Monday, April 11, 2011

Cookie Maps of ANCIENT EGYPT!

We have been having such a fantastic time studying Ancient Egypt.  We have learned so much and are really enjoying this study.  It's the first time I've really studied Bible at the same time as History as well.  I've always learned them separately (unfortunately) until now, and it has been fascinating for all of us.

The green around the Nile River is to show that area which was fertile because of the Nile flooding every year. 

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It looks like the Mediterranean and Red Sea over flowed their banks too!

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I don't know how much the little ones got out of the project, but they certainly had fun... and they enjoyed eating the cities and the Nile! 

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By the time the kids put the labels on their cookie maps, they didn't even need to look at the atlas or the other maps, they were able to put all of the cities where they belonged.  I love hands on projects, they get so much out of them.  One of the other things I like about this is that, unlike salt dough maps, (which we made of Canada) no one wants to save these for posterity!  Make and learn, take pictures and eat!  YEAH!  And as they eat them the comments are things like, "Wow!  The Mediterranean Sea is delicious!" or "I just ate Thebes!"  Or even Dad and Mom asking, "Can I try a bite of the Red Sea?"  They won't soon forget the landscape of Ancient Egypt.  I've been told to point out that the reason Lower Egypt is North, and Upper Egypt is South is because the Nile River flows down to the Mediterranean Sea.  The finished maps. 

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Unfortunately they've just found out that Ariana is allergic to wheat so she didn't get the yummy brown sugar cookie that everyone else did, but her map turned out quite neat showing all the bare, dry land.


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Wait until you see what we're doing next week!  It involves a dead chicken... any guesses?!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

BC Championships - Whistler

One of the good things (not on the pocketbook however) about Samuel competing in freestyle skiing is that we always end up a few weekends away during the season.  BC Championships this year were in Whistler.  I love Whistler and I'm sure if I didn't live in the Okanagan, Whistler would be my second choice.  Of course that would only be if we won a lottery or something, and since I never by tickets, I suppose Whistler's out.  Samuel finished the weekend top five in the province in both slopestyle and moguls.  Way to go Sam!

Samuel and a team mate checking out the competitive order with their coach.

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In the line up.

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Last minute encouragement from his coach...

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And the flag is down!

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I'm always so proud of him on the mogul course.  I do alright at moguls, but not on the mogul course - that's a whole different game!  And by alright I mean I can get down a black run that has moguls - so can Teigan.  I am in no way comparing my skiing abilities to those of my children, who insanely fly down double black runs with moguls the size of Teigan, routinely jump cliffs - yes, cliffs - I've watched them (with trepidation), and wait patiently (or not) for me at the bottom of said runs (if they have no one of their own caliber to ski with).  I can still compare my self to Teigan.  I'm still better than Teigan - this year at least!

Teigan watched patiently (most of the time) while we waiting for Samuel to ski.  Then she was happy to rip off and ski herself!

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You get two runs in moguls.  This was the second run - it went from beautiful sunshine to lots of snow - and back again.  I missed the actual trick in this pic, but he's just coming down from a mule kick cross.  (I'm sure that means so much to you!)

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Samuel and his entire team.

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We walked everywhere and the weather was great both on and off the slopes.
You may notice that Liam isn't in pretty much any of the pictures!  He was off ripping up the hill either with his friends (little brothers of other competitors), or with our good friend who came up with us.  He did however get a minor concussion on Saturday (good thing the dad he was skiing with was a doctor), so we were all together in the village on Sunday.  No skiing for Liam!  I do have pics of Liam on my iphone - however I'll have to have Samuel figure out how I get them off of there and on to here. 

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The last night we went to Fire and Ice - freestyle skiers having fun showing off their stuff for the crowds.  Follow it up with fireworks and you've got yourself a nice little show!

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Our Whistler friends.

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Sniffle and cheer as the season wraps up

Well one more ski season has ended (at least the mountain has closed) but as we learned last year we're now deep into this and it doesn't ever end. We've got a little bit of a respite until trampolining starts full swing and then the summer ski and water ramp camps... It was a great season though with some big highlights.

Liam was asked to go Jr. Competitive next year. He's excited about that. He's so easy going I didn't think he'd want to, but he does!

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One of Samuel's big goals this year was to start throwing 360s. He is. And he is happy about it!

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Teigan had a great year, and skied her first double black. She worked her little ski bum off and was bumped up a level and coach mid season. The second picture of her here is receiving the award for the most improved skier in the whole program.

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Dvorak and Starfish...

With the big Kiwanis Music Festival coming up this weekend, the kids have been practicing for the competition. Although since Samuel skied 12 of 14 days, between spring training and the BC Championships, they are needing to do a little extra practice! I remember KMF from when I was a kid... it's pretty intimidating to go up on stage alone in front of all of those people; and an adjudicator, whose sole purpose was to judge you. Somehow though, my children enjoy it. Yes, they get nervous, but they are looking forward to the festival. We can't take pictures at the festival, but these are a few pics from their recital last month. Samuel had one too, I'm not sure where his pics are at the moment!

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Some of the stuff...

Saoirse has grown a ridiculous amount and has certainly become a wonderful (most of the time) member of the family. Here she is in a big sleepover in the basement...

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and the wake up call!

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These blocks, Kepa/City Blocks/Keva (all the same thing - different prices depending on whether they're from Germany/China/US) have been THE FAVOURITE indoor play since we first got them. Originally I bought a set of 200, but realized VERY quickly that this amount would not suffice since every kid in the neighbourhood wanted to play and build at the same time. Thanks to ebay, we now have 1400, which has turned out to be a fantastic amount since they can all build and engineer together or on their own projects. This is one "toy" that I would strongly recommend - right up there with LEGO. They spend hours creating.

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This was so cute. Samuel was reading to Liam and Teigan - we're studying Egypt - and Liam and Teigan ran to get note pads and pencils so that they could take notes!

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The grade 5/6s did a unit on immigration with our co-op, which branched into a study of the Underground Railroad.  Each of the kids designed and made a quilt square (with an explanation).  Samuel's was very creative.

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Teigan and Ariana having fun with fractions.

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The "fun math" crew.  This is another fun game - "Equate".  Pretty much math scrabble.  You have to have balanced equations though.  If you can see, there are even fractions involved... 8 X 1/4 = 2. 

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Gorman's Mill

What an absolutely fantastic field trip this was!  One of the things that Samuel has been studying is BC Resources, so together with some other 5th and 6th graders from our co-op, we headed off to Gorman's Mill.  We learned so much the production of wood and the way the entire mill functions.  This was really a great trip.


An entire load of logs right off the back of a huge logging truck.  Incidentally, it was about -15 this day!  Our guide said it was definitely the coldest trip he'd ever done.


The technology in the mill is amazing.  The computer does a scan of each log that comes through and, in a second or two, decides what width boards to cut the entire log into with the least amount of waste.


Papa came on the trip with us.  He's standing by the huge saw blades to give us an idea of their size.


Our guide was great.  Here he is showing and explaining to one of the groups the different things that get caught in wood and that have damaged the saw blades.  Any metal is usually detected, but some things, like rocks can grow within a tree and cause damage.  The blades must be changed immediately.


The work ethic and expectations at the mill were very impressive.  The production expected is 100%.  What they are doing every minute is posted across from them where they can see.  They don't let the employees stay at any job for more than two hours so that they don't get tired, unproductive or dangerous.


Some of our motley crew in full safety gear with their sample boards.