Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hockey Skills Improve

Austyn is doing so great with his hockey skills. He has improved so much since we've been here. 

It's only a matter of time before he gets a goal. He was so close, but not yet.

Friday, February 4, 2011

He's Finally Reading!

Austyn finally wants to read! Many months ago I was reading about the Elephant & Piggie Books on Free to Learn an Lovin it. At that point I ordered a bunch of these books and Austyn loved them but still didn't read them much. Now he wants to read and they are his books of choice. He reads them to everyone. Zoe loved it. At one point they were both laughing so hard because the pictures and stories are so funny.

this moment - intimate kitties

{this moment}

*** *** *** 
{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

While organizing Austyn's room we took a bit of a break and while away from the room our cats made themselves comfortable. Very Comfortable! I couldn't resist. I had to capture their intimate moment!

If you would like to see what others have posted or if you would like to join in here is the link to SouleMama's Blog:

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Austyn made two snow men all by himself. Well, the one he had help from Zoe and I just for the details after it was built.

I assumed that they'd be destroyed by morning so I reminded him to not get too attached.

Zoe went in half way through the process of making them.

It turned out that both snowmen were decapitated by morning and someone stuck the carrot nose on as an extra limb (a boy part :s).  Oh well. It's still a life lesson.

Mystery Class

I joined us up for Mystery Class even though it'll likely be way over Austyn's head. I'm doing it so that I can get the hang of how it works so we can continue to do them each year together. Also, the other activities that we can be involved in he would love (ie. tracking migrating birds). 

If you don't know what Mystery Class is, it's a contest where you keep track of the sun set and the sun rise of specified, mystery locations around the world and in April you guess the locations from your findings. 

I learned about this last year from Alex at Canadian Home Learning. She has a great post about how to get started with this contest in more detail here.

It's a bit late to sign up but we did anyway. If we can't officially be included in the contest, that is okay. I'm still going to follow along so that we can be more involved next year. If you are interested in joining in go to the Journey North Mystery Class Website.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Fun with Friends

 We visited some friends last week. I guess you can see that I'm a bit behind in posts. When we were there we saw that the girls were allowed to take apart some chairs. What a great way to learn how they are put together and how to use tools! They wanted to put them back together so right away Austyn got right in there. It was a challenge that he worked on with his friend for a long time.

 I finally showed them how to turn the chair to another side so that the pieces could be held together easier and they helped by putting in the screws.

I read them some of our favourite books from home and the kids made some crafts. It was a wonderful visit!

World Math Day 2011

Austyn has registered for World Math Day 2011. It is going to be held on March 1st. We learned about this contest last year when Alex over at Canadian Home Learning shared information on her blog about it. It's a contest that takes place for a whole day every year. Students from all over the world attend online and take the math quizzes. Whole classes can register or individual homeschoolers can register. The age ranges are 5-8, 9-13, and 14-18. One thing to keep in mind if your children register is that the time that they say is the time in the time zone of the host city. There is a timer counting down to the start of the contest at the top right of the main website. That counter is important to watch so that your kids start the contest as soon as they can. This year there is an iphone and ipod touch app available. This will help many kids have more access to the contest even if they aren't home.

This year they have added World Spelling Day. Here is the link to that site.

Next year they plan on starting World Science Day.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

100 Books a Month Challenge

I'm a bit surprised about us reading over 100 books a month. We really didn't try that hard and are still adjusting to all of the changes in our lives. I've not been reading our library anymore. The library is much larger than our small town library back in Ontario. The kids have been choosing many book on their own and I can only carry so many to the car. Two full bags are enough. It's not a small walk anymore either. I went back to the website for Reading My Library and I don't see the challenge there anymore. I may start up again if it seems like something we want to do. So, here is our list for the month of January.

Read to both:
1.       Animal Patterns by Nathan Olson
2.       A Mountain of Mittens by Lynn Plourde
3.       Are You My Mother? By P.D. Eastman
4.       A Winter’s Tale by Ian Wallace
5.       A Wizard from the Start by Don Brown
6.       Bad Baby by Ross MacDonald
7.       Beep Beep, Vroom, Vroom by Stuart J. Murphy
8.       Bees, snails, & peacock tails by Betsy Franco and Steve Jenkins
9.       Benny’s Pennies by Pat Brisson
10.   Big Sister, Little Sister by Leuyen Pham
11.   Boogie Knights by Lisa Wheeler
12.   Buying, Training and Caring for Your Dinosaur by Laura Joy Rennert
13.   Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
14.   Chester The Worldly Pig by Bill Peet
15.   Chinese New Year by Ann Heinrichs
16.   City Patterns by Nathan Olson
17.   Corduroy by Don Freeman
18.   Cupid and Psyche by M. Charlotte Craft
19.   DK Hipity Hop Pekaboo!
20.   Dragon Spear by Jessica Day George (3 chapters)
21.   Edward and the Pirates by David McPhail
22.   Endangered Manatees by Bobbie Kalman
23.   Engel bert Sneem by and his Dream Vacuum Machine
24.   First Grade Jitters by Robert Quackenbush
25.   Fox by Margaret Wild and Ron Brooks
26.   Geez Louise! By Susan Middleton Elya
27.   Gimme Cracked Corn and I will Share by Kevin O’Malley
28.   Gone Again Ptarmigan by Jonathan London
29.   Halloween Pie by Michael O. Tunnell and Kevin O’Malley
30.   Hands of the Maya Villagers at Work and Play by Rachel Crandell
31.   Hans Brinker by Bruce Coville
32.   Harry The Dirty Dog by Gene Zion
33.   Here Comes the Bride by Beatrice Manni and Anna Laura Cantone
34.   How I Learned Geography by Uri Shulevitz
35.   How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin by Margaret McNamara and G. Brian Karas
36.   How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills
37.   How to Raise Mom and Dad by Josh Lerman
38.   I Feel a Fot! By Maranke Rinck and Martijn Van Der Linden
39.   Imagine a Day by Sarah L. Thomson
40.   In The Woods: Who’s Been Here? By Lindsay Barrett George
41.   In The Snow by Huy Voun Lee
42.   I See Animals Hiding by Jim Arnosky
43.   Knuffle Bunny Free An Unexpected Diversion by Mo Willems
44.   Little Bunny Foo Foo by Paul Bret Johnson
45.   Little Hoot by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (online)
46.   Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (online)
47.   Louise Cardinal’s First Winter by Amy Crane Johnson (online)
48.   Lousy Rotten Stinkin’ Grapes by Margie Palatini
49.   Magpie’s Missing Spoon by Michael Bradley
50.   Mary Had a Little Ham by Margie Palatini
51.   Moose by JoAnn Early Macken
52.    Naptime for Thaddeus by Adam Nicely
53.   Number Four, Bobby Orr! By Mike Leonetti
54.   Olivia by Ian Falconer
55.   One Winter Night by Jennifer Llyd
56.   Owl Moon by Jane Yolen (online)
57.   Philipok retold by Ann Keay Beneduce
58.   Queen Nadine by Maryann Kovalski
59.   Sailing Off to Sleep by Linda Ashman
60.   Sam and the Lucky Money by Karen Chinn
61.   Secret of the Dance by Andrea Spalding and Alfred Scow
62.   Shadow of the Dinosaurs by Dennis Nolan
63.   Skippyjon Jones Lost in Spice by Judy Schachner
64.   Sled Dogs Run by Jonathan London
65.   Snow Bear by Jean Craighead George
66.   Snow Day! By Patricia Lakin
67.   Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
68.   Snow Princess by Susan Paradis
69.   Solids, Liquids, and Gases by Ginger Garrett
70.   Stella Princess of the Sky by Marie-Louise Gay
71.   Stella Queen of the Snow by Marie-Louise Gay
72.   Stinky smelly Fet by Margie Palatini
73.   Stormy’s Hat by Eric A. Kimmel
74.   Super Sand Castle Saturday by Stuart J. Murphy
75.   Tangerine and Kiwi Visit the Sugar Bush by Laila Heloua and Nathalie Lapierre
76.   Ten on the Sled by Kim Norman
77.   Thanksgiving Wish by Michael J. Rosen
78.   The Birthday Box by Leslie Patricelli
79.   The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes by Du Bose Hayward
80.   The Dirty Cowboy by Amy Timberlake
81.   The Dragon New Year by David Bouchard
82.   The Gingerbread Man by Jim Aytesworth (x2)
83.   The Honey Jar by Rioberta Menchu (2 Stories)
84.   The Lima Bean Monster by Dan Yaccarino (online)
85.   The Magpies’ Nest by Joanna Foster
86.   The Mitten by Jan Brett
87.   The Mitten Tree by Candace Christiansen
88.   The Night The Moon Fell A Mayan Myth Retold by Pat Mora
89.   The Red Chalk by Iris Van Der Heide
90.   The Scary Show of Mo and Jo by Hanoch Piven
91.   The Snow Ghosts by Leo Landry
92.   The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
93.   The Tale of Jack Frost by David Melling
94.   The Very Ugly Bug by Liz Pichon
95.   The West is Calling by Sarah N. Harvey and Leslie Buffam
96.   There’s Patchy-Patch? B Dominique Jolin and Carole Tremblay
97.   Tugga-Tuga Tugboat by Kevin Lewis
98.   Underwear! By Mary Elise Monsell
99.   Waiting for the Sun by Aison Lohans
100.                        What is the World Made Of? By Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld
101.                        When Lightning Comes in a Jar by Patricia Polacco
102.                        Wolves by Emily Gravett

Read to Zoe:
Bad Boys et Cookie! By Margie Palatini and Henry Cole
Ball! By Ros Asquith (2x)
Diane Goode’s Book of Scary Stories and Songs  (5 stories)
Good Night Sun, Hello Moon by Karen Viola
Harry The Dirty Dog by Gene Zion
How Emily Blair Got Her Fabulous Hair by Susan Garrison
How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? By Margaret McNamara and Brian Karas
I’m a Manatee by John Lithgow (online)
Little Bunny Foo Foo by Paul Bret Johnson
Little Gorilla by Ruth Bornstein (2x)
Pigs Make Me Sneeze by Mo Willems
Puff the Magic Dragon by Peter Yarrow and Lenny Lipton
Roslyn Rutabaga and the Biggest Hole on Earth? By Marie-Louise Gay
Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner
The Gingerbread Man by Aylsworth
The Lion and The Little Red Bird by Elisa Kleven
To Market, To Market by Anne Miranda
Traditional Tales Of Long, Long Ago retold by Philip Wilson (11 stories)
You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer
Zoe’s Hats A Book of Colors and Patterns by Sharon Lane Holm
Zoe’s Tower by Paul and Emma Rogers

Read to Austyn:
A Murder of Crows by Richard and Louise Spilsbury
Animal Predators Owls by Sandra Markle
Birds of Prey by Robert Bateman
Box Turtle at Silver Pond Lane by Susan Korman
How Much is a Million? By David M. Schwartz
Hyena Family by Jane Goodall
Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner
Skippyjon Jones and the Big Bones by Judy Schachner
Skippyjon Jones in Mummy Trouble by Judy Schachner
The Hero Twins A Mayan Myth by Dan Jolley and David Witt
The Lion and the Little Red Bird by Elisa Kleven
The Story of Little Babaji by Helen Bannerman
Tick-Tock by Eileene Browne

Zoe Read:
April Wilson’s Magpie Magic A Tale of Colorful Mischief
Do Your Ears Hang Low by Caroline Jane Church

Austyn Read:
Growing Up Up Up Book by Veronica Buffington
Peter and the Penny Tree by Thomas James
Pigs Make Me Sneeze! By Mo Willems (3x)

If you want to join in this challenge here is the link.
100 Books A Month Challenge

Monday, January 31, 2011

Deep Snow Tobogganing

 Last week we had a bit of warm weather and the snow has started to melt. Before that my hubby wanted to go tobogganing and I told him we'd need snow shoes since the last time we went the snow was already deep. Zoe had a hard time and got tired fast. We went anyway and here is a picture of him trying to get up the hill. We couldn't believe how deep it was and how hard it was to get through.

 Here is a picture of Kev cleaning the snow out of his boots.

 Check out our wiggly path. It wasn't easy to get down the first few times. It's not so straight. 

Before my camera died I got a shot of Zoe going down and at the end she always wipes out.

Conclusion: Tobogganing isn't so easy with too much snow. We would need snow shoes and harder toboggans. 

Oh and I forgot to mention that I tried a cookie sheet since on the local news station they tested different toboggans and home products to see what worked best and the cookie sheet was suppose to work well. I think the snow was too deep.

Book Sharing Monday - In The Snow

This book was in the snow section of our library. I was expecting to read a Chinese story that took place in the snow. It's much more than that.

This story is about a little boy named Xiao Ming. His mother takes him outside in the snow to enjoy nature and while enjoying snow activities they learn Chinese characters by writing them in the snow with a stick and talking about what each character looks like.

At the beginning and end of the book the words discussed in the book are shown with comparison drawings. 

The author also included pronunciation.

Austyn really enjoyed reading this book and decided to attempt making the characters on his own on a piece of paper.

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


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