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!