Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sunday Morning

After a week of cloudy weather, we woke up Sunday to beautiful blue skies.  
They made a gorgeous backdrop to the hoar-frosty trees.

Concert videos -- I had some to share but our network blocks the video upload feature!! 
....I tried!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas for the Birds

Taken through our kitchen window; a sap-sucker, I think:)  
The beak on this bird is too short for a wood-pecker. There was also a red-headed wood-pecker on a tree but I wasn't quick enough to capture it.
(correction -- this is a female downy woodpecker)

Our yard has been lively with the flittering of chickadees all winter, and more so the last few days.  I guess it helps to have a few different feeding stations set up.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Crafts

Today is our last school day before Christmas.  I spent the morning finishing of things with the kids and doing a last minute practice of our song 'The Huron Carol'.

The picture shows a few of the crafts I did with my k-3 class this year.  The stars, (2 kinds)  were from a German site.   http://www.basteln-gestalten.de/sterne-basteln
One of the stars begins with a triangle and one with a square.  They were manageable for my Grade 1-3s.

The angel was from a little PM guided reading book, 'The Christmas Tree'.  I read it with some students and they showed the other children how to make them.  Cute and pretty straight forward.
The Craft above comes from this website. 
It has the Nativity story told in poem form on one side and the pics to go with it on the other.  The whole thing folds accordion style into a decorated mirror compact.  Of course the kids loved it.  Enough so that it is not being be-gifted by some of them.  They want it for themselves!

Tonight is the school concert.  It promises to be a great affair -- lots of singing which is a highlight to me.  I shall try out my new flip video camera and see if I get anything worth posting.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

We got Snow

It's promising to be a great year for snow!  
We must have gotten more than a foot this last week. 
There's a little guy braving the snowfall in the picture above.  This was on my home from school on Wednesday.
Back to school on Thursday morning.  Someone has been busy clearing the walks!

Some little guy is lucky to walk to school with dad!
And we all are lucky to see the sun rise on our early morning walk to school!  
(School begins at 8:15 for us.)
Every morning I wish I had my camera with me.  The scenes are always spectacular. I have to learn to appreciate the scene without trying to capture it.  
I never seem to get a picture of the awesomeness anyway.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Tis the season

...for making gingerbread houses.  
Great fun for students, these are however a bit of work for me!  I spent till late last evening with a friend cutting and baking the houses.  I tried to make them smaller this year.  That way they would be easier to handle and need less icing and candy to decorate.

There is a great method to easily make houses with graham crackers.  I tried it once and it didn't go well with my students.  Maybe we should give the company a shout out for gingerbread flavored crackers!

  Grateful thanks to a few moms who showed up to lend a hand.
This was a 'sweet' way to end the week.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Austen Stamps

Just for fun!

If you like stamps and ink as much as I do; and you also relish a good Jane Austen novel or movie, then here's a shout-out to you.  A set of stamps themed around...

Jane's Countryside

They can be found here -- http://artisticoutpost.com/jaco.html

Monday, November 22, 2010

Seasons Turn

As my blog title says, these are my spare moments; and as you can see, there have been few lately. 
From the rush of back-to-school, I stepped into learning new technology.  I have spent a lot of my time getting to know the new Smartboard in my class and seeing how others are using it by visiting on-line sites.  
In-servicing on the Smartboard is not that available.  I do have a tech day coming up in December and am really looking forward to it.

Autumn was beautiful this year; lots of hoarfrost and snow waiting until this last week made for a great start to winter.
We always get many fog days this time of year.  When we first moved into the area, we were told by old-timers that the hoarfrost is the reason for not finding beautiful trees in the area.  It weighs down the branches and breaks the weaker ones.  I guess this just comes with the weather; fog creates the hoarfrost.  
And beautiful as it is, it is damaging to the trees.
You can almost feel the heaviness of the air in this picture.  It was such a great walking day.

Chickadees are always around. 
 Though we can't don't always see them; their lively chatter is heard in the shelter-belts around school and home.
The sun warming the world in the morning as I was coming to school.

This week we had our first real snowfall of the year.  Other than a few sprinklings -- it held off.  I was working at school late on Thursday and by the time I walked home, there was a foot of beautiful soft snow piling up.  Needless to stay, soft snow doesn't stay long around here.  By morning it had blown into sharp dirty drifts.

 A weekend snowfall left another few inches of snow smoothing the landscape, and this, I am sure is here to stay.

As you can see, cold weather means hockey lights burning in the evening.  The young guys are preparing the rink, doing maintenance jobs and finally beginning the flooding.  Cold weather doesn't hinder them. 
And the lights make for a nice evening walk.

And of course, snow means we are closer to Christmas. 
 I started making Christmas cards for my mom.  I have a head-start this year, thanks to after Christmas sales last year!
These cards were fun to make, easy because my images are rub-ons (bought on sale). 
 Beautiful paper also makes for less fuss.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Autumn Wood's Ramble

I was visiting with my sister's family at Macgregor last weekend.  Glad we took the time for a walk in the nature trail along the river.  I love the area.  It reminds me of the woods and the river of my childhood.  (now this makes me sound ancient!)

Following are pictures I took along the way.  They are all Blackberry pictures; and with the help of picnik boosted to the gorgeous colours we really got to enjoy!
White Mud River
Ha!  Yes, this pic was boosted, but lovely none-the-less.

 Another view of the river.
 Fallen leaves on the ground.
The groomed path through the woods.  I would have liked to take the path less walked; through the woods, carving my own way.  But I guess this way, everything else is left undisturbed. 
I have been told that this portion of the walk is still native grasslands -- impressive if so!
 And these two pics are originals -- I didn't change the colouring.  The fungi covered logs were so beautiful as is.

Moss covered log -- if it inspires you, then maybe this will also.
I should like to try something of the sort. 

I should like to try something of the sort. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010


I managed to do a bit of crafting last evening.  Wanted to try some new stamps, and since yesterday was world card-making day (bet you didn't know!!) there were challenges everywhere.  Stamp TV had one on creating mini note-cards so I used those dimensions for my cards.  I needed to get thank-you notes done anyway, so it was fun to do them with a challenge.  

I liked working with this size and will definitely use it again.


I have had two full days!  Yesterday was really busy and I accomplished a lot.  I did some fall-cleaning, washed windows, picked late herbs (chickweed and calendula) before it's too late, and did odd-jobs around the house.  

Today we did the Terry Fox run for cancer -- almost 10 km and I am done for!  We had a great day for the run, the weather was great; sun was shining, and the fall scenery was gorgeous.  What a nice way to get out and actually see the area.  Walking with friends and seeing everyone participate adds to the experience.  Enjoy the pics!  (blackberry only)  

We live in pot-hole country as you can see.  The sloughs add variety to our landscape.  

The following area is protected nesting habitat by Ducks Unlimited.  It is not accessible from April to August and after that only on foot.  (as the sign says!)

An abandoned homestead -- what a lovely setting!

We did not get beautiful fall colours this year.  The leaves wilted and fell off on most trees.  The outstanding coloured trees are rare.

There was a tractor and trailer for children and anyone else who wanted a bit of a lift; and a drink and snack offered half-way through was welcome.

What a great way to spend a fine Sunday afternoon!  Have a nice next week!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Elizabeth Gaskell -- author

Click on the above link to join a blog hop on Elizabeth Gaskell, author of North and South, and Wives and Daughters.  Read about her works and life.  Also find links to various resources on the web.

Now if only I had time to spare to really delve into these links.  I should like that -- but no...I have a new SMARTboard to get to know and a visit from the independent school director early next week!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

New Books

New books in the classroom!  I brought them in, put them down, and the kids were there.  They enjoy going through them as much as I like going through the tables at the Rotary book sale in Brandon.  There was a great variety of books this year.

I liked how the two boys were so into the non-fiction book on building bird houses.  Even the girls kept coming closer for a look!  One kindergartener found a spot under the table near the books to browse and 'read'.  The book-loving readers found one they liked and drew back to a quieter place with it.

I used to go through the books and pull out the good read-alouds.  Not anymore.  They now pick and read the books themselves if they see it before I read it to them -- otherwise they will not.  So I get better mileage out of them this way!