Wednesday, June 30, 2010

This year it was my family's turn to host the annual Moore Reunion. So, when we gathered at Easter, I asked if anyone had any ideas. I usually like to go with a theme so it makes planning just relate it back to the theme. No one really had any suggestions so I explained the idea I had on the car ride out to the farm. Let's do the Olympics!
 It was the perfect idea...Canada had just hosted the Olympics a few months ago, so people were all over that topic. Also, the reunion falls just before Canada Day so we could tie in lots of patriotism. And finally, we could have the Olympic Games! I loved this idea as it would get adults and kids alike involved in an activity. Usually the kids have some games and the adults get to sit in their lawn chairs "visiting". (bor-ing!)

The idea seemed to go over well at the dinner table as we discussed different ideas and who would be responsible for what. As the weeks and months progressed, the plan started to look pretty cool! My one fear was that the adults wouldn't participate in the games. So, I lectured my dad that he needed to lead the way. I honestly did not think he would. I honestly thought the day of the reunion Dad would be sitting under the tree in a lawn chair and brush me off. How wrong I was!

The big day arrived with ominous clouds in the distance. I told everyone to pray for no rain, and our prayers were answered! The raindrops held off until everyone had left and we were cleaning up. Then the skies opened up :)

We had a check-in table for everyone to confirm their address, get their name tag, be assigned a team and get a family photo taken. Once checked in, people made their way to the pavilion where we were setting up for an awesome potluck lunch. Isn't it funny how everything tastes so good at potlucks? I'm not sure if it's the variety or the fact that you didn't have to make it all, but the food is always delicious!

After lunch we got things started with the arrival of the torch and Opening Ceremonies. I had actually planned on my brother in law Steve carrying the torch in. However, when Bryan Moore arrived in full red & white Olympic/Canada garb...I asked him if he would be the torch bearer. He agreed enthusiastically. So, I cued the "I Believe" music and Bryan carried the paper torch along with his niece Alycia carrying a flag beside him. It was perfect! Next up was Oh Canada. We actually blew a breaker during the national anthem, but everyone kept singing while my brother fixed the problem. And wouldn't you know we were right on track when the music came back on!!
Next Up...Let the Games Begin! I could not believe how many people assembled in their team colours for our first game - the Obstacle Course! My worst fear disappeared! With my Dad leading the way, adults of ALL ages participated and had a blast in the games! Once the scores were tallied, I had created Olympic Medals which we handed out for Gold, Silver and Bronze. Yep, people were really into the medals too!

The rest of the day was a blur of a baseball game, Bingo, Pinata and of course, "visiting". But most importantly everyone had a great time and can't wait for next year. Fortunately, we are not hosting!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Another Day, Another Nephew Post...

Last week, I was pleased to attend the JK graduation of my nephew Jesse. I can't believe a school year has passed so quickly and Jesse is done his first year of school. When Jo-Anne mentioned there was going to be a special presentation at the school, I told her I would like to attend.

Honestly, I was expecting a somewhat more "formal" graduation. Pomp & Circumstance played on recorders perhaps? At least cardboard mortarboards! I think I had this in mind after remembering my own kindergarten graduation.

Regardless of the formality of the "graduation" it was still adorable to see such little tykes performing for us. There were 3 songs, each with actions. The first was about dinosaurs, the second was "Waving Flag" complete with choreography that included coloured scarves. The final song was "So Long, Farewell" from the Sound of Music. The lyrics were tweaked to reflect the fact that their school is closing at the end of the school year. All were very cute.

Of course, the most important part for both Jesse and little brother Liam was the SNACKS afterwards! Ha ha. I asked Jesse on the way home which song was his favourite and his answer was "the snacks". Nice. :)

Congratulations Jesse on a very exciting first year of school. I have enjoyed hearing about all the neat things you have learned, seeing the cool crafts you have created and most of all watching your little personality emerge. High five Peanut!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I recently celebrated my nephew Josh's 9th birthday with him. Each year the kids get a special day with me for their birthday. We've done some pretty cool stuff in the past from water parks to seeing the dinosaurs at JLC to the Air Show to painting pottery.

This year, Josh said he'd like to go to a ball game. The plan was to go to a Friday night Majors game here in London. The forecast, however, didn't look like it would cooperate. So, my back up plan was to see Shrek in 3D.

We all met at Jo-Anne's house for a rowdy (5 kids!!) pizza dinner and when it was time to go, I looked at the foreboding sky. Hmmm, looked like the rain could spill forth at any moment. So, I told Josh it was his choice... we could still go to the game, but it could rain. At first he said he would still like to see the ball game, but after a little consideration, announced that he had changed his mind and wanted to see Shrek.

The movie was really fun...even a few laugh out loud moments. Josh was settled in with the 3D glasses, popcorn, kinder egg and blue slurpie, so he was all set! On the way home, it started to pour if to confirm our decision not to go to the ball game.

In the morning we made pancakes for breakfast. Josh helped by measuring out the mix, cracking the eggs and letting me know when it was time to flip. They were dee-lish as we added bananas and chocolate chips! Yum. We played a little wii before heading for home. Nothing like a little bowling competition or 9 holes of golf in the morning.

Josh is a pretty cool kid. He is a man of few words, but once he opens up a bit, he is just so darned cute. I think he is actually a clone of my brother. Not only does he look just like John, who looks just like my dad, but they all share the same name! He loves the outdoors, fishing, exploring, nature...just like John. I wish we lived closer so I could pop by more often. Although I think he's convinced me to come to at least one football practice in the fall. 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

OK, yes...after a bit of a delay, my final installment of my trip to New York.

After our brush with celebrity on Saturday evening, we were up & at 'em fairly early Sunday morning. When we arrived at Times Square, we discovered there was a Sunday morning market! It was fun to wander around and see what was up for grabs. I thought I might find some sunglasses, but never did find any that suited me. Same with I <3 NY t-shirts. I wanted to get one but they all seemed tacky. I was looking for something a little more subtle than the bright white version that appeared everywhere. (see footnote)

After meandering the market, we hopped on the bus and toured through lower Manhattan. Unfortunately, the microphone on the bus wasn't working. At first this was OK...we sat at the front and our tour guide (who had about 3 teeth) also sat at the front. But, as more people got on the bus, he moved further back and we could no longer hear Snaggletooth, as he became known. It's too bad as he seemed like he had interesting stories to tell.

After finally getting my cupcake at the Magnolia Bakery (deeelish, but a bit of a sugar shock) we lined up for Broadway tickets in Times Square. We were all flexible as to what to see so most of the time in line was spent discussing what to see. We settled on "Rock of Ages" and I'm so glad we did! It was fantastic. By the end of the show, we were all on our feet singing along to Journey.


After searching the whole city for a black shirt with gray letters, I ended up making my own. It was a cinch! I bought a black t-shirt and after a little photoshopping, printed off an iron-on transfer and ironed it on. perfect T-shirt!!

Friday, June 04, 2010

So, while planning my trip to New York, I had a lot of people say that I should visit the FAO Schwartz toy store. Apparently the "Big" piano is there. Since I've never seen the movie Big, I wasn't really sure what the 'big' deal was.

Anyhow, we stumbled upon it ...just behind the ultra cool Apple store on 5th Avenue. We headed inside and wandered around. We saw the big piano and every other kind of toy, but none of us were really in need of toys, so we headed back outside. We rounded the corner and as we were walking down the street, something caught my eye. Through the glass doors and inside FAO Schwartz, I saw something very muppet-like. I stopped in my tracks and insisted we go back in.

I couldn't believe what I saw inside (and missed my first time around!). It was the  Whatnot Muppet Workshop . It was like a Build-a-Bear for muppets!! How cool is that?! There were 3 body types/colours to choose from and you got to choose the eyes, nose, hair, etc. I was too overwhelmed to actually build a muppet right then and there... and we had other things we needed to get to. But, someday, I want to go back and build a muppet. Wouldn't it be cool to make a muppet that looks like yourself?!?

Although I didn't build a muppet, I did purchase a miniature trench coat for Kermie. I've been looking for one since I got him and I was thrilled to find it! It came on a little hanger and in its own little garment bag! Ha, so cute! 

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

On Saturday night, we ventured on the subway down to Greenwich Village/Soho. We wandered around, taking in the vibe. We were definitely in a trendy/hip neighbourhood. Too bad I was still dressed from my day of walking around the city...including running shoes! Bah, embarrassing.

We found a pretty cool place and had some dinner and after wandering a bit more, headed back up to Times Square. We had the brilliant idea that we should find the Magnolia Bakery and get a cupcake (since they're open until midnight). Upon trying to navigate our way, we stumbled down a street that turned out to be a great twist of fate. As we were walking along, we discovered some temporary barriers and lots of people crowded behind them. My spidey sense was tingling and I realized there soon would be a celebrity sighting! Sure enough, we had gone down a street with the rear entrance to 2 Broadway Theatres. Soon after, we saw Kelsey Grammer and Catherine Zeta Jones exit from their Broadway productions. Too bad I forgot my autograph book at home!

~stay tuned for more tomorrow~