Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Winter Christmas Tree Arts and Crafts Project

The original plan was to share this great art and craft project by Marcie from purely as a guest post, but when I saw her amazing craft, I just had to do it with my girls straight away! 

Marcie very graciously let me turn her guest post into more of a collaborative post instead, as I will share my experience with doing this great craft for kids with my two girls.

First, here is Marcie!

Today I am sharing a winter holiday project.

I put this together by using the following;
•    red construction paper,
•    paint,
•    glitter,
•    glue,
•    paintbrush
•    And my finger!

Here is how to do it.

1)    Get some red or white construction paper.
2)    Take a black marker and make a triangle for the tree.
3)    Paint the inside of the triangle green.
4)    Using the paintbrush paint one finger and put it on the tree making lights with different colors. Make sure after you finished using one color to wipe the paint off your finger before adding another color.
5)    When the paint dries put some glue on the tree and add a little gold glitter.

painting Christmas tree craft project for kids

My girls and I had a lovely time doing this fun and easy craft project, and I loved all the excellent teaching moments that are so naturally built into this project as well.

Because my girls are younger, I drew the triangle myself but I was able to take a moment and talk about it with them. We talked about how many points and how many sides it has. As well I got them to trace over it with their finger a few times. 

Which they just loved! For real! It is marvelous seeing the world through a child’s eye because everything is so amazing and anything can be turned into a game! Even counting points and sides of a triangle!

When I brought out the paint and explained we were going to turn that triangle into a Christmas tree, they were so excited and continue to point to our Christmas tree and saying “We have a Christmas tree over there too!”
They had a great time painting and much to my delight there was little to no mess!
painting Christmas tree craft project for kids

They thought it was awesome that they were able to put paint on their finger and make little “lights” for the tree.

I saw this as a wonderful nature moment to share some mindfulness practices, so we talked about how the paint felt on their fingers, what it smelt like. We talked about the colours, and how the colours made them feel. It was such a naturally teaching moment, and it led to a beautifully simple discussion on how great it was to have paint on one’s finger!

Oh, to be a child again!

I think it goes without saying that glitter is always a big hit! 

I did have to help them as I did not want to be cleaning up glitter for years to come! Haha!

We had a great time with this fantastic winter holiday project and I know you will too!

These two just crack me up!

 I’m looking forward to what great arts and crafts project for kids Marcie will come up with next!
Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Clothespin Christmas Activity Advent Calendar

So if you are anything like me you might have left making you activity advent calendar to the last minute.....But don't worry! I got your back!

Christmas Advent Calendar Free Printable

Not only did I find this straightforward calendar but I have some great tips on how to pick fun yet low-stress activities for the month.

And I even made a free printable to make pulling this calendar together super easy!

I saw this inspiration for my cute advent calendar here. When I saw it I just loved it and thought that it would be no trouble at all to make!

Which is exactly what I needed since I left it to the last few days!

So Let's Get Started!

Things you will need:
  • A glue gun and glue
  • Tape
  • 25 clothes pins
  • A Cardboard Circle (the one I had was 4 inch)
  • Wrapping paper
  • A little piece of ribbon
  • My Free Printable

Christmas Advent Calendar Free Printable

Step One - You need to measure out your middle cardboard circle. So get the cardboard and your clothespins, lay out the clothespins to see how big of a circle you need. You could use a plate or a round lid to help you. I had a little 4-inch cardboard cake round that I used, which I think worked fine, but I did use mini clothes pins so if you are using regular size ones you will need a bigger circle. Once you know how big of a circle you need simply cut it out.

Step Two- Take the Cardboard circle, lay it down on the wrapping paper and then cut a piece of the wrapping paper that is about 1 - 2 inches bigger than your cardboard circle.

Step Three- To make it easier for myself, I glued the cardboard down to the middle of the wrapping paper.

Step Four- To make sure that you get a nice edge around the circle, snip toward the center of the cardboard circle without cutting the cardboard.

Christmas Advent Calendar Free Printable

Step Five- Once you have made those cuts all the way around fold them down on the cardboard and tape them down. You could glue them down if you wanted, I just found it quicker to tape them down!

Step Six- Turn the circle over so you have the nice side facing up and then with your glue gun, gun the clothe pins on. Make sure you have 25! I found these super cute little mini sparkly ones at my local dollar store which I just fell in love with! So I didn't have to decorate the clothespins myself! Now if you are using the regular ones, you can use them just as they are, which I think looks great! Or if you wanted you could very easier paint them, or even put some washi tape on them to make them a little fancier! Anyway once you are done whatever you want with them glue them to your cardboard circle. Make sure that you have the part of the clothespin that will hold the number facing out!

Christmas Advent Calendar Free Printable

Step Seven - Once the glue has dried, turn it over and make a loop with your ribbon and glue it to the back so you have something to hang it up with.

Step Eight - Print off your FREE PRINTABLE, to make sure they hold up longer I suggest printing them off on cardstock paper. Then cut them out.

Christmas Advent Calendar Free Printable
A little preview of your printable
Click HERE for your Free Printable

(An optional step is that you could laminate them to help them last until next year, you would just have to write the activity with a whiteboard mark.)

Christmas Advent Calendar Free Printable

I just love how it looks! With mine I really like how they over lap and the day you are on is the one that will show up on top. 

But if you do not like the overlapping look just remember to make you cardboard circle bigger that way you will have more space in between each of the clothespins.

Step Nine - The last step is now that you have the numbers all cut out and ready to go you just have to write each day activity on the back.

Here are some tips to keep the activities low stress.

Work in activities you already are planning to do. For example, I know that we will be going to get pictures with Santa, so I would use that as the activity for that day!

Plan on using decorating for the holidays as the activity or activities! I like to draw this out for a few days! For example, one day the activity will be setting up the Christmas and putting on the lights. Then the next day would be decorating the tree. I also use setting up the nativity as an activity on its own day.  So as you can see you could really spread that out! This will make life so much easier for you!

For younger children have Christmas coloring pages for them to do, I used this activity a few times last year it was so great because I would have them color while I was making dinner, and having them entertained while I made dinner made everyone happy!

So as you can see just keep it simple!

That way everyone can enjoy the activities including you!

I have also included a few links to other blogs that have lists with some more great activities you can use on your Christmas Advent Calendar this year. Go here, here and here!

So you should have no problem putting it all together, even if like me, you left it to the last minute!

Merry Christmas!!!
Tuesday, November 28, 2017

A Snowflake Coffee Filter Craft with a Mindfulness Teaching Bonus

This a fun winter craft that is great to do 
with a wide age range of children!

Things You Will Need:

  • Coffee Filter
  • Markers
  •  Scissors
  • Water Spray Bottle
  • Garage Bag

It really is a wonderfully simple craft to do that your kids will love, and very little clean which is always the best!

 Step One – Flat out the coffee filter and let your kids go crazy with colouring the filters. Let them colour them in whatever way they want, the more colour the better! 

Step Two – Now because my kids are young, I did this step myself but if you have older children they could do this step. You will want to hold the filter in half, 4 times, then cut out whatever snowflake design you would like! 

Step Three – Once you have them all cut, spread out the garbage bag. The bag is just to keep the clean up to a minimum. When you lay them on the bag be sure that they are not overlapping.

Step Four – This part my kids just loved! You get your Spray Bottle and spray the filters till they are completely wet. 

Step Five – Let them dry! I let them sit overnight to be sure they were fully dry.  Then once they are dry, put them up on display!

Another great thing about this craft is that there are some wonderful opportunities to teach your children the practice mindfulness, as you are colouring talk about the different colours, describe them, are they bright, dull, do the colours make you feel anything? When spraying the water on the coffee filters describes how the colour moves, talk about that movement.

As you have these simple discussions with your children you are teaching them to be in the present moment. You are helping them focus solely on what they are doing. And when you talk about how the colours may make them feel, you are teaching them to not judge themselves harshly when they feel a wide range of emotions. Which in the future may help them break out of a negative thought pattern.  

I hope you enjoyed this craft, be sure to subscribe to my blog that way you will never miss a post! There are a lot more crafts, and tips on practicing mindfulness to come! 
Monday, November 20, 2017

A Simple Craft to Teach Children About Mindfulness

As I continue to learn more about and start to practice mindfulness in my life, I also want to teach my children this as well so they can reap the benefits of this lifestyle practice.

While I was listening to a podcast about mindfulness (side note here, I cannot for the life of me remember which podcast it was, sorry! I really need to start writing these things down!) the guest (again can't remember who! Again I will start keeping notes!) brought up some simple ways to introduce mindfulness to children.

One way she brought up was by getting a snow globe and spending a few minutes and talking about the snowflakes. About how they are falling, fast or slow? Are the falling straight down or are they spinning around? Really whatever you want, the point is to take a minute or two and describe the flakes. By doing this you are living purely in the moment, just focusing fully on what you are doing in the present moment, observing the snowflakes.

This simple and short activity through play teaches children to just be present in the moment.

And me being me! I immediately thought I could do this as a craft with the girls!

They would love a homemade snow globe! 

And the best part is it really is a simple craft to make with kids!

Things that you will need:

Glass Jars (I used baby food jars but you could use mason jars as well)
A small toy that will fit on the lid
Baby Oil (you could use just water but I personal think the sparkles float better in baby oil)

If you are using baby food jars be sure to remove the labels first.

Then glue the small toy to the middle of the lid. And then set it aside to dry. I waited a day just to be on the save side but depending on what glue you decide to use you might not need to wait as long.

The next thing to do is add some sparkles to the jar, you don't really need a lot to have it look fantastic! Although if your children helps you pour in the sparkles you might end up with a lot more then you meant to! But that is fine, it still will look great!

Once you got the sparkles in there, pour in the oil. Just keep in mind that you can't fill it up too much as you will have to remember about the oil displacement due to the little toy on the lid.

Then once the oil is in there, and you make sure that the toy is stuck to lid really well, put some glue on around the edge of the lid and screw on the lid super tight!

Let it sit and dry.

Then once dry, have fun with your children watching the sparkles! Play around with it! Shack it up really hard and watch and talk about what happens.

It may seem simple but your kids will love it! 

And it will teach them all about living in the present moment. 
Tuesday, November 7, 2017

6 Months with Baby #3

And in a blink of an eye, we have pasted the 6-month mark! Every time I sit down to write these monthly letters it always blows me away on how fast time seems to pass.

The other things that always gets me, is how much you continue to grow and change even within these first few months.

You are now rolling both ways, front to back and back to front. This has been great as you seem to love the ability to control how you spend your time on the floor. The only downside about this is that it freaks me out a little because when you are rolling from being on your tummy going to your back; it always looks like you are going to break your bottom arm, due to how far you seem to bend it! I have to hold myself back to running and helping you every time and give you a chance to figure it out yourself. And low and behold you always work it out and will roll over with no problems, so I guess I need to have a little more faith! 

This last month you toys have become your favourite thing! You have shocked me a few times on how excited you get after I have given you a toy! You just seem to find such joy in the bright colour or the delightful sounds they often make. And of course, at this stage of life, everything goes straight into your mouth! So the better you are able to chomp down on a toy the more of a favourite that toy seems to become!

And the fact that toys are entertaining you more has given your sisters another way to play with you! They are so good and enjoy fetching your toys over and over again as you learn about gravity and its effect on your toys. Thank goodness cause I can only play that game for so long!

Speaking of your sisters, I swear they love you more and more with each passing day! They are so good at helping cheers you up or keeping you entertained or grab things for you. Sometimes I worry that they show their love a little too strongly but you just seem to soak it all in! You love it when they act silly and will show your delight by laughing and laughing! This, of course, encourages them to act even sillier and you just love it! They are always able to get really good belly laughs from you, I just love watching you three play!

On the sleep front, we are still doing well. At night you now consistently only waking once or twice, which I'm fine with.

And you are taking longer naps now, which have improved your mood greatly during the day. The only thing that is hard is that because you have two busy older sisters, you often don't get a really good morning nap because we are often out of the house.  Sadly I'm not too sure what to do about that because I can't eliminate those activities or outings. Luckily you are pretty good at falling asleep in the car so you do get a few little cat naps, which I guess is better than nothing. What I do try is make sure that we are home in the afternoon so you get at least one good nap a day. 

Your love of solid food is also growing more and more, and the reason I know this is because when I'm feeding you will often give little grunts indicating you need more food in your mouth! I need to get in on video because I find it hilarious! And oh so cute! I feel like you might start eating us out of house and home before your first birthday!

I know that you do have your grumpy moments from time to time but we are so happy and blessed to have you in our lives. You have been with us for only 6 months and yet so quickly you have become irreplaceable. 

We love you so much and look forward to spending much more time with you!

baby photo

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

5 Simple Things Yo Can Do To Be More Mindful

I’m new in this journey of practicing mindfulness.

 So I’m taking baby steps, by making small and simple changes in my life.

Now although they are small changes, they have been helping me so much in being more present. 

So here are the 5 simple things I’m doing to have a more mindful day. 

1) Give yourself 20 more minutes to get ready and out the door. 

For me, the morning is often when I feel the most rushed and stressed! This can unfortunately lead to me freaking out as I try and get three little ones out the door on time. 

But by just waking up 20 minutes earlier, it gives me time to get myself already first and then get the kids up. And because I’m already dressed  I can give them all my time and attention and even enjoy the morning routine as we get ready to take one the day! 

2) When your child says “Mommy, (or maybe Daddy for you) Look at me! Just stop what you are doing and take the minute or two it will truly take and look! Just give them the attention they need. 

I don’t know about you but this request always seems to come right when I feel I can’t give them the attention they want.  

I will say “Please just wait, I’ll be there in a minute” or something like that, then comes the “mommy, mommy look, look!” over and over again! 

And the stress level would raise and in the end no one was happy. 

So I ran an experiment, when they would say “Look at me!” I would stop whatever I was doing and give them my full attention.

 And do you know what happened, it took less than 5 minutes then I could go right back to what I was do.

Now let’s keep it real here, yes there are times when I cannot stop what I’m doing and they do have to wait. 

But the more I strive to become more mindful and enjoy the present moment when they do have to wait, they seem to handle it better. 

3) Look them in the eyes and give them a sincere thank you. 

This is easily my favorite new practice. 

At the bare minimum I tried to do this each night before they go to bed. I give each of my children a big hug and thank them for all the wonderful things they did that day. 

And even on what feels like the worst day there is also something that they did well, even if it was for only a second! 

I have found by always being mindful and being on the lookout for those positive moments it has helped them to know how appreciated they are and how their actions add so much to creating a loving and safe family.

You should see how big they smile when I express my sincere gratitude for their good deeds. By saying thank you it helps them realize that they are an important and valued member of the family. And by focusing more on the positive, it has helped to create more positive moments. 

4) Ask yourself “Does this really matter?” or “This is really that important?” 

By asking those simple questions and doing a quick evaluation, does it really matter if they want to wear some dress up clothes to bed? Does it really matter that they are getting all muddy in that puddle? 

Maybe sometimes it does, but by doing that quick check it has lead me to worry less and given myself permission to just let it go! And just feel the joy that comes with kids feel happy and laughter in the simplest things! 

5) Have family dinner together.

There is a lot of research out there that has shown the importance and benefit of eating dinner together, so this is something I try to plan and prepare for each day. 

It doesn't always happen but when it does it gives us a wonderful opportunity to just be present with each other. It gives us a great chance to hear about each other’s day, to listen to each other’s high and low moment of the day.  And give each other the support and love we all need. each 

And let’s be honest with my kids being pretty young, I just find it so adorable to hear their recap of the day and what the highlight was for them. 

These are the five things I’m focusing on to live a more mindful life. 

I’m far from perfect at it but as I practice being able to pay attention to my emotions and actions without harshly judging myself. 

I can recognize the areas in which I’m doing well as well as the area I need improvement in. 

I would love to have you join me in this journey of self-growth and mindfulness, sign up through email and you will never miss a post! 

mindfulness mindful lifestyle 5 simple things

Monday, October 30, 2017

Simple Halloween Painting Craft

Who doesn't need a super easy Halloween Craft!?!?!

One of my favorite Halloween crafts to do with my kids is also one of the simplest. Painting those adorable baby pumpkins!

It needs very few materials, and if you put in place a few easy tricks, cleanup is also pretty simple.

What you’ll need:
A few baby pumpkins
Paint and brushes
1 or 2 Garbage bags
Some sort of painting shirts or aprons

The biggest trick to make clean up super easy, take those garbage bags cut along two side before laying it on the table, that way you don’t have to worry about wiping any paint of the table.

Super Simple!

Then get those paints and brushes out.

And don't for get to put on those aprons or today we just used bibs! 

I usually just let the kids pick 3 -5 colors. I found they don’t need all that many colors and by limiting the amount of colors, cleanup is much easier!

And then let the kids go nuts!

Halloween craft painting baby pumpkins

There really is not a lot of set up for this craft but lots of fun and creativity! 

Halloween craft painting baby pumpkins

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Becoming more Mindful

What is mindfulness? It really is becoming more present in every moment of the day. It is turning off the auto pilot when we going about our daily routines. 

It is something that Mike and I seem to talk about quite a bit. We often discus how we can become more mindful and how we can teach our children to be mindful in their lives as well. 

I borrowed a book from the library called "Mindful Monkey, Happy Panda" By Lauren Alderfer and Kerry Lee MacLean. What a wonderful book! My girls loved it and it was a great way to talk about living a more mindful live. Although it was written for children, I found it so helpful for myself as well! It was a great  reminder to be present in each moment of the day. 

Now I'll be honest I'm still working on training my brain to slow down or turn off, instead of continually thinking of what I need to be doing next. I have a goal that one day I can do even the most mundane task and still be able to be present in that moment and even be thankful for that task. 

Honestly I feel like my girls are really good at this all end, whither they are playing, colouring or cleaning. You can tell that is all they are thinking about, they are enjoying the moment and truly living in it. 

Maybe I don't really need to teach them how to be mindful but remind them not to forget how to do it as they grow old and become more and more caught up in the idea that life is a race instead of a journey. 

mindfulness quote Jon kabat zinn

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A tree full of thanks

Growing up at thanksgiving before we started eating we would go around the table and say what we were thankful for. It was a tradition that I may not have fully appreciated growing up but now with a family of my own I love it and see the great lessons it can teach.

This year I have expanded the tradition making it a month long event. By doing this it has helped me so much in seeing the joy in everyday life and truly being grateful for the simple things that can easily over look.

I didn't really know what to expect from the girls, and I was unsure on how to explain to them what we were doing and why it is so important be be thankful for all that we have.

In the end I have kept the explanation to a minimum and have tried to focus more on the conversion that can it open up. Most days it is short, but it definitely has given the girls time to reflect on their day and share with us something that is important to them.

To try and ensure that the conversation really means something to them, I thought it was best for the girls to truly come up and share their own though. So I consciously do not give them any prompts on what they should say. Okay, that is not completely true the one prompt they get is that Mike and I go first and then they have their turns. Anyway after they have shared I do try and build on it, explain why what they have said is so important in our life or why it is good to be grateful for that thing or person. Or even ask them how what they said makes them feel. It has been so wonderful and we are not even half way through the month!

So far there has been time were they have just copied Mike or myself or copied each other, or sometimes you can tell they just said whatever they saw first after I asked them what they were thankful for. But I feel like that doesn't matter, they are learning and growing and I know that each year it will mean more to them! Well at least that's what I hope happens!

Highlights so far; the first night that Violet 100% came up with her own thing she was thankful for and did not just copy Mike, Rose, or myself. And then with family visiting Rose said "Uncle Eric" and went over and gave him a big hug.

I'm looking forward to seeing our tree fill with all the things we are thankful for. 

Thankfulness Tree Paper

Rock Painting

All the way back when we first moved in to our new home, we have had a huge pile of rocks sitting by our house. They have been sitting there gather dust and becoming a lovely home for far too many spiders for my liking. The rocks sat there waiting for moss to grow and find their destiny.

Then late this summer with a huge amount of help from our wonderful neighbors, we finally finish the landscaping between our two homes, and that is when it suddenly became clear what fate had in store for those solid mineral material, art! They were to become the outlet for creativity. They would become a child's master piece. 

Step One: Create a blank canvas 

rock painting craft tutorial
Step Two: Pick the coldest windiest day to let the little ones out to paint to their hearts delight

Step Three : Admire their work and see how each brush stroke is filled with joy and excitement.

rock painting craft tutorial

rock painting craft tutorial

rock painting craft tutorial

rock painting craft tutorial

Step Four: Paint one yourself but remember to tell everyone that a child painted it because it very much looks that way.

rock painting craft tutorial

Step Five: Create a few sentimental masterpieces cause they are only this little once

Step Six (which has yet to happen) Let your husband get in a good workout and move these beautiful works of art to their final home to be displayed with love and pride for all to see.

Monday, September 25, 2017

5 Months with Baby Number 3

This past month has been quite a busy month so your 5 month mark really just snuck up on me!

We met with our family doctor a few days before you hit 5 month, we went to see her to check on your weight. And although you did gain some weight it was not as much as she would have liked to see. So with you been a little bit older and sitting up a little better on your own, we have started you on solid foods. At this moment we are starting in a few traditional way and just rice cereal. The first time we gave you some, you did not know what to make of it! You really only ate a few bites before letting me know you were done! But the next when it was time to feed you, you totally seemed to get the hang of it and ate it all up! I think it is going to be a lot of fun watching you enjoying solid foods, I have a feeling that you are going to turn into a bottomless pit like your Father.

You are still only rolling one way, you have yet to figure out how to get from your stomach to your back but you will now stay happily on your stomach for so much longer. This has been so nice because you are very quick to roll on your tummy when I put you down, and which in the past would lead to a whole lot of crying and me not getting a whole lot down with you always being in my arms! So now with you finally realizing that been on your stomach is not that bad of a thing has led to a lot more happy moments for both you and I.

Speaking of happy moments you're sleeping sooooo much better! About a week before your 5 month mark both your Father and I had really hit a wall. We were both feeling exhausted and really at the end of our rope with your "I'm never going to sleep unless it is in your arms" attitude. So we finally decided that it was time for you to move to your own room and that it was time for you to learn how to fall asleep on your own. It has been the best decide we have made! Yes, the first night you were a bit upset but every night and nap since you are falling asleep quicker and quicker and you are staying asleep for longer and longer. It is amazing!!! I can see a huge difference in your countenance, you are happier and content for longer periods of time. This has led you to explore more and be entertained by your sisters and your toys for longer and longer. It really feels like we have turned a big corner, I really hope this continues.

You are such a wonderful baby, and by getting more sleep I can see more and more just how wonderful you are. I get to see better how much you love to watch and try to play with your big sisters. With you taking better naps you are now in a better mood when your Daddy gets home and you just light up when he walks through the door. It is the greatest thing to see and it makes my heart want to burst!

I look forward to the coming months watching you grow and learn.

I love how in this picture it looks like you are jumping for joy! When you are full and well rested baby you are definitely the happiest baby ever! 

Cake Club

When a local coffee shop advertised that they were going to be starting a cake club, my taste buds started to dance and I was very intrigued.

At first even with that burst of excitement I was unsure if I really should sign up. I already have lots on my plate and a never ending to do list that feels like it never gets any short, so was it really a good idea to add one more thing to my life....... well at first I told myself "No" I had enough going on and that my waistline really didn't need me add more cake into my life. But I keep thinking about it and kept dreaming up ideas for cake... and there may have been one or two nights where I found myself up much too late lost in never ending google searches for cake designs.

So I change my mind clearly I was thinking about it way too much to not do it!

Now about my cake well at first I had my heart set on doing a mirror glaze cake, I wanted to challenge myself to do something I had never done before. But in the end things I wasn't able to find a few things that I felt I need to accomplish that type of cake, so I chicken out. And with Google’s help I came up with a plan B.

I decided to bake a pumpkin spice cake, tis the season after all. And normally I don't toot my own horn like this BUT it was DELICIOUS!!! The cream cheese icing was just amazing! Yeah, I could have ate the whole thing myself, no problem!!!

I ran into my first problem after I had baked and stacked the cakes, it was not high enough for the design that I had planned to do! I felt defeated, I was already a little discouraged with the fact that I was not doing a mirror cake so to hit another wall already was crushing.

I had to take a step back and give myself to regroup and come up with a solution or maybe a whole new design plan.

During my little break, I started messaging a good friend and thankfully she helped come up with a way to make it work with a very simple switch in the plan. So thankfully I was feeling better about the whole cake club idea and was able to finish my cake!

As you can see from the picture below, I add a bit of caramel sauce in between layer for that little bit extra of goodness.

It is starting to come together!

Final the product!

Fall Leaf Cake

I could go through and list on a millions things I wish I could have done differently or what didn't turn out as well as I would have liked but I'm trying to overcome my perfectionist side and just be happy that I completed my goal of make a cake and continuing to practice the decorating skills I learned in the classes I took. And it really didn't turn out too bad. 

The meetup itself was fantastic! The husband and wife who run and own the coffee shop are just amazing. She made some out of this world cakes! So yummy! She even made one inside a pumpkin! It turned out so well, it was so moist and tasty! 

The others that turned up for the club were just so nice and everyone seem to enjoying chatting about everything and anything and oh course tasting everyone's cake or treat they brought! 

I really had a wonderful time and I can't wait for next month! 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

First Day Of Preschool

Well it arrived and what felt like a lot sooner than it should have.

Rose's very first day of preschool!

I stayed up the night before way longer than I should have pacing back and forth making sure I got everything from her school list. There were only four things, a few rolls on paper towel, a box of tissues, an extra change of clothes just in case and indoor shoes. And yet I probably checked and rechecked that bag a million times!

We have been talking about going to school off and on the whole summer getting her use to the idea of going. Than the last few weeks before it started, pretty much every day we brought up school in some way. We talked about how she would be learning French and practiced saying "Bonjour!" to her teacher. We worked on her overcoming her fear of very noisy toilets and having her practice using the toilet without a children’s toilet sit. And with that she worked on wiping all by herself. We talked about having good listening ears for the teachers and to share and use gentle hands with her classmates.

And she loved talking about school and getting ready to go.  It was so cute to see how of herself she would get when she did not use her toilet sit and just balanced. She was and is excited to learn French because she will be just like one of Peppa pig's friends who speaks French.

So after all that pre work and stress completely on my part, this morning when I went to wake her up she pretty much flew out of bed, running to get her school shoes that she was finally allowed to wear. Yet she still had to wait till got to school to put them on!

She picked out her clothes, choosing (with no surprise) a bright pink shirt and wanting her hair done with two braids like Princess Anna. She was so good at keeping on task and then letting me take a million pictures of her on this very important day.

On the way there both girls loved pointing out all the school buses they saw along the way. They were just thrilled at how many they saw!

Then the big moment had arrived I had to say goodbye to my little baby and let her go and let her grow into a big girl.

I was so proud when she saw her teacher said very clearly and loudly said “Bonjour!” and she looked up at me and smiled knew she had done what we had been practicing.

She gave my leg a squeeze and waved good bye and didn't look back! I, on the other hand looked back a dozen times!

When it was time to pick her up, she was in great spirits and excited to see me and gave Violet and Keith big hugs. The teachers said she did great. No Problems.

When I asked her what her favorite part of school was she said "snack!"

That's my girl!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Trip to British Columbia

Our last few days of summer were filled with hours in the van and the sounds of the sea as we took a trip and drove out to Vancouver Island for our family holidays.
It was filled with wonderful, good and "what were we thinking!?!?" moments.
A lot of the "what were we thinking!?!?" moments happened in the van as we spent 29 hours (that is driving time only, that does not including all the stops we had to make) that is 2,292 km in our van with a 3 year old, a 2 year old, and a 4 month old baby! Yeah! What were we thinking!?!?! LOL

Our little 3 year old actually did very well; she was able to keep herself happy by just looking out the window for a lot of the time. And when she got bored of that, I had a whole bag full of toys, coluring books, and stickers to entertain her. This worked well for her.

Our lovely little 2 year old was not able to be as content. And after a few hours of sitting of the vehicle she would reach her limit and yell and scream to get out!  No toys or stickers would calm her down, poor girl. Thankfully when she would reach her limit we often had to stop so I could feed the baby so she was able to get out and walk around for a little bit.

As for our little sweet baby, in the van there were a lot of times that he was not so sweet. Poor guy! He just got sick of being in his car seat and just wanted to be held. But obviously I couldn’t hold him while driving so the poor guy would just scream and scream and there was nothing we could do. Poor poor baby! L

Each day as we arrived at our hotel for the night everyone was very happy to be out of the van!!

 That was the hardest part, being stuck in the van for hours and hours on end. Besides that we had a lot of fun on our family holiday!

We spent a lot of our time walking around exploring a lot of different parks. We spent a lot of time in Stanley Park, which is our favorite spot to visit when we are in Vancouver.

When we went over to Vancouver Island, we loved walking by the sea and taking in all the sights, sounds, and smells! The girls thought it was hilarious to keep saying “It’s stinky!” But they loved looking for shells and searching for crabs hiding under the rocks.

Butchart gardens were just gorgeous; something I would suggest to anyone visiting Victoria should go and see. I don’t think I have seen so many flowers in my life! It is so well taken care of and just beautifully designed Even with it just being flowers and girls really seemed to enjoy themselves. There is no question that they like all the water fountains the best!

We also really enjoyed strolling around Fort Rodd Hill and the Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Site. 

Another highlight for the girls was the two ferry boat ride we took this vacation. Rose was so excited to go on the big white boat! She still talks about it!

We stayed 3 nights in a super fancy resort call Bear Mountain resort. It was really nice! And thanks to airmiles we were able to enjoy it all for free! We did splurge and have dinner at one of their restaurants. We felt a little out of place as we were looking a little frazzled after traveling in the van for a few hours, wearing comfort clothes and everyone else there was all dressed up really nicely and no one else had young kids. So I’m sure they all were super happy when we came in and sat down! But it was delicious! And the view we got to enjoy while eating was breathtaking.

We also were able to visit with some of my extended family who live out in B.C. I don’t get to see them very often so it was really nice to touch up for a bit. One always wishes those visits could be longer.

It was so nice to end our summer with this wonderful trip. I’m so grateful that Mike had the ability to take a little bit of time off work and have some good family time.

But next family vacation I want to go someplace close (or fly) and just stay in one spot! It is hard work packing and unpacking the van pretty much every day! 

This is an 800 year old tree!