Friday, August 29, 2014

Lindeman Lake

This afternoon we did a hike to Lindeman Lake with our friends.  Gary and I have done it twice before but never with the kids.  It was a little harder than I remembered  (I'm a few years older and had Nya on my back the whole time) but still enjoyable!  It's about 2 km long and takes just under an hour to get to the lake. 

The kids all did so well!  It was a little chilly so I'd say Jen and I did well too :)  The only downfall of this hike is that it's pretty far away.  It's right next to Chilliwack Lake which means it's about 1.5 hours from Surrey.  I think this would be the perfect place to do our first overnight backpacking trip with our kids!  There are tent pads and an outhouse located at the lake and the fact that it's just a one hour hike makes it ideal with younger kids.  There is another lake, Greendrop, about another 1-2 hours hike past Lindeman which I've never been too.  Could be fun in a couple of years!

The kids found a couple of geocaches along the way which they always love.  

We had a few snacks and relaxed a bit but then the wind/cold/light rain had us up and moving again!

Ella and the boys get along really well and they are all the same level of goofiness.

Miss Nya's last two molars are coming in right now so she's not the happiest little hiker but she did all right!

We love hanging out with this family and are so glad that we've been able to spend some great times with them.

I love the scenery on this hike.  I wouldn't recommend it for kids under the age of 5 unless there are enough adult hands for them to hold (or if they are in a carrier!).  I hope you have a good and safe long weekend!


PS If you've done the hike to Greendrop Lake, let me know how much longer it is and whether the trail is slightly `easier' or just the same please!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Thankful for:

1.  This Ninja Warrior (and his little bro!) going back to school in 5 more sleeps.  Love my Kai Bear, but man, our kids fight! Yes, he's going back because he's in an independent school.  Yes we are `lucky' as some people say.  Do remember, though, that we pay $7,000 a year for our two boys to go and Gary makes $10,000 less teaching there.  I don't mean that in a confrontational way, just factual.  I feel bad for the teachers in the public system as well as for parents with kids with special needs or really just those that need to find childcare. 

2.  Outdoor swimming lessons.  So fun.  It's just 5 days and 5 minutes from our home.  Nya and I just explore so it's good for all.  Kai is in Swim Kids 3 and will pass no problem.  Koen is not yet in Swim Kids because he's only 5.  He's...getting better :) I do have to remember that he's 2.5 years younger than Kai so of course he has a ways to go.

3.  A summer of outdoor goodness.  While exploring the outdoors our kids don't fight :)  

4.  Three great trips this summer; Manning, Oregon Coast and Invermere.  It was perfect for our little family.

5.  Our little hikers. If it was 1 km or less, Nya would do it no problem.  The boys can pretty much hike anything I can, well, to be honest, Kai is way better than I am.

6.  Our kids' desire to learn.  They love all the programs and love to read the signs.  They continually ask great questions.  I hope this continues!

7.  Having three kids.  I always visualized myself with three kids and I truly love it.  Just the perfect amount of crazy for us.  

8.  A new way of eating. I've lost about 7 lbs this month by my food choices alone.  I was a carboholic.  I might blog about this more later as I'm using a certain plan.  I eat a lot, but just the a smarter way (no sugar, low carbs, more protein).  My desire is to lose 18 lbs overall (initially the goal was 10 lbs but I'm going to keep going).  I just have to be very careful mentally as I was way too obsessed over the scale for probably 10 years of my life.  I would like to be my pre-Kai weight. This is for two reasons; 

a. I'm feeling my age and want to be as healthy as I can be based on my terrible genetics

b. I was getting really sick of my big belly where all the fat was being stored

{Left photo is one week in.  Right photo is four weeks in.  I should probably get better pictures of these as they don't look too different. My hope is to incorporate more exercise into my life once the boys are back in school to really tone up.}

9.  Fun with the Chapmans.  Gary and the boys went with a bunch of the Chapman side of the family to the BC Lions game.  It's a tradition and they had a lot of fun. It was Koen's first time.  I think he loved the refillable pop the most.

{Karen, look at you all fancy with face paint!}

10.  A mini reunion with my mom's side of the family.  This was the same time as the BC Lions game so I just went with Nya.  When my mom died, there was less of a connection with that side of the family.  We got together with some of them this weekend and it was good to catch up!

{No was the day after a wedding which is the day I allow my wrists/hands to recover from carrying a camera all day and taking 2,000 photos!}

I hope you are having a good week!  If you also do a `Thankful Thursday' post, please leave a link in the comments

Have a great long weekend!  We have plans for some more hiking and hanging out with friends.  You?


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Abbotsford Air Show

I still have a high from my aeroabatic ride that I blogged about a few weeks ago!  I should also mention that because I did it, I feel like the idea of paragliding or even a ropes course, is way less intimidating now.  I am still afraid of heights but I think it has definitely helped me (unlike `The Revolution' at Playland which is a terrible memory!).

I just wanted to post about going to the Abbotsford Air Show with our family in case you were considering it for 2015.

The cost to go is $30/adult and $15/child over 5.  Kids under 5 are free.  Therefore, it would cost our family $90 to go, which is above our `outing budget' unless it was a major passion for our kids.  Another option is a carload of 6 for $100.00.  This means that you could go as 3 couples which would be much more affordable.  I think that Gary and I would do a triple date night on the first night of the air show (Twilight Show) when they have fireworks too. 

It was very hot that weekend so the kids were only interested in the planes for about one hour.  We took my dad along who was definitely intrigued with everything that the announcer said and every plane that flew by.

Above is what Brent Handy, the aerobatic pilot I flew with, did!  So impressive.

There were a lot of families with young kids!  The hard part was not the noise but the lack of shade.  I had them in hats and sunscreen but it was hard for them to be out in the hot sun that long.  Many people brought umbrellas which worked well.

Fortunately there is a giant McDonalds Play Zone that the kids hit up for an hour.  A lot of bouncy castles and even dodge ball.  They were also given free tickets for a McDonald's ice cream each!

There was a climbing wall as well and for $3 they get two climbs.

We went and visited the Static Display (all the planes on the ground) and then headed out.  

It was fun to go as a family.  I think it was nice to have my dad along as he truly appreciates it all.  Our kids weren't wanting to focus on planes for too long so I'm very thankful for the Kids Zone!  Hopefully next year it's a bit cooler and then Gary and I can go on a date night!  Either that, or we would go again as a family and take another adult who could help offset our family cost :)  

Have you been?  What did you think?  Did you know you can camp there?  The last time I went was 20 years ago so  I'm glad I had the chance to go again!


**Disclaimer: We were given tickets to the Air Show and these opinions are 100% my own :)**

Monday, August 25, 2014

Kai's Amazing Race Birthday

For Kai's 8th birthday, he really wanted an Amazing Race themed one.  Fortunately the weather was decent so we could have it at a local park!  

Gary made the clue box using leftover wood at our house and duct tape!  We divided the kids into two teams of four.  It was easy for us to manage this on our own.  If we had more helpers, and more friends,  I think three or four teams would be more fun.

Kai does not love pickled asparagus.  Koen does.

This was a road block where they could choose to throw the frisbee in the bin or shoot the puck from center court into the net.  They were given the frisbees to take home and Kai wrote a little note in each one.  Koen needs to work on his form.

Okay, so we're not exactly sure how many freckles Kai has but I said 367 :)  It was interesting the ways that the kids worked.  One team had each member memorize two things, the other had each person try to memorize them all.

Checking in with Gary to see if they had the right answers.

The next challenge was to either search for a matching pair of hidden animals in the playground or to beat Gary in a game of `Guess Who'.  Both teams chose to `Search It'.  Searching for something was a good activity and if we did this again, we'd add more searching stations.

Everyone had a chance to read the clues.  This was a great age for this kind of party because they can all read it themselves.

They had to choose one `Ninja Warrior' from each team.  Kai and Ani were selected.

There was a football throwing challenge with led this team first to the mat!  The second team was just a minute behind.

Nya and her little cousins just played on the playground the whole time. Thanks, Maria!

We brought our barbeque and had hot dogs.

Kai opened his presents.  Yes, he loves collecting gum and pokemon cards.  He also got a Spirograph which is probably the first arts and crafts type thing that he loves, I think it's because it's a bit math-y.

Kai doesn't love cake and cupcakes so we just had ice cream sundaes instead.  Gary roasted some marshmallows so they could have `smore' sundaes if they wanted.  Part of me really wanted to make an Amazing Race themed dessert but it probably saved us a few hours by just doing this :)

If you are planning an Amazing Race party, I would recommend doing more than seven tasks.  Proabably closer to twelve would be good.  Also, I found free printables on pinterest and then just filled them out in photoshop and printed them as 5X7's at Costco.  Cheaper than running our colour printer!  Also, if we had more time we would've decorated more `Amazing Race-ish' with red and yellow balloons and had the `Amazing Race' logo on the envelopes.  I have to remember Kai doesn't care about those details so really it would just be for me :)  

Overall, Kai LOVED his party and I'm so glad!  Super easy, active, and affordable.

If you ever decide to have an Amazing Race party, you are welcome to use our mat and clue box!

Hope you have a wonderful week.

Love, Louise