At the end of Hana’s school lessons for the year, was the beginning of a two-week marathon of community activity (resulting in mountains of neglected laundry and housework), We attended the rodeo. I enjoyed it immensely! Hana however, questioned the ethics of the treatment of rodeo animals, which put a damper on things. luckily, we ended that day off with a visit to the multiplex with our neighbours kids, which bought me some time to do some research on the subject. The remainder of the two weeks was spent having a lunch fire at the park downtown, hanging out with friends, attending science classes at the college, fishing with friends,attending a homeschool co-op, training for the homeschool track day, attending the municipal festival and the festival/parade at Sexsmith and much more. The Beach Fort When the action died down, We arrived at Devonshire beach in Slave Lake. They were calling for rain. Eric had to leave, so it was just me and the kids. On a beach, between a new, lush forest and the never-ending Lesser Slave Lake. Elijah had an idea. Slave Lake had burned down May 15th of last year, but is currently being rebuilt beautifully. We believed that was why there were so many logs on the beach, but it could have also been from a nearby mill. Elijah began finding the best logs, and dragging or carrying them over to where we were sitting. He wanted me to build a shelter for us for in case it rained. He worked tirelessly for hours on it, while Hana and Avery chased butterflies and played in the water, periodically pitching in to help him. He waterproofed the outside with washed up seaweed. It turned out to be a beautiful shelter, big enough for the whole family and probably waterproofed enough to have kept us dry. However, it didn’t rain. Making Aquaintances Afterwards, we headed to a playground across from the municipal building where Eric had some meetings. It was crawling with kids, so my crew was super excited! Hana got to work rallying a group to play this game she calls “obstacle course”, where each person takes a trip through the play equipment, and then the others have to remember their course. She made some friends, so that the next time we are up that way, there’s a chance she will see them again! Child Labour For weeks now, Hana has been asking me if she can get a job. The answer has been no, no, no. “You are too young!” I try to explain. She would not have it. She is so stubborn. She wrote a letter to a lady who runs a stall at the farmers market, asking if she could have a job, in exchange for sewing lessons instead of money. I was slightly embarrassed for her (and admittedly for myself), thinking that she was putting the lady in an awkward position, and that she would definitely not get the outcome she was hoping for. I was wrong. The lady did ‘hire’ her, and excitedly at that. Hana now works at the market on Saturdays. Another example of how I need to just get out-of-the-way sometimes. Next Blog: In two days, we begin what I have called our “Solstice camping trip”, of the North West Territories and Northern British Columbia. We will bring a cooler and our tent along the Deh Cho Connection (or the waterfalls route)- The Mackenzie High way, the Alaska highway and the Liard Highway, and stop at some of the most beautiful parks in the country. We plan to see the many waterfalls, the Nahanni mountain range, and the Liard hot springs.