Monday, March 31, 2014

Girls' basketball season

Basketball season has come and gone...and I have done a miserably terrible job of recording it (actually, that's true of all aspects of our, where have you gone?). 

Eric took on a coaching role again this year, which makes for two very lucky little girls in our family. They are very fortunate to have such a knowledgable father who is also keen to give up his precious little free time to run practices and coach at games. It was a juggle at times, but well worth the effort.

Finny campaigned her new principal very hard to secure a spot on the junior girls' team (which should only be Grade Six girls, maybe a few Grade Fives). Finny is only in Grade Four, but she made a good case (in a double sided, handwritten letter/petition she delivered to the principal's office). Therefore, she was granted her wish...until they didn't have enough numbers to field a junior girls' team...

...and that's how Finny ended up on the senior girls' team. Playing against Grade Seven girls. Molly is a sweet and tolerant soul, never complaining about her little sister elbowing her way onto the team. 

Finny had a great season. She scored a basket in every game, including one game against Edith Cavell where she was the lead scorer on her team with 12. So...she has another three years to play on the senior team to improve on that record.

P.S. When you look up the word "aggressive" in the dictionary...there's a picture of Finny playing elementary school basketball. Just saying...

I wish I had more (and better) pictures of the girls playing. I especially loved watching them on the floor together.

Molly had a great season, too. She played some really strong defense and hit some of the nicest shots of the year (she has beautiful form and should have more confidence one on the floor is more likely to hit a shot than Moll).

Notice Lukey waiting on the sidelines...and all his hockey gear, because I had to take him straight to hockey practice before the game ended...
Eric taught the girls so much. Their team was dramatically undersized and Eric's coaching kept them in games by playing smart defence and passing well.

Poor Coach Eric was fighting an uphill battle, though. Many of the elementary school teachers who coach and referee games are not, knowledgeable...about the game as Eric. The rule book is clear in its support of smart help-side defensive strategies as a hallmark of good basketball, but there isn't a very...uh, sophisticated...grasp of some of the finer points of the sport.

This resulted in some relatively heated mid and post-game conversations.

...Eric may or may not have made one teacher cry.

But, those girls learned great defence.

I can't wait for next season, already.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Saint Patrick's Day

Finny, who loves all holidays with every bit of her heart, decided to create a St. Patrick's Day scavenger hunt.

We had to find Rainbow Loom shamrocks that she had hidden all around our place.

To motivate us, she showed off the prizes before we started:

This bounty represents a lot of hard work!
She also asked us to take a family picture at the end to commemorate this epic event.

As an aside, it was nearly a catastrophic of the places Finny placed a shamrock was right over top of one of our sprinkler heads. I gasped.

I gingerly removed it, while gently explaining to Finny that one slip up there and everything we own would have been soaked and destroyed. That would have been some prize...

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March getaway

I have been trying to get our family on a little overnight to Great Wolf Lodge for about four months. We have had three different dates reserved. And we have cancelled all three for various reasons. 

Finally, two days that worked. 

We slept in and then told the kids that we'd slept through our alarm. We got them all ready for school. We packed backpacks and even went back for Molly's clarinet. Then, instead of turning right for school, we turned left for the border. And waited for the kids to notice... took a little longer than we expected. But finally, the kids noticed we were crossing the Oak Street bridge and said, "huh?".

We had a great lunch at Cheesecake Factory (even though Finny found a staple (!!) in her free kid's meal and complimentary piece of cheesecake later...).

How sweet is that little face...? 
 We made it to Great Wolf, threw on our suits and robes and hit the waterpark.
Just pretend I am not in that picture, alright?
 The inside of the waterpark was warmer than I remember. In a good way.

A fierce basketball battle
After a full evening of waterlogged fun, the kids caught the (slightly creepy) animatronic show in the lobby of the Lodge before bed. 

A bit creepy, right? Is it just me who finds those things slightly unsettling?

A good sleep after a couple of episodes of Friends online, then back to the water.

Last time we came, Lukey was pretty hesitant to try any of the slides. This time, he overcame his reservations and went on everything. Including this crazy Howling Tornado ride that I went on twice, but both times was certain we were going to flip... 

Such a Lukey face...

Finny *patiently* waiting for her turn on the lilypads

And right before we left, there was this crazy half hour battle:

Ha! Both girls thought they won. It was entertaining.

The great thing about these types of trips is that they always feel longer than two days. It was only about 28 hours, but it felt like a true getaway.

One more quick note: on our drive home, we stopped for dinner at Denny's in Arlington (the Denny's in the US are really pretty good...and they offer free kids' meals on Tuesdays). Our meal was great, we were relaxed and happy and there were some big tic-tac-toe battles fought. Then, at the end of the meal, our server informed us that our bill had been paid! How nice is that? An elderly couple sitting close by had taken care of our meal. We had a nice, long conversation about kindness and how it makes you feel. It was the perfect end to a great two days.