Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!

We hope you had a Happy New Year's Eve, and that you will experience God's blessing in your life in 2009!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Santa Claus visits the Marshwiggles!

How many towns can you think of where Santa Claus still comes house to house? He does here in Port Robinson! The volunteer firefighters come around dressed as Santa, handing out bags of candy, on Christmas Eve. Usually we can guesss which firefighter lurks under the beard! This year, the arrival of Santa was a big hit - although Pip was still a little apprehensive of this large, jolly fellow and wouldn't have his picture taken with him.
We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

For there is born to you this day, a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Gingerbread House 2008

One of our family traditions at Christmas is to build a gingerbread house. Once it is finished, it sits on top of the piano in the schoolroom, and lets off a lovely gingery smell through the Christmas season. Then, we break it up and eat it at New Year's Eve.

Here is the happy crew of gingerbread house decorators:

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Concert

Last week was the Christmas concert for our Jubal Cottage School (which is our homeschooling arts co-op), and it went very well! Unfortunately, I forgot my camera! So there are no pictures of this fine event, but if you were there and have one, please email it to me!!

I direct the Junior Choir (ages 5-9) and we sung two pieces. The choir did an amazing job! The Senior Choir also did a great job, and most of the children were involved in some dramatic work or other. We have about 46 children in our group (24 are in the Junior Choir) and there were about 100 people there - so the sanctuary had a nice, full feel to it.

Thanks to all the parents who help out with Jubal, and of course, the children for their hard work!

The day after we had to take off school, because we were so tired from the concert (and lead up to it!) and as a group we were quite ill with head-colds. However, we are all feeling better now!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Marshwiggles at the Orchestra

As part of the homeschool arts group we are with, we were able to take a trip to the Orchestra recently! We had to drive to a nearby city (Hamilton), drive through the downtown, find a parking spot, figure out the parking ticket machine, buy a ticket and display it appropriately - all of this was quite a change of pace for us and an education in itself! Then we walked a short distance to the concert hall. Here is the group in front of the hall (we left Pip with friends).

Our seats were the front row of the second balcony - quite a fantastic view! It felt like we could drop things on the heads of the orchestra! The concert was great, it was aimed at children, and taught them a lot about the orchestra, as well as being very entertaining. All of us Marshwiggles gave it two thumbs up! Hopefully we'll be back next year.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas Baking

We are enjoying the beginning of the Christmas season! It is a great feeling to be working on some Christmas baking, with all its wonderful smells, when there is snow outside. It is also nice to have some helpers!

The boys job was to put a nut on top of each cookie. Quite a few nuts didn't make it to the cookies!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Las Vegas!

David and I spent a week in Las Vegas recently! He had a conference there, and I went along as the pampered wife. The children went to grandparents (two each). They had a great time!

We stayed at the Flamingo, which, with all the hotels on "The Strip", has lots of lights, casinos, and a pretty nifty swimming pool. We kept out of the way of the main Vegas pursuits, and while David was at the conference, I did my share of lounging by the pool, which was not just one pool, but several. At places in the pool complex, there were live flamingos. The biggest pool had waterfalls in a number of spots that emptied into the pool, and that you could swim through. Here is another part of the pool area.

One of the best things we did in Las Vegas was to drive out of the city a bit and go hiking. We went to Mount Charleston, the third highest peak in Nevada! We had a picnic lunch, and hiked up a trail that took us up to the top of a rock formation. When we got to the top we were 8000 feet above sea level! (We started the hike around 6000 feet.) I could sure feel the altitude in my lungs (gasp gasp!). It was a fantastic view from up there, and we weren't at the highest point in the area. Here I am after the hike:

All in all, it was a good trip. David found his conference worthwhile, and I read a lot of books and got some great relaxing in!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

First Snow!

We woke up yesterday to find snow on the ground!! I feel like I should be out taking newer pictures, because more of it is coming down right now - and hard! We had to find our snow shovels, snow boots and a sled, and the children had a wonderful time rediscovering snow. Their great wish right now is that the snow will continue falling for the rest of the week!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Canoeing With Daddy - Part Two

Daddy took Tim in October on his canoe trip. You can see how the colours have changed in the month since Ben's trip! David said that this trip made up for all the rain we'd had on canoe trips this summer - it was beautiful! Sunny, and unseasonably warm! This is Tim at their campsite.

David used this trip as a chance to help Tim hone some of his canoe skills. Here he is doing a draw - look at that reach!!

They went on a hike up to the top of a "mountain" and had a fabulous view! The lake in front of Tim is the lake they camped on.

Here are the boys after the trip!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Canoeing With Daddy - Part One

David took each of the two oldest boys on a canoe trip this fall. It has taken me a while to post the photos, but here is part one! Ben was the first to go, in September. As with our other canoe trips this year, it rained!

They had a great time though. Here Ben is giving his opinion of the trip (two thumbs, and two big toes, up!).

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

That's life - the sweet with the sour

It's been a while - I know! We have been busy, and we had some computer issues, but we're still around!

Today has been one of those days that life gives us - full of blessings and sorrow. We have one family friend who is out of work recently, the fourth friend to have it happen this year. Another friend who I spoke to today is going through a huge transition, she said, "I never thought it would be like this!", and what could I say? I just tried to remind her to hang on to God. Then this evening, my mother told me that a girl I had grown up with has died. She was just a little older than I am. She was the one, when I was 14, that I would have loved to have traded places with - beautiful, popular - she seemed to have it all. And yet she of all people could cry out, "I never thought it would be like this!", with sorrow upon sorrow... and now an early death herself.

On the blessing side, we have four happy and healthy, and very active children. Tim has been pestering me today to get out the Christmas decorations, and I have been steadfastly refusing. Then, as I was putting towels away in the linen closet, I found a Christmas hand-towel, and got it out. A little while later, I noticed he was in the bathroom, and I pointed it out to him. The towel has a polar bear and a penguin in Santa hats on a sled. He looked at it for a moment, then he turned to me and said, "A polar bear and a penguin.... they'd be very unlikely to meet." He thought a moment then added, "If the penguin went north, it would be a very hot trip [through the Equator]." And that was it! Not a word about Christmas! What a crazy little guy!!

So that's a bit of life from here, as the days get shorter and darker, and the light and hope of Advent glows again in our hearts!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Extended Family

We have been seeing a lot of the extended family! There was Thanksgiving, and then this past weekend we went to Great-Aunt Harriet's 90th birthday, where there were all kinds of relatives - some of whom we'd never met before!

Here is the youngest guest with the birthday girl! There was one older present that I can think of, the children's great-grandfather was there, and he is over 90!

Here are the younger members of the family having a group bounce on the trampoline. The little guy in red is David's second cousin, as are all the other young people (come to think of it!) except our children and the girl in the white sweater who is his first cousin.

All but one of David's aunts were there, as was his uncle. So it was good to see everyone, and catch up a bit on what people have been up to!

This photo is actually from Thanksgiving, it is another of David's first cousins (in university now) and Emmi. I just thought they both looked so happy!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

It is good to give thanks to the Lord! Psalm 92:1

Friday, October 10, 2008

Experiencing Nature

With the lovely weather recently, we've been able to get out and see the beautiful world God made. Here is Granny with a couple of her grandchildren on one outing. They look pretty happy, don't they?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Marshwiggles Go to School!

Well, we thought it was time that the children went out to experience a classroom setting, so we signed them up for a field trip to the Jordan Schoolhouse.

The school is set up as a living museum, set in 1908, so we had to (as much as possible) dress from the time period, take a period lunch, and we got to experience the type of school students in 1908 would have. The children had a great time, as well as learning lots!

Here is Emmi eating her lunch - no plastic allowed!

This is Tim during a penmanship exercise.

As we were a homeschool group, we had a good variety of ages, which replicated the 1908 experience quite well. Here are some of the happy group on the girls' side.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tim's Corn - The Finale

We have harvested and eaten Tim's corn! We had a bit of trouble one week we were away, it got too dry (crazy weather!) and lots of it was knocked over (racoons?) but we did get some cobs, and I don't think there has been corn grown that was eaten with as much excitement!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Canoodling Marshwiggles

The Marshwiggles often take a long canoe trip in September, the weather is usually still warm, the bugs are gone, the people fewer, it's just a nice time to be out in the woods. This year we went the third week of September for a five day trip. We left right around the end of Hurricane Ike, so our first day was very, very wet! But we were prepared, and the interior of all of us stayed dry (people and tents). After that, the weather was lovely. Some of the mornings were cool, all right, some of them were downright cold! Here are the little wiggles eating their breakfast porridge with their mittens:

We did a loop of 5 lakes, portaging between them. The longest portage was 1.5 km, wow! Half of the party got lost (that would be the part I was with) so between backtracking, and meeting up, and waiting where we thought we ought to meet the others, it took us 4 hours in total. Here are the unfortunates who were with me, on part of the portage trail (it later turned out to be the wrong part!).

We saw a good number of reptiles, a snake, lots of turtles, toads and frogs and I saw what I now have identified as juvenile five-lined skinks. They have bright blue tails! We saw a lot of birds, including a kingfisher, and more beaver lodges. And we even got a little school in (that would be the "book learning" part of school, not counting the whole experience as one big field trip!).

We had some lovely campsites, and a couple of days where we didn't see any other people. The children enjoyed playing, their favourite spot was a small island where they could run around and explore, without getting lost. They also had some fun times together:

In fact, we all had some fun times together:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Well, it finally happened! One of the children needed stitches! It is amazing in some regards that we got this far without anyone needing them. Ben was the victim, he fell into a van door, not terribly hard, but hard enough to open up his forehead. The doctor closed it up again with 3 stitches. Ben was a very brave boy, and did very well! His mother (me) who was with him in the hospital room didn't do quite so well, and got very faint but no one seemed very surprised, it must happen a lot! So here's Ben with his band-aid, his bear and his brother, looking good!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Ups and Downs of Science

We had our favourite guest science teacher in last week, Granddad, to help us learn about heat and temperature. I had to go out for the afternoon, and he was left with a science book, two grandchildren, a large lump of plasticine, two drinking straws, two empty cola bottles, some ink and the tap to construct thermometers! He had (by prior arrangement) brought a thermometer with him to help calibrate the ones they built.

Our experiment was pretty similar to the one found here:

In theory, the experiment sounded pretty easy. However, life does not always go as planned, and unfortunately, one "thermometer" refused to work. Also, unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of the thermometers. One worked fairly well though! The next day, we fiddled with the one being difficult, and it STILL wouldn't work, so eventually it was taken apart. We had a good discussion though about heat, temperature, and what those little molecules are doing to make thermometers work, and both children had a pretty good grasp of it. Then we pretended we were molecules in an ice cube, and were being heated. It ended with us evaporating (rushing out of the room!!).

All that to say, that often the pursuit of science is filled with ups and downs. Especially if you're a little molecule in a thermometer!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

The 12 km Hike

Near the beginning of September, David took Emmi on a hike! He often takes a child with him on a canoe trip, but as we were running out of available weekends, he and Emmi decided a hike would be a nice alternative.

She carefully decided on a lunch menu, and packed her backpack with great excitement! We drove them to Queenston Heights, where the Bruce Trail starts. Here they are at the beginning:

They crossed the QEW on a new footbridge built for the Bruce Trail. David says that it cuts off quite a bit of the walk, the old way you had to walk on a lot of roads to cross over the QEW, so this is a great improvement.

At home, the boys and I were waiting for the phone call to pick them up. It finally came - and they had made it to Woodend Conservation Area - twelve kilometers away!! Wow! They were tired, but happy.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Marshwiggles in Marshville

We're catching up a bit here at the Marshwiggles blog with our summer activities. It seems we were so busy during the summer, we didn't have time to tell anyone about them!

On the Labour Day weekend we went to Marshville, which is a historic village not too far from here, with Grandma and Grandpa. Every Labour Day weekend they have a festival, and we thought we ought to go, given the name! Marshville has a blacksmith shop, general store, church, schoolhouse, sawmill, etc. and during the festival it also has a craft show, antique power show and old car show. AND lots to eat!!

We arrived and headed straight for the spot where reinactors had set up a military camp (Tim had spotted them from the road), and when we got there we found some friends of ours posing as a member of the Lincoln militia from the war of 1812 and his family! Here Mr. J. is showing Tim a bayonet while his son (a friend of Tim's) looks on in the straw hat.

We also were able to meet a "redcoat":

And there was a man there from the North West trading company (Hudson Bay Co's rival) with a blanket spread out with all sorts of thing to trade. Unfortunately, we didn't have any furs, which is what he wanted, or we might have come away with a pistol, or beads, or any number of other fascinating things! It was wonderful to see some history in the flesh - especially as we studied this time period last year!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Agape Valley

The older children enjoyed a great week (days only) this summer at Agape Valley Bible Camp. Here are some pictures of their last day:

Listening to a story:

Emmi and one of her best friends:

In line:

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First Day of School

The big yellow schoolbuses were rumbling by our house again this morning. The Marshwiggles also had their first day of school today. All in all, it went very well. We are pretty well keeping to our plan from previous years, just that the grade numbers on the books are going up. And we have a new student, Ben is starting his Senior Kindergarten year, so he gets some more formal instruction.

We had a guest lecturer (Granddad) for our science lesson today. We started off the science year with a fun experiment: "Making Invisible Ink". This involved writing on a paper with lemon juice, and then holding it (on a wire screen) over a candle flame. Discussion includes: why the metal screen, why doesn't the paper burn, why does the lemon juice turn dark?

We finished our school in time to walk to the park, where we enjoyed the new splash pad! Not a bad way to end a day of school!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Splash Pad Fun!

We are getting excited because they are putting a splash pad in Port Robinson!! It is being built, and it is neat to see the equipment going in, and wondering just how it will work. The splash pad should be operational by the end of August. This picture is of our boys having fun in a splash pad in Toronto during a visit.