Thursday, August 30, 2012

Bliss on the water

One perfect day. One sparkly, sunshine-filled day.

It could be disaster. Put five kids and five adults from three generations on a small boat for an extended period of time. It could be hell. Or heaven.

It was heaven.

We sent the kids out on the air mattress...then shouted after them to ask if they had their Nexus cards, since they were drifted across the border. They panicked. The adults laughed. A good time was had by all (adults).

We tried to catch crab with a funky pull-up trap. We had a small difference of opinion on how to most effectively operate the trap...

This picture is Sheila, my Dad and Lindsay all peering over the side and debating the technique. No consensus was reached. 

And then...because it was a special day of warm sun and great friends...we did the unthinkable (at least for me). We jumped off the roof of the boat as one big group.

Sheila and Lindsay even went in their clothes! Now that is commitment. I couldn't NOT go in when they were so keen.

It was so worth it.

Perfection in one day.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Escape

This picture was just shows Eric running away from our kids. He has in his hands the last of the Birthday Cake Remix from Cold Stone Creamery. The kids are in hot pursuit.

All they got for their effort was an empty container.

Daddy is FAST when ice cream is at stake.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Getting our Berry On

Eric is smiling in this picture, but he isn't smiling on the INSIDE. That's because he is about to use a crazy expensive, rented concrete saw to cut through our driveway. Also, he is hoping that he doesn't burn up so much of the diamond saw blade (which you pay for by the thousandth of an inch) that we just have to sign the house away to the tool rental place in Tsawwassen. Oh, and that it isn't much fun that we have to cut through the driveway in the first replace the water line that is leaking somewhere on our property. 

So what did I do? Take the kids berry picking on Westham Island, of course.

We met Mandy and her girls and Mary and her three kids for Blueberry-palooza. The berries were huge, ripe and plentiful. It was a very good picking day.

Looking at this picture of Molly, you can see that it was also a good EATING day. Nevermind the signs imploring you to sample "one or two berries", no. But to be fair, the girl was like a berry whisperer. All the best berries in our haul came through her two little hands. Her extensive sampling ensured that she knew quality when she saw it.

Finny was also discerning...

Lukey's methodology was a little more crude. At least he couldn't read the sign telling him not to eat the berries.

Look at that!

After the long walk back to the parking lot with their cousins, the kids were all rewarded with ice cream. Frankly, I am surprised my kids had room...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sakinaw Sunshine

It isn't summer without a trip to Sakinaw Lake. 

Eric has been going up every year since Grade Seven and I started in Grade Twelve. That makes for a lot of trips and a lot of memories. And every year, we add a few more. It is remarkable to us that our kids now have their own associations with the Lake and we are grateful that our incredible friends, the Halls, have allowed us to share this special place with the next generation. I am pretty sure that when Jaquie and Jim were forced to tolerate our questionable lake behaviour in the mid-90s, they probably didn't picture having to the same thing for our kids in the next millennium. Lucky us. Maybe not so lucky for them. Nevertheless, they always make us feel welcome.

Each day starts with sunshine on the patio by the cabin, then a mass migration down to the dock when the sun appears there. Finally, a pre-dinner boat cruise. Then food, fire and bed. Repeat.

It just doesn't get any better.

We arrived at the Lake on Tuesday night and the opening ceremony for the Olympics was on Friday. That meant one thing: Lake Olympics, of course.

We got together and formed three teams, one for each kid. The "Hot Diggity Dogs" was Molly's team (with me and Jim). The "Sakniaw Superstars" was headed by Finny (with Kathy and Eric). Lukey was captain of the "Lightning Bolts" (with Steve and Kristina).

We decided on nine events over two days.

First up was basketball. The Lightning Bolts dominated. Lukey hit two of three shots.

Next was darts (which we figured was a bit like archery...okay, not really, but there's a target). Molly scored the best out of everyone, adults included. Gold for the Hot Diggity Dogs.

We made the kids ride three laps on tricycles to simulate a road race.

Lukey took the darts quite seriously. Finny took the tricycling a little TOO seriously. Her intense efforts at speed resulted in her taking a corner too fast around the ping pong table and she fell off the trike and off the course.  A disappointing finish for the Sakinaw Superstars.

This was when the scoring broke down. The judges had a mini-feud. Apparently it isn't easy to devise a sensible scoring system without a bit of debate. Quite a bit.

Next up, Rhythmic Gymnastics. We had to choreograph a routine with our ribbon sticks to the music of our choice.

The routines were...great. No really.

To replicate the Shot Put, we went with baby Ella's diapers for a Diaper Put. We filled them with water (or at least, Kathy TOLD us she filled them with water) and then had to get as far a throw as possible.

Look at the focus and form on Kathy.

Now, down to the water. We had a team canoe race to the island and back. It was VERY competitive, but as usual, it was a Hall event and the Lightning Bolts took gold.

Then a diving competition with two categories: best jump and biggest splash. This is Lukey going for biggest splash. As you can see, he is just too small. It wasn't the Lightning Bolts' best event.

The Sakinaw Superstars were unbeatable on this one. Finny did a front flip off the boat house roof and then this stunner from a great height for best splash. It doesn't seem fair.

As a bit of sideshow entertainment, there was an attempt to get five water skiers up at the same time. It wasn't successful, but luckily it was only a demonstration sport this year. No medals.

Finally, swimming. A relay to the Pledgers' dock and back. It was a tight race, but the Lightning Bolts took it.

After a short break and some score tabulation, the winners were announced. Finny's team took gold overall, Molly's second and Lucas' team won bronze. Look how happy he was.

They all shared the Cup of Goodwill. For every good deed observed over the course of the Games, a ring was placed in the cup to give an extra point for one team.

Lukey's team won for the best sportsmanship and for having the most rings in the Cup.

On our last day, we took a hike to the Skookumchuck Narrows. We went on an extra large tide day and were treated to a great display of white water kayaking.

The walk was fantastic and the water was spectacular. And the kids made it through all eight kilometres with no complaints and lots of fun. Success.

Last stop was a lake to cool off on our way to catch the ferry home.

It was an unbelievable five days in the most wonderful place we know.