Camping Adventures

Camping Adventures

Camping Adventures, is something I didn’t grow up with but have grown to love.

On the first couple dates with my husband we both said we said we liked the “outdoors”, but we both had different ideas on what “outdoors” meant.

I grew up in the country and love to be outside in the yard, with animals or gardening.  To him outside is hiking, camping, and fishing to name a few things.

The only “outside” thing we had in common, at that time, was hiking.

The more we got to know each other it didn’t take long and I was heading up to Osoyoos with him and his family, camping.  That was just the beginning of our time together and the many camping adventures ahead.

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Since being married I still can’t believe we’ve been officially tenting for just over 10 years. We have worn out his old tent and some camping gear.  Bought a bigger tent, that my husband could stand up it (it’s a must have when your over 6 feet tall).

Recently we purchased a travel trailer; you can see that in my “Travel Trailer Tour”.

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We have had our share of camping mistakes; remember I didn’t grow up camping. Learning to get to know each other and communication might have something to do with those mistakes.

 “Camping Mistakes” 

Post coming soon….

We also have camped at many places here in BC and some in Alberta.  It’s hard to choose a favorite place as there’s many we would love to go back too. One main place we go is Osoyoos, we camp with family.

This Year we got to start new adventures with our new trailer.  Plus we are camping as a family of 5.

“Camping with Kids”

 “Places to go camping in BC”

Posts are coming soon……..

This past weekend we went camping, yes, we have a 5 week old Baby.  We never would have camped with a newborn before.

I’m looking forward to more camping adventures, especially with our trailer.

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Summer Music Practice Sheet

Summer Music Practice SheetSummer is finally here at our home in the Fraser Valley.  We have had some cloudy cold and windy days lately.

Today the sun is shining.

I’m excited about today’s post.  I have a resource for anyone who has a kid in music and how to keep them playing over the summer.

It all started when I saw a YouTube video for a Summer Clipboard system.  I’ll add the link below. If this lady has it figured out for her 5 kids (soon to be 6) then this system must work.

We started out with our summer bucket list.  It didn’t take long and we have a FULL list, of small items and big ones. I have to say, now that it’s written out, we’ve talked about it and we see it every day in our kitchen it’ll keep my husband and I accountable to follow through.

We made sure to keep most of this list cost friendly expect for some bigger items.

In the video where I got the free printables from she showed one of her son’s lists and there was a thing for soccer kicks.

Our son is in soccer this summer as well, so I added that to his list.

BUT……

He was also in Piano Lessons this past year.

My house and family isn’t as big as Jordan’s from Fun Cheap of Free so I didn’t use one of her printables.

Instead, I made a music one for my son and I’m actually making one for myself.  I have it available for FREE as well.

I called it a practice sheet in the title, as that’s what this would traditionally be called, I find ‘music play list” is more fun for summer for kids.

Here’s the Summer Music Play List

Summer Music Practice Sheet

 

I kept it very simple with only having 6 things. It honestly isn’t that much. So long as he plays one thing a day I’m happy.

I have things like:

  • Play a song from your book
  • Play a scale
  • Make up a song (My son LOVES this one)
  • Memorize a song or section
  • Play for someone (I have a video of him playing for his baby sister)
  • Bonus: Do a mini recital

Want to use this but aren’t sure what to include on it? Ask their piano teacher OR go through their practice notebook from their weekly lessons to get ideas.

For me the point is to keep them playing and to make it fun. It helps them not loose what they have learned over the summer.

Let me know if you used it?

If you have a hard time printing it please contact me and I’ll e-mail it to you.

Here’s Jordan Page’s video from Fun Cheap or Free.

Happy Canada Day

 

Canada Day
6 year old helped make this graphic!

Happy Canada Day

from our

 

 Family home to you!

It’s here, the long weekend. I’m so happy my husband is home and we get to be together as a family.

Our Canada Flag (pictured below) has been hanging in the front of our house since spring.  The flag post holder and flag was his father’s day gift last year.

My husband is very proud to be able to hang the Canada flag all spring, summer and a bit of fall, until I tell him, it needs to come down.

It just so happens to a cold and rainy weekend, typical BC, Fraser Valley weather.  Last year was HOT and we got to join friends for the Canada Parade.

This year we are keeping it pretty low key.  Plus, I can’t fit my Canada Clothes I bought last year.  Shopping this morning I spotted a Canadian onesie for our new little one.  I didn’t buy it – because she JUST grew out of preemie clothes, there’s always next year.

Tonight we are having BBQ’d burgers for dinner and tomorrow’s breakfast will include bacon.

Our Canada Day won’t include the parade this year as we will be in Church.  We intend to see family tomorrow and get to be together as a family.  Hopefully get to see some extended family from my side when they arrive.
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I can only imagine next year will include the Parade, More BBQ and family time.

Thankful to have been born here in Canada, it’s a great place to have grown up and now have a family to raise.

Enjoy your weekend!

 

Career Path in Music

Career Path in Music

I advertise on my blog bio and on my social media pages that one of my topics is music. Here’s a brief intro about my career path in music.

‘Career Path’ is a great way to describe having a career…..we are all on a path.

Graduating high school in 2004, I went straight to college for a career in Music.  If you’re just finishing high school and want a career in music, it’s possible.  I played piano as a kid and in high school played mainly flute and clarinet (for a short time) in band.

Many people can question if you can ‘make money’ with a career in Music or seem unsupportive, but you know yourself best and what’s the right fit for you. I knew I played music well and was a passion for me.

I graduated Keyano College’s Musical Instrument Repair program (no longer available) in 2006.

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I went to work in Vancouver right from college and apprenticed under a well-known Repair Technician and Musician, Bob Mac Donald. Bob became unwell shortly after I started working with him. In 2008 Bob, my music mentor and friend passed away, shortly after I left the shop.

I got married that fall and after working in another shop (closer to home), I learned working for someone else shop wasn’t for me. I closed up my toolbox and went back to school to become an Educational Assistant.

Even though I stepped away from a career in music, music has never left me.

I’ll admit, playing music wasn’t the same as fixing instruments, I missed it (I didn’t realize it at the time). So I stayed playing for church on a worship team. As I said before, you know yourself best and what’s the right fit for you. You will see more what I mean below when I talk about family.

2014 is the year we decided to sell our townhouse and move into a bigger house. We already had one child and wanted to continue to grow our family.

After house hunting for a long time, when I walked through the basement in our current home I saw my shop. My kids call it “mom’s garage”.  I’m still working to make this space mine and figure out how to make it fit.  It’s an awkward storage spot in our home.

Now that we are done having kids I finally feel ready to open my tool box again and expand my knowledge with tuning pianos. As I said before “working in a shop wasn’t for me”.

Having my own business/shop fits my life for my family.

Today I’m continuing to go on my path with a career in music.

Plantinga Music – is coming in the near future.

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Last year I was making steps to get my music business started. Getting photos done was one of those things. Favorite memory was getting asked by someone if I played with the symphony, ummm no.

Thank You to Theresa Lynn Photography for doing this Photo Shoot at the River.

Shortly after taking the photo’s we became pregnant, so I had to put working on the business on hold for a bit. I started up this blog in the meantime, when it’s monetized, income from this blog will help our family and get tools/supplies for my shop.

You can follow my music adventures on: Instagram @plantinga_music 

I’m still working out this new “fit” with a young family.  One way I know I can make it fit is post useful and noteworthy tips for Music on the blog.

If you have any questions about my career path in music or a topic you want me to write about on the blog please contact me.

 

 

 

 

Homemade Grapevine Wreath

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I’m excited to start sharing some of the things I’ve been making and re-purposing in my home. I shared this in my DIY – Sneak Peak this grapevine wreath. I already knew  I was going to start with this DIY when I ask;

‘Which one do you want me to share first?’

Since moving into our current home I was happy to find out that our new neighbors love gardening like I do. They have a very healthy grapevine growing alongside the fence that goes between our properties.

How Healthy was this grapevine?

With help from my mom, (how taught me canning), we made 26, 1 cup jars worth of grape jelly.

We couldn’t eat it all so we gave lots of it out as gifts to family and friends.

Canned Grape Jelly Pic

Back to the wreath…..

I noticed there was vines growing most of our backyard length, Like 20 – 30 feet long.

I cut 2 of these 20 – 30 foot lengths and attempted to wrap it into itself.

I love that it’s not “perfectly round” like craft wreaths from the store.

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Current cost at this point: FREE

I was super happy how it turned out.  I had already purchased the leaves from the dollar store for another decor project.

I used wire to attach the leaves. Then used some twine to hang it up and my mantel was ready for fall.

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I was so happy with how it turned out.  If you haven’t caught on, I like to make things with little cost possible.

Here’s other versions of the wreath

I have been using floral from the dollar store and more wire to continue to make these.

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Here’s the final result: Spring Wreath

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I loved how it went above my old keyboard.

When I remade my spring wreath it went on my front door.

It’s the same picture from my other post and my “welcome home” one.  Here it is again.

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Close up you can see it’s not perfectly round.  From a distance you can’t tell.

I’m actually taking this one down as summer is here.  You will see in the near future what I plan to do with the flowers in another DIY soon.

If you can’t make one I would recommend this one from Amazon:

Additional Tips:

  • If you want to make one? Find a friend or family member of someone in your community who has a grapevine.
  • Please ask permission once the grapevine is done producing.
    • I cut it once the leaves fell off.
  • Cut off 20 -30 foot lengths (if possible).
    • Shorter lengths will make the wreath smaller.
  • The grapevine will still be green on the inside so it’ll be easier to bend it.
  • If the skin splits – don’t worry.
    • The green part will dry out and become brown.
  • It will dry out and seem brittle, but it dried this way so I don’t see it breaking.
    • I’ve had mine for 3 years and it hasn’t broken.

Another Fall Version

-YGGUM~1

Let me know if you made one?

I would love to know how it turned out.

10 Father’s Day Reflections

Notefull living (3)Father’s Day is almost here again!

I love this photo for this blog post.  My first vision board I cut pasted a similar photo. Without realizing it I took the photo in the frame of my husband and our oldest on a camping trip.

This picture is a favorite to everyone in our home and sits on our bookshelf.

Following up with my Mother’s Day top 10 list it only makes sense to write a Father’s Day one.

I’ll keep this short and straight to the point. This list like the other one also reflects things I learned from my own dad but also other “dad’s” in my life.

I just want to make a quick mention I have a huge respect for men out there that long to be fathers.

10 Fathers Day Reflections:

1: How to use an Ax:  With a wood stove growing up, it only made sense all of us knew how to split firewood and make kindling.

2: Start a fire: Remember the wood stove from the first one…..or you taking a hot water bottle to bed and wearing extra layers.

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First Car and first accident. My dad helped me buy this car and…..fix it up.

3: Drive a standard: Well, we had farm vehicles on our property so I knew at a young age the concept….but my first car I learned on and owned was a standard.

4: Life’s an Adventure: As kids we had mini-bikes, go-carts, dune buggies, airplanes….

Let me take a moment to explain the airplanes.  Not model planes (yes we had those too), my dad built ultralights and we had to mow a runway in the field so he could fly and take us up in the sky.  Childhood memories were more adventures then just a memory.

5: Love your kids unconditionally: No matter what “worldly crap” your kids get themselves into.

Their still your kids, you still love them (even if you don’t say it).

6: Being There: Simply showing up when tragedy strikes for family and friends.

7: Hard working provider:  I was blessed with having a stay at home mom with all the work my dad did.

8: Demonstrating an incredible example of marriage vows: When they say “through sickness and health”, I’ve known and witnessed men in our family and stuff I’ve been through that my husband that these men have stood by, no matter what.

9: Family Leadership: Broken marriages aren’t something that’s common in either of my family or my husbands. I strongly believe that has in part to do with the strong family leadership in our families.

Personal Aside: I’m aware not all families have Family Leadership – It’s something that’s not respected as much in our society anymore. Working to make a difference and making that happen for your family or future family is fully possible. I got to share at my husband’s grandfathers 80th birthday to the whole family and said this, “It shows the great family leadership you demonstrate for your family or they wouldn’t all be here”.  My husband’s extended family gets together lots, it’s not something you see or hear about anymore.

10: Family Legacy:  Similar to family leadership it’s great to watch my husband who is now a Father, live out his family legacy.

Father’s Day might not be easy for everyone, we aren’t perfect people and we all make mistakes.

I hope reading this posts helps see the positive moments from the rough ones.

Happy Father’s Day.

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Date Night Surprise

Here’s a ‘day in the life’ piece about a date night surprise my husband and I just had.

Date Night Pic

I’m going to take a pause to my regular writing and share a “Day in the Life”.  This day was a big one for our family and it was a surprise for sure.

It all started with a date night my hubby and I had been planning (but not planning) for a while. Why were we so indecisive? We were pregnant with another baby and the timeline was coming to an end for the baby to arrive. Arranging a sitter can be tough for us and the movie my hubby wanted to see was close to being out of the theaters.

This all happened on a Friday.  My husband took the day off to attend a field trip with our son and was gone all day. I had a friend over for a play date and lunchtime hit and I knew something was different.  I was 35 weeks pregnant and just a short backstory – My other births were c-sections; one without labor at 36 weeks and my other c-section I labored and it started with contractions.

3pm came and I picked up my husband and son from school and we briefly discussed how I was feeling and we decided to go ahead with our date night anyways. Our reasoning was “if something happens, someone’s watching the kids”, we both didn’t speak it but we didn’t want anything to happen.

We were at the theater and halfway through the movie, after 2 trips to the bathroom, I knew we weren’t going to see the end of it. I stood up to go a third time to go to the bathroom and now know what it feels like to have your water break in public.

I turned to my husband to tell him we had to leave, he just thought I was going to the bathroom again. By the way, trying to communicate to each other in a movie theater is near impossible. I thought he was behind me while I tried to leave, turned and realized he wasn’t behind me by the time I made it to the door. I walked back to him texting me “do you want to leave?” – “NOW”, was my response. He looked up to see me standing there pointing to the door.

With having high risk pregnancies and having this one a scheduled c-section date, my husband admitted when we had our last child he always pictured a “race to the hospital” when it came to his wife having kids. Well, date night was over because we were “racing to the hospital”.

At the Hospital we discussed the long to do list of things to get done and what we were going to do the next day to help prep for this little one coming. Surprise – that’s not happening, time to wait now for our c-section. My husband was amazing and got all the kids arranged and off to their grandparents and threw together a hospital bag for us. By the way – our first we had to do the same thing (came early), but it was only our hospital bag and diaper bag that wasn’t packed.

With everything that happened, there was so many positives for this surprise. Even though I had to wait 21 hours on just IV – No food, we have our baby.  I walked to my surgery, not rushed because something was horribly wrong with me or baby, like in the past. Another bonus, they let my husband cut the chord, that’s never happened before.

Final bonus to our surprise, I wasn’t alone in the recovery room right after surgery. They turned the corner to my little recovery room and there was my husband with our daughter. She did need to go to the NICU for a short time, but she was back in our room with us.

In some ways our date night continued. No, we didn’t get to finish our movie BUT, we had time together in the hospital and after when we got discharged to go home. We had another day at home without our other kids and enjoyed the quiet.

Our new bundle is very content and quiet, we even commented it was like being newly weds with a newborn.  Our last morning together we had a special breakfast and then prepared the house as much as we could until the boys came home.

Here’s a little sneak peak of our new family member.

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She is a big blessing to our family and is very special.  For now, we are adjusting to the new family life and I’m recovering from another c-section.  When life settles a bit more I’ll be more consistent with my blog.

Have a great day!

Welcome Home

Welcome Home

After sharing a small tour of our trailer (Cabin on Wheels) I had to follow up with our home or places we have called “Home”.

My husband and I grew up in 2 completely different places we called home. My childhood home is almost 100 years old today and without a doubt a true “Farmhouse” or “Country Home”. Lots of memories with the wood stove and old windows and creaky floors.  Anyways the flip side of that would be growing up in a newly built home, which is what my husband grew up in. His parents built 2 new homes when he was a kid.

Today my husband and I have bought a great home in the Fraser Valley in British Columbia, Canada. It took a lot of work and sacrifice to get where we are today.

We started renting when we got married. By the way we got married in 2008 and learned after the market crashed that we were over paying for our suite and living in the current city we were living in wasn’t going to get us to our goal of owning a home.

We moved cities to another rental suite and we could live off one income and saved my income and we had a decent down payment rather quickly.

Our first home was going to be a “fixer upper”. I still remember meeting up with the bank and they were shocked at how low we bought and kept informing us we were approved for more. Anyways – I’ll share more about that in a future finances post.

Our first home was a townhouse. I’ll share the before and after of the 3-year reno flip we did. It is a risk to do a reno “flip” for a townhouse but we made it work and all those crazy late nights and camping in our living room during our kitchen reno was worth it.

Today we are in our 4th year of our current home.  Just like our townhouse – this place needs work. My kitchen cabinets are original and so is the sticky tile floor in our basement. We had an insane year over a year ago. Buying a fixer upper has it’s risks too. First off, I found a few things here and there with the plumbing that could have caused major water leaks. BUT, nothing hits hard like the year that we had to purchase a roof -hot water tank – furnace – dishwasher – freezer – wash machine – dryer and a fence.  I’m thankful for the financial steps we made long before buying our townhouse that helped us get through that year.

You will be seeing us do our reno’s on this home and what we did with our townhouse coming up.

My husband and I love to make our home to be inviting and want to be able to entertain more. Every place we have called home we have always have had a great response from company.  Our landlords happy that our “homey” suite or renovated townhouse was easy to show.   For the townhouse we had a realtor walk through 2 years before our 5-year plan was up to flip it, he gave us an estimate $10,000 more then what we thought it would list for.  I’m glad we listed right away.  Living in the area we live we went ahead and listed right away. Today with the current house market – we couldn’t even afford the home we purchased after the townhouse, let alone what the townhouse is worth today.

I’ll be putting up a small house tour of the living spaces in our home, stay tuned.

Travel Trailer Tour

Camping and Holiday season has arrived for our family.  This is one of our favorite family things to do is go camping. It would be great for our 10 year anniversary to go on a nice holiday somewhere hot BUT this has a lot of potential for many family memories and future getaways with my husband.

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The new family “toy” – our cabin on wheels.

Here’s a little tour.

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Dining Table/Bed

We were excited to find a used trailer that has a slide to it.  It only moves a foot but that still makes a big difference.

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Couch (becomes a bed) and kitchen are the slide. The door in the back is the bathroom.

Our bathroom is in the back of the trailer with a big storage compartment. It’s hard to take a picture of. This next picture is the best I can get. I’m saving the best part of the trailer for last. Keep reading.

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The neat thing is the tub is deep (great for bathing kids) and has a swivel shower curtain.

I’m excited to share the last part of the trailer. The bedroom, is at the front. Someone installed a curtain as a separation to the rest of the trailer. I wasn’t going camping on our first trip with the “grandma curtains”, so this trailer already has had it’s first DIY. I’m super cheap and used what I had on hand.  I made curtains from old bed sheets.

Here’s a before and after.

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See the “grandma” curtains. Before shot.
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Another bedroom before shot.

**After**

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After, with an old bed set.

My DIY curtains

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I made the curtains longer and out of an old white bed sheet set.

Looking forward to our first adventure with our “Cabin on Wheels”.  Have a great and safe  May Long weekend.

 

10 Things “Moms” in my life have taught me

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With Mothers Day here I can’t help but do an “All about Mom” post.

Yes, I’m very blessed to have an amazing loving mom (not everyone has that) who raised me. I also know many other women have come in and out of my life that have filled in the “mom” role from time to time. Here’s a list of 10 things “Moms” in my life have taught me.

1: This one goes to my mom, she’s modeled for me how to be an amazing stay at home mom and to always be there for her kids. If it wasn’t for her awesome, loving and kind heart I wouldn’t be half the women I am today.

2: My Grandmother: Even through her half-spoken English (Main language is Dutch), She always made sure we where taken care of. Even through her diabetes she always had the best treats. We were never without a warm pair of slippers. She’s been gone over 10 years now and recently I had to throw out one of her last pairs of slippers I finally wore through. I’ve been told recently from my oldest I need to learn to crochet.

3: My Mother-in law is the most “get it done” person I’ve ever met. She sees something she likes she makes it or gets it done. She sees a need for her kids or grand kids and helps to fill it.

4: My Omas’ (Husbands grandmothers), these ladies amaze me for the love and care they have for their grandkids and great grandkids and take the time to get to know each and everyone of them.

5: One of my 2 college moms’.  She went out of her way every week to make sure I made it to church.  Not only church but to participate weekly on the worship team. Sure, helped me not miss having worship in my life when I didn’t have it anymore with attending a public college.

6: My other college mom, fully took me in as a daughter.  I always had a safe haven home to go to when college life got rough.

7: My Bus mom: Let me explain… I was stalked and chased when I was living on my own living in Surrey when I worked in Vancouver. A lady I got to know on the bus, invited me to her home and introduced me to her family and told me I had a safe place to “run too” if it ever happened again. I still make her brownie recipe today.

8: My Calvinette Counselor: She helped me make that step of faith to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior in my life. I have to wait until I see her again in Heaven to thank her.

9: My Husbands friends moms: They all made me feel warm and welcome in their families. Over the years I have felt like one of their “kids”.

10: To all the moms who have stepped in and prayed for me, taken me out for coffee to listen.  Provided a meal when I needed it. Gave me a hug, reached out when I needed a hand. Taken my kids when I needed a much-needed break. I could go on.  You know who you are and a big hug and thank you back to you.

My heart goes out to those who don’t have a strong mother figure in their lives.  Those who’ve lost babies or children.  Those who have suffered great loss. Those who long to be mothers. Anyone who finds Mother’s Day difficult and painful to celebrate. I pray you find peace tomorrow and in the coming days.

Happy Mother’s Day