Monday, June 30, 2014

Our June

I think Finny believes she is starting a new tradition with this wacky (but loveable) idea of depicting two of her best moments as a nine year old in a box. we can see Finny and Molly swimming with dolphins from our California trip. And...something to do with camping and crabs...? I can't really remember what that was...

Here we find a very typical scene in our house. Molly trying to play Animal Jam (don't ask me what that is...I don't really know) on my computer. Lukey and Eric trying to play hockey. This results in a lot of "ouch! ow! stop hitting me with the ball...guys!" And yet, she doesn't move...

I had to take this picture of Lukey in his happy place. Eating chicken wings. A lot of chicken wings. He isn't a big eater, but he really, really digs meat on a bone. Especially wings and ribs. He ate more of these than the rest of our family COMBINED.

He didn't even slow down long enough for me to get a picture that wasn't blurry!

This is a pretty random post...but one of our favourite things to do in the nice weather season of Vancouver before school gets out and we head to Point Roberts is pack a picnic and go to Shaughnessy school. We do a few times in the Spring and usually create elaborate timed obstacle courses on the playground equipment. This leads to some serious squabbling by the kids about little injustices and cheats, but man, it's fun.

This is Phil:

Phil is one of Finny's favourite friends...he was initially purchased by Gram for Finny's birthday piñata, but it turns out that Finny loves minions far too much to stuff them with candy and watch her friends destroy them. So, Phil was saved from a violent fate and raised to the position of privileged birthday guest. (As an aside, my mom didn't do us any favours by texting us pictures of Phil eating breakfast cereal, watching the world cup, lounging on his favourite chair...what girl could destroy a piñata having that much fun...?!)

And, finally, two of my favourite people blowing out their shared birthday candles.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Finny's birthday 2014

Finny's actual birthday this year fell on the day of the BC Pentathlon championships. We figured this would have to bring her some excellent luck. Not that she needed it...but she did have three personal bests (long jump, shot put and 600m) on this day.

2004 girls lined up in order to start the 600m race (the final event). There were 24 girls competing and Finny moved up two spots with a strong performance in this race...
Finny laid it all out in the final race. The sun was beaming down and she was really pushing. I don't think I have ever seen her this spent after running.

It was good enough for a sixth place finish! There was a strong field of girls out that day, so it was an excellent result!

Best buddies!

The following day, we held Finny's annual massive birthday party. As usual, she invites everyone...every. one. There were over 40 kids and a slew of adults.

We started with an egg toss. It was messy.

Pairs were made up of all ages and mixed genders. It is such a great group of kids.

Jude and Sophie won (no surprise, really).

Our birthday girl. You can still see a shadow of the scar that Finny scored by wiping her face off on the track during a hurdle mishap in practice. Oh, for young skin. That kid healed up so quickly...

There was swimming for the brave...

Finny was really happy to have a cameo guest appearance by her good friend from the Thunderbirds, Jessica.

The "Happy Birthday" song was sung at a deafening pitch.

We were spread out on blankets and towels under the huge trees down at beach and it felt like an amazing community experience.

The line up for hitting the piñata was long...but that hardy little chilli pepper held on through the whole line. Pretty amazing, because there were some very determined kids...

Sophie wanted do destroy....

But that didn't work out...

Mostly because we had Eric yanking on the rope. No blindfold required.

Somehow, I missed the picture of the mayhem that occurred after the piñata finally gave up...but it was intense.

We are very lucky to have such a lovely group of kids to surround our three.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Strike fun

Les 'n' Larry days are the best. With school letting out a little early this year due to the job action, Larissa and I took the kids out for a couple of days of fun (we also hit Fort Langley...I have to see if I can find those pictures and post about that on it's own). 

It's crazy that sometimes having eight kids and two adults works better than just hanging out with just our own kids...

We sent all the girls in their own paddle boat and then took the boys with us.

We learned that these girls cannot steer. At all.

And Lukey learned something, too. My favourite Lukey quote was "I learned something today...paddle boating looks like fun. But it isn't."

Well, tell us how you really feel, Lou...

To wrap up our day, we stopped by Mrs. Cotter's house for tea and a snack. When she heard we were going to be in Burnaby, she asked us to come by...which pretty much sums up why teachers (most of them) are truly amazing. We had a lovely visit and I was able to beg one more time for Lukey to be in her class in September (which must have worked, because he was put in her class...).

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Coquitlam meet

A few pictures of our girl working hard at the Coquitlam meet. She works so hard to improve and we are so proud of her efforts.

Look at Finny's game face...!

Monday, June 2, 2014

E- I'm sooo excited!

I'm soooo excited to go to the circus, aren't you Daddy?  

I was asked that question at least twice a week in the last five months since I gave Fin tickets to Totem by Cirque Du Soleil for Christmas. I like a well done yah, I was excited...but it's hard to match our little girl's zest for these type of things. 

It makes it really fun to go with her on these type of adventures. She's a great companion, making interesting observations and good conversation. On the day of....she went from sooo excited to SOOOOO EXCITED!  

After spring basketball class at False Creek, a quick swim and dinner with the Warringtons, we headed downtown to the big yellow tents lining False Creek. 

The show was incredible. Unbelievable talent mixed with top notch production, where every sound and movement was tightly choreographed. Finny was ecstatic. I loved it too. A fantastic way to spend one my last evenings with a nine year old girl. 

Random Collection of Happenings

One of the huge advantages of being at home, instead of working in an office, is the opportunity to go on field trips with the kids. I get to know their classmates, teachers and other parents. I also get to see cool stuff and experience great things around the city. 

My most recent trip was with Finny's class to the Museum of Anthropology and the longhouse out at UBC. She has such a lovely group of kids in her grade and an incredible teacher this year. It was a treat. 

In other, unrelated news, Finny went to the birthday party of the century. I won't go into detail (there were a lot of details), but it involved an overnight to Fircom camp on Gambier Island, about 194 things she came home with, and a trip to and from the water taxi in a pink limo. It was epic.

Finny with Sofie Roux, the birthday girl.

Another big event in the last little while was Finny's massive bail at track practice. It was a Wednesday and they were working on hurdles. Another kid ran into Finny's lane, which threw off her spacing and she ended up hooking her foot on the hurdle and flipping face first onto the track. No hands down, just straight onto her eye socket.

I got the call from her coach. Finny had fallen on her face. Being a little squeamish when it comes to my own kids, I sent Eric. By later that evening, I decided it would be a good idea to make a quick trip to Children's Hospital to make sure she didn't have a concussion or a break on her eye socket or cheekbone. A quick trip it was NOT. And poor Finny...she waited all that time to get her cut scrubbed out and cleaned very painfully. She hated it, but I think it helped with the healing, which has been incredible.

Thursday (the next day), she had a mini meet at school and basketball at the Club. She made a good decision for herself and decided to sit both out.

Since she'd made a good choice for herself the day before, I trusted her instincts about running in a track meet for the Thunderbirds the next day. She wasn't too sure about the 1000m, since her face felt "funny", but she wanted to try the hurdles. Which I thought was amazing, since she'd hurt herself badly about 36 hours earlier...doing hurdles.

The picture below is at the start of her hurdle race. She was nervous, but maybe not as nervous as I was...

She did all her events. Even the 1000m. The kid is tough.

On another note, the kids school did something really neat this year. The whole school put on a Humanica fair, basically each teacher presented something their class had done in social studies and the kids all walked around and looked at each other's work.

Finny's teacher is, as I stated above, amazing. He turned their classroom into an Inuit village in the Arctic. It had a stream, complete with paper mache salmon. The kids were stationed around the room, engaged in activities that would have occurred in the village. Finny was sewing caribou skins into parkas. There were throat singers, hunting demonstrations and was amazing.

Lukey's class presented button blankets they'd made and longhouses they'd constructed.

Lukey and Danica.

I missed getting a picture of Molly's excellent Austria project, but she did a great job of pulling together info on one of her favourite countries. She had pictures, lots of info and even authentic Lederhosen, thanks to our friend Luki Hrdlicka.

Lastly, Eric and I had a treat last night. Our friend Simon Warrington was playing at the Fairview pub. His band, Threadsafe, played the opening set. I decided that if we could go out and see friends play live music, we'd go out a lot more. It was awesome.

Randomness complete. 

Weekend fun and a half birthday

The sunshine comes out and we start to think of summer. And nothing says summer quite like Point Roberts and the boat.

With no plans on Saturday and gorgeous weather forecast, it was time to dust off the old Albin and get out on the water. We only had time to do a little run around Lily Point to Maple Beach, but it was so nice to get out.

Not much makes me happier than seeing my girl buried in a book.

We haven't gotten Lukey into the world of books just yet. The closest we have come is this strange little Black Lagoon series that he likes, but he is still happy to hang out between his two bookworm sisters. A ring pop helps...

We had a really short sojourn down to the Point, since we had a few things lined up for Sunday. First and foremost was Lukey's half birthday party. December is a busy time and trying to figure out something fun indoors for a party with his friends feels daunting. Instead, this is the second year we've waited half a year and gone with a street hockey half birthday celebration instead.

Just a little bit of preparation:

...oh, and Finny decided to run a sale on the seawall to benefit polar bears at the same time. Because...why not?

Never keen to do anything by half, she had an information sheet to provide info on the plight of the bears. We had a bunch of stuff from Costco and she was offering it up by donation, with all proceeds going to the WWF and polar bear conservation. (See the "Eat to Save the Bears" sign?)

It started off with the kids being a bit shy and tentative, but by the next time I went down to check on them, I could hear cries of "Bears are dying...!" from the swing set. They weren't going for subtlety.

I guess it worked for them. $212 later...the polar bears are grateful.

Meanwhile, up on the blacktop, the boys were deep into hockey. We had: Jeremy, Torsten, Markus, Dario, Oakland (Dario's brother), Jude, Matthew and Brett. Pidge played the whole time, too. A couple of other parents dropped in and out, but my comment at the end was "I don't know if the kids will sleep well tonight, but I know Eric will..."

There were a few injuries along the way. A few breaks for water, Powerade, snacks and cake. But mostly, it was a lot of hockey. Like four hours worth.

Hilary brought a few radlers (beers) and Tristesse also donated some delicious 33 acres beer to the cause. The sun was shining and it was a very pleasant way to spend the afternoon.

One of the short breaks...a quick cake stop:

Lukey even pretended to "blow out" his invisible half birthday candles.

Even after all the kids had left, Eric and Lukey (and Jeremy and Matt) had another hour of hockey left. By the time they were done, I think Lukey was actually tired. Well, that was easy. Has there ever been a better dad than Eric, working hard playing hockey (not that he was complaining) for hours on end, all in name of his little guy's happiness. It would be an incredible sacrifice...if I didn't think he enjoyed it nearly as much as Lukey did!