Monday, May 24, 2010

A Cold Summer

It's been a while since the last post and I do have reasons for this - the main being that our camera is not working all that well and every picture we take looks gray and grainy (which you may have noticed from previous posts) and so I feel that if I don't have pictures I shouldn't post - but really? I do have words. And since I'm feeling somewhat contemplative I thought I'd use them.

Now I know technically it's not summer yet but usually by May, especially out here on the balmy west coast, we are feeling the heat, or at least our version of heat which, at its nicest, is about a sweet 21 degrees C. Not the rainy and dreary 8-12 we've been experiencing. I think today it actually got up to 17 but let me tell you - it sure didn't feel like it. All that to say -- I'm ready for Summer.

Something happens when the days stretch on into the evening and the kids are outside constantly, the bbq is used daily, and exercise outside becomes fun again and that something would be a complete disregard for schedule.

Which is what has happened in spades at our house this past week.

Which means we now have to cram 5 days of piano practicing into 2, do a spelling blitz over breakfast along with a few times through Zach's reading book (thank goodness they're short and he's memorized them after the first go through), all the while praying that the absence of commitment to homework and such will not negatively effect their long-term educational pursuits or musical endeavors.

It seems that by the end of May I'm really done with it all. Driving to school, packing lunches, getting up early - or at least being presentable before 8:30am - pushing for homework and bedtime schedules to be adhered to, and lets not talk about bathing (no not me - the kids of course!). Who says summer holidays are just for kids. I, for one, will be one very happy mother when school has wound to a close and the empty days of summer are upon us, when my main scheduled job will be watering the flowers by my front door.

Last year I discovered a love for beaching it - thanks to a good friend who stayed here for a few weeks in June and July and spent every day off at the beach with a book and the sun and the water. She encouraged me to try it and I did and I loved it (and so did the kiddos).

Which brings me back to the Cold Summer woes. I've been waiting for a nice hot day to pull out my cooler, beach blanket and new towel bought at the end of last season, blow up the kids water rings and head out to the beach. I've already decided I'm going to do the work of getting lunch and all ready the night before so that we can leave even earlier than usual and beat the crowd for a really good spot. I've planned it in my head, retooled, and planned some more but alas - Cold Summer.

Yes, yes - I know it's only May - but dreams are good for the soul - No? And this one is keeping me going. Well this and the two week trip to Newfoundland (Cold Summer Expected) with the family.

What are you wishing for most this summer?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

More Olympic Fun

We took the kids downtown on Friday along with thousands of other people!

We parked at a skytrain station and took the skytrain in, which was exciting in itself for the kids.

Here is the flame before they put the Plexiglas up but after they had moved the fence forward and opened it up a bit so you could put your camera through.

As you can see it was a gorgeous day. Sunny and warm and very fun. The crowds were huge but so friendly and kind. No one cared if you jostled them or if they had to wait in line.

The flame was really huge and gorgeous but it sure smelled like gas!

This is by the art gallery on the other side of it is Robson square where you can skate and do the zip line. We didn't skate or do anything that would have caused us to wait in line for 4 hours.

Please note the flowering cherries in the background. Yes they are real. Many of the flowers in the flower boxes were planted for this event but those trees think its spring already!

The clock in the background is counting down to the Par-Olympics.

We also went across the bay on the sea bus to Lonsdale Quay for lunch - yummy. While we were there we saw this big ship in the distance so we went to check it out. It was a Russian ship, fully functional and manned with real sailors. It was a blast. I think a highlight for the kids and for Sam!

Here Sam wanted in on the smoke huddle.

There were a ton of people on here just walking around. The best part of it was it was free! Sam even walked into their laundry room by accident and all the sailors were ironing their clothes and stuff.

It was so fun to be downtown for this once in a lifetime event.

I've been watching everything I can of the Olympics. There's something fun about watching everything live in our own time zone. But I have to say I'll be glad when it's over so we can eat supper again around the dining room table instead of in front of the tv. Looks like tonight is another tv night as Canada takes on Russia at 4:30 our time!

In the next few days I'll post some pics of Ana's first piano recital (and video). She did amazing.

Olympic Fun

The kids school celebrated the opening of the Olympics but having a torch run. Each class chose one child to run with the torch before they "lit" the flame. Ana got to run for her class so I went to the assembly to watch her run with the torch. It was really fun. Here are a few pics of Ana running with her torch.

Looking at these pictures and those from Zach's birthday - I realize I take terrible pictures. They look washed out, grainy and boring. I need to work on that!!

Birthday Time

It was Zachary's 6th birthday this January. They're a bit late but here are a few pics from the party. I didn't show the other kids - some parents don't want their kids faces splashed all over the internet!

Early morning present time!

He had a small party with a few friends from school. They played soccer outside with Sam and then came in for some snacks and cupcakes - all in all pretty low key.

It's hard to believe that Zach is 6 already. He's growing like crazy and often has very great, intelligent things to say. He's always asking questions about how things work and gets frustrated with me if I don't know. Often I'll tell him to just wait for Dad and ask him when he gets home!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Holidays are Over

Yesterday we got right back into real life. I set my alarm for 6:30 and pressed snooze for 45 minutes. When I finally made it out of bed I realized I was the first one up - What? At the very end of holidays the kids decide to SLEEP IN! What about last week, or the week before. What about New Years Day when they were up at 6AM.

One good thing - I got to have my wake up coffee in peace and quiet before I roused them to get ready for school.

Ah school. I love school. I love driving the kiddos there and dropping them off and skedaddling away for a whole 2.5 hours of freedom. But I have to say that I also love picking them up and hearing about their day, making them a snack and then listening to the shenanigans as they burn off some energy. Right now I'm listening to said shenanigans in fact - from the quietness of my study - with the door tightly closed ;)

Anyway. We had some great holidays. Sam had the whole week off between Christmas and New Years and we did pretty much nothing but relax and eat. We completed a whole puzzle over the break (Zach loved it even though it said ages 12 to adult and Ana dejectedly declared that she was "so terrible at puzzles" as she fiddled with a piece or two, tried them twice and promptly gave up), we had lots of yummy food and read books, watched tv (the dog whisperer is Ana's new favourite show and what do you know - on boxing day (or one of those days) it was on for about 6 hours straight! And of course played the Wii which was the main present of the year. It's a load of fun but after Christmas Day was over Zach had to take a whole three days off to rest his very sore arm muscles from the boxing matches. Both the kids were groaning in pain after hours of boxing fun.

Here are a few pics (in no particular order) from Christmas. And it seems that Sam must have been taking all the pictures since there are none of him.

There was some great excitement when Ana opened up Geronimo and especially the brand new Thea Stilton books!

The top one is the kids bright and early on Christmas morning waiting to open their stockings.
Next is opening presents by the light of our fire (or rather the fire channel complete with the sound of crackling logs)
Me and Ana on Christmas Eve after church in front of our puzzle and Ana and Zach before we started to eat all the great food.

Happy New Year!