Little Farmers Petting Zoo

Meg Wallner is Mommy to one,  jewelry-maker, and a freelance writer from Kamloops.

My family and I just visited the Little Farmers Petting Zoo in Westsyde. My daughter, who is 16 months, had a blast! Never had she seen so many different animals that children don’t get to see on a daily basis. There were a variety of exotic birds, like Polish and Bantam chickens, along with regular barnyard chickens, ducks, emus, peacocks and pheasants. Also a sight to see, are the large turkeys, called Bronze Wild turkeys. The animals were rather friendly too, the goats and ducks come right up to the fence, hoping for a treat or two. At one point during our visit to the zoo, one of the goats was in the old car in the goat pen. It was quite comical.

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Homeschooling with a Large Family: One Parent’s Perspective

This post is by KamloopsParents.Com reader, Miranda Brown – Kamloops Mom to 6 children and homeschooling family for 7 years.

I often get asked while I am out with my six children in tow, “How do you do it?” It’s one of those questions that stumps me every time it is asked.  Homeschooling 3 children and having 3 little ones at home brings some very full busy days but wonderful, too. A schedule is one of the best ways I have achieved our homeschooling goals and to help feel encouraged by what we are doing. With a schedule, I have a goal to work toward.  At the same time, homeschooling with many children… the biggest lesson I had to learn was flexibility. Life happens when you are at home.  Spills happen, kids get sick and some days just get hairy.

For us, having some routine for our day brings balance and order. The school-aged children have their routine and the three little ones look to me for what they can do.  Times when I let them “just play” are times when the house gets turned upside down and all the blankets are pulled off the beds and couch cushions dumped (which is great every now and then) and when we are done our schooling I look around and have a ton to clean up.  That just can not happen everyday.  So I have come up with activities I can do with my babies, toddlers, and preschoolers during our school time and still teach the older kids.

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Easy and Delicious Cinnamon Buns: Kidz in the Kitchen

I recently discovered that Superstore sells frozen loaves of white bread.  All you have to do is thaw them and then bake them.  Easy peasy (if you like white bread), right?  Now, we have a favourite family recipe for Monkeybread (sorry, I am going to keep some of my favourites a secret) and it calls for that bread.  In order to make that delicious special-occasion treat for my kids, I bought a package and tossed it in the freezer.  It’s been there for over three months, I think… maybe it’s time for a special occasion you say?  Well.. maybe.  The other day, while I was flipping through my favourite cookbook (Crazy Plates) looking for things that I still hadn’t tried, I came across a recipe for low fat cinnamon buns (yeah right, you say) that called for a loaf of frozen bread dough.  What?  How easy is that?  So, I gave it a whirl, they were delicious and while I’m not going to toss my bread machine (my normal cinnamon bun assistant and bread-making essential) anytime soon, I did want to share it.

My kids enjoyed rolling out the bread dough and mixing (spilling – oh, shucks, someone has to clean that up, right?) the sugar and spreading it onto the dough.  They did a pretty good job, I think.  Plus, my floor got a good kid-cleaning, too (as it was kid-spot-mopped after the mess).

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I’m Seeing Stars

Post written by KamloopsParents.com reader, Tamara.  Tamara is a wife, a teacher and a Mom to one cute little man.

The other night, my husband and I had the opportunity to take our 15 month old son to Astronomy Night ~ a free event at TRU put on by kamloopsparents.com.  We both have a love for the stars ever since we took an Astronomy course together in our early dating years (back when TRU was UCC).  But who wouldn’t love a course that requires you to lay in a field next to your future husband and gaze up at the sky together?

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Reaping the Rewards (and man are they tasty!)

Many of us bake with our kids. They love it and we grin and bear the mess while we share some special and memorable moments with our children. If you, like me, have ever wondered if it is all worth it; allow me to assure you that it absolutely is. Yesterday after-school Kaia, who’s eleven, made her second ever key lime meringue pie, from scratch.  She first attempted this on a whim a couple weeks ago and I’m not sure she knew what she was getting herself into.

The older girls bake and cook frequently with little supervision required so admittedly I was only half paying attention when she asked, “Can you use limes instead of lemons in a lemon meringue pie?”

“Of course.” I replied, “Then it would just be a lime meringue pie.”
About 20 minutes later, the kitchen is covered in bowls, sticky spoons, chunks of lime and she is separating eggs while something thick and greenish is bubbling on the stove when it dawns on me: Oh my God she is making a lemon meringue pie from scratch!

This is a feat that many seasoned bakers would not attempt. I can only recall one or two that my Nanna made and those were very special occasions. Two hours of hand whisking egg whites later the pie is in the oven. “You guys need to get a hand mixer.” I state as I flop onto the couch. The pie (with it’s not so fluffy meringue) was consumed in it’s entirety by six kids and one grown up on a picnic in the park the following afternoon.

Fast forward just over a week and Kaia and I are standing in the kitchen while she is fiddling with the box that contains the hand mixer her Granny has just bought her, “Can I make a key lime pie?”

“If you tidy the kitchen first.” I respond.

And so, experience of one pie under her belt and new tool in the kitchen she attempts it again. This time the filling is smooth and creamy, the meringue is shiny and fluffy as we pile it high on top. The pie is baked and looks amazing. Her mother can hardly believe it. I can hardly believe it. At eleven she has just accomplished for the second time what many would never even attempt. We slice it open.

“Ok maybe we could have cooked the filling a little longer,” I say.
“I don’t like it.” says her little brother.
“I’ll eat yours.” says Rhiannon.
“The next one will be even better.” says Kaia.
“You’re amazing dude.” I say scooping meringue onto my fork. “Now go do your dishes.”

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