Friday, 30 December 2011

Family most important part of the season

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year.

Not because of the presents.

Well, not just because of the presents.

My Uncle Pete and his new wife are coming to our house tonight for the whole New Years weekend. I haven’t seen him since last year, and I’ve never met his wife. They got married in some exotic location, and only Mom and Dad got an invite.

Don’t tell anyone, but Uncle Pete is my favourite uncle. He’s my mom’s big brother, and he always has time for me, even though he lives way across the country. Don’t get me wrong, I love my whole family. Uncle Pete has always just been special. I remember one time at our family lake cabin, we lay on the dock, looking up at the stars, and told stories until I fell asleep.

And Uncle Pete taught me how to tie my shoe laces, and even how to do multiplication using a checkerboard. I guess everyone in the family kind of has their own role in my life.

I wouldn’t change any of them.

Well…except maybe my sister.

Gotta jet – Uncle Pete and his wife are staying in the spare room and Mom says I have a lot of cleaning to do before they get here. I don’t even mind!

I hope you and your family have a wonderful rest of the holiday season.

- Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 16 December 2011

Volunteering over the holidays

I did the coolest thing this week! I volunteered at Santa’sAnonymous in Edmonton.

Never heard of it? Neither had I until Dad took me there as a surprise. It’s this big warehouse where people volunteer to put together Christmas presents for people who can’t afford to buy gifts for their kids over the holidays.

The toys are donated by people from all over the city, and volunteers sort them into the right age categories, package a few items together and then wrap them up. Dad told me that a few days before Christmas, a whole bunch of volunteers deliver the presents to people’s homes.

Can you imagine?

My job was to pick out gifts for kids aged 8-10. I did ok with the boys. Books, trucks and cars, board games – all kinds of cool stuff. But when it came to the girls? I was a little lost. Luckily my friend Sophie came with us and we tag-teamed it.

Huh. Come to think of it, Sophie and I make a pretty great team. And it was fun to see her face light up when she gathered some of the toys together. Her freckles looked even that much more cute.

Anyway, Dad says we’ll volunteer a couple more times in December, and then the whole family will deliver gifts. Even Grandma and Grandpa.

If you’re looking for a way to spread some holiday cheer this year, check your community for who is in charge of doing what Santa’s Anonymous is doing for your part of the province.  Or ask your teacher if (s)he knows of a place where you, and maybe your whole class, could help. Maybe I’ll see you there.

Gotta jet!

-       - Chase Superman Duffy

Monday, 12 December 2011

Home made cards? Doesn't my mom know about email?

Mom wouldn't let me go to my friend’s house this weekend, because we all stayed home to finish writing out our family Christmas cards.

It’s bad enough that Mom and my sister spent hours making this year’s cards (though they do look great) but then we had to sit down and hand write personal messages.

Doesn’t Mom know about email?

I’m always keeping in touch with my cousins on Facebook and Twitter. My auntie even tells me she reads my blog!  What am I going to tell them that they don’t already know?

Plus, Mom writes long letters to everyone. Especially to the family members we don’t get to see over the holidays. She fills them in on what we’re all up to – which is okay, I guess, unless she starts talking about my Math mark. It’s not my best subject.

I don’t know why I can’t just sign my name. Mom says Grandma always writes out her Christmas cards, too. I guess she’ right – even though I see her a couple of times a month, I appreciate her little notes to each of us. It’s more…personal.

Huh. I guess that’s what Mom’s talking about it. Hand written messages are more meaningful and that’s a good thing anytime, but especially over the holidays.

Gotta jet.

- Chase Superman Duffy 

Friday, 2 December 2011

Naughty or Nice?

Mom bought my little sister one of those chocolate advent calendars last week – she’s already eaten half the chocolate and it’s only the second of December! She’s pretending not to quite understand how they work…

I told Mom I didn’t want one this year. With all this talk about nutrition at school, I’m trying to eat less sweets – and given the choice, I’ll choose grandma’s cookies over a bit of milk chocolate any day.

That doesn’t mean I’m not excited about Christmas, though.

I don’t know if Santa will think I’ve been naughty or nice, but I’ve already started making my list just in case. Of course, it’s all about running…

  • Subscription to a running or track magazine. Coach Taylor leaves some in the change room all the time, but I never have enough time to read them.
  • A Sponge Bob calendar.  Silly, right? But I love that show, and I need something to track my runs in.
  • Warm running pants. So far, it’s not been too cold this winter, but I do live in Alberta where the weather changes every five minutes. If I’m going to keep up my training schedule, I need something that will let me run outside because training on the treadmill is yucky.
  • Membership to a gym with an indoor track…unless I get warm running pants.
  • Um…books. I know, not running-related, but I also like to write and I learned at camp last year that to be a good writer, you have to read. I haven’t been doing enough of that this year.  And I’m sure that there must be books on running or track and field that would be inspiring.
  • A cool notebook. I want to start a journal. Not a diary with a lock and key or anything silly…just something to write in everyday. Even if it’s one sentence.

And of course, I want all that other stuff – like health and happiness, but I’m pretty sure Santa isn’t building those kinds of gifts in his workshop.

What’s on your holiday wish list?

Gotta jet!

-       - Chase Superman Duffy

Monday, 28 November 2011

Eating my mom out of house and home

Last spring, Coach Taylor took the track team out for lunch after a meet. I’d logged my personal best, and our school had won the most medals – I guess he wanted to celebrate.

When I ordered, Coach Taylor looked at my tray and said, “You’re not going to eat all of that, are you?” 

Well I did – and was still hungry... Mom’s always talking about how I’m going to eat them out of house and home. And when Coach isn’t teasing me, he talks about the importance of giving my body the right amount of fuel.

Grandma makes fun of how much I eat sometimes, too. She’s always making whole wheat pasta and rice, or salads with barley and wheat kernels. She hardly ever peels her potatoes (even when she mashes them). I always assumed that was the “farm way” – but I get it now.

It’s to help keep Grandpa’s blood sugars stay even.

As part of National Diabetes Month, the registered dietitian at the school talked about the importance of eating smaller portions, eating regularly, and choosing whole grains when possible.

It makes sense now. Just like I understand why Grandma adds a bit of canola oil to recipes – it helps make you feel more full, so you don’t overeat.

Smart thinking!

Gotta jet – Grandma’s making brunch and I am HUNGRY. It’s ok if I eat a lot though, right? I’m young and my body needs filling.

Plus, I dare you to resist Grandma’s cooking.

 - Chase Superman Duffy