Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gingerbread House 2009 - Step Three

Now for the really fun part - decorating! This is the step that everyone gets involved with.

At first, it is like a blank canvas. People pick different parts to work on, bigger ones help littler ones to squeeze the icing out of the bags.

Sometimes people get silly working on a gingerbread house.

The condo is definitely shaping up!

Everyone is pleased with the finished product!

Front view:

Back view:

If you wish to attend our house to receive a free gift, and also hear about some great time-share opportunities in this condo, please call now. Units are selling quickly!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Gingerbread House 2009 - Step Two

Carrying on with our gingerbread house....

David mixes up a double batch of chocolate fudge to act as a foundation, and sets one of the boxes into it:

Of course, this must be checked with the level:

Then the remaining two boxes are placed on the top, with "floors" between each level.

A roof is put on the top, and... ta dah! The gingerbread condo!!

Stay tuned for decorating....

Friday, December 18, 2009

Gingerbread House 2009 - Step One

It is our tradition to create a gingerbread house each year. It sits on the piano, and greets anyone entering the schoolroom with a lovely ginger-y smell (quickly followed up by the tree's lovely pine-y smell - ah.. the smells of Christmas!). This year, David felt a little tired of the typical gingerbread cottage style house, and felt moved to make something, well, bigger. Here are the first steps of this year's creation:

The gingerbread is mixed up, rolled out, and cut out. Here the three-headed penguin cookie jar (a silly gift exchange windfall, loved by some in our home) watches over the preparation.

After baking, it is "trued up" by David. He recuts the baked edges (which spread a little in the oven), and checks with his set square.

Then the assembly! David is sticking walls together with icing:

Of course, it needs to be checked with the level:

The result of the first night's work: three boxes

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Great-Grandma!

We have the blessing of having Great-Grandma in our lives. She is the children's Grandpa's mother, and she just turned 90! We had a little birthday celebration for her at Grandma and Grandpa's house with some of the extended family.

Great-Grandma is a war veteran, she served during the Second World War in England. Sometimes if she is in the mood, she will tell us a bit about what that was like.

I made the cake, and I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. It was a 3 layer chocolate cake, with a whipped cream icing, and chocolate glaze. Very yummy. This is my favourite picture of the cake because of the background!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Brott Music Education Concert

We met up with Granddad in Hamilton last week. Granddad did not ride his bicycle there - he brought it on a GO bus, and then used it within the city. We met up at the Convention Centre to see the Brott Concert for this year - Daniel Cook Explores the Orchestra.

One of our homeschool mothers had organized the Niagara Homeschoolers to attend as a school group. So it was a pleasure to run into some of our homeschooling friends there!

We came to this concert series last year, but this was Pip's first time to see a full orchestra. He started out sitting beside Granddad, but ended up on my lap.

The concert explained the different sections of the orchestra, and had a small feature on each instrument. Here's what they looked like from way up in the balcony:

After the concert, we went to lunch at an Indian Buffet - also educational! We said goodbye to Granddad, who was to ride back to the GO bus station, and headed home. We were able to tell Daddy about all the sections, and together I think we named all the instruments we'd seen. A good outing!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Marshwiggles See the Wiggles!

Quite a coincidence, the Wiggles and the Marshwiggles came to Toronto on the same weekend! In all seriousness, we knew ahead of time, and planned a family outing to see the Wiggles, as we have some Wiggles fans in our midst. Emmi still enjoys them, and Pip is old enough to behave well in a concert, and also to remember the experience. It seemed like a good time to go.

We started off with a supper at the Old Spaghetti Factory, and then walked over to the Rogers Centre, and found our seats.

Pretty soon, the Wiggles took the stage, along with a troupe of tumblers (acrobats). The concert was a lot of fun, and was enjoyed by all of us. The drive home was quiet, but since then I have been hearing snatches of "Fruit Salad.. yummy, yummy" and other well-known Wiggles tunes (the Big Red Car song is also popular) around the house!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Royal Winter Fair

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is on in Toronto! Our local homeschool group organized a school trip there, and so this week we loaded up the van and headed down the QEW to Exhibition Place!

Here is the group preparing to go in. We had Granny and Granddad with us, plus all six of us (David is taking the picture).

There is so much to see and do, that I am tempted to make two posts to show all the pictures we took! However, here are some highlights!

One of our first stops was an equestrian "detective" hunt where the children had to hunt for, and decipher, clues in a display. When they finished, and cracked the code, they were rewarded with very nice little backpacks. The backpacks had safety information inside, and were very useful to hold all the other cool things you get at the RWF, a good place to start! Here Tim is pondering a clue:

Another fun stop was a craft area where the children were able to paint a small figure of a horse.

We enjoyed the egg display, which (among other useful information) showed us how many eggs one chicken lays in a year. There were also 5 day-old chicks (cute!!) and real chickens, laying real eggs, to see.

There were many interactive displays which told us about farming, how plants grow, how to be healthy (etc. etc.). One neat game had us trying to raise a good crop (on a computer) by manipulating objects that represented water and different nutrients. Very engrossing!

And of course, there was more! Sheep shearing, cow (and goat) milking demonstrations, equestrian show jumping, SuperDogs..... it was a full day!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Why did the mushroom like to get out and party?
He was one fun guy.

In our science program, we studied fungi recently. Did you know, that fungi are not plants? They don't produce their own food - but feed off other things. They are not animals either, they get their own kingdom. It seemed in order to get outside and find some of these amazing beings!

Granny and Granddad (our personal Field Botanists) accompanied us on a nature walk. The woods were beautiful with their carpet of bright leaves even though the day was dull.

It is neat to see "in the wild" something you have studied in a book. We also enjoyed just being together!!

Of course, there were lots of other things to do!

The variety and beauty of fungi is amazing. What an amazing God who chooses to beautify even the method He uses in the forest to dispose of dead material.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Cross-Country Race

Three of the Marshwiggles were entered in a cross-country race that took place this past weekend. There were over 200 homeschoolers who ran in the race! Tim and Ben were in the boys group ages 5-8 and had to run 800 m. Emmi was in the girls group, ages 9-12, and she had to run 1500 m. The day was cool, but not rainy, so good weather for running.

Here is Emmi with some of the friends we went with, doing a walk-through of her race.

Here is where the run was held, on a lovely, large farm.

Tim at the starting line. The line was much wider than this!

Everyone from our group seemed to have a good time, and the Marshwiggles all finished in the middle of their groups. Ben finished ahead of Tim; watch out for Ben - he's one fast guy!

Monday, October 26, 2009

More Montreal

Here are a few more pictures to entertain you all from our trip to Montreal. This is the very iconic Bio Sphere, we were able to ride here on our Bixi bikes, and also around the Gilles Villeneve Formula One racetrack - we felt so fast!

David enjoyed mugging for the camera in many of our pictures. Here he is with one of the well known mayors of Montreal, they seem to be thinking similar thoughts..

And here is David trying to get into the Bank of Montreal. Did they shrink my husband, or just build really big doors?

There was a fair bit of art about, and here is David with an interesting sculpture. There are lots more pictures, but I will treat you all to the shortened version of the "friends and relatives vacation slide show", and let you get back to something more useful.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


So here is a neat idea! David and I were in Montreal this past weekend. While we were there, we used bicycles to get around quite a bit. In Montreal, they have a bicycle system called Bixi. Throughout the city there are Bixi stations, with a bunch of bikes at each station. You pay $5, and for a 24 hour period, you are allowed to use a Bixi for a short trip (less than 30 minutes) as many times as you like. It was very convenient, and fun too!

Here is David at a typical Bixi station.

And here he is on the Bixi bike. The seats are adjustable up and down, and there are front and rear lights that come on as soon as you start riding. There is a little basket-type thing in the front with a bungee, so you can put your bag there.

And now, David is at another Bixi station!

The stations are very close (only a few blocks apart), so in the section we were, it was always easy to find a Bixi station. Bixi seems to solve some of the problems of mass transportation, so here's hoping it catches on, and maybe we'll see Bixi's in other cities!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Thanksgiving with the Marshwiggles

Happy Thanksgiving! Let us give thanks to the Lord for all the good things He has blessed us with! We were blessed to have a lovely day, with family, and a great big meal. Here are a few scenes from our Thanksgiving!

Welcome to our home!

The happy occupants of the home:

Our centrepiece for the meal, we're still able to get some flowers from the garden!

The decoration as you come in, I got this idea from a magazine and thought it worked out pretty well!