Simply beautiful - wild flowers from the buttercup family. If you're like me, exercise is more like work than fun. Today I share a way you can enjoy walking - by focusing on nature and beauty.

A Little Slice of Heaven

If you’re like me, exercise is more like work than fun. Today I share a way you can enjoy walking – by focusing on nature and beauty. In the past few months I’ve created a new habit – taking a walk with our husky, Olaf, after our children get on the bus. Although most of the quarter is rented out, we have plenty of room to walk through our hay field, beside our garden area, and through a scenic woodland area. I’ve been thankful I’ve had my iPhone with me many days. Not for the phone, but for the handy camera.

First wild strawberries of the season!
First wild strawberries of the season! This year the ground is white with blossoms.

 

Simply beautiful - wild flowers from the buttercup family.
Simply beautiful – wild flowers from the buttercup family.

 

Life from death
Life from death

 

I know the dandelion is not a popular flower, but I see beauty in the perfect oval and am amazed by the design that enables dandelions to go to seed and multiply.
I know the dandelion is not a popular flower, but I see beauty in the perfect oval and am amazed by the design that enables dandelions to go to seed and multiply.

 

Wild rose and bud
The wild rose is Alberta’s provincial flower

I’m thankful the natural beauty around me – my little slice of Heaven.

What is beautiful to you? How do you share your joy with others?

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Morning Inspiration

It was a tough morning. One of my sons insisted on refusing to do what I asked:

  • He refused to eat his breakfast
  • He refused to drink water
  • He refused to pass anything to anyone

In addition, he spilled water on the table and floor, swiped his lunch kit onto the floor, and glared. I told him he could not go to school until he ate his breakfast, drank some water and apologized for his behaviour.

After I put my other children on the bus, I asked my son to join me on my morning walk with our dog, Olaf. He put on his shoes and came.

As we walked, there was little conversation. I focused on breathing deeply and enjoying the beauty of nature. The theme of the morning turned out to be wild flowers.

The first flower that caught my eye was an Alberta Wild Rose. Once I paid attention, I noticed many other rose bushes scattered throughout the area where we walked.

Wild Rose

On our walk we also spotted blue bells, flowering Saskatoon bushes, and dandelions – both blooming and going to seed.

Our walk only lasted fifteen minutes, but my perspective shifted a hundred and eighty degrees. When we arrived back at our house, my son cheerfully complied with my requests and I took him to school with a smile on his face.

Perhaps I should implement a morning walk for him more often 🙂

What have you discovered in your parenting journey that has surprised and delighted you? Please share!


Town of Banff

Our 2015 family holiday in Banff National Park

This past week our family had the opportunity to enjoy the stunning natural beauty of Banff National Park. In this post I’m sharing some of my favourite pictures. In the next few posts I’ll provide details about some of the places we visited and activities we enjoyed.

Big Horn Sheep
Big Horn Sheep

We were able to see many different kinds of animals. When I commented that the sheep were molting, one of our sons commented, “Well, you know, Mom, it is summer!”

Glacier Sky Walk
Glacier Sky Walk

The Glacier Skywalk topped my list of activities. What an amazing view!

Ghost mining town at Lower Bankhead
Lower Bankhead

Looking for a free, educational activity? Check out Lower Bankhead, which used to be a mining town in the early 1900’s.

Boat ride on Lake Minnewanka
Boat ride on Lake Minnewanka

Although we had been on the boat ride before, we learned many more interesting facts, thanks to our informative guide, Dan.

Hiking in Banff National Park
Hiking in Banff National Park

There is a wonderful variety of hiking trails in Banff National Park – all lengths and levels of difficulty.

Columbia Icefield Glacier Adventure
Columbia Icefield Glacier Adventure

The Brewster bus ride onto the Columbia Icefield Glacier takes you down the second steepest incline (32 degrees) in the world.

Bull and cow Elk near Two Jack
Bull and cow Elk near Two Jack

We were delighted to find this pair of elk just outside the entrance to the Two Jack Main campground.

Elk at dusk in Banff National Park
Elk at dusk

The above shot of an elk at dusk is my favourite photo from our trip.

Bird on sign at Jasper glacier
Lots of natural beauty

A whiskey jack entertained us while we were at the Columbia Icefields visitor centre.

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Too close to the bear!

Despite warnings, tourists insist on feeding animals and getting close to the wild animals. One guide asked us if we knew which animal sends the most tourists to the hospital from the national parks. Any guesses?

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View from Sulpher Mountain Gondola

We enjoyed a ride on the Sulpher Mountain Gondola. What a view!

Where did you go on your family vacation this year? Any hints to share?


Renewed Perspective

This morning I was feeling overwhelmed. My husband lovingly rearranged my living room yesterday by adding two more book shelves for me to store my treasured books. In the process several things were displaced and the living room area looks like a war zone. I’m thankful for the book shelves, but I’m the type of person who likes order. The rearrangement left me feeling frazzled.

As I was washing dishes this morning, I glanced out the window. Diamond glints of sunshine bounced off the frosty landscape. I quickly finished dishes and grabbed my camera. Here are some of my favourite shots for you to enjoy. I hope they refresh your spirit as much as they refreshed mine!

Winter BeautyGrass heavy with frostFrost on SpruceFrost on grasslandscape framed by frosty spruce