Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Canadian Museum of Nature

On Friday, we decided to bring the girls to Canada once again to visit a museum. The choice this time, The Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa. The exhibits ranged anywhere from the history of dinosaurs, to bugs, birds, rocks, ocean life and wildlife in different climates. The first exhibit we visited was about the dinosaurs. In the picture below, Luci touches a piece of fossilized dino poop!

There were multitudes of dino skeletons all over the place.
Drew pumps a lever which replicates how this particular dino may have sounded.

My third child, Dean, has his own kind of fun!

Teeny Drew is just a snack for this hungry juvenile T-rex!
At least the girls have a model for learning humor!! (No matter how vulgar!!)
This is the BIGGEST elevator I have ever been in!! It was designed for large visiting groups of field trip students!
Just a quick rest before the next exhibit!
Here is a model of the museum. It looks like a castle!! The building is old, and I forget the history of it at present, but on the backside is a newly built tower of glass called The Queen's Lantern named for the pretty display at night. Google the museum to learn the history and see pics of the tower.
Checking out a large salt-water aquarium...trying to spot and identify all the listed species.
This is a skeleton of a blue whale. It was, to say the least, mammoth!!
What I wouldn't give for a lobster this size on my dinner plate!!!
Looking out a porthole of a ship mock-up.
No, I didn't ask this boy to be in the picture, but the girls thought he was pretty cute! The only Asian boy they ever see on a regular basis is their cousin, Max!
Checking out what a submersible exploration vehicle is like.
It may have been chilly outside, but this Arctic exhibit was toasty, at least!

Drew peeking up through a seal hole...look out for those polar bears!!
Playing around some more!

This was taken in The Queen's Lantern...I was several tiers down.
Seeing what satellite images of the surface of the Earth look like!
What a polar bear den might look like.
Following penguin tracks.
There were penguin costumes for the kids to put on and try sliding down a "frozen" hill on their bellies, just like penguins do! Drew's up first!
Luci's turn!
Even my third child gets dressed up!
And gives the sliding a try!!
Luci puts eggs in an incubator...

A station where you could listen to bird calls and try to imitate them.

It was a fun day for all. It didn't take too long to see everything in this museum, it wasn't very large. But we enjoyed ourselves nonetheless! I'll be researching the other museums within driving distance for the next outing!!

Today's Quotes:

Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere. ~Chinese Proverb

All the world is a laboratory to the inquiring mind. ~Martin H. Fischer

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sneakers and Snow!

Not TOO much going on in the last month or so, a few things. First up, yesterday, my mom showed up and plopped down a little white box with the word "Pandora" on it. I opened it up and inside was another charm for my nearly full bracelet! It is a charm with a little sneaker on it! As you may know, I have been working really hard to lose weight and get healthier. I joined the gym this past October and I have managed to drop a whopping 27 pounds since then!! In the fall of '09, I dropped an initial 18 pounds, which brings my grand total to 45 pounds!!!!!!!! I can scarcely believe it myself!! My mom is so proud of my achievement (and I am, too!), that she had offered to buy me an expensive pair of jeans when I reach my goal. The only problem with that is, I don't really have a goal and I'm not in all that much of a hurry to lose the weight. I am letting it happen as it happens. I know there will be plateaus and possibly (though not freakin' likely!) small weight gains throughout my journey. So, instead she bought me this charm to recognize my hard work! A sneaker to represent my workouts! It is a very meaningful symbol for me...both for the hard work and for my self-empowerment! Thank you so much, Mom!! I truly do love it!!!

Earlier this month, Mother Nature decided that we needed some more snow! So after a storm or two, I brought the girls over to Scott and Sue's house to make snowmen with Darien and Jeb. Before they started building, they had some sliding fun with the big snowbanks Scott made with the plow.

Onto the snowman making!! I brought over a bag full of old hats, scarves and mittens to donate for our snow people!

Today's Quote:

When friends tell you how awesome you look, drop the "I still have more to go" crap. You worked hard and you deserve the compliment! ~Jillian Michaels

Friday, February 4, 2011

Arts, Smarts and Sesame Chicken!

Back in September of last year, for my mother's birthday, my brother decided to give her a tattoo for her birthday. For those who don't know, my brother is a tattoo artist. My mom decided to get a portrait of her princesses, Drew and Luci. Here's the start...

Admiring the first stage...
Here's what the first stage looked like when he was done.
Last week, he completed the tattoo. Here is the finished masterpiece! The top phrase is "I love you Meema!" in Drew's handwriting. The bottom, "You're the best!" is Luci's handwriting. My brother is especially good at portrait work and my mom just loves it!

Just another photo of the little diva, Mia. The old adage is true with this dog...the smaller the dog, the bigger the attitude! She can certainly hold her own against Darcy!!
Yesterday was the beginning of the Chinese new year, also known as Spring Festival. We have a long standing tradition of going to a local Chinese restaurant for dinner on the first night of the new year...and last night was no exception! Here's the whole gang!
This morning, Drew and Luci's school held their monthly award assembly. Both girls received awards! Here's Luci showing off her math bracelet! The school participates in an online math program and when a student reaches 500 points, they're awarded a yellow bracelet!
Drew's score is over a 1000 which earned her the next level bracelet, red! She received her yellow bracelet 2 assemblies ago! She should very well get the next color, blue, at the next assembly since she's only about 50 points away from 2000, the required score for blue. After that, if she gets to 3000, she'll get a multi-colored bracelet, a prize the whole student body covets! There was one student who earned a special certificate today for having a score of 8000!! Wow! I can't imagine he does anything else all day long on weekends or afterschool to have that many points but to be glued to his computer!! Not so sure I want my kids getting a score that high if they neglect EVERYTHING else!!
Next came Luci's award for creative writing! Her teachers tell me all the time how smart and advanced she is! I happened to work in her classroom one afternoon last week as a sub aide and that's all I heard about!
Here's Drew getting her award for spelling! This is NO surprise as she consistently gets 100 for all her spelling tests she brings home!
The school doesn't inform the parents ahead of time for what the students will be recognized, so I was completely surprised when they called the names of the high honor roll students and Drew's name was among them!! (Luci will have to wait until 3rd grade before she becomes eligible to earn honor roll!) I know she is smart, but in 1st and 2nd grade she really struggled with math and reading. The school even put her in extra help classes for both subjects. When I'd help her with homework, it was very frustrating as she just didn't seem like she was grasping concepts or comprehending what she read. I figured we'd have academic struggles with her throughout school. But this year, something seems to have clicked in her brain! On her last report card, she achieved the honor roll...and now she's on the high honor roll! I am proud, pleased and happy as can be to know she is doing so well in school! Here she is standing next to her friend Makayla as they call all the names.
My workout partner, camping buddy and good friend Sue is a teacher at the school, but she had a doctor's appointment out of town today to which her husband, Scott, drove her. So neither of them could make it to the assembly to see their son, Jeb, win FOUR awards!!! So, I happily snapped a bunch of pictures for them!
Here's Drew posing with her spelling award and red math bracelet.
And Luci posing with her creative writing award and yellow bracelet!

Fate and Karma have blessed me beyond measure with my 2 girls...not only are they beautiful, but more importantly, they are super-smart little cookies and Dean and I couldn't be more proud of them!!!

Today's Quotes:

Children are apt to live up to what you believe of them. ~Lady Bird Johnson

Listen to the desires of your children. Encourage them and then give them the autonomy to make their own decision. ~Denis Waitley

Success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get. ~Author Unknown