Sunday, August 08, 2010

Productivity is the product of???

I have had a busy, busy week, and I'm not sure why. After weeks of lethargy and apathy towards all thing domestic, I suppose that the arrival of August brought with it a big slap of reality and wallop of truth that the summer days are growing few and I need to get my house in order! With that in mind, and after taking all my "good" consignment to the store, I set about pillaging and plundering the dark recesses of our home for all stuff unwanted, forgotten, not needed or simply outgrown. I ended up with a basement full of "stuff," a desire to purge, a hunger for cash and the insanity of thinking a yard sale would solve it all. So today, on the rainiest of weekends we've seen since Canada Day, I set about manifesting my dreams in soggy reality. It went well. I came home with only half the stuff I left with and a pocketful of cash that the kids have pretty much pre-spent. How they see the sale of baby items as their return... well I'm not sure, because to me, the sale of things like a breast pump, baby carriers and potties all speaks of endless nights and days of work for meeeeeeee... but hey - who am I to judge?

My week also consisted of beginning a sewing class, making a batch of pickles, and attending a wedding; not to mention marking a class of English essays. Oh yes, and I also read a novel.

Why can't I be like this all the time?!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summer Adventures Part I

Sorry about the blurry pic. One thing about blogspot is that editing photos once they have been uploaded is an impossibility in terms of placement as well as permanence.

These photos are from a crazy fun weekend wandering the sea-to-sky in a `borrowed` van that we bid for the use of and successfully won at Mia`s preschool`s silent auction in the spring. It was a riot travelling around in the Westfalia; slow, bumpy and way too far away to pass the kids anything from the front seat, but we all loved the novelty of sleeping in it at night. Campsites were at a premium and since we had not pre-booked anything, we ended up in a couple of weird places. The kids were so great about the adventure of it all, and equally thrilled with our odd choices of parking spots. We loved the knowing looks from other camper van owners, the contraptions of the van itself and the knowledge that we could pretty much park it and relax anywhere we wanted. Which we did! Such a joyous weekend of nothing but slow paced moving and swimming was a wonderful break from the everyday and two nights felt like a week.

The weather has been amazing! After the wettest, coldest spring in my short memory, summer hit with full force and we have been sucking up the rays and fun ever since.

After my last post, summer school began and I hunkered down to the job of getting 29 adult students in eleventh grade English whipped into shape in a short six weeks. This is no small undertaking as the classes are long, the weeks are short and the summer breeds ambivalence, slothfulness and exhaustion; the latter being formed from late nights up watching fireworks, drinking wine, sitting on beaches and in my case trying to get kids to sleep when they are too hot too sleep. Ok... you got me; they all apply to me except the fireworks watching. Fireworks bore me. Lol.

Truly, I have a wonderful class of very eager students who are devouring their assigned readings, doing all their homework and even thanking me for my insightful lessons. I am very grateful and slightly humbled (as usual) as I had entered the summer term feeling very burnt out and worried that I couldn`t or wouldn`t give my best to my students this summer. However when students work so hard it really makes me do the same and the resulting relationship is gold. I only have two and a half weeks to go with this set, and I am already lamenting the fact that I will have to say goodbye to this group.

After classes are done for the day (11 am - yay me!) I have the rest of the day to play with the kids. We have been swimming and visiting parks and doing lots of just hanging out. Lucas had a week at Southlands Young Farmer Camp. His week was an amazing experience for all of us. The camp was so relaxed and calm - the farm itself seemed to veil us in a speed reminiscent of un-named illegal narcotics that will have to be edited from this post when the kids are old enough to read it. The effect was delightful on us all as Lucas slipped into a relaxed week of harvesting fruits and veggies, chick holding, baking in the Cobb oven, feeding goats, chasing frogs and dragonflies, planting, pony riding, beekeeping and all sorts of other delightful things I wasn`t privy to. Mia and I hung out at the farm as much as we could and pet the horses as much as they would let us. As she was disappointed that she couldn`t do the camp, she got to have a pony ride mid week. Fantastic fun for all of us including Pillo, who got to sniff all sorts of delightful farm smells and hang out in the doggie paddock.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Canada Day Camping

Celebrating our home and native land in its home and native surroundings. If you look closely you can see that Rob is holding up two fishing lures.

We made it up to Porpoise Bay on the Sunshine Coast this last weekend to do a little camping. Sadly, so did the rain. :( After arriving very late on Wednesday evening (you try putting up a tent in the dark dark night with two sleepy kids who won't share the headlamps!) we awoke to buckets of rain being hurled at our tent. We did not emerge, and after an hour of not emerging, Rob decided he would boot out and buy a shelter. No, not a tarp - that would have required some super seriously soggy tree-climbing. A "shelter." Faaaaaaaannnnncccccyyyy! But it saved the trip!
Here is Lucas far up in a tree. He discovered that he could hide things in the trees and the girls couldn't get them... or me for that matter.

Our first rainy day saw the boys out on a fishing trip and the girls having a lovely long slumber in the damp tent. I desperately wished I had remembered a book, but it was relaxing to do absolutely nothing for a few hours.

On Friday we were joined by Julia and Ava. The glee was felt all around as the kids settled in to tent snuggles, biking and marshmallow roasting. We all enjoyed an awesome dinner of crabs brought back by Rob and Lucas.

Mia consumed a lot of marshmallows.

And by the end of the trip, we finally saw some sunshine and were able to frolic in the ocean and dig at the beach. Ju and I enjoyed a long and leisurely day of chatting and playing with the girls while the boys were out fishing again.

Now it is back to work as I undertake six weeks of summer school. I look forward to the day when I don't need to teach in the summer anymore, but in the meantime I will enjoy the time in class with another pleasant group of students and be home in time to spend the days playing with the kids.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

June was BUSY!!!

We've had some time to hang with adult friends...amazing!

June has been a crazy month of endings; and in many ways beginnings. Back in September when the school year began, I wasn't entirely sure what our year would look like. The big world of elementary school and my baby starting preschool seemed immense. We initially backed off on
activities so as to allow the kids a smooth start, but as the year heated up, the activities piled on. All in all, it has been a super year for all of us. I can't believe how much the kids have grown and how much they have learnt. Lucas has amazed us all with his wit and intelligence. Mia has blossomed into an independent, bold child. It has been amazing to watch and thrilling to imagine what life will bring for them and us as well. We are blessed with happiness, health and security.

The rain has been a bummer...but you wouldn't believe how hard we've played this month anyways. We've camped, biked, danced, swum, beach-combed and played soccer all the way through June. Hooray!
Soccer was not a hit, but Lucas is a fantastic goalie!

Mia, third from the front of the row, danced all year. She changed from a tiny timid watcher to a happy bouncing, singing participator. Yeah Mia!
Lucas said goodbye to kindergarten today and is running towards grade one. From a kid who wasn't so sure he wanted to go to school, he has morphed into a computing, word-sounding-out, school-loving kid with a troupe of great friends to mark the year. We are so proud of him!

And so into summer vacation we go. (For them anyways, Rob and I are still working!) Tomorrow we leave for another camping trip on the Sunshine Coast and a plethora of summer plans are underway with the kids.

Thank you to everyone who has read their way through the ups and downs of our school year. I know the blogging has been sporadic, but such is life right now!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Soooo.... (Graphic in Nature)

Rob bought a pig's head. To cook. The plan; head cheese. Lucas was quite excited...because he likes cheese. Hmmm. I was not so sure that he was going to be thrilled about it.

Rob went online to learn how to prepare the pig's head. Rob got slightly turned off. Decided that instead of shaving its whiskers, burning the remaining hair and de-boning (removing the skull), he would rather skin it and use the skull to make Pozole. (Mexican soup we love.)

Ting skinned pig's head.

Not thrilled right now. I swear the pig opened his eyes when I first dug in, but glad Rob chose (wisely) not to let Lucas take the head to school for show-and-tell.

I'll let you know how the pozole was... if I can eat it. :(

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Today was not all rainbows... far from it in fact. But when a day ends with a walk/bike under a rainbow like this, I think life will be just fine.

Rainbows. Amen.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Folly - As Defined by our Day.

I will arrange my food, yes. But no, I will not eat it.

folly n. , pl. , -lies . A lack of good sense, understanding, or foresight. An act or instance of foolishness: regretted the follies of his youth.

A lack of good sense: Lucas. Why is it that the human brain takes so long to mature? Does it not seem logical that the offspring of each species be born with some intrinsic good sense, rather than acquire it by trial and error?

This is the bike park in Whistler. Grown-up boys were doing amazing things here. The picture does not do it justice, and I could not get a shot of our five year old riding it, because I was too busy running beside him in fear. Lucas persevered for three quarters of an hour. He bailed **BIG** twice. We will return tomorrow. A new bike and better helmet will need to be purchased.

Understanding: Ting and Rob. We are not five-year-old boys, and this has been brazenly apparent today. We do not understand why he is naughty at school. We do not get why he must tease his sister. We certainly cannot figure out why he is good at math. We see no appeal in bubble-gum ice cream. We fall short of understanding the need for a water gun. Why are parents not consistently able to understand their children? To *get* them; feel their emotions, ride the same bike bumps, as it may be. For those we love, why do we have the capacity to shut the door to understanding where they are at? Are we wrong or do we simply lack the sense?

Foresight: Um...yeah, that's us again. Why does it come as a surprise to us that our children are their own people? That they may not be mini-images of us? That Mia may never play field hockey, snowboard or love reading. That Lucas may never love wine, soccer or watching hockey? Ok, it's not a surprise, but we seem to continue to place our own values on their individual choices even though we know better. How hard for them to have such narrow-minded parents, wouldn't you say? Haha...

Folly: a day well spent, even if it meant relearning a few things about ourselves and our kids.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cupcakes, cousins, caterpillars and close-ups.

This May has been fabulous, I'm sure most of you would agree. The weather; divine. My flowers; resplendent. The company; titillating. Hehehehehe... but it has been a good start to the month.

This last sunny weekend saw us gardening up a storm and sharing birthday cupcakes with family and friends. The picture above makes me reel with how big the boys have gotten. They look so grown up!

Mia and Lucas have been talking for weeks about it almost being caterpillar season and today we finally found one. It was really interesting for me to see how Mia received the joy of having a busy, fuzzy caterpillar crawl all over her. We've always considered Lucas to be our "bug" guy - and I think sometimes we forget that Mia has been just a bit too young to fully understand the experience. Today, that little caterpillar provided an hour's worth of sheer joy as the kids took turns having him explore them. When this afternoon's rain storm set in, Lucas was out in the rain building it a home with a roof so that he wouldn't get hurt. Sigh. Thank you caterpillar, for an afternoon well-enjoyed. :)