Sunday, August 22, 2010
The kids have come to really look forward to the festival every summer. They are still in the "just right" age for the inflatables, and that was a huge highlight for them. We spent lots of time trying to keep track of all three of them on the inflatables on Friday night and Saturday. It was a beautiful, hot & sunny weekend, and we spent lots of time outdooors.
On Saturday, we biked to our usual parade spot and met Grandma & Grandpa, Grandma & our nephew, and some friends to watch the parade. Of course the kids loved to gather candy, but they also enjoyed lots of the floats, the pipe bands, and the horses (especially the girls, G has an aversion to horses as "way too girly"). They were all excited to see their swimming teachers in the parade, as queen contestants. After the parade, we went home for lunch, then packed up to head to the park for the day where we met our nephew. After some more time on the inflatables, we went to see the motocross stunt riders, which was a huge highlight for the kids. M still talks about the motorcycles every time we drive by the location where their ramp was set up. We had supper at the Mennonite food both, and G wasn't too impressed with the gluten-free, dairy-free food that I'd packed for him, but we got over it with a promise of sushi in the coming week ;-) After supper, we spent more time on the inflatables, and then took the kids to the stage show. They were super excited about the crowning of the queen, and L was thrilled that her swimming teacher was crowned queen.
Sunday was a hot day, perfect for swimming. So we went to the pool early for family swimming with our nephew. Because it was a free swimming day, the pool was pretty packed. Our day changed pretty quickly after we watched the lifeguards resuscitate a little girl. They did an amazing job, but it was a pretty horrible experience for us. We decided to take the kids home so we could recuperate, and we ended up discussing what they saw quite a bit.
We haven't done much travel this summer, so it was nice to get away for two nights over August long weekend. We camped in Turtle River with my parents, and their motor home... which means it probably doesn't really qualify as camping, but we DID sleep in a tent. Everyone had lots of fun in the tent once it was set up, and the girls even decided to sleep in the tent with us the first night. The second nigh, M decided to join G in the motor home to sleep. We had beautiful weather, and enjoyed the beautiful setting. The kids were very excited about the ampitheatre program, so we ignored our usual bedtime and went to the ampitheatre both nights. On the first night, the kids learned about the planets, and G got to participate in a living model of planetary orbit.
On Saturday morning, Ralph and I went to Grand Forks to do a little shopping, and the kids stayed back at the campground to go on a nature hike with Grandma and Grandpa. It was a super hot and sunny day, and pretty humid, so we went to the Larimore Reservoir to do some swimming in the afternoon. In the evening, after a great BBQ supper, we had a "roast-a-rama." G had a great time roasting marshmallows for everyone else on Friday evening, so we decided to pick up some veggies that he could roast over the fire and eat. We had a short break in the campfire when a sudden wind came up, but the weather calmed back down and we went back out.
On Sunday, we did some fishing with the kids at the river. River is a bit of an overstatement. Turtle River is more like a stream, but there was a beatiful fishing (and swimming) area by a shelter and dam built in the 30s. We left mid-afternoon, and stopped at Q'dobo for a snack before driving home.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
It's been forever since I've blogged. I've been avoiding my computer like the plague this summer, probably the result of a need to just "take a break" from anything that feels like work (at least when I am able to). We've all had a great summer together, enjoying the rhythm of daily life, playing, swimming, and learning together.
During the last two weeks of July everyone had swimming lessons. We had beautiful weather, with only one lesson cancelled because of thunder. Our lessons were scheduled over noon, and so we often packed a lunch and stayed at the pool for the afternoon. It has been so cool to see them becoming more independent in the pool, playing together and on their own, respecting my limits about where they need to be, and usually being pretty cooperative about leaving the pool.
Swimming lessons were a huge success this year. L and M both passed their levels, and G passed two levels. Everyone mastered their bobs and learned how to swim underwater. By the second lesson, G was diving to the bottom of the pool and opening his eyes to get diving sticks. I was completely blown away to see him do this. After three years of being unable to get him to intentionally put his head underwater, seeing him swim underwater and dive to the bottom with eyes open is a huge accomplishment. He passed Level 2 in the first few lessons, and then continued to work on level 3 and even begin some of the level 4 skills. By the end of his lessons, he was treading water, working on a front crawl, and doing a kneeling dive. He also swam two widths so that he no longer needs to wear a lifejacket on the waterslide. Wow! It was so cool to see how much he learned, how much he enjoyed the time with his teacher, and how proud he felt about his accomplishments. L and M were both very enthusiastic about their lessons, had lots of fun with their teachers, and also became much more comfortable in the water. Both of them jumped of the diving board, and it is now one of L's favourite pool activities. They both are completely comfortable putting their heads underwater, and often ask to swim between my legs under the water. They are learning their floats, and beginning swimming motions.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
This year L had the opportunity to choose between the RWB Satellite ballet program or Music for Young Children. Our lives are busy, and it's important to us that we don't overschedule ourselves. We want to make sure that we've got time to just be together, so we limit the number of after-school activities that we participate in. L chose ballet in one second, and her enthusiasm continued throughout the year. Her class began at 4:45 each Monday, which meant leaving work early to get her changed and to her class, then zipping back to daycare to pick up the other kids, getting supper started (so G would be ready for music lessons), and then heading back to pick her up. I'm glad she loved it!
The ballet year ended with a recital. L's class did a short piece in which they pretended to be dolls who woke up when the shopkeepers left the room. It was very cute, and L shone! She was so animated, and loved every second of the dance. She talked about it a lot ahead of time, practiced at home, and was very serious about following all of her teacher's instructions. Of course, she loved the costume too. The first half of the recital program featured performances from all of the ballet classes, and the second half featured dancers from the RWB schools. L sat with the other dancers right in front of the stage, so we didn't get to hear her reaction to the dancers, but we all loved the entire recital.
Friday, February 5, 2010
The last weekend of January was lots of fun. The weather was fantastic. It was warm, and snowy. The kind of weather where snow sticks together perfectly.
On Saturday we made a couple of big snow forts in the backyard. L and Dad used doors that we'd pulled out of the basement to construct a fort. The kids and I made a snow fort.
Sunday we went swimming at the local indoor pool with the Sunday School. It's always SO noisy in there, but it's nice and warm. This was one of those times when I really could see progress in G. He managed all the noise just fine, was swimming without a lifejacket, and had no problem jumping into the pool or getting thrown and getting his head underwater. L paddled around the pool in her lifejacket, and M stuck in the little pool or in her hippo. We all had a great time!
When we got home, the afternoon project involved spray bottles with colored water. It was time to decorate our forts. G decided we needed to vote on which fort was the best. Mine won ;-) Once we were done decorating, it was time for a snowball fight. Everyone had fun. I'm a little surprised that there weren't any tears, because Dad was throwing enormous chunks of snow with far too much accuracy. The weather was colder than Saturday, so lots of those snowballs were pretty hard. Luckily no windows were sacrificed to the snow battle!