May 9, 2021
Mother's day

The kids got up early and made me breakfast, but before I was invited down to enjoy it apparently Michael suddenly said "uh oh" and threw up all over the floor.


Brendan got major points for dealing with the mess. The kids at first refused to be in the same room as Michael without masks but with some coaxing agreed to take a photo while holding their breath. Then Michael was removed to another room so they would eat breakfast. The other kids then spent the entire rest of the day outside "away from germs". The "kids" gave me a new green tablecloth for ordinary time, as well as new oven mitts and some clothes. Elizabeth made me (and Grandma) owls. Everyone made me beautiful cards and other works of art.


Margaret was supposed to come for dinner, and although we discussed postponing, dropping off food or eating outdoors as the day wore on it became obvious that it was too cold and windy to eat comfortably outside. We weren't worried about covid; Matthew hadn't been to forest school the previous week and I wasn't going into grocery stores and those are our most likely points of exposure other than Margaret herself! Pretty unlikely for everyone to be asymptomatic except for Michael; he's really quite isolated.


By late afternoon Michael had recovered enough that we decided it would be fine to take him biking too - isolated as he was in the chariot. Long story short Margaret decided to brave the sick house. I did prepare the food using a mask just in case I was incubating something but in the end this was just like Michael's similar episode last September and no one else got ill. Very strange.

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May 8, 2021
Spring Piano Recital

Matthew and Amelia had a virtual piano recital today.


Grandma J came over at 10:30am and Elizabeth played her a piece as a recital preamble. Elizabeth wants me to note that she only learned this piece by heart four days ago.


We decided to go biking right before in the rain - I don't even remember why - but it was probably an error because we were so discombobulated by the rush to get ready that we actually didn't video the recital or take pictures or anything! It didn't help that Michael was in a MOOD and needed to be taken out of the recital. More than once. Amelia might have picked her nose on camera at the end. The elder siblings may have given her a hard time "you should at least wait until you aren't spotlighted before you do disgusting things".


Anyway, the kids all agreed to play their pieces again for posterity, and there is no nose picking so we can pretend that didn't happen.


A special thank you to Jane and Aunt Joanne who came to listen - it was very nice to see your smiling faces.

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Paint night

I thought it might be fun to do a family paint night and it was! We decided to work with acrylics and try the tutorial here


It was nice to chat and paint casually with people. Even though the end product was not the point of the exercise, I thought all of our end paintings turned out pretty well and it's super interesting to see how different they are even though we all painted the same picture. I clearly need to work on my cloud painting techniques haha but I was very happy with how my trees turned out.


Only one child ended up actually eating paint... He was unceremoniously packed off to bed. I had intended to send Amelia and possibly Matthew to bed before the end of the paint night too but they were having so much fun that I let them keep painting instead. Matthew reckons he'll try the instructions next time.

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May 7, 2021
Virtual School: Week 32

Matthew actually did most of his assigned math homework this week because they are working on things like how to spell numbers in french (NOT A STRENGTH) and measuring things. He very much enjoyed planning out the various things asked of him this week, especially his "zoo". Calculating the perimeters and areas was less fun but "easy enough". Matthew's new french class introduced him to a reading program called Boukili which he is finding very amusing and he got Amelia to try some books too. The two of them are now sometimes helping each other read. French class is also using a program called ABC Majesté. Both french classes are covering nouns and determinants at the moment. In shop class, Daddy and Matthew started dismantling the mattress in the studio.


Lots of art and puzzles this week. Matthew did a surprisingly difficult 100 piece puzzle. It is a lentricular image so you couldn't move your head or the picture would shift. The pieces fit together even if they were wrong so you could not even use the shape of the puzzle to figure it out. Amelia also had fun putting together some new puzzles on loan from Dianne.


In class Amelia is doing some reading in her small group. She is also working on graphing, but wasn't terribly interested. She grudgingly agreed to write out all the names of the people she wanted to ask her question to ("What's your favourite fruit?"). They did an "atelier" at the end of the week again where the kids all pick an activity to do in groups. Amelia picked lego and built a house.


Elizabeth is coming up on the last week of her lost in space project.  She's decided to do a presentation on her project as a "passion project" for english class. At school they are learning about electricity which she thinks ties in very nicely. They are doing fraction addition. She had to do an oral recording of a poem and draw faces. In art class, Elizabeth made owls out of clay (see Mother's day for end result!).


SpaceX starship had a launch this week and somehow we've all gotten very interested in this. Unfortunately the launch was delayed until mid-way through Matthew and my Zoomba class. We might have been slightly distracted at points... The launch was successful though!


It was a pretty nice week so of course we spent a lot of time outside. We also did a fair amount of biking, including one longer 9km trip down to the Bytown museum locks. It was neat to see empty locks with the water level in the canal being low. On our way to and from we waved to grandma on her balcony - she'd already been biking that day and was exercised out! We went looking for art allegedly in the arboretum and discovered a cute little island with a beautiful climbing tree that the kids have dubbed "La dame de la marée".

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May 4, 2021
Bike Accident

Amelia fell off her bike and scraped her chest. We decided to acquire a better first aid kit to keep in the Chariot...

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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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