Wednesday, 19 September 2012

The Great Outdoors

It is a sad reality that this generation of children does not get as much physical activity as it should. All over the place studies show that childhood obesity is on the rise, juvenile diabetes is reaching epidemic proportions....and no one can argue that the average north american child is not living as healthy a lifestyle as they should.


You would think the solution is simple right? Go out side and play, right? I mean that's what we all did when we were kids...right?


Well not if you live in the suburbs just north of Toronto! Don't get me wrong, I really love the diversity and all the amenities that are available to us here and I am also really grateful to be living here, but I will be super thankful when we move back to our home in Alliston.


By far the biggest frustration I have living here is that it is totally unsafe to just let my kids go outside and ride their bikes. I mean, riding a bike is one of the biggest joys of childhood isn't it? The freedom, the excitement, the sheer joy of coasting for hours on end.


But when you can sit on your front porch and watch maniac drivers whipping by while talking on their cell phones...Sure there are plenty of parks in the area, but the problem is you have to DRIVE to get to them!


It is no wonder that kids spend so much time playing video games indoors. I used to think that it was a sign of bad parenting. However as I type this I am watching the fifth car in ten minutes to blow through the stop sign at the top of the street. I wish my kids would ride their bikes more, but in the interest of their safety, I am just going to let them stay inside.




Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Me and Rothko

So we made it to Washington DC after 11.5 hours and 806 km and only 3 bathroom stops!! One of the things you learn when you have more than four kids is the difference between an "I'm bored" I have to pee vs an " I really have to go" I have to pee. Parents who have learned the skill of differentiating between the two don't have to stop every two hours.

Today we went to a couple of unexpectedly inspirational places. The first being the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Former students of mine will recall my love of the theological principles expressed in architecture, especially those who completed their church projects ;)


The Basilica was no exception. It was beautiful inside and out. I also took advantage of the massive bookstore where I purchased a whole bunch of books, a couple of them being recipes from a monks kitchen. Many people have the (wrong) impression that monks live on only bread and water, not so! Sometimes they even have beans! But on special "feast" days, they put on quite a spread. Actually having worked at a monastery in one of my previous career directions, I know first hand that monks eat pretty darn good.

The second inspirational stop we made today was the national art gallery, where I got to stand beside the works of one of my favorite artists, Mark Rothko.

Mark Rothko is an artist who I have come to admire, although I will admit, that I did not really get his works at first. However after getting to know the man behind his paintings I have to say that I see them in a different light.

In fact there are many who say that Rothko's work has the ability to touch the very soul of a person.

Any way here are some pics of Mark and me :)

His paintings that is....


More to come!