Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas in Canada

We are spending Christmas at my grand uncle's house in Ottawa, the capital of Canada. Our arrival was pretty late due to the traffic jam in Quebec, Montreal and Ottawa. Before arriving in Ottawa we stayed two nights in Toronto and one night in Mont-St-Anne, in Quebec.
Just after we arrived, we watched Cars 2 on a humongous screen in the basement.

Next day we went for a snowy walk in a beautiful forest nearby. We walked on a straight path that used to be a railroad and now is a perfect place for walking with a dog or cross country skiing. 

After coming back home, Jas and I decided to stay warm in the house with our grand aunt while Mom and Dad went to Ottawa city with uncle. We ended up playing Monopoly for 6 hours (with some new rules of course).

On the day of Christmas Eve Dad took us to the Museum of Civilization. It is a great museum with a very cool architecture. In the museum we went to see the Canada Hall and an exhibit about Arctic explorations. Everything was made to look like real, both Jas and I enjoyed it very much.

In the evening we had a traditional Christams Eve dinner. For the first time I met my Mom's cousin, Bartek, his girlfriend, Lisanne and son Max who is just 3.5 years old. Aunt Mira made lots of delicious Polish Christmas dishes. After eating a bit it was time to open presents. Both Jas and I revceived some clothes, books and some Canadian souvenirs. I've already finished reading the books :-)

On the Christmas day we went for a Mass to the Notre Dame Cathedral. The church was very big but it was packed, there were so many people. After getting back home Jas and I went sledding on a tiny hill behind the house - it was fun!

Boxing Day, that's how second day of Christamas is called, we went shopping and it was NOT a good idea. Because of the sales everybody else went shopping too - there were so many people everywhere that it was even hard to find a parking space.
In the evening more guests came over to Aunt and Uncle's place. Jas and I hid in the basement to watch movies. We watched "Hoodwinked" and "Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil"

And that was our Christmas in Ottawa!

by Zosia C-W

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Someone is in Vogue

A few years have passed since Zosia first appeared in the fashion magazine Vogue (Taiwanese edition). Back then she was just a little, not even 8 year-old, girl. But she still looked beautiful and even ... mature. Just judge for yourself:

A few months ago she was asked again to model for Joy, a great make-up artist, whom we have known since Zosia was a little girl. This time he created a completely different look for our 14 year-old beauty:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

More about our trip to Taidong

Most of the third day of your trip to Taidong we've spent at the National Museum of Prehistory. It's a really BIG and ... empty place. Kids enjoyed it a lot and were a bit disappointed that we couldn't see all the exhibitions - it was simply too much for one day.

Beside the exhibitions on prehistorical Taiwan and indigenous people of Taiwan there was also an exhibit entitled "Form, Color, Pattern, Texture" 形、色、紋、質:臺灣原住民生活美學的微觀之旅 showing works of different contemporary aborigine designs. Another exhibit was about the problem of  carbon emission in Taiwan and what needs to be done to lower it 低碳臺灣‧高瞻未來─你能‧我也能.
Kids enjoyed the most Peinan Cultural Park 卑南文化公園, which is a much smaller archeological museum with lots of hands on activities for children.

Not really part of the exbibition :-)

Following day we started with a visit to another homeschooling family. There are 5 kids in the family, the parents are hardworking farming people who are doing a wonderful job teaching their own kids. I really admire them.

The bow was hand made by the dad.

After a boring drive up highway no.9 we got to Hualian where we stayed at the same B&B as on the way down. We only changed the rooms.

For dinner we met with another homeschooling family. Right now there are so many people homeschooling that no matter where we go we can find someone not sending their kids to school :-)

Last day of our trip was also the day of Jas' 9th birthday. Originally we planned to get to Ilan in the early afternoon to celebrate his birthday with some friends, but ... things didn't work out as planned. Due to the very wet weather over the last few weeks, the road conditions between Hualian and Ilan got very dangerous. The rock and earth slides made the coastal road impossible to drive on. On the day we were driving back to Taipei the road was open only for 2 hours at a time, three times a day. And, of course, we ended up waiting for the road to open for over 4 hours. Jas has spent his birthday waiting in the car ...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Trip down south (day 2)

After some homework over a delicious breakfast it was time to continue our journey down the coast.

The after-breakfast fruit platter

Rain, rain, rain - that was the weather throughout our drive on coastal 'highway' no.11. On the way we stopped at Joki , an impressive art gallery/restaurant. The wood carving were really amazing.

After lunch we kept on driving and driving. The rain has stopped right in time for us to take a walk in Little Yehliu 小野柳 near Taitung 台東. We had wonderful time walking on the rocks, taking pictures and watching the waves crashing on the rocky shore.

We arrived in Taidung and after checking out the Naruwan Hotel 娜路彎大酒店we drove down to  the Green House 卑南休閒農場綠茵小筑民宿. Of course the kids wanted to stay at the 'real hotel' with swimming pool, spa, play area, restaurants, but we decided on a cheaper and more simple place - the Green House was just right for us.

Too bad the weather was wet, we could not make much use of the beautiful green lawn infront of the house. Btw, it is a great place to organise a homeschooling group off-site.
In the evening we met with some friends who showed us where to have the best burger in town.

The burger kids loved!


 We also visited a Children's House 阿尼色弗兒童之家 in Taitung where our American friends work. It's amazing what a wonderful work they do to help all those kids in need, those who don't have their own safe place to call home.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Food Groups

I was learning from the "Usborne Internet-linked First Encyclopedia of Human Body" about eating healthy food. I also learned on the Internet about food groups and healthy foods.
My mom told me that I could make a poster about different food groups. Here it is:

I also made a small booklet about food groups and wrote some worksheets from Enchanted Learning website:

(by Jas)