Friday, June 24, 2011

Great Canadian Blog Bash

In the spirit of Canada Day & to support the amazing Canadian Bloggers, won't you join us for the Great Canadian Blog Bash?
I love writing about Raising Healthy my Kids and so many bloggers have been very supportive of helping us spread the word about our all natural
IronKids Gummy Vitamins!
We have an exciting summer planned of camping, hiking and kids fun runs that I'll be sure to be writing about!!
Have a read around my previous posts and then go Blog hoping!
Many are running contests with fabulous prizes. Check out Nugglemama's Handful & Tales of a Ranting Ginger to get you started.
There might be IronKids vitamins to win there!!
Happy Reading!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Our Weekend Getaway . . .in the backyard!

A look ahead on the calendar and there was an entire weekend with no plans and the weather forecast was warm and sunny . . . it was the perfect set up for a weekend getaway!

We announced to the kids that it was going to be a family weekend and they excitedly ran upstairs and packed their stuff. Minutes later Tinkerbelle, Cinderella and Mickey Mouse suitcases bounced down the stairs filled with all their favorite possessions ready to go. They were off!

Our 3 kids ran out the back door, suitcases in tow, jumped into the tent . . . and unpacked! Our weekend getaway was to our own backyard!

You may be thinking, what kind of getaway is that? Well, if you plan it right, it can be the best getaway! And by plan, I mean don't make any! That was the hardest part. For 2 days we did not go anywhere in the car. No groceries, no playdates, no visitors, and not even a trip downtown to visit our local music festival that we love.

We were determined to stay together, close to home and do all those things we never seem to have time for! And if you know us, that meant getting out and being active with our kids . . .from home!

We got on our bikes and did a couple loops of the neighbourhood and even did a lap around the park in our running shoes! Then we floated the rest of the day away in the pool. We set up the tent, kids decided who was sleeping where, they got all their bedding and far too many stuffed animals and played in the tent while Dad and I read under the gazebo. We fired up the bbq when hungry and brought out the frozen drinks and popsicles when thirsty.

When it got dark we sat around our fire pit and roasted marshmallows before retiring to the tent with popcorn and a movie on our computer!

We all fell asleep in the tent watching the stars above in our own backyard . . . it was pure family vacation bliss.

The next morning happened to be Fathers Day and the kids couldn't wait to put on their "our dad rocks" shirts and get their homemade gifts for Dad to open in the tent. After our traditional waffle breakfast we all hopped on our bikes again and rode to the park with our tennis racquets.

We finally had time to play tennis as a family and even spent time swinging on the swings after we got tired of chasing tennis balls.

It was a perfect weekend because this busy family of 5 decided to not be so busy. No one ran errands, no one needed chauffeuring to birthday parties, no one had anywhere to go. Our cars stayed parked, our laundry stayed dirty, our grass stayed long, our phone went unanswered. We had coffee outside, cocktails in the pool, and popcorn in the tent . . . and the 5 of us hung out together.

It was definitely the one of our best family getaways . . and we will be booking that camp site again really soon!!

Have you tried a weekend getaway at home? Would love to hear about it!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sprint to the Finish!

I am not ashamed to admit that both my kids beat me across the finish line at our very first 5 km Moon in June race last weekend!

I trained with my two older daughters for weeks ahead of time (see blog post on that here!), I taught them how to pace, to stretch, to drink water, and we bonded so much preparing for this race. Race day comes, and because it was a night run (meant for older kids & adults not 7 & 9 year olds!), we had the girls take a nap in the afternoon and filled them with pasta at lunch. They were ready to run!

Our 5 year old did her 1km run with Dad . . she loves that run!! Her little legs were non stop! Medal and freeze in hand, she settled in to watch her two older sisters run the 5km with me.

My older kids were barely visible among the 790 tall adult runners ready for the 5km challenge! They were never once intimidated by the people, the distance or the time of day. They were so excited when that starting gun went off at 9:15pm . . yes, it was a late one and yes, we would be doing our first 5km race together in the dark! The race was on!

After the pack thinned a little, the kids were thrilled to literally "run into" their school Vice Principle, Music teacher and Kindergarten teacher . . .each was impressed that the other was out running a 5k!! The kids and I chatted as we ran along on the road, they loved the encouragement from the other runners as they passed us by, loved the police officers directing traffic at the turning points and couldn't believe the kids and well wishers on the front lawns as we ran through sub divisions.

They saw the km route markers and the negotiations started . . ."we will run until we see 2km and them we will have a rest and walk . . . I think."

Turns out they passed the 2km mark and the 2.5km mark and experienced their first water station at 3km and after a brief sip of water, kept running. We made it all the way to the 4km sign before we stopped for a photo op and a walk to drink some water.

Be now they knew the finish line wasn't far and were eager to get back to running. After I finished texting their Dad to tell him we were coming in (yes I can text & run!), we headed for the end. They got more excited as they got closer and begged me to let them start running faster. I held them back til I knew we were close enough and no one would get hurt or too tired to finish.

Well, when I said "OK go for it" . . .they were GONE! I honestly could not catch my 9 year old as she sprinted across that finish line.

Proud does not even begin to describe how they feel about themselves! They experienced what setting a goal, working towards a goal and accomplishing a goal feels like. They talk about it almost everyday. I know they are reliving those moments in their head and how it felt to cross that finish line. They cannot wait until next year.

As for me? I am going to make sure I have a head start next time before the sprinting starts!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Perfect Fathers Day gift . . for MOM!

I have the perfect Father's Day gift . . .every mom should run out now and get one of these for their kids Dad!

This perfect gift gives back every weekend, to ME!

I sleep in (LATE) every Saturday morning. Daddy HAS to get up. The kids beg for him to get up. The kids never let him skip a weekend, this is serious 'Daddy is the best ever and we love him soooo much' !! All the makings of the PERFECT Fathers Day Gift!! So what is it . . .

THE perfect gift for this Fathers Day is a Waffle Maker. Seriously!

We bought Dad at our house one about 2 years ago for Father's Day and every single weekend & and every single birthday slumber party morning has been a waffle morning. He makes huge batches and freezes them so the kids have ready made pop-in-the-toaster breakfast before school.

It's brilliant !!

I get out of weekend breakfast AND school morning breakfast!! Kids can self serve from freezer to toaster and they LOVE Daddy's waffles.

He's even come up with his own "healthy" waffle recipe so the kids get some good stuff with their weekend waffle! (yes I know there are sprinkles on that whip cream above . . . but its real whip cream!)

So think about YOU this Father's Day!! Your kids will love you for it !!

Dad's Healthier "let mommy sleep" Waffles
Dry Ingredients
2 cups whole wheat flour
6 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar

Wet Ingredients
2 cups Milk
8 tbsps Extra Virgin Olive oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs seperated yolks from white.

1-2 mashed Bananas & handful of chocolate chips (see blog about choc chips here!)

Add first four ingredients to bowl and mix.
Add milk, olive oil, egg yolks and Vanilla Extract and mix. Add to dry ingredients and mix.
Add in mushed bananas and a sprinkle of chocolate chips

Beat Egg whites until white and fluffy. Then fold egg whites into batter.

Pour batter in to Waffle iron and cook for approximately 8 minutes. Makes approximately 15 waffles depending on size of waffle iron.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Would you let your kids skip school for this?

I let my kids skip school yesterday afternoon. No one was sick. No one had an appointment. And no one was more excited to get out of school at 1pm then my 3 kids!

It’s been a crappy Spring around here . . . sunshine only out for small windows of time and then clouds roll in and we have rain for days and days. Everything is soggy all the time. We've given up hoping for Spring and hike in the rain, bike in the clouds and just cross our fingers that Summer sunshine will be here one day.

That day came yesterday . . . it was HOT! Topping out near 40 degrees with the humidex! The sun brought along a clear blue sky and no wind. We were NOT letting this day go by uncelebrated! The days following were going to be sunny but not nearly as HOT! So I wrote notes to the teachers and picked up my kids at their lunch break and took them home . . . . to swim.

Yup. Swim.

We had our first in ground pool put in last Fall, the pool opened on Halloween weekend. We swam on Halloween in the cold and then closed it for winter. We were first in line to open our pool in May. And we have swam again in the cold, in the clouds, the wind and even in the rain. I hadn’t gone in yet . . despite us heating the pool, the air is always cold and shivering is not my idea of fun in a pool.

So when the weather promised sunshine and high humidity, the pool party planning began.

My kids have each missed maybe 1 day of school for illness all year, their grades are awesome, they had no special activity or test that afternoon and for all their hard work all school year long they expect nor do they usually receive, and treats. This day was a treat. This day is what we’ve been waiting for since last September and this day was going to be enjoyed.

Yesterday we slowed down and we lived that day to its fullest. My kids will always remember the fun they had swimming with Mom & Dad on a school afternoon and how wonderful that sun felt and how warm that water was and how good those popsicles tasted.

I’m hoping I have taught my kids to embrace the good opportunities in life, that it's OK to take time out for something special, to have fun and to live in the moment. Life is too short, and yesterday was just too perfect.

Would you let your kids skip school for this?