂

The Paint Maker kit was the biggest success. Everyone had to have a turn shaking the paint and making new colours. Though Brom and Cordelia and very firm, they’re the only ones who get to choose what colour to make! 😉 It comes with little paint ‘chips’ of dye that is added to the white paint base. Then you turn a hand crank and shake the paint to mix it.

We determined it’s best if you add a bit of base, then the colour, then a bit more base. Let it sit for about 30 minutes, then begin shaking it. The first few we tried didn’t mix very well until we let them sit while we ate dinner. After dinner they mixed beautifully.

 

Cordelia can hardly wait to paint something with her new personally made paints.

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It’s a Colourful World

A couple times a year I order a giant amount of craft supplies from Crayola. We usually get economy sized paint, plus a few items we normally wouldn’t buy.

Today our order arrived and we have had so much fun playing with all the new colours!

Ella was super excited to get ‘grown-up’ pencil crayons, including watercolour crayons and metallic pencil crayons, as well as a beautiful colouring book.

Agatha received a smaller package of grown-up pencil crayons and the two girls received an animation studio to share (but really Agatha will use it more).

Brom and Cordelia received a paint maker kit that’s tons of fun, and includes a good upper body workout for free! Cordelia also received a large pack of pencil crayons to share with Agatha. And Brom received a Millennium Falcon filled with a bunch of different craft supplies. He was angry the pencil sharpener wasn’t a magnet and refused to use anything in the set hahaha. Though he did love the paint. 🙂

The Paint Maker kit was the biggest success. Everyone had to have a turn shaking the paint and making new colours. Though Brom and Cordelia and very firm, they’re the only ones who get to choose what colour to make! 😉 It comes with little paint ‘chips’ of dye that is added to the white paint base. Then you turn a hand crank and shake the paint to mix it.

We determined it’s best if you add a bit of base, then the colour, then a bit more base. Let it sit for about 30 minutes, then begin shaking it. The first few we tried didn’t mix very well until we let them sit while we ate dinner. After dinner they mixed beautifully.

 

Cordelia can hardly wait to paint something with her new personally made paints.

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I'm the Angry Mom Yelling at Your Kid on the Bus

TRIGGER WARNING: Hints of sexual assault, rape culture

Today something happened while we rode the bus, something that hurt my heart and my head so deeply it took me almost 20minutes to stop shaking.

We got on the bus near a high school, just as school ended. Several high school students piled onto the bus, jumping, falling, climbing all over each other like giant puppies. It was kind of sweet to see what my own children will become one day. Every second word was a curse while they tried on being big and brave and grown up. My daughters looked at me with wide eyes, but they know the words, and no harm was meant by them. Though several of the students looked over at us with apologetic looks on their faces. No one actually told the boy cursing to stop.

Though after a couple blocks another boy began laughing and talking – the cursing stopped. Something much more sinister and disgusting filled the space where mere words used to be.

The boy that spoke laughed and laughed about a man, a bodybuilder in Texas, who removed a picture of his daughter from social media because of this boy’s comments on the picture. (turns out he was only blocked, the picture was not removed)

I won’t quote directly, it was too difficult to listen to, this boy proudly repeated what he’d written on the girl’s picture. He talked about how he wanted to sexually assault her. Him and his buddies laughed when one of the guys pointed out that the girl’s father had said she was only 11. He boasted, “She looks 15, that’s good enough for me.” He then made further comments of what he intended to do.

Honestly the whole thing is a little hazy, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I couldn’t believe that not a single other person there told him that wasn’t okay. I was so busy worrying about what my daughters, my 10 year old, were hearing.

One girl did tell him to stop. Him and his buddies laughed. That’s when I snapped. First I thanked the girl for standing up for others, then I turned to the boy.

I was a little emotional, far from eloquent, and missed so many points as to what exactly was problematic about his comments, my words were mostly about how appalled and disgusted I was and how he should be setting examples for younger children not terrifying them. I wish I’d said things differently, but I didn’t. I couldn’t. In the face of someone actually saying these things, I couldn’t form a coherent thought.

My 10 yr old hid her head as I yelled at the boy. But I couldn’t let it go.

This is a boy that goes to a school my children walk passed several times a week. This is a boy talking about sexually assaulting a little girl that looked so similar to my own little girl. This is a boy laughing about rape and a bus full of teens who laughed along with him. This is rape culture and it knocked on my door.

This is rape culture and now my girls are afraid. He wanted to hurt a little girl. Or an older girl. It could have been any girl. Any girl.

A person that a bus full of teens stripped of her personhood and diminished to a piece of flesh to be taken and used. Abused.

I am disgusted.

I am sad.

 

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I’m the Angry Mom Yelling at Your Kid on the Bus

TRIGGER WARNING: Hints of sexual assault, rape culture

Today something happened while we rode the bus, something that hurt my heart and my head so deeply it took me almost 20minutes to stop shaking.

We got on the bus near a high school, just as school ended. Several high school students piled onto the bus, jumping, falling, climbing all over each other like giant puppies. It was kind of sweet to see what my own children will become one day. Every second word was a curse while they tried on being big and brave and grown up. My daughters looked at me with wide eyes, but they know the words, and no harm was meant by them. Though several of the students looked over at us with apologetic looks on their faces. No one actually told the boy cursing to stop.

Though after a couple blocks another boy began laughing and talking – the cursing stopped. Something much more sinister and disgusting filled the space where mere words used to be.

The boy that spoke laughed and laughed about a man, a bodybuilder in Texas, who removed a picture of his daughter from social media because of this boy’s comments on the picture. (turns out he was only blocked, the picture was not removed)

I won’t quote directly, it was too difficult to listen to, this boy proudly repeated what he’d written on the girl’s picture. He talked about how he wanted to sexually assault her. Him and his buddies laughed when one of the guys pointed out that the girl’s father had said she was only 11. He boasted, “She looks 15, that’s good enough for me.” He then made further comments of what he intended to do.

Honestly the whole thing is a little hazy, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I couldn’t believe that not a single other person there told him that wasn’t okay. I was so busy worrying about what my daughters, my 10 year old, were hearing.

One girl did tell him to stop. Him and his buddies laughed. That’s when I snapped. First I thanked the girl for standing up for others, then I turned to the boy.

I was a little emotional, far from eloquent, and missed so many points as to what exactly was problematic about his comments, my words were mostly about how appalled and disgusted I was and how he should be setting examples for younger children not terrifying them. I wish I’d said things differently, but I didn’t. I couldn’t. In the face of someone actually saying these things, I couldn’t form a coherent thought.

My 10 yr old hid her head as I yelled at the boy. But I couldn’t let it go.

This is a boy that goes to a school my children walk passed several times a week. This is a boy talking about sexually assaulting a little girl that looked so similar to my own little girl. This is a boy laughing about rape and a bus full of teens who laughed along with him. This is rape culture and it knocked on my door.

This is rape culture and now my girls are afraid. He wanted to hurt a little girl. Or an older girl. It could have been any girl. Any girl.

A person that a bus full of teens stripped of her personhood and diminished to a piece of flesh to be taken and used. Abused.

I am disgusted.

I am sad.