When school ended and the summer stretched out ahead of him B10 had one purchase in mind. J11 across the road had just bought one and was kind enough to let B try it out numerous times. When B had the money and had done the research we set out so he could buy his own Ripstik. It looks like a skateboard but has only two wheels.
He has fun around our street but what he really wants is to be taken to the skate park.
We recently participated in the local homeschool trackmeet. B10 had a successful and enjoyable day as did the girls. The track isn’t quite up to the standard of the tracks A14 has been training on but it did the job. The meet includes several sprints, long jump, standing broad jump and shotput followed by 4×100 relays and an all age 800m. All the children did all the events and were a little weary at the end.
The first two games of the season were cancelled due to wet weather and soggy fields but B10 and our friend P11 are now playing soccer twice a week. As they both loved the Percy Jackson books, being in the Olympians team is a bonus. So far they have won once, lost once and tied twice.
Some years we have skated during March break and worn our winter clothes on Easter Sunday, but not this year. Apparently Ottawa has broken a record by having no snow in March. Even our yard which retains its snow piles longer than most is now showing a little green grass and some daffodils.
During the Easter weekend we had warm temperatures and plenty of sun. On Good Friday Andrew, B9 and I went on a bike ride following the Rideau River from all the way to where it meets the Ottawa River. We were able to stay on a bike path nearly all the way. We then rode into the Byward Market which was packed with people enjoying the sunny weather. We had to wheel our bikes through the crowded streets and footpaths until we found a place to have a drink before taking the bike path which runs along the canal all the way home. Andrew called it a “warm up ride”. Maybe for him, but for me 20km was a pretty decent ride. Apparently it didn’t tire B9 out because within half an hour of getting home he was out playing street hockey and roller blading!
The weather continued to be beautiful on Saturday and Sunday so we pulled out B9’s slackline and put it up. He received it for his birthday in October so really only enjoyed a month or so with it before it was put away for the winter. When he got back on yesterday he was a little shaky but I don’t think it will be too long before he can make it from one side to the other, probably about 7 metres.
As well as skating on the rink in the local park (above) we took Luke to a nearby outdoor speed skating rink (below) with a couple of outdoor hockey rinks next door.
I mentioned in another post that he and the girls skated on the canal as soon as it opened, the following day Ben joined them when they skated again after a visit to the Art Gallery. Unfortunately the weather had warmed up considerably so the conditions were not great.
And, just so his skating experience would be complete, we took him to an indoor rink also (below). Ottawa is full of indoor rinks, well Canada is full of rinks, indoor, outdoor, they’re everywhere. It’s like swimming pools in Australia.
My nephew, Luke is visiting from Australia at present, one of the brave visitors, happy to come in winter. We have been explaining to him that anything above -10° C is not really cold. It is actually perfect winter weather, not too cold to go out but cold enough that the ice on the rink isn’t melting and the snow isn’t turning to slush. Yesterday, however, when he was standing in the wind at the top of our local toboganning hill he asked whether the temperature there was actually cold? We assured him that yes, with the wind chill making it -19°C it was cold!
Since he arrived he has skated on our rink in the park a few times, and is waiting for the canal to open so he can experience a canal skate complete with “beavertail” at the end. Yesterday we met a few friends at the hill and spent an hour or so tobogganing. Once they found the icy patches on the fast side they did away with toboggans and mats and just slid. Luke managed to take the record for distance on a toboggan.
Finish! He is that little dot between the trees, which is actually quite close to the now frozen water’s edge.
Yesterday Andrew and the two girls played in the One Under the Son volleyball tournament hosted by CHRI, the local Christian radio station. The rest of the team was made up of friends from church and friends of friends. The tournament was a fund-raiser for Camp Cherith. Neither of the girls have had much volleyball experience but had a lot of fun. Andrew turned out to be quite an asset to the team as he has played a little lately and he is, well, rather tall!
B8 and I along with my parents joined them around lunch time to watch and encourage. It was hot! We found some shade and occasionally a breeze caught us, but the players on the courts did not have those benefits. The team did not make it to the finals but did have a win!