Friday, July 1, 2022

7 Late Takes about Montreal, Hero Camp, and What to Do If You Don't Like Soup

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! I usually post first thing on Friday morning, but this has been such a crazy 7 days I completely forgot it was Friday, and my phone is dying so all my pictures were on Phillip's phone which was with him at work so it had to wait until he came home.


As an example of how this week has gone, I'll tell you about Tuesday. 

On Tuesday I woke up at 3:30 AM to take my mother-in-law to the airport, and by the time I got home the kids were starting to wake up so I never did get to go back to bed. 

I powered through the day and when I was about to collapse exhausted into bed that night, I discovered that a child who'd been taking a nap in my room that afternoon had PEED on the bed and didn't tell me about it.

My feelings about this kid were not entirely warm and fuzzy as I cleaned it all up and headed to the basement to sleep on the guest mattress. It didn't get much better when the same child woke me up at 5:30 the next morning asking to play video games.

As you can imagine, I did not say yes.


Visiting Montreal earlier in the week, by contrast, was amazing. It was just Phillip, me, and our 16- and 18-year-old daughters. The girls took full advantage of all the opportunities to speak, listen to, and read in French, and they ordered for us at restaurants.

Some of the highlights of our short visit included the Montreal Notre-Dame Basilica. I've toured a lot of old basilicas in different cities, but none of them even compared to this:

By the time we got out of here, my brain was tired from taking in all the details.

Not only is it super ornate, but when we opened the massive doors we were hit with a wave of organ music so epic it made the floor rumble. In combination with the scenery, it was breathtaking in the literal sense of the word.

The Montreal Botanical Garden was so huge we could hardly see it all, each section more beautiful than the last. 

Honestly, by the end of our visit, we'd exceeded our capacity to marvel at how beautiful it all was and were like "Yeah it's pretty let's go."

But the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Somehow sounds classier in French.


We did tons of walking each day, wandering through quaint neighborhoods and eating French pastries. I'm not going to lie, it was pretty awesome.

We also went to went to a store that exclusively sold macarons, with the prettiest display ever at the front counter.

We also hiked up a hill in Plateau Mont-Royal to see the night views of the city,

It was actually really crowded and we could barely see, and on the way down the world's biggest bug flew into my eye and it was so huge I couldn't get it out and Phillip had to fish it out with his finger, but I'm still glad we went.


I was so impressed with the bike infrastructure in Montreal. Yes, there are some dedicated bike lanes in the US, but in Montreal they're physically separated from car traffic with medians or rows of metal poles, making them so safe even children can bike alone in the city. 

I just so happened to bring along the book I'm reading right now about Dutch parenting, and she says the same thing is true in the Netherlands. I'm so big on independence I'm really bummed that my kids can't get themselves around more because of the road situation around our house.

But that Sunday we sent the teens off to get themselves by subway to a nearby French-speaking congregation for church, so at least that was something.


Immediately when we got back, it was time for Primary (our children's organization at church) to put on a 4-day Vacation Bible School called Old Testament Hero Camp. Since I'm now in the Primary presidency, I was there helping out all week.

It was great. Each day centered around activities, games, songs, and learning based on a different "hero" from the Old Testament. My favorite day was Wednesday, learning about Adam and Eve, although the kids seemed to have fun every day.


I feel like I've been letting a lot more than usual fall through the cracks since my daughter's graduation. It's been nonstop visitors, the busy last week of school, a trip to Canada, and then Hero Camp. Now the kids are all home from school and I'm really not getting anything done during the day. 

I've compulsively planned meals for a week for the last decade, but I don't think I've done that since May. In fact, the closest thing to meal planning I've done this week has been Googling "quick dinners for college students" at 5:30pm and tripling the recipe. (My kids loved bowties and broccoli, by the way.)


Speaking of food, when someone suggested soup the other night, the 6-year-old let us know he definitely didn't like the idea.

"I hate soup," he said, wrinkling his nose. "If I had soup, I would poison it so I'd die."

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AnneMarie said...

Those pictures from your Montreal trip are beautiful! Now you are making me want to go. I'm glad you guys had a good trip!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that sure sounds like a whirlwind week!

Ann-Marie said...

Your trip sounds amazing! What fun. Traveling with just bog kids is awesome.

If you want to learn more about the structure of the cathedral, check out this youtube. It's about Notre Dame, but a LOT of it is going to apply. . .