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June 4, 2019

Introducing Miss Black Belt, in full regalia, right before her first class as a black belt. She might be slightly excited...


June 2, 2019

I have been having a reoccurring nightmare that Elizabeth would come down with stomach flu Saturday night and be unable to attend her black belt ceremony, so I made Elizabeth go to bed early much of the week.


This morning she came bouncing upstairs to tell me that my dream did NOT come true. For some reason the message that we ought to get there early for seating did not get passed on. Elizabeth actually didn't tell us until the morning of that she was supposed to be there early, which led to a little bit of stress!


However we made it and even found some chairs. Our whole family plus Grandma J, Uncle Chris, Auntie Yukiko, Erika, Maria, Auntie Janice, Uncle Mark and friends Dianne, David, Aidan, Caitlyn and Evelyn all came to watch.


They put on their show and got their new belts and then the newly minted black belts got to give out roses to the person that supported them the most on their black belt journey. Elizabeth gave hers to Sensei Cody. Then she went around getting pictures and signatures from various other senseis and generally had a grand time.


Now she gets to learn "the fun stuff", apparently. Many people asked her whether she's done. Her goal is to get a couple of degrees and then evaluate. She does think that maybe she doesn't need to go to the dojo five or six times a week next year, so as to carve out a bit more time to just chill. We're definitely on board with that!


To celebrate having survived 18 years of marriage we watched our daughter get her black belt.  We nearly went toilet shopping afterwards but decided in the end to settle for greek food at Arome Meze and a lack of fighting children at dinner (queue foreshadowing of the following day's outing).  Erika (with Auntie Janice as a backup just in case as Michael at bedtime can be a handful) was our intrepid babysitter. The food was lovely although we did find the presentation of the tiramisu rather hilariously unfortunate. After staring soulfully into each other's eyes for quite a while and wondering where the bill was we finally clued in that perhaps the wait staff were trying not to interrupt our moment.  Amazingly enough the house was still standing and the kids were all still alive when we got home.


We weren't going to do Doors Open Ottawa this year because our weekend was packed but the kids were sad and I was sad about it. Anyway, I thought maybe one of the places would be pretty close and we could duck in and not break our attendance streak after Elizabeth's black belt ceremony was over.


Long story short we went to Barber Carving & Sculpture mostly because I misread the map and thought it was in the Glebe and by the time I realized my mistake I was determined to go.


I'm glad we did, because it was easily one of the top three Doors Open locations we've ever been to. From the description I thought it might be a quick visit (only two rooms of sculptures to look at), but it was hugely entertaining and the older kids would have been happy to stay quite a bit longer.


There were amazing sculptures to look at and the kids were very interested to find out how they were made, but they also had all kinds of students there to answer questions and demonstrating how they were working on various things. One station was set up to allow us to try our hand at chipping away at rocks (the hammers are heavier than they look!) and another to carve our very own soapstone pendant. Amelia and I tried to make an A but she was not patient enough to get the result she wanted. Elizabeth made an ice cream cone and Matthew made a bird.


Elizabeth enjoyed it so much she wanted to know if they had a summer camp program and is contemplating whether she could try a class sometime.


May 26, 2019

Elizabeth had her first communion today. I tried to talk Matthew into staying home but he insisted he was fine and since none of us wanted to miss this special moment we let him come. He seemed pretty chipper at church but afterwards he went to lie down in bed and pretty much stayed there all afternoon.


Shout out to Michael who drove five and a half hours to come to bear witness with us. Amelia counted his presence as the top "highlight" of her week, despite the weird face she's making in the picture with him. She actually dragged him up to the altar so that she could have a photo with her godparent in the same place as Elizabeth did with hers!


She received her first communion from Creighton, which was pretty special. After the service the first communicants came forward to be blessed in front of the whole church. Then we had cake! Afterwards we came home for more cake and Elizabeth's baptism anniversary since we happened to have all the godparents in the same place at about the right time!


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