Thursday, July 28, 2016

Before the summer started...

My head space right now is all jumbled up with all the things I need to be organizing, planning, taking care of, and all worried about all the things I am forgetting to do or have been putting off.  For example, I have been receiving a piece of mail (an actual letter in the post) from our bank requesting a piece of information regarding our fire insurance plan for our house, since they are our mortgage provider and apparently need this pertinent piece of information.  I have been receiving this letter regularly for several months.  I have tried to get this information and even went in to the bank to learn that it was the wrong information, and that was that.  No, I have not dealt with this, and this is one of the hundred things lurking in the back of my mind that I really should be dealing with but just can't seem to get around to doing.  Sigh.  Therefore, blogging has not been a priority.  But tonight, lets do it.  I will be brief, I will not edit any pictures and probably won't even check for spelling errors, but, what the heck, I gotta do it.

Callum had his last Scouts meeting, roasting S'mores in the parking lot.  He had a good year and Kim was just getting the hang of being the Cub leader. but she learned she will not be continuing next year.  Too bad.

Simon had a little graduating ceremony from his preschool.  Although it may not have had any academic value, he sure did like going and he sure did love his teacher, Ms. Kat.

I actually can't remember why we were messing around at the ball park, but the boys were actually playing well together! Oh, it must have been after Simon's game, since he's wearing his team shirt.

To celebrate Mother's Day and Kami's birthday, Kim, Kami and I spent 2 nights at Kim's place in Gibsons the last weekend in May.  We hiked up Soame's point one day and another day we tried to climb Mt.Steele, but got only within about 1km since the snow got too unsafe to continue (not to mention we just couldn't figure out which way to go!!).

And while I was at Kim's, Jeff took the boys to Seattle for a couple nights.  Our friends, Dave and Alyce Elton let them stay at their place while they were away in Thailand.

Jeff planned a cycling trip with Sven (to sort of celebrate Sven's 50th birthday, though he didn't want it mentioned!).  He said they were the most epic rides of his life.  He toured around Napa Valley and Sonoma California area.  Gorgeous.

While Jeff was away, we went to visit Cindy on a great sunny day, and swam at her Mom's pool.

On a particularly sunny day, I thought I would document the amount of sunlight that gets into our yard, for future gardening purposes, and I was happy to see there are actually a few decent hours of sun back there.

Although we had a hot and dry Spring, things turned rainy and wet for most of June and continued into July.  We had Lynn Valley Day on a particularly wet day, but the boys enjoyed the juggler guy!

One of the last activities of the school year was the "Carnival".  It was, well, OK, but totally lucked out with a sunny day.

Jeff's company also lucked out with a sunny day for their summer BBQ activity at Cates Park in North Van.  They bought superhero costumes for the kids.

After the BBQ, Jeff dropped me at Deep Cove to run home along the Baden Powell.  It took me longer than expected (but it turns out I was actually sick that night and the next day) for the 15km (over 2hrs), but I met this guy along the way.

Anyway, as you could probably tell, I am only allowing myself to briefly summarize May and June activities, because it really is all I have time for.  I am writing this on July 28th and my next post to include July activities will need to be more informative, because we did some fun stuff!

Baseball, anyone?

[I don't even know when I started writing this, but I found this draft in my list of posts and thought I would publish it, since I'm long overdue for a post and it is a glimpse into our life during the spring]...

If there is one thing that North Van does right, it is the Lynn Valley Little League.  All 3 boys have joined a team - Simon is in T-Ball with the Mariners, Max is a Rookie with the Blue Jays and Callum is on a AA Minors team the Astros.  Opening Day had most of the 500+ kids and a bag piper to start off the season.

Callum enjoys bat-catching and pitching, and Max and Simon are pretty good at occupying themselves while "watching" Callum's longer games.  I probably should have signed up Max in the higher division than Rookie, since he gets bored during his games and is obviously the best on his team, but he'll survive the season.  Simon's favourite part about baseball is the relay-race at the end, but who's isn't??

It feels like we pretty much spend all our time at the ball park, but it is so very nice that all the boys play at the same field, so there are no conflicts and no hectic driving around.  Even the concession is half-decent, and my 2 volunteer shifts selling the candy, hotdogs and freezies were actually pretty fun.

Other than baseball, there was Callum's trip to Outdoor School!  He went from Monday to Wednesday with all the Grade 3 classes from Ross Road Elem. and 1 other elementary school, up to the Cheakamus Centre near Squamish.  He was quite excited to go and said he had a great time.  Apparently it is kind of like a write-of-passage for North Van kids.  Don't ask me what exactly they did up there, since all he told me about was the food and the time his buddies ran around the cabin naked.

Max had been memorizing lines for a class play, where he got a pretty major part acting as a cheating cheetah that races a sloth.  He was super cute, as were so many of his classmates.

I will confess, if I haven't already complained about them, that there are a lot of things about our move to North Van that have left me, well, uncertain about our decision to move here.  For the record, I will take this opportunity to whine about them now.  Sorry, but it must be done.  Of course, all my major disappointments are in direct comparison to what we came to expect from our community in White Rock, and I realize now how lucky we were and that we certainly took them for granted.

- First, it was a disappointing introduction to the District of North Van school system, (which I believe I have commented on before, so I won't go into much detail, but the fact that we were previously in a single-track French immersion school only emphasized what a great school we had and the North Van schools pale in comparison.  I still find it strange that neither Callum or Max get any homework from school here, knowing that Callum was practicing Math and Dictee in Grade 1 in White Rock.
- When Max started with the NVFC (North Vancouver Football Club),  I felt very unimpressed with the way the games and practices were organized, knowing that Max had so many more skills that were not being used in the rather laissez-faire approach to his age group.  Of course, Max's team in White Rock was blessed with 2 amazing coaches that exceeded all standards of coaching requirements, so we were again super lucky.
- Simon's "preschool" in North Van was chosen due to the fact that it was one of the only preschools that had an opening for him, but I emphasize that I put quotation marks around the word "preschool" because it is really just a glorified daycare - super expensive for mostly play-time.  Alternatively, I can't help but think of what he is missing out on at Mountainview Preschool in White Rock, where Callum and Max both attended and they were pretty much reading by the time they finished, and I can't help but feel like Simon is academically behind and Kindergarten will be bit of a shocker.

[That's the end of the draft I started writing... Let's just say that, well, things have had really started looking better, or at least my attitude has improved...]