A book I found….

Several months ago, as I wandered around Chapters waiting on my daughter to spend her gift cards, I came across a book.

This book is called: Take a Hike with your children by Lynda Pianosi.

This book has 41 hikes in Banff, Canmore, Kanaskis. and Lake Louise.  All hikes are within 2 hrs of Calgary and are child friendly and all but a few are 5k or less.  

I bought the book.  And I decided that this summer I would take my children on as many as I could.

Today is Father’s Day. It is also our first opportunity to check out a hike in this book.  The descriptions are excellently written.  You know as a reader exactly the difficulty and terrain before you go.  It has a guide that tells the reader all sorts of things including if there are rest benches along the way and flush toilets or picnic tables or outhouses or if it’s sunny or shady.  It even gives a plan b for every hike which is things like a playground or visitor center, for the days the kids just aren’t going to go hiking.  

I highly recommend this book to every parent of young and old children!

Happy Father’s Day…

Today is Father’s Day.  A day intended to celebrate and honor all dads.  
Every year I try to plan an activity that we can do as a family.  We have had family bbqs in the backyard by the pool and get togethers with friends hiking and BBQing in kanaskis. We’ve gone to Calaway Park and Banff on the gondola.  We’ve gone mini golfing and swimming.  Every year is a bit different.  I like it that way.

But every year is also the same.  We celebrate the fact that my kids have a Godly father.  A man who sets a good example of love and hard work and dedication and concern for his family.  His faith is an example to his children and I.  We are grateful for him and we love him to the moon and back!

Loyalty…

I am by all accounts a very loyal and dedicated person.  I have been at the same job for 15 years.  We have attended the same church for 12 years. left for almost 3 to help start a new church, and have been back for a year now.  I have been married 21 years.  I am loyal, probably to a fault.

However, I am feeling quite guilty about my entire lack of loyalty in one thing.  That is homeschooling overseeing board.  I am committed to homeschooling and adapting it as my son’s needs require.  However, I find myself at the end of year 2 and unhappy with my facilitator.  We changed oversight boards in November when the NDP government tried to close Wisdom homeschooling.  An act the courts rejected, but we had already moved boards.  

Here I am working on my education plan for my son’s grade 4 year and I am just discontent and feeling the for isn’t there between what I’m trying to do and what my facilitator wants me to do.  

So going into year 3 of homeschooling and we will be moving forward with a new school board.  That’s 3 for 3!  I’m really hoping this one is the last one!  

I think it’ll be a good fit.  It should offer him opportunities to make some new friends and practice more of the social skills we’ve been learning the past 2 years.  Skills like self control and not being first.  

In the meantime I will take solice in my husband’s words…I am not disloyal.  I am simply looking to find a school board that can support me in the ways I believe is best for my son to learn at this point in time.  And for me I need a board that sees the value in technology and using it in education and doesn’t try to eliminate all technology from the education process.  There is certainly great things to be had from traditions and the way things used to be done.  And we shouldn’t throw that away entirely to embrace technology.  But there is a balance and Keilan does best with a balance of both, not either one alone.

From the mouths of babes…

Yesterday I was driving Keilan and Karyssa and Kianna.  Karyssa looks at me and says “You will be a great grandma!” Kianna responds “and you wont even give your grandkids candy!”.

I responded, “Oh yes I will! And then I will send them home to you!”

Kianna then said, “Ok, fine.  Then youll be a great grandma because you will come to Calaway Park with me and the kids and you will play with the little ones, while I am the Great Mama and ride all the rides with the big ones!”

I love my kids!  And I plan on being the involved and fun grandma.  But when the conversation is with my 5th and 8th grade daughters it is a bit weird! 

But in the meantime I will continue being the best mom I can and taking time to do the silly little things with them, like having a noon hour bbq for my daughter and her friends…which is what started the whole conversation!

What if we’d waited…

What if we had waited a couple more months to buy our home?  What if I hadn’t been able to convince Jason on March 4 to go to the Livingston Community original open house celebration?  What if we had decided to wait another 2 or 3 months to buy?

Well, I don’t think we would be buying.  At least we wouldn’t be developing the basement.  We for sure wouldn’t be getting what we are.

Our house that we are buying was the last small lot in phase one available through Jayman.  And to purchase the exact same house today would cost almost $50,000 more than when we signed March 6.  

At every turn Jayman has treated us amazingly well!  Yesterday we got our first photo weekly update of our home build.  We have had several issues that have come up along the way and they present us with the problem and solution simultaneously.  We got an enlarged upper floor and a 8 ft garage door instead of 6ft and a poured concrete patio instead of a wooden deck.  Of course all of these upgrades came at no charge to us since they were solutions to various problems that arose along the way.

I am super glad we bought when we did!  Otherwise homeownership wouldn’t be a mere few months away; it would be out of reach yet again!

Grossed out into a teaching moment…

This afternoon I took my son on a nice long walk and scooter ride and woods exploration along the Elbow River down by Lindsay Park.
We explored the river and learned how rocks make rapids and bees pollinate flowers and that makes our fruit.  We explored the deep growth along the river banks and ventured into dark bits of forest.  The exploring always calms my son.  The exercise and the green of the nature and sounds of nature are so helpful to his well being.
Then it happened.  Mama my shoe feels funny….

He’s stepped in human poo.  The stench was tremendous.  If I stayed calm I knew he would too.  So doing my best not to puke, I took his scooter.  I showed him how to drag his foot in the grass to try to clean his foot.  It was no use.  It had gotten on his ankle and his foot inside his shoe.  Luckily we were by the pool, so I took him inside the girls washroom and set him on the counter and cleaned his foot and shoes.  He was a trooper.

And the whole time we talked about how lucky we are to have a home and a washroom.  We aked about dignity and how it must feel to not have these things.  

In the end a disgusting situation could have led to him seeing homeless people on a far different light than he does.  He sympathized and empathizes and doesn’t blame anyone for the unfortunate disgusting thing that happened.  

Today we reonforced compassion and sympathy.  That is a good day indeed!

The overly generous gift…

Last week was Jason and my anniversary.  My mother-in-law happened to be visiting for our son’s High School graduation.  
Jason and I appreciate that money is uncertain and quite tight for her and so decided it was our goal to make sure she didn’t spend any money while at our place. 
Anyways she gave us a very generous gift, we felt it was too generous but it would hurt her feelings if we returned it.  So we went for dinner and I put the rest in my wallet for an emergency.

Tonight I went to Costco for some meat to bbq and a salad for supper.  When I was driving out of the parking lot, there was an older woman holding a sign.  As I got closer I could read the sign.
it said “My husband passed away.  Please help.”  She was weeping.  

It so happened I had that money in my wallet.  I pulled back into the parking lot.  I called Jason and asked him if it was ok if I give her the money.  He said yes.  So I pulled out my wallet and pulled out the $100 Bill.  I walked over to the weeping lady and handed her the folded up bill.  I gave her a hug and she thanked me.  We talked for a couple minutes, mostly her apologizing for crying and not being able to pull herself together and needing to do this and missing her husband of over 20 years.

So the very generous gift from our mom was used to bless this woman who was just starting the long journey of grief and loss my mother in law began 2 months ago.
God works in amazing ways!