Category Archives: Summer Blog Challenge

9 Days of Happiness

We are just more than half way through our 2 week getaway. We’ve been cooked by the sun, fed up at restaurants that we’ve never been to before and bought some of the ugliest basketball shoes that I’ve ever seen.

We’ve slept in resorts and our motorhome and the biggest argument has been over snoring. It’s been fun and refreshing, and we’re so thankful that we made the decision to go.

We’ve seen many different landscapes and smile at what is considered a ‘mountain’ in these parts. It’s also been weird to have such high speed limits everywhere, which is nice on one hand but 65 mph in a construction zone just seems so wrong. Almost every small town has a Subway and a Flying J, and we’re starting to miss Tim Hortons. We tried the Dunkin Donuts iced coffee drinks but they are NOT Ice Capps, at all.

Last night, we stayed at a fabulous little town called Lava Hot Springs, ID. We made some new friends at the hot pools and plan to return & visit them next summer. I’d recommend you check it out with your family too. Hot Springs, waterslides, recreation centre and river tubing. The town was quaint and filled with lots of great little shops and activities. Perfect place for a family vacation.

Today we continue on our journey west and will see what the trip brings us.

For now, we enjoy spending time with our little family. Many miles, much junk food and lots of laughs. For he record, We do NOT recommend Candy Corn M&M’s to anyone. Ever.

We are so very, very blessed. All family vacations should be like this. ūüôā

Now, I need a favour from all of you. please consider voting for me at this link. My goal is to hit #25 on the list, the last of the best of the Top Mom Bloggers in Canada. Follow this link and vote now. Voting ends tomorrow. Thanks friends!! http://www.circleofmoms.com/blogger/mom-s-got-something-say?blogroll_id=110

28 Hours in a Motorhome

We made it to Las Vegas, safe and sound. There was basically no fighting as everyone had their “own space” to relax and nap.¬†Motorhomes are beautiful things and I recommend that all of you with children get one.

So¬†far on this adventure,¬†we’ve tried some new things and seen things we’ve never before seen. We’ve played stupid games to amuse ourselves, and we had to listen to Kevin’s Eagles CD. Blech. And if I never have to hear someone sing “What does the Fox say” ever again, it will be too soon.

We’re all having a blast and here’s a small¬†sampling of what we’ve “discovered” so far.

Chobani Almond Coco-Loco yogurt is heavenly.

After having stuck their face out the window at 65 miles an hour, the children now know “why dogs love doing that”.

The speed limit in parts of Utah is 85 miles an hour, so yes, you’d have to be going 140 kilometres an hour to be “speeding”.

Chick-Fil-A is delicious and we should seriously have those restaurants in Canada.

American Coke and Heinz Ketchup do NOT taste the same, AT ALL.

There are 58 Mormon churches visible from the highway in the Salt Lake Valley.

Teenagers do NOT like having to do their homework while driving.

Las Vegas is very hot.

Our hotel is across the street from the Outlet Mall.

Let’s see what tomorrow brings.¬† ūüôā

This post is part of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge. If you want to follow along with all of us “challengers”, click on their links below.¬†

Liam ~ Natasha ~ Zita ~ MagzD ~ Peter ~ Christine ~ Cliff ~ Hethr ~ Tracy

Happy Trails

If you know anything about our lives over the past few years, you know it’s been tough. We’ve had some tough kids in some tough situations and we’re tired.

Tired of fighting, and fixing and waiting for things to change. Tired of hoping for different outcomes to the same situation that just plays out, over and over and over. Tired of trying.

So, we’ve decided to run away for a little while. We’re taking two weeks off to enjoy our kids and do no thinking. No fighting. Just being a family.

Teachers, employers and coaches aren’t overly thrilled with us but this HAD to happen. Our kids need time to breathe and refocus too. Kevin and I chose this path for our family, and we don’t regret it for a second. But we have to remember that our choices became our kids choices and when we struggle, we ALL struggle.

I know that we’ve made it through the worst of it, and feel like we’ve now found a good groove again. The kids have all gelled and are getting along pretty well. The bigs have become much better friends, the littles are happy to have a home, and the bigs are adjusting to the millions of questions per day that the littles continually ask. Overall, we’re finding our way back to ‘normal’.

Not sure what our normal is exactly, but I feel like we’re getting there. I finally feel like I can breathe again and that’s such an amazing feeling. A fresh start is a wonderful place to begin, so we’re making one now.

As I write, the three are sound asleep as we cruise down the highway. They are beyond thrilled for the adventure that is to come their way. They’ve talked non-stop and are planning their shoe purchases and photo ops. They are already making us crazy with how much further questions and calls for more food. They are happy and laughing, and its good to see. But for now, we let them sleep and we enjoy the peace and quiet of just ‘being’.

We are 5 barreling down a highway, in a motor home heading towards sunshine, outlet malls and naps. Junk food, stupid tourist attractions and Carl’s Jr. are calling our names. An Akita, a dog sitter and some very amazing friends & family are watching over our home and the new pieces of our hearts.

At this moment, I can feel our blessings and I am so very, very thankful. Let the Happy Trails start NOW. I love my life.

Cheat Day #2

Today my blog post will consist of me saying that there will be no post today.

I have hit the open road and don’t have wifi. My dear husband has informed that we’re too cheap to use data. (HE’S too cheap).

See you tomorrow. ūüôā

Choose Wisely

Thankfully, I’ve managed to surround myself with some amazing people. I truly am blessed beyond measure, and my friends are¬†some of my¬†biggest blessings.

Friends should be encouragements and helps in time of need. They should be sounding boards that listen and love you in spite of what’s going on in your world. They should help steer you straight when your path seems to veer off course. They should always have your best interests at heart.

Are those the kinds of people that you’ve surrounded yourself with? Or are you miserable when you’re with them? Do you dread seeing their number on call display? Do you feel judged or are you mistreated? Are they constantly correcting you or do you feel worthless when they’re around?

Choose your friends wisely, as more often than not, they’re the voice in your ear. The voice that pushes you forward to good things or pulls you back to things best forgotten.

Find a voice that brings you joy, you deserve nothing less than that.

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This post is part of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge. If you want to follow along with all of us “challengers”, click on their links below.

Liam ~ Natasha ~ Zita ~ MagzD ~ Peter ~ Christine ~ Cliff ~ Hethr ~ Tracy

Unanswered Questions

Have you ever been asked a question that warrants an answer but you know you can’t answer it?

Today was that day for me, and unfortunately, I couldn’t answer how I wanted to. I had to redirect the conversation and basically avoid the question completely. I had to be comforting and reassuring without saying what they wanted to hear. It is such a horrible position to be in, and it’s one of the things that I can’t stand about being a foster parent.

I believe that I know what’s best for the kids that live with me, but it doesn’t really matter. There are rules and laws and procedures that must be followed. There’s right and wrong, and a whole lot of grey areas all over the place. Sometimes it doesn’t make any sense, and quite often it seems downright wrong. Unfortunately, my opinion doesn’t matter. Instead, I smile, give a little hug and keep on keeping on.

My heart is broken but I must bite my tongue and hope for the best.

Today I’m going to think of the unanswered questions as blessings.¬†I cannot answer them, but for now, they are here, they are safe and¬†they are mine.

This post is part of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge. If you want to follow along with all of us “challengers”, click on their links below.

Liam ~ Natasha ~ Zita ~ MagzD ~ Peter ~ Christine ~ Cliff ~ Hethr ~ Tracy

Blaming Who??

A couple of days ago, I was out shopping and ended up waiting for what seemed like forever to pay for my items. While in line, I got to listen to the most interesting conversation.

The 3 women behind me spent the entire time complaining about how they thought the government should regulate the fast food industry. They were upset that they and their children had gained so much weight over the years, and thought the government should do something about it. They talked about having the fat levels decreased in the food, and that they should make restaurants stop using butter and sugar, and it went on and on. They truly believed that their “state” wasn’t their fault.

I tried to not turn around and look at them, but I finally had to give in and check these ladies out. I wasn’t surprised to see that they were all significantly overweight, and that their buggy was filled with nothing but junk food.¬†They looked at me and when sensing some “fat girl solidarity”, they gave me that look of “you agree, right”. And well, yeah, I don’t agree. Sorry.

I am overweight because I ate too much. I chose the crappy food that I ate. No one forced me and as easily as I made bad choices, I could’ve¬†made good ones instead. I am responsible for the predicament that I’m in, and it’s most certainly not the government’s fault. Craziness.

Don’t want to be fat, don’t eat crappy food all the time. Don’t want your kids to dress provocatively, don’t buy them those kinds of clothing. Don’t want to be in debt, stop spending money you don’t have. Don’t want to fail a test, study.

For the love of peaches people, take some responsibility for your own choices. Quit blaming everything that is wrong in your world on everyone else. When things continually don’t get better or don’t go your way, there’s probably a reason. Look inward, and maybe, just maybe you’ll see the problem.

Own your crap. It’ll set you free and help you get to where you need to be going.

And seriously, you’ve got free will to do whatever you choose. Want different – Do different. Period.

This post is part of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge. If you want to follow along with all of us “challengers”, click on their links below.¬†

Liam ~ Natasha ~ Zita ~ MagzD ~ Peter ~ Christine ~ Cliff ~ Hethr ~ Tracy

Screaming in Silence

Some days I wake up and I’m tired. I’ve had a great sleep and¬†I’m refreshed and ready for the day, but I’m still so very, very tired.

Some days I can’t form a clear thought in my head. I know what I want to say, and I know what I need to do, but I just can’t get my thoughts together.

Some days I catch myself looking at my kids and wondering why in the world I ever thought being a Mom was a good idea.

Some days I try and figure out ways to lock myself out of my house and away from the chaos that seems to thrive inside.

Some days I can’t come up with new answers to the questions that I’ve already answered a million times.

Some days I just want to scream, at the top of my lungs while I jump up and down and stomp my feet. But I never do, I just stand there in silence and leave the screaming inside my head.

Most days I wonder if I’m being the best Mom that I can be? Am I helping my kids become all that they can be? Am I good enough for them?

Being a Mom is tough. It’s also amazing and awesome and wonderful, but it’s still tough.

So often I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders and cower from the responsibilities that have been given to me. It is my job to train them in the way that they should go. It is my job to shape their character, teach them morals and give them self-confidence. It is my job to be their example.

I yell at my kids more often than I should. I quite often forget that they’re not adults and put too high of expectations on them. I don’t go to enough of their school and sporting events. I let them eat more junk food than they should. I get mad at them when they don’t do exactly¬†as I say. I give them irrational punishments that I always regret later. I make more mistakes than I ever care to admit.

But then I look into the faces of my babies, and I’m blown away by how incredibly amazing they are. Someway, somehow, I did that. My heart tells me that I’m a good Mom, but my brain quite often tries to convince me otherwise. Why is that?

Why do we as Moms do this to ourselves? Why can’t we just trust our instincts and the decisions that we are making? No one knows you or your family¬†better than YOU, so why isn’t that¬†good enough?

I’m tired. Tired of questioning myself and second guessing everything. I’m tired of fretting and worrying about each and every decision that I make. I’m tired of feeling like there should be more to my journey, and I’m ready to kick all my “tireds” to the curb.

Let’s make a pact. You and me and all the Moms around us. Let’s agree to be true to ourselves first. Let’s honour our families and the choices that we’ve made. Let’s own our mistakes and do better next time. Let’s love ourselves the same way we love our children. Let’s never let doubt convince us that we are worth less than we really are. Let’s trust ourselves. Let’s agree to give up on being perfect and instead work on being content.

So from this moment forward, the ground on which I stand is solid. I KNOW who I am. I am confident and am trusting in all that I know to be true.  I am an awesome Mom. A great friend. An incredible wife and a good daughter. That is more than enough for me.

And if one day I need to scream, out loud.¬†That’s okay too.

keep-calm-youre-a-good-mom

This post is part of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge. If you want to follow along with all of us “challengers”, click on their links below.¬†

Liam ~ Natasha ~ Zita ~ MagzD ~ Peter ~ Christine ~ Cliff ~ Hethr ~ Tracy

A very important CHOICE

Can you imagine what it would be like to wake up every day and not know the things you knew yesterday? You can sense that somewhere deep in the recesses of your mind,¬† the answer is there, but the question has you so confused that you can’t figure it out.

You “know” that you need to tie your shoes, and you know that you can do it, but for some reason, you can’t remember how.

You are constantly getting in trouble, for the same things, over and over, and don’t understand why.

Your¬†“friend” tells you that it’s a good idea to jump off the roof of your house if you hold your coat open like a parachute, and that seems like it makes sense, so you do it.

You have a really hard time “feeling” your body, as in, you don’t really sense how much space you fill. Because of that you’re constantly getting in people’s way or sitting way too close.

You try to sit still¬†and watch TV, but your body just wants to do something else. You can’t stop bouncing and wiggling, no matter how hard you try.

All of your friends seem to be much older than you, even though you’re the exact same age.

You’re at school sitting in your desk, and your teacher corrects something you’ve done wrong, and you instantly start crying. You can’t help it, and you can’t stop.

Your life is a constant battle and everything seems to be out of your control. You feel lost and confused the majority of the time. You are very emotional. Your forget how to do simple tasks. You don’t understand the instructions that are being given to you. You are stuck inside a body that just feels “lost”.

This is what your life could be like if you have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.

Your life has been forever changed by your Mother’s choice and your¬†disorder was 100% completely preventable. It is not your fault, but you have to live with it.

Every day, I look into the faces of children that have been affected by alcohol. They struggle more than they succeed and it’s heartbreaking. They’re victims of a crime that was committed before they were even born, and it makes me crazy.

This¬†disorder isn’t saved for¬†alcoholics or regular drinkers, it is much bigger than that.¬†It can be ONE drink at a particular MOMENT¬†and still¬†have dire consequences.

FASD is the leading known cause of preventable developmental disability among Canadians. It is estimated that FASD affects approximately one percent of the Canadian  population.

FASD cannot be cured and has lifelong impacts on individuals, their families, and society. Effects, including alcohol-related birth defects,  can vary  from mild to severe and may include a range of physical, brain and central nervous system disabilities, as well as cognitive,  behavioural and emotional issues. РPublic Health Agency of Canada

Today is FASD¬†Awareness Day. Please don’t drink when you’re pregnant. That one simple act can effect your child’s forever and frankly, that’s just not fair.

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Photo courtesy of:  http://fasday.com/

For more information, please go check out the Health Canada site. If you’re pregnant and drinking, please stop. If you need help stopping, please¬†seek help immediately. Your baby is counting on you.

This post is part of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge. If you want to follow along with all of us “challengers”, click on their links below.¬† Please go and give them a read … writing every day for 30 days is TOUGH to do.

Liam ~ Natasha ~ Zita ~ MagzD ~ Peter ~ Christine ~ Cliff ~ Hethr ~ Tracy

The Summer that Construction Built

I am so blessed to live in an amazing community and the most wonderful little hamlet ever. We have great amenities, fast snow removal and WAY less potholes than our neighbouring community.

I am literally a 5 minute drive from everything in town, and would happily never leave this place.

This year as we all prepared for a great summer of fun adventure, we had no idea how much¬†“fun” was¬†about to come our way.¬†We made plans, and lists and got ready. But¬†then this happened.

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Quickly our world was taken over by tractors, dirt and constant beeping noises. My street and driveway became a no parking zone, and the summer of hiking everything in and out began.

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From 7am until 7pm, our house rumbled and shook. Dirt and dust were constantly flying and the reverse beeping never, ever seemed to end. My dog spent the majority of her day barking her fool head off at all of the vehicles and people that were constantly out front. Because of that, I had approximately 47 mini heart attacks per day as an Akita barking in warning, is NOT a quiet thing.

We quickly had overflowing garbage cans and empty cupboards but the thought of having to haul things four blocks just wasn’t all that appealing. We eventually had to give in, and thankfully, I have a small crew of carriers to help us get stuff home.

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We were quite the sight to see as we climbed under trees and through bushes to make our way home. Backpacks full of groceries and a line-up of children as far as the eye could see. Over, under and all the way home, every day was an adventure.

Eventually the big hole was filled and the new sidewalks were put in. We were able to bring our vehicles home and the massive Costco trip was made. We finally had cupboards full of food which also means less whiny children. It was glorious.

But today I received a notice from the construction company letting us know that the “adventure” was set to begin again tomorrow.

This time, they’re ripping out our entire street and paving it. 26 homes are affected, which means that there will be approximately 52 vehicles fighting for about 12 parking spots that are within 3 blocks of my house. I am so not excited.

Still thankful for this amazing place that I live, but not excited.

Why didn’t I go buy milk today? That stuff’s heavy.

This post is part of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge. Click on the links below to check out some of the other awesome bloggers involved in the challenge. So much awesome.

Liam ~ Natasha ~ Zita ~ MagzD ~ Peter ~ Christine ~ Cliff ~ Hethr ~ Tracy