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!

 

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The Sunny Snowflake Shoppe

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Raspberry ‘Cheesecake’

As well as getting into Kombucha, I have been making a lot of healthy and raw desserts. I had been making healthy desserts for my family for a few weeks, when one day my mom and I were talking about ideas, she told me that she thought it would be really neat if I started a ‘raw bakery’ where people could buy healthy desserts.

I liked the idea, so I picked out four of my favorite recipes, then my mom helped me set up a website, but I still didn’t know what to name it.  My little sister, Snowy, wanted to help me with the bakery, and when I asked my Mom what I should call it, Snowy piped up,”You should call it ‘The Sunny Snowflake’ because Sunny and me are doing it!” I thought that sounded like a good idea, so The Sunny Snowflake got its name.

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Me and Snowy

My bakery and my inspiration for it started to slowly fade, then one day, I got an email from one of my dad’s co-workers, he had ordered a blueberry cheesecake, I was so excited! But I hadn’t yet figured out any of the costs, so that week, I made the cake, my dad helped me figure out the price, and, since my dad saw his co-worker regularly anyway, it was easy to drop off.

The gentleman really liked my first cake and about two weeks later, he ordered two more things, but he ordered a cheesecake in cupcake style, so I had to figure out the price of each individual cupcake, as well as the mini-brownies he ordered.

He really enjoyed them too, and about two weeks later, he ordered again! It was three things this time, the carrot-cake, mini-brownies and the choco-peanut cake, (I’m going to put all these recipes up on my blog soon, so you can make them too) so I had to figure out those too!

 

I learned a lot from this experience, first: if you are going to sell something, figure out the price first! Two: be generous, but remember to count your time and supplies in the cost. Three: giving people choices about the quantity can be really nice for them, and Four: Having one person order every other week is the most customers I want to have!

There were hard parts, like weighing every single ingredient before throwing it into the blender, the going to bed at 10:30 after an hour of figuring out prices with Dad, and waking up at 6:00 the next morning to pack up the desserts.

But there were really nice parts too, like going to bed at night, knowing that I had done my job, sending Dad off to work at 7:00, satisfied that I had done everything just in time, that my customer and his friends were enjoying a sweet treat that wasn’t going to make them sick afterwards, and the video my dad took, of all Dad’s co-workers enjoying their desserts!

So I encourage you to try something new and adventurous, I had no idea how it would turn out, and I got to bless a bunch of people with healthy sugar-free desserts!