Thursday, August 17, 2017

For weeks I have been trying to purge and organize the crafting/art supplies that have overflowed the shelving unit in the dining area and the bottom drawer in the kitchen.  It’s difficult for me to find the energy for what feels like a monumental task.  The challenge is compounded by the fact that Danika is producing a great deal of art these days.  And while she has been using some of the supplies in our existing stash, she has also required new supplies for certain projects.  Her favourite place to go these days is Michael’s craft store (I admit, I am always happy to drive her there – thank goodness for their 50% off coupons!). This week she has been creating duct tape desk organizers and decorating mason jars to store Sharpies and pencil crayons. The mason jar project turned out great, but only after a lot of trial and error – we learned spray paint offers smoother coverage than acrylic, but chemically reacts with polymer clay, necessitating the use of a glue gun.  

Monday, August 14, 2017

The first week in August was Mama Camp.  Which is just another way of saying hanging out at home for a week in the blazing sun (unusually warm for Victoria). We went for a lot of bike rides and ate a lot of ice cream, as well as enjoying a trip to Willows beach with some buddies, trampolining at Flying Squirrel, and swimming at Commonwealth Pool (Danika jumped off the 1 meter diving board for the first time and caught a rubber chicken in mid-air).  Logan and I attended “Victoria’s Biggest Little Airshow” on Sunday, an exhibition of radio controlled airplanes.  There was a raffle for the very plane he’s saving up for, but we didn’t receive the phone call saying he’d won.  In between the fun, I helped Daniel install sheetrock on the playroom ceiling, and went to look at paint colors – I’m leaning towards Hawthorne Yellow, which Danika thinks will nicely complement the blue sectional couch we bought.  After 9 days at home, Tuesday morning was a bit of a shock, but it was a short week.  The kids were at Vikes camps at UVIC - tennis for Logan and adventure camp for Danika.  She climbed to the very top of the 55 foot climbing wall several times!  When I asked if she ever looked down while climbing up, she explained you have to do that, otherwise you end up at the top, realize just how high you are and are afraid to come down.  This week they are in science camp and then the summer camp schedule is done.     

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

The photos above are courtesy of the scout camp facebook page, which gave parents left at home a glimpse into what their scouts were doing all week at camp.  Canoeing, caving, hiking, building catapults, swimming, tubing, and generally having an awesome time.  Danika and I crawled over the Malahat (construction and heavy traffic have turned that road into a summertime nightmare) to Lake Cowichan to pick Logan up on the 29th, along the side of the road where I’d dropped him off 8 days earlier.  (To minimize vehicle traffic on the scout property, drop-off and pick-up were along the road, which I guess makes sense, but it feels very strange leaving your kid with strangers along the highway!) He was hot, dirty, exhausted, and already excited about returning next year.  

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

We are into week 4 of the summer, week 4 of the summer camp schedule.  In the first week, Logan was at Minecraft camp again with Nathan.  Although Danika was finally old enough to go this year, she decided she didn’t want to and opted for art camp instead.  Which she loved.  She came home with all sorts of clay creations and canvasses to frame.  Week 2 they were both out at Camp Thunderbird in Sooke, busing from the YWCA downtown each day.  5 long days of archery, kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing and capture the flag – they came home exhausted, pink from the sun and loved it.  Week three was Granny Camp – Granny came from Manitoba to hang out for a week, taking them to the Minion movie, laser tag, the swimming pool and the trampoline gym.  They biked around, made “flubber”, and Granny helped them get everything ready and set up for the kids vendor day at the Oaklands summer market.  It was a valuable lesson in how much work it takes to earn a living selling things, and how fickle the crowds can be.  Danika spent hours preparing 20 grass head kits for sale – I was sure these would appeal to kids, but apparently not.  The eggs and kettle corn were better sellers, and Logan did manage to sell one of his “fire starter kits” (matches, char cloth and tinder wrapped in a tin can).  This week Danika is back at art camp with a friend and Logan is off at Scout camp in Lake Cowichan for a week – I dropped him off on Saturday morning, a little apprehensive and super excited.  It’s so quiet with only one child in the house!!! But we miss him. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Danika is a cyclist!  After a friend invited her to bring her bike (she didn’t have one) to a playdate, she came home and said she would  now like a bike and it was probably time for her to learn to ride as it would only get harder as she got older.  So we went shopping for a “coconut” helmet (AKA a Nutcase) and a bike.  Upon visiting the bike stores with Logan, we found she is almost in between sizes – the 20 inch probably won’t last more than a year and the 24 inch would be difficult for her to manage as a beginner rider.  So we decided to find a used 20 inch, since the only thing she really cared about was the color.  UsedVictoria came through with a teal 12 speed, which she fitted with tassels and a new lock.  After a bit of frustration on the street, I took her to the track at Oak Bay High and within 3 minutes she was cruising on her own.  The completely flat, slightly softer surface was just what she needed to take off.  Now the trails await, as soon as we can find a bike rack to get us there!  

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Logan is ELEVEN.  On June 25th, at 11:59 am on a Sunday morning, in temperatures that were almost as hot as the Sunday morning he was born 11 years ago, he was test-riding a new bicycle.  An adult size bicycle, because in the last 11 years he’s grown about 50 inches and gained 90 or so pounds and now he runs faster (almost) and throws farther (definitely) than I do.  He's old enough to light the birthday candle on his lemon meringue birthday tart with a jet lighter (it was too hot to bake!).  He speaks two languages, plays musical instruments, and can wire up LED lights. He pushes himself to climb higher, jump farther, and grits his teeth and plasters on his own thick layer of bandaids and bandage tape when he inevitably scrapes the skin off his knees yet again. Demonstrating a genetic predisposition from his father's side of the gene pool, he completely immerses himself in the things that interest him.  His bedroom is a pile of squash and martial arts gear, soldering irons/wire/screws/electronic bits and pieces, his violin and sheet music, and Bilbo's multilayered habitat.  These are the things that his tenth year was all about.  For his birthday, he received an inflatable raft (I loved these things as a kid at the lake) and a ukulele which he's been wanting for quite some time. Not a toy version, but an actual instrument - it has the same tuning as a violin so the song he's learned with a bow can also be played on the uke.  Some birthday money that he was excited to receive has been added to his remote control airplane fund.    

Monday, June 26, 2017

Receiving his new Scout "woggle"
With one last camping trip under their belts (2 nights tenting on Sidney Spit) the scouting year has officially drawn to a close.  Logan “swam up” from cub scouts to scouts and was formally “invested”, which involves donning the new uniform and making the scout oath and promise.  This had to be done prior to attending scout camp next month.  Just because the meetings are over doesn’t mean he’s done with scouting activities for the summer however.  Last week he raided all of my first aid supplies to assemble a personalized first aid kit and a separate survival kit.  He dug through a small stash of 12 year old immodium and gravol tablets (which I told him he could not use) and allergy pills (I gave him one to be used in case of a bee sting).  He wondered aloud if he could put boxes of matches in birthday gift bags this year (I said no, because not all parents let their kids light fires on their driveways).   A neighbour walking by asked Logan what he was doing out there on the sidewalk – I’m not sure she knew that “whipping” the ends of a nylon rope meant melting it down to prevent frays – I’m sure she was just concerned about open flames near her house.  He also wondered whether there were Rescue Annie dolls that bled, so you could practice stitching skills, and whether you could substitute a sewing kit for a suture kit – I suggested bandaids might be a better idea than sewing up your hiking companion.  He’s quite interested in first aid right now, which is great – perhaps Grandma can give him a crash course in emergency medicine when she comes to visit this summer.