Parent Volunteering

This afternoon I was with some of the Grade 12 parents as we prepared for tomorrow night’s festivities. There is a Speakeasy going on in Fort Langley as a fund raiser for the Dry Grad.

There were tons of props made already. Parents of Fine Arts students are equally as artistic as the children who attend the school. I’m glad to be a part of it all.

I was assisting with some painting and cooking. There is tons of finger foods and hors d’oeuvres for tomorrow’s dance. I enjoyed cooking on a gas stove once more. As we made food and props, we also enjoyed some music and some beverages.

Laughing and talking with other parents about our kids was great. We all have the same goal and want the best for our kids. Doing a Fund Raiser that also allows parents to have fun is a good way to break the ice and make memories for the parents (and later in the year- the teens).

Being a volunteer parent should be a mandatory job. I had nothing but fun with the mothers over the past few months and leading up to this afternoon. I’m looking forward to tomorrow night.

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.

Grad Cruise Night

Less than two weeks into the Grade 12 year and already the ceremonies are beginning. I attended the first of many meetings for the end of year “Dry Grad“. I’ve even put forth my name as a volunteer to help search out venues and activities. It sounds like previous years have been a ton of fun and we hope to make this one just as memorable. We have until June to finalize everything to promote a safe evening for these teens.

Yesterday our oldest went on her “Grad Cruise” with her classmates. We bought her a dress online a few months back. Before yesterday’s event, I took her out to get her hair done. She talked nonstop with the hairdresser and another lady, which is completely unlike my daughter.

She beamed with excitement and couldn’t leave our home fast enough to get to the Cruise. She was in such a hurry that she forgot her ticket and I had to drive it out to her. Which is totally fine with me because I’m more than happy to be there for our kids when they need me.

This is the year that I’ve also noticed that our oldest is being more social than ever. She is talking to my wife and I about her friends and the things going on in her life. I’m glad she wants to include us in everything as well. Seeing her in her dress yesterday with a big smile made me realize how much of a marvelous woman she is becoming; and how she will soon venture out into the world without our help or guidance.

But until then, I’m still going to take pictures and be a part of these graduation ceremonies! I’m so excited for her to make it through these school years and have an end goal in sight. It’s definitely a reason to celebrate!

Marking Ice

Speed Skating Ice requires marking at the start of the season. We share the rink with hockey and figure skating. Thursday morning, a few of the parents (and a coach) came out to do it. It’s more time consuming than I once thought. This is the third time I’ve helped out and the sixth time my wife has.

Marking the ice requires strict measurements so the the skaters can have accurate results for their times.

We each had a job to do. A few of us were measuring marking where we needed to place dots. One person was drilling holes for the dots, while two people painted the bottom of each one a different colour.

My job was to go around with a spray bottle and fill the holes back up with water once the paint began to freeze. I had to walk laps around the rink slowly filling each hole with water. A bit over a hundred holes and an hour and a half of walking. I began singing to myself “Watering the dots. I’m watering the dots..” to the tune of Disney’s Alice in Wonderland’s “Painting the Roses Red”.

It was a good feeling knowing that what we were doing will benefit the skaters all year. I like to think that our volunteering and support goes a long way. Now we are ready to start cheering and coaching the skaters for another season.

It’s All In The Routine

School’s in.  Now the after school activities are beginning.  Tonight is back to Speed Skating!  Yay! Ice rinks!

Our son has returned to begin his seventh year.  His older sister has also decided to return after a four year hiatus.  She was doing Cheer Leading during this time.  But now she wants to get back into competition speed skating.


Our son was like a bullet as he went back on the ice.  Faster than ever and not stopping. All of his friends greeted him enthusiastically as they raced around.

Unlike our daughter. Her first few steps were wobbly and a bit fearful. Much like riding a bike, she figured it out and began gaining her confidence. As the skating season continues, I’m excited to watch them both improve.


Our oldest child has also decided to return to the ice.  Unlike her brother and sister though, she will be volunteering her time as a junior coach and at the various meets. To graduate high school she needs a certain amount of volunteer hours.  This should help her out tremendously.

So we are back to spending our Wednesday & Friday nights at the rink. Plus the occasional weekend. Parenting is a good way to transfer your social life over to your children’s. At least the other parents here are in the same boat.

501st

This is now my 501st blog post.  I’ve written diligently everyday now since I started this hobby.  I often write about my children, my past, comic conventions, and movies.  My favorite movie franchise is Star Wars.  It has had a profound impact on my life.  But instead of writing again about my love of Star Wars, I wanted to thank those who use their passion for the Force and do good deeds.


Of course I’m talking about The 501st Legion.  It started with a small group of Star Wars fans back in 1997.   Then in 2007, George Lucas granted the Legion a limited use of the copyrighted Star Wars characters provided the members of the 501st promised never to use their costumes for personal profit and that they represent the franchise in a positive and respectful manner. 

Originally just having screen accurate Storm Trooper costumes, they now sport a variety of costumes from many of the Star Wars films, comics, and cartoons. Branching out from the original group in California- the group has since grown in numbers and factions. There are groups worldwide in various countries.

Our first Vancouver Fan Expo.

 

At the numerous Comic Cons I have gone to up and down the West Coast- there is always a 501st Legion in attendance.  Taking photos for donations, sometimes for the “Make A Wish” foundation, oher times for “The Children’s Hospital”.  Nearly every time we see them, I make a donation for my children to have a photo taken.  


The 501st is the only organization that I have been wanting to join.  Giving more than just money, I’d love to give some of my time.  Especially when it comes to children. I have always been a huge supporter of making children happy and keeping the magic alive as long as possible.  From the parades I would volunteer at with the movie theater to my years of working at Chuck E. Cheese’s, to the support of my own children- joining the 501 is something I feel I should do.

To the many volunteers and fans from the 501st- thank you for all you do and have done. Bad guys doing good. I know that many children, and other fans, have loved everything you have done for the communities you live in.  

What makes my kids wonderful?

I almost hate to do this as my second post, but I have some parental bragging to do.

I’m not here to talk about grades, or trophies, or accomplishments, but rather something that has surprised even myself.  My two youngest children have put themselves into a volunteer group at their school on their own accord.

Personally, I have a tough time letting go of my hard earned money.  I also find it difficult to want to give up my time for various causes.  So, at the start of the school year when our children came to us and said they wanted to join a volunteer group at their new school, it surprised me.  But being supportive parents, we told them to go ahead and we would make it work into our already busy schedule.

The volunteering the kids do at the school is for “Pa-Moja”- basically helping the neediest children in Kenya get the chance for an education. Here’s a quick link from our school’s website from a few years ago: LFAS Pa-Moja The school has been working on this project for many years now, and it seems to be quite successful.  I am all about education.  I think it is extremely important in today’s society.  Remember when I said that I find it difficult to give up my time to volunteer?  The school PAC and volunteering at the school is my one exception and has been for over nine years now since my first child entered school.

The reason I bring this up today is because of my daughter.  Over the past few weeks, the teacher running the volunteering has asked the students to create something of their own that they can then sell to others.  The proceeds would all go to the Pa-Moja Club and benefit other children.  Yesterday afternoon, my daughter still didn’t have any viable ideas and needed it for today.  After some discussion with my wife and I, she came up with making origami.

I love to make origami.  I used to do it all the time.  For my wedding fifteen years ago, I made origami napkin rings for our guests in our wedding colors.  I have books and papers throughout the house on how to make origami art.  I was happy to give her paper and show her how to make something.  I asked her when she would be selling their art- February- what do you think of in February?  Hearts.  It was an easy project to get her into her first taste of how to make origami art.

So much love to share

So much love to share

Before dinner yesterday, the two of us sat down, and I taught her how to make an origami heart.  Soon, we had made about a half dozen or so, and that’s when my other two children joined us.  So, I taught them how to make hearts.  What my daughter had done, unsuspectingly, was got others to volunteer their time and efforts.  And it was fun!  Over dinner, their was an air of excitement as my middle daughter gushed about Pa-Moja and how she was going to bring the origami to the school and teach others how to make a heart just in case they didn’t have a craft of their own.

As a parent, I’m always proud of my children.  But last night, something else happened.  I could sense the passion and excitement that volunteering had brought to my children.  My parenting style has always been to instruct my children to be respectful and kind to others.  Compassion, caring, and a willingness to help- that’s behavior that you can’t teach.  My children have impressed me and they have become pretty awesome human beings.  Being proud is an understatement.