The conversation started off with the weather changes we are experiencing in Canada and quickly progressed to natural global cycles. Do you believe that the world is in a natural state of warming that will change to a natural state of cooling and a second ice age? Or do you believe humans have accelerated the warming and by doing so have changed the natural global cycle of warming and cooling? Or are you like many families and just don't care either way?
For the first time since 1971 Canada has a nationwide White Christmas. Many areas are in the deep freeze that don't see below freezing all winter in Canada. Yes not all of Canada is a frozen wasteland, in fact not much of Canada never was a perpetual frozen wasteland.
Is the weather getting worse, more chaotic or has it always been the same intensity it is the increase in population and communication that has changed our perception of the weathers intensity?
Is it worth the gamble to be laissez faire about the state of the environment? Can we change the way we consume to make a difference or is it too late? Does it matter if your family recycles or not? Do you want to gamble our home on it?
I believe it matters, if every family, every home and every business made changes to the way they consume, shop and think about the environment then the world would have a chance to heal and our children's children will have a clean home to live in.
Like the Global Images - Check them out.
It is very frustrating when you buy a gift and a game to go with it only to find out that although the xbox360 version uses a dance mat but the wii version doesn't. We got the wii thinking it would be better than the xbox 360 - we have the original xbox and were disappointed at the lack of games for kids. We thought the nintendo Wii would provide a better gaming experience then all the others but we are wrong again!
The xbox 360 and PS3 have the high school musical 3 dance game with mat which gets the kids up and moving but the wii games utilizes just the hand motions so one could just sit and move their arms to play.
We now have a mat that can only be used with one game which we don't own and the kids can sit on the couch like potatos and play the game if they choose. The reason for the wii was to get them up and moving - which is limited at best. Until the games utilize both feet and arms, it will remain limited.
I am watching The Christmas Shoes Movie and it is hitting home because it parrallels my life at present. It's a story about how life and work can get in the way of what's important - family. Life is so short, when my kids were born I started scrapbooks for them not only to remember their lives, but also so if something happened to me they would know how much I loved them. I filled it with my dreams for them and my heart, then I stopped because life got in the way.
God has given me a wake up call tonight with The Christmas Shoes Movie. I'm crying so much that I have a lake of tears at the base of my neck. The movie is about two families, one a successful lawyer is too busy making money and buying things that show his affluence. He misses his daughters school performance and has grown away from his wife whom he wants to start working so they can have a larger home.
The other family is also a single income family but the father owns a automotive shop that is struggling yet he is content with the mother staying home with their son. Their lives are intertwined without the lawyer realizing that the boy he helps buy a pair of shoes for his dying mother is his wife's friend that is dying. He is too occupied to see what is happening around him or to understand what his wife and daughter need.
This story has hit home for me and has strong parallels to my present life, God talks to us in very unusual ways sometimes. My husband owns an automotive shop that is struggling, I have a son the same age as the boy with the dying mother. My son is very thoughtful, empathetic, and sensitive to my feelings and happiness, just like the boy in the movie listens to what his mom needs.
I recently went back to work and have been very very focused on work, putting in long hours and travelling for weeks at a time. I sacrifice time with my family for my career, money and me time. When I was home for the better part of 6 years, I sacrificed my career, money and me time to be with my kids. I've missed parent teacher interviews, celebration of learning, and assembly presentations in the short time I've been back at work. This week I'm out of town and lost a day due to car trouble so I was debating on whether I should go back for my son's Christmas Concert Thursday night because I'd be missing another day of work on Friday.
I am ashamed of myself, but couldn't see what I was doing to my family because I wasn't there to see it. I'm not going to tell my son that I'm coming, I want to surprise him. I can't wait to see him as the ballet dancing sheep! It also means I'll be home for 2 whole weeks on vacation, I plan on spending as much time doing things like making puzzles, playing Barbies, playing Wii and snowboarding with them.
I also want to start up my scrapbooks again, to continue recording their lives and my love for them in the pages. Life is so short and if I'm not here to tell them how much I love them, how proud I am of them, and my dreams for them - I want the books to be able to tell them for me. I pray to God that I will be around to see my children grow and have children of their own. I pray to God as much as I can that he'd send angels to my children to surround them with their wings and protect them. I know I have no control over the future and what happens to us, I pray that whatever happens though my children will feel I put them first.
I used to go all out at Christmas, I'd buy the latest Christmas decor editions of magazines and start baking in November. I used to buy presents, go over my list again, return some for better ones. My house was decorated by December 1st with boxes upon boxes of decorations.
It's a week 'til Christmas break and I finally put up the tree, well the kids did I just helped a bit. There is no baking and the gifts were bought in one day and wrapped in one morning. There used to be a pile of presents, now only a few in comparison are placed under the tree. When it was only my son to buy for he had 3 times the gifts that the two of them have now.
Advent used to be a gift every night before bed, usually things like underwear, socks, a chocolate bar and small toy with one larger gift every Sunday. Now it's one of those $1.00 advent calendars you buy at WalMart.
There's snow outside, it's -30C and the whole neighbourhood is lit up, so why don't I feel the Christmas Spirit?
The biggest change for me was going back to work, I now don't have lots of extra time on my hands to prepare for an all out Christmas Blow Out. I have more money but less spirit. I am tired and pre occupied with work that the Christmas Spirit has flown the coup here. The kids are excited and can't wait but the house is space when it comes to decorations and my excitement has disappeared.
I wrapped all the gifts and placed them under the tree. I know their eyes will be big and their excitement will only increase, but I won't be here, I'll be off on a sales trip for the week returning on the weekend. I will have a few more gifts hopefully ready to place under the tree but the hassle of shopping for them will have taken all the joy out of it for me.
The malls here are so busy I can only conclude that someone forgot to tell Alberta there is a recession. Every weekend the malls are packed, even weekdays are so busy I'm grumpy. The malls here are always busy even in non Christmas shopping months that I wonder why the news continues to talk doom and gloom here, when obviously most of the residents are still spending money on a regular basis.
Why am I such a scrooge though? Did I use up all my Christmas cheer in the first few Christmas' my children will not even remember? Does making more money mean less cheer? Will my kids see a full blown out Christmas to remember again? I used to love Christmas, now it seems like one more to do on the to do list.
Want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city or want to experience the most magestic place around? Canmore and Banff offer so much for a family that wants to experience the outdoors, from hiking to shopping to sking to hot springs, anyone can find something wonderful.
I spent a week at the Falcon Crest in Canmore in a beautiful one bedroom condo and it was like a home away from home. The outdoor hot tubs offer a romantic atmosphere and relaxing hot water to soak away the weariness from the day. It was snowing when I was there and some even jumped into the snow, not me though.
The days were cool but for the most part when the sun was out it was OK for me to go without a coat, but then I don't usually wear a coat unless it's -20 with wind.
The best part of my time there was taking pictures of the majestic Rocky Mountains as the sun illuminated the clouds that clung to their rugged peaks. The end of November and beginning of December is the area's between season and there are few people around. This time of year lends itself to beautiful photo opportunities that most are not around to see. It also is an affordable time of year for anyone wanting a quiet get away in a romantic setting.
The Falcon Crest was so luxerious with a large soaker tub, a huge shower and a fully equipped kitchen, granite included. The room had more TVs than my home, one in the main livingroom area and one in the bedroom, that was a treat for the kids when they came to visit.
The kids went window shopping in Banff while I worked. The best stores for kids are Duck Duck Goose, the Bare Moose, The Rock and Gem Store and the Silver Paper Rock store. Along with the fudgery, Cows and the Candy Stores. Want to have an old fashion family photo taken? Then check out Photo Adventures for an old fashion western family portrait. There is so much to do their even between seasons that I can't possibly fit it all in here.
I can't wait to go back with the kids and enjoy a quiet family weekend without the distractions of house cleaning, laundry, and other weekend chores.
The Falcon Crest Canmore AB
I was expecting Whitehorse Yukon to be a backwoods northern little town with nothing much to offer.... boy was I wrong!!!!! Whitehorse was filled with wonderful sites, amazing restaurants and friendly people.
There was shopping, history, siteseeing, and a fabulous state of the art rec center. The place reminded me of the BC interior with the mountains, valley, desert, and water. Many of the people I talked to told me they came for a vacation and stayed.
I was expecting backwoods and got a contemporary small town with 23 000 people living their with all the amenities we enjoy in the southern parts of Canada.
Tourism in the Yukon is one of the main economic idustries and they take care of their tourists, in fact there is free parking set aside for just tourists. As a tourist if you happen to get a parking ticket, you just go to the city hall and all is forgiven. In the summer the Wal Mart parking lot becomes a small RV city filled with tourists enjoying the beauty of nature the Yukon has to offer.
In November the days are short and the sun hangs on the southern horizon all day. Makes for amazing light for photography buffs.
If you get the chance to go north of the 60th parrellel take it, you won't be disappointed.