August 2019

5 Ways to Prepare for Smoother School Mornings

This post was originally written a couple of years ago when our girls were heading back to school. I wanted to re-share these tips and in looking at these photos I noticed that the backpacks they got that year were re-used last year and are still in great shape, so this year they're going on year 3! I can definitely speak to the quality of High Sierra's bags. Now, whether you just started a school year or you're about to, I hope you'll appreciate these tips for smoother school mornings!


We had a whirlwind first school morning and after just one school day, I'm reminded of the huge difference a little preparation can make for smoother school mornings!

Yesterday was the first day of grade 4 for Katrina and grade 6 for Talia. I usually like to take nice "1st day of school" photos in the morning and drive them to school so I can help them find their new classes and be there to offer any reassurance, comfort, or pep talks that may be needed.

Disclaimer: This calm photo was not taken on the first day of school.

This year however, we were in a hurry because I received a court summons for jury selection for yesterday. I was just as nervous about that as the girls were for school yesterday morning! We only have one car so I grabbed a quick cell phone shot of each girl before jumping in the car and we all drove to the courthouse where I said goodbye and Ken took the girls to school.

Surprising Old Friends in Our Old City

The girls' main goal while back in our old city was to surprise each of their best friends from school who didn't know we would be in town.  The surprise went really well!

We drove to Talia's friend's house and surprised her at her door (which went perfectly) and then went to the bus stop for Katrina to surprise her friend. We got both of the surprises on video to remember the moment. :)

Arriving in Canada

The story of our Utah to Canada moving road trip has come to an end, and now it's time for our arrival back in Canada!

Review of the Road Trip

We carefully chose the stops that we wanted to make during our moving trip from Utah to Ontario. When we originally moved there, we intended to visit St. George Utah, where it's much warmer than the rest of Utah, but we didn't have the chance during our 10 months living there so we decided to go there for our first stop. We had always wanted to show our kids the cool (kid friendly) things in Las Vegas, so that was stop #2. We also wanted to visit Ken's cousin's family in Texas so we made that happen, and made the best of the driving time in between, to see a couple of cool places like the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam.

Arriving "Home"

Visiting Family in Texas

One of the stops we planned on our moving road trip was in Texas. Ken's cousin (who was his Best Man at our wedding) lives there with his wife, 2 daughters the same ages as ours, and a son. We have visited them as often as we have been able to through the years, and even met them in Florida for our first trip to Disney World. They came to visit Utah in the summer while we were there, so we saw some of them then, but we couldn't wait to spend more time with them. It was our favourite stop on our road trip!

We arrived on a Thursday (March 21st) after a long drive, and there was one thing we all wanted to do: visit Bedford Snoball! (This is a local treat place that they have frequented for years, and we have visited with them several times before). It was a highlight of our trip & we went back almost every day!

During one of our visits, we took the photo on the right after looking through photos from a previous visit, 7 years ago (crazy to see how much they've grown!)

A Family Service Project for Homeless Families

Early this summer, we watched a movie called Little Red Wagon, about a boy who set out to help homeless people. It all started with a neighborhood food drive. By the end of the movie we were all inspired. When it was over, I thought, "hmm, our city surely has some homeless shelters, I wonder what we could do to help." That's how our project began, and now that it's complete, I thought I'd share how this family service project unfolded and hopefully inspire some of you to find a way to serve your community with your kids!

Step By Step How to Help a Local Homeless Shelter

I started by doing an Internet search for local shelters and soon found one that caters to women and families. I found a website and a facebook page and quickly saw that they were looking for food donations as well as items for a kids' program they run on weekends. It didn't take long to find a couple of contact emails and soon I was in touch with a volunteer who runs the kids' program and another person who could tell me what food items they are most in need of right now.

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