Tuesday, October 29, 2013

How to Pack an Autumn Day Full of Fun

Cross country season has been a big part of our autumn. The JD series wrapped up last weekend with the BC Championships in Abbotsford. 

An early start in the morning (have I mentioned Finny's obsessive-compulsive and slightly bossy time management in the mornings?). She got us up and going well ahead of schedule. 

One of the very best parts of Finny's running club is the good friends she's made. 

Delia, Sophie, Finny and Jessica

Focused on the start line:

Finny got an eighth place finish in a very competitive field. She was really happy with how she did and very proud of her fifth place overall finish (in her age group) for the entire series. 

As a strange side note about our experience in Abbotsford...the race took place under a massive set of electrical towers. Whenever I touched the girls, a strong current of electricity passed between us. Sometimes it was painful. Sometimes it was ticklish. It was ALWAYS strange. I happened to be the most electrically conductive. Weird.

Note to self: don't ever buy a house under power lines.

Since we were out in Abbotsford, we decided to join the Warringtons for a trip to the pumpkin patch.

Unlike most of the pumpkin patches closer to Vancouver, this one was free to enter and very affordable  for pumpkins and other items.

They even had a goat on a platform...

Finny set out to get the BIGGEST pumpkin available in the whole field. She did some comparative shopping. She gathered all the biggest ones she could find and then measured them.

Molly was on the hunt for perfection. Her system involved less heavy lifting...

I shot a few pictures of Finny doing her best to lift a giant pumpkin:

Molly and Lucie made this crazy guy:

My sweet little pumpkins:

Since Lukey had to stay in town for his soccer game and a birthday party, the girls picked a smaller and less perfect pumpkin for him.

One of the cool things this place offered was a place to wash your pumpkins. They were straight out of the field, so they were muddy. What a great idea. Instead of cramming mucky pumpkins into our car, ours were squeaky clean.

They also had a really cute wall the kids could stand in front of to see how tall they are...with the year on it and everything.

Molly is exactly five feet!

And Finny is 4'9".

We even managed a group shot before we headed to the Spaghetti Factory for an early dinner.

Once we got home, I was tuckered out...BUT, then I realized the Parade of Lost Souls was on and we picked up Lukey and headed over to Commercial to check it out.

Lukey found it a bit scary. There were TONS of people and a lot of costumes and noise. He finally relaxed and enjoyed it, though.

And Molly fell in love with this garbage monster:

I don't think we could have packed a single shred more into our day. It was autumn perfection.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Our polite boy

At the first Recognition Assembly of the year, our sweet boy got called up in front of the school to receive this award:

Now, just to be clear, every student gets one of these for something at some point in the year. BUT, as a parent, you want to see a lovely compliment like this one rather than something thrown in at the end of the year that congratulates a student for "having clean fingernails most of the time" or for "reducing the number and frequency of violent outbursts at other students".

We are proud of our boy for his respectful listening and excellent manners. Especially since, now that I think about it, he won't be up for an award for clean fingernails...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Alumni 3 on 3

Last year I mentioned to UBC head coach Kevin Hanson that in the 20 years since graduating from high school I had never gotten the chance to play in any kind of alumni game. One thing lead to another and before I knew it I was charge of putting together an alumni 3 on 3 tournament and after party. 

While I still didn't get to play for health reasons, I did get to participate in the rest of the festivities and catch up with friends I don't see often any more. 

Despite appearances here, no one got hurt in a couple of hours of pretty decent basketball.

Last Mini Meet of 2013

Finny's Grade 4 buddies

Well, you could be forgiven for thinking that we don't do anything other than cross country. It's not true. The truth is that I have my camera out at cross country and the weather has been nice, so I take pictures.

We do A LOT of other things. But...here's some more cross country.

Molly pushes herself to run...even though she doesn't love it. We love her for doing it anyway...

Finny running with Molly 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Giving Thanks for 11

One of my favourite weekends of the year. Thanksgiving and Molly's birthday.

It is always easy to be thankful on this weekend. Celebrating the birth of our first born. Enjoying the company of family. Savouring good food. Games. Reading. Fires.

My mom's delicious frozen cake...I can't remember what it's called, but YUM!

Friday night, we had a fantastic dinner at my parents' house with my brother and his girlfriend, Julie. Molly was spoiled for gifts and aside from the accompanying sausages (!), we all ate vegetarian in the birthday girl's honour.

Finny was excited all week to sing her "special" birthday song to Molly. We discovered that the song had to do with flushing a cake down the loo, because "after all it wasn't for you..."

We drove down to Point Roberts on Friday night, after dinner. It's always nicer to wake up at the Point, even when you walk into a cold house just to go straight to sleep. If we wait until morning. four thousand things come up and we dawdle around town and leave after dark.

We were looking forward to the weekend too much to waste a minute of it...

The weather was so mild, we were able to eat outside. Lukey is wearing shorts and a t-shirt!
Is there anything more fall-like than eating homemade turkey soup with leaves all around you on an outdoor table? Answer: no.

Does Eric look like he's enjoying the quesidillas? I'm not sure...

Saturday, we got up and made a quick trip to the grocery store to stock up for Thanksgiving dinner, which we were hosting for the Butler/Sturms. I popped the 18 lb. turkey in at 1 pm. Finny peeled all the potatoes and I made vegetarian stuffing. Pretty much good to go.

Mandy and Jane arrived with veggies and dessert and it shaped up to be quite a feast. 

We made a bonfire and the kids raked up leaves. For a sweet, short moment we thought they were helping. They were actually just making a leaf pile for jumping. Fair enough, really. It isn't very often that we have leaves dry enough to make that sport fun.

Lovely 11

So that's why you were raking...

This picture makes me laugh, I don't know why...

The smell of the bonfire filled the yard.

Look...it really does look like they are working. Don't be fooled.

Just when we thought we might be able to salvage all that raking work once the jumping was done...they started a leaf fight with their cousins.

There may have been a second, small leaf fight after this picture was taken...

We feasted inside once it got dark-ish. There was a lot of food. All of it delicious. And I enjoyed the miracle of putting a turkey in the oven and pulling it out discover it's perfectly cooked...

There were still more birthday present for Molly to open.

And, there was this very special cake, made by Mandy.

Surprise inside...

And Sunday, more time outside. We played, ate, read and did art outside. And at the end of the day, we played a giant marathon game of Settlers of Catan, which Molly got for her birthday. It was pretty darn epic. 

The perfect weekend? Maybe.

But you know what..? This girl deserves it: