Monday, February 29, 2016

Be Careful What You Chant at Home

"Daddy, show me your bum rash!" I looked at Gary with my eyes wide open in shock and a dreaded sense of what could be coming. The chant. "Bum rash! Bum rash! Bum rash!". Tears of laughter and mortification ran down my face. My four-year-old son would not stop chanting and pointing at his father on a sky train full of people who were definitely listening and politely trying to act like they weren't hearing about "daddy's bum rash." We were headed down to Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics so you can imagine just how many people were aboard that crowded sky train! Gary said "I don't think anyone wants to see that" so Kai responded with "Does anyone want to see dad's bum rash?"

Friday, February 26, 2016

Five Tips for Organizing Your Home

Our house currently has four kids under the age of nine.  This means that we have a lot of books, papers, backpacks, shoes, coats, toys etc.  How do we try to keep things organized and relatively clutter-free? A lot of these ideas stem from minimalism and the desire to be intentional about what we own and why. 

1.  File homework and library books into a safe place where we can see it (to be reminded) and where it is out of reach of little hands. Nya really just puts her crafts in her section and after a week they get recycled or placed on the Art Board. There is a basket for all the LeapPads and chargers and games.

Organizing kids homework

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful for:

1.  Bubbles (and kids old enough to do them on their own!)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Whonnock Lake {Maple Ridge}

After visiting Kanaka Creek Cliff Falls, we took a five minute drive over to Whonnock Lake (still in Maple Ridge, B.C.) We have photographed at least 4 weddings here and it is a beautiful venue for it! There aren't any walking trails that we know of so we just walked out on the docks and then played on the new playground that they have.  If you were to come in the summer, there is a beach with a swimming area as well!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Kanaka Creek Cliff Falls {Maple Ridge, B.C.}

Kanaka Creek Regional Park in Maple Ridge, B.C. is a gorgeous place to explore throughout the year. We spent an hour running around the Cliff Falls area, to the hatchery, and looping along the Canyon Trail to the Pine Ridge Trail.  If you like greenery, mossy trees, waterfalls, bridges, and'll love it!  The trails are not stroller-friendly as there are many stairs; next time we would just take a carrier in case one of the Littles got tired.  We walked for over an hour and saw most of the area and found two geocaches.  Dogs are to be on-leash and there are public bathrooms right near the start of the trails.  In case you want the proof of it's you go!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Five Reasons YOU Could Be A Foster Parent

If you had told me five years ago that we would be foster parents, I would say there was no way that was going to happen. Why would we? I don't have the skills. What about my own kids?  Too many unknowns. However, here we are, loving our Little One. You might be like me saying "Uh, no thanks. Great you can do it but it's not for our family." I get it. There are times in life where it truly would be too much, however, there are other times when we need that nudge. Consider this your nudge.

Do you want to be a foster parent?

Here are five reasons YOU could be a foster parent:

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Houston Trail {Langley, BC}

Koen and I had two hours together this afternoon so we went geocaching and exploring along the Houston Trail at Derby Reach Regional Park.  We love it there because it is so green and forested. The trail is also hilly so it gives you a bit of a work out. We were unable to find the first two geocaches but Koen said "That's okay, I love just exploring!" Music to my ears.  The loop is a great one hour walk and there is always something beautiful around the next corner.  Here are some photos from our time exploring:

Monday, February 15, 2016

Dear Baby Girl

Dear Baby Girl,

When I look at you, I am filled with thankfulness.  You are a beauty.  I don't mean that you are pretty to look at (you are!) but your sweet smile shows me the love that you have for others and the joy in your heart.  It's not always easy being the youngest in the family and I admire how you push yourself to keep up with your older brothers and ask for help if you need it.  Those are great skills; determination and self-awareness.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Hi-Knoll Park {Surrey, B.C.}

Hi-Knoll Park is located on the Surrey/Langley border on Colebrook Road.  It was given to the city by the Skelton family in 1974 and is a great little place to explore.   The north side of the trail is a meadow which we ran around first. We have had our family photos done here before–it's quite picturesque in the summer! Being that we have recently had a lot of rain, it was a little flooded north of the bridge so we turned around to explore other trails. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

You Got It, Dude {Fuller House}

You got it, dude. Have mercy. How rude. Cut it out. Oh man, I can still hear my sisters and I saying these catch phrases from Full House.  When we were growing up, this was one show that we would watch together because it was something that worked for our age ranges and it was deemed appropriate by our parents.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful for:

1.  Netflix.  I love it!  Gary and I are still watching Prison Break and I love that time that we have together.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Lighthouse Park {West Vancouver}

Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver is one of our favourite parks to explore. Not only is it breathtakingly beautiful, it offers a variety of trails for all ages.  I've gone there with our family for hikes and picnics and also for photo sessions.  It is about an hour from our home but it is so worth it!  Winter or summer, the views and trails never cease to amaze me.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Manning Park {Family Day}

It was Family Day in B.C. yesterday and the weather was gorgeous! We decided to go to Manning Park as we had never taken the kids there in the winter before (but LOVED it in the summer!)  It is a two hour drive which is longer than we prefer but the scenery is incredible.  If we didn't have kids in the van, I would've asked Gary to stop so many times so I could get out and take photos.  

Monday, February 08, 2016

Strength in the Journey

When people say "I don't think I could be a foster parent" I understand because I didn't think I could either. Years ago, after having our two sons, we were waiting to adopt locally and somehow found ourselves on a different path. We had another biological child, our daughter Nya, and then became foster parents. It came from the gentle prodding of a friend who encouraged us to love those in need in our own communities. Slowly, what we had thought our family would look like, and the timeline we hoped for, morphed into something else...something unknown and unexpected. 

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Project 365 | Week 6

A photo a day for a year...well, it's supposed to be.  Today I'm sharing seven photos from the week but a whole lot were taken on the same day.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Five Funny Things My Kids Have Said

One of my favourite things about having kids is that they are usually quite funny. That's a good thing too because parenting is hard work! One of my favourite stories in the Bum Rash Chant which you can find here but here are some other moments that made me smile:

Here are five amusing things that my kids have said over the years...

Me: Kai, I'd like you to make a card for grandma.
Kai: What should it say?
Me: Whatever you want. (see photo below)

Son holding sign that says "whatever you want"

Kai: Look mommy, I made you you this beautiful necklace.
Me: Oh thank you!
Kai: It will cost you $1.00.
Me: What?
Kai: Well, usually jewelry costs like $50 so I just saved you $49!
("beautiful necklace" below)

Koen: Mom, you look so old.
Me: Um, thanks. I think most moms want to hear that they look beautiful.
Koen: You look like a beautiful old lady.

Me: What should I bring to the baby shower?
Koen: Soap, of course!

Kai (on seeing Froot Loops for the first time): I LOVE these so much, they're my favourite!! I've never had them before.

Bonus one:

Kai loves the show Amazing Race and hopes to be on it one day. I applied but I don't really have a "thing" that makes me interesting enough.
Kai: Mom, you and dad need to apply for the next Amazing Race! Your thing will be that you broke your jaw and dad broke his clavicle. You can be team hashtag #brokenbones.

What is something funny that your kids have said?


Need a quick chuckle? Here are five funny things that my kids have said.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Choosing to Love

"I made the choice to love you." What?! A choice? Like, you didn't really feel it but made yourself?  Does this mean that your heart doesn't feel "the love"? I was so confused by my husband's statement – weren't you supposed to be in love with your spouse?  Slowly I have realized that this is truly a wonderful thing. He does not base his love for me on his feelings; it is unconditional. I don't need to worry about earning his love through awesome home-cooked meals, wearing skirts, and assuring him daily that he is a hot provider (although this probably wouldn't hurt our marriage). He loves me when I'm irritable and in my sweats (although he draws the line at a pair of onesie pj's I have!)  He is committed, in love, to our relationship. I wish I was better at this.  I do love him, every day, but I often let my emotions get in the way – I'm a passionate woman; I feel those highs and lows to the extremes.  In those moments, where I'm frustrated, I remind myself, "He is a great man. I love him. I love him. I love him."