Saturday, January 13, 2018

Are Bento Boxes Worth the Investment?

Do school lunches stress you out? I used to dread it. While it's not at the top of my list of fun things to do it is definitely more enjoyable these days. Yes, I enjoy making school lunches. What do I give 100% of the credit to? Bento boxes.

I was very skeptical making my bento box purchase.

Would it hold enough food for my fast-growing boys? Would the liquids make everything soggy when it was tossed around in their backpacks? Would my kids make a huge mess trying to get it open? Is it actually worth all that money?

Bento boxes can be very expensive. Are they worth it? Are lunches easier to make? Is there less waste? Are they actually spill proof?

Friday, January 12, 2018

Being a Working Parent and Letting Go of the Guilt

One of the trickiest pieces of parenting that I did not anticipate was how working would fit into it. Would I have to work? Would I want to? How would it affect my kids? Could we live on one income if I didn't? And the big one: Who would take care of my children? Since having children eleven years ago I have taken a maternity leave, worked outside the home and worked from home with a photography business. Do I have it all figured out? Almost. Maybe. I asked my friend Melissa about her working parent journey and if you don't have time to read it all, skim to the end where she talks about regrets and guilt. Do it. 

A big thanks to Melissa for sharing her wisdom on the working parent balance.

Being a working parent–how do you know if you have to or want to go back to work? How do you deal with the guilt that can come with it?


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

Hey friends! I was nervous about this week being transitional and rightfully so! With baby (and her appointments and visits), my three other kids' schedules (school, hockey, swimming and basketball) and Gary teaching and coaching two basketball teams, there's a whole lot of communication needed for who is driving where and when – not a lot of room for last minute changes! Throw in an extra 1-year-old three days a week and my down time is now pretty much gone. This is all good stuff, just busy. So, what am I thankful for today?

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Why I Can't Let You Help with the Laundry

If you would like to listen to the audio version, click hereSorry I'm speaking so quickly in it, I was trying to do it with four kids running around and had to get it done before someone screamed. Would you ever listen to the audio version or no?

The other day I had a friend at our home babysitting our youngest so we could hit up the mountain with the big kids. Baby would be napping for a significant portion so my generous friend asked what she could do to help out around the house. I said sweeping would be great and she suggested folding laundry. My brain went into alert mode. I quickly said there was none (there really wasn't) and I tried to get the vision of someone else touching my laundry out of my mind. So many things could go wrong – piles mixed up, clothes put away in the wrong drawers, people touching my underwear?! Am I a bit extreme? Perhaps. I do think we all have one thing (at least) that we don't want someone helping with in our home, am I right?

Why I can't let you help with the laundry

Friday, January 05, 2018

What I've Learned About Life as a Foster Parent

We have had five foster children in our home over the past three years and although we are still somewhat new in this journey, there is always a lot of learning that happens quickly! From a one month stay up to two years, each child has been here for different reasons in regards to their home lives and experiences. However, here are ten things I can tell you about what's it's like as a foster parent in almost every case.

"Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you."– Mother Teresa

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

Oh my goodness, life has been such a different kind of busy in just a "keeping the house running" kind of way aka boring stuff. Meetings, phone calls, emails, paperwork, party prepping for Koen...not my favourite stuff. I'm looking forward to routine which we will hopefully get back into in a few weeks. The first week back to school will not be my favourite with the adjustment of back to school, basketball and having two babies here (I'm doing some daycare) etc–all good stuff just need to figure out who is driving which kid when and where. What am I actually thankful for this week?

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

A Look Into What It's Like to Parent Teenagers

I often feel like I'm in the sweet spot of parenting with kids ages five to eleven. They are all potty trained, sleeping through the night, can get their own food, I have eyes on them most of the time and they go to bed without too much is good! I know what kind of teenager I was (responsible with an attitude and a bit of a wild side) so I'm slightly terrified of this upcoming stage of parenting. I asked my friend Melissa who is the mother of four, with two being teenagers, some of her thoughts on this stage. Here she has given us a look into what it's like to parent teenagers. Are you ready?

Are you a parent of a preteen? Curious what the next stage – parenting teenagers – might look like?

Friday, December 29, 2017

Reflecting and Goal Setting

This is the time between Christmas and New Year's Eve where it's nice to look back and reflect on the year that was and then goal set for the one upcoming. I've had some bigger resolutions in the past such as work on our marriage, improve my fitness level and find time to rest. This year? I'm going in a totally different direction. Are you ready? Wear lipstick and give more hugs. So simple, attainable and measurable.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I lost track of the days and also how many chocolates I consumed. Today is Thursday which is a time to reflect and focus on gratitude – I'd love for you to participate! This week I am thankful for:

Sunday, December 24, 2017

How to Teach Your Kids About Money

We talk about teaching our kids skills such as cooking and laundry in preparation for the "real world", but what about money management? One of the greatest gifts my parents gave me was teaching me how to be money savvy from a young age. From shopping and couponing together to finding a job for each stage of life (babysitting to retail to teaching and a whole lot in between) and donating a portion of our income, they walked alongside us. We talked about mortgages and knew the Christmas present budget – money was discussed naturally throughout our daily conversations.

How to teach your children about money