April 10, 2021
Backyard camping

The kids have been quite desperate to go camping in the backyard even though the overnight temperatures have been negative. Finally Elizabeth noticed that the forecast was a highly unseasonable 15C overnight and long story short I agreed they might.


Of course the forecast was promptly revised under 10C. We pulled out the big blankets and I resigned myself to being chilly. It wasn't too bad but let's just say that I didn't sign up for a second night outdoors. Matthew and Elizabeth did though!

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April 9, 2021
Virtual School: Week 29

A short week because of Easter Monday.


We enjoyed seeing the street sweepers come down our street and finally got our bikes out. Elizabeth apparently enjoyed the skating challenge because she has challenged our family to bike every day in what we are calling the "Great Bike Challenge"


The Great Bike Challenge Rules, as defined by the kids:
-until July 15
-minimum distance 2km, but it doesn’t have to be all at once if you go out multiple times
-try to go every day. If you don’t, try to make up the distance the next day
-if you break your streak, you start over and see what the longest streak you can get during the challenge is. Also keep track of how many days you go.
-walks don’t count unless you don’t have a bike or are physically incapable of biking.
-Indoor training on a bike or elliptical machine will count.
-Post selfies to show us you are doing it


Elizabeth's last art class of the session was on pointillism. She enjoyed it but "it takes forever to get anywhere" so she's not sure she'll be doing a lot of this. The weather was pretty good and Elizabeth wants more outdoor time so we did some of our classes outside this week. One day Elizabeth spent nearly the entire day outdoors. It's not exactly what I'd call warm enough to eat comfortably outdoors but we've had quite a few meals outside this week as well.


We're removing our hedge which means the kids have a lot of wood available to build with. They built a little shelter and "fire place". Matthew and Elizabeth also both got to learn how to use a reciprocating saw.


In science class we talked about temperature and did an experiment where one hand goes in ice water, and the other in warm water and then both into lukewarm water. Matthew haaaaaated it and the girls thought he was being very silly.


Matthew was assigned an art in nature project, so he did it at forest school and brought it home in a paper bag. In cooking class he made pizza.

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April 8, 2021
Ottawa Piano Festival

Elizabeth participated in the Ottawa Piano Festival this year. This was her first submission attempt, but we had to redo it because her entire body was supposed to be in the shot and she forgot to bow before and after her piece as per guidelines. The lighting and composition in the first video is much better; not sure about her performances (!) Our actual submission is here:


Two out of three adjudicators commented on her good posture and character.


Some favourite comments: "Bach was delightful, especially listening to your articulations." "Take care of the melody [in After the Rain] as it is easy to mumble and overpower it with accompaniment." "What a beautiful dress and professional bows. I liked the announcing in french too!"


My mom sewed the dress for me when I was just a bit older than Elizabeth is now.

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April 5, 2021
Easter Egg hunt

Our traditional Easter Egg hunt went ahead, albeit with modifications.


First, we went for a walk out by Bruce Pit and the kids hid eggs for Aidan, Caitlyn and Evelyn on one side of the path while Brendan and I hid their eggs on the other side. Then we texted Dianne and her kids to tell them the eggs were there. Unfortunately we didn't pick a quiet enough path and in the five minutes or so before they showed up random other kids started finding and taking their eggs! Luckily they were fast enough to be able to get most of them back! We had planned not to cross paths but we did end up waving and Elizabeth and I went over to see if we could help locate eggs in case some were too well hidden.


After our hunt we did a loop around in the forest and then we went home for hunt number 2! At a prearranged time, our kids hid eggs outside in all the participating neighbour kids yards. Then we rang Easter bells, retired to our own lawn and everyone came outside to hunt for eggs in their own yards. Brendan hunted children with his zoom lens lol.


It was pretty fun!

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April 4, 2021
Easter Sunday

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!


We celebrated with:

  • An Easter egg hunt (12 eggs each)
  • Breakfast with Grandma J (bunny pancakes, chocolate nests and a side tantrum of what do you mean I'm not also allowed to eat my entire chocolate bunny instead of the extremely sugary and chocolate themed breakfast)
  • Photos in our Sunday best
  • Church in the basement
  • Distanced (masked) walk with Uncle Chris, Auntie Yukiko, Erika, Maria and Uncle Mark. The Ontario outdoor gathering limit is groups of 5 and we respected that. Erika met Elizabeth at the man with two hats, Uncle Chris, Maria, Uncle Mark, Brendan and Matthew met at the strange red statue and the rest of us met at the circular tulip bed. We waved to each other as we passed but mostly we chatted in our own little groups.
  • Zoom with Dave and Karen's crew, Auntie Janice, my parents and Auntie Heather.
  • Dinner - Green beans oriental, sweet potato, buns, a butter lamb, salad and the most enormous ham I've seen in a long time. Trifle for dessert. We're reading the Jungle Doctor right now and tonight's story was all about a snake that ate a hard boiled egg. The kids were also very amused by tonight's Zippy story. "Hey, that's us!" they said, seeing all the animals watching the zoom screen.
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