Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Great Saint Lawrence Seaway

We stopped after Sue's birthday party today and took this photo of the St. Lawrence River. Usually you can see some open water but right now it looks totally iced over. I stole this picture for my brother and his wife's blog. From Our Front Porch Looking In
They were trying to scoop us at the river, but as you can see, Dan and I were there first.
Here are some of the bouys waiting for the ice to break up so they can be placed out in the river. Daniel is 6ft2inches tall, so these are really, really big.
I also had to stop and take pictures of these cute haybale characters.
Two of these must be Easter bunny bales.


My sister's beautiful daughters suprised their mother today with a "Surprise" 50th birthday party.
Now, Sue claims she knew nothing about the party.
I have to admit, she does look surprised.
Becky made the lovely cake, with the saying of the day "50 is the new 40!"
Sue can also claim this saying on her new t-shirt.
Her grand-daughters made her this cute crown, so Sue did her best queenly wave.The queen and her prince.

Cousins had a lot of fun playing London Bridge, and ring-a-round the rosy.
We were all very impressed with Russell's rubber band ball. We haven't seen it since Christmas, and it has grown quite a lot since then.
The kids entertained with Georgia's karaoke machine.
Grandma and Grandpa with the whole Gifford, Smith,Barton,Duffany,Hamlin gang.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Basketball Banquet 2008

Yesterday was the Holy Cross Boy's and Girl's 2008 Basketball Banquet.(aka pizza party)
It was a rough season for the girl's team. They only had one win-but they had fun!
It was Laura's first year on the team and she is already looking forward to next year.
Amy was awarded the most improved player! Way to go, Amy!
Then it was on to the boys' awards.
(I think Matt was posing for this photo)

Danny was also awarded the most improved award. ( It must be because of their great coach that Amy and Danny both received this award.)

Matthew was awarded the most valuable player for this years team. He also was named to the first-string all-star team for the entire North Country Athlectic Conference.
Congratulations Matt!!
Way to go coach!!!
Everyone had a super season!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

"The Sight of Our Life"

I was driving Mark to religion class this afternoon and had the three younger kids along for the ride. Usually we pass the time driving around looking for wildlife. Today we got a big surprise when Grandma and Grandpa called me on the cell phone and told me to hurry and we would "see the sight of our lives!" We weren't disappointed. On a local pond, there had to be a thousand Snow Geese!
We have been on the look-out for Snow Geese. We see thousands and thousands of Canadian Geese almost year round. But not Snow Geese, they are only occasional visitors to this neck of the woods.
They were quite an amazing site.
And Grandma was true to her word, it was a "sight of our lives!"

Mixed in with the white Snow Geese were some Blue-Morph Geese. These geese travel along with the white Snow geese and interbreed. The offspring are either all white or of the blue-morph variety.

We also spotted in the same pond this pair of Mallard ducks
and American Black Ducks.
In another pond I was lucky to catch this beaver in my camera lens.
What a nice nature ride we had today.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

This is going around....

You Are Christmas

More than most people, you are able to find magic in life's small moments.
Traditions mean a lot to you, and you tend to be quite nostalgic.
You are a giving, kind person who really understands the true meaning of holidays.
You inspire others to be as altruistic and caring as you are.
What makes you celebrate: Tradition and a generous spirit
At holiday get togethers, you do best as: The storyteller. You like to recount memories with everyone.
On a holiday, you're the one most likely to: Give a gift to everyone you know

I would give a hat tip for this but I have seen it everywhere, but I don't know where I saw it first.
So, what holiday are you?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Water Cycle

Well, Holy Week and Easter Day is over, so now is the time to get some serious schoolwork done.
We have been working on a pioneer unit in history which I will post on soon, and for science we have been learning about water and the water cycle.
Along with Mark's Abeka 2 science text, we have enjoyed the books shown above. Our favorite, which is perfect for early elementary learners, is The Science of Water (The Living Science Series).
I found these great printables at KidZone. They are very easy to understand and included is directions for a very easy water cycle experiment that my (easily amused) young learners enjoyed. I have now printed sheets out and they are displayed of our "learning wall".
The following photos show our "experiment" which shows each step in the water cycle.


We put water in a pot and put it on the stove. This represents groundwater and water in lakes, rivers, and the oceans.


We turned on the heat and waited for the water to begin to evaporate. The heat of the stove represents the sun. We saw the water turn to steam and water vapor(which we have learned is invisible).


In another pot we put ice. We had also kept this pot in the freezer while we got started. We placed the cold icy pot over the water vapor(steam). The water vapor turned back into liquid on the outside of the cold pot-just like water vapor outside turns into liquid as it cools high in the atmosphere.


When enough water vapor turned into liquid on the pot, the drops got so heavy, they dropped(rained) back into the "lake" where collection of the water takes place-thus completing the water cycle.

Pretty simple, but very entertaining for easily amazed children.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Lovely Easter

I spent 4 hours in church this morning and both masses turned out lovely. I played the organ at the 9am mass and the choir sang and I played for the 11am mass-another nerve racking Holy Week is over.
After returning from church, we got everyone ready and headed to Grandma C's house for a delicious Easter dinner. We had lots of good food and lots of great company, many aunts, uncles, and cousins.
The Easter bunny had made a visit to Grandma's house and all the kids enjoyed a bunny full of candy.

Luke looks a little suspicious. I think I told him to stop eating "stuff".

Becky made a cake so that we could celebrate Matt's birthday with everyone.

"Get ready! Make a wish!

On the way home we saw a whole flock of Hooded Mergansers in Leeland's pond near Hamilton. It is amazing, I had never seen this type of duck until a week ago, and now I have seen a flock of them.

It certainly was a yummy, yummy day!

Jesus Christ is Risen Today!!

Happy 18th Birthday, Matthew!!

We are very proud of you and love you with all our hearts. Mom and Dad

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Preparations

It has been busy, busy, busy around here over the last few days, but I think we are almost ready!
Laura made this cute decoration that I picked up at Michael's craft store. We love the bunny in there.

I found this great site to print out Pysanky eggs to color. We made these last year and I felt it was worth it to do again, especially after reading Rechenka's Eggs.

The kids and I have made alot of candy for Easter Day.

The candy has turned out lovely-but it has been a real temptation during these last few day before Easter.

Becky made the crowd pleasing peanut-butter balls-yum!yum!!
Yesterday we made stained glass pictures with crayon shavings. I will not post the directions because my niece Jenny had this idea and posted the directions over at her blog My Three Girls.
This morning, after much anticipation, we colored our Easter Eggs! We used the good old box of coloring-the kind that contains the little magic color pills that disolve in water and vinegar. Before coloring out eggs, we enjoyed the wonderful book- The Legend of the Easter Egg.


One April morning Thomas and his sister Lucy are gathering eggs from the hens and discussing Easter. But Lucy falls ill with scarlet fever before she gets a chance to tell him about Easter eggs. Thomas is sent to the local candy shop merchants, John and Mary, while his sister is quarantined. One day, when Thomas is lonely and frightened about Lucy, Mary gives him a chocolate Easter egg and tells him the story of Jesus's resurrection.
"But why do we have Easter eggs?" Thomas asked.
Mary explained. "Just as a chick breaks out of an egg, so had Jesus broken free of the tomb of death. Easter eggs remind us that Jesus conquered death and gives us eternal life."

When we finished coloring the eggs and they were dry, Gracie applied the very amusing face stickers!