Monday, 30 March 2009

Avatar comes to life

Yesterday we ran about “kicking some Fire Nation butt”. After a rainy week spent indoors playing barbies with Effie, Ferg took control of things for a sunny, outdoor Avatar battle. Smellerbee (Dad) and Longshot (Eff) played the roles of henchman and minion to Jet (Ferg) and his elaborate plans. In Avatar, Jet is a sword-wielding vigilante and leader of the Freedom Fighters, a group of kids who are out to seek revenge for the horrors that the Fire Nation has brought against them and their families. I had to look this up. Here’s Fergus channelling Aang, The Avatar, prior to battle:

First Jet drew the four symbols of fire, water, air and earth in the fresh sand as well as some sort of map of the route we were to take (The sandbox was filled with fresh sand recently and just before Fergus informed me that he no longer played in sandboxes but that it could still be used by younger, visiting kids!).

After the plans were drawn, we all had to hide and wait for his various complex hand signals to tell us what to do. I admit to not paying full attention as I once attacked when I had in fact been ordered to retreat. Major faux pas there but luckily we all were given more than one life. I was also limited by my inability to ride my mode of transport (skateboard) on the grass and not being able to fit into the attack launcher (swing). But apparently it is not all about me and a fun and bloody time was had by all.

We are all things Avatar lately - even Grandpa’s birthday present wrapping paper got the Avatar treatment. Ferg and I have been engaged in an exciting Avatar Wii game for about a month. It is pretty nifty how these two-person games teach you cooperative strategies. And by “you” I mean “me” and I am a slow learner and an inpatient and frustrated gamer. Ferg has meditative qualities about him when playing and has no problems being cooperative. He is teaching me a lot and as he always says “you know what they say Dad, try, try again”.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Sunny Beach Day

This beach is a five minute drive (if that) from our house. Nice and sandy. It got me wondering why we don't come here all the time. Then again it was kinda smelly and there were a few dogs barking non-stop in the adjacent houses and motor homes. Good times.

Check out the cool driftwood fort we made (by "we" I mean "someone")...

Multi-sport night... and then some

Monday, 23 March 2009

Weekend Wrap

Reason no. 748 why we love travelling to Everett :: articulate, bright, curious, funny… teenagers people in the 13 to 19 year-old range, who give of themselves completely, are there waiting for us:

Their parents are pretty darn fun too...

It's... Team ChloEffie (as described by Ronnie here)

Between Ferg’s love of concoctions and a couple nights of Margarita Madness, we gave Frank and Ronnie’s blender a good work out. It had been warned. Fergus was strangely unwilling to make a solo run to the Safeway when tipsy, mildly annoying adults ran out of limeade. Then there's Frank, obviously confused and believing there were more than eight of us:

We moaned a bit this trip about the sorry state of our dollar against that of the States. Although we did go to two favourite haunts, Target and Trader Joe’s (while Fergus and Frank gladly stayed home making concoctions, eating Pez and building lego), shopping was kept to a minimum. And Gillian even gave me major stink eye (and stink mouth!) for my unavailable-in-Canada stockpiling of freeze dried mango. But (BUT), even with an exchange rate hovering at about 80 cents on the dollar, we saved over $10 filling up on gas on the other side of the border. Go figure.

Upon returning home, Ferg quickly slid into - something Ronnie showed him just as we were leaving.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Fun at Frank and Ronnie's

Apparently we like to be carried a lot...

Zooming South

Trip down to Everett:

In between rain storms:

The much-anticipated concoction-making session with Ronnie:


Chloe showing Eff how to play chess:


Monday, 16 March 2009

In your satin tights, Fighting for your rights

Five days straight of the 70's stylings of Wonder Woman looping on the dvd player may appear to have few benefits for the rest of the household - Cloris Leachman makes an appearance after all - but this hipster marathon has spun off some nifty drawings:

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Rainy Day

Cross-country runner

The very popular strawberry n' kinder egg s'more

Sunny Day

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Partying like it's 1976

Felting and Wonder Woman


Wednesday, 11 March 2009


Ferg is the king of the knee holes (well, both kids are actually… and I admit to cropping out Effie’s shining knees recently in a photo sent to their A.Nut). Somehow he must overcompensate with his right leg because that’s where the holes always originate. This doesn’t bother him but Effie recently decided to get out her scrap pieces of fabric and fashion him some patches. We thought she was making a quilt at first, since she had cut out so many uniform pieces, but I guess she had hatched this plan with Ferg ahead of time because he seemed quite keen to contribute some suggestions. Effie’s first creation was a sewn together Indiana Jones-themed patch.

Afterward, Fergus thanked Effie and then informed her that, although it was “cool”, he wasn’t quite ready to patch up his knee holes.

This is where the shiny, happy post was to end off with a photo of the elegantly crafted patch (complete with beads!). But the next day Fergus got out the scissors and demolished it. And so it goes.

Confounded by puzzles* since 1967

For 5 full days I struggled with the 20th and final** (Expert level!) puzzle of Thinkfun’s “Cover Your Tracks”. The (GD) game was literally the first thing I did when I got up and the last thing I did before bed. In this game you are given four different shapes and have to cover up certain sections of the board using all four of the pieces. Here’s Effie with the solution to one of the Intermediate level puzzles:

Number 20 haunted my sleep for many a night to the point that I was convinced that a solution to it was simply not possible and had Gillian investigate the answer to assure me that, rather than an elaborate joke, it could in fact be done… only in a slightly different way from puzzles 1-19. Upon hearing this, Fergus immediately took the puzzle out of my hands and came up with this innovative 3-d creation:

Very clever, and all the tracks are indeed covered. But unfortunately not - legally - correct. Then, finally, at 7:36 yesterday evening I solved the stupid thing. I’d post a picture of the prize-winning*** solution but I wouldn’t want to spoil it since I’m sure I’ve built this game up enough that everyone is going to rush out and buy it pronto.

*and video games
**have since been informed by my ever-helpful-but-who-asked-you-to-look-anyway wife that 20 more can be downloaded and printed off the internet
***major familial hugs amidst a collective sigh of relief

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Fifty-Four Forty or Fight

We got snow yesterday… that’d be MARCH 9th. Despite this minor blip in what is now daffodil picking season here on the south island, this is an excellent time for our American friends to invade the 49th for a wee visit.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Hockey Night

The kiddos took in there first (non old timer) hockey game last night and Ferg got a puck! The guy in front of him caught it, saving Ferg a potential bonk on the head. As the puck spun and hovered in the air above us, Ferg actually had time to stand up, turn his back to the ice and shrug his shoulders! Not the best, or safest, puck-catching form but impressive nonetheless.

The final verdict from both Effie and Fergus was that hockey is much better watched on tv where you are not surrounded by noise-maker toting fans who spend good portions of the game on their feet yelling at the ref. Grizz was a hit however.

Monday, 2 March 2009



A whole day was spent playing with barbies... and I think they all made it out alive:

Playing "Go Bat", a game **made** by the Chicagwegians using Max's cool drawings. Amazing!