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It was Matthew's first grading. He was so proud. Not as flexible as his sister. Way more flexible than his parents.


Elizabeth went to a ballet party for her friend Karis and then they put on a show for us!


It was a fun day :)


When they announced the various things happening to celebrate Canada's 150th year, one of things I was most excited about was La Machine coming to Ottawa.


"Watch a giant robot spider and dragon fight in the streets of Canada", they said.

"Long Ma, the half-dragon / half-horse creature, stands at 12 metres high, 5 metres wide weighs 45 tons, breathes smoke and fire, and can trot, gallop, rear up, and lie down. Kumo, the spider, weighs 40 tons, sprays water, and takes 16 people to control all its intricate movements. At rest, Kumo is 5.7 metres high and 6 metres wide, but she can reach up to 13 metres when in motion.  Fully outstretched, she is about 20 metres. The Ottawa performance was La Machine’s debut in North America, with a performance called The Spirit of the Dragon-Horse, With Stolen Wings"


It was EPIC. I contemplated going to the first show (when the spider "woke up" on the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral across from the "other" spider outside the National Art gallery) but was glad we decided not to since there was a lot of standing around watching.


Instead we found a spot along the route the giant robot puppets were supposed to travel and waited. Soon enough the dragon made her appearance. It was BIG! It was CLOSE! It was NOISY! (The kids were quite scared). I was supporting Elizabeth against a wall, with Matthew on my shoulders while holding Amelia so my ability to take photos was non existent. Elizabeth took some video and very nearly dropped the camera when Long Ma sprayed her with water.


The kids liked the spider better - it was not nearly as intimidating. Matthew still insisted on getting down from my shoulders so he could hide under my knees LOL.


Then we were surprised to discover that that wasn't it! A live band followed the spider, with all the musicians suspended in the air. "Music in the sky!!!" marvelled Matthew.


Once the parade passed us, we decided to head to the market to catch them a second time (essentially taking a shortcut to another point at which they were supposed to pass). Elizabeth was hoping to get sprayed again but the spider was only spraying the other side of the crowd, to her great disappointment. So she decided she was on team Long Ma.


I have to agree that Long Ma was pretty amazing.


And afterwards we stopped in at Olive and Chili's for bakery treats, so we got declared the best parents ever!


My friend Evelyn puts on Friday fun days for homeschoolers in the summer.


We were too busy to go to most of these this summer but the thunderstorms on Friday pushed the carnival to a Tuesday when we had nothing else planned so of course we decided to go check it out!


There was cake, and hot dogs and all kinds of games to play (to win tickets to exchange for toys). The girls went swimming and checked out the BIG truck. Matthew seemed fine on the way to the event, but when we arrived he declared he "needed a nap" and promptly passed out cold. He then spent the entire time we were there either asleep or dozing, but Elizabeth got extra tickets for him and bought him toys she thought he'd like so he didn't feel left out.




Just like that Matthew has acquired his red stripe and is upgrading from white to white/yellow belt.


His sister is very proud.


Our annual group camping trip was booked for July 21-23 and we were super nervous because apparently the group sites around Ottawa have gotten popular enough that we can't book at the last minute once we're sure the weather is going to cooperate anymore. In fact, we ended up at Gatineau mostly because there weren't any other options available!


2017 was the first year that we dared to book two nights instead of one, but I think it's pretty safe to say it won't be the last. Some of us only did one night or the other, but a few of us stayed the whole time and we had a blast.


Luckily, the weather did cooperate. It was very hot, but not unpleasantly so. There was much fire. S'mores! Beach time! Hikes and games! Bottle rockets to the sky! Bubbles. Bold raccoons (but not so bold they bothered the tents). Pretty nice outhouse that Matthew even agreed to use...


We did girls and boys tents again, although Amelia stayed with Mom and Dad.


I think I still prefer the Rideau Pines group camping setup with the private beach one doesn't have to drive to or share with everyone else, but it was still a gorgeous campsite and we had an amazing time.


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