The First Set of Races

So it begins. The first inter-club race of the Speed Skating season. Our club in Langley is hosting today- which means a lot of the parents from the club are volunteering in some aspect. Our two daughters are also helping for the entire day as “Place Judges”.

This is the look of a tired parent who was here a couple of hours before races start to set up mats along the boards. Those mats help protect the skaters should they fall.

We also have paramedics on stand-by should anything happen. This year I asked my buddy Greg if he would be available to help us out. He eagerly responded and was able to bring another 1st Aid Attendant with him.

Only a few races in, and they’ve had to come and check on a couple of the kids who fell. No serious injuries, more just precautions. And of course my wife needed a bandaid. Sharpening the skates can be dangerous when you’re not careful!

In the end, it’s amazing how a small community comes together in order to support these kids and teenagers in a sport that they love. I am proud that our son wants to achieve his goal of making it further in the sport.

There are numerous kids and parents from the variety of clubs who also want the best for all of the children. Even though these are competitions, there is a comradery between us all. Positive encouragement is given to every skater. That brings me joy.

Mug Shots

Like most folks, we have an assortment of coffee mugs in our cupboard. They often appear as gifts based on whatever the recipients fancy. From Owls to Lego, to mugs that come free with a bottle of booze- these become personalized favorites of us all. But my wife and I are cheesy. We have a collection of matching mugs.

It started years ago with a couple of horoscope ones from the dollar store. But it soon branched off into ones that defined who we really were.

My wife dominated over me by absconding the “Player 1” mug leaving me to be the Luigi to her Mario. Always second to none, but she’s my number one.

I am particularly fond of our first set of Disneyland mugs. Simple art of the classic characters that defined cartoons My wife is the Minnie to my Mickey.

Soon after we picked up another set of mugs. She is the elegant Eve to my clunky love struck Wall-E. But wait, there’s more…

A couple of years later she became my Belle. That’s right, we really are that cheesy. Even our kids began to get in on the fun.

Of course Disneyland plays on the memories and heartstrings of everyone who enters their gates. The store shelves are lined with trinkets and mugs that need to be brought home. Every one of our morning coffees is in matching mugs. And no one else is permitted to use them.

Do you have a favorite coffee cup?

Are you as cheesy as we are?

Let me know in the comments.

My Turkey Helper

On Saturday I had two of our children help with baking: Saturday Baking with My Kids. Yesterday I had our middle child help with our turkey dinner.

We had a lot of fun preparing the bird. I love teaching my children the art of cooking. Giving explanations to the “hows” and “whys” when cooking is always important. From temperatures to spices- it’s all important.

Once the bird had been cooking for a few hours, it was back to making the side dishes. Vegetables and mashed potatoes were about to be prepared. Our daughter thought her helping out was over after the bird so she had gotten changed into some nicer clothes. Little did she know that making a feast takes a lot of effort! But she willingly assisted.

Our dinner turned out delicious. We now have plenty of leftovers to last the week. From soup to sandwiches- we will be eating turkey leftovers until we are sick of them. Much like everyone else who is celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend.

So enjoy your meals with family and friends. Don’t let the Tryptophan knock you down. I’m ready for a nap just writing about it.

Saturday Baking With My Kids

On Saturday I spent a couple of hours with our youngest teaching him how to bake an apple pie. He was very thorough in adding the ingredients and the pie looked fantastic.

As we finished baking the apple pie, our oldest daughter helped in the kitchen by baking some Wookiee Cookies. Those are a favorite of the family. If the recipe is followed they are really easy to make.

Our home smelled delightful and the baked goods are ready for consumption. As the holiday season approaches (in two months!!!), it’s time to get the family involved more with baking.

As well, we love to share home baked goods with friends. The holidays are a great excuse to share. Why not get some tastings going along the way?

Weekend? What Weekend?

After a week in Winnipeg, I only had one day off this weekend. So I spent it with my wife and family. I filled the day with some one on one time with everyone. I enjoyed their company immensely. I think my family legitimately missed me while I was gone.

Now it’s back to my regular work week. But every night after work will be dinner with my family. No restaurants or hotel swimming pools. Just some quality time with those who I love. They are the reason I go to work. I want them all to enjoy a good life.

First Day Of School- Sort Of

Yesterday was the first day of school. Only it was just one hour of school. Not really a “day” to speak of really. But the kids enjoyed seeing their friends and smelling the hallways once more.

My wife even took the obligatory “Seeing the kids off on the first day of school photo“. This year was of the car as it drove off. That’s because our oldest has her driver’s license and the other two are both in high school now. This meant we didn’t have to spend the “day” waiting for them. It’s bittersweet in a way. But for this year, my wife and I won’t have to spend 40 minutes in the morning and 40 minutes in the afternoon driving.

Huge sigh of relief.

Today is a real day of school. Now starts the hard work and education.

Lake Views 2019

Wednesday was another fun filled day. My son and I went out on the kayaks and he decided that we should go to the island. We had a great time racing each other and bonding.

As the sun went overhead and the temperatures reached 31° we found ways to keep cool.

My wife relaxed with her kindle in the hammock. I took a camping chair just deep enough into the water that my butt would be submerged. I found some driftwood and used it as a foot rest.

Just before dinner, my wife and I went out on the kayaks and paddled around the campgrounds.

We ended our day with some good laughs at dinner and a failed attempt at making Jiffypop popcorn. But all is well. We are still not done camping for the week.

Float The Boat

Kayaking and floating on the lake was a great way to spend our first full day on Harrison Lake. We love coming to Twenty Mile Bay.

My wife and oldest daughter went out kayaking after breakfast. I took my other daughter out and we floated about in some tubes. Shortly after, my wife came back and I hopped into the kayak. My wife and I towed our daughters out in the lake having a great time.

Once we ditched the girls- my wife and I paddled to the island just off shore. As in a twenty five minute paddle to the secluded island.

We paused for a beverage and some time to talk. We put on our PFDs and floated in the lake around the island back to the kayaks.

The water was peaceful and it’s always great to connect with nature without the white noise of suburban life.

Twenty Mile Bay 2019

On Monday we ventured out to our favorite campsite at Twenty Mile Bay. This year, my best friend I’ve known since kindergarten is joining us with his kids. The weather will be cooperating as well!

We packed up our cars and headed down the logging road that leads us to the campsite.

When we arrived- we exploded and took over our double site. This will be our home for five days. I’m happy that this year there isn’t a campfire ban. We can cook foods over the open flames!

In between cooking and sleeping we will be enjoying the lake and relaxing. The best way to end summer vacation.

CN 100 / PNE

On Sunday- my family and I spent the day at the PNE in Vancouver. My work was showcasing the CN 100 Celebration. A Hundred Years of railroading and everything CN has done for Canada.

My coworkers and our families were treated to free admission to the Fair as well as some lunch. This was a nice treat, and allowed my wife and I to finally brought our family to The PNE.

The last time I was at the PNE was in the late 90’s. Back when the hottest local radio station was Z95.3fm. I found it amusing that they had a booth and were promoting their old logo once more and giving away buttons that said “90’s Kid”.

We only spent about half the day at the fair. I’m not a fan of the crowds or the smells. There’s lots of farm animals there as well as some entertainment. We wandered the vendors and stopped to watch the jousting tournament.

After the joust, my wife and I took the kids to see the rides and the carnival games section. Before we left, we wandered through a “selfie” area to catch some silly photos. We made the most of the day and the kids were happy to leave when we did. There was only one thing I wanted to see, but got out voted.

I didn’t get my chance to see “The Superdog Show“. It was the only part of the PNE that I remember truly enjoying as a kid.

As a teen, the only reason I went to the PNE was to feel some independence and hang out with friends. Most of that time was spent flirting with the girls we went with and going on rides. Now as a parent going to the PNE, I had a hard time wanting to spend money or time at the fair. Honestly, if my work hadn’t supplied us with free access to the grounds, I don’t think my kids would ever have seen the PNE with us.