Monday, January 30, 2017

How to Prepare for Snowshoeing

One winter activity that I enjoy is snowshoeing. It's affordable as we own our own snowshoes and use the free trails. Even if you end up renting, it is still a great way to get the alpine experience without spending a lot of money. It is also easy for people of all ages and abilities as the mountains have a variety of terrain in their snowshoe trails.  I've been in a number of weather conditions and often you don't really know what to expect so these would be my recommendations for a safe and comfortable time:

Friday, January 27, 2017

What I Know About Parenting: Eight Tips for Everyday Life

First off, let me say that I am not claiming to know how to be a great parent. What I am sharing is what I have learned about parenting over the past 10 years. Yes, I'm a bit of an information seeker and have gleaned ideas from experts, classes, books and fellow parents. I've sifted through all of the facts and opinions and have taken what has worked for our family and am continuously open to learning more. This whole parenting gig is a lot more complex than I initially believed and I appreciate that we are able to learn from each other. We have a range of personalities and needs in our family and I feel like these tips address many factors.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Why I Love Monday Mornings

Most people dread Monday mornings. The memes start filling my Facebook feed on Sunday with jokes about it feeling like the weekend just started nine minutes ago or the face of an inconsolable toddler entitled “Monday’s coming”. I love the start of a new week. I have four loud kids and we play hard on the weekends– exploring, visiting family and friends, and just a whole lot of time together in seemingly small places where the volume is amplified. On Monday mornings three of the kids head out the door alongside my husband and my whole body exhales. I feel an instant wave of relief and relaxation pour over my body. Sure, I have a house to clean, laundry to do, and grocery shopping on the list, but it’s relatively quiet. My four-year-old daughter and I have the whole day together with very few obligations. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Fort Langley National Historic Site with the Parks Canada Discovery Pass

This year we celebrate Canada's 150th birthday which means that all National Parks are free to enter with your Parks Canada Discovery Pass. We decided to check out Fort Langley National Historic Site as it is local to us. The Hudson's Bay Company fur trading post was built in 1827 and was used for fur trading, shipping cranberries and salted salmon, and as a provisioning post with the gold rush of 1858. 

Fort Langley National Historic Site

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Importance of Friendship

Let's talk about friendship. One of the most important things to me in regards to my children is that they make good friends. I hope that they will feel known, loved and supported by these people in their lives. I know the day is coming soon where their friend's opinion may mean more than mine–a time where they may feel more comfortable confiding in someone else. I am thankful for the positive influences in my life that have provided encouragement and support and have helped me to see the world through different lenses.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Thankful Thursday

Every Thursay I take time to reflect and focus on gratitude. This week I am asking everyone in the family for one thing they are thankful for:

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

How Biological Kids are Affected by Foster Siblings

One of our greatest concerns when we decided to go ahead with becoming a foster family was how it would affect our biological kids. Would our kids get hurt? Would they learn bad behaviours? Would they be upset at having to share us with another child? Would they be able to handle saying "goodbye"? We have been so pleasantly surprised with just how well they have adapted. Our kids are not perfect and I know they could just as easily teach someone else naughty words or behaviour. What has really impressed me is how each of them has been able to connect with our Little One in their own way.  Kai is able to offer comfort, Koen's goofiness provides laughter, and Nya's gentle nature means she is a perfect playmate. 

I put together a little video so you can hear it from the kids themselves.  They aren't super "Rah rah rah!" about it but that could be because I made them sit still and answer questions. It's just a normal part of their life to have an extra sibling around and so they don't often think about the pros and cons of it.

Love our family and thankful the kids are on board with what we've decided to do. I don't know what the future holds. I don't know if we will foster again. I do know that for now we have room in our hearts and home for this Little One.


Monday, January 16, 2017

Where We Netflix

We love having Netflix in our home because of it's portability, affordability, the lack of commercials and the variety of shows offering something for everyone. We're a family that does not have a lot of screen time, but do appreciate a good show each day.  

What are some great times to use Netflix? From exercising to travel, it's got you covered!

Where and when does most of our Netflix-ing happen? 

1.  Making dinner. I love having something like Friends on–I don't need to pay close attention and it keeps me entertained while doing something I don't really enjoy.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Grouse Mountain with the Kids {The Peak of Christmas}

Several weeks ago we bought an annual family pass to Grouse Mountain. Gary and I had an amazing snowhoeing date and with sunny skies this weekend we decided to go up with the kids. I was nervous that it would be too cold or that they would be tired of the snow due to the fact that we've had it around for about a month now. We were pleasantly suprised with their positive attitudes and how easily they were entertained!  

Grouse Mountain Peak of Christmas

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Thankful Thursday

I will apologize in advance that most of my thankful items and photos are taken from our main living area. I did not venture far this week because I had the flu and it was freezing cold and super icy outside. No, I did not get a flu shot but I did get it for two of my four kids. I'm feeling the pull towards depression right now due to life (flu, weather, Gary has basketball like 12/14 days in a row, busy schedule etc) so I'm really hoping that now that I'm starting to feel physically better I can put more self-care into action!

Monday, January 09, 2017

Being Brave in Marriage

While sifting through my old journals, cards and letters trying to find correspondence with my oma that recently passed away, I came across the journal that contained the dating journey for Gary and I.  Over the next hour, I read two years worth of messy feelings out loud to him (just the parts that related to him–I wrote a lot). He had never heard half of the vulnerable thoughts that I had and now I felt comfortable sharing them over 12 years later.  

Sunday, January 08, 2017

What to Know About Autism

I want to thank Bethany, my guest poster, for sharing her knowledge on autism with us.  Did you know that autism affects 1 in 66 children in Canada?  I learned this recently and was so surprised at how common it is.  If you think this doesn't affect you in any way, you may be surprised as autism is a spectrum and someone you know and love could very well be on it. Finally, if time is limited, there is a chart included that is a very useful tool. Thank you to Bethany for the oodles of time she put into this post.

Autism prevalence for children and youth in Canada

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Thankful Thursday

My goal for this year is to rest.  This doesn't mean sit on the couch binge-watching Netflix (although I am loving Luke Cage), it means taking time to quiet my mind.  This week I had several great opporutunities to rest and I am thankful for:

Monday, January 02, 2017

Snowshoeing Date on Grouse Mountain

Gary and I had an adventure date planned as my Christmas gift to him.  Normally we go snowshoeing first thing in the morning (which I do recommend safety wise) but in order to experience the Light Walk we went up in the afternoon.  I had never been snowshoeing at Grouse Mountain and we decided to make the most of it by getting a family annual pass that was on sale so that we can do the Peak of Christmas with the kids next December.  Also, my hope is to do some hiking there in the summer and the Grouse Grind a time or two.