Monday, August 29, 2016

One last holiday before school!

School starts again tomorrow - well, least for the teacher types. Kids come on Thursday. In many ways I am excited to go back - and in a few others... I don't wanna go - I like holidays. :) 

Carly had a few consecutive days off last week and my sister-in-law very generously invited us to come visit their cabin - on a beautiful lake, so off we went. It was a lot of fun and we got to miss the rain in Edmonton. Win-win!

These are some of my favourites from the journey.

Any trip - she's ready to come! 
We went for a hike our first morning with the pups. 

The furry companions! 
Day one - careful of bears! 

On the trail
Someone (it was me...) threw a stick, which our dedicated fur-baby felt bound to retrieve... before she got stuck. Thankfully Carly was willing to go rescue her. 

Still happy - but stranded
Carly to rescue! 
We went water-sliding the next day with the boys and two of their friends. It was a little chilly - but lots of fun. I didn't take my camera though - so no evidence. 

Our last day there the sun came out, the wind died away, and we got a chance to go out on the lake. 

Tubing! I love Greg's face in this one. 
Don't I have a cute wife? 
Rock star #1
Rock star #2
Rock star #3
Queen of the rock stars!
Serious concentration
Learning to captain
 Tubing was hilarious to watch. The expressions as they flew over bumps and around turns were priceless.

Goofy (I love Josh's face in this one!)  
Quite confident 
Ready or not - tomorrow I'm back to work. I hope you've had a lovely summer.

Peace to you~

Friday, August 12, 2016

The stop over (turtle sighting!)

Between Quebec City and Edmonton we stopped for the weekend in Ottawa to visit some lovely people. The weekend involved some great conversation, brunch, a pedal powered pup crawl (with the Kell's Angels) for a birthday bash, market visits, and a lovely adventure to Gatineau Park - all packed into 2 days. I didn't tote my camera to most of it - but the little hike in Gatineau park was just so lovely - I thought I'd share.

We did the loop around Pink Lake- which had all sorts of neat fun facts. It's a beautiful park - somewhere I'd like to return to in the future. The lake itself is crystal clear. It's apparently a rare meromictic lake - which means that the bottom section is completely void of oxygen and the different layers never mix - having to do with depth and angle of the sides, cliffs surrounding it, temperature... It was really pretty.

My highlight was the GIANT turtle that was swimming by. I looked it up - and I think it might be a blanding turtle - but it's hard to know because it was covered in thick green algae. Just after the excitement of the big turtle - there appeared a babe. Great fun. It was neat to see them so close up.
TURTLES! (and frogs and fish)
It was a lovely little adventure. Thanks to Erin for taking us!

~peace to you

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Heading Home

It's amazing how fast 5 weeks can go. In many ways it seems like we were just packing to head to Quebec and now - we're enroute home. Craziness. The program ended well. As my brain kind of packed it in a bit early... there was a bit more time for adventuring. That's at last how I'm justifying it.

My class did some fun things as we were wrapping up the program. One of my favourites was the battle with Carly's class... Someone in her class had been smack talking mine - and the teachers decided we should have a battle for the title of "meilleure classe". It was hilarious - I don't know if a winner was chosen, but I had fun.

Carly's class did a French parody rendition of "I'm Sorry" by the Biebs talking about their French.
Pure awesomeness. 
The program also ends with a "spectacle". It's mostly presentations by the different workshops - dance, song... but the animateurs had created an embedded skit, which was pretty fun.

I really loved the Genie who was theoretically teaching French, albeit ineffectively. 

One of the things we squished in before we left was a visit to the Musée de la Civilisation which is an awesome museum. It's huge! I really should have started my visits at the beginning of the trip to actually make it to all the exhibits. There were lots which are fun - like Observe. More than meets the eye which is all about seeing/experiencing things differently or Like cats and dogs which is about how dogs and cats experience the world - where you can see the way dogs see, or test your capabilities compared to that of an animal (for example - if I were a cat, instead of me - for my height I should be able to jump close to 10 meters from standing! How crazy is that?). There was an exhibit on the history of Quebec - representing many different perspectives of the many diverse populations who live and have lived there (by far the most inclusive thing I saw during my time in Quebec about First Nations populations). Something that is really awesome about this museum is how all the exhibits are interactive. There are videos, games, activities, things to listen to... in all the exhibits, not just those geared towards a younger audience (although, those did have more of those elements). I think that's part of the reason it always seems busy.

Art in one of the exhibits in the area talking about winter. 
Apparently it's a necklace made out of duck bills.
I loved how the snowshoes walked along with you as you went through the exhibit
There were these HUGE pillow couches in the exhibit about cats and dogs that looked like, cats and dogs! I think they'd be great in my classroom... I'd only need one - anyone want to make me a giant pet? 
Art from Australia made from items found in the ocean
More art from Australia
In the exhibit about perception - there is a pinhole camera and mirrors you can play with. Fun stuff! 
My favourite part of the museum was the exhibit entitled Uprising X 25 which was inspiring! The exhibit looks at around 20 different uprisings, protests, or movements that have occurred in the last 25 years, since the Berlin Wall came down. It blended music and spoken word with text and videos. In some ways - it was amazing to see the ways in which people have come together over and issue and influenced changes in policy or action. In others it was a bit discouraging to see such a profile of the challenges faced in communities around the world - and how so many seem to have the same root. For the uprisings that I was more familiar with, it felt a bit like there were left out parts of the stories - the reactions or policies, or in some cases - the horrific responses of those in power. I did appreciate how the focus was on connectedness and peaceful protest. The only part I was truly disappointed by was how women were under-represented in the exhibit. Overall - it was amazing. As I wandered around - I found myself inspired and lesson planning. Thinking about things I would do with my kids this year - tied to language arts and active citizenship. Makes me excited for the upcoming year. I also really liked how there was a call to interact with the content. There is an opportunity to write your dreams, your ideals, your suggestions that will be blended together with others at the conclusion of the exhibit. Check out what's already there: Again - scheming plans with my kid-crew this year.

On our way 'home' we stopped at the "Cat Cafe" which is a bit of an odd experience. I think I counted 7  cats - I don't know if that is all of them or not - but the walls are lined with pathways for them - and there are pillows all over. They wander around and if they choose to approach you - you may pet them.

I am sure that the J-man and the monster would have LOVED it there. 
 Following the conclusion of the program, Carly and I took the train to Ottawa where we've been for the weekend hanging out with some friends. I like trains. I wish that they were more affordable in the West. Such an awesome way to travel.

Train ride
So that's it. We head back home this evening. It's been a bit of whirlwind experience - but good. I'll be glad to be home. I hope wherever you are - all is well with you.

Peace to you~