Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Catch Up

Gold medal hockey game at the Hunter's

Sea of red and white for victory (wait...the only figure in black is...me!)!

Rainbow loom. There's a lot of this action at our house. Finny is like a mini rainbow loom sweat shop!

Cousin time up at Whistler. The kids had a blast and it was so nice to spend time as a big group. 

We even snuck in a tiny bit of a snowshoe


Sweet girls on our car ride home from Whistler. The best company!

Martina Navritolova...or Finny?

That's a minion and a banana, in case you didn't know.

The workshop

My new lights I am IN LOVE with...

Snowy soccer for our boy

It was a lot less fun watching in snow than it was playing in the snow, I think!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

E- Lucas' week for goalie

Yes he did save this one...but didn't manage to stop them all. He probably faced about 45 shots in total and 4 got by him in a 4-2 loss. You can see one of them in this video.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

E- moving along

Wanting our place to look as nice as possible, and with such capable help from John, Les and I have not done much of the work ourselves. However, demolition work is pretty hard to mess up, so we did get involved in this stage. 

Here you can see our lovely old laminate and underlay on its way to the dump...and a tired Les at the end of the day hauling it out to the car. Bryan, on the other hand, still has energy to burn.

Here's the kitchen on the day of cabinet delivery. They used good quality wood...

...and some fancy lasers for installation. 

After painting it was time for our new floors.

We bought most of our appliances from Trail in Delta, who gave us a competitive price on a high end slide-in induction oven and really quiet Bosch dishwasher.  They couldn't even get close to the price of the fridge from a black friday sale over the border, so this unit had some serious travel time before getting to it's final destination.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

E- Split Second Cup

This is now our fourth year of running Split Second Basketball at the Arbutus Club. Over that time we have intentionally focused more on building skills than on playing games. As a result, we have many skilled young players who will be helping their basketball teams all over the city win lots of games in the next few years. 

As our players have grown up and become more skilled, putting them in competitive situations where they can test these skills has become a bigger priority. I decided to create a special evening where they could compete for the Split Second Cup.

We had a good turn out and some great, competitive, close-fought half and full court games. In the end, after about 2 hours of games, we had 1 winning team from each of our 3 different age divisions. 

We had pizza and prizes for all the players and wrapped up around 8pm. Considering this is bedtime for lots of our players, I was happy to see so many come out to UBC for their game against UNBC. Tommy Nixon, who coaches with us on Tuesday nights, scored 32 points.

To let everyone who attended the game play, we ran 2 half court games for our players during half-time of the Birds game.

The kids had fun, the crowd liked it, and the T-Birds won their game. A big win all around.

E- things look worse before they get better

Yes, I'm retro blogging...but who the heck has time to write on a computer in the middle of a renovation? So where was I?
We got our kitchen in the middle of December. We hired some guys from Richmond who have a really nice plywood box with solid maple doors product. We are really happy with the end result but it actually took about a month for them to completely finish things. 
Nice enough guys, with a good product but pretty ridiculus customer service/responsiveness. We've since found out that this is quite typical around here in the construction/reno business...making us feel even more greatful to have John on the job for us. 
We got the same guys to do our bathroom vanities and counters, so that everything matches.
As you can see in our bedroom, the only thing that stayed was the drywall. Even the blinds on the window have since been replaced.

The bathroom was stripped down to just the toilet...which only stayed temporarily as matter of convenience.
Our favourite contractor hard at work sculpting his drop ceiling. (He actually is a sculptor in his spare time...which thanks to us is quite minimal as of late)
It's been decided that the drop looks like a violin...well, half of one anyways. If you look closely you can probably see it.

E- the easier reno

We've had lots of changes in our lives recently...little improvements here and there. This one is entirely due to the efforts of our boating partner Bryan, who researched, arranged and implemented a great improvement to the boat in the form a new canvas.
Bryan has actually been responsible for the energy behind pretty much 100% of the improvements of the boat. He's got the wood shining, the motor purring and now the canvas looking very sharp.
And as a result, a new possiblility has opened up for us...winter boating. Sure the days are shorter, but on calm days like this, it's pretty nice to get out, even in December. It was so warm in fact, that the kids all decided it was T-shirt weather...something you won't find in many other places in Canada on the shortest day of the year!

E- week from hell

E- non-stop

The magical thing about childhood is that almost anything is possible. While 95% of dreams in our kids heads won't come true, we don't know which 5% will...and therefore have to treat them all as real.
This is so often lost in adults, and it's kind of a shame. I love dreaming of a bigger, better future. I don't share it with too many people in my life...but I'm always doing it. Therefore, as a parent, I always encourage my kids to dream big.
Lukey's latest, and most persistent dream to date, is to play goalie. He loves it. He thinks about it constantly. He watches lots of hockey on TV and on-line. He analyses moves, and copies them.
I have to admit that it's not the easiest dream to encourage. Goalie is a very loaded position for many reasons. However, my desire to support Luke far outweighs my reservations, so I just continue to watch him feel out this new identity.
The interesting part is that I have no idea whether it will last. It won't surprise me to find that this is just a passing phase. After all, how many little Canadian boys have dreamed of playing goal for their favourite NHL team? And how many have actually started down that path...very few.
And yet, as the days have turned into months, I can't help feel that Luke's desire is probably more than a simple passing phase. The guy can name far more NHL players than me and he reads old hockey books like a born-again on death row might study the Bible.
It will be interesting to see how this weekend turns out. Lukey is getting to play goal for the second time this year. His first experience was one of his team's only wins on the season. This bouyed his confidence and love of the position.
What happens if/when he gets lit up? Will he still be as enthusiastic or perhaps move on to another dream...one that is more friendly to the wallet and ego of his Dad?
Who knows, only the future will tell. For now I can tell you he is in love. Last Sunday he played centre and defence for his game against Burnaby. Immediately afterwards, he strapped on the pads and played 2 hours of shimmy with a few friends. He must have faced 300 shots, going down and up on every one of them. This is pure sweat!
I had to drag him from the ice. A couple of hours later I returned for my game. He insisted on getting his goalie gear on, warming up with my team, and then sitting on my team's bench. At the end he begged me to take him back to the mini-rink for some more shots.
I couldn't do it, the game had worn me out. I had to placate him with promises of shooting on him in his street hockey gear in the garage...and I did. He beat me. Lukey, you are non-stop.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

E- we're in!

It wasn't horrible but it didn't show too well either. When Les and I bought our first home (to actually live in ourselves) last summer, we pictured a nicer space than the one we were looking at.

How exactly the transformation would come to be was a little less clear. Should we hire a renovation firm, take charge of the work ourselves and sub-contract everything or find a general contractor to head the project for us?

Laminate it hardwood?
Bathtub or create a giant walk-in shower?
Tear down or leave walls?
IKEA or custom kitchen?
Heated floors? What kind of bathroom and kitchen tiles to use?
Remove the popcorn ceiling?
Endless paint colour choices?
Where should we get our appliances from? Induction range?
New blinds?

It's been fun a fun challenge figuring these things out... But I'm glad to be nearing the end.

Our best decision so far has been hiring our contractor and now friend John to head the project. He has made the whole experience 10x far better for us than I could have imagined. He has been leading the project from the beginning while staying responsive to our input where we give it.

John has the skill and expertise to do anything we've asked... with style and a high quality of finish. He has really transformed our home into something nicer than either of us originally pictured.

Our friend Beth has also been a huge help in our quest to get an integrated look that reflects our style...and also is really functional for our family's needs. It's meant so much to have this guidance. Thanks.

Here are some pictures of the home when we bought it. We're not completely finished but have now moved in and are putting the finishing touches on the place. Over the next couple of weeks I'll post pictures of the reno process and the new home to remind us of all the changes we've gone through.