morning and male finches

morning and male finches

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We have learned that male finches defend  their female mates rather then a nesting area  … and so we observed these 2 males fighting. These are not the best pictures as I was standing on the wrong side with the sun and they are so fast and difficult to capture; but I like the silhouette images.

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And a random morning shot from my morning walk today … I am loving this weather 🙂

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have a great weekend!

~Lisa

our new bird friends

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We are beyond excited as we have house finch who decided to make their nest in our front yard tree 🙂  here is a shot of the little guy … his whistle is just so lovely to listen to 🙂

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Since we learn from what is around us; we are doing a unit study on them and have learned that apparently unlike other birds, Finches are vegetarians; So we think it is very ironic that they chose our tree since we are vegetarian / vegan  LOL  🙂

Oh and they love picking up our dogs fur to build their nest  (although apparently only the female actually builds the nest) … I bet they will have the softest nest ever!

~Lisa

may

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May is here and it is spectacular!

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~Lisa

fun

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how we have fun in our homeschool ?

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although I do feel like everything we do is fun 🙂 otherwise why bother doing it ?
I figured the best way for me to answer this; is to make a random list of “fun” things we do; some daily … some weekly … and some seasonal 🙂

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library visits 

museums 

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park days

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chalk fun 

bike rides

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scooter rides

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board games 

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card games

hide and seek 

play tag 

nature hunt 

hikes

city adventures

making smoothies

swimming 

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blowing bubbles 

reading books

drawing 

painting

dancing 

singing

play basketball

play street hockey 

play mini put 

roller blading 

skateboarding

hopscotch

playing with our dog

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making desserts 

water fight

shadow play

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friendship bracelet making

origami 

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free creative play

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cardboard box playing

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lego play time 

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I am certain I forgot a lot more things… but this is a good starting point 🙂

Whatever we are doing … I love taking pictures (as most of you know) 🙂 I just had the chance to review Picaboo yearbook … go check it out here 

We are having a contest for a chance to win a Picaboo yearbook photo book of your own … so don’t forget to go enter here 

Now GO and HAVE SOME FUN!!!!

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Take some pictures 

And then come back and tell me know what you did 🙂

Also go check out my fellow Canadian bloggers on how they add fun to their homeschool here 🙂

Lisa

picaboo yearbook review

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I received my yearbook photo book from Picaboo last week and my whole family is totally impressed!

The quality is awesome! 

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I want to start by saying that it was loads of fun to do this yearbook photo book.

The web site is really neat. The amount of options are incredible… from simple little things; like different text to write in; to a ton of different layouts  and  backgrounds to choose from, and even scrapbook fun stickers to add where ever you choose. That is a just a few of the options to play around with and make your yearbook completely personalized.

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I want to suggest if you choose to make your own, set yourself a deadline. Otherwise you could probably be at it forever; if you’re anything like me. I would probably have kept adding pages and kept editing it for a long time.

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I suggest that you use high quality pictures; but don’t worry if some of your pictures are not the best quality they have this neat feature on the site where it will tell you when you zoom into a picture past where the quality will be good for printing and viewing.

Their customer service is amazing. The response time was really fast. I had to contact them as I could not figure out where to add a page. And I want to suggest that they do something a little easier for consumers to see a very simple  “add page” button; as even once I figured it out due to a friend telling me I was still confused. 

The site was a little glitchy for me. I would upload a picture and then drag it to the photo book but it would not let me move the picture around. So I would have to reload the picture.  One more thing that didn’t work so well for me and ended up  taking a long time was when  I would want to superimpose a picture on top of another. For some odd reason it would just not do it; even after several clicks. I had to click on another picture and then back on the picture I would want to superimpose and even then it would only work sometimes after a couple of clicks.

Besides those couple of small  issues; everything else went very smoothly.

Once completed; you get a file to review your completed photo book and then ordering took less than 2 minutes time.

And although they do say expect 3 weeks for delivery; I got lucky and got it in less then one weeks time.

I want to finish by saying that although it was a little glitchy for me … it is a super awesome site and it has so many customizable options; and I love how they include homeschoolers in the list of what kind of photo book you are making 🙂 and although they call it a yearbook, you could use their yearbook for any kind of photo book… from groups, families, activities even for camps … and so much more. You can customize the book anyway you want … it is really neat! Even kids could work on a photo book together as a group project.

As a homeschooling mom I will definitely be making one every year with them. I am even thinking of making an individualized photo book for each child  although you could change the cover picture on each of your yearbooks to make each one more individualized. like I said completely customizable!  🙂   oh and another option is family and friends could order a copy for themselves easily through the website.

Go check them out here and start your own yearbook today at Picaboo Yearbooks

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~Lisa

A Virtual Field Trip

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Welcome to Quebec; where I happen to be living for the moment.

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I have to start by saying I haven’t seen that much of it in real life … I have been to Quebec city and all around the Montreal area, up north and south … but have never made it past Quebec city or to the far north.

Here are some places I am very familiar with and love:

Montreal is a great city as there are many families and many parks and green spaces. almost anywhere you are in the city you can probably find a park not far.

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One of my all time favourite places is Mount Royal … a huge green space right smack in the middle of the city. Kind of like central park … only way better 😉 , because it is a mountain and there is an amazing view from the top. (fun factThe park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also co-designed New York’s Central Park )

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Then there is Old Montreal; which takes you away and makes you feel like you are travelling through a town in Europe. With it’s cobblestone streets and the port with the huge ships … lots of fun for kids to see and explore.

Montreal is known as the underground city … because it has a vast underground subway system which is referred to as the metro … and you can shop, eat and travel all while never stepping foot outside.

Another great place that we really like is Parc jean Drapeau which is also linked to Notre Dame Island … it is a great place to bike, walk, roller blade… this is where expo ’67 was held and there is a famous sphere like ball which today is the biosphere museum   ( fun factNotre Dame Island was built in ten months from 15 million tons of rock excavated for the Montreal Metro in 1965. to clarify … when they dug out the underground metro system they came up with the plan to make a man made island from all the rubble)  also this is where the famous Canadian grand prix takes place.

I will suggest the best time to visit is May / June or September / October but if you are coming for some of the famous festivals such as the jazz or just for laughs then you would need to come during the summer months or if you are coming for the winter festival, that is usually in early February … and then the sugaring off season is always fun ( fun fact quebec is the worlds leading producer of maple syrup “with about 75 percent of global production” )

Mont Tremblant is a great day trip get away; a village on a ski mountain. We have gone in June and loved it as there were lots of neat activities such as mini put, panoramic gondola ride, luge,  and the beach to hang out at.IMG_4576IMG_4495

I asked friends to help me come up with a list of places to visit in the province and below is the places my friends mentioned 🙂

a nature park just north of montreal: http://centredelanature.laval.ca/

this place looks lovely for rescued horses:  http://ahorsetale.org/horse-rescue-wp/

a Chimpanzee Sanctuary : http://www.faunafoundation.org/the-sanctuary/

another great outdoor place: http://www.ilesaintbernard.com/en/naturalsites/refuge-faunique-marguerite-youville-wildlife-sanctuary/

http://www.matawinie.com/

water park : http://www.parcaquatique.com/en/

where ever you go; overall quebec is very family friendly and there is lots to see and do 🙂

if you visit any of these places please let me know how you liked them 🙂

please go check out my fellow Canadian bloggers with their provincial field trips here 

please enter our giveaway for this month by clicking here  Entry-Form ***

*open to Canadian residents – excluding Quebec Must be 18+ to enter. Ends April 15th, 2015 @11:59pm EST. *** sadly due to quebec regulations  which have nothing to do with myself or the Canadian homeschooler or the giveaway partner and simply due to the quebec provincial government regulations; quebec residents are not eligible for this giveaway  this month … yes it completly  sucks! :/

~Lisa

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lego quest ll ~ astronomy

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The Canadian Homeschooler has this lego quest challenge going on with a new theme every month … every one around the world is welcome to join in and show their creations …

Lego Quest II | thecanadianhomeschooler.com

the theme for March  is “ASTRONOMY

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~Lisa

 

educating the heart through nature art

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My friend Marghanita Hughes had a contest giveaway a while back and I won some of her beautiful art work.

For those of you that know me and know  how passionate I am about elephants you could imagine my excitement when I opened up my mail and found these…

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This one in particular is my favourite

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She is a very talented wonderful artist. She offers workshops and even has a shop with the cutest dolls and stories  to encourage children to interact with nature 🙂 and I absolutely love reading about her amazing nature art creations.

Go check her out here at http://www.marghanita.com/ “Educating the heart through nature art”

and here is her facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/marghanita.hughes

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~Lisa

ashes

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Sandy’s ashes were ready for me to go pick up .

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They had been ready for a while; I just could not get myself to go get them. I knew that going to get them would make it all so final.

This week my daughter spoke about Sandy and told me she misses her and asked me “when will Sandy come back home”, and said;  “daddy can bring her home now” (as she remembers seeing him take her away).

I had the most vivid dream the other night that I came down the stairs and there she was curled up in her favourite spot at the bottom of the stairs … and I was so happy for just a moment as I savoured that delightful thought and then the reality that it was a dream hit me and I woke up.

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I am doing better … her sister is finding comfort in us; and us in her. Strange how life is like this; here one day gone the next. No matter how many losses I have been through  it never gets easier.

I took my first walk finally this week; with just her sister Bianca. I used Sandy’s leash and collar on Bianca and let her smell it before I placed it on her; in a sense it was my way of bringing Sandy with us.  It was really hard for me … in 12 years I have never walked just one of them alone; and even Bianca found it rather odd as her sister used to take the lead.

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Last night my husband brought home her ashes… I am not sure what I will do with them, but for the moment I will just hold on to them.

~Lisa

time change

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I love springing forward

I think part of it is knowing winter has very little life left … but the longer days is one of my favourite parts 🙂

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~Lisa