Global Warming - Does your family Care?

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.

Technically Challanged MOM - Wii Dance Mat but Not Wii dance games!!!

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.

The Christmas Shoes Movie - A Lesson on What's Important in Life

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.

Christmas - What Happened? I've become a Scrooge

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.

Canmore / Banff Alberta makes for a Wonderful Family Holiday

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

Whitehorse Yukon - Unexpected Beauty and Hospitality

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.

Why do People Choose to Become Soldiers

You know the recruitment slogan, "be all you can be." Commercials targeted at youth ask them to consider a life in the armed forces. Since I am sitting in my home safe and sound, watching the TV I couldn't help wonder, why young men and women decide to join the armed forces.

With an unpopular war being waged 1/2 way around the world, what compels a young adult to choose to go and fight?

As a mother, the idea of my child going to war, let alone volunteering, scares me. My children are young and concerned about social injustice, they hope they never have to go to war or anyone they love has to go to war. I can't imagine the worry, anxiety and stress a mother goes through when their child chooses to go into the military.

Don't get me wrong I think that making the choice to enter into the military is an Honorable choice, one to be proud of. I just don't understand it myself and I fear that one day my children may choose a life in a war zone.

What compels a young adult to put themselves through the vigerous training to then put themselves in harms way? The army doesn't pay danger pay so it can't be for the money. It has to be something more, something that most of the industrialized population lack and don't understand.

To those that do choose to take up the call "to be all you can be," THANK YOU. What you have choosen to do with your life is beyond your self and I hope that you will come through it safe and sound for the sake of your mothers. Many have died protecting their nation, fighting for what they believed to be the right cause and they gave the one thing that cannot be taken back, their lives. They are to be remembered, respected, and appreciated.

To the mothers.... Thank you for supporting your child's decision and standing behind them, even though I hope never to be in your shoes. I thank you for being a better person then me and filling those shoes.

War Movies Should Inspire Peace not be a Source of Enjoyment

Yesterday was Remembrance Day, one of the most important days in the year. My kids amaze me every year by their understanding of how terrible war is and yet so many are entertained by the movies war inspires.

I can't watch a war movie, classic or contemporary, without being touched by the sacrifice many made on my behalf. I have a hard time watching these types of movies and yet they make millions of dollars because society loves to watch them.

These movies should change the world to ensure that more young people don't die as a result of it. Yet men and women around the world are fighting different wars while we sit here watching, numb and detached from the realities of war.

My children fear that someone they know will have to go to war. My son especially is scared of the future and what war it will bring. We don't subject them to the news or any type of war movie or tv show. The only knowledge they have about the horrors of war come from Remembrance Day ceremonies and their imaginations.

Adults know more about the horrors of war and yet we don't hail our soldiers as heroes and many don't appreciate what they have sacrificed so we can enjoy freedoms and live the lives we do. War movies should be helping inspire empathy, gratitude, and peace not to enjoy watching how men and women suffered for our freedoms.

They Aren't Fighting but They are Driving Me Nuts

The kids are playing and being very very silly. The noise level is deafening and I'm exhausted after a long week at work so it's irritating. Sending then to another level of the house helps - I know I'm in trouble when their laughs are as irritating as their whining and bickering.

I am fortunate that they are able to get up on their own and play together keeping each other entertained until I get enough sleep. After another night of insomnia I really needed the sleep.

They were trained right from being little to amuse themselves Saturday morning, whether they grab a snack and watch Cartoons or play together. It sure has paid off.

There is Never Enough Time or Energy for the Working MOM

Oh man I'm exhausted which is keeping me from being motivated at work. Which during this week is a big NO NO, I need all the energy and motivation possible. As a working mom what do you do to get more time and energy in your day?

I am so exhausted at the moment any and all ideas are welcome.

Kids Lunches Made Easy for the Working Mom!!

Now that I'm back at work I find I'm too tired in the evening and too busy in the morning to get a decent lunch put together for the kids, let alone myself. Saturday has become a get life organized kind of day, including making lunches for the entire week. Now with traveling for work, this makes it even harder because I'm not there.

Stealing the lunchables idea without the high price tag I decided to make my own lunchables for the week. It worked out great!!!! There is a variety of different lunches already packaged ready to go, all my husband has to do is put them into the lunch boxes and away they go to school. The kids can build their own sandwiches at school making lunch a bit more fun!

Here are some items I used to put the lunches together:

Zyploc snack sized baggies
Zyploc plastic containers large and small round
Plastic Wrap

Food items:

Mini Bagels from Sobey's compliments balance selection
Tortilla wraps
Ritz Crackers

Ukrainian Sausage
Cheddar Cheese

Carrot Sticks
Celery Sticks

Processed Cheese and Cracker snacks
Halloween Candy

I'd put all the different ingredients into the zyploc containers making 10 different lunch combinations. The kids had fun putting the food into the containers and deciding which Halloween treat went in.

I would wrap each ingredient separately and use the zyploc snack baggies for the grapes, carrot sticks and celery sticks. The kids will put the baggies back into the plastic zyploc containers to be used again next week.

Any extra meat I had was wrapped and frozen in individual packets to make it quicker for next weeks lunch making session.

The key is to stay organized, cut up the meat, cheese, carrots, celery and wrap them in portions then have the kids help put the different items in the different containers. Store in fridge until needed.

I also filled the small round zyploc plastic containers with yogurt and pudding to add into the lunch bags with a plastic spoon. My son will also get an extra piece of fruit because we can't fill him up fast enough he's growing so fast.

I hope this idea will help you make lunches easier and keep your mornings a little less hectic.

Do you have any other ideas or other items you love to put in lunches?

What Should Governments do With Criminals?

There was another gang murder and drive by where the victims had no links to gangs. Criminals seem to be running the streets and the revolving door of the court system is doing little to fix it. So instead of sending criminals to jail why not draft then into the army and send them to war.

Why is the army filled with young men and women who have lots of talent and are a valuable contribution to society while criminals continue to drain the social systems and terrorize society.

OK the army probably isn't the best idea, the brave men and women there deserve better.

The gangs are getting the upper hand and I don't see anything really working to fix it. I don't know what the answer is, will another 300-400 police people make a difference? I'm not confident that the answer is more police. Is there a solution?

Which is Best? Kids in Daycare or Kids at home with Mom

I saw the cutest little kids today on a walk with their daycare, they must have been 3 years old. My heart ached for my kids to be that small again and wondered where all the time had gone. Time passes so fast and they are little for such a short period of time - honest it's true. I remember telling my husband that things could wait and his time with his son couldn't because before we knew it he'd be off with friends. That time came fast!!!

I have been a working mother, a stay at home mother and a work from home mother. The time I spent with my children at home was precious and I wish it would have lasted longer or that I had enjoyed and focused on it longer. When I ran a dayhome it was too chaotic and busy for me to really enjoy the time I had with my kids. Then I was too preoccupied with trying to find work to focus on the time with them. I just have to look at my kids scrapbooks to remember the times I was with them and to see how many years I missed recording their lives.

Is one situation better then any other for children?
Should kids be in daycares or home with their mothers? Does it really matter in the long run?

Let's look at the Pro's of Daycare:
1. Socialization
2. Schedules
3. Independence

Let's look at the Con's of Daycare:
1. No one loves you like MOM does
2. Don't learn to entertain themselves (for the most part every minute is planned and every activity explained to death - leaves no room for entertaining themselves.)
3. No real attachment to care giver if high turn over in daycare

Not all daycares are created equal, this is a very general look at daycare life. The Pro's and Con's of being home with mom are not cut and dry because every mom is different. Where some mom's are very structured with a lot of planned activities that entertain the child others are go with the flow and offer their kids more time to entertain themselves and figure things out for themselves.

Home life may be easier if someone cares for the kids and handles the daily chores of the house and home so the person working can spend more time with kids when home. Others may find it easier if both parents work and bring in money to hire others to help out with the daily chores and childcare. Each family is different and each child is different.

My son and I are very close and the first 3 years of his life was spent in daycare while I worked full time. My daughter and I are close in a different way and she never went to daycare. I can't say daycare made the difference, personality and maturity has a lot to do with it as well. Did my son suffer being in daycare? NO, he enjoyed it and loved playing with his friends. Did my daughter benefit being home with me? Probably in some ways and since I ran a daycare she received the socialization she would have had a daycare. I do believe that since both children were so different and needed different things from me they needed different types of care.

My son was social and lit up when he was around other children, my daughter was shy and had no interest in other children. My son was easy going and was very verbal and intelligent so he needed different types of stimulation through the day. My daughter was very particular and very clingy to me. Although she was very smart as well, she had an emotional need for me to be there with her every day. I am confident that both children received what they needed when it came to their day to day care.

Whether a mother should stay home or work outside the home is a very emotional debate which some feel their way is the one and only way. Mothers who stay home think mothers that work neglect their kids and have their priorities skewed. Mothers who work think mothers that stay home don't provide for their family's future. Is one side right and another wrong, since I was both and I believe I did what was best for each child's needs at the time I would say NO, neither is right or wrong. The only choice that is wrong is the choice that only takes into consideration the needs of the mother and NOT the needs of the child. The only mistake is believing you are forced to work by financial and social pressures, when you could have stayed home instead.

Winter Family Vacation - Too Many Choices for the Ameteur Travelor

How did we ever plan vacations before the Internet? With so much information it can be overwhelming to choose the best place to take the family this winter to escape the cold Canadian Prairie weather. Just trying to figure out which Caribbean country is a chore in itself.

I could spend hours surfing the net and reading all the different opinions and reviews to help me make a decision. This age of information and highly competitive prices means more options then ever. Options are great, but the amount of time to sort through the 100s of choices out there is overwhelming.

Finding a School for a Verbally, Visually Gifted boy with a Processing Disability

When your child has special educational needs, you'll fight to make sure he gets the best education possible. When I was in school, too many years to count, schools were starting to address learning disabilities and special needs. Schools were still a one size fits all method with an emphasis on written analysis of a child's knowledge. Today there are so many options and various programs for children with a vast array of learning disorders.

In Alberta there are so many schools to choose from that I found it a little overwhelming. French Immersion, German Immersion, Spanish Immersion, International French, Science focused, Math focused, traditional, for gifted students, for sports students, and what we finally choose - Fine Arts based.

I wanted to make sure my son got the best education for his special needs and I finally found it. Since birth he was always ahead when it came to developmental milestones by months. In kindergarten and grade one his teachers were amazed by his reading and verbal abilities and mentioned that he may be gifted. In grade 2 his teacher noticed that although he was very skilled verbally and read at a grade 4 level, his writing was below his age level and he was having problems staying focused in class.

The teacher suspected ADD - don't they all! Thankfully the school administration is very proactive in assessing children's needs and didn't just arbitrarily label him ADD because the psychologist was able to discover that he was bored and had a hard time processing what he wanted in written format. Granted he does have a huge imagination and spends a lot of time in it, but he doesn't have ADD.

I am very thankful that there are so many options out there for families who want to offer their children an education that is different from the one size fits all type. Although my son's former school did everything they could to meet his needs and provide him with help, it was limited because of the number of children with different needs. Last year he was different, the only one in a class of over 20 that needed a scribe and had special computer privileges. Now there are 10 kids in his class who receive a photocopy of the class notes to help them follow along and he's not the only one who can't get his written journal done. This has improved his self esteem because he doesn't feel alone or special anymore. This school is amazing and I am grateful that it is available for children like my son.

Getting Organized for Healthy Lunches.

When it comes to making the kids lunches everyday it can be a challenge to keep it healthy, quick, easy and affordable. I've spent the day grocery shopping, baking and making snacky food for lunches. I am always looking for new ideas to make lunches fun. What is your fun lunch ideas?

I always have granola bars (bought and homemade), cereal squares (homemade), fruit, crackers, cheese, and a treat in easy reach. It takes all day to grocery shop, bake, and organize the snack box. Packing all the food into snack sized baggies and making jello, pudding, canned fruit and yogurt in small ziploc containers. Keeping fruit washed and in snack baggies in the fridge to make it easy to put lunches together quickly. Organizing everything for lunches in the pantry and fridge so they are grouped together and make it easy to throw a lunch together.

My favorite thing to make is mix. I use the last little bit of cereal in the boxes, junk cereal like fruit loops, raisons, craisons, and chocolate chips. I fill snack baggies for lunches.


Rice Squares: over low heat 3-4 on the stove melt butter 1/2C butter and 40 large marshmellows. Stir while melting and as soon as the marshmellows are melted then remove from heat and add rice crisp cereal.

Options: add chocolate chips to the melted mixture just before adding the rice cereal.
Options: add multi colored marshmellows just before adding rice cereal for extra chewy squares.

Puff wheat squares:
1/2 C Corn Syrup
1 C Sugar
2 tbsp butter
1/2 C chocolate chips

Melt the ingredients together on mid low heat and just as it bubbles remove the pot from heat and stir in puffed rice cereal stir to coat.

Always cut up into individual servings and wrap keep on hand for lunches.

Do you have a favorite receipe for lunches?

I Hate Going to the Hospital the Wait is Way too Long

My son woke up this morning with pains in his chest that were coming and going. When after 4 hours the pains were still coming back I took him to the emergency room at the local Children's Hospital. The pain stopped completely an hour later yet we waited 4 hours for a docter to see him. The doctor had no idea what the problem was but ensured us it wasn't anything serious, well after 3 hours of no pain I kinda figured it wasn't.

I expect to wait, heck even if you make an appointment you still wait. This was the first time in 9 years I'd taken him to the emergency room and I forgot how tedious it was. I can't imagine if I'd had a sick child that need to run to emergency on a regular basis.

I don't know the logistics behind an emergency room but there has to be some way to make it better. If I triple booked and made prospects wait even 5 minutes I'd loose the sale, yet we only have the choice to wait for a doctor. I rarely go even when sick because they usually just say they can't do anything and send you home.

My day was blown and then when my son was eating dinner the pain came back - Joy.

What is a Mother? Defining What a Mother is and Defining 'Self' in the Process.

I am a mother, great but what does that mean? I have a lot of roles in my life, the largest one at this moment and the most life altering one has been that of mother. The question was asked of me tonight, who are you? or more appropriate, who am I? At first I had no answer but then I opened my mouth and out popped, I am a mother.

It occurred to me though, what does that mean? That I popped out two kids and now I feed cloth and tell them what to do. It has to be more than that, what is a mother?

When my son was born I was a new mother and with that came a whole lot of change and upheaval. For 24 hours a day I was at his beck and call, feeding him, dressing him, changing him, rocking him, entertaining him, and loving him. Then as he grew older my role changed he learned how to talk, walk and use the toilet. He dresses himself and makes his own friends separate from family friends.

My role as a mother changed when I went back to work the first time and then when I stayed home after my daughter was born. Now it has changed again as both are in school full time and I'm back at work.

The role changed in that I was not needed to do the same types of things for my children, but that still doesn't answer the question what is a mother? What does that mean? I am a mother.

I teach them to be independent of me and figure out things on their own. I encourage them to love each other and take care of each other. I am in essence working myself out of a job, soon they'll make their own money and provide for themselves. So what is a mother?

What is it that makes someone a mother? Any woman can have a baby or raise a child but what makes them a mother? Does the answer to this question really matter? Does my 'self' or identity really center on the role, or does the statement I am a mother mean more then just the role of mother? Do I exist outside of my role as a mother or is being a mother who I am and everything I do I should do as a mother. If so what is that?

Just a question, a thought, a glimpse into the insanity of identity. Who are any of us really? I am but an extension of my upbringing, an extension of my mother, my grandmothers, my heritage and now an extension of my children. So does it really matter who I am? I am a mother.

Well the Weight Loss thing Isn't Going Too Well

I really want to loose weight, I want to change the way I eat and exercise more but I just can't get motivated to stay with it. The one thing that gets in my way more than anything else is fatigue. I am mentally and physically tired most days even when I get lots of sleep. I feel like my body is missing nutrients even though I take vitamins and extra iron, for example hold your breath and run up two fights of stairs, how do your muscles feel? Mine feel like that most of the time without holding my breath.

I going to try something new, I've wanted to but didn't have the cash now I have the cashflow so I have no more excuses. If it works and improves my energy level then I am hoping that my motivation to change my lifestyle habits will too. I'm going to try zija because it is an all natural liquid drink made from the Moringa Tree and has over 90 different nutrients. This is different because right now my vitamins are chemically made nutrients in pill form. I've heard good things about Zija and it's benefits on health by providing the body with natural nutrients.

Organizing the Scrapbook Stuff - I have so much Scrapbooking Supplies Organizing it is a Nightmare

I have to put together a home office in the corner of my bedroom. I need the home office for work but I was thinking of incorporating all my scrapbook, family, and business stuff into the space. Not easy considering the minimal amount of funds and space I have available.

Organizing 12x12 scrapbook paper can be tricky because it doesn't fit traditional business sized filing systems. This is why such items as 12x12 hanging file folders and 12x12 file folders are so perfect. Only thing is what can hold 12x12 file folders? How about a blue 12x12 box specifically meant to organize your 12x12 Scrapbook paper?

The 12x12 cascade folders are a handy way to organize your papers and if you have as much scrapbook paper as I do you may want to color code the paper with the matching 12x12 cascade folder color.

I have scrapbook stuff in rubbermaid three / four / and seven drawers on wheels. Not much to look at but at least everything has a place. I cover it with beautiful brown cloth I picked up from Wal Mart for .10/meter. They are great for the cutters, magazines, and various tools but aren't big enough for the paper.

I do file the 8x11 cardstock and larger embellishments in a rubbermaid file box with lid and find it very handy when I need a color or a themed embellishment. I would prefer to file the 12x12 paper the same way along with all the work and personal files. I have a cedar chest that I will have my husband convert to a very large file cabinet so the 12x12 files will fit along with the regular letter sized. This may take some creative fabrication on his part with 2 different width sizes. If I just had the boxes then I could pull out the box I wanted to find the file of. It would also be handier for work as I will be travelling a lot and will need to take boxes of files with me.

The smaller embellishments like buttons, eyelets, and brads were easy to organize in a fishing tackle box. Perfect sized compartments for them and I was able to organize the paints, inks, and embossing powders in the larger compartment. Makes it easy to pick it up and take with me when I want to work somewhere else besides home.

Trying to keep everything at hand and in order can be difficult, there are lots of organizing products out there in the market. Which works best for you?

2.Groovy Retro Theme Birthday Party Invitation Template
3.Purse shaped girls birthday card.

Kids Go Green - Cute T-Shirt for the Go Green back to school Kids

I was looking for stationary when I came across this cool online magazine - KidsLA Magazine. The cover is what caught my eye - Kid's Go Green and a little girl wearing a cute green recycle symbol t-shirt.

Kids are getting ready to go back to school and want to wear something different that will also say something about their values. At there are so many different designs that your child will find something that they will love to wear to school.

I can't believe school is right around the corner. The kids are coming back this weekend and I have to get them back on a proper sleep schedule and shop for clothes and supplies. Then figure out bus schedules and how to get my son to school the mornings I have an appointment and am out of town. Life is going to get more complicated with both of us working and two different schools and two different school systems. Time to get the mom's schedule calender, I'm looking forward to a regular daily routine.

I Gotta Get Serious and Loose some Serious Weight

OK I'll admit it - I'm overweight and I need to loose some serious weight. Diets suck and I've tried a number of them, but fall off the wagon sorta speak. I start exercise regimes but then life gets busy and before I know it I've missed a day or two and don't get back at it.

I really need to get healthy, that's the big thing. I eat terribly and sit on my butt way too much. I hate packing lunch and since I am a salesperson I'm in my car 90% of the time so the drive thrus have become a bad habit as a lunch choice.

So the commitment needs to start now - right now with a walk to pick my daughter up from school and then making my cold calls while standing or pacing. So that's my plan for today - not a huge life altering step but a step none the less.

Any ideas, what works and what doesn't? How to stay motivated and really want to loose weight? I think that's my first major problem I don't feel overweight, yet the scale says I am. Everytime I start loosing weight and something life altering happens I turn to junk and stick my head in a book until it all passes, in the meantime I've gained 20lbs. A reason to loose weight, one I can passionately hold on to is what I need. What have been some of your reasons to loose weight or diet?

Blooming Flower Card or Scrapbook Embellishment

I found this great template to make a blooming flower card and created both a thank you card and a scrapbook embellishment / card. Can be used to make so many different types of cards or scrapbook embellishments.

First cut out the 4 pieces of the template and then decorate both sides of each petal with either pictures or stamps. The great thing about making a scrapbook embellishment is you can use up pictures that are hanging around.

Glue all the pieces together and fold each petal into the center and secure with either a ribbon or a piece of paper wrapped around the card.

Check out this Blooming Gift Box

1. Link to the flower template
2.Groovy Retro Theme Birthday Party Invitation Template
3.Purse shaped girls birthday card.
4.Organizing Scrapbook Supplies

Scrapbook titles made from scratch

Had So Much Fun Visiting the Kids at Mabel Lake - They'll be home in 2 weeks and I miss them already

It was a blessing to see the kids for a few days and it just doesn't seem like summer until I'm at the lake. Mabel Lake has changed a lot recently, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. My parents enjoy the 9 hole golf course and I like having a fabulous restaurant to eat at. The kids love watching the planes fly in and out and they'll make lots more friends then we did growing up.

The lake barely changed from when my grandmother was a child to when I was a teenager spending summers there. A few cabins here and there but for the most part it was a quiet lake. Now the development has brought lots more people from Calgary into the area and as a result the lake is busier and animals are disappearing. We were commenting that although there are little frogs there are no more big bull frogs and there is a marked increase in mosquito's due to the decrease in bats.

I'm glad my kids are able to spend their summers there with their grandparents. My parents are relatively young and my kids entertain themselves they are hardly a strain on them. The whole time my parents kept commenting on how quiet and good they are. They are amazed at how they take care of each other and play together so well, all the time. Ya right -- We did notice a marked increase in both of them being mean to each other and I think it's time they were separated a bit more.

Two more weeks then they will be home playing with their own friends and spending more time apart which I'm hoping will result in appreciating the time they are together more - I can hope can't I? With different schools and different after school care facilities the time they will have together will be less, much less. I want to make a conscious effort to ensure they do have quality time together throughout the week, not always easy when both parents work and both kids have activities. Thing is it is so important to me that they remain the best of friends that it will be a priority to have quality family and sibling time. I believe this has been the key all along - not too much time together but enough to ensure a close bond.

North Okanagan Real Estate

Family Gatherings - Adult Siblings Can we Just Get Along?

My brother and his partner came to visit the cabin and as usual things revert back to childhood. Why does unresolved childhood conflict rear its ugly head and is there anyway to overcome it? Do we have to always act like we are 7 years old around our parents?

Personally I have lots of unresolved issues with my brother, he's great at everything he does and has the same tastes, humour and opinions as my parents. I on the other hand do not. It pains me that we can't sit and talk to each other like friends or want to get together to hang out.

It is what it is and to force it into something else just won't happen. Is it environmental or is it genetic? Looking back through the family tree I find that my father isn't close with his sister, my grandfather didn't talk to his sisters (and one lived just behind them), my great grandfather moved across the country from his siblings. Is it genetic?

Personality has a lot to do with whether or not you will get along, my brother and I just happen to have different personalities - he has one. He loves small town living and knows what is going on in our home town where I love the city. We are both outgoing but in different ways, he is always surrounded by friends and yet has a career where he doesn't work around people. I enjoy my solitude at home yet have a career that involves meeting new people and building relationships with them on a daily basis. He's athletic and healthy, I'm not. I read, he doesn't. I like to discuss politics and philosophy he jokes about political issues and is not philosophical. I have kids, he doesn't. The list goes on and on. Although we had the same upbringing, the same environment, the same opportunities we are as different as night and day.

My brother has lots of friends for a reason he's a fun guy to be around. He is in no hurry to be a responsible husband or parent because he enjoys his outdoor recreational activities. He keeps in touch with friends he's met all over the world and is always the life of the party. He has a great career that suits him to a T and he's really great at. He has a beautiful woman to share his life with and a wonderful life in the Coastal Mountains of BC. What skiier wouldn't want to live just minutes from Whistler?

I admire him and think he's got a great life, just wish we could get past all the childhood crap and be friends.

Okanagan Vacation - The Kid is Finally Swimming!!!

I am thrilled my son who hates water and doesn't like to swim is finally swimming - without the aid of a life jacket. He's 9 and the fact that he is not a fish when it comes to water is a huge contention with me and my family because we are lake people. I lived in the lake growing up and my dad did before me and his mom before him so how could my child not like to swim?

I had put him swimming lessons but after the 4th time with no improvement at $35 a session I finally said enough is enough. I have tried to force him to swim and throwing him in to get him used to the water... I know it has the opposite effect but sometimes I just get so frustrated that I throw him in with his life jacket on. OK it's not a life jacket ... his personal flotation device which everyone calls a life jacket due to it's common use as a life jacket.

My first day visiting him at the cabin we took the boat across the lake to swim and I started to swim back to the cabin to see how far I'd get ... I'm extremely out of shape and the thought of exercise makes me tired. My son (in his pdf life jacket) started swimming with me after 2 hours we had made it over half way before a strong current in the water impeded our progress. I was extremely proud of him because he did so well in really deep black water without freaking out.

Today he was aloud to go into the lake without his life jacket as long as he didn't go out over his waist. The next thing I know he's swimming without any aid of a life jacket and not just for a few strokes but for a decent length of time. I was so thrilled, this was big for him and such a relief to me.

Now if I could just get him to put his head under the water we might have another fish in the family.

Okanagan Vacation Going Well - Local Charity Event

Visiting the kids has been wonderful. We seem to arrive in my hometown, Endery, to visit at the same time every year -- For Endery's Mardi Gras and Legion Days. The kids love Mardi Gras and look forward to it every year. Last night they attended the charity Mardi Gras carnival that raises money for the local organizations.

They love to play all the carnival games and the charities in the area need the support from outside families like ours. They had dinner, ice cream and won some prizes that would have been cheaper to buy at the dollar store. They even won a dance competition with Gramma. Last year was busier then this year, they had shut down main street last year and this year it was off to the side. The event was still lots of fun for the kids even with the heat.

Enderby is a small town with limited resources so to most city people it won't be as flashy as they are used to. The Mardi Gras is a symbol of a community coming together and supporting itself best it can.

For more information on the North Okanagan Community of Enderby.

Okanagan Vacation Tips

So you are going to the Okanagan for a vacation, I grew up there and go there on a regular basis so I know what the traffic can be like. We are going to go and visit the kids at Mabel Lake tomorrow which got me thinking about Okanagan vacations.

If you are driving there the cheapest gas can be found in Enderby where the Indian Band's Super Save keeps the prices a few cents lower than anywhere else. There is a Shell station and an Esso station which match Super Save's prices.

If you are driving from Vernon to Kelowna or the other way around traffic can get backed up pretty bad between Oyama and Winfield where Hwy 97 goes from 4 lanes to 2 lanes. To avoid the backlog of traffic and for a scenic route take a backroad along Okanagan Lake instead of Kal Lake. The turn offs are at Predetor Ridge and the North most light in Winfield. The road is gravel for a short period of time but mostly paved. It is a beautiful view especially in early evening. Check out maps for the backroads at google maps to help you navigate around traffic lights and narrow sections of highway 97.

Are you a photographer? There are lots of really scenic beautiful areas in the Okanagan back roads. Ellison Park at the end of Okanagan Landing Road is a fabulous provincial park with camping. Rattlesnake point on Kal Lake is another gorgeous spot for swimming in the jade water of Kal Lake. Just keep an eye open for rattle snakes.

The trip is more than just the destination when you are in the Okanagan Valley. There are so many wonderful nooks and crannies that you would never know about if you didn't take the time to stop. For example at the one traffic light in Enderby there is an antique store that looks like it would be full of junk from the outside, once you go in, you find treasures.

Kelowna is the main destination for most people, those that stop in the smaller towns are amazed to find special gems. You can get lost in the backroads but you will find so much beauty it will be worth the extra time.

Got kids? There are so many stops that are fun for them along the way. The Enchanted Forest between Sicamous and Revelstoke has a new attraction that will have the whole family burning energy. Little kids love the fairy tale figures hidden throughout the trails and the older kids will have a blast swinging and climbing through the forest's obstical course.

The Okanagan is filled with special attractions and scenery, too many to mention in one post. Keep an eye open here for future tips and places to see.

North Okanagan Real Estate!

Go Green Baby Shower Theme for the Environmentally Friendly Mother

Are you planning a baby shower for an environmentally friendly new mom? Plan a go green baby shower. Invite guests using either email or recycled material invitations, ask the guests to wear green or environmentally friendly clothing and bring a "go green" gift wrapped in baby blankets, towels, gift bags, or recycled material. Details on the Recycle it's my future you're messing with baby onsie


Bring in flowers and reusable decorations avoid balloons and streamers. Use regular plates and dishes to ensure less garbage at the end of the party.


White cake with no food color dye. Or utilize the go green theme by using lots of green food coloring to ice the mothers favorite type of cake.

Green Tea both hot and cold.... to make cold green tea boil hot water, brew green tea add frozen lemonade and put into fridge until cold. Garnish with mint leaves.

Seasonal fruits and veggies with dips made with epicure or watkins dip mixes. Use yogurt instead of sour cream.

Have some ideas of your own? Share them in the comments section.


The Recycle Game: Have everyone take turns naming a recyclable material or a go green idea, each answer gets a point and if they name something that is also baby related they get two points. Go around the room a few times, the person with the most points wins.

Make it harder by insisting that the item start with a certain letter - start with a and go all the way to z, or starts with a letter in the mother's name.

Have a green game idea? add it in the comments.

Include the sibling:

The Siblings Role:

Have any older siblings take part by creating a gift for the new baby, decorating, and helping bake the cake. Have them help mom unwrap gifts and maybe have a few for them as well. Shirts and Gifts for Siblings


Take pictures and ask each guest to write a go green tip and a parenting tip. Create a scrapbook with the pictures and tips for the new mom.

Links to Baby Shower Green Gift sites:

Go Green Message Baby and Sibling Gifts

Have a baby shower idea? leave it in the comments area.

Include Siblings in the Baby Shower

70's Theme or Groovy Girls Theme Birthday Party Invitations Print Out

I've been working on a birthday card for a groovy girls party and so far I've come up with a card shaped as a pair of bell bottoms. Here are the images of a template I put together. Which do you like best?

Bell Bottom Pants Card #1

Bell Bottom Pants Card #2

The inside of the card

I could use patterned paper and cut out the shape for each card. Then each card could have it's own pattern making each invitation unique.

Purse Birthday Party Invitation Cards
Organizing Scrapbook Supplies

A Summery 6x6 Scrapbook Album - A Year in the Life of Your Family

At Time Out ezine the project of the month is a 6x6 scrapbook album - a year in the life of your family. I put together this scrapbook a couple years ago as Christmas presents for the grandparents who live in another province and don't get to see the kids regularly. It's a great scrapbook album for a few reasons:

1. Makes a great Christmas present for family
2. Uses up scrapbook paper and scrapbook embellishments you have had and haven't used for a while.
3. The 6x6 scrapbook album size is perfect for a quick look at your family's life
4. It's a real easy and quick scrapbook to make
5. There are some cool 6x6 scrapbook album or accordion albums available.

This scrapbook is so easy to put together and takes little thought.

Step One:

Collect some of your favorite pictures from the year. If digital, crop them and print out the pictures in a 4x6 size. You only need one or two pictures from each event ie birthdays, vacations, sport activities.

Step Two:

Choose similar 12x12 scrapbook papers and cut them into 6x6 sheets.

Step Three:

Gather up scrapbook embellishments and a couple quote stacks or similar quote scrapbook products.

Step Four:

Add one picture to each 6x6 scrapbook sheet and then embellish the 2x6 space beside the picture with a quote or a journal comment and some embellishments.

Step Five:

Put the completed pages into the 6x6 scrapbook album and you've now completed a year in the life of your family, a visual summary.

More examples at the Time Out E-Zine Gallery. Submit your 6x6 project pages to the Time Out E-Zine Gallery detail there.

E-Zine For Mothers - Time Out - Projects, links, craft gallery, and more to come.

I just started an e-zine for mothers. Something to do with my spare time. It's quite simple right now but as time goes on there will be more picutures and how to for crafts, scrapbooking, and card making. I have also started a list of links to sites that are created and maintained by moms for moms. IF you have a site that fits this criteria let me know and I'll add you to the link list. As well, don't forget about the WAHM and Small business Directory.

Kids are Having Fun at Mabel Lake and I Miss Them!!! Empowering them to be Independent.

It's only been a week and a half and I miss the kids so much I want to jump in the car and drive the 6 hours just for a hug and kiss. It's been so long since they were even away from me a day that I don't know what to do with myself now that I have time for me.

I have been busy looking for work but it hasn't taken up all my time. There's work like going through all their toys and sending the bulk of them to goodwill. I can only do chores for so long though.

My husband and I are having a good time and things are getting done around the house but it is so quiet. I now know what retirement will be like -- I better get some more hobbies.

You know that list that most mothers have put together in their mind. You know the one, the list of everything you'd do if you had a moment to yourself. I get to live the dream and all I can think of is what are my kids doing and I wish had some money to go shopping.

My son (he's 9) misses me and my daughter (she's 6) is just fine, loves me but will see me when she comes home. I want them both to have her attitude but at the same time I'm selfish - I want them to have a miserable time because they miss me so much.

My daughter says she's OK because she has her brother. Gramo loves having them at the cabin and because they pretty much take care of each other she finds it really easy. This morning she was sleeping when I called and the kids had gotten up, my son got them breakfast and they were out playing. I've always encouraged them to do things for themselves, right from when they were little. Now they do things for each other and it make parenting so much easier.

Kids can do more than parents give them credit for. 3 year olds can put on their own coats and shoes, they just need to know how. Put the coat on the floor with the inside facing up. Have your child stand at the neck of the coat, bend down put their arms in the arm holes and flip the coat over their head -- VOILA coat is on.

Shoe's on the wrong feet? So what -- will it really damage them? Help them put their shoes on the right feet by getting shoes with images on each side of the shoe. Explain which image looks at the world and which ones talk to each other. If they put the shoes on the wrong feet just ask "Are (the inside image) talking to each other?" Don't tell them they have them on the wrong feet, just ask them questions that will enable them to figure out how to tell which shoe goes on which foot themselves.

I'm fortunate my son teaches my daughter how to do stuff all the time. I was shocked when I discovered she could read Little Critter stories before she left Kindergarten -- my son read to her almost every night and taught her how.

By empowering them to figure out how to do stuff for themselves they have developed the skills of teaching each other.

Family Time Activities - What to do in Calgary Alberta

I am always looking for something to do as a family in Calgary. When you live somewhere it isn't always easy to make time to enjoy what the city has to offer. It is important This weekend I'm planning on a hike up Johnson Canyon. If you are looking for family activities in Calgary check out the To do in Calgary website. This site is filled with information on Calgary, what to do, community center, and events.

Check out what your city has to offer tourists and locals. Plan out your month, make one day a week a family day and take advantage of of what Calgary (or your city) has to offer.

What is your favorite family activity? What does your family love to do in your city?

Quick Meal Ideas -- Dinner using Left Overs in less than 30 Minutes.

I don't like to cook yet I still have to cook healthy dinners on a real tight budget. One of my favorite meals to make uses Lipton Sides pasta n sauce. I add left over meat or a can of tuna, with frozen veggies. Simple and done in less than 30 minutes.

What is your quick, easy, and cheap dinner idea?

These books are filled with quick and easy ideas. Great meal planning tips and shopping lists to keep you organized and save you money.

A Couple Hours on the Bow River

My husband and I floated down the bow river for a couple hours today. We started at Bowness Park and got out at Eau Claire. It was so nice to just float and enjoy the scenery of the Bow. It brought back a childhood memory of going down the Shuswap River with my family as a child.

When we go to pick up the kids in a couple of weeks we'll probably take a trip down the Shuswap River from below the Eddies/Chucks up at Kingfisher to Enderby. This is a full day trip and I haven't done it since I was a kid. I still remember how much fun we had as a family that day. We only did it once the rest of my childhood summers were at Mabel Lake.

The Shuswap River from Mabel Lake to Enderby is beautiful and full of wildlife. It is a part of the Okanagan that is green, quiet and rural. To go down the Shuswap river at that area you have to go in down of the eddies and chucks because they are class 5 rapids where people have died. The rest of the trip is tamer with mild rapids and then slow moving waters. The river is warm and on a hot day you can jump in and ride the river in a personal floatation device.

The Bow river is not as pretty and does not offer the variety of water speeds that the Shuswap does but when your in Calgary it is something to do in a dingy. The kids will love it and it will be a cheap family activity.

Left the Kids Behind in Vancouver - Break from the Kids is Great but I Miss Them.

We left the kids with my mother in law in Vancouver for a week. She commented that the kids are so close that they needed to stay together. She is so right, they protect each other and more importantly they entertain each other. While we were there my son taught my daughter how to play 'What Time is it Mr. Wolf.' He loves to teach her how to do stuff, it's so cute and makes my life so much easier.

My husband and I have taken full advantage of the time we have together. Going to dinner, watching movies and going out on dates. Since we don't have family in Calgary and don't have a babysitter we don't go out much so this time together is extra special.

Date nights are important because a family needs parents that are close and happy to be close and happy. When you don't have much money though what can you do? I'm always a fan of bike rides and walks. However there are other free events going on in Calgary that are fun, for example, Shakespeare in the Park at Prince's Island Park. Lots of things going on downtown Calgary and Stampede always has something going on for both adults and families. I am looking forward to spending time with my husband enjoying Calgary until the kids come home.

After spending a week in Vancouver at Nanna's house they are off to Grammo's house in the Okanagan for 3 weeks. They will live at the Cabin swimming and boating, they'll have a great time. I grew up at the Lake and I know they'll make some wonderful memories there with Grammo and Grandpa. I miss them but it is very important that they create strong bonds with their grandparents and they live 6-12 hours away from Calgary.

Since they go there together and spend time away from us together they develop a closer bond. They gain independence and confidence by going to their grandparents without us and have been doing so for a long time. As a stay at home mom I get lots of time with them, the grandparents don't get enough time so these visits are important to the whole family.

Impromptu Family Vacation to Vancouver - Bowen Island

On Friday my husband decided that we needed to go to the ocean for the weekend. It was a wonderful family trip, especially the day we spent on Bowen Island. We wanted to take the kids on a ferry ride but to go to Vancouver Island or the Gulf Islands was too expensive. The trip to Bowen Island cost the family $50 total and we spent a great day exploring and splashing around in the Pacific Ocean.

We spent time at Kitsalano Beach and Boundary Bay Beach both nice but the time on Bowen Island was best. Kitsalano was busy with lots of different type of people and the water was full of all sorts of boats. Right near Stanley Island parking is really hard to find and although the city was nice to look at the scenery couldn't compare to Bowen Island.

Boundary Bay is more of a family beach then Kitsalano and has a little playground. Bowen Island is intimate and quaint whereas Boundary Bay is large and open. Kitsalano is filled with the image concious, young Paris Hilton Wannabees and homosexuals whereas Boundary Bay is filled with families.

If you are going to go to Bowen Island take your car it only costs $26 and parking will cost you $50. You also need the car once there to go to the beaches and visit the artisan retail spots. If you are going to walk or bike instead be prepared for long hills and lots of curves.

For other wonderful ideas about how to spend time in Vancouver as a family check out this great website.

It's Driving Me NUTS - The One thing I'd Change with My House Layout

When we built our cookie cutter home in 2000 I requested the bathroom and laundry rooms to be moved to make the kitchen bigger. What I didn't think of and so wish I had was the location of the stairs. Our stairs are right at the front door and there are always shoes and bags at the bottom. It drives me nuts! The next house we buy will NOT have the stairs located at the front door, what a dumb place to put them.

What do you hate about your home's layout? What could the designer have done better?

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Jello Birthday Cake -- The Best Gluten Free Birthday Cake!

I used to serve the traditional birthday cake at kids birthday parties and end up throwing out lots of half eaten pieces. At my daughter's 3rd birthday and my son's 6th birthday party I learned a valuable lesson about birthday cake -- if its made out of ice cream or jello there will be no birthday cake left on the plate.

A jello birthday cake is really easy to make and very good.

1 - large Jello pkg. any flavor
2 - pkg KNOX unflavored Gelatin

Make Jello as directed and add the 2 KNOX unflavored Gelatin pkg. dissolve in hot water with the Jello and then add the cold water.

Fill cake pan with the liquid and set in the fridge until hard.

Run hot water into sink (with stopper) and dip the cake pan in for a few seconds. Turn upside down onto a plate and put into the fridge until time to serve. Just before its time to serve decorate with icing.

Cut with a knife -- Can be eaten with fingers or fork.

Serve with a DQ ice cream birthday cake.

Groovy Birthday Party Theme Invitations

Purse Birthday Party Invitations

My Dora the Explorer is Growing Up -- Selling her Dora the Explorer Toys.

I am sad, my little girl doesn't like Dora the Explorer anymore -- she's too big now. She was smitten with Dora the Explorer at the age of 2 and couldn't get enough of her until now -- she's 6. Her 3rd, 4th, and 5th birthday's had a Dora the Explorer theme and all the toys she received during that time were Dora toys.

Since we are trying to down size I need to sell off stuff, toys being the number one item on the list. I just finished packing up all her Dora the Explorer Toys and I've had to say good bye to my Dora.

She has dark hair and we cut it short like Dora the Explorer's hair. Everyone, even strangers kept calling her Dora because she reminded them of her. Being the little shopper that she is she wanted everything Dora the Explorer. Whenever we were in a store she could find the Dora the Explorer brand no matter how far away in the store. Even if she didn't have her glasses on, if there was a Dora the Explorer item in the store she'd see it, even if it was across the store.

She wanted everything Dora, then we she met Dora the Explorer at Universal Studio's Florida. She followed Dora around for a long time, we took lots of pictures of our Dora the Explorer with the real Dora the Explorer. On her 5th birthday, after we had arrived home, Dora the Explorer called her to say "Happy Birthday" and every little girl was impressed. We booked the call through and it cost only a few dollars. The company that handled these calls was uvox. You can send emails from Dora the Explorer to the birthday child via, but the phone call option seems to have disappeared. If they did cancel it it is too bad because it was worth it to see her eyes open wide and her jaw drop as she heard Dora saying "Happy Birthday."

Now she loves Hannah Montana and I'm pricing all her Dora the Explorer toys for sale. Time is flying by and she is getting bigger so fast. I love her so much and I try to remember when she's bugging me for this thing or that thing -- soon she won't need me at all. She's getting to be a little tween dancing and singing to Hannah Montana's CDs and the Dora the Explorer posters are replaced with Hannah Montana's face. I'll always miss my Dora but I'm also looking forward to getting to know my little Hannah.

Today's Family Time Was Fun!

Today we went bowling, something I haven't done in a long time. Bowling is a great family activity and the best part, it's affordable. It cost $20.00 for the 4 of us to bowl one game and it took us an hour.

Buy at
Have Fun Bowling
Buy From

It was my son and I vrs. my husband and my daughter. I got 3 strikes so we won!!!

Bowling might sound like a boring blue collar thing to do, but it is lots of fun. The most important part about any family activity is that you do something on a regular basis. The more different activities you have at your disposal the more fun it will be for every member of the family to participate.

Parenting Siblings is not Easy - Is Your Parenting Causing Sibling Rivalry?

Avoiding sibling rivalry is not easy and impossible to do but there are things parents can do to mitigate the rivalry. Life is full of stress and full of demands and when one child demands a parents time more than the other child or one child is more intelligent and understanding it can be simpler to take the easy way out.

To illustrate what I'm talking about I will use a Reba episode or group of episodes. Specifically the episodes where Kyra decides to move in with her dad because she feels like she's at the bottom of the totum pole at her moms house.

The last straw is when Kyra gets the chance to go to summer school in England because she achieved a 4.0 average in English. Reba comes up with the cash but Cheyanne needs it to go to summer school because she dropped too many courses during the year.

Reba chooses to bail out Cheyanne because she'll loose her daycare if she doesn't make up the dropped courses. She feels guilty and when Kyra is so understanding she feels let off the hook. However, Kyra actually feels like she's got the short end of the stick again and decides that there really is no place for her at her mothers house.

Has this ever happened to you? Either as a sibling or as a parent?

I have to watch what I do because my daughter is very demanding of time, attention, and stuff. My son is quieter and more internal with his feelings and his problems. He is very intelligent and understanding about life and choices that need to be made by us. He sometimes feels like his sister is more loved and favored by other members of the family - this is not true but I can see how he'd feel that way. His sister is younger, cute, helpful, loud and outgoing. He is quiet and intellectual, an adult needs to make an effort to spend one on one time with him because he'll sit back and wait. If the adult doesn't take the initiative he'll understand and internalize his feelings.

The ultimate result if I let things run their course and not make decisions to pay special attention to him - sibling rivalry. He will start to blame his sister and resent her favored status in the family. Taking an hour to sit down and talk with him and ask him questions to create a plan of action to include him is nothing. He's more important than any time I'd spend watching TV, cleaning the house, surfing the net or spending time with my nose in a book.

The consequences of our parenting decisions have further reaching effects then we understand. Choosing the easy way, the path of least resistance may create a home that is more of a war zone then a place of love.

The Weather is Great and Calls for a Family Bike Ride

It's been raining for days and cool for months so when today was so nice out it called for us to be outside. Today called for a family bike ride. Taking a couple hours to spend with the kids biking all around our neighbourhood was great! There was so much to do outside and inside but today we choose to make time with the kids a priority.

I had wanted to take them to movies in the Park last night but we had a thunder shower and I fell asleep on the couch before the carnival started. I heard it was lots of fun and well organized. We can't do everything, but its important to do something.

This morning I took our son to his ball game and came home to my daughter helping her dad build a workbench. It was so cute and she even helped drill the holes. I wish he'd do more things like this with the kids, include them in his chores. I also should do that but my patience runs out too quickly because my priority is to get the job done. I know the kids need to be apart of my daily activities but I fail. That is why family time every day is so important even it it's only for 1/2 hour.

Designs on Shirts for Kids - Unique Designs make Good Gifts for Children

make custom gifts at Zazzle

Unique Designs for kids on shirts and other items. Looking for a unique gift for someone? Check out these t-shirts. Clean designs with mild attitude, some designed with my kids help.

School Kids Shave Their Heads for Cancer and Raise $22K

My son's school organized a shave your lid for a kid event to raise money for Alberta kids cancer care. The school is K-4, has 500 kids in it and raised over $22K. Twenty kids choose to shave their lids and one was even a girl, the daughter of my hair dresser. My son's hair was the second longest but just short of the 12" to make a wig.

I was shocked when my son wanted to shave his head. His hair was long and part of his image and personality. He wants to model and act in commercials so his hair is a huge part of his image and look. He raised $550 by going door to door and calling family for pledges.

I am so proud of him, he says he doesn't want to do it again and really wants his hair to grow back fast. We are going to bleach it and die it bright red for fun so the tips are red as it grows back. Hair is hair and it grows back - I want him to have fun with it too.

Children Grow Up So Fast - I Wish I Could Turn Back Time

I am looking at pictures of my kids when they were younger and I wish that I could turn back time. This was my daughter when she was 2 years old, I loved that hat and Old Navy dress on her, it was a sad day when she outgrew them.

I was fortunate I was able to stay home because we had an in house daycare that brought in good money. Yet it wasn't enough time and I feel I didn't get enough time with that cute little face.

Every age is special, every age amazing, I am enjoying her as a little 6 year old girl but I miss that 2 year old girl too. She is strong willed and likes to have things her own way and didn't always get along with the other kids. Like any 2 year olds she needed a lot of extra attention and I rarely had any me time. Now I get lots of me time and I miss her attaching herself to me every minute of every day.

Young children are lots of work and it is only natural for parents to wish they had more me time and can't wait for their child to grow older. However, once they have you can't turn back the clock - no matter how much you wish you could.

This is why I love my scrapbooks, they are a record of my memories and my thoughts about my children. I started them with the goal of expressing how much I loved them, my dreams for them, advice I wanted to pass on in case I died they'd have a piece of me to hold on to. Morbid huh!

I love them so much and I tell them all the time, I also have taught them to express their love for each other. However, each day that passes they grow a little more independent and want to spend more time with friends and less time with me. I'm not alone, I'm sure every parent wishes they could turn back time.


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