Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Run With Me!

I've always been a runner.  I've never been a `good' runner in regards to great times but it is something I have done for years.  I used to run cross country in high school, and before I had kids, I did three half marathons and frequent 10 km races.  After 3 pregnancies (and years of sleep deprivation), and about 2 years total of dealing with an autoimmune disease (Graves),  I feel like my body has the energy and desire to run again.  My plan right now it to stick to the 5 km runs as it is not hard on my body and the training required is realistic while maintaining balance in my life.


I have been running in the MEC Race Series.  I love it because it's local (Langley), affordable ($15), smaller in numbers, and every 2-3 months.   The next one is in Fort Langley on June 21st.  Have you ever wanted to run in a 5 km race?  Have you done it in the past and are ready to get back into it?  Join! 


If you're looking for a good program, I have used the couch to 5 km before and there are apps for it too.  It's a combination of running and walking until you are able to run the whole 5 km's. They also have numerous programs if you are wanting to train for a 10 km run.  

Here are some friends that have been in the last two runs....


{Estelle ran her first 5 km race and rocked it!}


{Tamara ran the 5 km race at Williams Park with her sweetest little family cheering her on!  Great work, Tamara!} 


{Frances did the 5 km in the first of the series and then got a personal best in the 10 km for the second one!}

So the question is: Will you sign up?   If you currently run and use a program, I'd love to hear about it!


Love,
Louise

Monday, March 30, 2015

Minnie Monday

Just a quick little update (in case you didn't know, we just won a trip to Disney World): 

-We will find out the details of our trip (where we are staying, when we appear on the news, Gary's work response, and Nya coming) by the end of this week.  Hopefully then I can share more because right now I don't know much except that we leave in a few weeks!

-Do you know how stressful a skill testing question is to get a prize?  No calculators. No help.  I made myself do it three times to make sure it was right.

-By Sunday, my body recovered from the adrenaline/happy stress of winning. 

-I spent some time going through the Disney World website to learn about the parks, resorts, weather/clothes, food etc.  Being informed always helps me feel less overwhelmed.  The one downfall of a trip so soon is that it is likely we'll be unable to book something like a breakfast with princesses for Nya as they book quite far in advance. 

-We're only doing this trip once so I want to make sure we get everything we can out of it!  The boys are definitely excited about the rides (the waterparks are AMAZING, you can snorkel with sharks!) and Nya is so eager to meet characters. 

-Although this is a `free' trip, I know there will be a lot of expenses so we're trying to approach this wisely.  I know, I'm the fun police.  This is the conversation between Gary and I:
`Let's go out for dinner to celebrate!'
`Actually, that will be about $100.  Let's just eat at Costco.'
`Well, we have leftovers.  Let's just eat them and go out for ice cream'
`Let's just get a donut once the kids are in bed.'.
From $100 down to $2.09 in a minute.



{Okay, a tad overload on the Disney but she going to loooooove it!  I bought the ears for $4.00 at the Disney Store this weekend as they had  sale. The rest of the stuffies are second hand or grandma's ;)}
Have a wonderful week!
Love,
Louise
PS If I could ask for your thoughts and prayers:
-That Nya is able to come along and that adding her in on the prize is not too stressful or costly. It's hard not knowing anything!
-Health.  Nya is finally done her antibiotics for her chest infection and I would love for her to remain healthy until we get back.  I would love for all of us to be healthy, but especially the kids.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Disney World, Here We Come!!!

As you may know, I enter contests for about 30 minutes every single morning because someone has to win!  I treat it like a part time job and I've generally won smaller prizes.  Yesterday we found out that we were in the running to win the HUGE Disney World prize through Breakfast Television and West Jet.  They wanted to make sure the winner would be home in the morning for the announcement.  We were so nervous this morning watching it live, and suddenly, we saw our street with Thor coming to surprise us!!!




The trip includes West Jet airfare, 5 nights at a Disney World Resort hotel, 6 day Hopper Pass and $600 USD for a family of 4!  I'm really hoping that we can just pay for Nya to join us or she will have to stay behind (I'm not leaving her behind!!).  We'll use our Disneyland Bottle Fund to pay for Nya's airplane ticket.  The total value of the trip?  $8600.00.  There is no way we could ever do a trip like this!   


The trip is in 3 weeks!  I don't know any other details yet but we are so excited.  The timing of this is amazing.  We really wanted to go to Disneyland this year, but with us starting fostering likely in May, we weren't sure how it would happen.  Here's hoping Gary's work is cool with him having a few days off....


I'll include the video here once it's posted online, I think you can reach it here.


I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I'm off to go buy some Disney themed T-shirts!

Love,
Louise

Thursday, March 26, 2015

FlyOver Canada {Review}

Thursday morning we went to Canada Place to experience FlyOver Canada.  It is a flight simulation ride complete with wind, mist and scents!  Children need to be at least 40" to ride so we went in two shifts so that Gary and I could take turns watching Nya.


The nice thing is that the show is year round, 10 am to 9 pm, 7 days a week.  There was even a covered heated waiting area for comfort.


I was worried that the boys might be a bit scared during the ride but they both handled it really well and enjoyed themselves.  It's a thirty minute experience with about 10 minutes of it in `flight'.  We did AboveUSA first and it was so cool to see the Las Vegas strip as we were there just last week!  AboveUSA  will be playing alongside FlyOver Canada until April 12th.  We then  stayed in our seats for the feature presentation; FlyOver Canada.
  

 As a person who has been all the way to the East Coast twice, it was cool to recognize different parks and cities as we flew over them.  I did not see much (or anything?!) from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick or PEI, but Newfoundland and Gros Morne National Park were gorgeous.


Kai and Koen enjoyed waving to the kayakers and fishermen as we flew over the rivers.  You could even smell the forest and feel the spray of Niagara Falls!


{I wasn't allowed to take a photo from inside so here is one from FlyOverCanada.com}


It's cheaper to book online and right now there is a Spring Break special of 25% off for students and youth until April 3rd.  Kai gave it an 8/10 and Koen gave it an V/Z.  Yes, V out of Z.  If you didn't get a chance to travel this Spring Break, you might want to check it out to get the travel experience!  Kai was pretty pumped to say that he has now seen an iceberg.  Gary and I enjoyed it but it was definitely more exciting for the kids.

If you've been, I'd love to hear your feedback!  

Love, 
Louise

*Disclaimer: We were provided with tickets to review FlyOver Canada and opinions are our own. *

Thankful Thursday



You guys!!  Did you notice I missed my `Thankful Thursday' last week? That day was crazy as we returned for Las Vegas and packed immediately for Green Lake.  So, do not fear, I am back!

This week, I am thankful for:

1. Safe travels to Green Lake. The kids had a blast together and I think I was able to relax (I usually have a really hard time doing very little).


2.  A wonderful trip with Gary.  I didn't realize how much my day to day is filled with parenting.  It was so good to spend time doing what WE wanted.  This might sound silly but I was thankful that we really wanted to spend time together.


3. Antibiotics.  I don't like them for what they do to the kids' digestive systems but I'm thankful that we were able to get some for Nya and her chest infection.  Her dimples are almost back on her face...she's been a bit of a sick grumpy pants.


4. Sticks.  They make a walk through the forest a lot more interesting when you are two. Or six. Or eight.


5. The boys transitioning into their new room well.  They were totally fine leaving their comfy room and moving to a bare bones room.  We haven't really personalized it yet, and they just have old furniture in there, but they're excited about it.  I think I'm the one that is a bit sad as I don't love where their bedroom is and I have great memories from their old room. I'm glad they have each other. This means we can now get their old room ready for whoever joins our family!


6. Dandelions.  I love how the kids all loved picking them for me (or in this case, Nya likes to pick them for daddy).


7.  Fun family adventures.  Because of awesome readers like YOU, we get to do fun family activities and blog about it.  This week? Flyover Canada!  I'll be reviewing it in a post tomorrow.


8.  Cousins that get along.  It's so great that there was no fighting between them.  Yes, Kai and Koen fight but they don't have any problems with their cousins.  The youngest girls, Nya and Georgie, have their moments, but for the most part they get along well.


9.  Gary reading a marriage book.  Hot.  I'm serious.


{PS Cooking every meal on the weekends is also hot}


10.  Koen playing on his own.  Koen is just so different than anyone I've ever met.  He's so enthusiastic/eager/focused but he also loves and needs his alone time.  He can play for hours on his own and doesn't need direction.  He just makes up games with whatever he has.  He'll play Monopoly or Spoons with this stuffies and often prefers it over playing with real people.


I hope you are having a good day so far.  Please let me know what you are thankful for today!

Love,
Louise


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Eight Important Items for a Road Trip With Preschoolers

We always carry this bin in our van for comfort and safety.  Besides the usual books and toys on a road trip, these are some `must have' items that we keep stocked up.


1. Benadryl.  Please, please, please carry this on you.  Nya has had three allergic reactions in her 2.5 years.  The first time we were at a restaurant and had to rush out to buy some.  The last two times, we had it on hand.  We still don't know what she is allergic to.  If you do not have any in your vehicle or home, please get some today.

2.  Baby wipes.  We've always used the Kirkland brand ones and they are so great for messy hands and faces.

3.  Character bandaids.  Yes, we have a first aid kit in our van but these Tinkerbell ones make Nya feel a whole lot better than a regular one.

4.  Hand sanitizer.  I like to use this on the kids after school, church, or play date.  I know some germs are good for them but after the winter we've had with Nya, I think her immune system is working overtime already.

5.  Spare set of clothes.  We only carry a spare set for our youngest but it has come in handy many times over the years.

6.  Snack.  If you use it, replace it.  Road trips are always better when stomachs are happy.  Your wallet is also happier if you have snacks on hand.

7.  Pull ups.  Nya is potty trained, but when she gets sick, I don't want to worry about an accident in her car seat if she falls asleep.  This makes traveling less stressful.

8.  Sunscreen. Spring is here and summer is around the corner.  My kids are freckly and pale so any sun exposure is very noticeable.  Take care of your skin!

Are there any  items that I am missing?

Have a great week, friends!

Love
Louise


Monday, March 23, 2015

Green Lake 2015

Every Spring Break, we head up to my dad's `cabin' (house) at Green Lake near 100 Mile House.  We go with my sister Maria and her family which makes for 7 kids between the ages of 2.5-9 years old.  Gary and I had just come back from Las Vegas, and 24 hours later, we were already up at Green Lake!  Here's the post from last year, it's crazy to see how much Nya's hair has grown and how snowy it was last Spring Break.


The kids had a great time playing with their cousins and the adults just enjoyed some downtime.  Fortunately (for me!) the snow was gone so that it was a lot more comfortable to explore outside.  The kids usually love the snow for sledding but I think they enjoyed the quad just as much.


Our trip was cut short as the cold that Nya has had for the past 2 weeks turned into a chest infection with a high fever that didn't go away after three days (reached 40C/104F ).  I ended up taking her to the 100 Mile House hospital on the second day and they were so wonderful there.  Great nurse and doctor and there was no wait.  She was given a prescription for antibiotics but I asked if it was okay to wait a day or two to see if she could fight it on her own.  I just don't want to wipe out all the progress we've made on her digestive health.  Unfortunately, this has made for a grumpy/tired/sick Nya so we had to cancel the Williams Lake portion of our trip. I was so looking forward to visiting friends there but the good news is that they will be there for a while so I'm sure we'll have another chance to go visit!


{Throwing rocks on the ice, breaking up ice, making an ice castle...}



{Always someone to play with!}



{We went for a short hike up Mt. Begbie}






{Poor Nya not feeling so hot for movie night}



{I love that the house is right on the lake.  It's beautiful.}



{We also did a walk in 100 Mile House through Centennial Park}



{There's a great playground and hills to roll down too.}


{The benefit of having two families there is that you can escape with another adult.  I went on a run with Maria one morning and Gary and I went quad-ding on another day. Wish I could get video as we went through the bush but I didn't want to lose my phone.}


video






We had a great time together.  I love that our kids all get along so well.  Hopefully next year everyone is healthy!  By the way, if you are ever interested in renting Green Lake, it does get rented out and you can check it out here.

I hope you all had or are having a good Spring Break!  I look forward to checking a few things off the `To Do' list this week.  It's good to be home.

Love,
Louise