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.