Thursday, September 29, 2016

Five Marriage Tips From His Perspective

One of the many things I have learned over 11 years of marriage is that Gary and I differ in how we feel loved and how we believe our marriage is doing. Although we have a solid foundation, we've had to stretch and grow a lot over the years and I'm thankful that we've both been willing to invest. I asked Gary what tips he would give to women to understand their men better and this is what he came up with...

Husband and wife at Elfin Lakes hiking

Five Marriage Tips From His Perspective:

Thankful Thursday

Time to practice gratitude, folks.  This week I am thankful for:

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Five Fun and Free Family Activities

We have four kids which means our family is loud, energetic, and busy.  It also means that there can be quite a cost involved with feeding, clothing, educating and entertaining them.  One way that we are able to save money is by providing numerous family activities that don't cost us anything.

Here are five fun and free family activities that we enjoy:

Monday, September 26, 2016

How Being a Parent Changed My Perspective on the Classroom

I am a teacher and I have been one my whole life; I used to set up a "classroom" for my four younger sisters and teach them whether they were interested or not. Over the years I would share all about my favourite topic–body systems–on family trips and around the kitchen table. Learning was fun and I wanted others to embrace it alongside me. After graduating from university with an actual teaching degree, I got started right away. I thought I knew how to teach kids and I did–to some extent. I knew how to present the material, answer questions, and connect with the students. However, coming from a family of five girls in which not one of us struggled academically and all thrived in a traditional school atmosphere, I don't think I had a true picture of what the variety of classroom struggles might be beyond social issues that most teenagers deal with. My academic goals had to been to work hard, get good grades, get a degree, and finally, get a solid job. And that is...good. But, what are we really working towards? What is the reality of the students in the classroom today?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Willow View Farms Pumpkin Patch {Abbotsford}

Fall is not only beautiful but there are so many fun activities to take part in!  I love visiting pumpkin patches with the kids because there's something for every age and it's such a festive atmosphere–we go to a few every year.  To start the season off we went to Willow View Farms in Abbotsford this weekend.  Admission is free but there is a cost for the wagon ride if you decide to take it.  The highlights for our family were: the decorative cutout signs, picking a mini pumpkin each, feeding the goats and chickens, and eating some delicious apples!

Friday, September 23, 2016

What We're Watching on Netflix

I love hearing what other people are watching on Netflix.  I don't love just watching anything because time is precious–especially being that we have four young-ish kids and just one to two hours to ourselves each night.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Thankful Thursday

Hey, friends!  Every week I write down 10 things that I am grateful for.  Here are my thankful items from this week:

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Music of Junk {Giveaway}

The Music of Junk is a high-energy 120-minute show where 11 different singers and musicians utilize instruments that have been made of out of, well, junk!  The creator Paul Snider came up with the idea when visiting Kenya years ago when he saw people reusing and re-purposing objects that had been in the trash.  The Music of Junk includes instruments such as a saxophone made from a bike and a harp from an old bed frame! 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Late Postpartum Preeclampsia

*I am thankful for those that share their stories here–we can learn so much through it.  Big high five to my sister Maria for bravely sharing a piece of hers.  I know this makes her uncomfortable but sometimes it's good to stretch.* 

In 2010 I was pregnant with my third child. I had a normal pregnancy, just as I had with our first two girls. On September 14 our little baby girl (9 lbs 7 oz) was born at 5:30 AM. The following week I developed pain in my abdomen and swelling in my feet.  They suspected a uterine infection, so I went for an ultrasound which they found no sign of infection (no debris left in uterus.) A few days later, 9 days post partum, I got a headache, a REAL headache. That Friday night I lay in pain from the pounding, Tylenol did not help and I could not sleep. I thought it was probably from having a newborn and a 2 and 4-year-old and being exhausted.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Thankful Thursday


Every week I write down 10 things that I am grateful for.  This is not because I'm faking happiness, it's because it helps to refocus my mind on the good.  So, this week I am thankful for:

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

How to Stay Warm and Comfortable While Camping

As I get older, my love for the outdoors continues to be a priority but a change I've noticed is that I like a bit more luxury; this willingness to spend a little extra money or add an extra pound to my pack is in the area of warmth and comfort.   I love versatile and innovative products and this Honcho Poncho by Therm-a-Rest is perfect for me!   We've taken it on three different adventures and this is how we used it...

Monday, September 12, 2016

Clothed in Confidence...and a Bikini

Several years ago women started posting photos of themselves in their bathing suits; they shared the message that it's important for our kids to see us confident in our skin and for other women to know that all they need to do to be bikini ready is to have a bikini and a body. I thought "That's great for them but I will never do that." It wasn't that I was embarrassed of how I looked (although that may have been part of it), it's that I don't like attention for things that are based on physical appearance.  How many more times in my life will I say "never" and then change my mind? 

 I have realized over the past few years that every time I see a woman in a bathing suit it makes me feel more comfortable.  

I've always worn a tankini, but this past summer, I broke out the bikini thanks to those that have shared their images.

If you want to wear a bikini, do it!
{There is a flowy top piece that has flipped up in case you're confused. And yes, I value not having a lot of sun exposure. Finally, because the number on the scale has generally been an issue for me and therefore probably some of you, this is 160ish lbs, folks.}

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Five Reasons to Love the MSR Windburner Stove System

As a person who has done many backpacking trips in her lifetime, having a good stove is an integral part of any trip.  From the West Coast Trail to Mount Baker to the Stein Valley there was nothing better at the end of a long hiking day than a good meal–I still remember some of my favourites from over 10 years ago (Pesto Chicken Pasta on the Stein Valley Trail in 2004 just to mention one).  From the very first time we used the Winderburner 1.8L Stove System , I knew it was a major win in our books.

Five Reasons I love the Windburner 1.8L Stove System:

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Thankful Thursday

It's so easy to get bogged down with negativity and/or hopelessness but taking time to practice gratitude can really change your day–it works for me!

This week I am thankful for: