Thursday, 25 July 2013

Pinterest Best Activity of the Week

I have popped more hooks in minnows'eyes than I ever "dreamed" I would this week (sorry vegan friends). The boys get up at the crack of dawn everyday asking if the fish are awake yet so they can go fishing. It's all catch and release of little perch but it has provided hours of fresh air and entertainment.
In celebration of the love of fishing, I have a posted a great activity from Crumb Bums.

I hope it leaves your little fishermen and fisherladies happy and entertained as well.
Before I forget, stay tuned for the month of August.  I will have the talented Nichol Kripki from Nik's Knack Home Organizing help me and my closets get straightened out.  We could all use a little advice to help with the clutter, am I right?  I can't wait to learn from her.
My next post will be a feature on mosquito repellent and mosquito bite remedies.  Please send me your special tips and tricks so we can share the love.
Send your tips and info to

Have a great day!

Saturday, 20 July 2013


When I purchased my carrot seeds I could taste the earthiness of the true garden carrot.  When I dropped the three different types of lettuce seeds into the earth and covered them up, I envisioned stopping by just before supper to pick up the main ingredient of a yummy and colourful salad.  When Phyllis, the owner of the land my garden is on, mentioned weeding, I looked forward to having my boys frolic through the tall grass while I effortlessly pulled the little mound of weeds in my lush garden.  Then reality hit.  The weeds invaded fast and strong and by the time I actually got a moment to do it I had to bring help (thank you Mom, Dad, Jenna and Ryan) and it took hours...and blisters!  As I planned for our vacation my mom reminded me that I needed to arrange for someone to come and pick the lettuce or it would go hard and that the carrots needed to be thinned out. What?! I was still trying to find someone to take the dog!
And the kids....well, maybe 4,2 and 10 months is a bit young for helping in a garden.  Although, they did do a good job of running pails of weeds to the pit (not Baby Goo, of course).  They are much too citified not to require supervision.  In time.  
Phyllis encouraged me by saying that at one time, she too, had no idea what she was doing.  Now she is a garden whiz kid.  My dad on the other hand took the other approach, "Or you could just go buy it at the grocery store".  Ryan and I both grew up with gardens and long for the taste of garden beans, carrots and raspberries.  Right now, the perfectionist/lazy girl in me wants to quit because it requires too many neural pathways to be created in my brain over too long of a time...but...for the bounty that is to come, I will press on!  There must be a trace of my family's green thumbness somewhere in me.  I will continue, I will break more blisters, endure more mosquito bites, fight for more time...all for the glorious dream of my own garden.  

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Mosquitos, leeches and frogs....ah vacations with boys

We just enjoyed our first full day here in Northern Manitoba (second day here but first day was recovery from the 12 hour all night drive from Alberta).  We all love Grandma and Grandpa's place on the lake.  First...there's Grandpa and Grandma, Then there's the boats, family and friends, the sea-doo, fishing, tonnes of grass to run around on, the garden and the....bugs!  (Mosquito repellent and bite remedies to come).
In just one day I have taken leeches (which I hate more than anything) off of my boys' hands, placed minnow heads on fish hooks,  taken small perch fish off of fish hooks, chased frogs and marvelled at catapillars.  What a great place for the boys to learn about animals.  Part of me wished we could learn about cute puppies or rabbits or something but these will do.
As I write, everyone is resting after a busy day and I am enjoying the view of the lake and the gigantic birch trees from my parents' sunroom.  What freaks me out is the constant drone of the mass of mosquitos on the other side of those walls!  I can see the bats happily diving in and around the trees for their tasting mosquito treat and I am hoping they get their fill so that there are a few thousand less mosquitos out eating away at my family tomorrow. But alas, this is one of the negatives of being in the wonderful lake country.  My dear friend Lindsay, as well as any other freakishly strong mosquito magnet would lose their minds here.
Enjoy some pictures from the beginning of our stay.
Note: I am using my iPad so pictures are small with no captions. Sorry. 

Friday, 12 July 2013

Tips for a great photo shoot

Summer is a great time for family photos.  I asked my dear friend, Karina, from Oohlala Photography to give us some good tips and hints on how to get the most out of our photo shoots.  I especially love the advice about the kids.  Enjoy! 

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Don't forget High River

As the rest of the world moves on, a little town in Southern Alberta is still suffering under the devastation of a natural disaster.  The people are surprisingly upbeat, focusing on the positives.  All this while their usually quiet community is buzzing with restoration vehicles, relief organization personnel, insurance agents and pumper trucks.  
The power of water cannot be ignored as boats are strewn around like paper all over parts of town, railroad tracks are twisted and power poles are snapped in half across yards.  And when we think of a flood we often think of just water.  The reality of a flood also includes mud, sewage and garbage.  People's belongings are hardly recognizable in the sludge they are dredged in.  The two feet of mud in basements leaves volunteers to shovel up the drowned toys, dishes, clothing and other personals into a pale to be dumped at the nearest garbage pile.  A child's writing from a mud slopped notebook reads, "I am thankful for the food that I get and my house that is cozy." The streets are lined with rotting kitchen appliances and heaps of rubble.  Windows are shattered in basements, doors and their frames are trashed and walls and stairs are damaged due to the urgent removal of large items like fridges and stoves.  To see the pictures is heart breaking. We give sorrowful sighs and then carry on with our days, occasionally wondering how we can help.  It is so easy to forget though, isn't it?  Meanwhile, some of the residents have not even seen their homes yet.  Water is still being pumped out of parts of town.  Hundreds of people are living in motels. campers, on college campuses or with family and friends.   
NOW is the time to remember High River and the other communities affected by the recent floods.  Now is the time to no longer wonder if they need volunteers but to make the call and make the time to help clean up.  Now is the time to give money to the organizations that will be helping the families and individuals who lost so much.  Now is the time to pray for those who are weary from the physical strain or the emotional strain that this storm has caused.  
There is still much to be done.  There are still tears to be shed.  There are still hugs to be given and hands to reach out.  Don't forget just yet. 

Here are a few organizations to contact for volunteer information: 

Friday, 5 July 2013

Great family day for $5

 For those of you who live in or are visiting the Calgary area, you won't want to miss out on this cheap day out with the family.  Spruce Meadows  is just 5 minutes south of Calgary off the 22X. Not only are there jumping horses but there are playgrounds, mini golf, and plenty of room to run and play.  We went during the week but I read on their website that from Friday to Sunday there are entertaining dog shows, pony and wagon rides.  On occasion, you will also find musical entertainment from various show bands.  The great part?  $5 for adults and kids under 12 are free. Free!  The boys and I enjoyed ourselves for three hours on $5.  So excited to have found this place.  We really got into the competition as well.  Bubblegum would cheer with hands up, "Yay horsie!!" 
The boys enjoyed the playground and all the international riders' children playing there. So many languages, I thought we were in another country. 

Every pocket of this park has something fun for the family. 

There wasn't a sign saying we were not allowed to climb the tree and I mean, the statue kids were climbing it so...

 I was unsure as to the "etiquette" of the audience during the competition.  The boys just couldn't resist the long grassy hill.  Just in case, I made sure they were at the top of the hill, sitting quietly when the horses passed us.  They turned that into a fun game. "Ruuuun! The horse is coming!" 

I loved how the boys applauded along with the crowd after each horse and "oohed" when the horse made a jump fault. 

Did I mention there is free parking?

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Happy July 4th!

Munch and Bubbs eating heir ice cream in celebration for our American friends and all we love about  The States.  Have a great day! 

Monday, 1 July 2013

Canada Day!

I love Canada Day.  There are a lot of things to do by the lake here and the fireworks are the family fave!  Here's a fun little quiz to see how well you know (or don't know) Canada.
Have a great July 1st!

Answers below.

1. What is Canada's national sport?

2. Canada is a major producer and consumer of what product?

3. What children's storybook was inspired by a Canadian bear?

4. Where does Canada rank in the world's largest countries?

5. Canada's name came from what First Nations language?

6. How many provinces and territories are in Canada?

7. What is Canada's population?

8. When was Canada confederated?

9. When was the $1 loonie introduced?

10. According to the 2004 show The Greatest Canadian, who is Canada's most famous person?

1. Lacrosse 2. cheese 3. Winnie-the-Pooh 4. second, Russia is the largest 5. Iroquoian word Kanata for 'village' 6. 10 provinces and 3 territories 7. (35, 141, 542)  8. (1867)  9. (1987) 10. Tommy Douglas