Friday, 30 September 2011

I'm pretty positive this is my last post about Jaclyn and high school

I thought these were well behind me, but then I got a call yesterday informing me that Jaclyn had been awarded the Governor General's Academic Medal for her graduating class. They had to explain to me what that was - I hadn't heard of it. (I guess that means I didn't get this award from my high school.) Jaclyn receives this medal, as well as a certificate, and her name is engraved on a plaque in Ottawa.

Since Jaclyn's gone, the blog is her first look at the award:

Lord Dufferin, Canada’s third Governor General after Confederation, created the Academic Medals in 1873 to encourage academic excellence across the nation. Over the years, they have become the most prestigious award that students in Canadian schools can receive.
For more than 125 years, the Governor General’s Academic Medals have recognized the outstanding scholastic achievements of students in Canada. They are awarded to the student graduating with the highest average from a high school, as well as from approved college or university programs. Pierre Trudeau, Tommy Douglas, Kim Campbell, Robert Bourassa, Robert Stanfield and Gabrielle Roy are just some of the more than 50 000 people who have received the Governor General’s Academic Medal as the start of a life of accomplishment.

(It's a little anti-climactic to get a high school award after you're gone to college. This award is presented late, long after the high school awards ceremony, because it is calculated after all June provincial diploma marks are in. So the pomp and circumstance surrounding it was slightly lame: Steven got called down to the office to pick it up and bring it home.)

Congratulations, Jaclyn. You'll have to look yourself up the next time you are in our nation's capital!

Saturday, 24 September 2011


It is funny to me that I don't enjoy repetitiveness from day-to-day, but I love it with the return of each season. September has meant cross country running season in our house for 10 years, and football season for 4. 

Each year brings it's own stories.

Chloe was grocery shopping with me at the end of the summer, and while we were in line at the check-out she picked up and turned over an Eatmore Bar. To her dismay, the ingredient list included 'milk solids'. I promised her I would come up with a solution - Eatmore Bars are a cross-country running tradition. I left it till the morning of the first race, but I found and combined a couple of recipes to come up with milk-free Eatmore Bars:

Eatmore Bars:

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter 
1 cup beehive golden syrup 
1 3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips 
1 1/4 cups small flake 20 minutes oats pulverized in a food processor, but not to pulverized
2 cups chopped dry roasted peanuts
1 T ground flax seed
1 scoop protein powder

Combine peanut butter and golden syrup over heat till bubbling. Remove from heat, stir in chocolate chips. Mix in other ingredients. Pour into 4 greased bread pans. Cool. cut each pan into 3 long bars. Wrap in parchment, tie ends with baker's string, store in fridge.

(The protein powder probably takes away from the stretchiness of the Eatmore Bars - omit if this matters to you.)

Carmen's story:

From 6th-9th grade cross-country running gets more competitive on the school level. A student's run time on the Terry Fox Day determines eligibility to go to school divisionals. Carmen really wanted to make it to divisionals, and asked me to come to her race to cheer her on. She wanted me to stand at the mid-way point (after the first hill, before the second hill) and count the runners so that I could tell her what place she was in and she would know what she had to do. And so I counted: 1: Elliott, 2: Maddie, 3: Aspen, and so on. Carmen was 18th, and only the top 12 go to divisionals. After I called out her place as she passed, I walked the short-cut to the finish line and started my count again. 1: Elliott, 2: Maddie, and so forth. Then Carmen broke through the trees and came into my view in 12th place. Tears sprung to my eyes, I was so proud. She had passed 6 people on the final hill, an amazing feat. Those of us standing near the finish cheered her in, not knowing that she thought she was still in 13th place. With a reserve of surprising energy Carmen sprinted the final 50 meters of the race passing the runner ahead of her. It was an inspiring finish. Her friends and teachers were impressed (even if she wouldn't have done it had she realized her position on the cross-country team was secure already).

This year Steven is playing his first football season on a school team. Before 10th grade all tackle football opportunities exist at a community level only. That's how I know he loves football: because he played before any of his friends were watching. Steve's high school junior team had their first regular season game on Wednesday. It was a close first quarter, but then our boys pulled away and won by more than 20 points (sorry I'm a little lost for details here I had to leave before it was over to pick up Carmen & Chloe from piano lessons). I was there for Steven's interception - though all I caught was pictures of the blue sky because I was too wrapped up in the moment to look down at my camera. Here's Steven standing up after it was all over (in the silver and green):

Steven took on a second football role this year: Coach Steve. And I took on a not-so-new role: paparazzi. I didn't think he'd pose for me. Pretty sure I was right about that. He's in the black hoodie with his back facing the camera.

We're enjoying one more September tradition today: better weather this first weekend of fall than we saw for most of the summer - yippee! 

Friday, 16 September 2011

Back to school

School bags waiting by the front door on *first day of school eve*.
Steven, Carmen, and Chloe went back to school on September 1st - a fitting day even if it did fall before the long weekend. I felt really blessed that everyone seemed to be ready for the next year.
The high school adjustment for Steven is more independence and responsibility.
Carmen has taken to the extra work-load of junior high (if you knew our junior high you would appreciate what I'm saying here). Carmen's attitude towards homework seems to be, 'Finally we're getting serious here. It's about time!'
Chloe had the good fortune of getting the teacher she was hoping for as well as her best friend in her class.
They've landed well.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

They should call it a short weekend.

Because it speeds by,

 Even when you try to take it slow.

We had our ranch weekend with Ken's family on the September long.

 Providing quads is one of many ways that Craig keeps us entertained!

 Next year we must remember ear plugs for the little ones.

Where were the 12&13 year old girls when I had babies?

 I remember it being hot, but I guess maybe not down at Waterton Lake?

 We actually made two trips to Waterton: one with the men, one without.

 Here I go with the back-lit photos I love.

 Ah, young people.

The tamest cricket ever.

 I can just hear Blake saying: You took all those action shots of me on the quad and you choose to post this???

 Without Cache as my assistant I wouldn't have a picture of Eric,

 Or Grandma.

 This one is all mine. I also have a similar picture of my brothers-in-law, actually.

 You know Ken is old when his childhood helmet is 'vintage'.

Cache planting his landing after flying off the swing.

I didn't have my camera with me on Monday because I sent it with the golfers. Ken took pictures at the beginning and the end. Here's Steve on the 18th hole.

I think the only one I'm missing is me - I'll have to get some pictures off Natalie, but here's our bear siting. Thanks for spotting it Craig!

Friday, 2 September 2011

Steven's Happy Place

Steven passed up Disneyland (and hours and hours of driving, let's be honest) to stay home and work another week and then be home for the first two days of school football try-outs. Those two activities are linked, actually - one thing Steven spent his summer job money on was his own football helmet. Steven has played football for so long (4 seasons already - this will be his 5th) that he has a strong enough preference for comfort and fit and he was willing to spend the cash. This helmet is called a 'Speed' which suits Steven nicely.