Saturday, January 8, 2011


 There was tobogganing on Monday of this week but we couldn't find a sled in time. I guess with the Christmas rush most of them were sold out. We finally found a couple of magic carpets but couldn't make it in time to toboggan with the other homeschoolers. So, I made a point to try and toboggan this week. We needed to get out. Zoe wasn't acting herself. I think that they are feeling the stress of the move. I went out to get her dance gear for her to start lessons this week and on our way back we saw some people on a hill. School is in so they must have been homeschoolers. I'm amazed by how many homeschoolers there are here. We didn't try and make it back to that hill to try and catch them. It gets dark before 4pm here so we decided to stay close and go to the hill we knew was walking distance from our house. It has been mild here but as you can see we still have a good deal of snow.

Walking through the snow is difficult for them if we have to walk far. It made me wonder if people who live here get snow shoes. LOL!! We are suppose to get 10 cm of snow the next day. I wonder how much snow we'll have before he spring thaw comes. We have a couple of months of winter to go, at least. Life in the west is interesting.

The hill we have near our house is just small, but they had so much fun. I think that using the magic carpets might require more physical skill and muscle use. The kids caught on right away.

Zoe was wiping out all the time and screaming. She made Austyn and I laugh so hard. We needed this!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Zoe's Art

Zoe draws pictures on just about everything. This is a drawing inspired by the movie "Despicable Me" and it's on the back of a box that was in our recycling pile.

Getting to know our library

We've been to our library a couple of times now. The set-up is okay. On the last visit the kids discovered the computers and decided to play the educational games.

I think that one of the reasons they noticed the computers this time was because there were a couple of homeschool kids playing games on them. The first time we visited the library it was Christmas break. Now that the kids are back in school it's much easier to spot homeschoolers in public. During this visit we ran into two homeschool families at this library. I figured we would since there is a pretty high number of homeschoolers registered in this city. I read online before we moved that the estimated number was over 8000 homeschool families were registered with the Edmonton school boards.

One thing that I found cool about this library was the book scanning system. You place the books in a pile on this special desk and the computer recognizes them. It misses some sometimes so I put no more than five books at a time. Also, when you drop books off you have to put one book in the slot at a time and it looks like they are automatically signed back in to the library as they drop in the slot.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Winter Wednesday Outdoor Hour Challenge - Winter Colours

I just purchased the Winter Wednesday Notebook Pages and Activity Ideas from Barbara over at her blog called Handbook of Nature Study. For a limited time you get Nature Study Bird Pages for free. I want to get to know this area and learn about nature in this new strange place that we live and Ausytn loves birds so I couldn't resist. This is my first post from the Challenge.

It was my very first time venturing out with the kids alone since we've lived here. I now have the van and my hubby is back at work. I pulled up Google Map on my computer to locate the nearest green space to us. I found a nice spot near the river that we could go and walk on some trails. As soon as we got out of the van I noticed this beautiful sound and looked over to see these birds. We have never seen these birds before. Where we live there are usually only crows and magpies to see from our apartment and these birds didn't seem like familiar Ontario residents. I took a picture and when we got home I researched to find out what they were. They are Bohemian Waxwings. Here is a link for you to see them and hear their sound: They are closely related to the Cedar Waxwing. From what I've read they both live around here and the Cedar Waxwing has a very fun courting ritual of exchanging berries that I would love to witness. It's proving to be fun finding new things in nature that we couldn't discover on the other side of the country where we moved from.

We wandered off the trail a bit but I'm not sure what the rules are at this park so we didn't do it much. The purpose of our first lesson is to look for colours of winter. The first colour that Austyn chose was the reddish colour of the Bohemian Waxwing's highlights. It's a reddish colour. There were many pine trees here so green was almost as obvious as the white of the snow.

Here is a Black-capped Chickadee. He was hard to photograph. We watched him flutter from branch to branch and tree to tree.

There were some red berries, gray bark, black twigs, brown/orange pine cones, yellow grass, and the sky wasn't blue so we couldn't say blue on this day. Oh, and we can't forget yellow pee that Zoe insisted on drawing on her notebook page. LOL!

I find at Zoe's age we can't go far on winter days. She gets tired easy and doesn't do well in the cold. Mind you, it wasn't that cold on this hike.

It was -2 C. They took their mittens off to draw on the papers.

 We observed many tracks. Most of them appeared to be dog tracks but we saw other animal tracks including birds and something that we couldn't identify. It was a good hike.

If you think you know what the paw prints on the left are, leave me a comment. These were found under the branches of a tree. The tracks on the right look like they could be a magpie.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

West Edmonton Mall - Take Two

 We ventured out to the mall again with relatives who are visiting. Austyn wanted to go right away and see if the Fire Breathing Dragon was working yet. It still isn't breathing fire. I hope they fix it while we are here so we can see it blow fire.

 Last time we were at the mall we saw an underground aquarium (I think that is what it is) by the seal show that we could pay to see, so we thought that was our only aquarium viewing. While walking around the mall this time, we found some large aquariums in the main areas to walk up to and view. I was amazed by this fish and how easy it was to get pictures of it.

 Here is opened it's fins and was posing for me.

 This is an angel fish.

 I think this is a parrot fish. I remember from my visit to Grand Cayman Islands.

 This is a big anemone stuck the side of the glass.

 The kids liked getting up close. They have always loved watching fish on our travels.

 Here is the zamboni clearing off the ice. 

Of course we had to visit the big play area again. It's 4 stories high and the kids just love it.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Austyn is enjoying his electronic kit that he got for Christmas. He likes to follow the instructions in the book to make different things happen and then he tries other things to expand his understanding of how it worked. It really cool to sit back and watch him.

Book Sharing Monday - May I Pet Your Dog?

Well, I don't know about your kids, but my kids love to pet dogs. Being that we only have two cats, dogs are so much fun for them. I always have told them to ask before petting and approach slowly, but this book really goes through how to properly greet a dog. It's a great way to teach kids how to be safe around dogs. The sub title says it all... The How-to Guide for KIDS Meeting DOGS (and DOGS Meeting Kids)

To join in on the fun of Book Sharing Monday or to read other entries visit

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Family Time

Watching TV with grandparents.

Happy New Year!

 We went downtown with some new homeschool friends for New Years Eve. Here the kids are getting a good view of the magic show.

 Some poor kid is assisting with a magic trick.

 They are decorating their New Years shakers with their new homeschool friends.

 Who needs skates anyway? Sliding on ice can be just as fun!

 There is a great view of the city behind them as they slide around.

 This is the building we were in for some of the New Year events. This is City Hall.

The inside of the building is just as beautiful.

This is a view of the library, CBC and other buildings with all of the preparations for a busy New Years Eve happening in front.

 This is the Art Museum. You can see Daddy and Zoe bringing us Pizza they just purchased.

This is the Children's Library. We got a good look through the windows and can't wait to come back and check this place out when it's open.


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