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Monday, December 6, 2010

Wet ‘n Wild

If you ever happen around these parts, it is likely that you may want to visit some of the theme parks…..especially if you’ve got a few of those errant childhood streaks still hankering to be unleashed. For the locals, there are great deals to be had on annual passes….kinda like the amazing season deals you can get to ski in the Northern Hemisphere.


Being the sunshine state that it is here, some of the most popular theme parks are of course, the waterparks. Many schools utitlise these parks for their end of year outings.


Our school ends its year, a week before most of the other private schools, and 2 weeks before the public schools. This gives us time to get to popular venues before the Holiday Crowd descends over the summer break. So, on the spur of the moment last week, on a cloudy but humid day, we braved Wet ‘n Wild….. Queenslanders tend to stay away when conditions are less than optimum ie. when its not sunny with clear skies, so on a cloudy day, we were hoping for shorter queues. A cunning plan, you see!


If you are an adrenaline junky, then this is the place for you!


This, I believe, is lil L hurtling down the Mach5 ! If you tend to only wear teeny weeny, skimpy swimming outfits, then this is possibly NOT the ride you should go on……and another free word of warning – on this particular ride, you need to cross your legs….unless you are partial to serious wedgies!


The Black Hole was a favourite….a long, wet ride in the pitch black darkness…until you get spat out into the light again.

IMG_1664a With the lure of waterfun such as the Kamikaze, Tornado, Aquaracer, The Whirlpool, Mammoth Falls, Aqualoop, Sidewinder, Surfrider, River Rapids, Calypso Beach etc,it’s a venue that one can easily find something to suit one’s station in life…


…even if it is just sitting at the manmade beach, watching the giant waves or catching a “Dive ‘n Movie”!

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Verdict

The snow is currently falling hard, but it didn't start early enough.
It looks like Ill have to navigate traffic and crawl all the way to school with the other suckers. And I'm sure that the area around the school will be horrible!
Oh well...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Will it or Won't it?

Snow is on everyone's minds tonight!
The forecast is calling for 5-10cm, but the big question is, will it fall hard and fast enough? And at just the right time?
In the best possible world, the snowfall would begin sometime after midnight, and would hit its peak by about 6am. And then, just maybe, we would have a snow day!
But I don't really think it will turn out that way...
The alternative is that the snow will start in the morning and we'll drive to school as it just gets going. The streets around the school, in their little micro climate, will be treacherous and slippery, but there won't be quite enough to call it a snow day. The phones will ring constantly with parents asking, "Is there school today? I didn't see anything on the website." (Which would clearly indicate that, yes, there is school today.) And then, some time later in the morning or afternoon, the whole thing will change to rain and create a sloppy mess on the roads.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A picture paints a thousand words…

Life’s a bit like that…





(That was four thousand words.....)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

More Fall Changes

Oh, how things can change quickly.
Here is the school field (I just love the tree at the bottom of the field!) about three weeks ago. It was a beautiful day!
And here is the same spot today. The gorgeous tree is more difficult to spot, as it is all bare. How did those leaves fall so quickly?? Well, I guess that's why we call the season 'fall'!
Can you see some snow on the mountains? They were so beautiful this morning, with a dusting of powdered sugar. Mmmm! This is the kind of day that makes me like the season!
We had our school Remembrance Day assembly this morning and watched a video about a Canadian nurse serving in World War I. I cried.
Tomorrow, I will go with my dad to the cenotaph ceremony. We will listen to the speeches, watch the veterans carry flags and lay wreaths, listen to the Last Post and Reveille, and spend a minute in silence to remember.
And, of course, we will wear our poppies.
Never forget.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fall Delights

We are deep into the season, and are always grateful for a dry, pleasant day! The trees are at different points in the leaf-losing process, some completely bare and others still green and leafy. The boys and I took a little walk to the park this afternoon. I had to do quite a bit of coercing...This was my favourite photo. It captures their personalities very nicely!
After the delights of the park ("Hurry up, mum, I have to leave!"), we came home and enjoyed a wonderful Face Time call with my niece, my dad, and other assorted family members. Do you remember wondering if, one day, we'd be able to see each other on phone calls? Well, now we can!
I love my iPhone!
The most delightful part of the day was the time change. We put our clocks back last night, and had an extra hour to relax this morning! Which means that, although from now until March, I'll be driving home in the dark, at least I'll be leaving for school in the light for a while longer!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Solomon, the wise one

Our friendly neighbourhood lizard has now been named.

The boys called him “Solomon” because he seems so 'wise' (entrepreneurial? opportunistic?)….especially when it comes to getting people to feed him!


The boys were on the computer the other day, when there was a banging on the glass door next to them…..surprised, they looked up to discover Solomon trying to get their attention.

We appear to have become like a “Drive Thru” or “Takeaway” service.
Or perhaps Lizards are like Cats, and consider Humans their personal slaves.
Whatever the case, it was very clear what Solomon was wanting.


I’m sure if we listened hard enough, we would’ve heard an “Oi !!!”….


He's putting on a bit of weight!
Maybe Solomon is actually a Selena....

Or maybe.....he's just very clever at getting what he wants!

Monday, November 1, 2010


It's October 31, the night when children dress up and take home impossibly huge amounts of candy.
For weeks, stores have been flogging large packages of chocolate bars, tacky pre-made costumes, and horrible decorations. Houses have sprouted huge cobwebs, graveyards, and ghosts hanging from trees. (That's the part I really dislike.) We're modeling a strange kind of hospitality...
I, however, carved three sweet pumpkins. They are currently glowing on my front step.
I did my part to support the fake chocolate industry. After I bought 100 little bars for the 30 or so kids who usually show up, Big Bear decided (completely in character) that more is better, so now we have 150.
Now, at 8:20 pm, the visitors have trickled to an end and we're left with more than half of what we bought. Uh oh! Who will eat all that chocolate?
We had quite a few little customers, most looking cute in their costumes, though a few were positively ghoulish. It was fun to welcome them and to send them off with treats.
And then, off they trotted to their waiting parents.
The fireworks are now banging away and the older kids are roaming about, looking for more serious excitement. And we have a huge bowl of chocolate to deal with.
No rest for the weary!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Weekend song

Don’t you love weekends?

I do.

Especially if the weather is perfect.


Our weekend was full …

music, sport, open homes, driving, friends, eating, chores, shopping, work, church, movies, and most importantly,

enjoying being with each other and ‘laxing out.


Relaxing this weekend included

being in, on, or around water, making silly faces, and playing with all sorts of cameras!

Music Moon1

Good weekends help with the week ahead -
they put a song in your heart!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


...are for Comfort Food !

Bring on the weekend !

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dry washing, sun, and green grass

I’m always amazed at how quickly the water disappears around these parts!


Pleased to say….SUMMER is back on track again……for now at least!


Monday, October 11, 2010

Storm Season

Ange of the North, I wish you and your family, a


What a superb tradition Thanksgiving is. I have such fond memories of being invited to join with a beautiful Canadian family and their extended family members, around a scrumptious roasted turkey dinner….lights, warmth, chatter, good food, great company, lots to be thankful about! I only wish we had something like it here. We could always do with reminders to be more thankful!
(Incidentally, it was also the first time I had ever tasted Spaghetti Squash!)….

There is one thing that Queenslanders are particularly grateful for, and that is RAIN!
I realise, this may perhaps be a difficult concept for Vancouverites to comprehend!
Because it doesn’t rain here for any great length of time, when Storm Season arrives, the wild weather and rain it brings, is a time of celebration….kinda! Also, the drought here 3 years ago made people much more appreciative of any downpours especially close to the onset of summer. Today, we awoke to water cascading off the roof and gurgling down into the gutters and watertanks. Don’t you love lying in bed and listening to the sound of the rain and wind and thunder outside, whilst you’re snuggled beneath your warm sheets and doona…..This is the sight that greeted us when we finally made it out from under our cosy beds -

Yes, this was the view from our back lawn.

You can tell that people here just aren’t used to a lot of rain. I overheard a news reporter interviewing people on the streets about how they were faring with the wet weather (big news!), and was amazed to hear some of the comments, including a lady who said that she is NEVER, EVER going to wear ‘suede shoes’ again when it rains!!!! Like, helloooo!!!!

Our pool - full to the brim!

People were out in their droves with their cameras, taking photos of the water in the wet (um....me included!). And everywhere (schools, malls, like everywhere!), people were talking about the rain....(or even blogging about it)!

The raging river that you can see here (above and below) is usually a beautiful green parkland! And that is a bridge you can see, almost totally submerged. About 250mm of rain has fallen in the past 24hrs in some of the worst affected areas. 3 years ago, our main water reservoirs were at danger levels, being less than 16% full......today, they are all full, and reservoirs are having to release water at regular intervals!

Do teachers over there get worried when it is a windy school day? I remember kids going uncontrollably spack at school on windy days….here I reckon the rain has the same effect! All the kids at school were SO excited/excitable!! My boys definitely couldn’t wait to get to school to see how it had fared with the flash floods….and to enjoy the prospect of rain all day.....wet weather lunchtimes....mega puddles to splash in......colourful umbrellas to destroy.....slippery wet concrete to skid on......noisy, revved up kids.....muddy patches.....water, water everywhere!

I guess the soccer goal is at least still visible. Not too bad considering!
(And thus was born the sport of waterpolo….?!)

Imagine being the unlucky teacher on duty today!
Imagine how many kids there were, that were tempted to check out the raging streams…

Imagine!.....I'm sure you can! :)

Thankful it's Done!

What a week it was.
I knew from the get-go that it would be intense, but catching a nasty cold on Tuesday made it all the more exciting!
The culminating event (after numerous evening meetings) was to be the huge enormous two-day teachers' convention, at which I was scheduled to present two different workshops. On Wednesday I realized that I'd forgotten to bring home a whole bunch of things that I'd be needing in both workshops. And, of course, I felt absolutely rotten. Oh, and I hadn't finished preparing the second workshop. Why did I ever agree to do this???
How does one predict how many people will show up in a workshop? How many copies of the handouts will be required? Nobody wants to be vain and make 100 copies, wasting reams of paper, but it's not cool to underestimate and be short. I was in a quandary, but finally decided on 20 copies. Conservative, yet realistic. And how many people came? 50! I was kind of overwhelmed as they just kept coming in, and we had to get more chairs and somebody ran to make more copies of the handout.
I was exhausted after teaching teachers for 75 minutes with a yukky cold, but felt that it had gone well. Whew!
But the week was not over yet! Little Bear and I still had a very long drive ahead of us. We left Surrey just after 1pm and had a lovely trip to Christina Lake, where the rest of the family awaited us. We chatted about music, relationships, and all kinds of interesting topics, and listened to all our fave songs. And in just 6 1/2 hours, we were there - record time!
This is what we drove up to. It was a wonderful bonfire, and such a relief to sit and relax after a very intense week. Today, I'll be roasting a turkey.
Thanksgiving weekend at the cabin is a cozy, lovely time. Even in the pouring, dripping rain. And even with ten people sharing a small space (five of whom are large, noisy offspring!). The technology is everywhere - four laptops, multiple smart phones, ipods, and PS3.
Wish you were here!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Summer Daze

I’m not sure where Spring went, but Summer has officially hit Down Under.

There are a few clues to why this may be so....

The 27degC temps yesterday could be a giveaway.

Or the fact that it suddenly feels too hot to be wearing jeans (naturally, I will be holding out as long as possible before donning shorts, since it doesn’t feel ‘right’ to be wearing shorts at the start of October...and there’s the fact that I’ve just gone and bought a swag of new jeans with all the recent sales!).

Then, there’s the fact that Mango and Lychees are starting to appear in the supermarkets. Strawberries and Grapes have been out for weeks. And Melons and Pineapples are getting cheaper all the time. Fresh, tender asparagus shoots are particularly tasty at the moment...and it looks like Sweetcorn is vying for space on the barbie again. Oh, it’s all good!

The sun is getting up far too early these days, and waking all the birds and wildlife up, way before I’m ready! I guess God knew what He was doing when He didn’t create me as a Kookaburra. Those early worms would’ve been happy at least....

Most significantly, our lizard population seems to have rematerialised, larger and 'chirrupier' than before. Thanks to our latest vizzies, A&T for the use of their photos, since I’ve been a bit lax with my camera lately.

This is our friendly Eastern Water Dragon who climbs (& falls out of) trees in the neighbour’s garden; sits in our pots or poses beautifully amongst our weeds; gives me a fright when he comes to say hello as I’m hanging out the washing; and tries to fit through the gap in our neighbour-on-the-other-side’s fence....but doesn’t realise that he’s getting a wee bit chubby, and gave himself a bit of a scare yesterday when he nearly got stuck! He has also taken a liking to swimming in our pool....guess that's what a WATER lizard might do well after all!

Then there’s the lizard in our letterbox, and the lizard who rides the awning up and down each night, and the lizards who fall off the automatic garage door as it rolls up, and the lizards who stick onto our windows & roof at night and make me want to wear a hat when I take the rubbish out (just in case they lose their sucky-ability as I’m walking underneath them!).

Oh, it’s all fun and games, now that Summer is here!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Just Married!

The highlight of my weekend was Sheri and David's wedding.Sheri, a grade two teacher at my school, is creative, earthy, and sweet. The wedding was a lovely reflection of her personality - and his, too. Not elegant or sophisticated, but simple, joyful, casual, and beautiful. (The prelude music was Hoppipola by Sigur Ros - very cool!)
After it was all over, Sheri, David, and about 40 of their funky friends rode off to the reception on bicycles.
It was a perfect early fall day, just right for a bike ride with good friends.
I believe the happy couple is on their way to the Oregon coast for a honeymoon. Couldn't be better! (But I hope they go by car!)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Oh where, oh where have the holidays gone…?!

The last term of the 2010 school year is nearly upon us!


Bye bye holidays


Aaaaaaargh! The end is nigh.

Monday, September 27, 2010

That Wascally Wabbit

Lately, we've been noticing the cutest little grey bunny hanging out in our neighbourhood. He shows up and nibbles in our rapidly-declining garden, then hops on over to someone else's yard to sample the delights of their garden. One of our neighbourhood dogs has had the most wonderful pursuits, but the rabbit always seems to get away.
I worry for the little fellow; there are hungry coyotes, as well as dogs, in the area (see my old post here), and winter weather is on its way. Where does he live? Will he survive?
Hopefully, he'll make like Bugs and foil all the dastardly plans for wabbit stew!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Glass Flowers

So today, the boys and I were chatting about friendships and those sorts of things......as one does over a leisurely lunch during the holidays.

One thing led to another, and the boys decided that we should write a poem about friendship. So we have.

And then E decided that we should call it “Glass Flower”. So we did.

We took some photos, and E worked his magic with some photos for me. So here they are.

I hope you’ll enjoy the little artistic foray (& hopefully it makes sense......albeit in an artyfarty kind of way! Be very relieved.....my original poem was called ‘The Mysterious Bellybutton Fluff’....the boys vetoed that little piece of inspiration. They said that from the title alone, the poem was doomed..!!)

Glass Flower

Fragile beauty, delicate attraction

Song without words

Your very presence takes the tear

And moulds it to your will.

With your warm golden flecks

You reflect life and health and vitality

Prismic splendour

You cut through the dross

All who see you, reach out


Those who have ever held you


To experience you is to live

But for many

Your intricate loveliness is unbearable

Your colours are too bright

The light comes, the light goes

Hues waft, but never settle

Your visage is fleeting

A hint of something more

The diamond edge

Cuts too deeply

Jagged petals, ragged buds

A million dreams

Shards in the universe

All together alone

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