Tuesday, June 26, 2012


One of the traditions we have tried to maintain over the years is taking the kids to a movie as a reward at the end of a long school year. This year, it was Madagascar 3. We went to the Dunbar theatre tonight, after our school year-end picnic.

It was funny. The funniest part was listening to the kids laugh, though.

As an aside, when did movies get so expensive? I know they are expensive, but seriously. That's crazy.

The picnic tonight was lovely. Tons of families, making for great company and lots of fun for the kids.

Lukey was keen to play soccer, so he went complete with his shin pads. He was having a blast until a ball he kicked ahead of himself inadvertently tripped up on of his friends in kindergarten, Bracken. Bracken went down hard on the tarmac, crumpled in a heap of orange frilly dress and Where's Waldo leg warmers. There were tears and a mildly scraped knee.

Right away, Lukey was at her side. He rubbed her back and patted her arm. But then I noticed that he was facing away from her. I couldn't tell why until I got a little closer. He was crying, too. As soon as I got to him, he threw himself at me. He told me it was all his fault and that he was a bad kid for tripping his friend. He said he wished he'd fallen instead of her (particularly since he was wearing padding...).

Bracken got a band-aid and carried on. Lukey took a little longer. Even after Bracken told him it wasn't his fault and that he was a sweet boy.

I couldn't agree more.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

E- starved for summer

It's about 12 degrees and not raining for once, so when we biked by the waterpark the kids insisted we stop for a slide. It didn't matter that they didn't have suits or that all the people sliding were shivering, there was no deterring the kids.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sports Day

Lukey in the bike parade...

We returned from France just in time for Sports Day at the kids' school. It was a bit like jumping back into the deep end of the parenting pool. For some reason, I never learn to stockpile red clothes...the kids are on Team Red every year, so you'd think I cop on and think ahead. Unless you've met me, then you'd know I wouldn't...

Thank goodness for my mom and her red bandanas...and my old Calgary Flames t-shirt. Thirty plus years later and it still looks good on Finny.

I couldn't find Molly when I took those pictures, so no close up of Moo.

I love how the teams stay the same every year. The kids get to be on the same team together and we even stay in the same letter group, which means we walk around with the same families from the other teams every year, too.

It was our first year having all three kids compete. So much fun.

Do you notice a difference between these shots? Two girls doing the same thing. One girl is a blur and her face is serious and focused.

The other girl is in sharp focus and her face is all smiles.

Team shot.

We enjoyed our hotdogs with the bulk of the green team from our group (the Warringtons make up most of team green...).

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Get 'em started young....

Lukey mowing the lawn in Point Roberts (for about thirty seconds...)


When I booked the trip to Kelowna in early March, I figured that  by June in the Okanagon we would be pretty much guaranteed warm weather, if not sunshine.  After all, it's just north of Canada's only desert and home to major summer time wildfires.

The whole package sounded pretty appealing.  A baseball tournament with friends from my fire department, 3 days off school for the kids and a hotel with a pool right beside one of the coolest beaches (Gyro) around.   As an unexpected benefit, my friend and school principal Brady, had his school hosting a night of family fun and games.

Here is Lucas on the climbing wall......he was more adventurous than I would have guessed.

Finny climbed in bare feet and got right to the top.

Molly preferred the slingshot-the-animals game.....and did really well.

The trip was great but the weather was horrible.  We even got rained out of our last day of baseball.....and despite mercying every other team by 10+ runs, we ended up coming in fourth after they decided the seeds by coin toss.   It was the first time I had played in a real baseball game in about 30 years, and it showed.  I wasn't horrible but I wasn't exactly comfortable either.  Luckily I had enough talent around me and always managed to make contact with the ball so that I didn't have to buy any rounds of beer.

On our final day the sun came and we played in the pool for a couple of hours before heading to the beach.  In fact, the weather got so nice that the kids even did the zipline into lake Okanagon.  In the evening we met Brady, Lisa, Jaelie and Rylan at East Side Mario's for dinner before heading back to Vancouver.

Although we didn't arrived back in town around midnight, I still managed to make it out to The Manchester to see my friend Mark Wallbridge on a rare visit from England.

The next day I took the kids all the way around False Creek on their bikes and back across the Burrard street bridge for a picnic with the Warringtons at Kits Beach.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Last day away

We woke up on our last full day in France determined to take full advantage. There were so many intriguing areas that we had a hard time deciding what direction to go...so, in true Eric and Lesley fashion, we figured we'd try to cover as much ground possible.

We headed north towards the mountains.

First stop, Roquebrun.

The sun was shining and the backdrop was spectacular.

We were tempted down to the river by the signs for canoeing. The tours were closed, but the location was gorgeous.

Eric couldn't resist the lure of the water. It was sunny, but not super warm. The water was COLD.

Then there was this view.

So, with Eric sprawled out on the rock...what could I possibly do? Pelt him with river rocks, of course. He thought it was funny until my aim improved enough that the stones were getting pretty close. As soon as he caught one to prevent it from hitting him...he came back.

I was filming his crossing, because there was a tiny (big) part of me that sort of, a little bit, thought it might be hilarious if he fell. The current was pretty strong. Luckily (?), he made it back safe and sound. Phew.

We heard that the gorges a little further north were beautiful. We pressed on.

Even though the map had a road marked, when we got to the bottom of the gorges we had to get out and walk.

The walk was spectacular. The pictures are nice, but they don't do it justice. It was a slow climb uphill. Enough that we were working a little bit, but never strenuous.

Every corner we rounded offered a new view.

It is amazing to both of us that in such an ancient and populated country, areas like this one exist.

I think the picture below was when Eric lost patience with me taking pictures of him on this path. You might be able to see it on his face...

As the clouds gathered above us and the sun started to disappear behind the peaks surrounding us, we turned around to walk back to the car. We didn't make it to Heric, the town at the top of the path. We decided to try to drive around the lakes a little further north.

They looked great on the map, but were a little underwhelming in real life. Apparently, the French don't really dig freshwater they way they love their coast. It was almost completely undeveloped.

We took the long road back to Argeliers. It was an idyllic final day away. We knew we had an early morning the next day. A 5 am wake up and three hour drive to Barcelona. Then on the plane back to Newark, then a sprint to catch the last plane to SeaTac. Oh, then three hours home (thanks to my brother for picking us up...) in the car to Vancouver.

But...it was sooooooooo worth it.

En France

We aren't in France any more, but the blog is still there. I am determined to finish up my blogging about our trip. After my strong start documenting our trip, I fell off a little bit. Since we drained every last hour out of our time en France, I owe to the blog to cram it in...
Our second to last day, Julie and I headed to l'Oulibo, the local olive co-op. It was a great place, stuffed to the gills with regional products. It didn't take long for Jules and my noses to become desensitized to all the wonderful smells inside the building. I couldn't even smell the lavender sachets I bought the kids. 

We returned home and Jules, Eric and I took a stroll along the canal.

Eric and I cooked dinner for our ridiculously generous hosts. Julie and Darren made our trip exponentially better with their kindnesses, large and small. It was a true gift to enjoy their company and hospitality.

After dinner, we took a walk up a local hill.

The view was spectacular.

The sun set and the sky exploded into colour.

As great as it was to get the opportunity to explore this region of France, it was also a treat to spend the time with Jules and Darren.