Thursday, December 24, 2009

We're Back!!

Alright, so we're back from Mexico so I thought it prudent to give a little report. It's not going to be too long because I have to prep for Christmas but as you can see it will include some pictures. So we left early on December 8th. It was -28 that morning. We traveled from Winkler to the U.S. border in Emerson and then on to Grand Forks. It took a little longer than expected to get there because a warning light went on in the car so I had to slow down. That was a little scary. All I could think was, "just get us to the airport". We made it to the airport obviously. When we got there I dropped off Tina, took her jacket and mitts and went and parked the car. I left my jacket and toque there and ran to the terminal. I parked in economy so it was a bit of a hike. When I got to the terminal Tina told me she forgot to give me her boots. She was not lugging them around Mexico. So back to the car I ran and then back to the terminal. That was cold!!!! Finally we got on the plane and were off. In Minneapolis we were worried about the storm coming up from the Midwest throwing a wrench in our plans. Fortunately it only hit in the afternoon. The flight to Cancun felt a little long but landing and getting out into +28 was kind of nice. We spent the first 5 days at the Xcaret Grand Flamenco Resort near Playa del Carmen. It was really nice but a little confusing at first because it's sooooo big and the maps aren't that great. It's really easy to have lots to drink there. It's an all inclusive resort so all the drinks and food are included. Margaritas taste very good when the temp is pushing 30 degrees. It was a very relaxing time for Tina and I. It had been hectic with work for Tina and school for me so it was great to unwind before we headed off to the colonies. For those of you who don't know the real reason for the trip was for research. Royden Loewen, who chairs Mennonite Studies at the University of Winnipeg is writing a book on the history of horse and buggy Mennonites in North and South America. He has about 8 researchers heading off to different areas to gather stories. Some of you might remember Tina heading to Mexico in January to do this. At that time she made it to most of the colonies on the Yucatan Peninsula but still had two to go to. That was the reason for the trip. We just included a little vacation time as well. We didn't do much at the resort other than sit at the beach and do a bit of dancing. There were tours going out to different areas. But we only had 3 full days at the resort so decided to rest and enjoy the outdoors rather than push ourselves. We got a lot of reading done. I read Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs and Tina read Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. We both enjoyed them a lot. So on Saturday, Dec 12 we headed off to Hopelchen. We took a bus from Playa del Carmen to Merida. From there we had to walk to a secondary terminal to catch a bus for Hopelchen. We caught the last one for the day 5 minutes before it left!! Thank you God for your traveling mercies. So we rolled into town at about 7pm. It was dark already and there was lots going on in the main square. Fireworks and shops and people walking around. It was a major festival on the Catholic calendar. I haven't quite figured it out yet but I think it was Guadalupe or something. I'll look it up some time. There are some Amish in Hopelchen helping out the Mennonite Colonies in that area so we headed off to their place. Tina had been there in January. We actually ran into Jonas in the main square. He was heading off to a restaurant where his family was, so we joined him. It was outdoors (it's so nice) and we enjoyed Ponochos, Tacos and Orange Fanta. Ponochos are a small torilla that is a little thicker and has chicken and peppers on it. I made sure to add a little Habanero sauce to give it a little kick. We spent the night at a neighbor lady's spare room. The next day we were off to Neuvo Durango colony, which is about 1 hour southeast of Hopelchen. When we arrived we walked into a room with 10 preachers from the surrounding colonies. That was a little freaky. But Tina was her charming self and by the end had set up some interviews and made a contact with the other colony that we wanted to go to. We spent 4 nights in the colony with the Deacon and his family. I went to some of the interviews, read my book and played one afternoon with the three granddaughters. I even got to go to an Old Colony school one afternoon. Children only go to school until they are 12 years old. I find that a little sad because I met some children who were very sharp. But on the other hand for the lifestyle they live they don't need much higher. When I walked into the school I thought I had walked into Anne of Green Gables. Kids were on benches with long desks using slate boards and chalk. (Chalk pencils that is) They sang the catechism and did the multiplication table by rote chanting it in unison. When we walked in with the teacher all the children stood up and the teacher said Gaun Dag (Good Day) and the children replied with the same in unison. A very different experience. On Thursday we got up very early and we had a buggy ride to the nearest village which was about 1 hour away. From there we took a taxi to another town to catch a bus. The taxi was interesting. We pulled up at this house that had a truck with Ontario plates and a van with no plates. Then a Mayan kid comes out who looks about 12 years old and gets into the drivers seat. I think he was 15. He drove well. So we went to the town and took the bus back to Hopelchen. That afternoon we took a taxi to the Mayan ruins at Xtampac. It was kind of funny. We booked the taxi and he drove around a bit and ended up picking up a girl. From our limited understanding of Spanish he wanted to find someone to help him pass the time while we were at the ruins. She certainly did that in a kanoodling sort of way. Anyway, after the ruins he drove us to Santa Rosa Colony. It's a Sommerfelder colony (they have trucks). We stopped at a house at random and asked the people if they would drive us to Chavi Colony. No problem. So off we went to another colony. It was a little different there. We were a different people's places almost every night. That Sunday we went to an Old Colony church service. THAT was different. It's hard to explain because I didn't understand it but the singing was very different because there was no harmony and was more like a drawn out nasal high pitched Gregorian Chant. Weird, I know. One song took about 10 minutes. The preacher then preached for almost an hour. He needed to go toastmasters. Tina said she's heard better Old Colony preachers and not to base my views of Old Colony preachers on him. OH, NO KIDS. A person was not allowed to go to a church service until they were near baptism age. (About 17 or 18). That afternoon I put on a mini-show for the people we were staying at. I juggled oranges. They loved it. HONEST. That evening we stayed in Jolnon Colony at a house right beside where the bus picks everyone up. We were on the bus till Merida and from there to Cancun, we were on our way home!! That night we stayed at a hotel right across the street from the bus depot. Very handy. We had a nice meal at the hotel and I had my first cold beer in over a week. It tasted very good. The next morning it was off to the airport. We got there early and made it through security so we could do some Duty Free shopping. That was fun. Then on to the plane for a flight to Minneapolis. When went through U.S. Customs it turned out the border guy spent 20 years on the North Dakota/Manitoba border. He was very well acquainted with the Winkler area. What were the chances? So, after a short layover were on our way to Grand Forks. It was -10C when we arrived. Much warmer than the -29C we left behind. The highlight in Grand Forks was that the car started. YAY!!! The trip home was less than 2 hours but felt longer. We really wanted to see the kids. So we pulled into our garage went to the door and were greeted by the two most important people in our lives. We missed them soooo much. It was good to feel their arms squeezing our necks. The made us this great sign too. That night Emi and Tina slept in the bed, I slept on the couch and Griffin slept beside me on the floor. We just all wanted to be together. So, that's my story of Mexico. I'm sure there's lots I've missed but we can talk about that some other time.

Monday, December 7, 2009

To Mexico We Go

Tina and I are off to Mexico tomorrow morning. You can see on the map the two main places we'll be. We're a little nervous. We're flying out of Grand Forks so that means crossing the border. It generally goes smooth but what if it doesn't? Then we fly to Minneapolis. They have a winter storm warning in effect but the snow isn't supposed to really hit until the afternoon. Our plane should be gone by 11am. Here's hoping. We're very excited. The reason we're going down is Tina needs to do some research on some Mennonite Colonies near Hopelchen. (see map) She went in January by herself. This time I get to go and it's our 15th wedding anniversary this month so it's sort of a celebration for us. We'll be in Playa del Carmen the first four or five days and then it's off to the colonies for a week and a bit. We'll be back on the 22nd. Just in time for Christmas. We are so lucky to be able to do this. Our parents are awesome. They will be splitting time taking care of the kids. We'll miss them muchly our sweet little munchkins. So please pray for us for safe travels and that Tina can get her work done and that our kids will be safe and won't miss us too much. If it works I'll blog a bit from Mexico. Don't count on it though.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

It's been a while

I just really liked this picture which is why I've included it. Griff and Ems are so much fun. I've had a chance to realize that this last day or two. So semester is pretty much done now. I have one take home exam to do by for Tuesday and then I can put the past 3 months behind me. It hasn't been easy. There have been a lot of issues that have come up. I'm just happy to let our a great big sigh and look ahead. I would like to talk about a few things I learned at school this last semester though. It's good to reflect in order to reinforce those ideas that have been formed. I'm never going to be able to fully express (or properly express) some of the things I've learned/felt but I'll try.
Teaching K-8
The lessons learned were hard to put my finger on. I think one of the big things is the importance of being grounded in your teaching philosophy so you know where you plan on going. It also keeps you focused and consistent which will make it easier on the students because they'll learn to know what to expect. My practicum is also a part of this class. I've really enjoyed being in the classroom. I continually try to hone my classroom management techniques. I taught a double period math class this last week. It was fun/chaotic and I'm not sure they fully comprehended squares and square roots. I hope they retained at least a bit of it. *note* I wonder how many teachers ask the same question everyday. I can't wait to get back into the classroom in January.
Aboriginal Education
This class actually ended two weeks ago. It was the kind of class I needed because we got to share and actually be a little bit of a community. Not like a theatre class (best community ever) but still good. I learned a lot about the residential school system. It was horrible. The effects are horrible. Two, three, maybe even four generations have had their culture stripped away. The purpose of the schools was to eliminate the "Indian" culture and make them contributing members to the Canadian society. I can't even explain how sick I feel. I'm glad Aboriginal people are gaining a voice again. My favourite part was the sharing circle at the end of semester. For an hour and a half we sat in a circle passing around a rock. When you had the rock you were the only one who could talk and you could share whatever you want. There was some heavy stuff that came out in that circle. But it reinforced to me how a safe environment will allow a student to make themself vulnerable to express feelings. I hope I can gain a smidgen of that feeling when I teach.
Educational Settings and the Sociology of Learning
I often came out of this class wondering why I'm wanting to teach at all. The system is so skewed towards the upper class. We may say there is equal opportunity to succeed but that is not the case. Our prof was great. We had a lot of readings to do but they all had application to the course material and made sense. Except for the Bourdieu article. That was just painful. I learned a lot in this class and appreciated the dialogue that went on in regards to a number of issues. This course was one of three options for 3rd year Integrated Ed students but I think everyone should have to take it. It's a real eye-opener.
So Tina and I are off to Mexico in a few (4) days. We'll spend the first 5 days in Cancun and then it's off to Hopelchen for a week and a bit on a Mennonite Colony. We're a little stressed out making plans for the kids while we're gone but also looking forward to this time together. At the end of the month we'll have been married for 15 years. I think I love Tina more now than I did when we got married. Or at least I know how to love her better. Gosh, I can't believe how long it takes to adjust to someone. Well, it was worth it. Well I gotta go exercise so my body is beach ready by Tuesday. It's possible right?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

He's 10

So, my little boy turned 10 years old today. I can hear him in the background laughing with his cousins. This is him about 4 years ago. He was 5 at the time. He's grown a lot. I'm not sure what I can all say about him. He's growing into a man. His shoulders are getting wider and his voice is getting lower. He asks harder questions and understands harder concepts. (I taught him exponents this past spring) He's started his own Vampire Counts Army (yay!!!! I love vampires) He's still very sensitive. I love that about him. He cares so much. For animals and people and his baby sister. He loves Emi sooo much. My favourite is when she gets hurt and he runs upstairs to get her a stuffy and then brings it down for her. He reads her stories and sometimes they play together. He bugs her a lot too and gets into fights. But I think that's ok. It's part of the growing up process. He doesn't play hockey but he does play soccer and flag football. He really likes theatre and playing piano and no he wants to start tap dancing. How awesome is that!!! I can't wait to see what the future holds for him but also want him to stay the way he is now. He still gives and hugs and kisses and wants to sit on my lap sometimes and to snuggle before he goes to sleep. I love him muchly. Happy Birthday Griff. You're the best.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


So yesterday was Halloween. We like this day. I think it's the chance to dress up and be goofy and get lots of candy. (at least for the kids.....I mean the candy part. I love dressing up and being goofy, sometimes I don't even need to dress up to be goofy. Ok, most of the time I'm goofy without dressing up, not to say that I'm not wearing anything (gross). Just that I'm not wearing a costume.) Are you allowed to brackets in brackets like that? I know you can do that with Math equations but I'm not sure how the English community views that. I digress (big time). Halloween kind of snuck up on us this year. With work and school and show it felt like we didn't have a lot of time to prepare. We only picked up the pumpkins on Friday for goodness sake. Saturday we didn't have a lot of time to get them ready because we had rehearsal all day. But we managed to get them deguckified, carved and put out for all the world to see. (note: deguckified did not get a red underline for being mispelled. How weird is that?) Then it was on to costumes. Griff and Ems both wanted to be Vampires so I was more than happy to oblige. Although I did wear garlic for the rest of the evening. Griffin wore black pants and shirt and has a fabulous cape my mom made for him a few years ago. Tina found a great dress and cape for Emi at MCC on Thursday. I love MCC!!!! My mom, who is fabulous bought us a higher end face paint kit for the kids so I went to work transforming our kids into Bela Lagosi. (look it up if you don't know who that is).
Griffin's friend Corey came over to go trick or treating with Griffin. He had a great costume. He's the headless guy holding his head. He got hit by a car and that's why his head fell off. Tina went a little retro with her costume. She looks great. For me? How can you go wrong with a lab coat and an axe in the head? My parents always come by for Halloween so while Tina and the kids went trick or treating (it was her turn this year) I handed out candy and chatted with my mom while my dad fell asleep watching the Leafs and Habs. Then Emi came back and her and mom went to Superstore and me and Dad played cribbage. Did I mention I almost never beat him? I almost never beat him. Last night he beat me three times in a row. The first two games were really close and then the third game he smoked me. I'm not sure why I even play him. ugh I SUCK!!!!!! Oh, did I mention we had DJ's pizza for supper? And the best part of last night. We got an extra hour of sleep and because the kids got to bed late they actually slept in as well. I love Halloween!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Cat!?!?!

I have a little story to tell. So on Thursday night while Tina and I were at rehearsal the kids (along with the babysitter) decided to put some milk out for a stray cat that had wandered by the yard. No big deal. The next day the kids and I went to Winnipeg. (kids to my Mom and Dad's, I went to SAG). So on the way home I called Tina to see how she was doing. She says the cat came back, that she let it in the house and that it was inside right now. OH TINA!!! She is so weak when it comes to animals. We got home late and went to bed. The next day was fun. The kids are absolutely in love with this animal. Emi carries her around everywhere and we have to tell her to put it down once in a while and leave it be. It's a very nice cat. It loves being around people, uses the litter and doesn't ruin the house when we leave. I've never thought of myself as a cat person but I must admit it is comforting to have around. We've named it Mittzy btw. Anyway, we're also thinking this is likely someone's cat that has run away. So If you recognize this cat you have the owners contact us. We'd all be a little devastated (ok, Emi and Griffin would die) but we also don't want to keep the cat if it belongs to someone else. The only issue has been the cat's keen interest in the bird. Not a friendly infatuation either methinks.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

16 days

Wow, it's been 16 days since I last posted. Nobody read it anyway which begs the question. If you no one sees your post does it actually exist? That made me laugh. Yesterday was a good day. I worked my tail off in the morning cleaning up the garden and shoveling out one of the composts. That was tough. the nearby siberian elms have their roots winding their way through the compost. ugh. Had rehearsal in the afternoon. I was actually acting but I got to teach some dance and do some as well. That as fun. Afterwards I loaded some stuff on to a truck and brought it off to the dump. Stuff I've been wanting to get rid of for years. One was a 1000 gallon oil tank. I loaded it myself. I'm huuuuuge. And I got to use a sabre saw to cut it down a bit. I neeeeeeed one. They're awesome. In the evening I watched Flushed Away with the kids. That was fun. What wasn't fun was that Griffin had a fever. Poor kid. Anyway, stayed up late reading and talking to Tina. I love my family. This was short but the Chiefs game is about to start.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Ok, so here's the update now that it's October. I feel like school has just started even though this semester is already 1/3 over. Intro to Aboriginal Education is definitely the heaviest class. Not because of the course work though. We've been discussing the residential school system. I cry but at the same time I feel uplifted that things are changing. Even though it's very slowly. In Educational Settings and the Sociology of Learning I get frustrated because of a schooling system that's been created to benefit those of a higher socio-economic status. But I am challenged to make a difference. In Teaching K-8 I am challenged to actually live out my beliefs about teaching. I've set some pretty high ideals there.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Hey! What's Going On.

So, it's been a while but I'm back again to fill all three of you in on what's going on. School started last week. It's been an adjustment for me. I'm only in education classes this semester. No's a little depressing because I now rarely see all the incredible friends I've made over the last 2 years. bummer. The first couple of days I went to the theatre lounge to see if there were people there. Every once in a while there was. I came to the realization the other day that it was time to start hanging out in the Ed lounge since that's where I'll see the people I'm actually in class with. And they have more couches. And cleaner ones too. Griffin and Emi have both started school. Emi loves it, she comes home happy every day. Griffin is needing more of an adjustment. He handles change about as well as I do. If it were up to him he would have the same teacher and same classmates every year. The one complaint he does have is that he's not learning anything in math. It's too easy and he wants it to be harder! That's kind of funny. We busy into rehearsals for Pink Panther. I'm still trying to settle into my character. It's tough partly because the scenes are so short. I think some good "moments" have developed already though. And I'm teaching the tango. It will be my first choreo credit. That's just weird. That's about it. I finished two projects this week so I'm very happy about that. It will be nice to get that 10 foot ladder/plank off of the steps. Time to get supper ready. Weiner roast tonight.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

School Starts Tomorrow

So school starts tomorrow for all of us. (except Tina of course) I've been praying a lot (for me) lately for a number of things.

1. For Griffin and Emi who are both attending new schools.
2. For Griffin who is nervous about being a small fish in the big pond of middle years school.
3. For Me that I will not be frustrated with only straight lecture classes.
4. For Me that my practicum will be an uplifting and growing experience.
4. For safe travels for all of us.
5. For Tina as she gets the kids ready for school each morning. (Emi can be a handful)

I hate change. And the first day of school means the beginning of a new routine for all of us. Maybe by the end of the month I'll be happy again.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

End of Summer Report

Well seeing as Summer is over I thought I would do an end of summer report on the goals I had for this summer.
Comments are in red.

1. Go Fishing at least twice (maybe we'll even catch something)
Didn't happen. I suck at planning things
2. Find 10 geocaches
Found 5. Looked for four more at St. Vital Park but no dice.
3. Make many trips to the pool. (I need to make back what we paid for the season pass)
I'm pretty sure we made back what we paid but the summer was so crappy we didn't head out very often.
4. Have a golf game below 100. (Which means I actually have to golf)
I shot a 94 at Steinbach. I was very excited about that.
5. Memorize my lines. (I actually don't have much choice in this one since off book is July 6th)
Yeah I memorized my lines. Is it creepy to be checking out a nun as she walks away? (that was a reference to my character btw)
6. Finish 2 books.
I read Toll the Hounds. That was a 1200 page beast. I also just finished a book on CD. Does that count?
7. Host 2 or 3 parties.
I hosted one. Or at least tried to. It didn't work out as well as I had hoped. Not for lack of planning though.
8. Not play more than 1 hour of computer a day. (wishful thinking)
Yeah, didn't happen. I went through a rough time in early August.
9. Continue exercising. (wishful thinking)
Had I started?
10. Finish painting my dwarf army. (I doubt it)
11. Stain the shelves.
Almost done. Final coat of varathane goes on today.
12. Put the door jams on the bedroom.
yeah, not really
13. Build some more terrain for my warhammer table.
My mom gave me a package of trees to put together. That was fun.
14. Play 3 games of warhammer with someone other than Griffin.
Not even 1. Griffin and I have been playing some Lord of the Rings though. That was fun.
15. Go Fly a kite.
16. Play Settlers.
No. I think you actually need friends for that. Ok Friends you get together with.
17. Go to 2 Bomber games. (I think I'd need a job then)
I'm actually glad I haven't. If they get better maybe I'll go in October. Yes I'm a fairweather fan.
18. Get a job. (After July 25th)
Pleasant surprise of the summer. I worked one or two days a week with my dad insulating or drywalling houses. I made enough to pay off the fridge that died, the dehumidifier that died, car repairs plus more. Ugh, On monday I worked for 7 hours and then went for an oil change and had some other stuff done. Figured out that between the oil change and driving to Winnipeg I made about 7 dollars. That was a little depressing.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

How do you tell a 9 year old his teacher died.

It's going to be a hard day for Griffin. Yesterday we found out the teacher he had for the past year in school, Miss Jackeline Lawson, was killed in a car accident. I hurt for the family of this young woman who had just finished her first year of teaching. I also hurt for my little boy and the pain he will go through because of this. Griffin is a very sweet, caring, and emotional person. This will hit hard. I wish I could take all his pain upon me but I can't. There's nothing I can do but hold him tight. And there will need to be a lot of that I think. I feel for all those kids. They really liked her. I talked to her on a number of occasions during the year. She was one of those teachers who understood Griffin. That sometimes (like any boy) he just needed to move around. She challenged him in things like Math so Griffin wouldn't get bored. She challenged him in English because she knew he could do better. And she would joke around with them. I think one of Griffin's favourite things was coming to school after having figured out some exponent like 5^4 and asking his teacher. She told me she had to sneak out a calculator to see if Griffin was right. My favourite story was when Griffin was getting into some trouble and Griffin looked at her and said, "Your hair looks really nice today." That caught her off guard. She told me that story at a parent-teacher interview. I'm not sure how long the initial pain will last but there will always be a little part of his heart where Griffin keeps the memories of Miss Lawson and the pain of her leaving. She cried on the last day of school as her students departed. And now we cry as she does. Goodbye Miss Lawson. Thank you for being my son's teacher and the fabulous job you did. You left far too soon.

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Few Quick Hit Thoughts

I'm not in the mood to do a long spiel about what's been going on so I'll do it in quick hits ala Don Banks. (SI writer)

-Went to the Pioneer Days parade in Steinbach on Friday. My mom built a float for it and made costumes for the kids. Griffin and Emilia were a part of it. I think the float is incredible. My mom is awesome. And the float won for best theme.

-Steinbach puts on a really good parade. I hate the Winkler parade. The difference. Steinbach had actual floats. Winkler has tractors, rv's and semi's. ugh

-Spent part of the day with my grandparents. That was special. I remember when my grandma used to set up a booth a Pioneer Days. It brought back good memories.

-Some people I know joke about the Mennonite Heritage Museum being for old people. Well I can understand why they go. For many it's a reminder of what they went through. A peak back at their childhood. It made me relfective.

-One man told me Steinbach is throwing away it's Mennonite heritage as fast as it can. To a certain extent I can understand why having lived in Landmark. I'm not impressed that things like dancing were so repressed. I'm 35 now and wish I could have been dancing my whole life. It's the legalistic things like that that have turned off so many people my age. That's why new churches coming up don't have the word mennonite. Or they change the name of the church to take it out. I think there were some things the older generations of mennonites got right though. I don't have the time to get into that.

-Worked for my dad again today. I made more insulating a house than I would doing a 3 evening shifts at a job that pays $9.50. I really should be doing this all summer. But then there's childcare, and all that driving.

-Bad things come in threes. And just when we're trying to save money. The fridge died, the car needed repairs and now the dehumidifier is on the fritz. AAAACK!!!!!!

Well that's it. I'm off to Winnipeg tomorrow to drywall a house. Good times


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Dog Days of Summer

Well July is almost over and I must say it was pretty busy. The biggest thing was being in "Playing Doctor" with Poor Theatre Company. What a great time that was. There were a lot of talented actors who were a joy to hang out with and get to know. I'm pretty sure I'll be getting together with some of them in the coming months/years. (Josh you know I'm talking to you). It's too bad we were in the Kenmore Theatre. I'm never going to complain about the P.W. Enns again. Part of what made being a part of this production so good was that I got to see a different approach to doing some things such as programs and advertising. It also created a bridge that may see more Winkler people going to Morden or Morden people going to Winkler to do theatre. See, theatre can bring the world together. So that was a lot of evenings. I think I needed that. It's hard to spend the whole day with the kids and then the whole evening. I don't know how parents do this all the time. Let's just say I'm looking forward to school. Ummm, we also went to the Fringe Festival and saw 3 excellent shows. Two of them had a number of friends from the University of Winnipeg in them. They were so good and I'm sooooo proud of the work they put into the shows. They were both best of fest for their venues. Three people from flatlands also performed at the Fringe and good pretty good reviews. I was so excited to hear that they even sold out a few shows. So much pride for my friends. Well, now that the last show is over I'm already memorizing for the next one. Tina and I are performing for a Leisure Travel Van rally. It's a play we did for ACT Manitoba a few years ago. It will be fun to act with Tina again. We also have rehearsals for Pink Panther starting in August. It really does never stop. Oh Well.
Anyway, that's what's going on for now.
Viva Forever

Friday, July 17, 2009

An informal class reunion

Last Friday was interesting. I met with three people I haven't seen in about 14 years. I had lunch with Jenn Wiebe, Kim Coulter and Bonnie Goertzen. I'm using maiden names. I was in K-12 with Kim and Bonnie and K-2 and gr.5-12 with Jenn. It's amazing how you can just sit down with people and continue as if we'd just got together the week before. There weren't anyway akward ummmmms or soooooooooo, yah huh? moments. It was great. It's been too long. I can't believe it's been 17 years since I graduated. That's a long time. I'm rambling. Bonnie had to go back to work after lunch but the rest of us went for a walk. I probably could have gone on all afternoon. It was really nice and I think we should have a 20 year reunion. Or just try and get together with old classmates a little more often.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Another Openin' Another Show

If you recognize the title of the show I'm impressed. It's from the Cole Porter musical Kiss Me Kate. An old Broadway hit. There is one particular verse that is a part of me today. "Four weeks you rehearse and rehearse, three weeks and it couldn't be worse. One week will it ever be right. Then out of the hat, it's that big first night." I think we had our "three weeks and it couldn't be worse" this evening. In case you didn't know I'm doing a show in Morden at the end of the month called Playing Doctor. It's with Poor Theatre Company. It's a group that started off as university students but now they've all gotten older (or most) and have opened up to old people like me. It's a really fun group and I'm having a great time. Well this evening was the rehearsal where things seem to go really slow and scenes are getting repeated and my lines aren't memorized and others aren't either and cues are missed and you think this show will never be ready. I'm not worried though. We went through the same thing with Little Women. In fact I remember one cast member saying "this show is going to be crap" they were so frustrated. That was a whole week and a half before opening. It's amazing how much shows come together in that time. So I'm not going to stress. In the words or my dear friend Bernie I'm going to sit back and enjoy a batch of doughy cookies.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Some Recipes

Yesterday I said, "maybe I'll post some recipes" so here we go. On Friday I was in a crazy mood. We have these 6lbs chickens that we bought from this hutterite. We haven't really felt like cooking them in the oven so I decided I was going to cut it up and grill it on the bbq. I found a website that showed how to divide up the bird. Note - give yourself more than 6 hours to defrost the chicken. It'll make it a lot easier. I think I did a pretty good job. It at least looked like it does in the store. No I needed to make the rub. Aye there's the rub. I have this book of French recipes. There is one for when you roast a chicken. I modified it a little bit to make it more grill friendly. Here it is.
1tsb of dried rosemary, or 1tbsp if fresh
3 gloves of garlic minced
1/4 of fresh lemon juice (Realemon works too)
4 tbsp of margarine at room temp. (I melted it)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
pinch of paprika (how much is a pinch anyway)
salt and pepper

Mix it all together. If you don't melt the margarine it's more of a rub. If you melt it you can baste the chicken with it as you're bbq'ing. It turned out really good.
With a big bird (not the big bird, a big bird) like I had butterfly cutting the breast helps a lot. That's basically when you cut the breast in half, it folds open to look like butterfly wings. Also, anything with bones in it will take longer to cook all the way through. (Tina told me that one)

The other recipe I have is one of my kids favourites. It's for strawberry/banana shakes. I don't have amounts because Emi just tells me when I've added enough. Anyway, in a blender put in frozen strawberries and cut up frozen bananas. Every summer we freeze a whole shwack of strawberries in freezer bags. They get used for shakes, porridge and other things. The bananas are just the ones that get overripe during the year. We peel them and through them in a bag in the freezer. How handy is that!?! So put that stuff in. Then add a bit of milk. (or soy or rice milk) Blend it up a bit. Add some mix and blend it more. Do this till everything is chopped up and you have the consistency your want. Then add some sugar till it's as sweet as you want it and WALA! You have tasty shakes for a hot day. Yummy.
that's it for now

Monday, June 29, 2009

Busy Report

I have a tonne of things to talk about so let's get started. The first is that Emi had her Kindergarten graduation on Friday. Verrrry cool. She was so excited as were Tina and I about this day. Here is a picture of Emilia and her kindergarten teacher Mimosa Koop.Our little girl is growing up. -sigh- So Friday night after rehearsal I drove out to Landmark. I listened to the entire Dance Mix 95 cd. Oh the memories. My dad and I were supposed to go golfing at Falcon Lake the next morning. It rained a LOT so we didn't go. I kind of thought we wouldn't be golfing but I needed to pick up some stuff anyway. (and my Dad always makes me bacon and eggs) They got about 4 inches of rain. Ouch. I've included some pictures of their yard. The one with the walkway is their front yard. The one with the stone wall is the backyard. Don't worry about the lot beside them. It's green space. Well, blue space as of the weekend. So on Sunday we had our church picnic. It was pretty good. The kids played some games after lunch. Ok I don't have much to say. Whatever. When we got back I had a two hour nap. That was great because it meant I was very much awake for going to the park. We flew kites. Actually Tina, Emi and Griffin flew kites while I untangled string, helped get kites in the air and climbed a tree to get a kite down. After that Griffin and I went geocaching. We were 4 of 6 on our searches. Not too shabby. Although now there are only 3 left in Winkler for us to find. We're going to have to bring our bikes to Morden and spend an afternoon there. They have tonnes. My hammies are actually a little sore. Then last night Darren came over and we had a fire. It was great because Phil and Holly weren't there. (ok I'm just bitter they didn't come) But we had a good time around the fire. Especially those few times when sparks flew at Darren. Another week has started. Tomorrow I'll post some recipes that I've found that are simple and tast great.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer Holidays

So the kids begin their summer holidays next week. Here's a list of things I'd like to do/get done this summer.

1. Go Fishing at least twice (maybe we'll even catch something)
2. Find 10 geocaches
3. Make many trips to the pool. (I need to make back what we paid for the season pass)
4. Have a golf game below 100. (Which means I actually have to golf)
5. Memorize my lines. (I actually don't have much choice in this one since off book is July 6th)
6. Finish 2 books.
7. Host 2 or 3 parties.
8. Not play more than 1 hour of computer a day. (wishful thinking)
9. Continue exercising. (wishful thinking)
10. Finish painting my dwarf army. (I doubt it)This is one unit of Dwarf Longbeards. These are almost done.
After that I have ironbreakers, characters, miners, cannon,
organ gun and crews to do.
11. Stain the shelves.
12. Put the door jams on the bedroom.
13. Build some more terrain for my warhammer table.
14. Play 3 games of warhammer with someone other than Griffin.
15. Go Fly a kite.
16. Play Settlers.
17. Go to 2 Bomber games. (I think I'd need a job then)
18. Get a job. (After July 25th)

That's it for now. Wow, a short post. Maybe next week I'll blog about my trip to Falcon Lake. (I'm going golfing)


Friday, June 19, 2009

Emi's Birthday

This one will be shorter than the last one. So Emilia had her 6th birthday on Monday. We decided to have a big party for this year because she has friends from school that she could invite. So at 11:30am that day we picked up 9 very excited boys and girls. It was a dress up party and everyone brought a costume. We also had some hung up so the kids could use those if they wanted. We had a wiener roast in the backyard and played some croquet and bocci ball. The highlight I think was the improv plays we did. We set up a little stage and then divided the kids into two groups. Tina took one and I took the other. We planned a little play and then performed for each other. They enjoyed it so much we did it again. They enjoyed it so much we did it again. (yes I meant to repeat that last line.) only this time they were all in one group. It was just going to be me watching but then parents started to arrive. By the time they did the play we had 5 parents and 4 siblings watching. One girl got nervous because, "now there were people watching." What a fun day. I can't believe Emilia is 6 years old. It seems like yesterday I was holding her the night she was born. We were on the steps of our house (did a home birth) and watching the lightening from a passing thunderstorm. It was a special weekend followed by a special Monday. Could this week get any better?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Weekend at Hecla

It's been a while since I've posted so I figured it was time to take a break from Rome:Total War (my new favourite computer game) and write about what's been going on. This past weekend we headed out to Hecla Island Provincial Park for some camping. There was actually more to it than that but more on that later. After a hectic Thursday and Friday of packing, borrowing a truck, getting food together and more camping we were off. We're not big campers and up until now we've always just jammed our car full which meant only the necessities came with. This time we borrowed a truck. WOW!!! We fit all our bikes, a bbq and all the gear we needed for the weekend. It was great!!! I'm spoiled. And driving an extended cab half tonne is soooo cool! The only thing that wasn't cool was the $130 in gas it used to go there and back. Our probably would have used about $60. ouch. So we left Friday at 5:45pm and got there around 9:15pm. In case you don't know Hecla Island is part of the Lake Winnipeg Narrows about 1.5 hours straight north of Winnipeg. There is a campground, a resort, a golf course, a historic Icelandic village and a marina, that commercial fisherman use and pleasure yaughters.(is that spelt wright?) So we got camp set up, had some hotdogs and huddled around the fire. We all got to sleep around midnight. It was a very cold night and the morning was chilly too. It was overcast (even though the freakin' forecast said sunny all weekend. That morning we had breakfast and then biked over to the marina. We picked up some minnows and then Griffin and I fished for about 45 min while Tina and Emi played. (no we didn't catch anything). Just before lunch we headed over to the resort. My mom and dad were staying there for the weekend. It was sort of a 60th birthday celebration for my dad. But he didn't know we were camping there (my mom did) So got to the resort and I texted my mom letting her know we were there. She called back and said she was at the campground in the bathroom. She had convinced my dad to drive around the campground for some reason and when we weren't there said she had to go to the bathroom so she could call my me. We hurried back while she somehow convinced him to drive around some more. I think she said something about seeing a bear. So we got back and the kids watched for their car while Tina and I started getting lunch ready. So my parents drive around again and my Dad says "That looks like Griffin?" It was, so they stopped and got out. He was very surprised. He saw my golf clubs in the truck and was even more excited. (he likes golf). So we're chatting when I hear a diesel truck coming. The next surprise. It's my Dad's work truck. He looks at it confused and says, "What's my truck doing here". And how pops my brother Adam who flew up from Kansas the night before. Yay Second surprise. The look on my Dad's face was priceless. So we had lunch and went our seperate ways for the afternoon. At 4pm Adam, my dad and I met at the golf course. We had a tee time for 5pm. When we got there I ran into two people I knew who were part of the tournament that was going on that afternoon. Adam just shook his head because I generally run into someone I know no matter where we are. It was a great round of golf. It's been a long time since the three of us have golfed together. After supper we headed back to the site for a fire and sunflower seeds. That night was colder than the night before. Tina had something like 800 layers on and was still cold. Of course Griffin wakes up at 6:00am and complains that he's sweating. He went back to sleep and we all got up around 8am. AFter getting ready we went to the resort to have breakfast with mom and dad and Adam. My Dad was sitting and the end and shortly after we got our food my mom takes out her camera and says "I want to get a picture with ALL you guys." Somebody puts their hands on my Dad's shoulders and he looks back to see three guys he golfs with quite often but had no idea they were coming. Another great moment. So while they were golfing the rest of us spent some time in the pool at the resort. The kids had a lot of fun. My parents used to take Adam and I to the resort way back when we were kids. It's changed a LOT. Very posh now. Hoity Toity if you will. Ummmmm after swimming we had supper and then fished some more. (still nothing) After that it was time to head home. It was sooo much fun. I was so tired when we got back but it was worth it for a weekend like that. I think my favourite part was that my Dad had a weekend he'll never forget. The look of joy on his face was priceless. I'll treasure this for a looooong time.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My 22 hour trip.

It's not really the way I'd like to do a trip but yesterday I flew to Edmonton with my cousin Craig to pick up a Chevy Equinox that he bought. I got up at 4am to get ready and we got back at about 2am the next day. What follows is an hour by hour account. (near as I can remember) There's time changes from here to Edmonton but I'll stick with CDT.


Got up at my parents after a crappy nights sleep. I went to bed at 11:30pm and of course lay there for an hour thinking, "I have to get to sleep. I gave myself plenty of time to get ready and by 4:30am was anxious to get going. My aunt picked me up 5 minutes later and we were off to Winnipeg.


We got to the airport at about 5:20am. My second time there this week and I'm going again tomorrow. Ugh. On a side note I think the new terminal is going to look great. When we went through security they gave my backpack the once over. They didn't find my container of burts bees lip balm I forget to mention during the "Creams liquids or Gels" interogation. Suckers. While we were waiting to board there was a couple across from us. He was wearing a turban and they both looked Indian. He had a small book he was looking at while murmurming what I'm guessing was morning prayers. I think he was Muslim. I liked the fact he was doing that. It says a lot about his faith. I know people who would sit there and think, "He's so wrong, it's too bad he's muslim. I think I along with a lot of people could learn a lot from him on how to actually care about our faith.


We were flying Westjet. I love Westjet and here is one example. At the boarding desk the lady at the counter stood in front of it and said the PA wasn't working, and then went on to do her announcements. If it was Air Canada they probably would have delayed the flight until the PA was fixed so they could do the announcements properly. It was a very emtpy flight. Pretty much everyone got a window seat.


Flying. Didn't sleep


We got to Edmonton. The airport literally looks like it was built in the middle of know where. We were picked up by the guy that Craig was buying the vehicle from and drove to the guy's house so he could get his truck. He lives 2 or 3 miles east of Sherwood Park if you care.


Went to Staples so Craig could fax in his stuff to get a temporary permit from MPI. A bit of a hassle since it involved faxing some documents to MPI, they fax back a form, Craig signs it and faxes it back, then they fax back the permit. A little time consuming.


Had coffee and a muffin at Second Cup next to the Staples. Muffin was ok, coffee was terrible, yuck gross. We both dumped most of ours out.


We were finally on our way after filling up and picking up a meat pie and some Pepsi at 7-11. Now you'd think that we'd have music playing the whole time. Nope. We brought audio books. We listening to a couple of Hercule Poirot short stories. I don't remember much. I finally fell asleep.


more sleep


woke up. The next story we listened to was The Hedge Knight by George R. R. Martin. He is one of my favourite fantasy writers. This is a short story that takes place about 50 years before his Fire and Ice series. Very cool.


still listening still driving.


see last entry


We arrived in Saskatoon. We were both hungy by then and Craig suggested we go to McDonalds. I was fine with that so we went in. The line-up wasn't that long when we got in but seriously? The service was sloooooooow. How long does it take to make a Big Mac? I had a little fun with the counter person. She slapped the tray down and put the paper thing on to it. It was two sided with advertising on one side and health info on the other. She initially put it down with the health info up but the flipped it around. When she turned around to get the drinks I flipped it back. When she came back she looked at it and then flipped it back again. While she was wandering around looking for my food (it was terrible) I flipped it back. She came back with the fries and put them one without flipping the sheet. VICTORY!!!!!


Dropped in at Angie and Trevor's place in Saskatoon. She's pregnant and the baby is due in a week and a half. I kenw were just driving through so I didn't call ahead or warn them that I might drop in. Craig was actually kind of excited that we were going to surprise someone. Well they were home and very surprised. We probably could have spent a few hours there but only spent 20 minutes. It was worth it. Craig loved their dog. His name is Malthazaar and he is a 150 lbs mastif. The sweetest gentlest 150 lbs dog you'll ever meet. With that we were on our way again.


I'm getting tired a driving. We actually listened to the radio a bit during this time.


Still driving. And no I didn't give Craig advice on being a dad. His wife Rochelle is due in August. I didn't want to scare the poor guy.


Arrived in Regina. We stopped to stretch our legs and pick up some coffee and then Craig let me drive. YAY!!!

Started another story, The Hades Project by Rober Ludlum abridged. We had brought along Angels and Demons by Dan Brown but it's 19 hours. Who wants to start a story you can't finish.


Wow, I love driving through Saskatchewan. (note the sarcasm)


After a coffe, pepsi and half a bottle of water I had to stop in Virden to pee.

A short while later we stopped in Brandon to fill up and grab some food. We went to Subway. Thank goodness we got there when we did. The guy had one speed. It was "I don't want to be here" slow. Just after we got there about 10 kids walked in. I think they're still waiting for their subs.

Driving and listening. Started getting a little tired too. I can tell I'm getting really tired when I start seeing things in my periphery.

Pulled into my parents Driveway at 1:50am. Of this was just when the climatic "He did it!!" moment happened in the story we were listening too. I still need to listen to the epilogue of the story. Maybe next trip.

Checked emails, updated status on facebook and went to sleep. mmmmm sleep.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I'm Tired

I'm a little out of it which could make for a very weird post. I got to be late last night (again) and had to get up at 6:15am to bring Tina to the airport. She's off to Aylmer, Ont. for some MCC meetings. At least I got 5.5 hours of sleep. Tina woke up at 4am and couldn't get back to sleep. She was not happy about that. It was a little nerve wracking on our trip to Wpg when we hit construction on Highway 3. WHAT!! They're actually trying to fix roads in Manitoba? How inconvenient. So we were stopped for 10-15 minutes waiting for the pilot vehicle. We actually made good time after that and traffic on Route 90 wasn't bad. We pulled into the airport at about 8:45am. I wanted to hit a bookstore on the way home so I took Route 90 to Bishop Grandin and then off to St. Vital Mall. I picked up Steven Erickson's latest book Toll the Hounds at Chapters. It's a 1300 page beast and I can't wait to start. Erickson is my favourite non-Tolkien writer right now. Anyway. I was going to stop at the Tim's in the mall for breakfast and some coffee for the road but the line-up was too long so I decided to go to the one a little further south on St. Mary's. I've been avoiding drive throughs lately because I prefer face to face communication (as I write a blog, how ironic) so I walk inside and there's my dad! You know you live in a province with a small population when........ He was a little shocked so while he was still off balance I convinced him to pay for my stuff. SCORE! Actually he offered. He was with a co-worker so we all chatted for a bit and then I came home. Emi and I will both need a nap this afternoon. Emi woke up at 4am with Tina. ugh. Then it's off to a community BBQ tonight at J.R. Walkof. Yay!!
I'd post a recent picture of something but Tina took the camera. Maybe next time.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

It's Thursday (or Holly made me do it)

So it's Thursday and I'm winding down, just about ready to go to sleep. True story. Yesterday I was in Tim Hortons with Holly and Darren complaining that I had to go to Shoppers to buy eye makeup remover because Tina doesn't have any and I've learned in the last few days that mascara is a bitch to take off. So Holly says, "You should use a Norwex cloth, Heather sells them. Do you want to call her?" And I said no but that she could so she did and the next thing I know I'm at Heather and Dave's giving her a cheque for 3 Norwex cloths. Weird. She said you don't even need soap. So I used it today after the show and it really did clean everything off and now my skin is softer and smoother than it's ever been before. Ok I lied about the last part but it did clean everything off. Thanks Heather, you're the best mom of twins I know.
Emilia was very funny today. When we got home after I picked her up from kindergarten she asked if Tina and Griffin were coming home for lunch. I said yes. She then had a meltdown because she didn't want them to come home and wanted it to be just us. So Tina and Griffin come home and she's all happy to see them and runs to Tina to give her a big hug. When Tina wanted to go back to work Emilia was upset because she didn't want her to go. I give up trying to figure her out already.
Opening night was tonight for Pith!. I really do love this show. It's a wonderful story and the dialogue is witty and even has its touching moments. We have a great cast and crew for this show. I love theatre. There's something exciting about going on stage and peforming before other people. And it's even more fun when the other people on stage with you have put in a lot a work and everyone wants to do their best. We've come a long way from that first read through. I hope some of you can make it out to one of the shows this weekend.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's Wednesday

So I thought maybe I should post again. It's gotta be quick because I gotta shower and then make supper before heading off to the concert hall for our dress rehearsal. I'm having fun being a stay-at-home dad. It took me about a month to settle into a routine. After school was done I sat around the house thinking, "What do I do now?". Of course there was lots, I just couldn't see it. No I'm actually doing stuff around the house but also finding time to do stuff for myself as well. Like painting dwarf models, playing warhammer, practicing for my voice exam or reading or doing devotions. The other day I figured out I could fit in a rejoice devotional during the commercial breaks on ESPN radio. Kind of sad actually. I've tried to make those times a little more....personal....meaningful too. On a completely different note I bottled my first batch of wine today. It's a red Merlot and we did 26 bottles plus 2 pints. I didn't have enough bottles. The wine isn't bad. Very dry, but of an after taste but not bad for my first try. I'm scared to let guests try it right now. Maybe after a few days of aging it will be a little better. So tonight is dress rehearsal night for Pith! We were about half way through rehearsal last night and I was behind the chairs doing one of my costume changes and thinking, "This is a really good play, people should see this!" Here's hoping. Anyway, I have to go look for Emilia's little stuffy dog Purplie and then shower and make supper. (not at the same time) Oh yeah. I've started dieting and exercising (again) I'm hoping to lose 15 lbs by the end of summer. Here's hoping. (again)

Monday, May 25, 2009

I Love Tina

It was date night on Saturday for Tina and myself. We had tickets to go see Boys in the Photograph at Manitoba Theatre Centre. This is the second year in a row we've had season tickets (thanks to insanely low ticket prices for university students) and it's been very good for us. Reason number 1 is that it's meant we've essentially had 6 date nights planned for the next eight months. We know well in advance of the dates so we can get babysitters. And because it's planned well in advance our schedule can't get filled up as much. We had tickets for Saturday 8:30pm shows so we can go for supper before as well. You might think this is should be prime one on one time. The fact is we like getting together with people before hand. One of our problems (mine) is not having people over at our house. I don't know what my problem is but I haven't been great at encouraging Tina to invite people over. (I hate calling people, wierd, I know) We have friends in Winnipeg we don't get to see a lot so it works out good. BTW if you're going to an MTC show there is a great Mexican restaurant just down the street on Market. We'll be going there next year. Anyway, we get a lot of time to talk on the drive into and out of Winnipeg. These evenings are a lot of fun for us. Tina and I are so different in a lot of ways but watching theatre is something that we can enjoy together. Sometimes we even hold hands during the show. I've wondered sometimes why Tina ever went out with me, or married me, or stayed married to me. I'm glad that she has though. I think we both wanted something different in our ideal mate but I'm also pretty sure God knew what we needed. I needed someone who had their feet on the ground and was slighty organized. I'm like the comic relief guy in the action movie. Although he usually ends up dying. hmm. Anyway, this has been a pretty crappy blog. I can hear you English majors screaming, "Is this about dates or Tina or MTC or what!!! Pick a topic." In conclusion, I love our MTC nights, I love Tina, I can't live without her, or want to try, and I'm not an English major

That picture was taken on Saturday night before we left for Winnipeg. I think we look pretty good.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


We headed out to Kansas this past weekend to visit my brother Adam his wife Rhea and their son Lukas. It was a long drive and I think we spent almost as much time in the car as we did at their house but it was totally worth it. We left on Thursday after school and drove to Fargo to spend the night. The hotel had a pirate ship pool which the kids were very excited about. We spent about an hour in there but I found the water to be a little cold. I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to cold water. The highlight of the evening may have been the pizza and breadsticks we ordered from Papa Johns. That food was our supper, part of breakfast and lunch the next day. After a fairly good nights sleep and an early morning of breakfast and Scooby Doo we hit the road. It was a pretty nice drive except that we were against wind most of the way and we hit some thunderstorms in northern Missouri. So just under 11 hours later we pulled into Lawrence, KS. I don't remember if we actually did anything that evening. We were pretty wiped. The kids absolutely loved being with Lukas. They were excited about being able to see him and took every opportunity they had to entertain him. Saturday was a busy day. After a wonderful breakfast of sausage and eggs we walked downtown to a farmers market where we picked up some Raspberry/Jalapeno jelly which upon reflection, I'm not sure made it home with us. Anyway, it's very tasty and we used as a glaze on the chicken breasts we grilled that evening. They we watched a parade put on by the local arts group. It was very cool. Lots of decorated cars and bikes. It wasn't a long parade but it was still a lot of fun and the kids really enjoyed it. I love downtown Lawrence. If you've never been there it's a college town. (home to Kansas University) There are lots of little shops and tonnes of pedestrians and lots of organic food. (Ok that was more for Tina). That afternoon we played Settlers of Catan, Traders and Barbarians. We gave Adam the game for his birthday last year and played the barbarian scenario for the first time. It was a lot of fun. Tina ended up winning. DARN!! I was close. Griffin definitely captured the most barbarians. After picking up some much needed Warhammer supplies. (Grave Guard for Griffin and The Empire army book for me) We got ready for supper. Adam and Rhea's friends CJ and Miriam came down. It was a nice evening. After everyone went to bed Tina and I watched the first half of Saturday Night Live. It was verrrry funny. I love Will Ferrel. Amy Poehler is really good too. The next morning Adam, Griffin, Emilia and I got up at 6:30am to go fishing. This was very special because it was the first time that Griffin had ever gone fishing. We had to stop at Walmart to get our fishing lisences first. I think the guy was in shock that a Canadian would come down to fish in Kansas. We drove out to this man made lake called Lone Star Lake. (there are no natural lakes in Kansas) and set out to catch some fish. It was a gorgeous morning and we had an enjoyable time. Adam caught a fish about 10 seconds after he threw his line in the water. It was a little perch. That was the only fish any of us caught. Griffin had a nibble but reeled in so fast the poor fish didn't have a chance to grab the hook. Griffin knows better now. We got back to Adam's house and quickly got ready for church. Adam and Rhea go to a Mennonite Church USA church called Peace Mennonite. I was the featured story teller. The sermon was on depression and hope. I had a lot of trouble coming up with a story. I figured out the body of the story while we were fishing and worked out the details when we got back. Tina is my theological advisor for my stories. She makes sure I don't screw up the kids too much. The story went good, and the kids enjoyed it. (parents too) The sermon was really good. I'll have to talk about it more some other time but he was a Psychology professor at KU. After lunch we had a nap and played another game of Settlers. Adam won this time. ACK!!! After that we headed to Community America Field to watch the Goldeyes and the T-Bones. It's a really nice ball park and we had great seats. Third Row right by first base. I think everyone had fun except for Emilia, who's not a baseball (or any sport) kind of watching person. That night we got the kids ready for bed and did some packing. Monday was the looooong trip back. We left at about 8:45am and got back home at 11:15pm. 15.5 hours. yuck. The drive was uneventful except that it did get progressively colder as we headed north. (go figure) Everyone was pretty tired by the time we got home. But we're happy to be back.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Little Bit of Whatever

I haven't done one of these in a few days so I thought it was time. Sunday was an interesting day. I led worship that day. For those of you unfamiliar with the term it's basically MC'ing a Church Service. I think I'm pretty good at it. I'm kind of Catholic in my approach meaning that most of what I say during the service is written down ummmmmmm liturgical ummmmmmm it's not off the cuff, more like a performance. I hope that makes sense. Anyway. It was mothers day so I started off with a "nice" mother's day reading. It wasn't theologically sound at all but nice none the less. The sharing time is always my least favourite time. I feel uncomfortable praying out loud for other people in front of a large audience. I feel like I don't know what to say and that anything I do say will be completely inadequate. I use a reading from "Take Our Moments and Our Days: An Anabaptist Prayer Book". It's a prayer book with a morning and evening reading which takes your through a Call to Praise, Call to Discipleship, Call to Intercession and lots of other stuff in between. We picked it up last summer at the Canadian Mennonite University bookstore and it was great to read it on the hammock on a sunny summer morning. The reading (and the hammock) didn't happen during the winter so I guess it's time to start again. So anyway, back to the service. Tina and I sang a duet. It was great, we hadn't done that in church since before Griffin was born. Funny thing is we didn't sing a church song or song that even mentioned God. We sang "Our Children" which is from the musical Ragtime. It was beautiful. I ended the service with this.
May the God of steadfastness
and encouragement
grant us to live in harmony with one another,
in accordance with Christ Jesus,
so together we may with one voice
glorify the God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

School Curriculum Stuff

Generally when a parent writes a blog with the title "School Curriculum" it's going to be a complaint about what is wrong with the school system today. That is not my intent. Monday was International Music Day or something like that and Griffin's school (J.R. Walkof) has an outdoor concert. The school's music teacher is Cecilia Gil. She is fabulous. At the Christmas concert Griffin had a solo, when he got to the mic and started singing we couldn't hear him because the mic wasn't on. She literally stopped the song, looked to the back and asked what's going on. When they got the mic working they started the song over again and I got to hear my son. I think most conductors would have just gone with it but she knew it was important and so did what she did. Griffin didn't even want to do a solo at first but she told him God gave him a talent and he should use it. I'm so thankful she did. Now on to the spring concert. Each grade level did a choir piece and then a movement piece. A MOVEMENT PIECE!! OK it was dance. I grew up in a Mennonite community and there was NO dancing. To see these students singing and moving around warmed my heart. They were so great. Another thing that warmed my heart was the way Ms. Gil works with the deaf students in the classes. I think there are 4 but I'm probably wrong. Anyway, she works with them doing rhythm with drums and shakers and bells. And they have their part in the concert. I think I heard she even went to the deaf centre in Winnipeg to learn more on how to help deaf students. Fabulous. Ok this hasn't been that focused on curriculum but I wanted to highlight the great work that this teacher is doing. I think she'd be great to a practicum with. Too bad Emi will be in J.R. next year. But at least she'll have a fabulous music teacher.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bernie's Birthday Bash

So I headed off the my friend Bernie's birthday party on Saturday night in Winnipeg. Bernie was in my musical theatre class at the University of Winnipeg and a person I would totally drive to Winnipeg for to help celebrate his birthday. I was actually at his girlfriend Robyn's birthday party in January but I have to admit that was only because Bernie invited me and I was in that part of Winnipeg anyway. Sorry Robyn (Next year would totally be for a different reason). Bernie is awesome. He is happy and caring and gives the best hugs ever. (family not included) He's pretty funny too and has a great laugh. The party was fun because I got to see people from school I hadn't seen in a few weeks. By August I am going to miss them a lot!!
It's sad that Musical Theatre is over. What I love about theatre classes is that you have to take risks to succeed and when you take risks you make yourself vulnerable and when you make yourself vulnerable you open up and when you open up you make friends. Between Acting Theory, Musical Theatre and Drama in Ed I can name every person in the class. Between Linear Algebra, Stats and Calculus I can name 2. That is why people love taking theatre more than regular lecture classes. It's the community that you build. I'm not taking any theatre next year (probably) and that makes me sad because I will lose that connection. I can still go hang out in the theatre lounge but it will be different. There won't be as much time for that. But life is all about moving on. You spend sooooo much time together as a group and then you move on realizing you will never meet in that way again or have the same connections.

1. Leaving Camp after working there for two months.
2. Playing our last game of softball with a group of guys who had been together for 5 years. (That was hard)
3. The end to any show/tour I've been involved in.
4. The last day of class (or presentation day)

In my old age I've learned to recognize these "last moments" and treasure them. And then hold them in my memories rather than trying in vain to hang on to what isn't there anymore. There are those moments of regret or sadness. But there are even more smiles. I'm much more richer as a person because of the people I've met and the experiences we've had. So I'll choose to linger on those.

Thursday, April 30, 2009


So yesterday Griffin and I headed off to Winnipeg. Emilia (and Tina) would like to get a cat and we're pretty sure Griff is allergic so we got him checked out. It was a fun day of Dad and son. We talked about Warhammer almost the whole way to Winnipeg. If you don't know what I'm talking about I'll post a battle report sometime in the near future. I have the pictures all ready. So anyway he's definitely allergic to cats. Looks like there will be no kitty in this house anytime soon. After that we headed over to the school to check out my calculus mark. It's always funny bringing Griffin or Emi to the university because they loooooove the escalators. Well, actually we both do. I like them because I don't have to walk and they like them because they are sooooooo cool. So we made it up to the 6th floor and ......I gotta B! Holy Crap that was totally unexpected. That was before the Senate committee does their stuff so it could go up or down. Who cares, I don't have to take it next year. YAY!!!!!
This is me on the way home saying "look I passed Calculus".
Well the fun didn't stop there. I took Griffin to go see Raymond at Riverview Health Centre. Raymond was the pianist for my Musical Theatre Class. He had a stroke few weeks ago and is now in rehab. Those of you who know him are saying, "You took Griffin!!!". It was a lot of fun. The first thing Raymond asked Griffin was if he was a con artist like his dad. Griffin didn't know what a con artist was. I said he was because he is.

So from there we headed off to St. Vital mall for a little Monsters vs. Aliens 3D. It was very very very cool. I'm so glad we spent the cash to see it at Silver City. And there were only 4 other people in the theatre at the time. It was some good Dad/Griffin time.

After that (yes there is more) Griffin and I went to Games Workshop (the store that carries Warhammer). And Griffin decided he wanted to start his Vampire Counts army so he bought some skeletons. He can't wait to start putting them together when he gets back from school. Ugh, more models. I'll do a post of my Warhammer/LOTR inventory sometime. It's not pretty. So after that we headed home and now life is back to normal. It was a lot of fun. Griffin is growing up so much and I need to cherish these times we can spend together. All too soon he'll be on his own and probably not want anything to do with me.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I'm expecting this to be read by at most 3 people. (I think maybe that is ambitious). I don't have a job, I'm not volunteering right now but I am in a show and I do hang out with my daughter Emilia most afternoons. I've read some other blogs and they have actual substance and the people tend to pour out their feelings and such. I will likely end up doing that at some point. For now I spend my mornings memorizing my script and listening to ESPN radio. (def not at same time). In the afternoons I nap or play at the park with Emilia (def not at the same time) or play on the computer or paint models. By evening I make supper (I'm not a bad cook actually) and lament that 98% of my friends don't live in Winkler. Pretty much I'm in a bit of a "It sucks to be me" mode. Trying to look at the positives.

Things I can't wait for.
1. Flag Football season.
I love coaching Griffin's flag football team. Last year was sooooo much fun. It's one of those times I feel like the best Dad in the world. Griffin would say that's all the time but he doesn't know any better yet.
2. Tomorrow
So I can find out if I passed Calculus. please please please let me have passed.
3. Softball Season
I really want to coach a team next year so this year I'll content myself with watching.

Things on the go.
1. Pith! A show I'm in at the end of May
2. Grade 4 Voice Exam beginning of June
3. Painting my Dwarf Army. Hopefully I'll finish that by the end of summer.

Thanks for reading
(All 3 of you that is)