Archive for March, 2007

Choose your friends by character

Choose your friends by character 

Last summer, I’ve passed by this school quite a few times and have read this quote every time.  “Choose socks by colour and friends by character.  Never the opposite. “   

We were on our way home from the birthday party of a friend who lives in the outskirts of the city when I pointed this sign to my kids and asked them, “Do you know what it means?”  My 12-year-old son, Ryan, thought for a moment, and said, “Yeah, I think I get it.”  And just to make sure, I explained to him, “You know how socks sometimes have different characters in them, like the Disney characters, or Looney Toons, and how your friends have different colour of skin?”  And he said, “Yeah, yeah, mommy, I get it.” 

Another thing I like living here in Canada is that there is a diverse group of people here.  We are a mixture of different peoples from different parts of the world.  Since at a young age, my children are already exposed to this diversity and they are used to seeing people of different colours of eyes, hair, and skin.  And colour has never been the determining factor in choosing their friends.  But rather, they choose friends who have the same interests as them or who they enjoy hanging out with.  They choose friends who are nice to them, make them laugh, and make them feel good.   

And I hope that when they get older, they will choose friends who are honest, reliable or trustworthy.  Or someone who they can confide to and be a shoulder to cry on.  Or someone who will be by their side through thick and thin.  That’s how I choose my friends.

What about you?  How do you choose your friends?

Ryan and friends on their 6th grade graduation

March 31, 2007 at 11:07 pm 72 comments

Guest writer – Ryland

I’ve been called back to the office again.  I will be there for three weeks.  So I’ve really been busy (again).  And we’ve had a busy weekend as well and I am tired.  Since it’s spring break and the kids are just at home playing Gameboy and NDS, I thought I’d ask my nine-year old son to write this entry since he was very happy when I told him that I would like to post the picture that he drew here.  Please feel free to address your comments to him.

So here’s Ryland:

The Mouse and the Motorcycle

This is the picture I drew for our Literature Circles.  This is a mouse riding a motorcycle.  Because when I read the book, it was my favourite picture I saw.  The title of the book is The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary and illustrated by Louis Darling.

The Mouse and the Motorcycle

This is the picture on the book where I copied it from.

The Mouse and the Motorcycle

Beginning:

Keith is a boy and he didn’t know that he was getting watched by a mouse as he entered room 215.  Keith saw the mousehole and he poked his finger into the mousehole but he did not feel anything.  Keith took out his suitcase and took out some toy cars.

Middle:

Ralph (the mouse) had Keith’s motorcycle.  Then the motorcycle’s paint got chipped off and one of the handles was bent.  Then Ralph and the motorcyle fell into the paper waste basket.  While that Ralph was worried about the motorcycle.  Then the paper waste basket fell and Ralph and the motorcycyle got out of it.  Ralph met Keith and they became friends.  Keith made a deal so Ralph could ride the motorcycle at night but Ralph had to put the motorcycle away in the morning.  Keith was a nice friend to Ralph so he gave Ralph some food.   Ralph was riding the motorcycle then the vacume vacuum cleaner was trying to suck up Ralph and the motorcyle then they got sucked up and they went into the laundry room.

Ending:

Ralph told his relatives about his adventure.  His mother allowed him to go to the first floor by himself because he is growing up and he is a responsible mouse.   Ralph said goodbye to Keith.  Keith agreed to leave the motorcycle to Ralph.

My feelings:

I felt happy when Keith gave food to Ralph’s family.

I was scared when the vacuum cleaner was dragging Ralph.

I felt good about the deal that Ralph and Keith made about the motorcycle.

Parts of the story I like:

I liked when Keith poked his finger into the mousehole.

I like when Ralph and the motorcycle got out of the paper waste basket. 

I liked when Ralph was spying on Keith.

March 25, 2007 at 8:30 pm 56 comments

Spring has sprung!

Signs of spring

 Signs of spring

No, it didn’t rain.  We’ve been having above zero temperatures these past few weeks and the snow is slowly melting. 

During my first few years here in Winnipeg, I would wonder why the streets would be wet when it didn’t rain.  I got it that the sidewalks were wet from the melting snow.  But the streets didn’t have snow and yet they were wet.  It’s just later on that I realized that, of course, the snow was being dragged by the wheels of the vehicles.  Duh! Yeah, it’s true that once you start having kids, your grey matter slowly shrinks. J 

signs of spring 

It looks messy here.  The sidewalks are slushy, there are water puddles everywhere and that guck mixed with snow is so unsightly.  And did I mention the icy patches in the morning?  It’s so treacherous to walk out there. 

signs of spring  

But it is very exciting to see the grass again after five long months of cold winter and being buried in deep snow.  The colour is still a hideous green, if you can call that green.  But hey, just the sight of grass in March is very exciting to any Winnipeggers.  This means we can look forward to warmer temperatures.  We can wear lighter clothing.  And no more shoveling.

March 22, 2007 at 10:38 pm 20 comments

River East jazz band on The Herald

The River East Collegiate senior jazz band is on the front page of our community paper, The Herald.  You can read the story here: Band is ‘Essentially Ellington’

REC jazz band on The Herald

March 22, 2007 at 10:00 pm 3 comments

Essentially Ellington

senior jazz band

Two weeks ago, Reggie’s Senior Jazz Band performed at the Optimist International Jazz Band Festival at Glenlawn Collegiate.  They performed two Ellington pieces:  Jumpin’ Punkins, Mood Indigo, and one Mingus piece:  Nostalgia in Times Square.  Like the Wind Ensemble Band’s performance at the Convention Centre two weeks earlier, the Jazz Band also received great reviews from the adjudicator. 

The adjudicators, by the way, on this Music Festivals, are professional musicians who give them feedback on their playing.  That night, their adjudicator was a lady bassist named Jodi.  “Beautiful music.”  “Classy.”  “Pristine.”  “You were all in tune.”  These are just some of the words she used to describe the Senior Jazz Band.   

The only suggestion she made was to make it dirtier.  “That’s how Duke Ellington played his music and also the other musicians of his time,” she said.  She told the young musicians to use their hips instead of their upper body when playing their instruments.  Give it some sex.  Just imagine what the parents were thinking when she mentioned the S-word to these 16- to 18-year old kids.  😉  Then she explained that she didn’t want them to DO IT, but rather to express that passion in the music.   

And since she is a bassist herself, she showed the band’s bassist how to play it dirtier.  You should have seen his red face. “Don’t be polite,” she said.   “We, Canadians, are known for being polite.  Give it some edge,” she added.  She said that she had been to New York, and that’s how they do it over there.  

She asked the band to play a little something from one of the pieces they played.  “I finally heard that girth,” she said to the band’s bassist.   

She said that she enjoyed their performance.  “It made my weekend,” were her parting words.

jazzband2  

This is the same jazz band that’s going to New York.  They are the only Canadian group that made it to the 12th Annual Essentially Ellington Competition and Festival at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City this spring. 

River East Collegiate was one of the 15 finalist bands, the rest of which are American.  Eighty-eight bands entered the competition by submitting recordings of their performances of three Ellington songs.  The two Ellington songs the senior jazz band played at the Festival were also two of the three songs that they submitted. 

I think it’s pretty cool that they made it.  The school is asking for funding from major corporations here in Winnipeg to help the parents pay for this expensive trip for these young musicians.  And they are also thinking of a few fundraising events. 

I just hope that somebody from a major corporation reads this and gets interested in helping out. Just imagine.  They’re the only Canadian group.  I think that’s something.

jazzband3 

I will see if I can get Reggie download a copy of their CD, or at least one song, so that I could upload it on this website.  I will also try to learn how to upload the video from my camcorder to our computer so that I could share it with you.

May 28, 2007 Update:

Here are the links to the videos:

Nostalgia in Times Square and C Jam Blues 

March 18, 2007 at 11:30 pm 26 comments

Internet break, good news, and more

I have been meaning to stay away from the computer for at least a few days.  I have still been busy with appointments and errands these past two weeks and I haven’t really recovered from my very busy February yet and I am still beat.  I have commitments that I want to finish and besides, I already want to get started on my taxes.  I have four income tax returns to do – mine and my husband’s; and my mother’s (can’t say no to her) and my husband’s uncle (can’t say no to him either). 

It seems that these past two months, I could only manage to get a couple of hours’ time to go on the internet.  That’s the reason why you haven’t seen me much around lately.  You’re lucky 🙂 if I have visited you at least once a week.  And if I did, I probably read only one of your posts, if you have written two or more since the last time I visited you.  I just couldn’t keep up.  So please excuse me if I only left a quick comment.  There could also be a chance that I have read all your posts but I was too tired to leave either an intelligent or a cute comment. 🙂

So without further much ado about nothing, I am saying it here.  I WILL STAY AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER THIS WEEK.  I hope that will do the trick, even if the computer beckons me.  And if you want to help me, when you see me at your blog, please tell me to go back to my taxes. 🙂

Because I really want to get my tax refund soon.  I need that money to pay for at least a portion of a plane ticket and trip to the U.S. 

Because somebody’s going to New York!

way to go senior jazz band  

I will blog more about it later. 

In the mean time, you can take a peek at our slumbook over at pinoyatbp.

March 10, 2007 at 11:54 pm 23 comments

Walking home from school

I have mentioned quite a few times here that my sister and I are neighbours.  We live in a duplex house, side by side, next to each other.  Our kids (mine, 3 and hers 7) would switch houses and play with each other.  And as you’ve seen in my previous post, they’d play in our backyard, which we also share. 

There was a time when my sister and I lived with my aunt’s family and we became really close with our three cousins who were all girls.  We were like sisters to each other.  We have such fond memories growing up with our cousins. 

I’m sure that when our kids get older, they will also have fond memories of togetherness and laughter.  And of course, just like any siblings, they’ve had quite a few spats too.  

Last week, after a long break from patrolling (three weeks of a cold spell and another week at the office), I was kind of excited to be back at my post.  I brought my camera with me and took pictures of the kids while they were walking home from school. 

Their school is only a ten-minute walk from home.  But these five cousins take forever to get home.  From my post, I could see them from three blocks away as they make a right turn.  And it’s like watching a slow motion movie.  They are always the last group of kids that I have to cross.

My 11-year old niece usually walks ahead.  And usually, the youngest, my six-year old nephew, trails behind.  They sometimes have to stop until he could catch up with them.  And of course, they also stop to goof around and play with the snow.

walkhome1t.jpg

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walkhome41t.jpg

March 6, 2007 at 11:33 pm 25 comments

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