April 30, 2021
April Food

Lots of meals with ham this month as we needed to use up the leftovers from Easter! The most exciting stuff was probably the pastries I imported from a bakery in Montreal though... Vol au vent and chocolatine croissants! Mmmm...

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Virtual School: Week 31

This week was full of tulips and cold, cold rain. We still biked. Some of it was less fun than others, especially that time where it was 3C and pouring. Elizabeth and I saw the heron again, this time patiently trying to fish in brown's inlet. Definitely no fish there yet! Matthew and Michael were distraught to discover dozens of drowning worms during one of our morning walks and made me rescue each one because it's too yucky to actually pick up a worm.


At forest school Matthew has been biking a lot. They've biked up to the museum of aviation a couple of times and all around the cemetery. His teacher wrote to say: "Les gens du quartier nous sourient et parfois nous remercient de ramasser les déchets le long des routes et aussi au parc Richelieu."


Matthew made Amelia a little car out of fort magic and has been doing a lot of drawing. They have been reading to each other and he's starting to read Tintin to himself because "I'm a good enough reader now". He's keen to get his siblings on boukili so he can see how much they are reading. In shop class he and daddy did some bike maintenance.


In homeschool science we were talking about energy from heat and temperature. The experiment worked best the first time before I was able to video, but it was quite fun to see the air contract and expand.


Elizabeth's boogie board broke quite a while ago and she was complaining about how long it had been sitting on Daddy's desk waiting to be repaired. Daddy reckoned it was beyond repair but I contacted their tech support even though it was years out of warranty and THEY SENT US A NEW ONE!!!! I was very impressed and Elizabeth is having a really fun time with it.


She has a new teacher (again). Apparently she's from France but actually speaks English well so Elizabeth is cautiously optimistic that she'll be good. She has to do another passion project "but I already talked about karate so what do I doooooo?" I pointed out that she has quite a few options. It will be interesting to see what she picks! In art class they were working on silhouettes and Elizabeth decided to redo a painting she tried before. She's very happy with the improvement.


She continued working on her Lost in Space project every day. She learned how to use a seven segment LED display to display numbers and rotary encoder (a dial you can turn). She learned how to use a 4x4 keypad to create a security system and is learning the basic concept of encryption. Interesting side effect: she has a better idea of what her father does for a living. “You have a fun job!” she exclaimed.


Amelia got some new puzzles from Dianne which she had to make immediately. She loves puzzles. She also decided she wanted to make a video telling a story about her dolls. Michael wanted to help but he ended up stealing her baby and bonking Amelia over the head instead. "That's NOT how you tell their stories!" Amelia told him indignantly. There was another show this week and Amelia excitedly invited Matthew. Unfortunately it was not nearly as interesting as the puppet show as it was some kind of indigenous music with a lot of talking. They ended up going and doing something else. They are doing some ateliers these days where they pick an activity and then do them in small groups. I'm not sure how this works because there are more groups than teachers. Amelia picked lego and made a very elaborate house out of duplo.

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April 25, 2021
Michael Bernardoís WKC virtual worlds qualifier #3

Another month another WKC virtual worlds qualifier. This month hosted by an Ontario club but still on CST time. The kids and I cleared out and went to Grandma's so as not to interfere with the competition.


Elizabeth had a good day and came 3rd in hard style forms and 1st in classical forms.  She had a short break before weapons in which she came 4th in traditional, 2nd in extreme and 4th in creative.


This places her 4th in hard style and 2nd in classical forms in the overall world rankings so far.  For weapons she is 1st in traditional, 2nd in extreme and 5th in creative.


Hopefully next month it will be warm enough and not raining so she can do it outdoors.

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Rachel is 30

Elizabeth's godmother is having a milestone birthday, so Elizabeth decided she needed to send her 30 pieces of mail to celebrate.


Rachel is opening them one at a time like an advent calendar!

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April 24, 2021

We went past the tulips as part of our daily bike ride and decided to take a picture. It was a zoo because of the nice weekend weather and many people driving in to see the tulips; we suspect the park may have restrictions if this continues.


Our neighbours dropped off some cake pops "just because". This was super popular with our kids. Originally we were going to eat them on our bike ride as a picnic snack but it was very quickly apparent that we did not want to stop more than the thirty seconds it took to get our photo with the tulips so we came back home.


Then grandma came for dinner. The kids insisted we eat outside (brr) but they agreed that we could have ice cream indoors where it was warm.



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April 23, 2021
Virtual School: Week 30

This week Michael decided to find out what would happen if he used scissors on Matthew's violin bow. So we might be in the market for a new one; it will depend on how old the bow is and how bad the damage actually is - it's luckily still playable and the teacher will assess it later.


Matthew is finally feeling able to bike again as of Saturday. Unfortunately the weather this week was not ideal for biking. It was cold and windy with gusts of up to 80km one day and it snowed the next but these were not deemed acceptable excuses so we still biked. I even biked the day after vaccine. Brendan stayed in bed. Matthew was at school and needed to go later but by then I felt pretty unwell so Elizabeth graciously volunteered to go a second time so that he could maintain his streak. On the snowy day we saw and photographed a heron at Dow's lake! We also saw a flock of birds that look and dive very much like loons but since there were five of them and also they were at Dow's lake they clearly are not loons. I'm pretty sure they are not merganser ducks as the head shapes are quite different from what I can tell.


Matthew planted some seeds at forest school and has been faithfully watering them. Remains to be seen if they will survive long enough to be planted outside! He's working towards his grade 1 RCM exam which means he has two lessons this week. This would not be his favourite but he allows that he IS making progress. He's got a supply at school for the next two weeks, in addition to the long term supply he's already got for math. Apparently that means that he doesn't have his check-in with his teacher, which I don't understand since I feel that a supply would be quite capable of listening to a second grader read. In any case, it's just as well that we are asynchronous. His private french teacher introduced him to boukili which means that he's excited about reading again as it's much easier than the books left at allo prof. He does have some appropriate reading material at GB+ as well but he really enjoys the quizzing aspect.


Elizabeth finished her puzzle and was dismayed to discover a missing piece. Oh well. She had to make a cartoon for English class. In math she is doing "endless, boring fractions". For art class she was learning about fog. "I actually messed up the fog and will have to try it again with more water on my brush", she explained. "I had fun and I learned a lot though." She liked her attempts at sunflowers better.

In addition to her school work and reading about science, Elizabeth's been diligently working on her daily coding project, usually 45-60 min every day after classes and piano practice. She had great fun learning to make her lights flash different colours. She also made a rather foolish choice to try making rice in the instant pot without the liner. It's still to be determined whether or not we are in the market for a new instant pot.


We built (and destroyed) some epic forts. Amelia's godfather Michael gave her some clothes and some playdough. Everyone was especially excited by the playdough and it got heavy use this week. Amelia did quite a lot of art this week, including making a little bird out of paper that she and Michael played with for several days. At the end of the week Amelia's class got to watch a puppet show via the "tout petit festival". Michael was thrilled to be invited to watch too and they both really enjoyed the show. Lots of imaginative play this week, which would be more thrilling if there wasn't so much strewing of clothing ALL. OVER. THE. HOUSE. to accompany it.


At Grandir Ensemble Michael was invited to play with colour mixing.


I finally got around to repotting my orchids - I completely underestimated the size of container they would need. Amelia was completely fascinated by the process, especially the part where I put dirt into my largest pot and covered it in boiling water. "Are we going to that?" she inquired somewhat anxiously.

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April 21, 2021
We've been shot

While many things could be said about the state of the nation (or more specifically our province) it is probably best if I (Brendan) don't rant too much about the sad state of affairs.  COVID-19 is out of control and our leaders have more or less abandoned ship. This week the province did open up vaccinations to those 40+ years old through pharmacies.  This meant playing a ridiculous game worse than trying to register children for summer camps to secure a spot at a pharmacy for the pair of us.  In the end we were successful and the whole experience was actually pretty good.  The next day less so - but if that's the price to pay to put this pandemic to rest it is a small one.

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