Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Weekend Recap

I cannot stop going to the Union Station summer market.  It is right across the street from my office and it is my scene.  This time I got the OG chicken sandwich from Union Chicken and a beer.  It was so so good, and the sun was out so it was even better.  If you are in Toronto, I will meet you there for  lunch anytime!!

After work, I picked up the boys and we went straight to a house party complete with a live band.

I barely saw E all night, he was running around with the other kids

The next morning, we hopped on the subway, transferred to the bus at Ossington, and went to the Indigenous Arts Festival at Fort York. 

Sitting in a tipi.

Joining in with the drumming. 

We walked through Fort York and checked out the cannons.  Pro tip, there is no exit at the East end of Fort York onto Bathurst, so if you make it to the East end, you have to double back to exit to the south.  I swear there used to be an exit there and we weren't the only people that thought that. 

Then we went over to the new Stackt Market.  It is designed from shipping containers and is an Instagram paradise.  We got some gourmet donuts to start out with. 

It was our plan to go to the brewery and get some pretzels (and beer for me of course!) but it was closed for a private event, so we took a few more photos and got a popsicle before heading out. 

We went back through the Indigenous festival on our way home.  We saw a bit of the pow-wow and the neat outfits the dancers were wearing but couldn't see much.  We got home around 2:00 and Q went right to bed.  When he got home, we picked up our grocery order and then went to the playground. 

We just had some snacks for dinner as no one was really hungry.  E went over to a friend's house for a bit so Q and I watched The Secret Life of Pets; when he got home, Q went to bed and then E and I watched Sing, and then a bit of A Star is Born.

We were out of the house early again on Sunday.  It was the last day of Sunday School before the summer so E needed to be there early to practice.  We dropped him off and then went to the playground at the local school for a bit before we joined him for the service. 

The cake after the service was a big hit. 

We went to Wall-Mart when Q woke up from his nap to get a random assortment of things.  We had some freezies when we got home, and then made supper.

Dave got home from his golf trip around 9:00 which wasn't too late. 

Monday, June 24, 2019

June Book Review

I only read two and a half books this month.  One reason for this is I listened to some podcasts for a week, and another week I was away for work so I didn't have my subway reading time like I usually do.  

The first book was Transcription by Kate Atkinson.  This one was a gift from my in-laws for Christmas, and I have seen it on the "Best Bets" shelf at the library.

I liked this book and thought it was well written.  It tells the story of a woman who was part of MI5 operations in London during the Second World War.  It goes back and forth between those days and "current day" (1950s) when she works for the BBC and is revisited by some of the people from her past.  The story flowed well and kept me engaged.  My only complaint if you can call it that was that earlier this year I read The Alice Network which is also about a British female spy that goes back and forth between spying days and "current day".  I kept comparing the two books while I was reading them, which isn't really fair, but it could not be helped, the stories were so similar.  There is a twist at the end that I did not see coming.  I don't mind twists but I usually prefer when there were clues along the way that the reader could have picked up if they were clever enough, and I don't think there were any clues like that here.  I think some hints would have been better than just introducing this twist at the end when it seemed rushed. 

So conclusion is that it is a fine book, but too similar to The Alice Network for me to truly appreciate it. 

The second book was the final book on my 2019 Reading List, The Home for Unwanted Girls, but Joanna Goodman.

This one checks two of the three things I typically like about a book, it's heartbreaking and Canadian (the third is about war).  This book follows the story of children given up for adoption in the Province of Quebec.  It's a story we all think we know, a province with a particularly strong Catholic influence where having a baby out of wedlock was one of the worst things that could happen so young girls (and boys where they were told) were forced to give up their babies, sometimes without even holding them, to orphanages run by the nuns.  Some nuns were kind of course, but they also ran a tight ship and many of the children were mistreated, or were simply without any love and affection.  This story spans many years which I liked because you could get the full complicated story.  Again, this one reminded me of another book I read earlier this year,  Necessary Lies.  But they were different enough that I wasn't bogged down by comparisons, just reminded that these injustices were carried out everywhere. Again, I had to keep the tears back while reading on the subway, as it was just so sad that it seemed like no hope for these girls, both moms and babies. The author also did a good job of showing us the motivations and regrets behind the parents of the young mothers who likely did what they did because they didn't know of any other options.  

A book that should be read to better understand our history. 

The third book, that I am halfway through, but will count it here because I'll finish it in June, is The Girl in the Glass Tower, by Elizabeth Fremantle.

I picked it up at the library, just by browsing around.  I needed a book that wasn't about adoption, World War 2, or a young Morman girl (I think 80% of the books I read this year had one of those themes).  This one fit the bill.  It is historical fiction taking place during Elizabeth I's reign.  I enjoy these types of books where there everyone is trying to get improve their position, stabbing people in the back (sometimes literally), and also just waiting around for people to die.  I know a bit about this period of history but not that much.  So far it is interesting.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Friday Favourites

E had his soccer photos this week.  Despite the serious face, he did have a great game.  They actually lost but it was their best game so far this season. E was goalie in the second half and didn't let any goals in. 

I took the boys to the school STEAM night on Thursday.  STEAM is Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math.  It's really just the science fair for the older grades, but they introduced some arts exhibits as well.  Here they were checking out how blood is pumped all over the body.

Then we went to Queen Margherita for supper.  E didn't stop talking while I was trying to take his picture, so this is the best I got. 

Rather than getting my own pizza, I decided to just get the grilled kale salad (so delicious!!) and just eat a couple pieces of Q's pizza.  It worked out well and we didn't have any leftovers.

I attended a course this week for Construction Contract Management at the Osgoode Professional Development Centre. It was a really great course and I was very impressed with the calibre of the speakers and materials.  Now to implement my new knowledge at work!

We are in the last stretch of school, I don't know where June went!  I wrote about E's year in Grade 2 in yesterday's post here.

Linking up with AndreaErika, and Narci for Friday Favourites.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

School Days - Grade 2 Edition

I cannot believe another year of school is (almost) behind us.  E had a great year and progressed so much with his school work, and had some fun along the way.  He was in Grade 2 and continued on with the French Immersion program.  I have enjoyed practicing my own French conversing with him. I still have my French-English dictionary from high school and we use it to check words that we don't know.  

His reading in both French and English greatly improved over the year, both thanks to his teacher and us (!).  Although we could always do more practice reading at home, we did do quite a bit of extra reading with him and it helped.   His teacher recognized that he needed extra help early on, and he attended extra reading classes and was in the lunchtime reading club once a week in the second term.  It really helped and when he was reading at home with us, I could tell he was trying out different techniques to figure out what the word was. Dave also started reading the Harry Potter books to E at night, which was also encouraged by E's friends' enjoyment of that series too.  We need to remind ourselves to keep with the reading throughout the summer, even when we are busy, so he will not fall behind next year. 

E does still need help with his writing, both in terms of actual handwriting, knowing the French words (and how to spell them), and ideas for composition.  This is definitely something we will work on this summer.  There are certain things he still forgets to do, like writing b's and d's backwards or forgetting a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence.  I keep telling him that he needs to figure this stuff out for Grade 3 next year, these mistakes won't be acceptable.  His teacher did back me up and say by the middle of Grade 3, they will start deducting points for those types of things.  

His favourite subject is math.  The way they do math problems is so strange (to me). There is a word problem, where the answer is quite simple, but they need to write out what information they have, what problem they need to solve, and then show how they got the answer.  It seems overly complicated to me but I guess they are trying to be problem solvers which is more than just solving a bunch of equations. 

We met with his teacher a few times during the year and she always had good things to say about him.  Even with some scholastic challenges, he is always happy and willing to help out.  He has a good group of friends that he plays such imaginative games with.  I don't follow what he talking about half of the time, but they seem to be having a good time.  

Cross country race

Crazy kids

Movie night in the gym

Dinner with a buddy

Christmas concert.

Watching the hoop and skipping show after school one day.

He did a bunch of great artwork at the lunchtime art classes we signed him up for. 

We are ready for summer!!