I sincerely believe that it is far more beneficial and far less costly to help a child build confidence than it is to fix an adult who has little or none.


two people in tentYeah!  Going camping today!  Just for a couple of days, but a much needed vacation.

When our kids were small, we went camping almost every weekend and then as they got older and started leaving home, we only went once in a while and I sure miss going.  Camping is awesome.  I love sitting in the woods, enjoying the beautiful scenery and the peaceful calmness away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

We’ve been to many campgrounds, mostly in Southern Ontario, but have also camped in the Maritimes and in Disneyworld.  Every different place is an adventure in itself.

My favourite campground is the Sandbanks Provincial Park which is close to Trenton, Ontario where we lived for a few years, but it is a 4 hour drive, so we’ve chosen a closer campground.  We’re going to Rock Point Provincial Park, just an hour away and on Lake Erie.   I’m sure it will be great fun.


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What are your children doing this summer?

Couple Walking on the Beach with Their Three Daughters and DogSummer can be a difficult time for families especially when parents are working and the children are left on their own.  This can be a time to create fond memories and experience exciting adventures.  However, if you and your children are not prepared to fill the days with meaningful activities, summer vacation can become a nightmare.

If you are working parents with older children that will be left alone for extended periods of time, it is extremely important that you make some definite plans and not just allow your child to do whatever they please.  Most children will sleep late, watch TV, play on their computer and hang out with friends.  This is not healthy and they will spend the summer bored or getting into some kind of trouble.

Make sure you have a plan of action that includes fun activities for your children and also for the family.  Working parents need to make sure that they still take the time to do family activities together so their children will feel loved and valued.   Time is an important commodity in a child’s life and when parents spend time with their children they are sending out the message that they are important and this will help them build strong esteem.

Plan some (age-appropriate) activities that your children can do on their own and also some family activities and then sit down with your children and go over your ideas.  Ask them if they have any suggestions and let them get actively involved in making any plans and helping with preparations.  Here are some ideas:

  • plan a family picnic or bbq
  • go to a park or petting zoo
  • go to a swimming pool or beach
  • check out activities at the local library and make a weekly visit to pick up some books or videos for your child to read and look at during the week
  • check with local organizations and churches for organized group activities and summer camps.  Many have free programs or ones with minimal cost.
  • enroll your child in a summer sports activity
  • plan a family camping trip or do a backyard campout and invite some of your children’s friends to come
  • on a rainy day, do some cooking or baking or play some board games
  • plan some arts and crafts – prepare kits for your child to work on some fun projects
  • clean out the basement or garage as a family – play music, dance and have some fun
  • watch some great family movies, eat popcorn and laugh a lot!
  • find out about a summer volunteer job – this is a healthy way to keep your child busy and help them build esteem

I hope you and your family have a great summer vacation!!

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California dreaming

catalina islandI’m dreaming about California today and the sunny weather that I left behind yesterday to return to snow and freezing weather.   Leaving earlier than planned was maybe not such a good idea.

Our vacation in Los Angeles was short but we enjoyed sunny skies, miles of sandy beaches and great restaurants.  On the last day there, we traveled by boat to Catalina Island which is 22 miles across the ocean from Los Angeles.  After a short one hour trip, our boat dropped us off at Avalon, the only city on the island.  There is also a small town at the other end of the island called Two Harbours.

Catalina Island is 21 miles long by 8 miles wide at the widest point.  It is one of 8 islands in the Channel Islands archipelago and has a population of about 3500.   The island has been used for several movies, documentaries, TV programs and commercials.

It is a perfect location for a vacation or a romantic getaway.  There are some interesting hotels, including the Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel which was built in 1926 by the author Zane Grey as his home and the Inn on Mt Ada which was the home of chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr.

There are some great restaurants on the island including the Catalina Country Club & Golf Course.   The clubhouse originally housed the lockers for the Chicago Cubs, who were brought to the island by its owner, William Wrigley Jr. for spring training on a baseball field that was similar to Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Catalina Island has 76 square miles to explore.  You can take a tour by bus, van or jeep that will show you around the city, the ocean or the interior where you can see rare animals like buffalo and also unusual plants.  You can rent a golf cart, a bicycle, a kayak, peddle boat or segway.  You can go miniature golfing, snorkeling, diving, fishing, camping, hiking, parasailing or even zip-lining.   If you prefer a quieter vacation, you can walk, shop or relax on the beach.

We took the scenic tour which gave us a good view of the city and the surrounding area.  It was a bit scary driving up and down all those winding roads into the hillside and overlooking the ocean.  Our tour guide was extremely interesting and he kept us busy looking at all of the unique and amazing sights.  He told us about the casino where there was no gambling, the post office that didn’t deliver mail, the bird park that didn’t have any birds and about the dead dog trees that had no bark (ha-ha!).

Catalina Island would be a great place to live.  The climate is moderate all year round, the scenery is beautiful, there is little crime and not much pollution.  Cars are limited to only 800 and residents must go on a waiting list that can take 10-15 years.   This causes many people to drive golf carts which is probably a good thing because gas costs over $7 gallon!

It was a wonderful day and a perfect end to a great trip.  I’m looking forward to another visit next year which may include a cruise!





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