Saturday, 30 January 2010

The Olympic Torch...

A once in a lifetime opportunity. Perhaps. In all likelihood it'll tour Canada again in my lifetime, but not British Columbia. We'll still be paying for "VANCOUVER 2010" (there, I said it, sue me for copywright infringement) for the rest of my lifetime.

Anyway, despite the fact that we didn't vote for the Olympics, the economy is in the toilet, my colleagues are facing job loss, the homeless in Vancouver were paid to leave (to colder climates like here) so as not to be a public embarrassment, libraries are shut down to create places for VIP's to drink and socialize, BC's ban on smoking in public places is being ignored, schools are shut down and commuters are encouraged to plan their holiday time accordinginly, and taxes are going up 7% on July 1st... DESPITE all that... I thought it was important to take my children to see the Olympic Torch pass through our small town. What can I say? Anywhere else and we wholeheartedly embrace the spirit of the Olympics. Here, we whine and whinge as are hit with the sudden, shocking realization of what hosting an event of this magnitude means. So... today we put aside our whining and we did something that not everyone can say they've ever done. We went out to cheer on our country.

Last night I tried to explain the Olympics to our children:

Me: People come from countries all over the world to race against each other to win prizes. We're going to see a parade tomorrow where the Olympic torch is passed from person across Canada until it gets to Vancouver.

Alex: Why?

Me: Because that's how they start the Olympics. Then people will watch the sports and cheer on their country.

Alex: Well, Daddy's the only one that likes to watch sports, so why do we have to go see the torch?

Me: Umm... well, because you might not get a chance to ever see it again. It doesn't come to Canada very often.

Alex: When was the last time it was here?

Me: When I was 11.

Alex: WOW! That was a long, long, long, long time ago!

Thanks kid!

Kirstin was up all night, sick (so I was too). Here's her after I woke her up, changed her, and set her on the couch to go get her brother ready.

My family, waiting for the flame to pass by. We stood in front of 7-eleven and had an amazing view.

Then a family photo with me. Don't I look enthusiastic! :P Cory only took one shot, so I couldn't pick and choose from the most flattering poses.

The convoy of trucks accompanying the flame.

Just in case we riot? In Vanderhoof? Umm... sure... :)

The parade gets to us...

Can anyone say "Corporate sponsor?"

Turns out the torchbearer was waiting for the flame right across the street from us. We picked a GREAT corner to stand on.

There's more to winter sports than just hockey, you know...

Okay, that family's pretty cool! We just waved our free Coca-Cola flags.

How does a crazy little Japanimation character get chosen as a mascot for B.C.?

Here it comes. Not sure why, but this runner was WALKING. Next time I'm going to apply to be a "runner". I could totally have done that! :)

And, the hand off! At this point, I have to admit that I got a little choked up. It was, for all my complaining, an amazing thing to see.

Heading off down the highway to Fraser Lake. Psst... wanna know a secret??? They only run to the edge of town and then they drive to the next city. I didn't think it was possible to run across Canada in 4 months. I guess Canada is a lot bigger than Greece! :)
And just so you can experience what we did, here's a couple of videos I shot. I'm sorry that they're so short, but I wanted to toggle between video and photograph. Can't scrapbook a video! :)

Let the games begin!

Monday, 25 January 2010

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

A little public service announcement reminding you to remember the three R's... reduce, reuse, recycle! Oh yeah, also a reminder, "we're out of mini-wheats".

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Crayola musings...

There is so much scribbling on the walls and the carpet and furniture in our house that I am
-this close- to banning all felt pens. And yes, I know, I'm the one that keeps supplying the kids with them, so I've only myself to blame. But here's why I don't...

A bit of a throwback to my own childhood, I suppose. I LOVED to draw and, if I can say so without sounding arrogant, I was really good at it. So I keep the art supplies around, and nag at Alex to put them away as soon as he's done. And so far, it's been a dismal failure (and no, Magic Eraser does NOT remove everything!). But if I chuck all the felt pens and crayons and other art supplies that my daughter seems so adept at finding, then my children will miss out on a really special activity.

Here's how Alex has spent his Saturday morning. I'm tickled! He's in Kindergarten, and maybe I'm biased, but I think this is amazing and perhaps some budding talent?

(The scribbles under and above him are Kirstin's contribution... boy was Alex mad, until Cory said that we could pretend it was burger condiments that he'd spilled)

How many of them can you recognize?
(If you need a hint, check out my October posts...)

Monday, 11 January 2010

Fun with Laundry...

I found this in my laundry yesterday... a creative way to bathe?

Baby's First Shiner...

"But Mama, I was just trying to throw her up in the air, the way Daddy does!"

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Happy Birthday, Connor!

So, my youngest son turned 3 on New Year's Day. It made for a very busy weekend. I think 3, perhaps, is a good age to start enjoying your birthday, because this year he loved being the centre of attention.

On Saturday we invited family and a friend who I used to live next door to (and some other people that didn't make it) out to help us celebrate Connor's special day. We had a tobogganing party, followed by hot chocolate, hot dogs and cake, of course.

The temperature was good for sledding (-11). It could have been warmer, but it certainly could have been colder, as this week it's dipped down as low as -35 (the temperature at which school used to be cancelled... brrr... too bad there isn't a temperature at which work is cancelled... I wasn't ready to kiss the holidays goodbye Monday morning).

But, I digress... here are some photos of our fun! Enjoy!
Uncle Matt riding down the hill with the birthday boy... Connor, at the bottom of the hill... without Uncle Matt. Umm... hello, where'd you go??

My brave little girl sliding down the hill... BY HERSELF... as I look on in horror! She loved it. She kept saying "again!" And in his defense, her Grandpa didn't let her go from too far up. Still, she hasn't grasped the concept of wearing mittens and using the handles at the same time...

My neighbour from the ol' neighbourhood... obviously breaking trail... hehehe

Alex, sliding down by himself and holding on VERY appropriately. Whew!

This was one of the longer hills. It was a lot of fun, but a steep climb. Hard to get to the top without landing on your butt a couple of times on the way up.

My Dad sharing a laugh about... umm... huh...
guess I'll have to ask him. Probably the next picture...

... of my husband flat on his belly, Alex making it difficult for him to get up!
I can't help it, this photo makes me grin every time I look at it.

What's New Year's without noisemakers? Although one could argue that you don't
need a noisemaker when you have a three-year old...

And the obligatory party hat. My daughter seems to have a penchant for hats! :)And balloons... gotta have balloons!Here's my neighbour's little guy, helping Connor unwrap the gift he brought (Thanks S!)And more balloons! This is an octopus. Alex discovered the magic of static electricity.The cake my Mom made... penguins pulling crazy carpets. It was very cute! :)Connor and S blowing out his candles... for the third time.My big boy! Where do the years go! Sniff...
And just for good measure, what the "adults" do at a kid's birthday party!
Wish all the Uncles could have been here!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

New Year's Eve, 2009!

New Year's Eve! Not quite the same when you have children, but still thrilling in its own way. We celebrated with our fellow Canadians... in the Maritimes. One of the benefits of satellite television is that you can watch things three to four hours ahead of prime time, so I found a Halifax station that was ringing in the New Year and the kids and I had a little party until 8:00pm.

I made the kids a special New Year's Dinner, ribs, couscous, and corn. I thought it was great, they would have been happy with peanut butter on toast. Ah, well... the party hats helped.
Note the "2000" on the hat. Mom saved these from Y2K. We've had fun with them for the past couple of years, since my kids don't know what year it is, at the best of times.
Waiting patiently with his noisemaker...

Counting down... 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1!!! This year I didn't actually get away with it. Alex, after we'd rung in an Eastern New Year's, said "You know it's not really midnight, right?"Kirstin getting in on the excitement, shaking her noisemaker and shouting "Happy, Happy!!!"
Happy New Year!