Because It Doesn't Get Much Cooler Than A Car That Turns Into A Robot

Yesterday was Noah's last day in "school", working with his aide in the PUF program. In the morning, I had the boys draw her pictures as a gift. Here's Noah's, (which I had to help guide his hand on for the outlines, at least):

Jude drew this one:

Jabin didn't do much, so I didn't scan his red scribble.

When I picked Noah up, I was surprised to see him clutching the handles on a good-sized gift bag. Apparently Mrs. Soucy had thought of a "last-day-of-school" gift, too--a Lightning McQueen puzzle (one of Noah's favourite activities), and a largish Bumblebee Transformer toy.

My kids had never heard of Transformers before.

And they haven't stopped talking about it since.

There were pictures of five of the other Transformers on the back of the package. Jude kept asking me questions I did not know the answers to, never having really been "into" Transformers--that was more my brother's thing. However, I knew that Jason had been fairly into the brand when he was a kid, so I kept telling the kids "ask Daddy when he gets home." This didn't seem to be satisfying the cravings for knowledge quickly enough, so I eventually went to find out information on-line.

Noah came home with the toy at 3:30. By the time Jason got home at 5, Jude knew nearly all of the "good guy" names and several of the bad guys, and he still wanted to keep re-hashing the limited knowledge he already had, as well as any more he though he could glean from us, like a new crush that substitutes non-stop discussion of the subject when forced to actually be out of their presence. Having seen nothing more than a couple of movie trailers and toy commercials on-line, their play still revolved around "being" the various Transformers all night and morning. (Of course, Bumblebee is the favourite, with Optimus Prime being a close second.)

"This is what you must have been like as a kid," my husband observed, referring to the way that Jude was suddenly obsessed. True, except I got obsessed with stories, not necessarily the products that went with them, if there even were any. Jude got obsessed with a story he does not even know because of a product. Interesting.

---------

On Sunday, I set this up (mostly) by myself:



Then hurriedly took it down Tuesday night as the storm clouds threatened. See, we didn't want to have to pack a wet tent when we leave for our camping trip today!!

Some of my best memories as a kid were out camping. My dad was a professional guide and outfitter until I was twelve, and I have some very vivid memories that took place out at "Ram Camp" (thus named because of it's location on the Ram River.) Also, my mom took my brother and I camping about once a year as well. Then there were Youth Group camp-outs, which were excuses to flirt almost-non-stop with the boy I had a crush on. Oh, and the never-to-be-forgotten trip I took with three of my girlfriends when we were all sixteen, fresh with driver's licenses and a couple of vehicles between the four of us. Good times.

Since high school, I have gone camping a grand total of twice. Both were with Jason. The first time was in the summer after my first year of college. Knowing how much I love camping, and missed it, he said he wanted to take me camping for my birthday in August. He had been acting strangely, considering we had tried dating for about a month early in the year, and decided that it worked better for us to be friends. Strange comments had been coming from his mouth. Comments that made me raise my brow and say, "Now, what is that boy thinking?"

Not to mention, there was obviously some kind of conspiracy going on between him and my roommate, Candace, but I could not glean any information about it, other than that she was lending us her tent and some of her camping supplies. Well, fortunately he didn't keep me guessing too long--on the way out there, he stopped the car in the middle of the (deserted) highway, and asked to court me with the intentions of marriage. I was floored. Especially when he told me he already had permission from my dad. But that's another story. Ahem.

After that, we went camping late in September the year we got married with our good friends Chris and Tegan, and it was cold and miserable and wet for most of the trip. But still, we have some good memories from that weekend, too.

Unfortunately, we haven't gone camping since.

The reasons are various, but mostly having to do with the fact that during our four years at Sunnyside Camp, Jason was not allowed to take summer holidays, due to the nature of the job. So that left us May-Long Weekend, notorious for being snowy, rainy, or hail-y, or late in September, with it wind and dropping leaves and temperatures. With small children, neither of these options was very appealing.

We did have a trip all planned for May-Long one year, and canceled at the last minute due to a nasty weather forecast. I could practically taste the disappointment I felt.

So, since this is the first time we have been camping in seven years, and the first time ever with the kids, I am both unbelievably excited, and unbelievably stressed. This has been a week from heck, schedule-wise, so I have been squeezing preparations into those hours of the day when I should be doing things like, um, sleeping. But, one way or the other, we'll get out the door today, and if I forgot anything--oh, well. It will help me remember it next time!

Meanwhile, I hope the sun finds you wherever you are this weekend.

Happy First Day Of Summer tomorrow!