Thursday, 24 July 2014

24 Hours of Adrenaline

Okay, I'm going to spoil the ending here rather than try to repositon the photos in this post: Steven and a few of his friends took 3rd place for their age group (U25) at 24 Hours of Adrenaline on the weekend!  I just love this podium picture because it really says it all: first and second place went to organized X-country racing teams, and 3rd place went to some boys that just came out for fun - a last minute decision when a team spot came available a few weeks ago.

FYI: How the race works is that only one member of the team can be out doing a lap at a time, and over a period of 24 hours someone from the team is riding, with the team aiming for the most laps at the fastest pace.

Both day and night. 

The loosely organized team and a couple of their friends who came out to support.

And another look at the boys with their glass trophies. They won't be jumping on the X-country race circuit, though. (Back to work for my kid, anyhow.)

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Brown-Lowery Provincial Park

This place is less than 30 minutes from my house and until last week I did not know it existed!

I had planned on hiking with Chloe on Tuesday, and when it turned out that Mark, Monte, and Camille could join us I started researching for a hike that would work for Monte (on Mark's shoulders here, but he did hike the first couple of kilometres himself).

I was so happy to find something close - I'd rather spend most of my day hiking than most of my day driving to and from the hike. We even had a bit of a peak called Eagle's View.

Chloe brought her binoculars.

The second half of the hike was far easier than the first. All downhill on a shaded path, which we deserved after some surprisingly steep uphill in the middle. I'd like to do more hiking this summer, but I don't think I'll find another treasure like this one in my own backyard.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Falcons Basketball

The best thing Carmen did this spring was tryout for and make the Falcons Club U15 basketball team:

Her team wrapped it up last week with a team camp in Spokane, WA. Here's what her coach wrote after they got home:

I just wanted to send a brief note today thank you for allowing your daughters to share in what turned out to be a most amazing week of basketball and team.  I don't believe that I have ever seen a group of athletes come closer together and grow further than our girls did last week and for that I am extremely grateful.

My favourite part has to be the fact that our girls decided early on that they were not going to worry about what anyone else at camp was doing a and they were going to make the most of their experience.  The team cheer-can I get a hey ya- and the team effort for each other and against the other team no matter what was truly something it takes some groups years to learn. When we decide that it doesn't mater what others think we can truly be free to achieve. This shows in the skills and attitudes our girls developed last week. There wasn't a girl who doesn't have something new in their game coming home.  

My biggest hope, expressed to them as we returned home yesterday is that the lessons learned last week stay with our gang. Find a passion, work hard, and enjoy what you do. Love your friends and keep them close.Share your knowledge with others,  the next team, the next group of friends, new experiences.  My job will be to make sure that when we come back together that we progress, and build on what we learned this spring.  I will be watching this upcoming year, and helping to remember.  I hope the rest of us help to remind as well.


The truth is that Coach Dave is a masterful girls basketball coach. He is a father to girls, he gets girls, and he puts the kids first, which never compromises the basketball. I hope Carmen gets to wear #5 for years to come.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Chloe's Birthday

Chloe went and turned 13 a week and a half ago! She celebrated 4 times as far as I can figure:

With a few friends for a hot dog roast and an outdoor movie night.

On Sunday with the family that was around and in town.

She did not manage to blow all those candles out!

And on her actual birthday she and I went on a picnic to Elbow Falls,

Followed by dinner out with the rest of the family with gifts opened at the restaurant because that was the only time we were together and awake at the same time!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

EFY and Home

Carmen had a wonderful time at EFY, and she got a lot out of it.

Here's her group: Katelyn, Emma, Annie, Savannah, Carmen, Avery. They had the best time together, both serious and silly.

They wrote a song together:

We all came to EFY,
Hoping that we'd meet some really hot guys.
Sadly, they're not in our company,
So we're singing this melody.

We united in the dorm rooms on the 7th floor,
By next week we know we're gonna want some more.

We drowned our sorrows in Jamba Juice,
After all the counsellors set us loose.
Played 'DIGITS', and we called them all,
Kinda awkward, but we had a ball.

We united in the dorm rooms on the 7th floor,
By next week we know we're gonna want some more.

We picked Carmen up 7am on Saturday morning and hit the road. The air conditioning went on the blink between Las Vegas and St. George, so we drove with the windows down for awhile, and then it kicked back in. Ken likes to refer to this phenomenon in his Range Rover as British Engineering. But we survived! The road home is never quite as much fun as the road to a holiday - but the upside is that the road home tends to be a little quieter.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

California Road Trip - Anaheim

Somehow taking Carmen to EFY Santa Barbara turned into a major vacation for Chloe. We did Disneyland hard core for 3 solid days!

We checked off all the food bucket list items: churros, dibs, popcorn, Dole whip, as well as restaurants at Downtown Disney.

Chloe was a complete maniac for the rides. She did them all, and she loved them all.

Every moment not in the park was spent in the pool.

It was especially fun to visit Cars Land, which wasn't open 3 years ago.

Monte wearing his Lightening McQueen shirt.

We did slow down eventually for a couple of character shots.

The group

Chloe cooling off her feet. It was more than a little hot in the afternoons.

One morning it started out just the 3 of us. Chloe was fully committed to setting an alarm in the mornings so that we could take advantage of cooler temperatures and shorter lines and more rides!

I don't know how many times Chloe rode California Screamin'. Like I said, she was a crazy person on this trip.

There were rides for everyone!

Ken and I ducked out of Disney on the last night and went to an Angels game. We were mixed up on the start time, though, and arrived an hour early. The ball park was crawling with professional photographers, and the photo turned out alright, but maybe not to the tune of $40 for a proper download? When Disney only charges $15 for a digital download?

Meanwhile Mark, Ortensia, Kelly, and kids went to the parade in Disneyland, hit more rides, and saw World of Color in California Adventure. They don't look like they missed us at all.

Then again, neither does he. And Steven got 10 whole days to himself.

Monday, 7 July 2014

California Road Trip - Santa Barbara

In our family we've always liked a good road trip - getting there is half the fun! (Though this year Ken did run the numbers on flying, but the cost of airfare would have been more than double the cost of driving down. That settled it.)

We did the drive to California in 2.5 days. The first night we stopped in Idaho Falls and stayed with family. Family is an amazing thing, isn't it? We can go years without seeing these second cousins (third cousins to the kids) and pick up right where we leave off. 

We spent our second night in Las Vegas where Ken introduced Carmen, Chloe, and I to the best quesadillas of our lives at El Gordo's.

A new form of amusement for road trips: mom draws people on your toes. Unfortunately the people wore off immediately when they stepped out of the car. 

Sunday afternoon we reached Santa Barbara. Mark, Ortensia, Camille, and Monte beat us there by just a bit, and we spent some time checking out the beach and the pier.

By early evening Kelly, Avery, Emerson, and Phoebe had also arrived in Santa Barbara. 

We went out for dinner, and then hit the pool at Hotel Milo.

I loved our hotel. It had lots of character, I'm not even being ironic here. (Though our years of no air conditioning at home prepared us for our stay here.)

Monday morning we saw Avery and Carmen off to EFY Santa Barbara.

Meanwhile, Ortensia and Mark found entertainment around town for the younger generation, and then it was off to Anaheim!

Junior High Awards Night

At the end of June, Carmen and Chloe shared in a celebration of the school year at Awards Night.

Chloe was recognized in academics and arts with a subject award for Band, Language Arts, and Social Studies. 

Carmen was recognized for top female student in Phys. Ed. as well as Drama, World Affairs, and leadership in Building Hope. Oh, and she received the Heart and Hustle Award for basketball - can't forget that!

Now, I've always told my kids that the only award that matters is the Citizenship Award, and both girls were honoured with a citizenship medal. (Whew!) The staff actually made changes to the Citizenship Award this year, and made the requirements a little more stringent, so I am extra proud of these girls for their service to their school and community.