Wednesday, May 28, 2008
NEW VISITOR TO THE PASTURE
Curtis had told me that there had been a Blue Heron at the pond and, of course, he did not have any photographic evidence so, we had to only assume that it was his active imagination and that there would be a giraffe there tomorrow. BUT, the next afternoon there he was back again! I was in the kitchen and when I spotted him I said "OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD" to Mesa who was following me and who I nearly knocked down sneaking to the office to get the camera. Yes, when there is something at the pond that I want to take pictures of, I sneak around the house so that I don't scare them off! I got the camera and hid behind the vertical blinds to get the shot and as soon as I stood in front of the window where he could see me, he flew off. Chester was outside in the dog run and he was going crazy! He did not like the look of that big bird at our pond. NO WAY!
These are a couple of pictures that I took of Claire. She likes to come for walks in the pasture with me when Chester is doing his zoomies and the other dogs are sniffing stuff and having a good old doggie time. This truck topper was left when the other people moved out and Claire likes to sit on it.
We were at breakfast last weekend in Spruce Grove and I was sitting beside Claire and I noticed that the bridge of her nose is covered in little freckles!! She commented that that many was OK, but hopefully she wouldn't end up with as many as Me and Auntie Mee-Mee. OH THE HORROR!!!!
PLANTING A GARDEN
We are going to attempt to plant a garden. We were doing to do it last weekend, but it was way too wet. So, hopefully we will get the potatoes and onions in the ground before I leave on Friday, otherwise, Curtis will be planting them while we are gone.
We are also going to have lettuce and salad mix, white and green cucumbers, 2 types of tomatoes, carrots, green and yellow beans, zuccinni and peas. I have never planted a garden before, but I love to buy stuff so, I went a little overboard. We are going to have red and BLUE potatoes. Curtis could not believe the blue ones when we cut them for seed! He said "couldn't you just buy regular potatoes?" Of course not.
At Christmas time the kids were very lucky to receive money from their Baba and Gedo to buy them a trampoline in the spring. Canadian Tire had them on sale the week before we left for Ottawa so, I went and picked one up. Curtis put it together while Daniel and I were gone and Claire got to enjoy it by herself for a few days. I think the kids have been on it everyday since it was put up and they are usually not on it by themselves. You will notice the orange cat in the picture. That is Tracker and he is so happy that kids moved to his house. He does not go on the trampoline unsupervised, only when the kids are on it too.
SIDNEY ENJOYING HIS PASTURE AND SPRING
Yesterday was my 35th birthday. I got an AWESOME Pink BlackBerry Pearl from Curtis and my Mom and Dad gave me two small serving dishes for my china and two of the Waterford crystal glasses that I collect. These are the glasses that I have that are similar to each other (i.e. not wine glasses). The two on the right of the picture are my new ones. They are different than anything that I have, but who cares. They all look good together. I would like two of the bigger/wider ones next time (wink wink). Thanks Mom and Dad and Steph, see you in two days and we will go out for dinner then!
Friday, May 23, 2008
This is the only video that I am going to post of Daniel fighting at Nationals. Not because he didn't do as well as he wanted to, just that if you aren't that into karate or know that much about competition fighting, watching endless video of a 10 year old competing can be a little monotonous. I picked this video because you can see other rings going on at the tournament and you can see and hear Gary coaching him from the floor. PLUS, this is a fight that Daniel won!
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Once again Daniel competed in the WKA National Tournament in Ottawa from May 15 - May 19th. We left very early Thursday morning and had a fairly uneventful flight. Daniel has terrible air sickness and managed to keep everything down until we hit the ground in Ottawa and the brakes kicked in. Oh well, only one puke session on the entire flight was pretty good for D.
The inside of the plane going to Ottawa
The Great Lakes through the window on the way there
Daniel feeling pretty good and having a snack on the way there
Once in Ottawa we attempted to see the inside of the Parliament buildings, but no such luck. A protest about the ethnic cleansing of Palestine had it on lock down. Oh well, there is always next year. We checked into the 4 points Sheraton just across the river in Hull, Quebec and Daniel went for a short swim. Grey's Anatomy was on that night and I wasn't missing that, not even for karate!!
Daniel cut weight the week before the tournament started so, there was no eating from the time we touched down (2:00 pm Thursday) until weigh in at 2:00 pm on Friday. He made his weight class of -35 kgs and then he got to enjoy a wonderful Subway sub and get ready for fighting Friday night.
Daniel and his friend, Noah listening to Sensei Cody and Sensei Gary at the Alberta team meeting.
Team Alberta getting the low down from "Mr. President" of Alberta, Sensei Cody Diesbourg(in the shorts) and Sensei Gary Vig.
Daniel had 5 fighters in his division for Continuous and I don't know if he just wasn't conditioned enough or the cutting weight drained his energy, but he ended up 4th out of the five and was very disappointed. Last year he got the bronze medal out of four fighters. Maybe he was a little over confident, I don't know. We are not disappointed, he did really well and went all that way to compete and that is what he did. When we got home yesterday he told Claire that he wants to do karate forever and she said "you mean you are going to compete until you are like, 80?". Daniel said "until my body won't let me anymore." Too funny.
When the kids weigh in and register for the tournament, they are given cards with their division and if fighting, their weight. When the fighting divisions are ready to start, they call the age group. For Daniel it is 12 and under boys. They put all these envelopes on the floor and the kids are to put the card they received for that division on the envelope that has their weight class written on it. Once they have "thrown in their card" they stand around and pretend that they aren't looking, but they are totally scoping out their competition and counting the number of cards on their envelope hoping for no more than three so that they can get a "by" to Worlds. This is quite possible in Continuous fighting, but rare in Point fighting. Not many of the eastern kids (Ontario and Quebec) compete in Continuous, but they all do Point.
On Saturday Daniel competed in the -35 kg Point Fighting Division. There were 13 fighters in his division and it is two rounds of single elimination. This means that you have to keep winning your fights to advance up the ladder. Daniel lost his 1st fight in the 1st round so he got to sit. he won his 1st fight in the 2nd round and then lost his next fight so he was finished for the day. Winning 1 fight was not enough for him to advance to the finals on Sunday so, he was done for the weekend. Again, not the result that he wanted, but that is OK and he will re group and try again next year.
Daniel standing waiting for the 2nd round of point to start. He is with his coaches, Sensie Gary and Sensei Sean. They are awesome and we would not be there at Nationals if it wasn't for them. Sean was competing for thr 1st time in the adult divisions this year and he did incredible. Sensei Gary was not competing and was just there to coach our kids. He has a 3 month old baby at home and paid his own way to Ottawa to be there with our kids. There are just no words to describe how amazing that is and how much he means to all of us. And his wife, Wendy, deserves a hand too, for supporting him and our kids behind the scenes.
After everyone in our group had finished fighting Saturday night (about 6:30 pm) we all headed back to out rooms so tht the kids could shower and then met in the lobby and walked over to a great little french bistro/deli/bar restaurant for supper. The funniest thing was that Dave Rogers (Stephanie's husband) was outside at the front of the hotel waiting for us all to get organized in the lobby and we didn't really notice that he wasn't with us and we all headed out the back of the hotel to the restaurant. So... we were sitting at the table and Stephanie's phone rings. It is, of course, Dave, wondering where we all went!!! Her managed to make it to us with some text messaged directions, but I am sure that Stephanie will be paying for the fact that she left her husband behind for quite some time.
At the restaurant, Daniel and the rest of the kids sat at their own table. I gave Daniel my camera so most of these pics were taken by him. He had a great time eating pasta with butter and even ordered himself a great big piece of chocolate cake!!! Without asking, I might add!! He also had chocolate milk, so by the time we got back to the room, Daniel was flying! He did not fall asleep until after midnight!
The kid's table
The adult's table
Gabrielle by Daniel
Daniel's new friend, Doug, helping him eat his giant piece of cake.
Daniel taken by Doug
Austin and Joe
Daniel taking a picture of Alex taking a picture.
Stacey taken, by Daniel
On sunday we were back at the tournament to cheer everyone on for the final day of fighting. Stacey won gold in point, Alex won gold in point, Joe got 4th place in point and so did Sensei Sean and John. Our fearless leader, Sensei Cody got 2nd in traditional kata, 1st in bow kata, 2nd in musical weapons and 2nd or 3rd in point. Team Alberta cam e home with a total of 24 medals, the best they have ever done. Everyone headed back to the hotel by about 4:00 pm and the kids hit the pool for a couple of hours where they tried their hardest to drown Josh. Later we all pitched in and ordered pizza and had a few drinks. The kids hung out in Josh's room and watched videos on Youtube and a movie. Parent's party was shut down by 11:00 pm when we received our warning from the front desk to keep it down. It was a good thing as a number of our team members were flying out at 7:30 am the next morning.
Karate Moms (I totally stole this pic from Barb's Facebook album so I have to give her props).
New friends from Ontario
The Karate Dads
Daniel and I didn't fly home until 7:40 pm on Monday night so we got to sleep in and checked out of the hotel shortly after 12:00 pm. We headed down to Byward Market in Down town Ottawa and had lunch at our favourite place, Le Moulin De Provence. It is an amazing authentic french bakery where you can sit and just watch the people. Daniel bought a dragon at an outside vendor and we made Claire a beautiful necklace at a bead store. I found a new line of handbags that I am now in love with. Matt and Nat make all vegan handbags and if you didn't know , you would think they were leather. My new bag is green and beautiful and Steph will get to see it in a week!!
We made it to the airport in lots of time and headed home with NO PUKING! D slept most of the way and I redosed him with Gravol an hour before we landed. He slept all the way home from the airport and went straight to bed when we got home.
Sky going home
Daniel asleep on the plane ride home.
Needless to say we had an AMAZING time and can't wait to do it again next year!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
So..... Last night Claire and I had a girls night out. We went into the City to see David Beckham and the rest of the LA Galaxy play soccer. HOW AWESOME IS THAT !!!! I kept trying to impress on Claire how awesome this was and how it was, most likely, a once in a lifetime experience, but I don't think she gets it. On the way home she kept asking if we could check the website to see when they were coming next (sigh).
Traffic was crazy going in so Claire had time for a nap. Don't know how her neck doesn't snap off when she sleeps like this.
We had a great time and David played 72 minutes, kind of. I have come to the conclusion that he is grossly overpaid. He gets to kick all the free balls (everyone cheers when he does this) and because he is a Middle player, the rest of the time he just sort of hangs out on the edges of the middle and if the ball comes close to him, then he kicks it, or tries to kick it. They don't want him to get hurt so, they don't let him do too much. After all, he is 33. Old, right Steph? His birthday is May 2, so he is sort of your kindred spirit!
David is No. 23
Claire and I at the game
We only got a little bit wet, so not too bad and we had a polish sausage and diet coke for supper and Twizzlers for dessert. Claire got to bring home a poster (stood in line for 40 minutes, btw) and it is hanging up on her closet door and everyone in her ENTIRE class wanted to go, but she thinks that she was the only one that went. Very happy girl. It was good to see her having a good time.
Goodbye David, until we meet again!
Just to keep you up on the wildlife at out place, we now have many ducks on the pond and the bird book is on the kitchen table. I don't know what any of them are except the Mallard pair. We also have a goose mated pair hanging out in the afternoon. they swim and sun themselves on the shore and then go to the field behind us to eat. I don't think they sleep on the pond. Curtis thinks they will nest here. That would be cool, but the vats would have to be locked up.
Speaking of cats, the following is a picture of the 2nd weasel that Mr. Tracker has caught. We know it was him because the weasels put up a fight and he got his nose bit. I am hoping that he leaves the rest alone because they eat mice too. The number of dead mice in the garage these days numbers about 4 a day. They always bring them home to show Curtis what a great job they are doing.
We have been out to the pasture every night so that Chester can do his "Zoomies". He is very happy, as are all the other dogs that the snow is gone and they can go back out to their private dog park. The other night Daniel took these pictures of the different kinds of poop in the pasture. We are sure that the smaller ones are deer scat and we think the bigger are Moose scat. Sorry for the blur, Daniel doesn't focus before he shoots.
That night I could see this bird sitting on the fence post just on the south edge of our fence line right by the road. I thought it was a hawk, but now that I have looked at the pictures, I see that it is an owl. Very cool. Curtis saw one last week that he thinks was a Great Gray. No photographic evidence, though.
Now you are up to date on critters.