Category Archives: Kids Kids Kids

Some reading to do…

Not many people are reading this anymore, but I thought I would point out some sites that my family is working on.

http://www.wheatfreefamily.com – D, Sam’s older sister, has a family that is wheat intolerant/allergic.  Because of this, and the challenges she’s faced trying to feed her family in a wheat free world she has started this website as an outlet for her discoveries and to provide the information she’s found to the rest of the world.

http://www.defianceart.com – Dianne is the proprietor of Defiance Art and Design.  I’ve mentioned her on my photography blog, but thought I’d mention her here too.  Dianne is (in my humble opinion) a genius with art and design. She’s smart, does modern design that feels timeless and is building a business in web design. (An official one now, she’s done it for some time as a sideline gig – I hope that’s not a bad description.)

http://qsquires.blogspot.com/– Sam’s Mother is blogging here, as Matriarch of the Squires.  Lots of family updates, waaaaay  more up to date than I am here.

http://jclossphoto.wordpress.com/ – Is my photography blog, in case any of you three readers have somehow missed it.  I am using it to chronicle my 52 weeks project (which is currently 1 photoshoot behind, as I’m not the greatest at staying up to date on editing) and to post general photography insights, tips and stories.

http://www.defianceart.com/JClossPhoto.htm – Will take you to the launch date page for my new website, which is in the works.  Dianne is helping me to build it, and it will launch on the 21st of this month.  I don’t have the domain registered right now, but when I do this image will be parked there as well.

Well – that’s us in a nutshell.  I have some more recipes I need to put up, and I should put up a general update soon as well.  Addison is 4 months old now, and growing.  She’s currently in the Jolly Jumper behind me having a ball.

Dylan is growing, and daily turning into a little girl.  She’s clever, and fearless.

Ivy is turning into a real gymnast.  She’s as precocious as ever, and constantly challenges us – usually in good ways!

More to come, stay tuned.

Some Quick Updates

Yep – just some quick ones.

1) Something interesting is happening.  I can’t talk about details yet, but I’ll let you all know when I know the final details – probably Wednesday afternoon.

2) As you probably know, Chris is back and out of the hospital.  He’s staying with us for a while, while he recovers.  We’re pumping calories into him at an astronomical rate.  Hopefully we can have him good and fat soon.

3) I’ve signed up on sparkpeople.com  It’s a fitness and nutrition tracking site.  I’m trying to sort of diet = 1850 calories or less per day.  So far it’s going pretty good. 

4) In that regard I’ve recently put a post up on my fitness blog – runfatboyrun.wordpress.com  I’m planning to add to it more regularly again.

5) I’m writing this on my laptop with no internet connection.  If all goes well this should publish when I get to an internet connection later in the day.  What fascinating modern times we live in.

6) Going to Kamloops soon.  Have an appointment with a specialist about my back disease.  I’m hoping for some sort of miracle drug that takes away my pain and lets me sleep full nights again.  That would be cool. 

7) Spore is pretty cool.  I’ve been playing offline only in  my “liberated” version.  Now that EA/Maxis has said that they’ll be changing the copy protection to allow five activations and are putting in place a tool to “de-authorize” activated computers (much like iTunes) I’ll consider buying it if I don’t get it for my birthday.

8) Which is coming up soon!  I’m getting oldish.

9) Dylan is officially a 6mo.  That’s pretty cool.  She’s loving real people food – although she only gets to gum bread and rice crackers and stuff to death.  The occasional bit of rice cereal.  Y’know – baby stuff.

10) People are coming over tonight.  It’s officially a wedding planning exercise, garnished with a fresh beef roast and veggies.  I think Scott is planning to add a topping of Rock Band Fun after we get the work part done.  Since Ivy pooped in the potty it’s also going to be her potty pooping party we’ve been promising her since we started this whole potty training affair.  And what an affair it’s been!\

11) Ivy pooped in the potty!!!!!  YAY! Word! Dude! Party Time! Excellent! (guitar solo) Sweeeeeeeet!

12) I rode my bike to work today.  Chilly.  I had to scrape frost off the seat, put on a scarf, and wear ski-doo gloves.  It was pretty cold, but once you get to 100km/h at least your helmet unfogs!  Awesome!  I’m guessing this will be one of my last commutes this year on the bike, and prolly one of the last times I get to ride before I have to winterize the little baby and put it away for the winter.  Sad me.

We all scream for…

How to Make Ice Cream

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Have you ever had a really bad craving for ice cream? Instead of running down to the store for an ice cream fix, check your cupboards. If you have access to things like salt, ice, milk, sugar, and plastic bags, consider yourself in business. This article will cover several different methods for making ice cream at home. This is also a great activity to do with children of any age and makes for an engaging classroom activity when learning about the states of matter – it shows a liquid changing to a solid by freezing, and then while they’re eating it, the solid changes back to a liquid by melting.

Ingredients

Makes one serving:

  • 1/2 cup milk(any type), cream or half & half
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract or chocolate syrup
  • lots of ice
  • rock salt

Steps

Plastic Bag Method
This is good for making individual servings of ice cream to be eaten promptly after making. The video below shows a slightly different recipe but still instructs on how to make ice cream with a sandwich bag.

  1. Mix sugar, milk or half & half, and flavoring in a bowl, then seal it in a quart-sized plastic bag.
  2. Take roughly two quarts of ice (crushed if possible) and place it into the gallon-sized bag with rock salt. Ideally, the gallon bag will be roughly half full with the ice and salt mixture.
  3. Place the sealed quart-sized bag with the ingredients into the gallon-sized bag. Make sure the bags stay sealed! Do not allow the contents to mix at any time. If the bags don’t seal sufficiently, use duct tape to seal the top of both bags to ensure they don’t open during shaking.
  4. Gently agitate, massage, and shake the bags for about ten to fifteen minutes. In this amount of time the contents of the quart (smaller) bag should start to turn into solid ice cream.As you agitate the two bags, it is important that you are mixing the contents of the inner bag, but you don’t want to be so aggressive that you burst the inner bag or cut it on the ice (double-bagging should prevent this).If your hands get uncomfortably cold, use a towel or an old t-shirt to hold the bags as you massage them; they will be quite cold and might become slippery with accumulated condensation. Consider using gloves or massaging while holding onto the top seal if a towel or similar cloth is not available.
  5. Remove the small bag from the large bag. Scoop the ice cream from the small bag and enjoy!

Pot-Freezer Method
This is how ice cream was typically made before modern refrigeration, using ice cut from lakes and ponds. Hand-cranked ice cream machines are a variation of the sorbtierre (a covered pail with a handle attached to the lid) which is a French adaptation of the pot-freezer method.

  1. Put the ice cream ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Put the bowl in a tub filled with ice and salt. Make sure the ice and salt mixture doesn’t spill over the edges or into the bowl.
  3. Mix the ingredients of the bowl vigorously. The salty ice water will absorb heat from the mixture, bringing it below the freezing point of water and turning the mixture into ice cream.[1] It’s important to mix as thoroughly as you can to prevent the formation of ice crystals. If you can, use a whisk or better yet, a hand-held mixer.

Freezer Method[2]
This method works best with a custard-based recipe, because the result will be much smoother. Since it involves a good bit of waiting, however, it may not be the most immediately gratifying for kids.

  1. Pour the ice cream mixture into a deep baking dish, or bowl made of plastic, stainless steel or something durable in the freezer.
  2. Put it in the freezer for 45 minutes.
  3. Check the mixture. When it starts to freeze at the edges, take it out and stir it vigorously with a spatula or whisk until all the ice crystals are broken up. If you can, use a whisk or a hand-held mixer.
  4. Check and stir every 30 minutes until the mixture turns into ice cream. This might take 2-3 hours.

Coffee Can Method
This is very similar to the bag method, except instead of using two bags, you use two coffee cans, one bigger than the other.

  1. Put the ice cream mixture in the smaller coffee can. Seal tightly.
  2. Put the smaller coffee can in the big coffee can along with ice and rock salt. Seal the large can tightly.
  3. Shake the large can vigorously for about 10 minutes. Kids can roll or throw it around, but make sure the cans are sealed well and do it outside, just in case. Check the small to see if the mixture has turned into ice cream yet. If you see ice crystals forming, stir or whisk. Continue shaking, rolling, or throwing until ice cream is formed.

Ball Method[3]
This can only be done with a commercial product that mixes ice cream within a specially made ball with two chambers.

  1. Fill the ice end with with ice and 1/2 cup of rock salt (3/4 cup if using the larger size ball) and close by hand.
    • Standard ice cubes may not fit. You might need crushed ice.
    • You’ll probably need at least 10 ice trays’ worth of ice.
  2. Pour the ice cream mixture into the end with a metal cylinder. Leave an inch (2.5cm) at the top for expansion and close by hand.
  3. Shake, roll, and pass the ball around for 10-15 minutes. The ball will probably be heavier than you expect.
  4. Open the ice cream end with the plastic wrench that comes with the ball. Scrape the sides of the cylinder with a plastic or wooden spoon (metal will scrape the cylinder). Close the lid by hand.
    • Since the chamber is narrow and deep, stirring the ice cream might be difficult. If necessary, use the wooden handle of a spoon or spatula.
  5. Check the ice end. Open the lid with the plastic wrench. Pour out any water and add more ice and up to 1/3 cup of rock salt. Close the lid by hand.
  6. Shake, roll, and pass the ball around for 5-10 minutes.
  7. Check the ice cream. Repeat the above steps as needed, or eat the ice cream as is.
    • When you pour the ice cream out, be careful that it doesn’t spill into the raised decorative ledges and tight crevices; these may be very difficult to clean later on, especially if you use chocolate chips.
    • The ice cream tends to be “soupy” in the middle and solid along the edges.

Tips

  • For older students, have them connect the ice cream making process to colligative properties.[4]
  • If you can, use larger salt crystals (e.g. rock salt). Larger salt crystals take more time to dissolve in the water around the ice, which allows for even cooling of the ice cream.
  • If you prefer a lower calorie ice cream that is not as rich, use milk instead of heavy cream and artificial sweetener instead of sugar. You can also experiment with other types of milk.
  • Flavor combinations are almost limitless. Chocolate syrup is a basic option. Don’t be afraid to add your favorite fruits or nuts! Various flavor extracts that are available in your grocery store’s baking section can lead to more exotic variations. Try combining mint extract with chocolate, or adding small chocolate chips.
  • If you use blueberries, crush them first. Whole blueberries will become little rocks rather than mixing nicely with the ice cream.
  • For large groups, mix several quarts of ice cream mix and divide it into bags, rather than having each individual child mix their own (that gets messy).

Things You’ll Need

  • spatula, whisk, or hand-held mixer
  • bag method: one gallon-size zip bag and one quart-size zip bag
  • pot-freezer method: bowl and tub or hand-cranked ice cream maker
  • freezer method: deep baking dish, or bowl made of plastic, stainless steel or something durable in the freezer
  • coffee can method: two coffee cans, one fitting loosely into the other
  • ball method: ice cream ball

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_cream
  2. http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2007/07/making_ice_crea_1.html
  3. http://icecreamrevolution.com/howtouse.html
  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colligative_property

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Make Ice Cream. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Planting, Cleaning, Building, Oil-Changing

Well, I went for a ride with Greg and Kate today.  We hopped on the bikes and followed Greg’s parents out the the Yorston Farm and had Cinnamon Buns.  They have an event called Cinnamon Sunday each Sunday in May.  Buns are 1$ each and really, really yummy.  We took some curvy roads home. (Yorston Farm, incidentally, is where we went to the super awesome corn maze last year, and will be going again this fall.)

When I got home I changed my oil and filter in my bike.  Nice clean oil now, will be dirty in a day or two.  The curvy roads were fun, and Greg brought the extra pieces for my left fairing, so I can hopefully tighten up my dash and whatnot.  Sweetness.

Tom, Chris, Scott, Sam and I worked on putting together Ivy’s new swing set!  She loves it, it has one baby swing in the middle, two big kid swings, a slide and a teeter-totter.  The whole thing was enjoyed by all of the kids, because Mel brought her little ones, Ally and James over as well!  Super awesome sunny Sunday. (And it was Sun-Day as well, nice and warm at about 22*C)

Then we had some yummy barbecued pork chops, courtesy of Samantha.  Salad too – the first and only thing I ate today other than a cinnamon bun.  It was super to sit outside with the family and enjoy some dinner.

After dinner Samantha and I cleaned the barbecue, CLR and Scotch-Pads baby!  We scrubbed and hosed and sprayed and cursed and cleaned and rinsed and …. whew!  The BBQ should be nice and clean for next thing we cook on it – maybe ceder plank salmon tomorrow night.

I also managed to get our three herb pots planted, the three pepper plants and the extra herbs in the herb garden in the back.  I’m hoping my garlic chives and leeks do well back there too – the rubarb is still scrawny, it hasn’t put down good roots yet.  Maybe I should find some good food safe fertilizer to drop down back there.  We have parsley and something else new – can’t even remember what I planted.

Then, to finish off the night Chris, Sam and I put some Mario Kart Wii on and raced ourselves silly.  I have to get my sorry, sunburned butt to work in the morning, so I’m about to crash now.  See y’all later!

PS.

Welcome to summer time!

Breastfeeding is Bestfeeding.

Today Ivy was again entranced with Sam’s method of feeding the baby.  She crawled up and asked lots of questions.

“Dylan eating a apple?”

“No honey, Dylan is drinking milk.”

Dylan drinking a milk?”

“Yes honey….”

And on and on over and over.

Sam says “Big mouth Dylan” while she encourages her to latch well, instead of having a lazy mouth.  Ivy of course, starts repeating it.

“Dylan got big mouth?” “Big mouth Dylan?”  “Dylan drinking milk?”

“Yes honey.”

She looks up at Sam suddenly serious and aks “Mom, got juice in there too?”

We both started laughing uncontrollably while we explained that there was not, in fact, any juice in there.  And I just thought I might share that awesome moment of parenthood with the rest of you.

A picture says how many words?

They say a picture says a thousand words. Well, I don’t know if that’s true or not, but a good photographer can capture things that can’t be expressed in words.

We had a friend from work come over today to take some pictures of the girls. Morgan Turner is a professional photographer, moonlighting as an electrician. And you can certainly tell when you see these.

Continue reading

Pictures

I pulled these photos out of my flickr account.  I need to pay to get a yearly subscription though, as I’ve used up half my alloted amount already.

Dylan Aubrey Closs, with Dad.  Less than one full day old.

Dylan in the hospital bassinet, with Mom’s hand.

Dylan at home, with her blankies.  Sam thought she looked like she was praying, so I snapped a couple of pictures of her like this while she was in her moses basket.

Baby Dylan with Auntie Jen. (I love that bambi blanket. Shhh!)

The earliest picture ever of her.  This is right after delivery on mommy’s chest, still cord attached.  At this point the Dr. was attaching the clamps and whatnot in preperation for me to cut the cord, which I did.  Didn’t know if I would be able to – but it wasn’t so difficult.  The hard part was stopping the waterworks while I did it. ;)

More posts to come with details about the whole adventure, and how things are going now.  For now, the quick update is that Ivy is doing good as a big sister, we’re settling in fine, and Dylan is super cute.  We’re very, very happy.  And we need sleepers with mittens built in! ;)