Me in a Tree

Archive for April, 2011


Thirty years ago Charles and Diana were married in St. Paul’s Cathedral. For those who don’t remember, it was truly a fairytale wedding. A beautiful, young Diana marrying the future King of England. Unfortunately, the fairytale fell apart all too quickly. What caused the destruction? Was it the twelve year age difference? The difference in interests or the fact that Charles had a great deal more life experience than “Shy Di”?

Today William, the future King of England, is marrying what appears to be his best friend, Catherine Middleton. It is the fairytale set amongst wars, political angst and natural disasters giving the world a positive focus. After all, who doesn’t love to sneak a peak of the radiant bride?


Monday can be a difficult day of the week. The first day after what was hopefully a fun, restful, rejuvenating weekend with your family. Monday bolts you out of bed to the startling sound of a buzzer or cranked up music station after two glorious days of getting up when you want. Ok, maybe your weekend wasn’t quite as amazing as you had hoped or planned, but Monday seems to always be the shove back into reality none of us ever want. How do you get your family back on track Monday mornings? Or do you stick with your routines right through the weekends? Tell us about your best attack on Mondays. How did your day go yesterday?


Let’s do brunch! How about starting a new tradition of weekend brunches with the family. You can find some great ideas and quick recipes to help you plan future brunches giving you a great opportunity to reconnect with everyone and have a few good belly laughs. Even one special day a week can make a big difference for the whole family. Bon appétit!


“Oh for goodness sake!” is my pat response to my children wanting to eat…….again! ” Can’t you just go without?” It seems like a simple request, but apparently for whatever reason they continue to require sustenance. Why can’t they be more like me? Go without food for several hours, even days! Ok, probably not the healthiest solution, but when I’m busy, I tend to forget about food. I know, it sounds insane. But I truly do forget about eating, at least until my stomach starts growling so loud it becomes embarrassing, but a quick drink of water can often solve that. For at least a few minutes anyway.


Do family meals give us the opportunity to reconnect? There is no doubt in my mind of the impact it can have on kids and parents alike. Dinner is one of those things we have insisted upon. Sometimes we don’t eat dinner until late because of work, school or other things, but there are very few nights everyone isn’t at the dinner table. Sometimes there are grumpy people at the table, but they always have the choice of joining in the conversation or wallowing in their own blech. Whichever they choose they must be physically present and without “toys” of any kind. And if they have friends for dinner the same rules apply to them. We want everyone to be attentive. This is the time to tell stories of our day, the encounters we had, what went wrong, what went right or discuss hot or not so hot topics. Sometimes discussions get a little heated where feelings are hurt and apologies required. It can be a time of listening, sharing, teaching and learning. But for me it’s the time I sit back and marvel at how amazingly brilliant my children are and their knowledge of things I’m sure I didn’t know at their ages.  At the end of the day it’s well worth the effort of bringing everyone to the table to reconnect and I believe every family deserves to have this opportunity.


Sunday has historically been deemed a day of rest, to spend time with your family – immediate or extended. For some people they take advantage of the day off; the last day of the weekend to do chores they don’t have time for during the week, catching up on paper work, a day of worship or spending time with family doing whatever happens to come up.

Due to changes in our society over the years, for many people Sunday is yet another day of work while their kids are home from school, sometimes by themselves. In this fast paced world we live in is it important for families to take time together? Do you think it makes a difference when family members can depend on at least one day or night they know they will be together to talk, have fun, exchange ideas and generally enjoy each others company? There have been many studies on the benefits of families regularly eating together. The studies conclude families communicate better, have a better understanding of each other and according to this article from ENA “researchers also found that compared with teens who have more than 5 family dinners on a weekly basis, those who have two or less are 3 times as likely to try marijuana, 2.5 times as likely to smoke cigarettes and 1.5 times as likely to start alcohol consumption”. Is it a sure thing, no, nothing ever is, but isn’t it worth the effort…….any and every day of the week?


We had the pleasure of meeting with Kids Up Front today. What an amazing organization!

In 1999 John Dalziel presented an idea to Barb Radu. John wanted to collect all the unused event tickets from various sources and “gift” them to children and their families who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend. The year 2000 saw the launch of Kids Up Front and by December 31, 2010 this organization had received 749,130 ticket donations to distribute. Operating in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto Kids Up Front partners with almost 500 charities who in turn extends this gift of life changing experiences to thousands of children and their families.

The impact this organization has had is astounding. Presenting a whole new world of possibilities, passions and dreams to Canadian children across the country Kids Up Front is a remarkable organization.

Kids Up Front Foundation as a community service organization is dedicated to:

  • Enhancing the quality of life for children and their families by making a lasting positive impact by providing safe, quality entertainment, cultural, educational and recreational experiences
  • Developing solid partnerships with qualified agencies devoted to improving the welfare of Canadian children and families
  • Building meaningful relationships with all stakeholders of the Foundation
  • Delivering programs that promote healthy relationships, social inclusion and tolerance of gender, race and sexual orientation in a manner that is fair and equitable to participants

There are so many things you can do with the kids this weekend. Anyone have some great suggestions of things to do in your area?

Here are a few ideas, go to your local museum, how about skating at the local rink, check out the local malls play area (mom and dad can grab a coffee from the food court), make some cookies for grandma and grandpa. Ok, your turn!! What are you going to do this weekend?


How about taking a few minutes to prepare some special treats the family will enjoy. Pull chairs or stools up to the counter, wash those little hands, tie hair into ponytails and get the kids involved in reading, measuring, deciphering and creating something delicious! So many benefits……biggest one…….time with the kids. Heshey’s has some great recipes. What’s YOUR favorite treat?


An important part of family balance is taking time out of your day and/or week for your partner. In our day to day happenings we all find it difficult to carve time for the one we wanted to have a family with. Why do you suppose we leave the scraps for our partners? Surely it’s not on purpose, but there is definitely a variety of reasons. Rachel Meeks says it eloquently in her February 15th blog, “I didn’t realize how often we retreated to our separate computers before, or our separate books, different hobbies, and individual responsibilities.” It’s human nature to take the road of least resistance or the least amount of work and thought, especially when we are exhausted. But it will surely make a difference to the entire family to make the effort. Start with baby steps…….