March break

The kids and I invaded my sister's house for 4 1/2 days. My sis lives in Red Deer, a small city located more or less right in between Edmonton and Calgary. Besides taking advantage of the March break to spend time with my sister and her family, we also managed to see more of J. My hubby is madly trying to spend his research funds before March 31st. This has meant he has been on a series of research trips and conferences in the last couple of months. He spent 11 days out of the country in February. He was in Winnipeg for 4 days. His final trip was to be spent in Edmonton for a week. Both he and I were feeling the effects of his being away. Therefore we arranged to plunk ourselves in Red Deer so J could research in Edmonton and then travel 90+ minutes to spend the night with us. It worked out well on so many levels.

My kids had a fantastic time with their cousins. They all played well together. We entertained ourselves with crafts, colouring, a trip to the nearby park and a visit to the swimming pool (equipped with a lazy river, wave pool, fountain pool, large water slide, and kids water park/pool).

As my parents grew up on farms just east of the city of Red Deer, there happens to be some family in the city. This trip I made some time to visit my grandma W. My granddad passed away almost 2 years ago and it was good to touch base with her again.

My sis, J and I took all of our kids to visit our favourite aunt and uncle on Friday. My uncle has recently been diagnosed with non-small cell cancer. It was important for me to see him and to let him and my aunt know that we are thinking of them. They have given us so many treasured memories and have always been at the periphery of our lives. It is hard to see them struggling with a life threatening illness but they are fighters and will hopefully see this disease in remission soon.

Finally monkey boy, lil bug and I went on a day adventure to the Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin ( a mere hour north of Red Deer). The museum was terrific. The little bit I read on the story boards was both informative and interesting. The museum was filled with restored vehicles. There were cars, trucks, and farm equipment. We also caught the tail end of the Model T exhibit celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Ford car. We ended our tour with lunch at the museum cafe (which was quite good compared to some museum food I've had). Before we left, we popped over to the Aviation Hall of Fame museum and looked at the airplanes on display there. If I had more time and no kids tagging along, it would have been interesting to read about some of the aviators inducted into the hall.

The kids loved the museum. This was probably due to two factors. One, they both love vehicles, and I mean LOVE vehicles. Monkey boy has been playing with cars since he was a toddler and lil bug's favourite shirt is a hand-me down featuring a dune buggy. Secondly they both had a hoot taking pictures. Lil bug was using monkey boy's v-tech camera. Monkey boy had his hands on my Canon point and click while I was hauling around J's old Canon 20D. It was so much fun watching them take pictures and experience the museum in a more hands on way. I think we may have some photographers in the making, which would please both J and I as well as J's parents (photographers themselves). Photography may be an excellent way for our family to explore our surroundings and feel connected especially as the kids move towards their tween and teen years.