Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Light/Shadow

We have been working this week on how light waves travel and how shadows are made.
They were able to get their hands to make some pretty cool shadows on white paper.



And then we were able to make those shadows into some cool creatures.

And it was so much fun we did it again.

And again. And from what I hear they did it again in the shadow puppet theatre at the Children's Museum yesterday.


We have great neighbours. An older gentleman across the road told E and friends they could rake his leaves to jump in. He even 'paid' them for it. They each received a freshly picked apple. It was the first time that I have ever seen E eat a whole apple right from the peel down to the core. Working for it must have made it taste better.


Fin de Semaine

M wasn't the only one who had a good weekend. While M and E were camping it up I was home with A.
This child knows how to work his cuteness.

We went out for lunch and while he was waiting for his food he was reading his bible.

Yes that's him on the van. He asked if he could climb up top. And I figured, what could possibly go wrong - so I said yes! And he climbed up there in about two seconds.

And of course a kitchen update. Grndad is working on installing the new micro/fan. We're waiting for the counters to be ready. We have the knobs but haven't put them up yet.

The pass-thru wall. The old counters are sitting on top for the time being until the new one is ready. You can see some of the finished floor in this pic. The kickboards aren't up yet and again with the knobs.
It's amazing that throughout this reno we have only been without kitchen one night for cooking. (The night he redid the plumbing under the sink.) Grandad had a great plan for working on it section by section and it has allowed us to maintain use of the kitchen. (It's been great to not have to spend $$ to eat out every night.)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

1st Camp Cbaree

E and I(M) went out on his first Cbaree. It was great. He has only had two evening sessions before this first camp session. Still being a "tendrpaw" but wanting to go, and a little nervous about the concept, he asked that I go too. I'm glad he did because it was a lot of fun for kids and adults. It was really cool to see the kids learn key skills. At the camp they learned how to build a personal fire (which each cub had the opportunity to do four times over the weekend), build an emergency shelter (they each built one during their lesson), use a compass to take a bearing and conduct introductory orienteering, and trialcraft (using the environment to signal to others your route). The cubs were also responsible for their own meal on Sat night. E and his friend made chili, noodles, caesr salad and raw veggies. It was excellent. E really had a good time and can't wait to go out again in Novmber.

Here is our campsite and E and his buddy cooking supper.



The cooks ate last, but still ate a hearty meal. Another cub learning how to make coffee for a Scoutt leader.



After supper the boys took some time to relax by the fire before the "grand campfire" later that night.



On Sun morning E got sidetracked on his way to get some firewood.



On the last day, the boys had to prove they had learned their skills and had a challenge where they had to do a 2hr hike and apply all of their skills correctly. Here is E and his friend using a "hobo stve" at the end of the adventure. Since they knew how to light a fire, they were given a kit and had to light the fire, heat water and make their own ht cholclate. Objective complete. They all did very well. Here is the entire troop. It is a small troop of only 6 kids (One couldn't make the trip).


Again, a very fun weekend for all.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Not My Job

This week I read a blog and a facebook comment that got me thinking about parenting decisions.
The essence was, "What's the right thing to do?"

I did a little research on-line and the consensus is that people make about 35,000 decisions a day. Not all of them are life changing but still that's a lot of deciding. Now, a lot of those decisions can be 'fixed' if I mess up. If I pick a bad restaurant - I don't go there again. If I make a friend who isn't friendly - I stop seeing them. If I hate my career - I can retrain and switch jobs.

But when the decisions I'm making are about my kids it ups the ante. There's no re-do. I won't really find out what mistakes I've made until it's too late to 'fix' them. And I certainly haven't set out to mess my kids up. I want them to have the best and most of what is available to them. Balancing all that with a sense of civic responsibility and morality of course.

Homeschooling was a big decision for us.
I think it's the right decision. I think we're doing it for the right reasons. I think they will have lifelong benefits.
Does it matter that it is righter (yes I know that's not a real word) for one kid than the other? Does it matter that part of the reason we do it is because I like to teach them? Does it matter that they are missing those 'normal' school experiences? I don't know.

BUT - I know that it doesn't matter enough right now to change our decision.
AND - The biggest part of what keeps me sane while I'm making these big decisions is knowing that they can't have it all. And it's not my job to give it to them.
They won't have me at home attending to them and a role model of women in the workforce.
They won't have the most personalized education available and a bevy of teachers who will inspire them.
They won't get to wander museums at their leisure mid-week and go on classroom field trips.

Fifteen years down the road I guess we'll all find out how it turned out. And if they hug me and tell me it was the best years of their lives then I'll let out a big sigh of relief. And if they scowl and grumble and say I've deprived them of a 'normal' childhood then I'll apologize.
And tell them I tried my best.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Repeat

I have been delinquent in my pics this week. But really it's because we have basically been on a repeat system around here.
School/Work-->Eat Dinner-->KitchenReno/PlayOutside
Add in Cubs and Beavers and you've got our week.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Our Tuesdays

We have a Tuesday schedule. Not that we don't have a schedule every day but it's normally pretty flexible. On Tuesdays, let's just say, it matters what time it is.
First thing, french tutor. She works with A from 9:00-9:45 and E from 9:45-10:30. I do one-on-one instruction with whomever is free.
Second thing, volunteer. We are work at Roger'sHouse from 11:00-11:30. The volunteer coordinator was happy to work with us. And she made sure the kids had knowledge of procedures and their own name tags.

This is our job. We feed the fish their food and algae. Fill the water reservoir. Check the scuzz level ( yes it's as gross as it sounds). And scrub the sides with this special magnet cleaner. Very cool. It's a salt water tank and we are getting to know the fish/creatures and their behaviours.

Then, lunch. In the van. Out of lunch bags! This is quite exciting for my two because it's the only time they get to have a packed lunch all week. I make them as traditional as possible-sandwich, fruit, chips or pretzels, cheese. They love it!!
And finally, Granny's house. But I don't have pics of that because I'm not there. You'd have to check Granny's blog for pics of those adventures.
On the house front. The great big bag of demo garbage was going, going, gone. There was a cost for this (big surprise there..ha!) but it was worth it be able to just throw the broken tiles and subfloor out the back door and not have to deal with it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Blur

We took a gym break half way through school. They were a blur for an hour.

I mean it - a blur.

Swing. Climb. Jump.

Pose. Smile. And rest.

I am in full-on pout mode these days. I don't seem to be making any connections in the homeschool community here. We have great neighbours and we spend lots of time with their kids after school. And it's great to have family close by for dinners/special days etc. But, we need homeschool friends. I miss being able to commiserate when I'm having a rough day or to call and have an impromptu play or lunch date. And I have tried. Through the forum I joined I invited people here to the house - they had other commitments. We went to a workshop last week, I put on my happy face - no one engaged. I sent out an impromptu invite on the forum today to join us at gymnastics - no replies either way - none. Ay, karumba! What's a girl got to do around here?! I joined a co-op that starts next week Thursday - so fingers crossed here - we'll meet some friends. Meanwhile, I miss my VA friends. :-<

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Double the Fun

After church today - we went to church. You read that correctly. Grnny/Grandd's church was having a 'fun day'. So after our service we went to their service and then stuck around for fun day.

And it was fun!

Doesn't he look tired?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Best End of Summer Day Ever?

We have the best neighbours ever. Seriously. So lucky. Their kids and our kids......great match.

The boys wanted to do nothing today. Which actually means, do a little bit of everything. But under no circumstances to do any chores/errands.

LEGO was good. Our boys plus neighbours.

First cars. Then trains. Baseboards make great ramps. There is a trail of destruction/construction everywhere they were today. But big smiles on their faces too.
Great day.

And look what the big boys, MandGrandad, left in my kitchen today. Part One of kitchen construction. First pantry installed-check. Above fridge cabinet installed-check. Electrical box added-check. Fridge moved-check.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Tourists

We took a road trip down to Napanee yesterday. A friendly local, AuntDoreen, showed us the tourist attraction. A beautiful waterfront area.

The kids were totally in to taking some pictures of their own.


Before that we visited a newer area of the city and had some lunch.

And we came screeching back into town just in time to get A to Beavers.

Christmas Flurry....of Pictures