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My Grandma Virginia

On our wedding day nearly 12 years ago, my three grandparents. My grandma Virginia is in the floral dress. 
This past weekend I was fortunate to attend my paternal grandmother's funeral service in Denver, CO. I wouldn't have been able to go had it not been for the generosity of my aunt & uncle, and Stefan's willingness to afford us a portion of a ticket and a day at work with two stir-crazy kids. It was a quick trip; I flew out on Friday morning and returned Sunday afternoon. 
I was able to visit my grandfather's grave in Ft. Logan National Cemetery, see their old house, reconnect with family I hadn't seen in a long time, and go through old pictures- some of which are now waiting for an album at home! I also got to speak at her service, which I felt good about-honoring her memory and giving closure to that time of my life that is sadly now over. I have no remaining family in Colorado, and I spent many years traveling, jeeping, camping, and enjoying it there! It…
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March Titles // 2017

This month's reading was a bit anticlimactic after last month's reads, and it was surprising, too, since I had a two week break from homeschooling, which mean playdates! every! day! for the kids. Somehow, even without our regular classes, responsibilities, and routines, I read nothing. Nada. All these were finished before the middle of March. Egads, it feels like a waste now that I write that out!Ah, well, such is life sometimes. I finished a book club book, a blogger's book, and a great YA pick. See which one was which below:
*The Break by Katherena Vermette - This book was recently defended on CBC's Canada Reads, only to get voted off in the first round. It's the first book by Vermette and it was really good. It's a look inside a broken Native family tree, with resilient characters, tales of past hurts, and future hopes or despair, depending on who tells the story. Similar to the novel Homegoing, it jumps from different viewpoints, but keeps the same 4 or 5 …

February Titles // 2017

I had a great reading month. I slammed down a few books I'd wanted to read for awhile, finished quite a few kid read-alouds (and so many awesome picture books!), and generally enjoyed all of them. Here they are.
*Scary Close by Donald Miller - I've wanted to read this book for awhile. It's Blue Like Jazz author, Donald Miller's, newest book meeting of his (now) wife, Betsy. It was part mental-health memoir, part leaving-behind bachelorhood and working on healthy relationships in preparation for marriage. I don't know if that sounds interesting to you, but I really liked it. Out of the books of his I've read, it felt like his most vulnerable, honest, and open. This would make a great gift to a couple who are engaged, though it could be enjoyed by anybody. 
*Ancient Rome: How it Affects You Today by Richard Maybury - Reading this book (the third "Uncle Eric" book I've now read) is part of me intentionally searching out  more politically conservativ…

17 in 2017

across the water is YVR airport in Richmond, behind me is Terra Nova natural playground
I have made a yearly list for at least the past few years* and I enjoy seeing the outcomes, or what one or two morphed into, and what just didn't interest me enough to continue. Now that it's mid-February, I need to get that 2017 list out in the open. A lot of these have to do with trips I'll be taking in 2017 and I'm super excited to check some fun things off my bucket list!
What do you want to do this year?!

1) Learn to make veggie pakora and crock-pot butter chicken
2) go to Portland with the family? 
3) visit Burnaby Village and ride the carousel!
4) hike in Joshua Tree National Park
5) go to the San Diego zoo
6) bike the kettle valley railway (Kelowna)
7) us GF tempura to make onion rings
8) buy a better swimsuit!
9) go to the summer Seattle Renegade Craft Fair
10) visit the Brittania Mine with the kids
11) see La La Land with Stefan
12) [something with my mom's 60th birthda…

Anikka's 8th Birthday Interview

It's pretty much a lie that my daughter, my baby, is 8 today, but alas, so says the calendar and the time just keeps marching! Here is her yearly birthday interview. Happy Birthday, my sweet girl!

What is your favorite color? purple
Who are some of your friends? Kathryn, Isla, Ashlyn, Rachel, Lukka
What do you want to be when you grow up? a mom
What makes you happy? mom reading to us
What makes you sad? getting my feelings hurt

What is your favorite animal?horses
What is your favorite book?  Time Pieces
What is your favorite thing to do with Mom?  spend time together
What is your favorite thing to do with Dad? spend time together
What is your favorite thing to do with Lukka?  play
What do you like to do with your friends? play, crafts, talk

What do you like to do outside?  play with Copper, play with Nya and Brody
Where do you like to go?  to the Great Escape, the library
What is your favorite food?  cucumber, sugar snaps, apple, shakes, chicken nuggets


What is your favorite drink? ginger ale
Wha…

January Reads // 2017

*Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? by Richard J. Maybury -- Although I found this slim book in the LHEA (Langley Home Educator's Association) library to use for teaching kids economic principles, this is a subject I feel I know very little about, so I picked it up for myself. My kids are still young and really only understand money as gifts, and pay for chores. I know nothing about the history of economics, and although understand, generally, a few principles, I knew this would be a good primer. It was! I learned a lot from the 1-5 page chapters, easy-to-digest "Uncle Eric" book and went on a mission to read all of the ones I could find this year. See below for #2.

*The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp -- This book is Ann's long-awaited sophomore book, after 1,000 Gifts. Although I don't typically enjoy Ann's writing style, I find I struggle to slog through the flowery and repetitive language, I do love her content, which is what matters most to me anyway. This boo…

16 in 2016: What Happened and What Didn't

crisp January morning in Vancouver
Every year I make a little goal list of fun things I'd like to try; things I've never done, or just things I want to be intentional to make time for. They're fun (books read to the kids!), often simple (make an intimidating-to-me ethnic food), or they could be things that I've wanted to do, that with some strategic planning, will happen within the year(specific travel/outdoor goals). You can see my 15 in 2015 list HERE and then the final "What Happened, What Didn't" after the year was over. 
Here's my original 16 in 2016 list I made at the beginning of last January. I like to keep one or two lines blank, because I can't always think of everything by Jan 1!
1) We got a dog!! Copper joined our family in August and he's been a great addition. Although we're still working on his struggles with other dogs, he's such a happy guy. He's always ready to play, go on a hike, walk, or bike ride, has learned ho…