tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:/posts CC+BG+Family 2021-04-04T04:36:58Z CC tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1674378 2021-04-04T04:36:58Z 2021-04-04T04:36:58Z March catchup

What's new over here? A few things...

The family discovered the Wombo app which turns any picture into a lip-syncing video:

Asa had photo day at daycare...but he was feeling a bit shy that day and wouldn't look at the camera. Oh well...better luck next year!! 

We had lots of ski days and early spring outdoors time. Asa did his first chairlift, and the boys all did ski lessons. That is actually Emmet and Obie under all those layers!

And Howard and Linda finally made it through their vaccinations and quarantines just in time for us to have Passover together: 

Everyone is looking forward to better weather, Covid numbers going down, vaccinations going up, and border restrictions going away. Here's hoping sometime soon!

tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1660958 2021-03-03T03:55:17Z 2021-03-03T05:11:09Z Emmet is Seven

Well, having your birthday during a pandemic is not the greatest. But I think we made the best of it – Emmet had a pretty terrific 7th birthday. 

Skiing, presents, a dancing hamster birthday card, a piano lesson, more presents, cake, a movie with his brothers (Alvin and The Chipmunks 3: Chipwrecked!), a visit from a friend, and even a toy store shopping spree!

Happy birthday to our own sweet, creative, independent, growing Alvin Emmet!

tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1638498 2021-01-11T05:39:04Z 2021-01-11T21:35:11Z Asa the chef
We haven’t posted anything for a while, but here’s a quick pic from today. Asa helped me make green beans and cauliflower, cook salmon, and make oatmeal cookies!
tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1597859 2020-09-27T02:56:10Z 2020-09-28T17:57:31Z The beat goes on
Today’s instalment.
tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1597308 2020-09-25T03:04:03Z 2020-09-25T04:10:05Z That’s really some rock! Emmet has been reading about musical instruments and is way into electric guitars. He even got to play Yoni’s electric guitar recently. 

Here are two guitars he drew: on the bottom is an electric guitar that can switch between rock and pop music. On the top is the loudest instrument in the world. The very large number indicates how many loudnesses it goes. As the caption says, “that’s really some rock!”

tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1593638 2020-09-13T03:00:31Z 2020-09-13T03:00:32Z And School Begins!

For now, school is in-person, 5 days/week. It's going to be a strange rollercoaster of a year, no doubt. 

5th grade!

1st grade!

Emmet was so excited to go to school that he - unbeknownst to us - got into his clothes late at night and we found him like this in the morning. 
tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1593635 2020-09-13T02:47:29Z 2020-09-15T21:59:29Z Final Trip of the Summer
So grateful to Chris for filling our summer with adventures across BC and Alberta. Our last camping trip was to Tofino - the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island - and it was pretty glorious. The first half of the trip was socked in by fog; when the fog lifted, it was awesome. Because of Covid, the majority of the public parking lots were closed - so the only folks on the beach were from our campground. It was incredible to hike for hours and hours down an endless beach and to see only a few people throughout the whole day. Bear and wolf tracks and scat! The most 'wild' and unpopulated beach I have ever been on. 

Day 1 - tidepools, exploring the foggy beaches

Wolf tracks? Bear tracks? Definitely bear scat. 

Day 2 - at first, a very foggy day (and check out those bizarre pelagic goose barnacles!)

And then, the fog lifts!

Final evening - gorgeous sunset

Sun kissed, beach smiles

Our campsite, with a beach view!

tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1589328 2020-09-01T01:43:52Z 2020-09-01T03:06:56Z Rocky Mountain Road Trip!

First big road trip with the boys! Third time camping this summer! First time in Alberta and seeing the Canadian Rockies! Lots of firsts this trip. 

We spent a week in the Canadian Rockies exploring Banff and Jasper national parks. We drove over 2000 km / 1200 miles, went on a zillion hikes, camped most of the time and cleaned up at a hotel in the end, and saw some great wildlife – including three black bears, two elk, and a mountain goat. Everywhere we went was gorgeous with stunning scenery, and we were blessed with sunny weather the entire time except for the final day. 

Quick overview with lots of pictures:

Vancouver to Banff 

Spent the night in Revelstoke, continued in the morning over Rogers Pass and gorgeous mountain scenary, stopped in Yoho National Park for a waterfall visit, and headed to our campsite outside the town of Banff. 


We settled into our campsite for the next four nights. The boys settled into the routine of a daytime adventure, and then either a campsite meal (aka hot dogs & s'mores) or a restaurant in town. Lots of activity: A quick hike walking distance from the campground that turned out to be GORGEOUS. A trip to Lake Louise. Another hike through a beautiful dry riverbed canyon, with an exciting/terrifying rockfall event that livened things up. And then another hike from our campsite down to the Bow river and into Banff (ending with me running 5km back up the hill to our campground to get the car and drive everyone else home!)

Tunnel Mountain Village Campground & Hoodoos

Grotto Canyon

Bow River

Lake Louise

Lake Louise is one of those iconic vistas we knew about before we visited – the glacial-fed green water, the mountains ringing the lake, the stately chateau-style hotel. We got there at the crack of dawn to beat the crowds and it was still mobbed, but...it lives up to the hype. The lake was beautiful, and we went on a great hike to a civilized tea house at Lake Agnes, a high alpine lake. Then we continued on to the Little Beehive mountain lookout. The kids (including 4 year old Asa) hiked 11 KILOMETERS up and down the mountain (6.84 miles). Way to go! After the hike, I sampled the lake water, and found it was cold!

Icefields Parkway

After four nights in Banff, it was time to move on. We had done some cruising for wildlife sightings in Banff, but no luck. But within a half hour or so of leaving our campsite in Banff on the road to Jasper, we saw our first black bear! The road from Banff to Jasper is another iconic Canadian Rockies sight – a three hour drive that you could spend days exploring. High mountains, alpine lakes, glaciers! It's beautiful but desolate. You don't want to break down on this road! We stopped at the Athabasca glacier and got as close as possible – noting all the signs marking its retreat over the past decades. And finally our wildlife prayers were answered – in addition to the morning bear leaving Banff, we saw two more black bears, a pair of bull elk with giant antlers, and Beth and Obie even spotted a mountain goat! 


We only stayed for two nights in Jasper, but we could have extended it much further – there was so much to explore. We did a hike through a deep river canyon with many pedestrian bridges and waterfalls. And we drove to Maligne Lake, a stunning glacier-fed lake with mountains everywhere. They run a retro-feeling boat tour, which we took across the lake for a stop at another one of Canada's most iconic viewpoints – Spirit Island. More jaw-dropping scenery. Even the kids, jaded by days of amazing mountain views, appreciated how beautiful it was. The weather was looking iffy, but fortune smiled upon us and the rain held off until we were back across the lake and in the car. 

Maligne Canyon & Road

Maligne Lake & Spirit Island

One more night, then a long nine-hour drive and we were back in our beds. The kids were total troopers through the whole week. So many adventures and fun memories for them. Camping, hiking, animals, family time. They were patient on the drives and on the hikes, and while they definitely drove each other (and us) nuts at times, it was such a fun time for the whole family. So thankful we were able to make this trip happen during Covid summer!

tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1583762 2020-08-15T15:01:01Z 2020-08-15T15:01:02Z August so far

A quick summer roundup before we head out on our road trip to Banff and Jasper:

Hiking on Mt. Seymour with the big boys

Playing at home and in the park:

Emmet's color museum:

That's it for now – stay tuned for many Rocky Mountain photos....

tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1581684 2020-08-06T17:31:34Z 2020-08-06T17:34:20Z Another day, another tooth!
Emmet loses another one! He spent last evening and this morning sticking spoons, straws, and his tongue through the new double-wide gap in his teeth! 
tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1579109 2020-07-30T05:00:19Z 2020-07-30T05:48:12Z Emmet loses his first tooth
Breaking news! Emmet has lost his first tooth. After a round of increasingly forceful wiggling by Dad, Emmet was finally the one who popped the tooth out onto the floor. A pause for a celebratory picture, and it was time to get to work scrubbing the tooth clean with toothpaste — inspired by Ramona Quimby doing that with her first tooth. Emmet has requested the tooth fairy hold off for a night so he can more closely examine his tooth tomorrow. I told him I would pass on the message. 
tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1576776 2020-07-25T05:08:58Z 2020-07-27T17:52:36Z Family camp week

Well... another week, another adventure over here. This time it was heading to Camp Fircom on Gambier Island for a midweek trip. Gambier is in Howe Sound, just a short water taxi away from the main ferry terminal in Horseshoe Bay. But it is an island with few roads, no electricity, water, anything. Every place is off-grid and self-sufficient. 

Camp Fircom is a summer camp on the island with a gorgeous waterfront property -- it's been there since 1923, and started as a Presbyterian church's outreach program for families in the rooming houses of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Nowadays they do overnight summer camps for kids and families, but this year it is trimmed down, very restricted and Covid-safe. However, we still got to stay in a cabin, eat meals in the dining hall, check out the farm and garden, go kayaking, do archery, and hike. The boys had a blast, we did too, and it was nice to have a break from cooking every day. 

Highlights included: touring the garden and getting rhubarb umbrellas, feeding raspberries to the local chickens, seeing a garter snake, a seal, many deer, and even WOLF POO (photo available upon request). 

Apparently there are wolves on the island that the locals regularly hear. This is not totally unheard of, as wolves have gotten to Vancouver Island and are known to swim to little islands on the west side and basically live on the beach – sea wolves. However, its the first I've heard of wolves so close to Vancouver. We saw some large and very fresh scat filled with fur, so obviously a predator, but too large to be anything else. Very exciting! We also found a deer antler. 

Other camp favorite moments were Obie & Emmet doing archery for the first time (also Beth). Everyone hit the target! We all went kayaking as a family, and Asa did a steep 4+km hike walking the whole way with the big boys and us. The camp was a nice safe spot and just the right size for the kids, and we got to see each boy flex their independence muscles and go explore a little further on their own than they have before. Then when the evenings came, it was s'mores time of course, and the boys spent every possible moment poking the campfire with sticks, as is their wont. 

tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1573074 2020-07-15T03:48:18Z 2020-07-15T06:12:36Z Rathtrevor Beach Camping

Another summer camping trip – this time to Rathtrevor Beach with friends. 

A ferry ride over to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island and a short drive north to Parksville and we were there. Beautiful forest, great campground for kids, and a top notch beach. It wasn't baking hot when we were there, but we did get a bit of sun. 

This beach loomed large in Emmet's imagination in particular, as it is the closest spot to Vancouver where you can reliably find sand dollars. The beach goes out forever at low tide, and indeed we found sand dollars everywhere. 

The kids ate s'mores and ran around in the woods together as per our mandatory camping agenda. We went on a hike to some gorgeous waterfalls at Little Qualicum Park nearby, and spent the afternoon at a wildlife rescue animal sanctuary with live bears, eagles, and a zillion other birds, much taxidermy, and big grounds to explore. 

It was fantastic to be able to spend so much time with our friends, and the kids were loving it. Our little guys seemed so grown up on this trip, helping to set up camp, entertaining themselves, no one needing to be carried on the hike, everyone sleeping through the night. What a great trip!

tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1563602 2020-06-23T06:13:29Z 2020-07-15T03:34:18Z First camping of the summer – Osoyoos

Summer has officially begun!

The border is still closed, so we are staying in BC for now. First camping trip of the summer – off to Lake Osoyoos in the Okanagan for Father's Day weekend. 

The boys were excited for "Canada's only desert" – highlights including rattlesnakes, black widow spiders and...scorpions!! :) Happily, we did not encounter any. It was also billed as "Canada's warmest lake." We also did not encounter this...maybe in August. 

We did however have a great time – what a location. Swiws / Haynes Point park is on a long spit right out in the middle of the lake. 

We stopped at EC Manning Park on the drive over the mountains, and saw many friendly marmots there. 

We set up camp. We went for a desert hike. The boys investigated an ancient metallic object located near our campsite (AKA payphone). Many hot dogs and marshmallows were consumed.

And then I inflated the boats I ordered off Amazon, which may prove to be the pinnacle of my dad career. These things were great – everyone got some use out of them. 

After a sweet weekend, we headed home, stopping for lunch at a gorgeous winery and vineyard in one of the small towns along the way. What a great Father's Day and kickoff to the summer! 

tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1561650 2020-06-19T12:40:16Z 2020-06-23T05:14:50Z Kindergarten Graduation!

Didn’t know (socially-distant) kindergarten graduation is a thing, but that didn’t stop minor waterworks. He’s growing!
tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1559023 2020-06-13T20:18:40Z 2020-06-13T20:18:40Z Asa is four!!!

Happy birthday to our sweet, loving, insightful, hilarious, unicorn- and rainbow-loving, hairless child.

tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1558499 2020-06-12T18:25:04Z 2020-06-13T01:53:07Z Quarantine Chronicles Day 91: Asa's last day of being three...and a new look

Birthdays are transformational. You're saying goodbye to the age you were, and hello to a whole new you. Asa is really taking this transformation idea to heart on his last day of being three years old.

Can you believe this little dragon is turning four tomorrow?

And can you believe that last night we went upstairs to find he had taken some nail scissors from the bathroom and cut his own hair??? 😱


Oh dear. 

We haven't decided exactly how we are going to remedy this, but there are sure to be more photos. Never a dull moment! 

tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1552199 2020-05-31T18:04:20Z 2020-05-31T18:28:35Z Quarantine Chronicles Day 79, Part 2

We all watched the SpaceX/NASA launch, the kids went to their rooms for quiet time, and Emmet emerged with this great rocket!

tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1552174 2020-05-31T17:25:50Z 2020-05-31T17:25:50Z Quarantine Chronicles day 79
Haircut places are open again, with some changes. Here’s what the new normal looks like.
tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1547501 2020-05-21T02:50:45Z 2020-05-21T02:50:45Z Quarantine Chronicles Day 68
First 1000 piece puzzle complete! We’ve moved up from 36, to 120, to 500, and now to 1000! 💥🧩🎉🎊🥂(When will this isolation be over?)
tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1547098 2020-05-20T04:07:48Z 2020-05-20T04:13:48Z Quarantine Chronicles Day 67: Three Amigos

Life goes on here, even after Tikka. Here's some of the ridiculousness we got today... 

tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1539119 2020-05-03T04:18:41Z 2020-05-05T19:07:44Z Goodbye Tikka

We shared this sad news with many of you and on Facebook earlier this week: ☹️

Beth and I are heartbroken to share that we had to put our beloved dog Tikka to sleep on Monday night. We found out only one day earlier that she had widespread cancer when it threatened to stop her heart. The emergency vets were able to buy us a little time and we got one more blissful day with her filled with petting, treats, and visits from her favorite folks. On Monday evening, her body started to shut down again and we made the decision to take her to the vet where we had a peaceful goodbye. 

We're all still in shock. Tikka was ten – almost 11 – but still seemed like my little puppy. Beth and I got her shortly after we got married and moved to Vancouver. The last decade has been filled with so many changes for us: newly married, new city, new country, new house, becoming new parents, then again, and then again! Tikka was with us through it all. 

Beth and I were blessed with a very full decade together with this lovely, lazy, long-eyelashed, howling, toy-crunching, nature-loving sweet doggie. She was happy and loving until the end. What a good girl. 

tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1533304 2020-04-20T01:28:36Z 2020-04-20T06:22:59Z Quarantine Chronicles Day 37

Our cherry blossoms have arrived! 

Meet 'Helio,' the uncannily fast slug. 

tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1531408 2020-04-15T04:09:51Z 2020-04-16T19:01:54Z Quarantine Chronicles: Day 32 - Marble Racing
✅ Marbles
✅ Train tracks
✅ Giant white board
✅ Social isolation
Marble racing!

Track 1
Track 2
Head to head
tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1531012 2020-04-14T07:10:17Z 2020-04-14T20:09:43Z Quarantine Chronicles: Day 31

Easter egg dyeing! Backyard camping! Egg hunting! 

We've thankfully been having terrific weather, so we decided to do a backyard campout. Beth made the sacrifice to stay back by herself in the empty house. Hopefully it wasn't too lonely for her, reading a book and drinking a glass of wine all alone. Meanwhile, I slept in the tent with three boys under ten. 

It actually went surprisingly well. They were armed with many flashlights. Much giggling occurred. I read some chapters of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. We saw the Big Dipper. And everyone slept through the night!

We packed the tent up quickly in the morning because it was egg hunting time. The boys raced around for round after round of hunting, and then did some egg hiding for the grownups. For someone who didn't grow up hiding eggs, Beth is quite a formidable competitor. She out-hunted me in both adult rounds, in one notable instance diving under our steps to beat me to an egg, nearly crushing it in her grasp. You'll want to click through the photos for that one!

tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1528922 2020-04-09T03:05:09Z 2020-04-09T03:05:09Z Quarantine Chronicles: Day 26
Virtual Passover Seder! Robert, Anne, Howard & Linda all attending via video. Remembering the plagues of the past while avoiding the current plague....
And check out the makeshift cardboard seder plate we made this afternoon!
tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1527387 2020-04-05T02:52:08Z 2020-04-05T02:52:08Z Quarantine Chronicles, Day 22

The mood was getting a bit dark over here - too much juggling of schedules and screen time and learning and generally being on top of each other - so we decided to go on a hike. We are all much improved. 

But first, we finished a very challenging puzzle. Good to accomplish something.

Then Asa chose his outfit for the day.

Then we went to Belcarra Regional Park, a first for us. Awesome coastal trail to rocky outcrops, with sea cucumber (!), garter snake, and crab sightings.

tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1526305 2020-04-02T00:21:57Z 2020-04-02T20:25:30Z Quarantine Chronicles, Days 1-19

We are a little late to begin chronicling our quarantine adventures, but no time like the present, particularly since it looks like this physical distancing will have a too-long shelf life. To remember it, we are going to 'try' - amidst the chaos of work, 'homeschooling' three children, and general sanity retention - to put in a little effort towards capturing memories. We began to isolate our family March 14, so here we are, mid-week three of these strange days. 

Week 1: nature adventures. As Obie was on 'spring break,' we did what we could to just find spots away from people. This entailed a ton of hiking, including to Whytecliff Park, Lighthouse Park, Centennial Beach, Iona Beach, lots of bike rides, and more. The kids were generally really happy, as we spent a ton of time together in nature. 

Week 2: online school began for Emmet. Juggling three kids' developmental needs has been tough, but we have had some sweet breakthroughs (along with some meltdowns and many learning moments for Chris and me on how to do this well and not well). Family 'events' included sushi making, scavenger hunts, backyard seed planting/garden creation, defogging car headlights with toothpaste, popsicle design, creation, and consumption, the 7pm nighttime ritual of cheering for health workers, more bike rides (see video of Chris reading poetry to the kids on a bike ride), and hikes to the Endowment Lands and Stanley Park. Our general approach at home is Asa tags along to Emmet's 'curricula' and Obie gets to choose what to learn in this last week of 'spring break.' Breakthroughs included:

  • Knife skills for cooking (Obie)
  • Reading an analogue clock (Emmet)
  • Subtraction (Emmet)
  • Coming downstairs without waking us up, playing, and getting own breakfast (Asa and Emmet)
  • Implementing daily and weekly chores (all small humans)
  • Cleaning room after nap (Asa)
  • Getting fully dressed on his own (Asa)
  • Co-creating a book called 'The Dream' (Obie and Emmet)
  • Obie and Chris afternoon runs (while catching Pokemon)
  • Cool online classes of Obie's choice - periodic table's connection to Greek mythology, history of monsters, and more
  • Creative writing breakthrough - online Pokemon class, where Obie was able to write Pokemon 'scenes' - battles, events, etc. (Obie) 
  • Confident bike riding on a pedal bike (Asa)
  • Counting money (Emmet)
  • Bike hack - mounting bike rack on cargo bike to take the little boys on family biking adventures (Chris)

Week 3: online school begin for Obie. This includes a lot of self management, organization, and initiative-taking. So far, so good!

tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1509504 2020-02-14T16:47:28Z 2020-02-14T16:47:29Z Morning Jedi
tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1498907 2020-01-14T07:42:37Z 2020-01-14T18:37:15Z Mexico 2020

Sayulita, Mexico for New Years 2020 -- a story in five acts.

Act 1 - we get situated in our gorgeous house on a hill above Sayulita, play in the waves, and have foreshadowing of wildlife visits. This period culminated in the craziest New Years' day ever, in which Beth got stung by a poisonous scorpion in our house during a torrential downpour and we had to descend our treacherous hill and navigate the flooded streets by golf cart to find a health clinic to administer antivenom. 

Act 2 - Beth rallies after the scorpion incident and we all try to put it behind us with a horseback ride through the jungle and onto the beach. 

Act 3 - Whale watching! Amazing sightings of humpbacks and dolphins from a trimaran with water slides and an open bar. Plus a sighting of Linda's first tequila shot. 

Act 4 - We needed some recovery from our adventures, so spent the day at a local resort. The kids swam, read, drank virgin piña coladas, and made crafts, and we all got a little break.  

Act 5 - Back on the town to finish the trip strong, plus a visit from the coatimundi from Act 1. Beth and I snuck away for a date down the coast to Litibu, and we ended the week with a day trip to San Pancho, just north of Sayulita. 

Beth and I had been feeling up for a travel adventure before this trip, and we definitely had one. The kids rolled with all of the unexpected turns, and Howard and Linda held on for the ride as well. This was one of those trips with many memories – but where you need a vacation from your vacation! 