Saturday, February 28, 2015

Everything was AWESOME!

We got back from our trip to San Diego and hit the ground running and I hadn't had a chance to update the blog!

The trip was an absolute blast.  Not relaxing in the least, but the boys had quite the experience. 

We spent three nights right at the Legoland hotel and two full days in the park itself.  I found it overwhelming and this was the slow season!  It was actually slow enough that the line ups were pretty much non-existent.  If we had to wait 10 minutes for a ride, that was a long one.  There were lego building sites at every ride so kids could build while the parents waited in line.  Genius!  Our boys were the perfect age for the park; only a few of the rides were too old for them.  The park and hotel staff were incredibly friendly.

From the set of the Lego Movie!  I could have looked at the set for hours.  It was huge and so detailed.

Of course the Lego Star Wars exhibit was their favorite.

A Lego pirate in the lobby!

Bunk beds!

Giant Lego Chewy!

Everything is awesome!

This is part of the hotel lobby!


The boys had quite the stash of cash to spend at the Legoland store, and they spent it right to the last dollar.  Three suitcases later....
So much building.....  We are still going at in.
The next five nights we stayed just in a regular hotel.  Nothing special, but it did have bunkbeds again for the boys.  We spent a day at an amusement park on the beach, a day at the Midway Naval Museum, a day at SeaWorld, and a day at the zoo.  One hot day we tried to have a beach/park day, but it was just too hot for the boys at +27C, so we just hung out pool side at our hotel.  There were no huge crowds at any of our other destinations.  We saw so much without feeling too overwhelmed.  I would have loved another day back at the zoo or SeaWorld, but there just wasn't enough time on this trip.

You can climb right into so many aircrafts aboard the Midway.

The Boss and Mini Boss looking out over the flight deck.

He answered an entire book of questions to earn those wings.

MONKEYS!

Gondola ride over the zoo.

Giant spider in there!

The baby gorilla was my favorite!
The pet show!  This was the best show at SeaWorld!  Even cats and pigs were doing tricks!

Beluga!

There were some huge sharks in here.
And fun was had by all!


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Dumpster Diving to San Diego

A little break from the cold can be much appreciated when you live in the north.  Last winter I was planning well in advance by looking up warm destinations and checking my aeroplan points to see where we could go.  We opted to book a trip down to San Diego with the main goal of taking the boys to Legoland since they are obsessed with LEGO. 

But I wanted my kids to work for this trip.  To earn it.  So we told the boys that we paid for the plane tickets to get us to Legoland, but that they had to save up enough money to pay for our hotels for the eight nights.  Our boys had collected cans/bottles the summer before and earned some cash, so we told them they had to scavenge from spring to fall to earn enough. 

And did they ever scavenge.

Garbage day in Faro is on Thursdays and our dump is a scavenger's delight.  Every Thursday or Friday, Matt would take the boys to the dump to look for cans.  We had to buy them these grabbers though so that they wouldn't be digging through the trash with their hands since they seem to have no grossness limit. 

There are garbage cans around the golf course in Faro and they went to them once a week to look for cans.

Every dumpster at every campground we camped at this summer was looked in a few times a day for cans.  They even got brave enough and started asking other people camping in the campground for their cans and bottles and people happily gave them over to the boys.

We did family walks in the ditches along the highways fillings bags with cans.

Some neighbours saw the boys in action and were extremely generous and would call the boys over to give them their recycling.

The cans and bottles really added up.  Every time we had enough for a full truck load, the boys would load them up and off we would go to our recycling center in Faro.  The boys stashed their money away in a peanut butter container.

It has added up to enough to cover our hotels for the entire eight nights.  That total is over $1500.  It has taught our boys an awful lot about saving, working hard, and goals.  We leave for San Diego in three days and we are really proud of their accomplishment.

Hunter would now like to start saving can money to buy an X-Wing Star Fighter that he can fly around in.  Yeah.  He might be saving for the next 50 years.  Cavan says he would now like to save up to buy a chocolate bar.  HA!   I am thinking another hot vacation partially paid for in cash sounds just right.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

This Is Our Get Along Shirt

Today is one of those days when I truly understand why some animals eat their young.

Bedtime cannot come soon enough.

The kids are fighting non-stop with each other, Hunter got in trouble at school, Matt has been away for over a week, it is cold and my car won't start, and I am just tired as hell.  Oh, and I just broke a bowl from my brand new set.  Damn it. 

So it was either I completely lose my shit, or I make them entertain me.  Losing my shit is miserable, so I went for the latter option.

Here is the result:


Then they had to do chores and eat supper like that.  It was pretty entertaining for me.
Tidying up.

Putting away dog toys.

Reading together.

Supper.

Unloading the dishwasher.
Then they also had to sit down and write apology notes to make up for some problems they caused today and they have lost some privileges.  They don't get off easy, but there was no point in me getting upset.



Now, any secrets to share on how to get brothers to actually get along?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Newest Member Of Our Family

This has been our conversation for the last eleven and a half years:

Me:  Matt, can I have a puppy?
Matt:  No.

Me:  Matt, can I have a puppy?
Matt:  No.

Me:  Matt, can I have a puppy?
Matt:  No.

Repeat times a thousand.

Then I got the puppy fever rather hard this winter.  A number of friends got puppies, wickedly cute puppies.  And I decided that my husband really does know me well enough to know that eventually I would just go out and get one.  Thankfully I was right and he didn't kick me out to live in the camper as he had threatened.  He has turned into quite the suckhole puppy parent even though he doesn't really want to admit it.

So welcome, Emma!  I know.  Odd name for a household that has cats named Tweakers, Battleship, and Pumpkin Cat.  She is a sweet little girl pup that is now 10 weeks old and has been getting to know us for the last two weeks.  Her mother was a border collie cross and the dad... who knows, but people are guessing yellow lab.  We got her from a rescue kennel in Tagish.

She is sweet, smart, and very energetic.  She is also very attached to me and is always at my feet.  The boys are in love with her and cannot wait until she plays fetch a bit better.  I think she is going to be a great fit for our family.


My new baby!

She is a bit of a wuss.

She loves being outside!

Matt is a total suck.

I am a total suck too.
We have three family members though that are no too happy about this new addition.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goals!

It is almost the new year!  I love this moment.  The start of the new year for me is filled with a million plans.  Excitement for the 52 Mondays ahead of me!

And I am such a goal setter.  Give me a to-do list and I am one happy camper.  I need to have goals written out to work towards.  That type of organization in my life gives me focus, energy, and I feel calmer with them in place.  I always have my list of big overall goals for the new year.  But then I usually have small lists for each month and week as to what I want to accomplish.  Yep, bit of a nerd with my lists (must be in black pen, in a coiled book) but I am one with that.

So how did I do with last years goals?
  • get my fitness level back up.  Well, still not there.  The recovery after my reconstructive skin surgery took a hell of a lot longer than I thought it would.  And the mental part of the recovery has been rather hellish for the last 4 or 5 months.  But my body has healed, so that is a big positive.
  • more math and science with the boys.  Check.  Done and done.  There was an awful lot of fun learning going on in our house over the last year.
  • hiking training.  Well I did a lot of walking.  Even ran a 5k.  But there were no big hikes for me last year.  Sad face.  
  • grow more food.  Wooot!  Huge success there.  We are still eating my garden potatoes and food that I canned.  The greenhouse my husband built was so much fun.  I still have a lot of learning, but it is fun learning.  
  • spend more time camping.  Yep.  We spent well over 40 nights in the camper all around the territory.  Even a quadding camping trip with the boys.  With the boys just that bit older, I was able to go camping with them even if Matt wasn't able to come with us.  It was one of the best summers camping I have ever had.
  • sew new things.  Well the sewing hobby is done.  With my time devoted to my family, being active, my school work, and volunteer commitments, I decided to give that hobby up.  I thought I would feel sad about it, but I feel relieved!  Now I am not stressed to get custom orders done or trying to always have the right supplies on hand.  And I don't feel like I am missing out on anything by giving it up.  Good decision.
  • deal with that rubbermaid of photos.  um yeah.  So you know how something gets put on that goal list year after year?  I think this is about year 8 of this goal.  Why break with tradition?
  • get a kayak and learn to use it.  BEST GOAL EVER!  My parents gifted me a kayak and the boys each got a little one as well.  Some of my favorite moments camping this year were from us paddling around the edges of lakes exploring.  I haven't gotten lessons yet, but I felt comfortable enough to explore.
So what is on the list for this year?

1.  More self care.  I have learned an awful lot about myself in the last year: how I deal with stress, how I feel guilty not helping everyone all the time, how I need to take time to re-charge myself, how this isn't my fault it is just my personality type.  This year I am going to put more time into helping myself.  I have a list of books to read this year that are about identity after weight-loss and eating disorders.  The more I learn about myself the more I will be able to create positive change in my life.  I think I will be blogging more about what I learn too.

2.  FIT!  My body has healed and exercise definitely can help the mind heal as well.  I want my fitness to include more activities that I enjoy like snowshoeing and kayaking.  I am going try and gear my gym workouts to helping me perform better at the activities that I truly enjoy.  I am also going to work on doing more activities together as a family- maybe convince my husband to take up squash with me!  My goal of weighing 160lbs is still there.  I know, having a number shouldn't be important, but I just want to say that I am half my size.  I really want that.  Again, I think I will be blogging more about what I am doing to increase my fitness.  Sharing helps me feel accountable and maybe it will help inspire others.

3.  Find more ways to encourage active learning with the boys.  My boys definitely inherited my curious-mother-fracker gene.  They want to know about everything.  I want this to be another fun year of learning. 

4.  Veggies and eggs.  This is going to be the year I get chickens!  Well, I hope so anyways.  Fingers crossed I learn how to take care of them and eggs are the delicious result.  I have a few plans to expand my growing space with help from Matt.  I already have my seed catalogues in hand and lots of ideas about what I am going to grow this year!

5.  Just say no.  I need to work on saying no so that I don't stretch myself too thin.  My family needs my time and energy first.  I also have a lot of school work that I have to finish this year.  I am going to work hard at not feeling guilty to saying no to people and not volunteering myself for everything. I need to learn to not worry myself sick that people will think negatively of me for doing so.  Easy to write down.  Hard as hell to follow through with.  I feel guilt so badly over saying no to things that I get physically sick.  Bring on the self-help books for this one!

6. Learn to be content where I am.  We have a bunch of really great friends moving away this year and others that left last year.  When that happens it is easy to think that maybe we aren't happy or that we would like some place better.  But we know we are happy here and I have to always come back to what is best for my family.  Right now, right here is best for us and I have to be confident in that.

7.  Finish my school work!  I am working hard at completing what I need to do to become a personal trainer and nutrition coach.  I am lacking a lot of confidence in myself that I will be good at doing this when the time comes.  Mostly I think it is just nerves about doing something new and fear that I will be shitty at it!

8.  And back on the list for year 9 or so.... deal with that damn rubbermaid of pictures.  Uh huh.  Going to do it.  Yep, totally going to do it this year.

2015 is going to be another fantastic year.  My family is happy, healthy, and just as odd as ever.  I have a lot to be thankful for and a lot to look forward to.  All the best to you and your family in 2015!


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Why 2014 was an incredible year

2014 was an incredible year because of this:


Family time.  And even better, family time outside.

Here's to even more of this in 2015.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas Goodness

The holidays were perfect.

We did a lot of acts of kindness around our community.

We are having lots of family time.

We are having lots of friend time.

We are having a lot of laughs.

I love this life we are leading.


Dressed up for the school concert.

Skating with Santa!

Family sledding time!

Snowshoeing/beating each other with sticks.

Sparklers with friends to call in Santa!

Excited little boys!

Note reads:  Dear Santa, Take brother to bunk.  Leave presents.  Travel safe.  Love Hunter

Holiday traditions.

Such a hard life.

The rarely seen affectionate Went Brother moment.

More outside fun on Christmas Day.

Turkey in a brine to feed lots of friends!