Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thankful Thursday

Thankfull Thursday

Wow, this week has been so wet and stormy on the west coast. We had a long weekend full of family time (maybe too much?), Remembrance Day activities and just getting stuff done. Today we have our annual review for fostering. This is where they go through the safety checklist in your home (it's a big one) and we will talk over our contract and what our limits are regarding age and needs. We have this talk often as it's good to assess boundaries and reassess after each placement. Check out this graphic below that Brene Brown emailed out this week, so fitting for Thankful Thursdays, right? Let's practice it, team.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Information Overload: Enough is Enough

On this day five years ago I purchased my first iPhone and my life changed. As convenient as it is, it has become way too important to me. At first I had no data so that I would not be tempted to use it when I was out of my home but with the offer of so much for data for basically nothing (okay, not true, our bill is not nothing but it was a deal!), I upgraded. I'm on it a lot. I use it to google facts, recipes, podcasts, Netflix, take photos, text and email. I also use it to browse Facebook and Instagram. I'm not sure what your social media feed and favourite Internet sites are telling you but this is what I seem to hear each and every day...

Information overload in the age of social media and digital devices

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Our Hope for an Intentional Christmas

We recently had a family meeting to discuss the upcoming Christmas season and how we can approach it intentionally. First of all, the kids loved the official term "family meeting" and took it seriously by sitting nicely and raising their hands to contribute. We also finished it off with a cheer which I would recommend – don't need to be too serious! The topic at hand was the reason for Christmas, how much we should be spending on gifts and what sort of items would be considered appropriate for the list. And yes, they know that Santa isn't real although Nya believes that he fills the stockings.

How do you approach Christmas gifts with your kids?

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

We have a huge decision hanging over our heads in regards to fostering. Taking a break has been so amazing for us again and it's so hard to know what is the best thing for our family and marriage. The pros and cons balance the scale. I would say yes in a second to a six month old with regular needs but that is extremely unlikely based on our experience. Our family has room for a certain amount of energy/needs and it's hard when you have no idea really who you are saying "yes" to. It's also tricky because very few people are in our position (same family make up with similar fostering experiences) so it's hard to find a mentor on this. All that said, it weighs heavily on me each and every day. There was a quote I read this week that says "We'll never see what could be if we allow fear to define where we go" (Logan Wolfrom) which has encouraged me. We have always trusted that God would bring the kids to our home that were meant to be there but lately I have struggled with this because it has been too hard in one particular case. Too much. I also lost trust with the Ministry. This has allowed us to put more boundaries in our fostering requirements (I learn best through experience) but I'm having a harder time with trust in general. So really, it comes down to my faith life too. That's what we are currently wrestling with which can sometimes feel consuming.

That aside, this week I am thankful for:

Monday, November 06, 2017

What Our Arguments Are Really About

This past weekend we took a course called Hold Me Tight. It is a program that focuses on Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). It is the idea that we are dependent on one another for attachment needs (comforting, protecting and nurturing) just as a child is on a parent. It includes working on our emotional connection through being open, attuned and responsive. Here I am touching on the arguments that we have and why we have them which is just one aspect of the course. I found it insightful and I hope you do too.

There I am rage-folding the laundry. Fold roughly. Sigh. Huff. Fold roughly. Sigh. Huff. What has just happened? Well, from the outside it looks like something like this:

Why do we argue so much? How can we work through our conflicts? Using the Hold Me Tight method.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

Every Thursday I take time to reflect on 10 things that I am grateful for. I started years ago and didn't mean to go for so long but now I can't help it. There has been heaviness in my heart this week as an old student of mine passed away. He was such a kind and friendly boy (I say boy because I still picture him as a grade 9 student) who always had a huge smile on his face. Always. I think of his family and all that they are going through right now. Loss is just so, so hard. It's a messy process and it hurts for a long time (I'm 12 years in and still dealing with it). There is no easy way to switch gears except to say that even in the hard times I have gone through, I let myself feel all the feelings yet tried to remember to focus on the grateful piece too.

This week I am thankful for:

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

How to Make Natural Deodorant That Actually Works

I have been wearing natural deodorant for three years. The reason I decided to move in this direction is that although antiperspirants claim to be safe, I want to reduce any possible risks due to my genetics. Men often have deodorant options but most of the ones available for women are also antiperspirants with parabens and aluminum. That sweat was meant to come out for a reason–we don't want to clog our pores on our face so why would we do it under our arms?

How to make a natural deodorant that actually works: A recipe!

I have tried about 15 different kinds of natural deodorant over the years and all are not created equally. I have really enjoyed pastes as they tend to work the best and are gentle on my armpits. I recently decided to make my own and put it to the test; I ran 5 km's, I chased after children, I even taught a full day of PE. The result? This recipe works. So, without further ado, here is the simple recipe to make your own deodorant.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Fall Family Photos

Family photos are important to me and whether we do it ourselves or pay someone else, all I want are some great ones with my kids and then as a whole family. Seeing the sunshine yesterday, coupled with the gorgeous leaves, I made the quick decision that we would get photos that day. The kids and Gary agreed to it, we chose the closest park to our home, and wore clothes that weren't exciting but are very "us". Well, let's be honest, sports shorts and hats are what the boys would prefer but they were willing to wear jeans. For an hour. We went midday which is a no no on a bright sunny day but cooperative kids took precedent. Here are some photos of my lovely crew:

Monday, October 23, 2017

Driving Change with Electric Vehicles

A friend of ours recently purchased an electric vehicle and we found ourselves fascinated while looking at it and discussing the pros and cons to having one – will this be the way of the future? Since they were introduced in 2010, approximately 1% of all new vehicle sales in our province are electric. In B.C., driving an electric vehicle can make a significant environmental change as 98% of the energy generated by BC Hydro is clean as opposed to other places in the world that may use coal or fossil fuels. What are some other advantages?

Charging station for electric vehicles in B.C.