Monday, February 18, 2013


We had a great end to our meet last night!  We started off the night with Sarah in the 200 free, she went in 10th and came out 5th!  She swam a best time too!  That was the first 5 'steps' of our night!
Next up we had Peter, who with luck on his side again, made it into the B final after qualifying 16th in the youth section...late scratch, another swim!  He moved up 2 steps and improved his time from the morning by over 2 seconds.
Then came the 50 back, whose prelims were swum on Thursday.  Heidi went in 6th and came out 4th...2 more steps!
Heidi was then up again in the 100 fly and ended up DOUBLING our medal count for the meet! :)
She went in 3rd and came out 3rd...oh well, no steps but another BRONZE medal for her collection.
This time she got to get on the podium to get the medal.  
 I was even able to get a picture of Miss Saskatoon this time, check out the shoes. 
  Sarah was then up again in the 800 free, she went in 5th and came out 5th but had a great 5 second best time!!  Stefan got to swim in the night heat of the 1500, struggled a bit but scored us some valuable points.  Finn was our last individual swimmer of the meet and swam in the youth final of the 1500.  He went out a little slow but battled back and ended up 7th in the race.  Not a best time, but as he said,  a good swim considering how his others had gone over the weekend.  More points!!
Last up were the relays...once again the girls were dealing with an entry time glitch and had to swim in the outside lane in heat 1 of 4!!  They went in DEAD LAST with a time of 4:44!
Amazingly, they won the heat and swam 4:26.10.  Our team was:  Chloe, Lauren, Heidi and Sarah, they ended up 15th overall.  So...22 steps!
The boys:  Peter, Finn, Sam and Kurt were very proud of the fact that they didn't really come dead last as there were 2 DQ's!!
We ended up 18th out of 55 teams.
Not bad with such a small, inexperienced team!

Once the boys were done, we couldn't get out of the pool fast enough.  Cindy was crying(I think she wanted to stay in Saskatoon) from the terrible air quality.  Her eyes didn't stop watering until this  morning!
I hope everyone's coughs will be gone by the time we get back to our lovely moist air!

Waiting politely for our table!
I booked us dinner at Boston Pizza and, with the help of Siri, we navigated through blowing snow to our only meal out.
Unfortunately, Molly left early so I never did get a compete team picture.
I think Finn will be auditioning for the next vampire movie.

They had a lot of fun figuring out how to get everything they wanted to eat while staying within their $20 budget!  They did a very good job by sharing appies. 
Finn learned a lot about sharing this week...he was always wanting to 'share' a cookie with someone.  That is because they were allowed one, unless they could share another half with someone else!

We all had to scatter early this morning as we are on a total of 5 different flights today!  Cindy and I left with Sam and JO while the rest of the kids are making their way to the airport throughout the day.  Right now we are in Calgary for a little 3 hour layover!

I don't know about everyone else, but I enjoyed my first experience with a prairie winter.  The cold was not TOO cold, probably because we picked the best week, since 2 weeks ago it was -42º and all this week  it is going to be highs of -15º!

The only thing I regret (I didn't know I regretted it until I bought this postcard for Christl in the airport) is that we never saw anything of the city...I didn't even know there was a river!  Supposedly this is what it looks like.  We drove from the airport to the hotel, 2 minutes, to the pool, 6 minutes.  Even the grocery store was on the way to the pool so no big adventuring there.  I was lucky since I got to go a little further when I went to Costco!

Well, that's it from me!  I hope people were actually reading this and found it somewhat interesting.
(Thank you to: Sam, JO, Kurt, Peter, Sarah, Chloe, Lauren, Molly, Stef, Heidi and Finn for making my job incredibly easy.  Special thanks to Peter who always asked me if I needed help with carrying/packing things! And to Sam, who helped me get my big cooler to be under 70 pounds this morning.  And to Cindy for being a great roomie.)

Sunday, February 17, 2013


We had 13 prelim swims this morning.  Qualifying for finals, we have:
Sarah- 200 free
Peter-1st alternate for 200 free...fingers crossed!
Heidi- 100 fly
We also have Sarah in the 800 and Finn and Stefan in the 1500 swimming tonight!

Lauren had a tough 3 swims in a row with 100 breast, 200IM an 100 fly, she did a great job getting them done!

Everyone is finding the air really hard to take, I'm sure everyone from anywhere bar the island or Vancouver isn't having a problem.  But since we are all used to our lungs being lovingly coated with gentle sea air we aren't dealing with the incredible dryness very well.  Not to mention that the pool air quality is right up there with Richmond! 

I hope to update after tonight but it doesn't end until late and we are going straight out for dinner.

Day 3...FINALS!

I tried to update last night but I am fighting with an internet connection that would have made Fred Flintstone cry!
This is another reason we should be glad we live in Victoria...when the pretty snow melts, all that's left is the yucky dirt and sand that they spread on the roads.

We had a great night in the pool!  Cindy started a program with the kids that they have to move up a set of 'steps', she started out with 10 to see how it would go.  To move up a step they had to improve their placing from the morning.  Sarah was up first in the 'B' final of the 100 free, she went in 8th and came out 5 steps!  We got halfway to the goal in 1 race!  It was also her best time in over a year!
Heidi was up next in the 'A' final of the 200 fly, she went in 6th and came out with the BRONZE and a best time!  So...3 steps!  She got to pose with Miss Teen Saskatoon(who was wearing 6" heels). 
Lauren went into the fly 10th, improved her time and came out 10th.
Heidi was up again 15 minutes later(couldn't even get on the podium for her fly medal) in the 200 back 'A' final.  She went in 10th and came out 9th...1 step.  She also improved her time from the morning.
Peter was up next in the 'B' of the 200 back, he went in 2nd and came out 2nd but improved his time from the morning.
Then we got down to business with the 400 free!
Sarah was up again, this time in the 'A' final, she went in 7th and popped out a 4th place swim!  Woohoo...another 3 steps.
JO was in the 'B' final and although she didn't move up any 'steps' she had a best time!
Finn rounded out our night in the 'B' final of the 400 but struggled a little in the race.
So, altogether they moved up 12 steps(Sarah-8 and Heidi-4)
Today is a pretty tough day for Finn and Lauren, they each have 3 swims!
The 'step' goal for today is 50!
That should be fairly achievable as the girls' relay had another technical glitch during the entries and they are going into the 4x100 medley ranked 40th of 41!  The only team below them is entered with a 'NT'...hahaha
LAST DAY!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, February 16, 2013


 This is why we don't live in Saskatoon...snow tires on your bike!!

Looks like three might be the charm for Island!  We had 16 swims this morning and will have 8 going into finals tonight!

Sarah(Y)- 100 free 13th
              -200 back 15th (scratching)
              -400 free 7th

Heidi- 200 fly 6th
         -200 back 10th

Lauren- 200 fly 10th

JO- 400 free 13th

Peter(Y)- 200 back 12th

Finn(Y)- 400 free 11th

We had a great swim from Chloe today, she had a 5 second best time in the 200 back, good enough for a 24th place finish! 
Our other swims were:
Heidi- 100 free 20th
Peter(Y)- 100 free 27th
Kurt(Y)- 100 free 30th
Molly(Y)- 400 free 34th
Peter(Y)-400 free 16th
Sam(Y)- 400 free 32nd

It is a beautiful day today, sunny and about -1º!
Everyone's having a sleep now and then it's off for some exciting racing!

DAY 2!

Unfortunately, it looks like the kids are having a tough time being here...all sad and crying.

Last night started off with a flurry or swims, slowed down then got going again with the relay.
Heidi was in the first race(100 back) of the night and after they had to stand behind the blocks for almost 15 minutes she had a good race and moved up a place.  She ended up 8th, just missing her best time.
Peter was up 5 minutes later in the 'B' final and also moved himself up a spot to 14th.  His time improved too!
Heidi was then up immediately after Pete for the 50 fly, again she snuck up a spot and took 7th.
Then we had to wait through the 200 breast(yawn), 50 free and 400IM(another yawn)before our girls got to race their 4x100free relay.  They went in 40th(due to a slight technical error in the entries) and raced an exciting race with Prince George and came out 8th overall!  Unfortunately, due to another glitch, the boys didn't get to race a relay...oh well, there's always Sunday night's medley!

Today we have 16 swims in prelims so we hope to get some more second swims...stay tuned.  I am off to cleanup after breakfast then take the 'D' Units to the pool for their warmup.

Friday, February 15, 2013


 Cindy did a little 'selfy' this morning(she was the only one who braved going out to warm up her vehicle).  It started out at -18º when we left for the pool.  By the time I took the next pic. it had started to really heat up!  The trees looked really cool this morning too, there was freezing fog overnight so when we got up all the trees were beautiful!
 Okay, enough about the weather! 
 For those of you 'watching' at home I will explain how they are running finals.  They are taking the top 10 youth and top 10 open swimmers for the 'A' finals.  For the first time this year, they are taking the next 5 fastest of each age group to make up the 'B' final.  So if one of our swimmers ends up 15th they will be in the 'B' final.
 So now that you know how everything works...
Youth- (Y)
in finals
 Events today were:
100 back-
Heidi- 9th
Sarah(Y)- 17th
Peter(Y)-15th...thanks to a DQ!!

200 breast-

50 free-
Heidi- tied for 16th

Stefan-21st...10 second best time!

So that puts us in 3 finals tonight since the 50 fly is going right after the 100 back tonight.  Heidi has 13 minutes between her back and fly!
We also the girls in the 4x100 free.
Things aren't scheduled to end until almost 9 tonight!  So maybe no updates until tomorrow.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

It has finally begun!

 Here we go...first excitement of the day was the girls' 1500 free!  Sarah ripped it up and got her senior time!!!!!!! 17:21.52, what a great race!  JO did a fantastic job after being so sick and went 17:41.68.  Molly swam her first race of her Westerns career and had  BEST TIME by almost a minute!  
  The boys had their 800 free and Finn had a 9 second best time.  Sam and Stefan both added a bit of time.
  Next up were the 50's, Heidi was in the fly(best time) and the back and will be going in 9th and 6th respectively.  The fly is tomorrow and the back is on Sunday.
  Pinches was in the back and being more of a 200 guy struggled getting himself going.  Watch out for the 100 tomorrow though!
 The boys(Peter, Finn, Stef and Sam) finished the day off with the 4x200 free relay going just a touch faster than their seed time.
 Tomorrow, Kurt, Lauren and Chloe start their meet!
Just finished up our 'Greek night' dinner and about to have our team meeting then off to bed to prepare for the first full day of the meet.

Good Morning!  As you can see, everyone is here and even JO is smiling.  They all received their little Valentine goody bags and are ready to get to it!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Feb 13 - Cold in Saskatoon

 Unfortunately you can't really see in this pic that it is snowing/blowing and that Sam, Lauren and Finn are standing in a big snow bank.  JO and Stefan are missing...JO has been sick since she arrived last night and Stefan hadn't arrived yet.  We quarantined JO and as of right now she is feeling MUCH better.  She ate dinner and is getting ready to burn it up in her 1500 tomorrow! 
In Saskatoon terms, it was downright balmy out today!  It actually went up to about 2º!  Tomorrow it is supposed to go down to -21º with a high of -6º, good thing your kids don't play soccer!

Here is a shot of the pool, the kids say they like it so we might see some fast swimming from them!
Today they swam twice, did homework, rested and shopped for their snacks.  After this morning's practice they came home for a 'cook up' of French toast, fried eggs, sausages and fruit.
Tonight was Caesar salad with spaghetti and meatballs.
This was the road on our way home from the pool this, I didn't take it while driving, my co-pilot did!
Everyone one seems to be revving themselves up for the start of the meet as they are all tucked up in their rooms already.  Phew, I get to lie down for awhile!  That's before I get back up to marinate the chicken for tomorrow's Greek night.
Good night!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Off to Saskatoon for Western Canadian Champs


Here is Chloe and Lauren boarding the plane in Victoria.  I had 7 of the kids with me:  Sarah Mabee Hall, Heidi Bradley, Finn Page, Peter Inches, Kurt Schaaf, Chloe Chapman and Lauren McMillan.  Lucky for us, our flights went very smoothly and we arrived in Saskatoon a little early.
    I took this picture just before we landed in Saskatoon.  It was about -1ºC when we arrived and it was beautiful.  I picked up the van(with 18km on it!) and made 2 trips to the hotel to get the kids all settled.
   I found out that Cindy's flight was cancelled so she won't even be getting here until midnight, instead of 6:00!  She is bringing: Sam Wohlegemuth, Jessie Ogden and Molly Heaney Corns.  They will be exhausted from their marathon journey.  Good thing we came a day early!
   Tomorrow will be a day to have a couple of swims to get used to the pool and the time change.
  The kids are all fed and are just hanging out in their rooms watching TV.