Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Blinded Me With Science

This morning it was raining and cold so our usual plans of playing outside all day were tossed.  Instead we spent the day pursuing scientific endevours:

Chemical Experiment
Our day started with setting up our Magic Tree courtesy of a friend.  The boys looked at the box and then come up with their own hypothesis about what would happen to our own tree.
 Baking Experiment:
Next it was measuring ingredients and see what deliciousness we could create.  They are getting good at telling the difference between teaspoon and tablespoon and number of cups.  My math centric boys were funny with the beater.  They would agree upon a number of licks they would each have (ex. 4 licks each), each take their licks, and then pick a new number.

No pictures of the pool experiment:  How long can two boys last in the pool on a cold, wet day?  Well mama only lasted 45 minutes but they hypothesized they could last for hours, maybe even days.

Archeology Experiment:
Safety glasses on!  Excavating for pirate treasure!  Thank you to cousins Damon and Kyler for sending this awesome birthday present.  Somewhere in here is buried treasure. 

Cavan enjoyed this experience greatly!  Probably because it made a huge mess.  No treasure found on day 1 of excavations.  Plans were made to continue this experiment tomorrow (and outdoors said the mama who had to sweep up this mess).

Drive Mama Crazy Experiment(s):
How many times can Cavan threaten to cut the sofa with scissors before mama loses her mind?  Just once and then he was re-directed to paper along with a swat to the arse.
How many somersaults/flips can be done off the sofa before Cavan falls off on his head?  Varied depending on degree of difficulty (ie. is brother on the sofa while this is happening) but his range of results is between 5 and 20 times.
How many times can Hunter tattle on his little brother before mama just ignores him and has tea?  Not sure yet since this mama is getting fantastic at ignoring tattles.  Hunter plans on pursing this experiment at high priority for the next five years.

 Comfy Experiment:
Hunter pushed two chairs together and then fell asleep on the deck late this afternoon!  Nice problem solving.
 Chemical Experiment Conclusion
Our little tree grew all day!  The boys were pretty impressed with it.

How did you encourage your child's scientific creativity today?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

And how does your garden grow?

Well mine grows quite well apparently!  Tonight we are having our first feed of lettuce and radishes and they are delicious.  I am already dreaming about next year when I will have over double the planting space that I already have.  Matt has nearly filled the second level of our backyard with planter boxes and now they just need dirt.  Thank you husband!!

The radish pit!

Lettuce and beets

After the radishes are carrots and peas.

Potato row!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Five Years Old!

Hunter turned five today!  

I really loved age four with Hunter.  We started to see his inquisitive side really start to come through.  His aptitude for math and science has really been showing as well.  Definitely our child!   I am sure five will be just as fantastic.

He was so little five years ago!

Did he really fit in our arms?

Two days old.

Big yawn!
Just a wee bit of growing over the last five years!

Happy Birthday, Hunter!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Sprinkers and White Bums

I know for certain that summer has arrived when I see these on my deck:

 And then I peek over the side of the deck and see white bums flying through the sprinkler:

Peeing on the fence happens during every season, but it is way cuter in the summer:

Thursday, June 21, 2012


It all started with this email in my inbox last Friday:

Hi Kara!  I found your blog and it sounds like you have a terrific family!  My son grew up and decided to paddle across Canada!  He is coming into faro in the next day or two!  He is a big (wonderful) guy named Steve.  If you see him and his friends please say hi to him from his mom!  We love him so!  If your boys ever come to Minnesota they are welcome in our home!  Thanks!  Jan keaveny

Neat!  But what are the chances I will run across Steve, I thought to myself?  I wrote back to Jan and told her that if we found Steve we would invite him up for a cold beer and a hot meal.

Saturday we spent a couple of hours down at our school volunteering to clean up after the previous night's high school graduation.  As we were walking out, I saw two scruffy guys in expensive gear walking out of the library.  Ah ha!  I walked right up (because anyone who knows me, knows this is exactly what I do), and said, "Hey, which one of you is Steve?  Jan sends her love!"  The guys looked at each other and back at me with confused expressions on their faces.  They told me that Steve was back at the tent, but how the heck did I know Steve?

So I told them about the email and proceeded to make good on the offer I told Jan about and invited them up to our house for beer and hot food.  I rounded up their partners, including Steve, from their tents down on the Pelly River.  Steve looked stupefied when I yelled, "Hello Steve, your mom misses you!  Come on up for beer!"  It was hilarious!

This group of four friends are canoeing 4000km across the north.  They started in Skagway (hiking the Chilkoot in snow), then towed their canoes across the frozen Lake Labarge, afterwards paddled down the Yukon river and now up the Pelly River.  They will eventually cross the Northwest Territories and finally head into Nunavut finishing up their trip in Chesterfield Inlet.  Why?  They explain the trip nicely on their website:

The crew hopes the trip will promote awareness of the role responsible recreation can play in conserving Canadian rivers and perhaps those through out the world. Keeping these river systems and expedition routes navigable and pristine should appeal to outdoor professionals, weekend warriors, and living room admirers alike.

Matt and I have a solid history of taking strangers into our home or helping them out, so this was nothing new!  We have taken in pilots stranded due to weather, a PhD student doing research, a young offender who had beat up guys with a crow bar for booze, northern bloggers who happen to visit our community and on and on.  We enjoy the company of all sorts of people and love the stories they have to share.  Matt and I are also firm believers that kindness comes around.

All of Saturday afternoon and late into the evening were spent in the company of Steve, Matt, Pete, and Winchell.  We discovered that Pete had once even canoed to Kugluktuk during the time we had lived there!  They told us stories of their previous trips, shared how much they missed loved ones, show us pictures of this adventure, and entertained our boys.  I made sure they ate their weight in good food (ham and bean stew, moose sausages, fresh veggies and chocolate cake) and Matt kept the beer flowing.  They all got to use the phone to make calls to family, shower, and enjoy some computer time. 

We took them back to their camp late that night.  Since Sunday they were only going a short distance upriver to a scheduled supply stop and rest day at Lynx Tracks B&B which is just 15 minutes out of Faro, I put out the offer for them to come back to town to visit again.  Earlier in the evening the conversation had turned to tv and a couple of the guys shared my addiction to the Game of Thrones series on tv.  They were out of their minds when I told them I had the entire season on the computer because they had only watched a few episodes before they headed out on their trip.  So I told them if they came back in on Monday, I would set them up for a Game of Thrones marathon.  They couldn't pass that up!

So late Monday morning, I drove out to Lynx Tracks and picked the four of them up again.  We spoiled them with a vat of moose stew for lunch, homemade chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven for snacks, and homemade pizza for supper.  Again they were able to shower, use the phone and the computers plus do laundry.  I set two of them up for their Game of Thrones marathon down in the basement.  Pete and I had some great zombie conversations and he gave me a parting gift of a new zombie novel that I am now pouring over.  Late that night I returned them to their tents and they sure looked content! 

It was a fantastic run in with strangers and I know their mothers were sure happy to know they had been well fed and taken care of!  I had many a thank you messages from Jan, the mother who sent the first email, and then I had this message from Matt's mother:

Hello Kara
My name is Sue Harren- the mother of Matt.  I cannot express in words our thankfulness for all you did for our sons!
My husband and I are also the parents of two boys and your acts of kindness will have a lasting impression on your sons.
If your travels ever take you to Minnesota please look us up.  We have a place for you to stay!

These touching emails from worried mothers wondering how their boys were doing really touched me.  It made me think about the adventures my own boys will take one day.  I hope first off that our sons will share in our belief that kind acts make this world a better place, and second that they will be the recipients of kind acts when they head out to explore the world.

We wish Pete, Winchell, Steve and Matt safe travels and we hope to see you up north on our door step again soon!  Oh, and expect a parcel from us at your stop in Fort Simpson- we found a leathermen in our truck that one of you forgot and we will make sure it gets back to you.  Thank you Jan for sending that email and allowing us the pleasure of meeting that crazy crew!

Check out their website here and if you see them in your community up north, invite them in for a meal.  I can vouch for them being great guys!  And read about their version of this visit here on their blog.

Feeding the crew!  Matt, Winchell, Pete and Steve along with my Matt and Hunter.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Eight Month Update

The countdown is on!

It is has been eight months since my surgery and the weight is still come off.  I lost 8lbs in the last month and that includes a 10 day stall.  Those sure are frustrating, but I still keep plodding along.

I have lost 95lbs.  I am nearing the 100lb mark that I never dreamed I would achieve.  Of course now that it is within reach it feels like it is taking forever to get there.  Everyone tells me to be patient, I will get there.  But if you know me, patience is not my strong point.

The fitbit is still tracking my every move.  A regular day is 12k steps and an active day (usually playing squash) puts me between 15 and 18k steps.  I am also at the pool a few times a week plus a lot of yardwork. 

Eating has been pretty good minus that incident with the nutella that I would rather forget.  I just placed a large online order for some new ingredients for making a variety of protein heavy foods.  I am excited to try the new recipes for bread and muffins!

My calorie intake is between 1000 and 1200 a day.  I have been snacking in the evenings again and I have to work at curbing that before it gets out of hand.

Eight months and I have lost 30% of my mass.  It is so life changing and I really don't have words to describe it.

I will get some new pictures up soon!  And if you see me snacking, tell me to put it down because 100lbs is within reach.  If you see me walking, tell me to walk faster because 100lbs is within reach.  If I am on the computer, tell me to get my butt outside because 100lbs is within reach.

Thanks friends and family for your support!  I would definitely not have made it this far without all of you!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Walk Training

Now that I am walking a heck of a lot more, so are my boys.  Not that we were sitting around before that!  We have always walked a lot, but I am now very impressed at the endurance my boys have.

Today I walked to and from the school three times and Cavan only missed out on part of one of those walks.  It is 1km from our house to the school, so he walked 5km today on top of his normal running around the house, yard, and at playgroup.  I need to put a pedometer on that kid!  Hunter did that walk twice today too, so 4km for him.  My boys walk more than most adults in this town!  And the kilometer home is all uphill to boot.

The stroller rarely makes it out of the driveway.  I have maybe used it five times in the last few months and I am looking forward to passing it along to another family to use by the end of this summer.

I wonder how many kilometers a day them will be able to walk by the time the snow arrives in the fall?  It looks like these boys will be endurance hikers when they grow up!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Things I Neglect

This blog post is especially for Jen and Lindsay.

We are all supermoms in our own rights, but there are always the neglected items.  And just to show my fellow supermama's that I neglect responsibilities too, here is proof:

I have been picking through the clean laundry baskets for clothes for the boys for two days instead of just putting it away in their drawers!

This needs a serious scrub.  But I think I will do it tomorrow....

I NEVER make my bed.  Okay, maybe if I know company is coming.

I can let this soak for another day, right?

Friday, June 8, 2012

All About Faro: The Kettle Cafe

Now into its fourth year of business, The Kettle Cafe has been allowing Faroites to get their java fix without having to drive 400km to Starbucks!

The cafe is run entirely by students and it started as a project in an entrepreneur class in the high school.  The cafe has moved from the school to the recreation centre for the summer and is hoping to be open about 20 hours a week for the season.  They are currently open on Wednesdays and Fridays from 4-6pm.  Order up your favorite drink and then sit back to visit with your friends!
Nothing builds a community quite like a lovely spot to gather over a good cup of coffee!

Look at those choices!
Just like Starbucks- wifi and awesome selection!
Everyone comes for coffee.  Even the RCMP!
Enjoy your coffee outside on nice days!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Once an addict....

Always an addict.

I am a food addict and I am sure I will always be one.  In the past, a lot of my binging was done in secret where no one could see.  Food has been my friend; it has always there to comfort me when times were tough (or even when times were good).  The habit is hard to break- no different that becoming alcohol or drug free.

This week a friend gave us a few rubbermaids of food since she is moving away.  In the rubbermaids was a small container of nutella and one of maple butter.  Instantly I went back into old habits- stash in the cupboard where no one could see.  Yesterday I pulled them out and had about two tablespoons of nutella and about the same of the maple butter.  And I felt sick, physically sick.  I had a headache within minutes and thought I would throw up.

In my old life I would have eaten both jars in a day.  Easily.

In my new life, I put them in a bag and gave them away.  I didn't even want to put them in my garbage can for fear of trying to pull them out again.

I am so thankful for my new life.  Once in which I still fall down, but am discovering the tools to pick myself up again and move on.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

All About Faro: The Pool

Summer is nearly here and that means pool time in Faro.  The pool is open from the end of May until early September and our family lives in it!

Just like the squash courts, we are spoiled with how cheap the pool is to attend.  We purchased a family pass for the summer which covers all family, public, adult, parent & tot, and aquafit classes for just $100.  Drop in fees are $3 a person and ages 5 and under are free.  This summer there will swimming lessons offered at $30 for 8 classes.  We will be enrolling both boys this summer!  The pool only opened last week and I have already been swimming seven times.  It is going to be $100 well spent!

Cavan enjoying the newly purchased tot slide.

Discovering his inner Tarzan on the rope swing!

The wee dare devil gets some airtime off the big slide.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

All About Faro: The Squash Court

For my part in the Yukon Blog Carnival, I am going to spend the next month focusing on the fantastic town we call home- Faro! 

The feature today is our squash court.  How many towns north of 60 can boast that they have one?  Not many that I know of.  You can buy a membership from the town for about $50 a year.  Then you are given a key and can head down there anytime.  There are even rackets, balls and eyewear available for use right there.  Just sign in, put on your indoor shoes and have a great game! 

Rackets available for use.

Sign in and grab a ball.

The court!

Me getting my butt kicked as usual!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I'm A Lumberjack And I'm Okay!

This fall we will be putting a woodstove in our house.  Hurray!  We have a large house that is expensive to heat with oil.  When we first moved in there was a woodstove in the house, but it was old and mainly decorative, so we pulled it out for safety and aesthetic reasons.

 Yesterday was our first family wood hauling day.  By fall we would like to have about 8 cords of wood hauled and stacked.  Just in time for having the stove installed!  In the Yukon it is very easy to get a permit to head out to cut your own wood.  It is free and you can take up to 11 cords of standing dead per year.  We have a 30km stretch of road we are allowed to gather wood from and we found a nice little spot yesterday that we can easily take a couple of cords without even having to take the quads out to pull logs.

The boys had a great time and were even fairly helpful!  We got half a truck load in just under two hours before the rain arrived and we had to head for home.

The mama gets the pink protective earwear!

Blowing bubbles while waiting to work.

Watching dad buck up a tree.

Helpful little stackers.

Lunch break!

A wee load for our first time out.

Let the Blog Carnival Begin!

A number of fabulous Yukon bloggers are taking part in a blog carnival this month.  We have a very general theme of "Blogging in 2012", so that lets us really just run in whatever direction we want!

I am going to take this as my opportunity to feature this wonderful town of Faro.  In between my usual posts about our family, watch for the posts showing off what Faro has to offer.

To learn more about this blog carnival, view the other participants, or sign up head over here!