Yukiko, Erika, Maria, Elizabeth, Matthew, Auntie Janice, Auntie Janice's friend Jess and I all met up at the RCMP Stables to see the Musical Ride. We only had the manual lens due to the other lens malfunctioning (boo!), hence blurry photos.
Elizabeth was very excited to see "dancing horses". We thought we'd been very clever in going an hour early to secure a parking space and piece of lawn. Let's just say that there is a lot more to the event than the Musical ride. Safety Bear was parading around the grounds, volunteers were handing out stickers and tattoos, mounties were available for photos and were letting small children climb all over their vehicles while activating their sirens. Everyone else arrived much earlier than we did, but luckily St Columba was offering paid parking fairly close by!
Elizabeth had her fingerprints taken and did a colour changing experiment. There was cotton candy. And popcorn. And ice cream. And lollipops. (So much for our brilliant idea of brushing teeth before leaving the house!)
The police dogs did an agility competition. Gunmen shot at balloons and waved around swords while jumping their horses over obstacles. The Emergency Response Team demonstrated the world's slowest high speed chase, disabling the car amid billows of smoke and taking down the "bad guy" with great vim and vigour in a kind of strange ad for joining the RCMP. I mean, surely the kind of person attracted to joining the RCMP on the basis of throwing smoke bombs at cars isn't the kind of person that would pass their pysch profile. Right??? There was a pipe and drum band. And highland dancers.
And then the horses danced.
Elizabeth has been lobbying to go to the beach (inconveniently good memory strikes again!). "Matthew has never been at all, Mommy" she said. "Don't you think he might need to go?"
It hadn't rained in a few days and the green flags were flying so with no e. coli excuses I decided it was time. Now, I hear many moms routinely take their offspring places like the beach and the grocery store ALL by themselves. I do not, being blessed with both job and husband that lets us do most things as a family. All that to say that I made Elizabeth wear her life jacket while she ran up and down the beach like a wild thing while asking if maybe we couldn't stay forever.
Matthew was fascinated by the water and puddled trying to catch the fish nibbling his toes.
Auntie Janice here. I don't know how many of you are in Ottawa this week, but it's been pretty ridiculously humid here. With the humidity comes a renewed appreciation for air conditioning... and a mysterious increase in house flies. Earlier this week there was a random maggot on the kitchen floor (EW!), but we still haven't located the source. We've checked in cupboards, under cupboards... no luck. It's reassuring that they're not in the food, but, still distressed.
Luckily I have a very random skill in this instance. At one point in university I learned how to catch houseflies, and yesterday and today I've caught about three dozen. For all those of you who are similarly plagued... I've decided to break it down into steps and teach you all. Brendan helped me take a few pictures of the process, since we had a whole bunch of flies upon whom to practice.
Step 1) Wait until the fly rests on a good surface. The best surfaces are walls or glass, and encourage your fly to move to a more convenient location if it's near a corner.
Step 2) Cup your hands, and put them about a foot apart resting on either side of the fly, against the wall. Slowly and smoothly move your hands together until they are about 6" apart, while the fly is still resting.
Step 3) Quickly move hands together. If your intention is simply to kill the fly, squish hard. Find the compost bin. If you'd prefer to try the more difficult catch-and-release technique, keep your hands cupped and make a little box with your hands. A tickling sensation is a good sign. Open your hands outdoors.
Step 4) Repeat steps 1-3 with any other flies, and then wash your hands. Try not to curse when you notice yet. another. fly. buzzing. around... and repeat as necessary.
Here's the secret: Flies are more like a helicopter than an airplane in terms of takeoff. They must take off perpendicular to their surface before moving forward, and the takeoff is much slower than level flight.
*Sigh* There's another fly... I'm off to go find his resting place.
Elizabeth had her first day of school today. She's attending the "Je d'ecole" program - a half day transition to school program that takes place over five weeks during the summer.
Some of you know that we've been homeschooling her up until now and may be surprised to learn that Elizabeth is attending full day kindergarden at FrancoJeunesse in the fall. I have really enjoyed the homeschooling. I don't think that Elizabeth's "socialization" has suffered at all. She may have a little separation anxiety in new situations but we are quite sure this is a function of personality, rather than lack of opportunity to meet other people! Given enough time to warm up we have seen her thrive in numerous different groups.
The reason we decided to enroll her in school is that our list for what we want Elizabeth to learn by the age of reason includes becoming fluent in French. I investigated what is available within the anglophone homeschooling community and unfortunately the options are limited. We've been speaking French with her for one meal a day and going to the excellent program at Marius Barbeau. But she's the oldest kid at Marius Barbeau by about a year and it was clear to us that she needed something more.
Today we welcomed Matthew Alexander into Christ's church (quick refresher on why we have chosen infant baptism). My cousin Ryan and Auntie Janice are his godparents.
Matthew slept through the whole thing. Afterwards we had an open house with mini build your own pizzas and muffins. It was so nice to have the chance to get together with family and friends, some of whom we hadn't seen in over a decade!
Much thanks to Uncle Dave and my Aunt Muriel for some of these pictures :)