Monthly Archives: May 2011

Karate Tournament

In April, Matthew and Samantha’s dojo held a karate tournament. Matthew did quite well at the previous one but Samantha was sick and couldn’t attend. She was very impressed with the trophy Matthew brought home so she was determined to make it to this one.

Early in the morning, Samantha competed. In her class, they were split into groups of three and then asked to mimic the actions of their instructor while they were judged on their technique. Samantha ended up in a group of three with two older girls but in the end her score put her in second of the three. She was so excited when she was handed her trophy.

In the previous tournament, Matthew was close to finishing his belt and was among the oldest in his class. He ended up bringing home a second place trophy that time. This time, he had progressed into an older age group so he was among the youngest and was just learning his new kata for the next belt. But he did very well. Since the tournament, he has continued to work hard and is still improving. I am sure he will do even better in future tournaments also.

The video is a bit of fun using the new iMovie. It has templates for creating “movie trailers”. So, piecing together some of the raw video from the event, I put together the video above, brought to you buy Rand-omonium Pictures. Enjoy.


P1060897We do things a bit differently at Easter at our house. Because Samantha is diabetic, the Easter Bunny doesn’t leave as much chocolate here. He does hide some chocolate eggs around the house but there are no chocolate bunnies. Instead, he gives a little gift to Matthew and Samantha.

Samantha and Matthew grabbed their baskets Easter morning and started searching for the eggs. We encouraged Matthew to leave some of the easier ones behind for her sister to find and he focused on finding some of the ones which were more hidden. In the end, I think Samantha maybe gathered a couple more than Matthew did.

In the video, you can see the moment when they found the presents the Easter Bunny left behind. It was a couple of Nerf guns which shoot foam darts. I guess the Easter Bunny assumed that the best approach for a couple of kids who argue as much as Matthew and Samantha is to arm them. Maybe a bit of “mutual assured destruction” will help.

Later in the day, some good friends of ours came to visit and join us for dinner. I made roast cornish hens and it came out quite good and I think impressed our guests. After dinner, we played a bit of Rock Band before it got late and it was time to call it an evening.


P1060838A short distance from our new house is a great tobogganing hill. So, we picked up a couple of sleds and took the kids a couple of times this winter. It is a reasonable walk for Matthew and I from the house to the hill. The walk becomes unreasonable when you end up having to carry Samantha and pull the sled though. The second time we went, we drove if only to avoid a cold walk back when everyone is tired.

The hill starts at the edge or a residential road and drops down a good distance to a soccer field. So, when you are heading down the hill, you don’t have to worry about running out into traffic. You can just keep going until you run out of momentum.

Matthew went up and down that hill too many times to count and just didn’t stop until we said it was time to head home. Samantha went down the first couple of times with me but after that she started going down by herself. But, that didn’t mean I could stay at the top of the hill. Instead I had to go down to the bottom and pull the sled up for her next run. Sometimes, she would be tired and sit in the sled for me to pull it and her up.

Afterwards, we would head home for some kind of treat. For some reason, we had ice cream after a cold day tobogganing as you can see in the photos. As the kids get older, they will be able to go the hill on their own and spend some of their winter days there the way my brother and I used to do at “the hill” next to his friend Greg’s house.


P1060690Months ago, Christmas Day came and went and although we took a few pictures I hadn’t gotten anything up on the website. Until now. Matthew was very happy when he found a couple of Lego sets under the tree. But, he also got some other interesting toys like some Snap Circuits which lets you make simple electric circuits from some standardized snap-able pieces.

Samantha got a electronic dog which still drives me crazy. If she leaves it on, it will bark when its light sensor detects a change in the lighting. So when I turn the lights out at night when I go to bed, suddenly this fake dog barks and often makes me jump. When its batteries die, I don’t seem to rush to replace them.

I got tickets for a musical version of “Legally Blonde” at the NAC for Cynthia and she was pretty surprised. When the day of the performance arrived, I took care of the kids while she enjoyed the show with one of her sisters. Not being a fan of musicals, I didn’t mind missing it…

Christmas evening, Cynthia’s mother came to visit and help me with a turkey dinner. I can’t recall anything much about the meal after all these months so I assume it was uneventful. I am sure I would remember if I ruined the dinner somehow so I guess I pulled it off OK.

P1060787With Christmas over, we had to prepare for our trip to visit Cynthia’s dad at his place near Collingwood where we stayed until just before New Year. Unfortunately I was feeling very under the weather with a terrible cough so I mostly just stayed around the house resting. But Cynthia, her dad and Matthew spent quite a bit of time skiing. Samantha went skiing one of the days also. Actually, she mostly was held up and chaperoned down the hill but she had a great time.

We have some video also of Samantha and Matthew skiing also. Matthew is pretty much ready to try something a bit harder than the bunny hill. Because it is such a shallow hill, you will see that he just goes straight down. Something a bit steeper would hopefully put a bit more fear into him and convince him to make some turns.

The kids had a great time and I am sure they would love to visit again next year and try some more skiing. Thanks for your hospitality Steve and Nanette!