Royal Saskatchewan Museum

Being up close to the sounds of a T-rex and feeling the ground shake as it moves can be fun and a little scary. The Astonished! Social Club recently checked out the new T-Rex exhibit at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum. Crystal McLaughlin created a quiz based on the museum exhibits and the group explored the dioramas looking for answers to the questions. When you are in a wheelchair some of the exhibits, like the wolves and ravens, are at eye level with you. Ashley Lafaver laughed out loud when she encountered the wolves and enjoyed being up close to them. The Astonished! Social Club is a monthly recreation, leisure, or social gathering for Core Members, families, and friends. Check out our Events Calendar for upcoming events. Thank you to the City of Regina for a Social Development Grant – Annual Activity to partially support the work of the Astonished! Social Club.

A! Summer BBQ 2018

Each year the A! Summer BBQ seems to be even more fun. Tuesday August 21, 2018 was a perfect evening for a BBQ. People are genuinely interested in each other and love getting together to visit, get to know new members and friends, and enjoy the yummy BBQ treats. Thanks to the A! Leadership Team, A! Staff and families, and the Community Initiatives Fund for their support of this event. To see photos of the evening click here…

Photo: Jessica Opdahl and Katherine Taylor

Wascana Walk and Wheel

Ever wonder what happens at an A! Social Club event? Check out this review of the Wascana Walk and Wheel by Hannah and Kaitlyn.

The 20th of June brought friends and family together for a gathering of mutual enjoyment of the outdoors. The weather was on our side and the evening was just as lovely as the people enjoying it. Student researchers and core members took part in a scavenger hunt around Wascana Lake and had much fun exploring the area. Looking with detailed eyes to try and complete the list. Many members of the community were present and the lake was seeing many patrons. After a half loop walk and roll the groups retired to the legislative garden and enjoyed some snacks and cake pops with a special occasion gracing our evening. Our practicum student Kevin Ma, celebrating his twenty fifth birthday. It was an evening of picture taking, laughs, flying birds, and one great beautiful sunset.

Photo: Kaitlyn, Kevin, Stephanie, Kelsey, Angela, Amanda.



Creating Memories

It takes time and commitment to grow a community where we can both remember and create new memories. On Friday January 8, 2016 the Astonished! Social Club both remembered and created memories. We sat in circle for a minute of silence to remember Mark Mould, one of our Astonished! Core Members who has gone on, then we shared stories of remembrance and said we miss you Mark Mould. Mark loved a good time, he would have loved that we also had great visits, played crazy games, and made more memories. Check our FB page to see photos from this evening……..

Astonished Fall Fun BBQ (!)

For the Astonished Summer Fun BBQ, the second time was most definitely a charm. Originally, we planned to have our BBQ a few weeks ago but due to Ervraz Park being closed to the public on our chosen evening, we had to make a very (very!) last minute cancellation. Though disappointed, everyone was so kind and understanding about the change, and for that we are grateful. We are also grateful that we had much better luck at our second try at Candy Cane Park on September 8th, which served as a super kick off to the fall season. This event also marked at the official start of our new Leadership Team member Erin Hilts who had just returned to Regina after a summer spent in her hometown of Swift Current. She is going to be great to work with and the team is happy to have her on board. Welcome to the team, Erin!

We say, an Astonished! Fall Fun BBQ, does not have a terrible ring to it. Bunny hugs (or, hooded sweatshirts for all of you non-Saskatchewan folk) were a popular wardrobe choice for the evening due to the crisp and refreshing air. Thanks to past A! Board Chair Ruth Blaser on the grill, we had hamburgers and hot dogs that were cooked to perfection. We had lots of our favorite people in attendance (though not all of them!) and lots of big laughs. All in all, our BBQ was worth a second try, as it is truly something to look forward to. What could be better than gathering with your friends and community in the great outdoors? Life is good.

Check out Core Member Pagan Racette’s blog post to get her take on the BBQ!

Photo: Erin Hilts, Ella McIntyre, Shawn Davis

Jake Sawa

There are so many things to love about our association with the University of Regina.  We love it when students come to Astonished! with ideas of how we can partner together. Jake Sawa, U of R Kinesiology grad, came to us last summer with the idea of creating the A! Dance Project. Jake learned some of his moves with Lazylegz Patuelli and created many of his own. Each month we have danced with Jake, strengthen our community, and gained new confidence in our own unique responses to the beat. Last evening was our last official dance time with Jake. He is off to study medicine at the University of Saskatoon. We will miss him and we know he will be a fabulous doctor. Jake brought listening, respect, fun, skill, and the ability to adapt to changing situations to the A! Dance project. All of this will carry him well in his future. Thank you Jake!

Photo- Ryan and Jake catch the beat.

The A! Social Club heads to Mosaic

Mosaic weekend (July 4 -6) is upon us! The Astonished Social Club was so pleased to take in the Kyiv Ukrainian Pavilion at the dress rehearsal for Mosaic on Wednesday, June 3rd. Going to the Ukrainian Pavilion was the idea of Leadership Team member Kaitlyn Hoar, who attends this dress rehearsal every year, and it was a pleasure to see how popular Kaitlyn and her family are in the Ukrainian community. Thanks to Kaitlyn, we all felt like a bunch of VIPs! Although it was a dress rehearsal, it felt like the real deal: the dancers just as talented, the crowd just as enthusiastic, and the food just as delicious. A round of vareneky (perogies) for everyone, please! Big thanks to all involved for their hospitality and for sharing their bright and vibrant culture with us. We were thrilled to be a part of it.

Big Hero 6

An animated movie, really, are we going to watch an animated movie about a plus-sized inflatable robot Baymax, and prodigy Hiro Hamada, who team up with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech heroes? I expected to be bored; instead I was fascinated, both by the movie and by the group of us watching the movie.

The A! Social Club event ‘Lunch and a Movie’ turned out to be a perfect mirror of audience and movie. In both the movie and the audience we witnessed trust, courage, humour, and friendship. You might not think it takes courage and trust for lunch and a movie. But both are often required when you have a complex physical disAbility and you’re going to have lunch with others. A complex physical disAbility can impact a person’s ability to chew and swallow with ease. Eating together can be stressful. But this doesn’t stop the Astonished! Core Members and their friends from getting together for lunch and a movie. Like the friends in Big Hero 6 we trust each other to get it right, and when it doesn’t quite work the way we thought it would, we trust each other to find a different approach.

Oh yes, we could have also used the help of a high-tech hero to fix some of the quirks in two power chairs. Calling all high-tech heroes!

Three cheers for Rebekah Lindenbach!

A tribute to Rebekah Lindenbach from the A! Leadership Team:

Let’s have three cheers for Rebekah Lindenbach! This hard worker and all around great lady has just completed her final contract as a member of the A! Leadership Team. While on this team, Rebekah enthusiastically planned and implemented many fantastic monthly events for the A! community. Rebekah is a true leader and she worked hard at each event to ensure that all A! Core Members had lots of fun and were able to fully participate in whatever activity that was taking place. And she did (and continues to do) it all with a big and bright smile on her face. Rebekah, your diligent effort and joking ways will be truly missed on the team and we hope, no we expect, to continue to see you out at many future events. Now though, you will able to take it easy and soak up all of the well-deserved fun as an honoured guest. Although we continue to welcome any suggestions from you that will help to keep us in line. 🙂

True to her passion for planning and hosting events, Rebekah threw a lovely spring BBQ to celebrate her work with her team. A big thank you for having us, Rebekah and a big THANK YOU for your great work over the past 5 (WOW, 5!) years.  We will see you around very soon! Hip hip hooray!