Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Trying Out Geocaching and Exploring Our New Town - Part 1

We took some time this afternoon to go explore our new home town, and tried to do some geocaching. The geocaching part wasn't successful, but we do not own a GPS yet. We still had a lot of fun looking and searching for the caches, but realized that we do need a GPS to narrow down our search better.

We explored the lakefront area, and found a great park and splash pad area. There were only a few boats at the marina and we couldn't' see any fish yet in the water.

I took a picture of the bark of a tree, doesn't it look interesting?

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Vancouver 2010 Olympics Book

Before moving, we were in a Zellers store and the kids found this book in the Vancouver 2010 Olympics section. It is called "Miga, Quatchi and Sumi" and it is a bilingual book. It tells the story of the mascots. We just read it this morning and it is cute with a little bit of Olympic and Paralympic games information. We really liked the illustrations and found that the authors/illustrators have written other books in a series called "The Octonauts".

The Vancouver 2010 Olympic masccots website has games and activities with the mascots too...We'll be checking those out later!

Monday, 28 April 2008

Back to School in April

It has only been six days since we have moved in our new home but we have done a lot of work and are settling in nicely. So as much as it is fun to take a break, and we had to because of our move, it will be nice to have our school routine again. We all need it!
I am waiting to see when Daddy will be heading back to work, and that is when we will head back to "school". It might be as early as this Wednesday.
I will try taking a few pictures of our new learning area soon. We decided to keep it on the main floor, near the kitchen. Because it is on the main floor, and the first thing we see as we walk in, we wanted it to look nice and be useful too! We have set up a computer desk and three bookshelves. We were planning on purchasing a futon but found an amazing deal on a floor model leather couch and we will be enjoying having a nice sitting area to read together. The kitchen table is also there to do written work, and I picked up 2 clipboards (1 purple, 1 blue to stay with my colour-coding) if Dragon or Fairy rather sit on a comfortable chair instead of a wooden kitchen one.
I am planning on painting a small kids table that I have already to match the rest of our room, and using it for Princess.
When we have messy projects, we will have the choice of using the kitchen or heading to the basement or even outside!

Light Bulbs

Why do I have a picture of light bulbs? These are what we took out of our light fixtures in our new home. This home is only 3 years old, but we were surprised to see so many incandescent light bulbs. If you haven't yet, consider switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). It has many benefits, it saves $, it is better for the environment, and the light bulbs last longer. We have been using CFLs in our home for many years now.

Here is an article from the National Geographic Green Guide, if you are interested in finding out more.

Friday, 25 April 2008

A Wedding, a Move and a Challenge...

We spent this past weekend with our family, attending a going away party for my husband's sister that turned out to be a surprise marriage proposal and wedding all in one! It was an amazing day! I wish them both a safe move to the West Coast and a wonderful life together.
We started our second part of the move Tuesday. We had a safe four hour drive. I drove our car, with kids and guinea pigs and Daddy drove our rented U-Haul truck!
We have been very busy these last few days unpacking and catching up with family here.
An update on Our TV-free challenge week:
Being out of our home had its challenges, especially during the past weekend. We stayed at Daddy's Grandmother, who leaves the TV on for background noise...but since the weather was nice, I took the kids out for many walks! Since Tuesday, we had no TV plugged in until yesterday, and the kids played with their new neighborhood friends. We did plug in the Wii yesterday and they all played Guitar Hero together for about one hour or so. Princess did a lot better than I had thought, and she only watched 3 movies since we left our home last Thursday! As for me, I had been off the Internet since the April 15th and I was missing it, so when the Cable/Internet guy came and hooked everything up yesterday, I just had to re-connect!
I think we all did well during this challenge, but I am planning on participating next year again, when we won't be in the middle of a move!

Monday, 14 April 2008

Saying Goodbye for a Few Days

We are moving out of our current house this Friday, and I will be disconnecting the Internet later tonight. My blog will still be here. I will be back on April 28th from our new home, letting you know how our move went, and also how the TV-Turn Off Challenge turned out.
See you in a few days!

Un autre clin d'oeuil pour Rachel...

Saturday, 12 April 2008

TV Turnoff Week Challenge

This year April 21-27 is TV Turnoff Week. I was planning on doing this on my own, but then found another blogger that is putting on a challenge!
I decided to accept her challenge. I am not sure how successful we will be, the same week is our moving-in week, so it could be easy because we will be busy unpacking, but at the same time it might be challenging too...especially with Princess (almost 4) that is a bit too young to help unpack compared to our older 2 kids (10 and 9).
We don't watch a lot of TV and only have 1, but we do enjoy our DVDs. Especially through the winter months and with Princess, it's our "cuddle time" as she puts it! Dragon and Fairy also like movies, and on top of that have a lot of fun with our Wii and their personal DSs. I have always monitored (read controlled) the time they spend on any video/computer games, so it might actually not be an issue to not have it at all...then again it might!
For me, the challenge will be with the computer/internet. I do spend a bit of time on it, in the early morning and after the kids go to bed at night, working on my blog or reading others, researching homeschool stuff, and answering e-mails.
My goals for that week are simple:
Turn off the TV and DVD player... or maybe we won't plug them in yet!
No Wii or DS for the kids
and as for me, the computer and Internet will be off until the 27th...
Can we do it? I will post how it all went on the 28th! Wish us luck!
If you are interested in taking on the challenge too...visit Unplug your kids!

Final Mystery Class!

Fairy and I finished our Mystery Class charts and worked on the final clues this morning.
We made a couple of changes, but we were pleased to see that many of our guesses were very close or right on! I am adding a link to the Wikipedia page for each of these locations.
Here is the final list for the 10 Mystery Classes, the city name is first, then region and country:

Mystery Class #1 : Sapporo, Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan
Mystery Class #2 : Johannesburg, Gauteng Province, South Africa
Mystery Class #3 : Pigeon, Michigan, USA
Mystery Class #4 : Campina Grande, Paraiba, Brazil
Mystery Class #5 : Ny-Alesund, Svalbard, Norway
Mystery Class #6 : Kuwait City, Kuwait
Mystery Class #7 : Rothera Point, Adelaide Island, Antarctic
Mystery Class #8 : Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Mystery Class #9 : Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China
Mystery Class #10: Lima, Lima Province, Peru

We will be entering our answers to this contest by April 25. We will find out on May 2 if we were correct when the sites are revealed!

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Looking forward to Geocaching

I have been reading on this topic since last fall when we went for a couple of days to Haliburton. The area seemed to be very popular for that activity. Today, I checked to see if our future home town has any caches hidden...and it does! Once I have unpacked a little, we will try to find a few of these!
I thought I would share some information I found useful about geocaching.
First, a definition of geocaching from Wikipedia:

"Geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunting game in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (called "geocaches" or "caches") anywhere in the world. A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook and "treasure," usually toys or trinkets of little value. Today, well over 650,000 geocaches are registered on various websites devoted to the pastime. Geocaches are currently placed in over 100 countries around the world and on all seven continents, including Antarctica."

One of the sites where you can sign up for free and find out about caches in your area, as well as instructions on how to place your own caches for others to find, is called Geocaching - The Official Global GPS Cache Hunt Site.
Another good site to visit is Geocacher University, here you can find a treasure of information and great free resources such as a brochure that explains it all simply, a kid's colouring book, logs, labels, certificates and a ton more!

My next step is to research the GPS unit, and I will be starting by reading this page.

I will be posting our first adventure in geocaching, so come and visit again!

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Mystery Class Fun!

Next week will be the last clues given for the Mystery Class locations. Fairy and I had another fun afternoon working on the 10 locations today. We were a bit late because of the packing going on in our house...but we still got it done!

Here are our guesses:

Mystery Class #1 : Hokkaido Prefecture (Province), Japan
Mystery Class #2 : Walvis Bay, Namibia, Africa
Mystery Class #3: Bad Axe, Huron County, Michigan, USA or Caseville, Huron County, Michigan, USA
Mystery Class #4: Campina Grande, Paraiba, Brazil
Mystery Class #5: Svalbard, Norway
Mystery Class #6: Kuwait
Mystery Class #7: Rothera Station, Antarctica (but we did have 2 other guesses for this particular location, Villa Las Estretllas or Esperanza Station, all in Antarctica)
Mystery Class #8: Bonn or Cologne, Germany
Mystery Class #9: Beijing, China
Mystery Class #10: Lima Region, Peru

We both can't wait for this Friday for our final clues!

Friday, 4 April 2008

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Boxes Everywhere!

This is Day #5 of packing! We have 17 days before our closing date. I am surrounded by boxes, they are slowly invading every room of our house. There are a few in the kitchen already and many in the basement.

Our schedule has changed a little bit and we are now on "basics-only" homeschool. Every morning, Fairy and Dragon do their Math, English, Handwriting, Spelling, and Reading Aloud Practice. Today we also did a bit of Science after lunch.

The afternoons are now for packing, and the kids either help or play, read, or watch a movie.


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