Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Hick Up

Sacha and I spent this past weekend camping at Hicks Lake with the Beavers. I was really nervous before hand because it was a two night trip, we were sleeping in tents, it's April and because I'm a leader, even if I was having the worst time of my life, I couldn't bail and go home because there are leader/beaver ratios that need to be kept.  I haven't camped much, less than 10 times that I remember.  And I remember lying awake on at least 5 of those trips, knowing that even though I couldn't feel that the night would end, logically I knew it would. 

For this trip, I bought an air mattress (the key to camping happiness) and it was all good. I was a bit cold the first night but added a thick blanket underneath me on the second night and was warm.  Sacha was sleeping on a foamy and he said he was comfy and warm both nights. 

The theme of the camp was Pioneering. The kids made mini blackboards, painted their own badges and made tin can lanterns. The parents made butter by shaking a jar of whip cream and a big pot of meatball stew for dinner. We also roasted marshmallows and made s'mores. The kids had a great time running around and exploring. It's a beautiful spot, I'd definitely camp there in the future, maybe in the summer though. 

Sacha had a little bit of a panic attack when one of the leaders stressed not to have any food in tents because she saw coyote tracks by the lake. I had a bit of a panic attack when one of the dad's caught a snake and brought it back to camp to show everyone. It was big. 

I think the highlight for Sacha was when we stopped at the second hand shop just out side of Harrison Hot Springs and we found a candle holder with a finger ring! Apparently they are called chamber sticks. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

North of Normal

My friend from work borrowed North of Normal by Cae Sunrise Person from the school library over Spring Break. She loved it and loaned it to me before returning it. I loved it too!

This memoir about a woman who had a magical and horrific childhood. Raised by a super hippy family that left their lives behind to life full time in tepees in the Canadian wilderness.  It was so interesting, especially for anyone dreaming about leaving the rat race and getting back to basics and nature.   Lots of drugs, lots of nudity, lots of homesteading, poverty and distinction It's one thing for adults to make a decision like that, it's another having a child grow up not knowing anything else. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Tulip Fest

Back from Vancouver Island, we spent Easter Monday down in LaConnor for the Skagit Valley Tulip festival.  We used to go every year but haven't been since Alice was 5 months old. 

I love the colourful fields. I'd say it reminds me of holland but because I grew up here, Holland reminds me of La Connor.  You can't buy bulbs and bring them across the border, which is probably a good thing or we would have a very expensive but very colourful garden next spring. 

We are on the hunt for a candle holder with a finger ring to carry it (as seen in Fort Langley). So we checked out one of the antique stores. No luck with the candle holder but Sacha found an arsenal of antique weaponry that caught his eye. I tried to steer him to antique skeleton keys but he was too distracted and we left with nothing.  


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Easter Weekend Away

We spent Easter weekend in Nanoose Bay on Vancouver with Andrew's Aunt and Uncle who live in Edmonton.  It was a bit of a rush to catch the ferry after work on Friday but I knew it was going to be busy so we had reservations. Thankfully. It was great to see everyone again. I hadn't seen them since Alice was first born, so like 4 years. 

The kids had so much fun. They went out on the boat everyday, fished from the rocks, played on the beach, played with Bear the dog. They also went crab trapping every day, but only caught 2 flounders, one decrepit crab with no claws and a sea cucumber.  We had no home made crabby patties. Alice was very much looking forward to making those. 

I got caught up on some reading, helped with a really difficult puzzle and we spent the evenings playing board games, which we haven't done in years but was a lot if fun. I taught Sacha how to play uno, Alice already learn the pervious week up at the Hills. 

We also made shaving cream marbled Easter eggs. A Pinterest find, which is lots of fun and makes beautiful eggs and about a roll of paper towel to clean up. We used unboiled eggs because I didn't think the kids would eat a boiled egg but we all had scrambled eggs for Easter breakfast. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Girls Weekend

Alice and I have just got back from a couple days at The Hills Health Ranch in 108 Mile House.  We went up with some friends from work and their kids. Sacha is back in school now and after taking him out for Disneyland and Family Day, I didn't think he should miss any more class time. 

We spent every morning swimming and hot tubbing. Alice was too young for trail rides but we did get to meet their donkeys and she did get a quick lead around the paddock on a very big horse by a very nice trail guide. We closed out each night with a campfire. One night we made 's'mores and another night we roasted hotdogs. 

We had a pack of kids, ranging in age from 4-10.  They explored the countryside for hours in a big group, it was great. 

I even got a chance to finish a book I've been reading since October, People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks.  I liked it in the end but I had a hard time getting into it. I really liked the main character, Hannah's story but lost interest when it shifted perspective to a different group. As I kept reading, I started to enjoy the jumping around through history but it made it easy to put down and pick up another book before continuing on.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Family Day VI

Sacha's spring break ended on Friday and my spring break started on Monday, so we pulled Sacha out of school for the day to celebrate Family Day all together.  We've been pretty lucky that most years March 24 has fallen on days that we don't have to work. 

Knowing Sacha's love of history and that Family Day is all about our family history, we thought it would be fitting to spend the day visiting Fort Langley.  The kids loved it! We actually ended up buying a season pass because it was only $10 more than the family day pass anyway. 

I hadn't been since I was little and the kids had never been there before.  It is a great museum. Everything is hands on and interactive. They got to practice building walls on a house, the blacksmith had Sacha help make an iron hook and then traded it for ticket stubs (it is a trading post after all).  They got to test their strength carrying bundles of "furs" and in the big house they got to dress up, practice writing with feathers and play with dolls and checkers.  

Alice really got into the dressing up. Old fashioned children are very demure. I hope they didn't get lice from the hats. 

They also got to pan for gold, Sacha found two pieces.  We didn't get to see the musket demo because that didn't happen until later in the afternoon and we decided to get some lunch, but the kids would have stayed for hours more. We will definitely be back and probably sooner than later. 

I think we had a pretty good celebration for the 6th anniversary of adopting Sacha.  We will end the evening with a Beavers Campfire tonight with hot chocolate and singing songs. Sacha wants to tell ghost stories at the campfire. Should be fun. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


With Family day coming up next week, I've had Russian cultural awareness on my mind. About two years ago, I found Russia House restaurant in Coquitlam and have been wanting to take Sacha ever since, but have never had the chance until this last weekend. Part of the reason we never went before was because it is not open for lunch and it's pretty far from home for us for dinner with kids. 

We got there right as it opened at 2, like right when it opened, the host turned on the lights for us. The ambience is perfect, just as we remember Russia. Very fancy, we got to sit in a liitle booth surrounded with curtains. You could even pull a curtain across for total privacy. We didn't though because we were the only ones there.  There was also a dance floor and disco ball. I think it would be fun to go back for dinner another time, but with out the kids. 

We all shared three main course dishes, Pelmeni, Beef Stroganoff and Pierogies. Pierogies aren't really eastern Russian food, they call something similar Varenyky but it was a house speciality and they were good! Everything was delicious. I especially liked the Pelmeni that are big meat filled tortellinis covered in butter. Yum. 

Sacha was excellent at trying everything. He gave all three dishes thumbs up.  Alice wasn't to keen to try the new foods but liked them when she did eat some nibbles.  Next time we will branch out a bit more, maybe try cabbage rolls or borscht.  And there will definitely be a next time.