Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Track and Field 2012

The day after his morning at kindergarten Matthew got to spend hanging out at the school while I helped out with Track and Field.  He is not a shy boy at all (sometimes a good thing, sometimes a bad thing) and so he was off busy most of the day with Vivian and Mika and whatever other friends he found.  I am thankful that while he is a typical child getting himself into trouble from time to time, he generally knows the boundaries of what is acceptable and what is not and so I don’t have to worry all day about what kind of mischief he is getting himself into.  This is indeed a blessing to have a child of this nature so that I can relax and focus on what I’m suppose to be doing (or even so that I can volunteer in the first place because I probably wouldn’t otherwise).  Vivian is of the same nature and so when the two of them are together I usually don’t have to worry about what they are doing because they will keep each other in line.

During the morning I was helping on the Basketball Dribble.  It’s nice to help but it does mean that I can’t be around watching the kids at all their various activities.


This was Marietta’s last year at our local school for Track and Field. Next year she off to the Grade 7/8 Track Meet with the Ontario schools. When the kids are in Grade 6 they become leaders of a group for the day and each leader is judged on how well they do as a group leader, guiding, following instructions, helping the others in the group, cheering others on, getting everyone involved, etc.   Here Marietta is coaxing and encouraging one of the other students in her group.


From the Basketball Dribble I could see a bit of what was going on at the Obstacle Race, but since I had to be counting during the dribble that meant I really should have been focusing more on what’s going on at my own game … except maybe when my child runs the race.


Rebecca’s turn at the Basketball Dribble … slow and steady.


Matthew and his best friend Vivian enjoying the high jump mat before it was put to use.


After the Basketball Dribble I moved over to help with Alaskan Baseball.

Marietta running the bases.


Rebecca’s team passing over and under.


Rebecca running the bases.

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Lunch was hotdogs served by the Ladies Auxillary.  Matthew found a spot in Grandma’s classroom to enjoy his lunch.


The Wagon Wheel Race. The year before (see here) Brent was in a wheelchair watching and this year he was partaking in the race.  He made an amazing recovery from his accident.

Each team is lined up on one of the spooks of the wagon wheel.  All team members have to take a turn running around the wheel and return to their spook and sit down to win.


Ange was smart and brought some activities for the little kids to do during the day while we were helping out. 


Marietta running the wheel.


The Wagon Wheel Race is always the last event of the day.  After that ribbons are handed out to the winning teams and winning team leaders (Marietta got 2nd – Good Job Marietta!) and all the kids get to enjoy a popsicle before heading home.

All these activities that symbolize the end of another school year and we wonder again how did time fly by so fast.  This year I did not go on the year end class trips.  Rebecca went to African Lion’s Safari yet again (her third time – see here and here) much to her disappointment (I told her she could stay home, be she decided spending time with friends would be more fun then not going)  I wasn’t much interested in going again, especially because life had been way too busy lately anyways so I just needed some home time.  Thankfully this year they went for a longer day so that they were able to spend more time in the splash pad, which is really all the kids want to do anyways.  Marietta went to Bingemans again (see here) and since I went with last year I decided to also opt out of this one.  I have sensitive ears so while I enjoy the waterslides I really can’t get water in my ears and I find that ear plugs are not very effective on a good day, let alone when you’re plunging yourself into the water off a slide.  While the kids were disappointed that I didn’t come with this year they were understanding as they were also well aware that I needed to spend some time at home also and try catch my breath there before Summer Holidays began.  Marietta also undestood that the Grade 6 Year End Camp Out was a pretty decent trade-off.

Kindergarten Day

June 7th was a day Matthew had looked forward to for quite some time … he got to go on the bus and he got to go to kindergarten for the day. I’m not sure which part was more exciting, the bus or kindergarten!

The new kindergarten kids just went to school for a couple hours in the morning to see what kindergarten is like.  I was a helper for the day, but Matthew want to go on the bus and not with his mom.  So I sent him off for his bus ride and then headed over to the kindergarten.



Story Time


Desk Time.  Matthew met a new friend that morning … Thomas.  He got to sit beside Thomas and the two seemed to hit it off. 


As for the actual school work aspect of the day … well that wasn’t totally Matthew’s cup of tea.  Matthew doesn’t have a huge attention span and so colouring a whole page in at one time was just not his idea of fun.  He got tired of writing numbers and letters (they did the number 1 and letter S) and especially gave up on the S as he couldn’t make the S just perfect on the lines.  I admire his desire for perfection but he’s going to have to learn that doing your best is the way to go.  If he finds something too challenging then he just doesn’t do it and so he didn’t really get his S done as he dilly-dallied and said he was tired and didn’t want to do it anymore.  I guess he’s also going to have to learn to just buckle down and do it as it’s not going to go away … but he’s got all of kindergarten to figure that out. For Kindergarten Day it was just nice for them to be able to create an image of what they would be doing after the summer.

Baseball Tournament

We’re at the end of May now.  May 25th Marietta got to participate in her first baseball tournament.  Since our school is a smaller school they sometimes have to pull students from Grade 6 to help make a complete team for the Grade 7/8 tournaments.  This was the case for soccer as well as baseball.

The tournament was near London and so Marietta left at 6:30am on the bus and the rest of the family came up later.  We caught the end of their first and were able to watch several others games.  Our school didn’t do so great overall but it was an enjoyable day.

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It was also a very hot day and so why not have a snowball fight?  Nothing like some ice/snow from the ice rink to cool you down when you’re sweltering.

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Need I say more?


We original did it to irk Rob as he hates spikey hair … but he actually thought it looked cute, so Matthew was allowed to wear it for the rest of the week and we cut it off at the end of the week.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Year End Recital

At the end of each piano year the kids have a music recital.  We usually call it the piano recital but I guess since there is also organ and now voice (Marietta) music recital would be more applicable.

Much of the year end recital was similar to the music festival since the were quite close together this year.


The girls did add in a duet at the last minute.  Rebecca played “On top of Spagetti” and Marietta sang.  It was nice to see them working together on it.  They did a nice job.

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Yup gotta love this boy.  Rob arrived late, still in his work clothes.  Matthew was tickled orange to be able to play with the earplugs … what better time to use earplugs then when your sisters are playing and singing.  He was also happy to have a picture taken with his mohawk haircut which I allowed him to have from Monday to Saturday … it had to come off before church.


I did tell Matthew he better pay more close attention because if he keeps up the way he’s going with his piano lessons from Marietta he’ll be playing at the recital next year too!

May Long Weekend

With Rob’s “sudden” decision to quit school in May we suddenly had a free long weekend to take off and do some visiting.  So we packed up and headed off to Grand Rapids to visit John and Martha and kids for the weekend. 

A lovely weekend it was, beautiful weather, relaxing time.

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Matthew of course was in his glory with the excessive game time he was allowed while there.  His computer/game time is limited at home as there are so many other much better things to do with ones time and he is one of those kids who would quite gladly spend all day behind the computer if he wasn’t told to get off.

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Swing time was also another thing of the weekend since the men just finished putting up a swing.


It was baseball season and so the kids spent parts of their weekend outside with their bat and gloves practicing

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Rob and John joined in for a bit to give them some more of challenge


Matthew also gave it a bit of try for a little bit …his attention span being a little shorter.


Me … I rather sit and sip my tea and look from a distance.  I’m not a sports person… and I’m definitely not a baseball person … it’s much safer if I just stay in my chair.


Hangin’ with Matthew

Matthew is always a source of entertainment around here, with his funny sayings, quick wit and pesky character.


He’s a social butterfly, quite happy to say good-bye to mom and go off and live somewhere else for a while, but yet he’s a mommy boy who comes up to me throughout the day and plunks a kiss on my cheek or gives me a hug and tells me he loves me.  He can never get enough of socializing and if I ask him if he missed me while he was gone he’s quite honestly say “No”,  Or as he said one time “Yes” then he paused and said “Well actually I didn’t!”

Matthew loves to hang out with his friends.  Here he is with Reuben and Kurtis having popsicle time


Sometime Vivian would be down at the same time as Kurtis and Reuben.  At first this caused some division but eventually they all learned to either play together or play in pairs and it worked really nicely, actually being a good thing as it evened out the “threes a crowd” problem.

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I watched the kids from the window as Kurtis tried and tried to figure out a way to get the big to pull the wagon.  I have to admire his determination!

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Trampoline games … don’t ask me how the game works … they seem to understand it … or make it up as they go.


Found a snake … Reuben was the bravest one, willing to pick it up and stuff it in a water bottle and then put a lid on it to save it for when Rob got home so he could kill it.  Matthew won’t touch a snack.


We were overrun by snakes this spring/summer.  Previously we’ve had plenty of snakes on our property but this year was excessively bad.  We also get them in our house.  I used to be able to say “we also get them in our basement”, something we managed to keep secret from the kids until this spring for we knew of their fear of them.  But this spring we had the unwelcomed surprise of finding one in Matthew’s bedroom, which happens to be on the second floor.  How it got there is beyond us, none of the kids would have put it there because all of our kids are scared of them (petrified would be a better word for Rebecca).  I’m just glad Rob happened to be home to take care of it (I was actually sick in bed that day) because I have a pretty big phobia of them as well.  After that we no longer brought them down to the creek when we found them in the house.  Any and all snakes we seen (or should I say Rob seen) were promptly treated to shovel treatment, until thoroughly chopped and dead.

While Matthew loves his friends and socializing and acting all tough it’s wasn’t an uncommon sights for him to be sleeping on the floor in our room come morning time.  Mommy was always the comfort after he would wake in the night, sometimes from a nightmare, sometimes just because.  He much rather sleep on the floor near mom then go back up to his room.  We figured eventually he would outgrow this habit and since he wasn’t in our bed (a big no-no in our house), disturbing our sleep it didn’t matter all that much.  He didn’t really outgrow this habit, he was forced out of it when our room shrank and there was no longer space on the floor for him … after thefirst couple nights of not having room for him he hasn’t reappeared or even come to say he has nightmares


Music Festival 2012

The local Music Festival is suppose to be in March, but this year it didn’t happen until May.  The girls were just happy that it did happen as they look forward to the challenge each year. It`s unfortunate that the festival isn’t better advertised so that there is more competition as there really wouldn’t have been much of a festival without our Elementary Schools participation, maybe next year we’ll have to try a different area and see how that works.

Because the girls each entered in various categories our entries ended up being spread out throughout the day, making it pointless to travel back and forth to school in between entries.  So we ended up staying the whole day and helping out with some of the organization aspects.

Rebecca entered in two piano categories this year and took home 1st in one and 2nd in the other.


Marietta entered in one piano category and took home 1st place.


Marietta and Rebecca both took voice lessons during the summer of 2011.  After the summer they continued on a bi-weekly basis.  We quickly seen that Marietta was a natural and Rebecca was struggling in her sisters shadow, which was causing problems.  After talking to Rebecca it was decided that Marietta would carry on with voice lessons and put to use the talent she has been given, but we did not feel that Rebecca needed to have to try and compete to keep up to her sister since we are all built with different talents and this was not one of her.  We did not put them in voice lessons to great friction and competition but to strengthen something they both loved to do.  Rebecca still loves to sing, she just isn’t designed with the same voice as her sister or the desire to perform as Marietta quite enjoys doing.

It`s always nice to come home with a ribbon, but it`s even nicer to come home with something if you actually had competition in your category.  Marietta came home with the 1st Place Ribbon for her voice song, but she was also the only one in the Grade 1 category.  This didn’t help her to gage how she is doing in comparison to others at her level but having to sing in competition and in front of an audience helps make the practicing worthwhile.  Receiving a mark also gave her a bit of an idea where she stands. P1100354_1

The Grade 5 and 6 class from school also entered and the same applied for them … it would be nice if they actually had some competition.  But they sang wonderfully and it really was lovely to hear. We were actually told that the other school don`t want to enter once they know our school is entering.  How wonderful it is to know that we take the time to train our children to sing, especially because the majority of the time that singing it singing praises to God.


The girls also played a duet together and received 2nd place for it.


First place winners return in the evening to perform in the concert and this year they also had all the duet winners come and play (because the choir couldn’t make it to perform and they needed a filler), so the girls each had a solo piano piece as well as their duet to play and Marietta had to sing her voice piece to sing at the evening concert.