Sunday, February 16, 2014

Week ending 16 February 2014

Wow, what a week it's been. We got off to a great start on Monday with the day spent productively at home - science (parts of a cell), history (still working through the introduction to Big History), French (vehicles and the verb "aller"),  Latin ( a review of noun declensions and some new vocabulary), maths (area), art (comparing Audubon's "White Pelican" with his "Brown Pelican"), and The Tempest  (Act 3, scenes 1 and 2 because they were both short) for Miss 13. Mr 16 spent the morning at Polytech for his computer course and joined us for history and The Tempest in the afternoon before doing some of his own stuff - algebra, German and physics most likely.  In the evening Miss 13 visited a new Scout group. She was dissatisfied with Scouts towards the end of last year and we felt part of the problem was the peer group  - she didn't have a lot in common with the girls that attended her troop and didn't really enjoy spending time with them. At Jamboree she got on really well with a girl from a neighbouring troop so she's considering transferring to that troop.

Tuesday was a  birding trip to a local estuary led by an experienced local birder. We always learn a lot from her and this time were were lucky enough to spot a new (to us) bird which I don't think we would have picked up by ourselves since it is very similar to another more familiar species. We were also pointed in the direction of some other good birding spots in the area.

Wednesday was another birding trip this time to a small island that is normally inaccessible. It has a reputation for attracting rare Arctic migrants and although there were fewer species than had been spotted the previous week we got really close views and spotted three new species to add to our life lists. The trip was a training exercise for a population census of the entire bird population on the lake and the leader was fantastic at pointing birds out, giving tips on how to differentiate similar species, and advising how to relatively quickly and accurately count the large flocks of birds that inhabit the lake. The only downside was that to get to the island we had a short walk through incredibly thick, sticky mud and I got stuck - twice! It took two guys to help haul me out since the mud kept sucking me back down - and my boots which were actually Mr 16's and therefore a little too big weren't helping. A "friend " took photos but I will not be posting them ;-) Wednesday evening was dominated by the heaviest rain I have ever experienced here. It seems like the few blocks around our home were the worst affected in the city and the surface flooding was pretty spectacular. Luckily the water stayed out of our house but not everyone was so lucky. During the rain Mr 21 need to be dropped off just a few block from home and  I had to try four different routes to get back since my first three routes were closed by flooding.

Thursday disappeared in a blur - much like Monday I suspect but with cricket practice, trampoline training and Scouts (Dh is staying on as leader at Miss 13's old group for a few weeks and Mr 16 went to help him run the evening since the other leader couldn't make it) added in to the evening mix.

For Miss 19, Mr 16, Miss 13 and myself, Friday's highlight was attending an outdoor performance of The Tempest. We finished reading the play in the morning, all four of us were available for the evening (that it itself was quite a feat) and the weather was fine - although we still took plenty of jackets and blankets since previous experience (this is an annual event and Miss 19 and I have attended for the past six or so years) has taught us that once the sun drops, it gets cold, no matter how warm the day was. We all enjoyed the performance, although there were a few hiccups with the new sound system, and we had some interesting discussions about casting, costuming staging and the like. It would have been the perfect end to our study but we've haven't touched any of the lesson plans I had bookmarked so we'll  tackle a couple this coming week to tie everything up.

Saturday was an out-of-town cricket game for Mr 16, thankfully the only one all season. He's never played out of town before and this game was two hours away! Not what I was expecting when I signed him up for the season. He was pleased though since it gave him plenty of open road driving practice!  I took the opportunity to go birding  and it was strange going by myself - Miss 13 couldn't come since she had trampoline training and with the first competition of the year coming up she didn't want to skip it. I also took the opportunity to go for a walk along the beach. I love the sea and don't make the effort to visit often enough.

On Sunday Mr 16 had another cricket game - the only double-header this season which is just as well. The trouble with cricket at this level is that it does take up the entire day. I'm not a natural sporting mum and would not be up to travelling out of town or having double headers on a regular basis. However the main event of the day was helping Mr 21 move out. He's found himself a flat with four others. It's not terribly far away and I'm sure we'll still be seeing him a bit (Dh and Miss 19 will probably run into him on campus if nothing else) but it feels slightly strange having the first child fly the nest so to speak. Up until now Miss 13 and Miss 19 have had to share a room but now everyone will be able to have a room of their own. The issue is who will get what room - much negotiating has ensued and I don't think it's over yet. However it ends up I'm pretty sure next week will involve some heavy duty furniture moving!


  1. I just love all the birding you do. I always tell myself that one day I will become a dedicated bird watcher. Now my brain doesn't retain the info. I learn the name and then forget it soon after! So glad you enjoyed The Tempest. That sounds like such fun!! Have a wonderful week! :)

    1. I know what you mean about brains not retaining info. Miss 13 picks up differences in calls, plumage etc far more quickly than I do. At least I don't have the pressure of a test and I can learn at my own pace

  2. I thought of you when I caught my littles looking out the window with binoculars and watching the birds...totally on their own:) It makes me happy to see them interested in birds at such a young age!

    1. And it makes me happy to hear about it. Then again I love most things related to littles. I miss having some of my own.