Sam boarding at Jasper

A video of Sam snowboarding at Jasper, excellent camerawork by Anita 🙂

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Footy’s back!

We are now in our third AFL season living in Canada and fortunately the opening game for the Cats is covered by TSN2. Will and I will be getting up at 2:30am to watch the game and hope for a good opening win!

The Cats are playing the Bombers, my Dad’s and brother’s team, so there’s always another reason to win this one! Will and I will cheer quietly in the basement… not wanting to wake up Sam or Alec, the non-believers.
Post script: Geelong won the opener for the season, Anita had a 20 hour day an spent the next week recovering before getting ready for the Geelong Hawks game, which they won too! Unfortunately our good start was spoilt by a loss to Fremantle! Oh dear.
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The year is "marching" by!

Silver Skate Festival in Edmonton, February 2010, the winning snow sculpture!
Another phenomenal sculpture at Silverskate festival 2010

So, what is going on in the Hamiltons’ life? Well, life is going on! Being Cantralian, Ausadian, and Aus-Can or what ever it is we are becoming is still fun… and well… normal!

We have now been living in Canada for about 2 1/2 years and every day life is very settled. We have just managed to survive our third Winter, and fortunately it was the mildest yet! Of course we had cold weather, like -48 on December 13 2009, but those types of temperatures came and went so fast we didn’t have time to get terribly worried (or even die!). We DID manage to ski for 9 weekends, skate for three and do little work on the house 🙂

Will goes to Edinburgh in August. He doesn’t want us to come and we probably can’t afford it anyway. They will start rehearsals soon for the play they are performing there. Will absolutely loves his new school, Strathcona High School. It’s a senior high, so it’s just 10, 11, 12. He is into drama, also doing dance and foods on top of the core subjects English, Science, Math and Social. He has made the senior rugby team in grade 10! Next year his rugby team may be going to the UK. He has just finished a season of Canadian Improv Games, where he excelled with his verbal agility and ability to use all kinds of accents! He also performed in a Dance show recently and he played his role and character very well. Oh yes, he has the most delightful girlfriend, Hanna, they have been together since last Summer (July) as they met at Summer school when they were both taking grade 10 PE! They are really competitive with each other, it’s fun to watch, Hanna is no pushover!
Sam is happy, she has wonderful friends. She is still at Victoria School of the Performing Arts. I think she will need to move school in grade 10 if we are staying through to her last two years, funnily I have heard from her friends that some are thinking along the same lines. She just loves maths so much and she is at a performing arts school… Fortunately she also likes drama, art and her friends are academic and into dance! Right now her aspiration is to become an orthodontist. She has enjoyed the process of having braces so much, she researched it along the way and tracked her progress and their treatment aims and so on… She still talks about finishing school at College, I don’t think she realises how constraining she would find that now. I mean, wouldn’t she miss seeing kids with crazy coloured hair at school? 🙂

Athabasca Falls in Winter (20 mins from Jasper)Alec found a snowboarding skills development squad in Jasper for Sam to join and we took turns taking her up for 7 weekends in a row. Jasper is in the Rocky mountains and definitely on the list of must see places in Canada. We love the snow, the ice, the sheer enormity of the mountains. Sam has become an amazing snowboarder and wishes she could take it further. Well, next season she can keep going. 🙂 Here is a link to a YouTube clip we put online the other day: she has managed to “get her switch” which means that she can snowboard with either foot at front/back and change while heading down the slopes. Jasper became like a second home to us and the 4 hour drive became so routine that we really won’t know what to do with ourselves next weekend. Oh that’s right… Sammy got a sewing machine for Christmas and wants to get sewing, and with all this warm weather I think that we’ll be making dresses!

It is finally warming up here, although we had our mildest winter yet, we only had two bitterly cold weeks of –25 to –45 the rest was around –15 or even warmer. Yeah… I know that sounds cold, but –15 is actually quite bearable and really great skating and skiing weather 🙂 We had some excellent skiing this year. They have less than 3 months of school left for the year and then they will have their 2 months off for Summer break!
So, we are happy here for now and therefore I went ahead and accepted another 2 year contract and Alec was offered a 12 month contract in Ed Psych. We also applied for permanent residence to give us more flexibility and less paperwork! This also to give the kids the choice about what they do in the long run. So we have work until June 30 2012 and we will discuss in another 12 months with Sam what we will do about her finishing school here or in Aus. Yeah, I know, 3 years became 5, and could become 7! No we didn’t plan that! So that’s why we have a spare bedroom for Aussie visitors.

We have a bit of travel coming up, in April we are heading to Orlando for 5 days (yes there is also a conference to attend, but not everyday) and the kids really want to go to Universal studios. We oldies want to go to the Kennedy Space Centre and of course we will go to Disneyworld! I don’t know where the conference will fit actually! I am presenting a workshop and then I head off to Chile while the others head home and back to school. I am presenting at the World federation of OT congress in Santiago… Hope there are no more earthquakes! We are going to catch up with Geelong friends (Jane and Craig Goddard) in New York in early September. The kids aren’t coming, just couples! That’s a first for about 14 years!!!
We would like to try and squeeze a trip to Alaska in over the coming July. There is an awesome 2-day Ferry trip from Vancouver through the “Inside Passage” to Alaska. We may even see Polar Bears! I hear that this is a “bucket list” trip to do! It may have to wait until the Summer 2011 as Alec and I need to get a lot done on our respective PhDs.
On a completely different topic I decided to get fit during yet another long winter and so I got a treadmill for Christmas. I run while watching re-runs of the 2007 and 2009 games, finals and GFs, I don’t pay attention to 2008 (that was an aberration… or an abomination, or both!). So, I stay focussed on the positive and live in my little perfect flawless dream of Geelong premierships… Well I waited long enough :-D! Will and I have a whole new season of games ahead now and can watch live on the internet TV through Omnipro sports for $5.99 a game! Bargain!

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Where did the year go?

Over the past few months I kept thinking that I needed to put an update on the blog… however I couldn’t find the time! What I noticed however was that I felt that people knew what we were doing anyway because Facebook has become the daily blog!

The only problem with relying on FB to update our friends and family about our life in Canada is that not everyone is on FB (yet) and in FB we tend not to give details about what is happening, it is merely quick snapshots of life on the run!

So, I am in the midst of preparing the Christmas letter with the year in review. One of the features is that life has become as hectic as it ever was in Australia and we are tired! More to come…

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Let’s hit the road!

After the birthday party was over it was time to clean up and hit the road. The Summer holidays have arrived and we started the road trip to Jasper, Canyon Hot Springs (near Revelstoke) Seattle, Tofino (over 2000km in 5 days!), then back to Edmonton via Panorama while Will and Helen (Anita’s Mum) caught the train back to Edmonton from Vancouver. A total of 4300 km.

The map below depicts places we visited (green), places we stayed (blue) and places we ate (cup and cutlery). There are photos linked to many of the placemarkers. These are similar photos to the slide show in the subsequent post.

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