Sunday, September 26, 2010

Goodbye to Erika Swoboda

Mrs Erika Swoboda lost her battle with cancer a week ago.  She was a very special person who lived a full life of giving to others.  She helped the down- and- out; the under-privileged; the outcasts of society.  A refugee from Poland in the 1940's and the oldest child of 14, she triumphed through many hardships, including cancer, which finally took her life on September 18.  Here are a few photos of her memorial service today.
Also an artist, this is a self-portrait at age 21.
More of her paintings in the foyer.

Two of her music students.

Some photos of her early life

Before the service
She loved to teach.  Music, art, anything she could!  You can also see her in action in an earlier blog....not sure of the date. (checked, and its in the April 11, 2008 one).  Most of all, she was devoted to equipping her Downs' syndrome daughter with the skills of life, skills which she now will put into action as she moves into an apartment on her own.

Thank you, Mrs Swoboda, for all you did for us and many others!  We'll see you again on Resurrection morning!  May you rest in peace!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Gymnastics Open House

Our local gymnastics center had an open house a few weeks ago.  A and C spent the whole afternoon maxing out!  At the end C had a ripped hand (from the bars) and both had sore muscles - which were sore for the next 2 days!  I had to smile....(only in empathy, I promise!).
Climbing up to the high bar over the pit.

About to launch

Away she goes!

Large and small had a good time. This sweet little one had SO much fun - she was adorable!

Waiting for the "all clear".

Nothing was off limits. Sweet!

Here we go again!

Caught in midair.

My husband is a gourmet cook (and other short stories...)

This is what we were treated to last Friday evening.

A beautiful and tasty omelet along with vegetarian Italian sausage.
This is hereby public notice that from now on, hubby is THE chef of the house!  I hereby abdicate all responsibility and title thereof pertaining to food - the preparation and display thereof, and the creative development of tasty recipes and dishes....I hand it ALL over, freely and without coercion.  Let this notice stand.  And let the audience say AMEN! Let it be so!!

Yours sincerely,

Yours truly!

Woodland Hideouts

We have a squatter camp woodland village in our yard.

Using makeshift materials, anything is possible!

Hark!  I see someone inside.  Wait! They're on the phone!

Hello?  Can you hear me now?  Guess where I am?

Interesting roof

From the side it's more camouflaged - oh no, I see a hand - do you need any help, lady?

Blended into the woods - the perfect hideout!  (Ag, another hand)
Two words for blogspot - much easier!  Thanks for the easy uploads - now we can upload a bunch of photos at once!  Alas, that means more rambling blogs for all unsuspecting readers...At least no one can say they don't know what we're up to these days!

Adventures with the Adventurers

The Adventurers gather for a group shot.  That's Tommy at the back with his hands up! :-)
Whoops, Tommy, you're just a blur now!
At the Hamilton Skate Place for an evening of exercise and fun on September 19.  Mrs Smith rented the whole place just for our club and had our own music playing so that made it really pleasant!  C had to borrow my rollerbades (hers are missing...hmmm) but did OK in the bigger skates tightened up.

Please stop for 3 seconds while I take your picture!

The lights changed to different colours.

We got to see a very red sun on the way home - this is taken while driving.
This is C's last year in Adventurers.  Seems like just yesterday we were starting out with Little Lambs!  Well, time flies when you're having fun, doesn't it? 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Our third "field trip".

Well, clever me did the 4th before the here is the 3rd although it was technically AFTER school hours and not a scheduled field trip.  So - this excursion was to Morning Pointe for a science demonstration by our friend, Ben Roy.  Here are a few pics of that exciting event and then a group photo of all the kids there.
This is in the Morning Pointe Assisted Living center.
"I know, I know!"
Demonstrating a chemical reaction causing light. (bio-luminescence)
The group posing at the end before enjoying some treats.
After the event, we, along with a couple other kids, spent a few minutes at the playground where the kids played a rousing game of hide-and-seek.

Our fourth field trip of the year.

This morning we took a little excursion to Audubon Acres.  We arrived around 9:30am but the visitor's center was still closed so we hiked over to the swinging bridge along some beautiful woodland paths.  All along the way were signs explaining how the Cherokee Indians used various of the trees.  We got to see the Cherokee "alphabet" naming the trees.  Each symbol represents a sound, invented by Sequoyah in the early 1800's.

We then returned around 10 to see if the visitor's center was open yet.  No luck.  A man was mowing the lawns but paid us no attention and no-one was around asking us for the entrance fee, so after sitting around for a bit and playing some frisbee, we took a photo of the map on the wall so we'd know where we were, and set off for the Little Owl Village.  We took a side path around to the bridge (fortuitously through a gnome's village - wink, wink); crossed the bridge again and hiked along the South Chickamauga Creek towards the Little Owl Village.  More than half-way there, we realised we wouldn't have time to do the full loop in the time alloted and had to turn around.  Unfortunately only one (civilized) way to cross the creek so we couldn't cut across to the main area.  Nevertheless, with many exciting gnome finds, the trip was interesting and the time and hiking passed quickly.  Before we knew it the bridge came back into sight and a little later we were back at the car for lunch.  After reading the story of how Sequoyah invented the Cherokee syllabary system, we headed back for orchestra, arriving 6 minutes early!

Audubon Acres is a Cherokee heritage site and linked to the Trail of Tears.
A total of about 4 miles of hiking trails

The swinging bridge
Looking for gnomes
Ah - found one of their umbrellas

We had some science lessons along the way.
Towards Little Owl Village, we come across Peter Rabbit.
And evidence of a beaver's work.
A gnome's house decorations
A precarious tree on the edge of the South Chickamauga Creek. (the tree roots being an ideal gnome's house,we noted)
Taking a little break
Of other note, it was a stinking hot and muggy day (even though cool in the morning)!  Whew!  When is summer ever going to end?!  (Rumours are that it will end this weekend).

We're praying for you, Mom, and hope the shingles go away soon!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Arts in the Park

Last Sunday the town held an Arts in the Park fair, with graphic arts and musical arts highlighted. All afternoon they had different musical groups providing music while others browsed the art booths profiling local schools' best art and then they also had craft and food booths with items for sale.
The park was Veteran's park
A lovely breeze kept the flag unfurled
Art exhibits and food, arts and crafts booths selling their wares.
Waiting for some action.  Eventually this section of grass was full of people.
A bluegrass band entertaining us
Looking through the back of the "shell"
Early in the ETSO concert.  Maestro Hickam conducts. If you're looking, I'm somewhere in the cello section (second row, inner chair)
Later in the evening.
Thank you everyone for a lovely afternoon (well, I have to admit we only arrived around 4:30pm).  Other than the crowds not being so huge earlier in the day, I think it turned out nicely and the weather was perfect!