Thursday, February 17, 2011


Every month AIS focuses on one character trait and one grade level puts on an assembly.  Before Christmas Emily's class was in charge of "kindness" and they had a Kindness Carnival for the younger grades with games, face painting, etc.  This month was Marcy's turn and they made a "responsibility" video.  Marcy is featured in "What would you do? #3"  Check out the video:

Monday, February 14, 2011

Character Day

It's Literacy Month at AIS so last Friday we had Character dress-up day.  Being that I work in the library I decided it was especially important that we take this day seriously.  So, the girls dressed up, I dressed up, and I got the other two library staff to dress up.  (Not many other teachers came in costume and most not nearly as elaborate as ours and most took them off - but, hey, we're librarians!!)

Emily went through many costume ideas:  Anne of Green Gables (we had an apron but no dress or appropriate hat), Baby Mouse (would require too much explanation), and finally Julie, the American Girl.  Julie won when I pulled a shirt out of the closet that looks just like hers.  Marcy also could not decide.  She wanted to be Kit, the American Girl but we didn't really have the right clothes.  I told her to be Amelia Bedelia but she didn't like that (so I decided to go as her.)  Finally, she decided on Junie B. Jones - not her favorite character but easy to dress like.  Olivia went with her friends as some vampyre from the House of Night series (spelling from the book, not my mis-spelling.)  We called her Goth Girl because she dressed in all black and refused to have her photo taken.  (I have since banned her from reading the books after I read reviews that they used inappropriate language and had sexual content.  I have to start pre-reading like I did for Madeline but I sure hate vampire books.) are the photos:

Emily (aka Julie) and Marcy (aka Junie B.)

Marcy and friends and Marcy leading the character parade

Emily and friends

Junie B and Amelia Bedelia

Library Staff: Cowgirl Kate, Amelia Bedelia, and Rapunzel

Friday, February 11, 2011

Snow Tubing

Way back in Nov 2009 we went tubing at Norquay.  It was a great time so when a friend here told us about a tubing hill at a resort close to Almaty I figured we should go.  Turned out a big group from Chevron got together and we went with 8 adults (plus 1 adult bodyguard) and 6 children.  The tubing was a Ak-Bulak which is a small ski hill about 1 1/2 hours from Almaty.  Not quite the same as Norquay but equally fun.  Frank even brought along skiis and tried out the hill for a few runs (you can buy a pass here for a certain number of runs!)  Here's some photos of the tubing fun:

I say we will go again but I said that about Norquay as well and we never made it back.  I hear they have a great tubing park in Salt Lake City - maybe we'll just keep trying new ones.

Flat Stacys (and the Mounts) visit Astana

Recently, Kayla Stacy, Jenna Stacy, Georgia Stacy and Graci Staci (what a great name) came to visit us as ambassadors of Marcy's former Girl Guide unit in Calgary.  We knew they wanted to see something geat while they were in Kazakhstan so we took them to the capitol Astana to see the Asian Winter Games.  We got to see Speed Skating, Figure Skating, and Hockey - all exciting and Kazakhstan won gold in all three!  We had a mandatory photo op with the mascot - a snow leopard named Irbi:

It was hard to get photos at the events because ushers kept scoldong us in Russian and we weren't sure why - no photos? no photos with flash? no eating? no drinking? no putting feet on the seat?  Everyone around us was doing all of the above so we were really unsure and just stopped doing it all.  But I did get this photo of the gold medal winning Kazakh men's 1500m speed skater:

The Stacys really enjoyed the games but honestly they didn't realize that going from Calgary to Kazakhstan would not be an improvement in weather.  It was -15C and snowing during our stay in Astana.  They were ready for some heat so we found a great indoor water park at one of the malls.  Here's this funky mall (photo from the internet because my batteries died as usual) and the interior:

The water park was great and just what we and the Stacys needed.  They even had sand on a heated floor so you could bury your feet and pretend you were at the beach.

The girls tried out the hamster ball on water.  The Stacys opted out on that and decided to watch from their spot in the sand.  The hamster ball was very difficult and only Olivia, who went last and learned from the others mistakes, was able to go more than about 3-4 steps.

It was a great time in Astana and we had a great time celebrating with all the Kazakhs.  We bought a Kazakh flag and wore Asian games hats and scarves.  The Stacys even got some commerative gold medals to take home (I think they were for coming from farthest away to experience the games!)

While the weather was cold we did enjoy some North American luxuries while in Astana - TGI Fridays (twice), American-style breakfast buffet, and a nice soft Ramada bed.  The Stacys were happy to get a rest and prepare for the long trip back to Calgary!

Thanks for coming Stacys!!!

Mom/Daughter book club

You'd think being a librarian I'd be pretty into book clubs but truthfully I've only been in two.  One was in Singapore where you pretty much had to be selected to join and by the time I got the nod I attended two meetings and then moved. The other was Online Family book club that I started two Christmases ago as a Christmas gift to mom and sisters.  No meetings - just online discussion with a trip to Palm Springs thrown in for fun!  So, Marcy and I were recently asked to join a mother/daughter book club with friends from school.  We've had one very successful meeting with 3 mom/girl pairs.  We read the book Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze by Alan Silberberg.  The mom who started the club knows the author so this added quite a personal touch that will be hard to beat.  We got an email from the author following our meeting!!  Marcy even found a mistake in the book and he commended her for seeing something that he and the editors missed.

Here are the club members - Marcy, Ruby and Hanna (and moms):

I get to select for Feb so we are reading two Newbery classics - Sarah, Plain and Tall and From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler.  (I had to choose from what was available in the library in multiple copies.)

PS Carla - can you spot the Flat Stacys in the first photo?