This has been another exciting year. Lots of exciting changes, new job, new home and new experiences.
Kyle has been working at Canadian Solar in Guelph for almost a year now and he is loving it. Different challenges and a great learning experience. He was in living a student lifestyle for the 1st 6 months of the year. Renting a room in a house, walking to work and coming home to Ottawa with his laundry on the weekends. I think he is an elite member with VIA rail with all those weekend travels. It is much nicer that we are all living together again. It was a long 6 months, but we didn’t really want to take the kids out of school before the end of the school year. They had many activities already scheduled so we didn’t want them to miss out.
Something else we had to do before we left Ottawa was visit the ice hotel in Quebec. I have always thought it was a very cool concept and had been wanting to see for a long time. It is a 5 hour drive from Ottawa and 10 hours from Kitchener so it was best to go from Ottawa. Here is us enjoying our drinks at the bar with our ice glasses that we made.
Matthew had an exchange student from St George QC that stayed with us for a week during Winterlude in Ottawa so we had a great visit. Always fun to play tourist in your own city.
Matthew went to Quebec in May for a week for his French student exchange. This year I was an organizer for the exchange and was very fortunate to go as the parent/teacher volunteer and I stayed with a French family. It was lots of fun as I was able to finally be immersed in the language and practice. Something I have always wanted to do. When you put it out there, it happens and it was such a fun experience. Matthew is still in French immersion in High school. We chose where we live so that he can walk to school especially if he has after school activities and I don’t have to pick him up.
Andrew had a great year at school. He graduated from grade 6 with a Director of Education Award which is basically Valedictorian.
He gave the leaving speech and we were so proud of him. He did well in school, sports, and was really well liked by his peers and teachers. He really misses his friends back in Ottawa. He has made new friends here. His first friend at school was another kid from Ottawa. He said he was the only other kids walking around aimlessly in the yard on their first recess break so he approached him. That is how I met may first friend at school when I moved to Canada in grade 12, she was an exchange from Iceland. We both didn’t know anyone.
Natalie, Miss social butterfly is really missing her friends from school in Ottawa. She was also starting to get really independent, hanging out and going for bike rides with her friends from the neighbourhood. She has found a great group of friends here in Kitchener from school, being asked to go to a birthday party on the first week of school. Her school is only 500m away from home so she and I walk to and from school everyday. I really enjoy the little bit of mummy and Natalie time we share everyday.
I continued my French classes in Winter and Spring in Ottawa. Figured I better take advantage of it as French isn’t so prevalent around the Kitchener area. There is a French meet-up group of people here that get together to speak french. I haven’t had a guts to go out yet. Maybe one of these days after some practicing.
Summer was fun, we did a road trip to Winnipeg to celebrate an early 80th Birthday with my dad and of course stopping at our friends cottage in Kenora for a couple of days first. Always a treat. This year we were crazy, wanting to maximize time with our friends, we did the 24 hour drive without stopping overnight!! I know we are crazy sometimes…. The big thing was that Matthew had cut his hair as a gift to my dad as he really didn’t like the long hair!!
The big deal was that Matthew did this summer wascut his hair as a gift to my dad’s 80th birthday as he really didn’t like the long hair!! I think he realizes now that it was good to cut it all off.
We are all busy with different sports and exercises. Kyle has decided that he is going to do the Tough Mudder in fall so he has started training. So he goes to the gym here at the apartments 3 times a week. Might as well take advantage of the facilities here. I have started doing hot yoga at the Goodlife in town. You don’t have to have a membership to do hot yoga, so that works. I really enjoy it. I go once a week with another friend. Lately though, things have been keeping us away from yoga so I just go to the gym here too or do my stretches at home.
Matthew has been curling at the local granite club and curls at school too. I told him that he had to do some sort of sport and that is what he picked. He is doing really well and really enjoying it. He was a sub for another player who couldn’t make it to a competition in fall and now they are going onto the Gore Mutual Schoolboy competition in Chesley, ON. He is looking forward to it. I guess we will make the 2 hour drive to the middle of nowhere!! He will have 6 hours between his two games so we will do a little bit of winter sight seeing, someone suggested Port Elgin on Lake Huron.
Natalie is also curling on Sunday with Matthew. We all went to an open house and she decided that she liked it. Her thoughts have changed a little now but she is committed till the end of winter!! She is also playing soccer with a development team. Not recreational soccer and not competitive, in-between. They still have 2 practices a week so that keeps us all busy. Come summer, it will be 2 practices and a game. Not sure I am ready for that!!
Andrew still loves soccer. Unfortunately he didn’t have any teams, so he is working on his skills with a skills learning program. He will play soccer in the summer on a recreational team and perhaps tryout for a team in the fall again. They say he has a great attitude just not up to par with the other kids. It will be a crazy summer!
It is the end of January already and we are in the middle of winter. It has been a really mild winter, and enough snow for us to go tobogganing. There are a few hill around here so we have been fortunate enough get outside a bit.
2015 was also a great year for family. Kyle’s cousin lives here in Waterloo and uncle lives in Woodstock(45 minutes away). We have been fortunate to spend a lot of time with them and helping us settle in. We also found out in the fall that I have a second cousin from China that immigrated to Markham a few years ago. So when my parents were visiting in fall, they made the drive out here. That was so nice. Something to be said about family. Kyle’s nephew is studying in London (1.5 hours away) so we have a chance to visit with him too. He is a little bit older than our kids so it is nice to see them hang out together.
Our big holiday at the end of the year was our trip to Hilton Head, NC. So crazy us, we decided to drive down there. We could do the drive to Winnipeg. 19 hours is nothing… The weather was cooler there too. We stayed at a timeshare right on the beach.
As the week progressed, it got warmer and cloudier. Warm weather is always good. The two bedroom villa was bigger than our townhouse!! We spent a lot of time in the heated pool and hot tub. There were a lot of activities on the grounds. Kyle and I took tennis lessons, which I am going to continue to do this summer. The kids played ping pong, foosball, mini golf and shuffle board, just to name a few. Kyle won at chocolate bingo. He was generous enough to share his winnings….
Well that is our year in 200 words of less, he he. Looking forward to another year of fun stories and adventures.
Wishing everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year.
Happy Chinese New Year!!
There will be a lot of Monkey business coming up this year!