Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Connecting With Your Preteen

We are entering new territory here: The Preteen Era. I have very little experience with this age as I've raised young kids and taught teenagers–the in between stage is an interesting one!  Our oldest son is turning ten.  He has some typical first born traits (you know, did you guess I'm a first born, too?) but something unique to him, is that he does not like to share his feelings.   Maybe he's just like his father in that the doesn't feel like I do.  In one day I experience excitement, fear, anticipation, nervousness, impatience, love, thankfulness, hopefulness, helplessness...I'm all over the place and I just ride it out.  I know he is quite even keeled but no matter how or when I ask, it is difficult to get to find out what's going on in that mind of his (unless it has to do with a video game–then he's an open book.)

Monday, March 28, 2016

#Spring30for30 Challenge

If you've been following me for a while, you know I don't talk about clothing or fashion that much.  I do like to share companies that I love, deals that I've found, or awesome nerdy shirts, but that is not the focus.  This April I am participating in a #Spring30for30 challenge with a few other blogging friends.  You choose 30 items of clothing to wear for the month and make a new outfit each and every day.  The items do not include shoes or accessories or work out gear.  I am a person who is tempted to wear the same five outfits all month so this will challenge me to use what I have a little more creatively.  I also want to resist the urge to buy more clothing and instead just appreciate what I already have.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Visiting Ucluelet, B.C. {Vancouver Island}

For the past eight years, we have vacationed in Ucluelet, BC on Vancouver Island. It is not only incredibly gorgeous but allows us to have the true West Coast experience at an affordable price. We love the laid back feel along with the beautiful trails and beaches to explore.  

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Green Lake 2016

Every Spring Break we head up to Green Lake with my sister's family who also has four kids.   The drive is about five hours with the stops that we take and our first one is usually Alexandra Bridge! It's a great 30 minute walk and you can go over the old bridge where there are holes to see right down to the Fraser River below! I'll be honest, I'm a chicken.  This was the first year I went all the way across.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Five Sanity Savers for Parents

Life can get loud and crazy really fast.  For me, a lot of the stress in parenting comes from noise– whether that's kids bugging each other or asking me for snacks over and over or bouncing a basketball right next to me while I'm trying to read.  Here are five sanity savers that I recommend for parents:

1. A minivan.  Separating the boys results in an optimal travelling environment.  We have tried putting all three kids in the back of our car and it works for shorter trips but anything more than an hour and it's just not worth it!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Capilano Suspension Bridge {North Vancouver, B.C.}

Growing up in B.C., I've always heard about the Capilano Suspension Bridge but we've never gone as a family!  I had been once, years ago, and wow–they have added so many amazing dimensions to it!  There are four major parts to explore: Suspension Bridge, Treetop Adventures, Cliffwalk, and Nature's Edge Boardwalk.   If you are afraid of heights, it actually is more breathtakingly beautiful than scary.  The only time Nya was afraid was in the middle of the bridge as it does rock when people are walking across.  I was not nervous for my kids at all along the whole adventure so that just tells you how safe it is (I'm usually quite cautious!)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Matsqui Trail {Abbotsford, BC}

Matsqui Trail Regional Park is located under the Mission Bridge on the Abbotsford side.  We walked for about an hour along the Fraser River and it was beautiful– you could see mountains and river the whole time.  It's an easy (flat) walk and there is the option of walking along a winding path next to the river or up on the dyke. There is a picnic area and also washrooms at the parking lot. We only did a portion of the trail and walked for about an hour total. I bet this walk would be gorgeous in the fall, here are some photos from our time there...

Monday, March 14, 2016

Lego Friends on Netflix

Our boys grew up playing with LEGO and although Nya is a bit too young to build it, she is VERY interested in is watching Lego Friends on Netflix and playing with what her brothers make.  This feel good show is about Olivia, a new girl in Heartlake City. She becomes best friends with Mia, Andrea, Emma and Stephanie and they have many animal related adventures; the Dolphin Alert project was my favourite (Episode 3).

Friday, March 11, 2016

Five Ways to Simplify Dinner Prep

Years ago, while on my first maternity leave, I'd make a meal from scratch while our oldest child was having a whopping three hour nap (why, oh why, did my other kids not do this?!) With the addition of a second child, we started buying frozen pizzas for Friday nights yet still I was able to usually make a great meal while one was at preschool and the other napped. Now, with four kids, I feel like Supermom when I put a meal on the table each night. I'm tired and old and just a bit bored of the whole making dinner thing. And by "a bit" I mean sooooooo bored. They would be just as happy with macaroni and cheese as they would be with an authentic Indian meal from Vij's cookbook which definitely deters me from putting in too much effort.

Somehow, dinner does get made each night and is on the table by 5:30 pm.  How?

Monday, March 07, 2016

Williams Park {Langley, BC}

One of our local Langley parks that we enjoy is Williams Park.  It's located on 68th and 238th and provides ample exploring for our kids.  Usually we just walk a route along the river and then head to the playground, but this time we decided to do some geocaching as well.  We've been to this park at least 20 times and through geocaching we discovered a whole new area of it!

{I love ferns. Under the fronds are these circles called sori which are full of spores!}

Friday, March 04, 2016

Five Things I Learned From Tidying Up My Clothes

Although our home is relatively clean (I keep it at a 7/10 level in case you were wondering), I struggle with holding onto objects because of their sentimental value. This holds true for my clothing as well. University T-shirts, race shirts, sports uniforms, my first pair of skinny jeans, a dress I wore for a great New Years Eve, the bikini from our honeymoon...the list goes on. There's also the practical side of me that thinks "I paid a lot of money for that item, I will wear it forever!" Well, I'm not sure if that's practical or wishful thinking, but I'm guilty of it.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Give Me Real

"We need to quit trying to be awesome and instead be wise."  These words from Jen Hatmaker, in her book For the Love, really hit home for me–especially in regards to the online world.   I may be a little more immersed in this social media world than some of you, but for others, I am behind the times with all the new platforms that exist.  I'm not on Snapchat or Periscope even though as a blogger I'm "supposed to be." I am freaked out for my children who will have to navigate real life alongside this online one over the years to come–thankfully we didn't have this whole other dimension to deal with when we were growing up.  Don't get me wrong, I love the communities that I have become part of, the people I've met, the information I've learned, and the support I've felt, but, do these positives outweigh the negatives?  What are the long term implications to being so active in an online world?