Saturday, July 23, 2011

Noah Marek

I have to interrupt my regular order of posts to show off our lovely new nephew/cousin.  Seeing as I come from a “smaller” (3 siblings) family these blessing don’t come all too often for us.  Matthew is going to have to give up his post as the baby of my family.  The kids are thrilled to have a little nephew to dot on … and so is his aunt.  It’s been awhile since I’ve really been around a baby much, so hopefully he doesn’t grow up too fast on us!  Going to have to learn to make the trek down to Val’s a bit more often now that she’s not working all the time.

Here are some pictures of the kids with Noah.  We went to see him (and Val, and even Mark was there for a few minutes) on Thursday … soon as we got back from our holidays.

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Matthew was absolutely thrilled about this little bundle and completely in awe of the little guy.  He kept wanting us to come have a look at him and was very proud to be able to hold him (picture isn’t the clearest but the best I got when he was holding Noah).

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Piano Recital

Thursday, June 9th the girls played in their second piano recital.  After playing for the Tommy Benefit Concert and the Music Festival this was pretty small scale for Marietta.  This was Rebecca’s second time doing any sort of performance, last years recital being her first time.  Both girls did really well, separately and playing their duet. 





It is exciting and rewarding to see how well the girls have progressed in their piano in the past year.  Rebecca especially has a determination in this area (see here) and made huge strides this year.  Marietta has picked up on her dedication again and is working well in her progression.  I never have to tell the girls to practice their piano, it is more common that I am telling them to get off  the piano and go do what they were told.  We hope that this dedication will continue as both girls seem to have a natural ability in this area … unlike their mother. 

Musically they take after their father, although he did not take much music training he for 1/2remembers more then I do and has an ear for music.  Rob was able to spend some time in choir last year when he was not in school and really wishes he could do that more.  Since the girls both also love to sing and always seem to enjoy the choir concerts we go to we decided to try out voice lessons this summer and see how they take to this.  I’m not sure if the summer will be long for them to actually get into it and see whether they enjoy it.  We decided to attempt this during the summer when they are not busy with school and piano (they “self-study” piano during the summer, going ahead on their own). I find that afternoons are busy enough for them when they get home from school (and they are even fortunate enough to not be on the bus long) that adding voice may just make it too hectic (depending on the practice time required each day).  We are sort of getting a three-for-one deal.  I say sort of because Rob is not technically receiving lessons, but he is benefitting from the girls lessons.  The girls go together for 1/2 an hour and since she encourages a parent to come with to see what they are learning and help them in their “studies” Rob is the one who is taking them and then is suppose to practice with the girls.  For Rob voice lessons is beneficial for speaking, which he may find himself doing a lot of in the future.  The girls have only done three lessons so far … so time will tell.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Science Center

My next school trip was with Marietta’s class to the Science Center.  This was a longer day as we stayed at the Science Center until 5pm and then went out for supper before heading back, so that we could avoid rush hour traffic.

We attended three “shows” during our stay and while at first this seemed a little much, giving no time to actually explore the center, it proved to be a good thing.  The Science Center is for all ages although geared towards the younger generation to assist in learning and understanding the many wonders of this earth/universe.  But realistically all the kids did was run from one display to the next to see if it did something neat, not taking any time to read or try to understand what was being taught.  Half the time they would be “fooling around” with a display and asking me “why does it do that”, when if they would simply read the display or follow the instructions the answers would be right there.  All they really wanted to do was touch everything, but learning was not part of their desire.  Several times they would be asking “where can we go now"?” and I would comment on something neat I seen or tried while they were running through the displays  and they would be saying “Really?!?” “I didn’t see that!” “Let’s check that out” “Where was that?”  “Wow, that’s neat!”   They really should require adults to go back to school, wouldn’t it be neat to soak up all that information now?  Really, I hated school and have no desire to go back … just give me the odd course here and there (my selection) and it’s amazing what I would soak up now that I’m actually interested in learning.  It’s too bad kids don’t have that same interest while their brains are still sponges because this sponge is like a rock and nothing soaks into it anymore.  I’m always excited when I learn something new and have a new understanding of something, only to be frustrated days later because I only vaguely can recall what I learned and can’t put the details together without looking it up … it would be so nice to have a sponge for a brain during the years where I actually enjoy learning new things.

The first show we attended was a CSI show.  Seeing as I’ve never watched the show (nor have many of the students) that part of  it was beyond me, but following the detective case was interesting and neat … especially because it involved the audience.  As for the kids … at least the kids in my group, and it would seem many others from their grade from the conversations I heard … they really didn’t understand it since they do not much much TV and do not understand all the lingo or concepts of these type of shows.  Even at the end they had no idea how it was proven who the attempted murderer was … they were just thrilled to go about talking about how Mr. K turned out to be the attempted murderer.

And seeing as it’s to complex to explain how it turned out to be Mr. K that was the guilty person I won’t bother with details, but here’s a few pictures I caught before I was told I couldn’t take pictures

Mr. K assisting the magician in his show


Brandon assisting the detective


The second “show”/demonstration we went to was a show about space shuttles.  This was a neat interactive show, where she talked and asked questioned as well as each of us had a “clicker/remote” where she would ask a question and we could all put our answer in and then see how each of us answered as well as go over the correct answer.  She had a few demonstration to illustrate what she was talking about.  All this kept the kids interested and learning.  These type of demonstrations are more effective.  So we got a chance to learn about the original space ship.  It was amazing to see how large the space ship was in comparision to what actually went into space, the kids got to learn how astronauts eat and go to the bathroom, what all the “smoke” is when the space shuttle takes off, about space garbage, how gravity effects how they move and work … and many other neat facts.

Here Marietta is helping in a demonstration where she is showing that special material was used to protect against heat …. she is apply fire to the one side and they have their hand on the other side.


We also watched Tornado Alley in the Imax Theatre and  participated in a couple smaller presentations.  In one presentation they were talking and demonstrating how the mind of a mosquito works and how we need to create something similar to carbon dioxide in order to confuse mosquitoes and distract so they do not bite humans.

In this picture Hailey is a mosquito.  With her eyes clothes she is suppose to follow the sound of a buzzing toy (the buzz being carbon dioxide), which someone is walking around with, and see if she can catch it.  In the next picture Mairetta is being the mosquito, but this time there is another buzzing toy, slightly different, but yet distracting and then we were all suppose to make subtle distracting noises to see if she could catch the correct buzzing toy … she ended up with the wrong one.

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So here’s what the kids were really looking forward to for the day … seeing there hair stand up during the electricity demonstration.  Here Marietta and Syvannah are giving it a try.  You can see how Marietta’s hair on her right side is  flat and flying in her face … this is because it is being repelled by Syvannah’s hair, even though Syvannah’s hair is mostly tied back and only little pieces are sticking out.  If Marietta had been touching the ball first then her hair would have been sticking out much more and Syvannah’s would have been repelled more. 

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The girls spent some time in the rainforest photographing each other and the colourful (and poisonous frogs) on display.



It was a long day … extended a bit longer at the end by the need to pick up the van from work.  Rob had taken the van to work because it wasn’t running very well.  Since he was gone for a week on a long haul we figured it best I drive the more reliable vehicle.  Well it turned out not quite so reliable when the pulley on the alternator went on me on the way to school (the first trip I took it out for after Rob left).  A bit discouraging on a “new-to-us” vehicle, but these things happen … and thankfully I made it through the week without the van dying on me … it waited until the day Rob got back to really act up and cause me some agony by it’s continual stalling while trying to get through the city that afternoon.  B0oth vehicles are fixed and running fine now.  But I’ll save the vehicle talk for another post.

Catch-Up Time Again

Can’t let a whole month pass without posting something.  So I best get back to it and try catch up again.  I’m really not meant to ever be caught up … and there’s lots to post about, so we’ll see how far I get this time before I get caught up in the busy-ness (how do you spell that word anyways?) of life.  I have a bit of time now … until my computer battery dies anyways …. as we head back from Kingston after a week of holidays.  No internet connection right now, but at least I’ll be ready to do some posting when we get home.

June was a month of busy-ness and as the kid’s were busy with school trips and field days and such and it seemed there was always something happening.  Since I don’t have a calendar here I can’t remember what was all going on, but I just remember life taking on a quick pace and the reality of the end of the another school year creeping up on us.  I find the end of the school year is always for me a real reminder of how my kids are growing up and going forward in life. It was hard to believe that another school year had just flown by and here we were at holiday time again … especially considering what a cool and wet spring we had … it really did not feel anything like summer yet. 

So now I must go back in time a month and a half and try catch up on what we’ve been up to.