Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Birthdays and Toques

Ahhh.....this one is for Grandma and Grandpa --- Tyler loves his new toque!

Just by way of explanation....Tyler loves to wear toques....even in the summer. Usually when he gets a haircut, the toque goes on until his hair grows out a bit. Anyway, Grandpa likes to tease Tyler about wearing toques and Tyler wears toques all the more just to bug Grandpa. They have fun going back and forth. Tyler has 5 toques in his 'collection' and when Grandpa was here in the summer, Tyler put all five of them on all at the same time. Grandpa and Grandma bought him this whale-tail toque (made here in NL) while they were here and told me to put it away for his birthday.

So now Tyler has yet another toque for his collection.

We took Tyler out for lunch on Monday, then back home for presents and cake.

All in all I think he had a great day.

Monday, August 25, 2008

More Day .... (Click Pics to Enlarge)

("More Day" is what Tyler used to say when he was a little guy. It meant he was very tired and didn't want it to be over .....thus "More Day")

Swimming in the ocean...Brrrr....

A not-so-happy Jake

Looking down on the 'Warm Pools'

Looking upstream at the fresh water feed

In the water fall

Looking down the beach

Can you see Larry?

How about Larry and Brittney?

Can you see Tyler?

Tyler's in this one too...

The beach

For part of Tyler's birthday, we decided to head up to Northern Bay Sands for the day. We'd heard many good things about the park and had been trying to get there all summer. Between the crummy weather and being sick, we never made it there. We decided it would be a good thing to do for his birthday.

We headed up in fairly good time. It's about a two hour drive and we wanted to arrive in good time. We try to use things at off times in order to beat the crowds. When we got there, the park was almost empty. Tyler and Brittney hit the water immediately and Jake immediately became concerned. He was afraid they'd be sucked up by the ocean.....a fear he unfortunately had for the rest of the day. Larry quickly joined the two older kids in the water. They spent their time between the "warm pool" and the cold ocean. Larry and Brittney tended to stay in the warm pools and Tyler spent about half of time braving the cold ocean.

Seeing as Jake was so scared, I stayed with him on shore. He intently watched Tyler, Brittney and Larry....the whole time...and I mean the whole time. He also engaged me in watching them.....just to make sure none of them got sucked up by the ocean. He was constantly on patrol and if we lost sight of them for a moment....panic really set in. Finally he said to me, "Well, here's the thing. I have a good life. I really like my life. I want to continue on in my good life but I won't be able to if all my relatives are dead."
No amount of reassuring from me seemed to calm him down (he even asked me what I would do should they get sucked out into the ocean. He seemed a little surprised and a whole lot relieved when I said I'd go after them).

It was a great day though and they had a great time swimming. Tyler and Brittney noticed quite a difference between swimming in salt water and the fresh water they're used of. When they'd had enough, out they came to dry off. Jake was glad to have them all safe and sound out of the water. By this time the beach was full. Before heading home, we stopped at the park's little take out place for some Newfoundland cod fish and chips. Mmmmm....we weren't disappointed.

Everyone slept well last night......some of them slept on the way home.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Where has all the time gone???

From this......
(Tyler at two months....click to enlarge)

To this....
(Tyler at about 18 months...)

To this....
(Tyler at 16)

And....it all happened overnight (or so it seems). His birthday celebration is over a two day period....I'll post some pictures (of both days) tomorrow.

Happy Birthday, Tyler! (August 25)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I've been tagged!

I have been tagged by Linda over at Remote Treechanger. Linda lives in Australia and is a reader here.

This is what I have to do:

1. List (at least) five things to do for free in your city or town, not just well publicized touristy things, but things YOU might do too!

2. Write it with a visitor in mind.

3. Tag three people* - extra fun if they live somewhere you'd like to know better or

4. If you're anonymous/coy about where you live, choose another town or city that you know.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Hmmm...this is a tough one as there are so many things here in NL to see. This list is probably only the tip of the iceberg (pun intended lol). We are still finding our way around here and seem to find new and interesting things almost daily.

That said, I think five choices I would make are:

1) The natural beauty of the area. There is lots of it, everywhere you look and it's free! Take for example the picture at the top of this blog....that is taken from our back yard. These types of scenes are available all throughout Newfoundland. Click on "Newfoundland Scenery" on the right side bar to see more.

2) The Icebergs (click on label "Icebergs" on the right side bar to see some). Nature's travelling art show indeed!

3) The Whales. What a show they put on....swimming and playing the way they do.

4) Cape Spear would be a choice. As the most easterly point in North America, definitely a must see.

5) Gros Morne National Park (Click here to see a slide show of pictures -- there are several to see but take a few seconds to start) . I'm pretty sure there is a charge to enjoy this park but well worth it.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sooo....who's next?

I'm not going to tag anybody specifically as there are so many areas I'd like to see/learn about.

If you're so inclined to play....I'd love to learn more about your area!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

All is not equal

between the laws governing homeschooling policies and procedures between the provinces in Canada.

Most of our homeschooling has happened in the province of Ontario. I think we were somewhat spoiled by homeschooling there. While nothing was offered, nothing was expected. In other words.....while there was no funding extended to homeschoolers, no reporting or monitoring had to be given in return.

Tyler and Brittney both attended public school in Ontario. Tyler finished grade four Brittney, grade two. When we decided to homeschool, a letter stating our intent (along with each child's name and birthdate) was the only requirement. We hand delivered one to the principal of the school and sent a copy to the school board.

A couple of weeks later, we received a reply letter from the school board. They thanked us for letting them know and provided us with a couple of phone numbers should we wish to have our children take part in the provincial standardized testing (we didn't.....that's one reason we decided to homeschool....but that's a whole different post).

End of story. We had no further communication with the school or the board for the five years we continued to homeschooled there. No reporting, no monitoring, no testing. That suited us just fine....even though they did not extend us any funding either.

Homeschooling here in Newfoundland seems to be a lot different. Upon our first visit here, we were quite surprised by the requirements and stories relayed by other homeschoolers. Reporting and monitoring seems to be common procedure. I feel being so new here, we don't really have the right or the knowledge to properly comment on the laws and/or requirements. We are still learning as we go along.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

More Newfoundland Hospitality

Larry and I went for a walk Thursday night. We quite often walk after dark but because the weather guy was calling for a huge rain storm (60 mm) we thought it best to go before the rain started.

As we walked down the main road, a couple were out on their front deck. We spoke as we walked by, stopping across the road from their place to admire the view of the ocean. After a few minutes, we headed back and as we did, they started to speak to us.

"You're welcome to come up here on our deck and see the view from here", offered the man. So...up we went.

We admired the view.

They offered us some drinks.

They brought out some pictures of this year's bumper crop of icebergs.

They showed us some pictures of their family. Some live out west, some in the States and some in Pouch Cove.

They told us the history of some of the houses.

They showed us some woodworking they had done, planters and such. This was followed by a tour of his shop and of some of the items he is working on. After the tour of his shop, he gave us one of his latest creations (a toilet roll holder). It wasn't finished yet....so he gave us some sand paper to finish it, a sponge brush to put the varathane on with as well as a brief lesson on how to finish it.

We left there feeling like they've been life-long friends.

Once again, Newfoundland hospitality in action. It never ceases to amaze us.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It's Official...We're Newfoundlanders!!

Well.....sorta official.

Yesterday we spent the day switching our Ontario Licence plates and drivers' licences for Newfoundland ones. Sooo...I guess that makes us official Newfoundlanders now ---- right?

I know, I know.....I can hear you all now, one is not 'officially' a Newfoundlander unless they were either born here or...for the 'Come-From-Aways' until they've kissed the cod or been screeched in.....but really....I can't see either of those happening to us in the near future (or even distant future)...so for now....this is as close as we're going to get.

( the following explanation of being 'screeched in' and 'kissing the cod' was copied and pasted from here)

"the "Screech-in"- The most famous of newcomer traditions, mainlanders and visitors to the isle must drink a shot or glass of Screech (a brand of Jamaican Rum famous to Newfoundland). Take this all in good humour, but don't be surprised if you don't like the taste; the name has good meaning.

Kissing the Cod- As well as being "Screeched in", occasionally visitors will be coaxed into "Kissing the Cod". The visitor must kiss a codfish, emblem of the historic fishing industry, after arrival. While this does happen occasionally, it is usually a humorous part of a guided tour or similar event. The use of an actual fish is rare, though, especially since the introduction of the cod moratorium. Kissing a real codfish is discouraged by many, not to mention possibly unhygienic, so an imitation cod, made of wood, plastic, or rubber is used"

Thursday, August 7, 2008

And Still More Visitors.....

(Click pics to enlarge)

And they're off........

Larry's sister, niece and great nephew from the mainland came to visit us.

After not seeing them for a whole year, we really enjoyed their visit! It was a short one but a great one, nonetheless. As with any short visit, the risk of encountering only bad weather is higher. This was the case with this visit. Although it could have been worse (with high humidity or smog or tornado watches and warnings or severe thunderstorms and/or weather warnings that are quite prevalent in the part of Ontario we were from), it was bad enough. Even though it was cooler and cloudy and some drizzle, we managed to show them around our part of 'The Rock'. Things always look better in the sunshine but we still managed to look around a bit.

We visited Cape Spear (the most easterly point in North America)

We visited Middle Cove Beach.

We had 'a feed' of fresh Newfoundland Cod --- 'Fish and Chips'. Mmmmmm soooo good!

We spent an afternoon in St. John's visiting various shops.

We celebrated the three August birthdays.

We spent time chatting, catching up and being entertained by our two year old great nephew (he's so cute!).

The three days seemed to fly by and as quick as our visitors came....they were off again.

And of course....the day after they left....the weather turned nice again....sigh...