Monday, June 25, 2012

Air Adventure!

The adventure has now led us up into the atmosphere!!  This weekend we, along with our new friends the Sabines, took an aerial tour of our new home to celebrate Father's day and both of the dad's upcoming birthdays.  What an experience!

We loaded up all of the kids, strapped everyone in to a 9 passenger prop plane and took off!  We toured the plant sites where Chris and Doug work, the forest and rivers and our little dot on the map.  It was amazing to see everything from such a new perspective.  We truly are a lone town in the middle of nowhere! Once we left town, there was literally nothing but trees as far as the eye could see.  You could see the little rivers that flow into the Athabasca are almost black naturally from all of the oil that is in the ground here.  That explains why it looks so dirty!  The plants and mines were huge and busy, even on a Saturday!  It was interesting to see all of the work it takes to end up with gas in your car at the end of the day.

The big boys were more excited than the little ones, it was almost like Christmas for them!  The kids were engaged for a while and then started to become bored once they didn't see their schools or landmarks they recognized.  Jackson fell asleep about halfway through, not sure how as it was a loud and bouncy ride!  Aila's reaction was less favorable, she cried every time the plane dipped, bounced or turned.  Poor Jody became air sick from all the bouncing and will tell you not to eat blueberries before flying!  I am sure the pilot was never so glad to see an hour come to a close....

We ended the day with a cook out at our house and backyard badminton.  It was a wonderful day spent with friends and I hope that we have many more adventures like this one!

Friday, June 1, 2012

May-The Long and Short

May was the longest, shortest month of my life.  In many ways it flew by and in others it was endless.  May is usually full of the hustle and bustle of the end of school, my volunteer commitments culminating, sports winding down and the beginning of summer.  Not so for these transplanted Americans!  May here means another month of school, the height of lacrosse season and my duties as team manager are in full swing.

It was a bittersweet month for me.  I have found in my lacrosse experience some new and wonderful friends and I am blessed to have these women in my life.  I was desperately in need of adult conversation and a feeling of belonging, you all know I am adrift without people!  The flipside is it makes me miss everyone at home even more!  It was hard to read all of the Facebook posts about all of the fun and precious moments had by everyone in this last rush before summer!!  

While bittersweet, May has been busy!!!  We traveled 6 hours for Jackson's first lacrosse tournament last weekend and are prepping for another next weekend.  They played hard and well, even though we had no wins, they held their own against teams that have games every weekend.  These tournaments will be the only games our boys play as Ft. McMurray's league does not have enough kids to have multiple teams per age group.  I am a proud mommy!

We also spent a weekend in Edmonton shopping for summer clothes and furniture for the house and of course my list is still a mile long, there is never enough time!  I miss Houston every day, but especially when I need to shop!  

Our adventure continues to be less adventure and more logistics.  The issues this month, school and medical care!!!  We discovered that the schools are quite a bit behind where the kids were at home and were very concerned about them falling so far behind that when we get home to the states there will be no catching up. We said the word HOMESCHOOL a lot.  Thank goodness we found what will hopefully be a good solution to the problem.  On every Friday these children have off, and let me tell you there are MANY, the kids will do lessons online from a homeschool curriculum that is US based. They will also put in an hour of lessons after school every day.  We are going to try this for 6 months and will then evaluate their progress.  Please pray this works.   Medical care...pediatricians see kids, all kids, right?  Wrong!!!  Here kids see a GP unless they are referred to a pediatrician for medical problems.  That so didn't work for me, so I jumped through tons of hoops but emerged the victor!  Thanks to my wonderful pediatrician in Texas and a helpful secretary at the doctor's office here, my kids will be seeing the pediatrician ALL the time!  Now if only I could convince them to give shots at the doctor instead of at Public Health...not looking forward to that.  

On the home front, the boxes still abound.  My goal of having them gone this month has not been reached and I feel an overwhelming sense of frustration.  I need less baby, more husband in order to make a dent in the mess.  Neither is going to happen anytime soon.  :(  Chris continues to work long hours and it hampers my ability to do much more than the daily stuff.  This is why you nest while pregnant, because nothing gets done after!   Do not change nests within the first 2 years unless you want to lose your mind! (which I cannot do, because according to my new found friends there is not a shrink in town!)

 We are heading into June warding off insanity and looking forward to more adventure!