Cousin Eva

Let's get the kids to make breakfast!

One of our goals on our trips is to get our kids as involved as much as possible.  This year Eva took it upon herself to become our breakfast cook.  In today's post she explains how she makes breakfast when we're in the backcountry.

When we are camping we have oatmeal for breakfast and guess what!  I make it!

I go under the tarp and make breakfast for everyone, even when it is raining.

It is really fun to see everyone's faces when I hand them breakfast.  Usually they are sitting under the tarp as I make breakfast.  Sometimes I even make breakfast for some of my cousins. 

It is so much fun.

Grace enjoying breakfast.  Photo and breakfast courtesy of Eva.

Grace enjoying breakfast.  Photo and breakfast courtesy of Eva.

So how do I make breakfast? 

The night before Mom and I put instant oatmeal packages in the breakfast cooler.  We also put in packages of hot chocolate and coffee.  Then we boil water and put it in the Stanley thermos.  

The next morning when I get up I get the breakfast cooler that has the breakfast food in it.  I also get the thermos.   Then I take out the day’s breakfast and ask the kids what type of oats they want, but before I make the oats I make the hot chocolate. I pore one package of hot chocolate in each cup then I add hot water and I mix it up.  Then I add a bit of cold water to cool it down. 

Then I make the oats.  We use instant oats and the flavours we have are peaches and cream, apples and cinnamon, maple and brown sugar, and regular.  I pour whichever type of oats, let’s say Josh wants, into the bowl and then I add hot water and mix it up.  Then I add cold water, so it’s not too hot, and mix that up and then give it to Josh.  That is how I make breakfast.

Eva enjoying her hot chocolate after making breakfast.

Eva enjoying her hot chocolate after making breakfast.

Make Your Own Tubular Bandana

by Cousin Eva (Age 7)

One of my favourite pieces of gear is The Buff.  The Buff is a round tube of cloth that you can wear on your head as a hat or around your neck as a cowl.  It keeps your ears warm and it can keep them from getting mosquito bites. 

Cousin Eva wearing her Buff while camping in the backcountry.

It comes in different colours like blue, black, red, pink, yellow, orange, and patterns too.

After I found out about the Buff, I decided to try to sew one.  I bought some fabric that was soft and stretchy.  Then I washed the fabric to get it ready.  I cut out a rectangle and I folded it in half.  Then I sewed a seam down the side.  I tied off the threads so the seam would not come undone.  I pulled the seam flat and then I was done.  It was so easy that I decided to make some for my brothers and cousins too.

Cousin Eva cutting out her tubular bandana.

Cousin Eva sewing together her bandana on a serger.

Here is the tubular bandana!

Cousin Eva wearing the tubular bandana she made.


*A note from Eva’s mom:

The rectangle that Eva cut out was 19 inches by 19 inches, with the stretch running across the width of the fabric.  We used our serger, but if you don’t have one you can make this using a zig zag stitch on your sewing machine.

The Painted Turtle (by Cousin Eva: Age 7)

Caleb and I caught a turtle when we were guarding the fish that Uncle Dave caught.  It was a North American Painted Turtle.

Anna holding the painted turtle.

The turtle had a smooth oval shaped shell that was a dark greenish brown colour with little orange spots on the edge. 

The top of the painted turtle.

Underneath it had orange marks on it.  The bottom shell was light yellow with a grey splotch in the middle.  Its head was dark green with yellow and orange stripes.  Painted turtles have webbed feet with little claws.  Their tails are short and pointy.  A turtle will tuck its feet and head into its shell when it’s scared.  Then it looks like a rock.

The bottom of the painted turtle.

Painted turtles like to eat algae, bugs and fish.  That’s probably why we found it checking out uncle Dave’s fish.  You can usually find painted turtles sunning themselves on rocks or logs on sunny days.  They do this to warm themselves up because they are cold blooded.  So the next time you’re canoeing on a sunny day remember to keep an eye out for turtles.

The Bunny (by Cousin Eva: Age 7)

At the end of our most recent trip we paddled back to the dock where our van was parked. Caleb, Chloe, Anna, and I were in our green canoe.  We got to the dock first.  We pulled our boat on to shore and we started to unpack our gear.  We carried our gear up to our cars so that it would be ready to pack up when our parents arrived.  
Once our work was done I decided to go and sit on a rock by the water while I waited for the others.  Something strange caught my attention.  I saw a fuzzy rock with ears and eyes.  Then I thought to myself, “That’s not a rock.  It’s a bunny!!“  I called to my sister Anna and she came over and confirmed that the “rock” was in fact a bunny.

Anna ran and got her camera.  We made sure that we were very quiet and that we moved slowly when we were around the bunny so that it wouldn’t get scared and hop away.  Chloe and Caleb crept over so that they could see the bunny too.  We all sat quietly and watched the bunny for several minutes.  When grandma and grandpa arrived in their canoe they got to see the bunny too.

This is the bunny.  Photo by Anna Smilek

This is the bunny.  Photo by Anna Smilek

Unfortunately, the wind picked up and some waves started to splash the bunny so it decided to hop back into the forest.  We were sad to see it go, but happy that Anna managed to get some great pictures of it.  
If you want to see a bunny, the best time to go looking for one is at dawn or dusk.  Usually they will be at the edge of a field or forest.  Bunnies scare easily so be sure to walk slowly and quietly.  Wild rabbits don’t make good pets, so if you want a bunny of your own you will have to buy one at a pet store.