Trip To Tobermory!

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Our Bus and Trailer beside a transport truck, we’re longer!

About two weeks ago, at around eight o’clock in the morning, my whole family packed up our mini-bus and camper-trailer, and headed off to Tobermory!

We drove for about three hours until we got to Owen Sound, where we stopped and met the lovely couple who run a bed and breakfast, called The Highland Manor, where my dad stays when he works there. The bed and breakfast is a beautiful eighteenth century mansion, and it felt like I had stepped back in time a hundred years, it was amazing! Another thing that was interesting about it was that years before, a midwife had owned the building, and used it for a maternity hospital; a safe place for women to give birth.  I found that especially interesting, as I want to be a midwife myself!

After about an hour, we said goodbye and got on our way again.

When we got to our campground, two families we knew were already there; five families (us and four other families) had planned to stay at the same campground. We said ‘hello’ and started setting up our site.

All the families got together that night for a campfire, and that was a great way to start out the camping trip!

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Campfire

Over the next three days, we got to enjoy some really fun experiences, including; swimming in the campground’s pool, playing ‘Capture the Flag’, playing frisbee, having campfires, walking everywhere barefoot, testing out some campfire snack ideas, going to ‘the Grotto’, going to the Singing Sands beach, and a lot of other things!

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Enjoying a break from our hike!

The Grotto is a beach on the Bruce Peninsula, it is all rocky with huge stone cliffs, and caves with water for their floor! It was beautiful there, a very worthwhile place to visit if you are ever in Tobermory!

Singing Sands beach is also very neat, when we were there the air was cold and the water was warm, which made the water actually steam!

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Singing Sands Beach

There was a beautiful trail made out of wooden boards, and while walking on it, me and one of my friends noticed a strange kind of flower with rubbery petals, we wondered what it was. After walking for a bit longer, we realized it was the flower of a kind of Pitcher-Plant, then we ran back and told the rest of our families and friends.

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The strange flowers!

The Pitcher-Plants’ leaves, which are the reason for its name, are shaped like little pitchers, inside the leaf; tiny hairs point downwards, the leaves are half-filled with some kind of liquid that helps digest bugs that fall into this amazing flytrap! I think it is amazing how God thinks of everything!

I read on a sign at the end of the trail, that even the smooth, tall stem of the flower helps bugs to slip down into the leaves, and the tiny hairs that point down make it almost impossible for insects to escape, then the plant digests them! The sign also said since sometimes soil is missing a certain kind of nutrient that plants need, not a lot of plants can live in those places, but since bugs are full of the nutrient, Pitcher-Plants are able to grow where not a lot of that kind of nutrient in the soil! Isn’t God amazing?

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The trail that we saw Pitcher-Plants by!

After four days and four nights, everyone packed up and headed home again, but since renovations were still going on at our new house, one family asked if we wanted to camp at their house for a night, we excepted, and had a fun night and half-day at their house, then we headed home, (though we did stop at a park for a picnic supper!).

When we got home, everyone was tired, sticky, itchy, sandy, dirty, and sweaty, but everyone was glad to be home! (And I admit I’m glad to not be sleeping on the pull-out couch in the main room of our trailer, which also happened to be right in front of the front door!) After all that fun and excitement, I’m certainly glad to be home!

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My trailer bed!

Thank you Jesus for such a great trip!

Sunset

 

Last night, me, my brother Dorian, and my dad, went biking around our new neighborhood, (actually Dorian was on his 36″ wheel unicycle, here is his blog post about it). We had been biking for a while, when I noticed the colour of the sky; the horizon, where the sun was about to go down, was a beautiful mixture of bright pink, orange and yellow. I asked my dad if we could bike down to see the sunset, and he thought it was good idea, so we started biking west.

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Since we have been staying at our new house by the beach, we have been able to go to the beach a lot, as our new house is only a ten minute walk from the beach.

When we got to the beach, the sky was amazing; above us, dark clouds rolled, to the west and north the brilliant colours of the sunset shone in a thin line on the horizon, the sun was still behind the dark clouds, but that didn’t hold back its light!_DSC0106

A little while later, we biked back to a pier, that is about one minute from our new house, and met two of my other brothers there. We walked out on the pier and watched the sun sink into the lake. We got some photos, but none of them could even get close to matching the glory and majesty of the view!

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It was amazing to see the sun sinking quickly, and yet slowly, at the same time, I don’t think I could ever get tired of watching the sun set! I’m amazed at how God’s creativeness; how He can make hundreds and thousands of sunsets, and yet not one is the same as another. IMG_3734

Some sunsets are beautiful because of the many colours, others are because of the beautiful clouds, others are because of their beautiful surroundings, and some are beautiful because of a mix of all those. Imagine the sun sinking behind a mountain range, or on a prarie, or a lake, or a forest! _DSC0087

Just think, God could have made just one kind of sunset, God could have made the sun set behind blank, grey clouds every night. But instead he creates each sunset new and unique every night! God is so amazing, and seeing the magic He puts into things that happen every day makes me love Him more and more!

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Funny quote:

My little brothers; Tobin and Tucker, probably about 7 and 5 at the time:
Tucker: “What is the Grand Canyon?”
Tobin: “A place you go to see the sunset!”

Sparkles & Dirt

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Ducks & Geese

About five days ago, my family hitched up our big camping-trailer to our mini-bus, packed them both up with blankets, pillows, food, books, clothes, and a few extra mattresses, and set off for four days of adventure!

We drove for about two hours, until we got to our destination; the Meyers’ house.  The Meyers are great friends of ours, and they also have ten kids (and happen to own a mini-bus almost exactly the same as ours!). We set up the camper, unpacked a bit, and played for a few hours, then went to bed.

In the next three-and-a-half days, we had a great time; making dioramas (more about that later!), foraging for fiddle-heads, ‘garage-saling’, making dandelion jelly (that didn’t actually work very well), making apple-crisp and strawberry-banana ice-cream, playing uncountable games of ‘kick-the-can’ (kick the soccer-ball, actually 🙂 ), kayaking, canoeing, playing with Guinea Pigs, taking care of little children, swinging in hammocks, doing the horse’s hair, and playing one, epic, late-night game of ‘Capture-the-Flag’ with both the dads!

There were a few not-so-enjoyable parts as well, like burning myself multiple times on a hot glue-gun, or when I tripped and grabbed the nearest tree, which also happened to be covered in inch-long thorns, but I personally think that the god times utterly drown out the bad.

One day, me and my two friends, Piper Meyer, and Winter Meyer, walked for about a kilometer, in search of fiddle-heads – fiddle-heads are baby ferns, that are still rolled up. We sold them to a man who sold them to fancy restaurants. We found a really good place for picking them, and were probably gone for two or three hours, just picking and picking! In the end, we had about eight pounds altogether.

Also, Me, Piper, Winter, and my little sister Snowy, all went boating in the river in a kayak and a canoe; we paddled for a long time, probably and hour, until we came to a bridge, where we stopped and pulled the boats up on land, and the two dads picked us tired, black-fly covered girls up (I actually put a bag over my head, to keep black-flies out of my face!).

Me and Winter also put up the mini-horse’s tail, mane, and forelock, I braided her mane, Winter braided her forelock, and I did a fishtail-braid in her tail. That was fun, as none of my little sisters have hair that long or that thick!

We did a bunch of activities like those, but the one craft we were mainly working on, was making dioramas. A diorama is a mini-landscape – ours were made out of foam, glue, paint, glue, wire, tooth-picks, glue, hairspray, kitty-litter, glue, a few materials made especially for diorama-making, and some people used glitter. Oh, and lots of glue!

First, we cut out our platforms, and rocks out of foam, then, we glued the ‘rocks’ to our platforms with a glue-gun.  The thing is, if you want it to look more realistic, you want to cut out tiny little pieces, to look like rises and hills. Next, we glued on burlap, with the glue-gun, and pushed it into all the cracks we wanted to see, then, with a paintbrush, we painted white glue all over it, to make the burlap hard.

Once the glue was dried we painted whatever color each person wanted. I painted one of mine white (for snow) and the other one dark-green, light-green and gold. We also painted our rocks grey, though I painted mine silver (most of us left our rocks alone, not covering them with burlap). Then the fun really began! We sprinkled this powder-dust that looks like moss when you put it on, and then we sprayed hairspray on it to make it stick!

We made trees from tooth-picks, wire, paint, and another kind of chunky moss-like stuff, that was for making trees and bushes. I made two rivers, out of glue-gun glue, white glue, and blue and glitter, and it turned out better than I thought it would! It was really fun to be so creative, and be able to make your own little world!

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All of the people who made dioramas!

After four wonderful days and four tired nights, filled with the noise of two large families, we are back at home again. I personally, looking forward to my warm, cozy bed, because every time I woke up on the little pull-out couch in the trailer, I would feel really cold!

After four amazing, dirty, muddy, wet, happy, fun, slimy, cold, windy, sparkly, warm, sticky, dusty, cozy days, with twenty-three amazing other people, I’m glad to be home!

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Home at last!

 

Spring is here!

DSCN1940I love Spring, not only because it is getting warmer outside, but also because of all the new life! We may not always see the life springing forth all around us, but just imagine the insides of trees – their sap is running, their blood is flowing again! Little sprouts are shooting up all around us, and soon their colors will come bursting out into the world!

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Beautiful Blue Hyacinth!

Just recently, I saw a robin with a long piece of straw in its beak, it flew from one tree to another, looking for the perfect place to raise its young. Finding the most secure place to let her children hatch.

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Magnolia Blossom

In Spring the color of the world is renewed; after the whites, greys, and blacks of winter, everything is exploding with pinks, purples, blues, greens, reds, yellows, and so many more colors! The sky is a brilliant blue, the grass is a bright green; purple and white crocuses shoot up from the old dried leaves; pink, white, and purple-blue hyacinths grow tall in the protection of their own leaves, and dazzling yellow daffodils smile happily in the sunlight.

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Little Blue Scilla Flowers

Spring is here at last, the world is being refreshed, the birds are singing in the gentle breeze, and everything is bright and happy.

Everything is being created again by Jesus; the creator of all things!

Flower Press

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My Flower Press

First of all, I should probably explain what a flower press is; it is made out of two boards, two or four long screws, and the same amount of nuts, corrugated cardboard, and paper. My neighbour uses paper towel, but I find I like paper more, mostly because it helps make flat flowers or leaves, and doesn’t leave patterns, the corrugated cardboard lets air flow throughout the press, helping to dry the flowers quickly. The press can be used for flower or leaves, but thick stems, leaves and buds may mold, not dry well, or not flatten out nicely. Many people use large books for this, but I really like using my press 🙂

Last Summer and the one before that, I used to go out and pick a basket full of the crisp, colourful flowers that were blossoming all around, I would bring them inside, lay them all out, and inspect them for bugs! Then, if they were wet, I would gently pat them dry with a tea-towel. After the bad ones were thrown back outside, I would fill my press with the flowers, and tighten the knobs as much as I could, then I would wait for a week or so, (sometimes it would take a lot longer!) and once the flowers were dry and flat, I took them out and laid them gently into my ‘Flower Book’, made out of a cardboard box and paper towel.

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My ‘Flower Book’

Just a few days ago, I was walking outside, when I noticed a clump of brilliant purple crocuses that had pushed through the dense layer of periwinkle leaves, they were the first flowers to bloom at our house this Spring! As I looked around, I saw some bright white crocuses, as well as some with a mix of white and purple, I thought about my flower press, and ran inside to look for it. I found my flower press, and went back outside, to start pressing the crocuses.

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Beautiful purple crocuses!

Pressing the flowers brought back memories of bright, sunny days picking flowers, and dark, rainy days, opening my press to reveal flat, dried flowers, not like before, but still beautiful. I like to use pressed flowers for bookmarks, or other crafts like that. pressed, dried flowers can be really pretty to use in so many ways!

A few things about flower pressing that I’ve learned so far are these:

One; Don’t expect a dried flower to be exactly the same as the fresh one; most times they will fade, and get vary fragile after pressing.
Two; You shouldn’t press wet flowers or really thick ones, they can mold easily.
Three; Check your flowers for bugs before pressing them, squashed bugs do NOT look pretty in your flowers! 🙂
And Four; Try new things, experiment! But don’t expect everything you try to turn out good, it it better to be nicely surprised by success, than it is to be dissapointed by a mistake.

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Crocuses!

If any of you have tips, or things that you have found out about leaf or flower pressing, please comment!

Twilight

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Just after sunset

Twilight might be one of my favorite times of the day; for me, it is a time to snuggle up by the fire and read a book, to linger outside after a beautiful sunset, or sit outside and roast the last marshmallows by the dying fire 🙂

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Campfire

Certain nights, I’ll go out on the deck and listen to the frogs and crickets, while feeling the cool evening breeze on my face, it almost feels magical.  When I come back inside, I am met with a rush of warm air, and good smells, and a gentle yellow glow comes from a lamp in the corner, inviting me to come and read.

I can’t tell which I like more… the crisp, clear air, the sounds of crickets and frogs, and the clean invigorating smell of the outside, or the warm, cozy air, the smell of wood burning in the fireplace, the sound of quiet humming, crackling wood, and hushed conversation.

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Dusk

In the Fall I used to walk along a path that winds through our two forests, many times it would be after the sun had set. The forest on the western side of the path, would be lit softly by the fading light on the horizon, the forest on the eastern side would be dark and mysterious.  Both seemed enchanted in different ways; one seemed cold and dark, and the other seemed warm and inviting, like outside and inside, both made by God, and both perfect in its own way.

Magic, created by Jesus!

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Beautiful Alabama sunset!

Our Trip!

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On the day after Christmas, my whole family got into our mini-bus, and drove out of our driveway at 4:30 AM exactly. We drove twelve hours, slept at a hotel for the night, and then got on our way the next day. We drove for six hours and finally got to our destination; Gulf Shores, Alabama.

That night, when it was still pretty light out, me, my dad, and a few of my siblings walked to the beach. It was so amazing, I had been in the ocean maybe three times before, when our family went to Nova Scotia, but I was pretty little, and I was also terrified at the thought that I was being held up by a life jacket and nothing else (I couldn’t swim!).

In Alabama it was different; instead of the wharf in Nova Scotia, it was a beautiful beach with millions of shells (literally!). On the beach that night, I tried to take a picture with my waterproof camera.  The flash was on, and it was really neat, because my camera took pictures of the water droplets in the air, and sometimes in the mornings when I walked around, I could feel drops of water in the air.

The next day, when we went to the beach again, we found that the sand is a different texture than fresh water sand, it is salty and it feels clean. The shells are mostly clam-like,  there are a few different styles, but mostly they are just broken pieces of big ones.

The first day our whole family went, I prayed that I would find a swirly-style shell, and on the last day I found one! I find it amazing, how God can take a little tiny request, that didn’t matter at all, and use it to build my faith.

I also found the waves majestic, as they didn’t just lap up on shore, like they when we go to Port Franks, instead they crash and foam, and it is beautiful. We never actually got to swim in the ocean, because the undertow was too strong, but despite that, we had an awesome time playing in the sand, collecting shells, jumping around in the water, and enjoying God’s world!