Friday, 31 May 2013

Britannia Mine Museum

This week we made our much anticipated trek to the Britannia Mine Museum.  In its seventy-year life (1904-1974), the Britannia Mine had a fascinating history. With over 60,000 people living and working here, it was the site of the making of many exciting stories! There was pioneering work on ore extraction technologies and the peak production rates made it the then biggest copper mine in the British Commonwealth.
Heading underground via train into the first tunnel of a network of over 270 km of tunnels.
Inside we hung onto our hardhats and had a brief taste of what a miner would experience.  A miner would make $3/day (excellent pay for the time) but, in exchange, he spent his workday in darkness surrounded by horrendous noise and dirt (the "gun" in the bottom left corner, used to drill into the walls of the tunnels was nicknamed "the widow-maker" due to the excessive pollutants and noise it produced).

Dubbed the "honey cart" this contraption was pushed around by the "new guy" in order to familiarize him with navigating the extensive tunnel system in the dark.  Unfortunately everyone knew when he was coming because he was pushing the portable bathroom! This was one time that the darkness came in handy - it afforded privacy to the user.
Our guide blasted the bell once after we exited the tunnel signalling the end of our shift (3 blasts still indicate an emergency).
We then took a quick look in the building that housed all of the core samples - racks and racks of them.
The next building was an amazing one - complete with a staircase consisting of over 300 stairs.  This was were the minerals were separated from the muck.
We ended our visit by panning for gold and other gemstones. 
What a fun day!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Water Lilies Inspired by Monet

With Mrs. Giesbrecht to guide them, the kids created tissue paper works of art inspired by Monet's Water Lilies.

Bon Appétit!

To complete her french course this year Bekah dove into the world of french cuisine and choose some delicious recipes to try out on us.
She prepared a carrot vinaigrette salad, followed by a lamb/potato/leek main course accompanied by sauteed beans and ended the meal with delectable chocolate truffles. 
Bon Appétit!

Salmon Rescue

As part of our science co-op the kids participated in Trinity Western's "Science in the Valley" day workshop on salmon.  Throughout the day they learnt about the life cycle of salmon, the human impact on the species and what we can do to help encourage their survival.
Later on that week it was then very exciting to rescue and relocate some baby salmon from the stream on our property which was drying up for the season.  Team Stokes and Giesbrecht in action!

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Hummingbird Feeder

We keep forgetting to buy a feeder for the gorgeous hummingbirds visiting us lately so my creative men (Matt and his dad) made one tonight.  I think we might have some visitors tomorrow!

Survival Birthday Party

We finally celebrated Matthew's ninth birthday with the promised outdoor survival party.  We started the adventure with a treasure hunt (using compasses and clues the teams had to locate different spots and were rewarded with a treasure to share at the end of the hunt).
The teams also went on a scavenger hunt, taking pictures of required items on their lists (sometimes the teams used some creativity in locating the items like the "butterfly" below!).
The kids used their treasure (tickets) to purchase items ("snakes", "whistles", "forest berries", "sticks", and "fish bait") from the tuck shop.  This turned out to be a very cool way to experience budgeting (it took some of them a long time to decide how to spend their 25 tickets).
Paul showed the kids how to build a real fire and then Matthew shared a more delicious kind of campfire with everyone. 
Matt is already planning next year's adventure!

Soccer Trip

We had the privilege of joining Sarah's soccer team, the Little Hornets, on an outing to a Seniors' Home in Langley this weekend.
The girls enjoyed playing some one on one with team mates and the residents (thankfully nothing got broken!).  
Sarah's light up shoes were a real hit with everyone :-)
The girls (and Matthew and Bekah) then coloured some
pictures and presented them to the residents.
We finished the fun afternoon with rootbeer floats and a team meeting.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Dance Recital

Dancing buddies!  The kids all participated in the Dance Barn's semi-annual dance recital this month.  Bekah danced her first highland dance routine and Sarah danced with her intro to dance troupe.  Matt also performed a break dance routine but for some reason there is no photographic evidence!