Tuesday, June 29, 2010

E- Kindergarten Graduate

I was kind of glad that it was a low key event. I have heard about Kindergarten graduation ceremonies where the kids get dressed up in gowns and hats and have a full on ceremony. I'm all for marking the major milestones in our lives, but this strikes me as a bit much.

Having said that, it is with a little touch of sadness that I note Finny's growth and moving on to grade one. She has been a great Kindergartener and I will always remember the spunk and determination that she has showed at this age. Finny didn't exactly love school this year but she didn't fight it either. By far her biggest complaint was that there was too often a substitute teacher or else about the trap.....her name for the small playground to which the Kindergarteners were confined during recess.

Every day Finny bounds out of the class, and gives us an aggressive tackle hug. If she didn't weigh so little, she could easily bowl over an unexpecting person.....luckily all who know Finny are usually well braced for impact when greeting the little ball of energy.

Finny has been asked to join the competitive gymnastics program next year after a successful year that just completed. Although I don't imagine her having the genetics to be a really serious gymnast, she is liking it enough now for us to encourage her.

Lucas loved the fact that I am now mobile enough to hobble around the school basketball court....and I do mean hobble....so he decided he wanted to play as well. He didn't really know what to do, but was pretty intense doing it. What he didn't love so much was the mugging he received when he managed to coral the ball on the odd occasion.

E Scavenger 2010

Half car rally, half scavenger hunt, all fun. At least for me it was. As the organizer, I got to sit back and watch all the others do silly stuff.....ask stranger's for golf balls or rides in their boat, scarf down American chocolate bars, freeze their butts off swimming in the ocean. There were27 items on the list for teams to do for points and just under two hours to do it in.

I had dinner mostly ready (why does the propane tank always run out when there is a big crowd waiting to eat?) for the teams upon completion of the hunt, followed by ice cream on the beach.

Shannon, Jason, Della and Miller stayed the night with us. The kids trampolined until late while the adults stayed close to the bonfire for warmth. It was a great day all around, even though we lost a couple of sweaters when the fire exploded, sending ambers onto all of our laps.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tummies full...

Feeding frenzy

We went to Scoop tonight for a frozen yogurt dessert before bed. Since
it is one of the first nice evenings we've had this summer, it seemed
like a good idea to go down to Kits beach to enjoy the sunset. I told
the kids that they couldn't have any yogurt until we got to the beach.
We stopped the car, they sprinted across the park brandishing their
plastic spoons like swords ready for battle.

The feeding frenzy that followed was a spectacle. I suspect I could
have put thirty maggots at the bottom and they wouldn't have noticed.
They were too busy and focused on consuming volume to observe content.
It was as though I had thrown fresh tuna steaks into a baracuda pond...

Ten second dessert.

E- The Princess and the Frog

Les and I have been pretty fortunate to have lived in a lot of good places and feel like we really got to know a number of different towns and cities in Germany, Austria , France and Ireland. Although we really liked a lot of the places we lived and would be happy to go back, there is nowhere we would rather raise a family than here in False Creek. A big part of this is the community made up of the parents and students at our local school.

It's a great sized school, where it is possible to get to know almost all of the staff and students and a lot of their families. There is lots of parent involvement, a really good bunch of kids......and just about the nicest location for a school imaginable, which means a lot of parents and kids hang out for hours at the end of the day in nice weather. This hanging out by the water is probably a big part of what makes this a special tight knit community.

Today we had our end of the year picnic where families ate dinner and brought potluck desserts to the school field. Afterwards, Fred, Avi and I set up a popcorn machine, projector and speakers in the gym and played "The Princess and the Frog" for our schools inaugural movie night. The event was great, with a couple of hundred people out to for the picnic and movie and to show there support for the mother of one of our students who has been living with MS.

Heather is one of the first Canadians to have undergone the new "liberation" procedure which is giving hope to millions of MS patients world wide. Although she had to travel to Germany and pay thousands of dollars of her own money to receive treatment, Heather is ecstatic with the results. Heather spoke at the movie about MS and about how this new treatment has been able to greatly help her get back many of the things that have been taken from her life in the last few years. It was great to have Heather share this experience with us and to have the community at our school, in turn, show our support for her.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

E-Teddy Bear Picnic

It's that time of year where we seem to go from one ending to another. Today's was for Lucas' final day of preschool, and the party was a Teddy Bear picnic at Quilchena park. As yo can see, Lucas really likes his teacher and is happy to be going back to her class next year as well.

After the picnic we met my Dad at the beach and where the kids played in the sand. For the second time in five days, Molly's best friend Maya was at the beach with us. Like the time before, our kids buried Maya in the sand. Although I think Maya's parents like her hanging out with us, I am not so sure they like having the amount of sand Maya's hair, body and clothes no doubt drag into their home upon her return from the beach with the Butlers.

Lucas was eventually overwhelmed by the excitement of the day and settled down for a nap on the beach.

Monday, June 21, 2010

E- Goodbye Five

I can say with a lot of confidence that no one loves having a birthday quite like Finny. She spends half the year looking forward to, counting down to, and dreaming of her birthday. It's therefore no small feat to plan a birthday party for her.

This year Finny invited her whole Kindergarten class, and a number of siblings to the Granville Island water park, meaning we had 25 kids to feed and entertain for a couple of hours. Luckily, the park is great and the mother nature cooperated with some warm sunshine, making our job a lot easier.......we sure weren't going to be able to go back to our place if the weather was no good.

Finny had a two toonie party, where each kid gives four dollars instead of a present. The birthday girl then gets to buy herself a gift with one half and gives the other half to charity. This worked out great as parents weren't sent scrambling to find gifts, Finny got a nice Playmobile farm and also get to research and donate to her favorite charity.

The water slides and pinata were the biggest hits, but the cake was of course equally important to the party. Without the help of Finny's grandmother Judy, it would never have happened. In the chaos of unloading our van, the cake was temporarily left unattended, and a homeless man took advantage of our lapse by snatching himself dinner....and I guess dessert.....for the next week! A white sheet cake large enough to feed 30 people went into one homeless man's gut, while our Finny had to digest the fact that she might not have a cake. Thankfully Judy made an emergency trip to Safeway and probably saved her granddaughter from a life time of hatred towards the under housed.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

E- Mayne

What a glorious day! Sandwiched between many soggy days that have defined this Spring, we managed to get a beautiful, calm, warm day to head out on our first real boating adventure. Bryan, Les, the kids and I left Point Roberts at noon and got to Miner's Bay on Mayne island just under 2 hours later. The trip was slow and uneventful, which is exactly what we hope all trips on the Albin will be.

Nobody was sea sick and the kids said they loved being out on the water. Molly particularly liked all the seals and dolphins we saw. My personal highlight was having beers on the sunny patio with the ferries coming and going and seaplanes delivering people to the small island. We had a picnic dinner in the park before heading home. We arrived with a tired crew of kids just as the sun setting.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Molly was a great companion and I feel really lucky to have gotten to spend this one on one time with her. Ed and Kay hosted us with fresh squeezed orange juice, swims in the back yard, cake baking and rides in Ed's Corvair.

Molly showed lots of patience looking at homes and being dragged to notaries, banks and the recorders office. With temperatures over 100 every afternoon, we decided go to the air conditioned theater to watch Shrek 4th.