Winnipeg Family Ideas--from Tara Miller

Being professional photographers, we look for ways to spend family time in a way that reflects our passion.

When we are not shooting for a client we love the chance to jump in the car as a family with a few snacks and drinks and drive the Manitoba back roads to look for that special place to spend the time as a family photographing a secret garden or rolling valley.

Our 13 year old is happy when he can use all the modern ipad, ipod, and technical gadgets on the way. But when we arrive we might grab a local lunch or visit the farmers market for a fresh treat! Then all 3 of us with cameras in hand head out together to capture some images of the day. It's really exciting to me as a mom to see what my son finds interesting at this age to shoot.

I always get excited when he has the same interest in his photography. To keep one up on him, we make it as a fun competition to upload and view what adventures we shared in the day.

I keep in mind as a parent that encouragement and positive feedback goes a long way!

Sonya's note:  Tara is currently a finalist for CNIB's Eye Remember photo contest and you can see her photo/vote until June 30th. 

One family idea that I (Sonya) plan to implement this year is sketching excursions with my kids.  It's been a very long time since I've done that and I'd love to see what my kids come up with.  I'm planning to buy my supplies at http://www.cre8ivesupplies.com  It's a great new store in the exchange district here in Winnipeg (Adelaide and William).


Winnipeg Family Ideas--from Laura Finlayson

We met Laura Finlayson during one of our art projects.  She is the mother of two girls: a tween and a toddler.  She has graciously agreed to give us some of her ideas for family time.
I'm Laura Finlayson from Nest Executive Home and Lifestyle Management.  "Work. Life. Balance Both." is the motto for my business.

Great outings  
 We like to go to the St. Norbert Farmer's Market, take hikes at Bird's Hill Park and have a picnic or walk to our local park.  The Mennonite Heritage Village is also a great outing, although not free.  

Activities at home 
  • picnics in the back yard
  • family movie night
  • family games night
  • a fire with marshmallows in our back yard
  • scrapbooking
Family rituals  
We don't answer the phone during dinnertime, and that's a strict rule in our house.  We also pretty much ALWAYS eat dinner together with no TV on!  We let our 12-year-old choose what's for supper once per week, and we allow her to sit in the living room and have dinner watching TV once per week. 

Best ever vacations   
A trip to Salt Spring Island, B.C. 
Sonya's note:  Laura also had some great conversation starters.  You can find them on our Eve Studios facebook page.


Winnipeg Family Ideas--from Kelly Dvorak

Kelly Dvorak is a marriage and family counselor from Pregnancy and Family Support Services on Spence Street.  This is what she wrote:
We have some good ideas for memory making ... although our kids are presently at a stage where getting them to spend family time is like pulling teeth...we still think family fun is possible with teens!

We like to go on family walks in local parks, especially when getting ice cream is part of the equation. Assiniboine Park + DQ on Portage Ave. is a favorite combination.

Rituals ... well, we have some family things we do together...  We make ribs for supper  whenever we're celebrating something.  We buy A & W Bacon Egger sandwiches for breakfast on the day of everyone's birthday, and on the way out of town for a road trip.  We do hand or foot massages when we're sitting around on the couch.  (that is a great way to get kids into a talking mood, by the way!) We have sitcoms that we buy by the season, then we watch it when it fits our schedule.  (We watched all 6 seasons of Reba last year! This year we're working on Corner Gas.)  On birthdays, we say what we appreciate about each other.  On Mother's Day, we do crazy things like review our family mission statement... I take full advantage of 'my' day to do things that would not happen on any other day!

We've only taken one big family vacation, it was to San Francisco last summer.  We highly, highly recommend that as a destination for a family, especially if the kids are a bit older.  The public transport is terrific, there are good deals for accommodations to be had, and Westjet has frequent seat sales there (although you may have to fly out of another city, we flew from Calgary).  

Thanks for a chance to write about us and remind myself that we are indeed a fun family!"

Sonya's note:  if you'd like to learn more about creating a family mission statement, read "7 Habits of Highly Effective Families" by Stephen Covey.


Winnipeg Family Ideas--from Stephanie Staples

 I asked Stephanie Staples from "Your Life Unlimited" to share a few of her family time ideas.  Her kids are 17, 19, and 21.  Some of her answers are here and some will be popping up on our facebook page  in the next couple of weeks.  One of my favorites is what they do at the dinner table to get conversation going and create positive attitudes.
  • great outings   -  anything one on one (sometimes we try so hard to do everything as a family we forget the power of 1:1 interactions/experiences)  
  • activities at home  - homemade playdough - never too old for that warm dough! 
  • family rituals  - Manitoba Marathon - any length 
  • best ever vacations  - camping, camping, camping 
 You can listen to Stephanie's radio show on CJOB from 8-9 on Fridays when there are no sporting events competing for air time.  She will be discussing the topic of family time this Friday and has asked us to be her guests!   Maybe she'll expand on some of her ideas...like her playdough recipe!


Winnipeg Family Ideas - Box of Summer Fun

Thanks to Heidi Reimer-Epp from Botanical Paperworks for giving us some creative ideas for summer fun:

An annual tradition in our family is the Box Of Summer Fun. I have two MacBook laptop boxes (the original packaging for the computers) that are constructed like little briefcases. Every June, I stock the two boxes with supplies for summer fun. The boxes always include a new package of markers, scissors, stickers, pad of paper and glue. I also have included word searches, coloring books, bubble soap or a journal. I mix it up each year and as my girls get older, I customize the items to fit their age and interests.

The girls know that I'm getting it ready but they aren't allowed to open them until July 1! They love the anticipation and surprise, and I love how the Box of Summer Fun gives them something to do over the summer, whether they are traveling in the car, at home or at the cottage. If they come to me saying "I'm bored", I suggest they get out their Box Of Summer Fun and they're able to entertain themselves.

A new thing that we've done this year is to print this graphic of 101 Fun Summer Things for the Kids and frame it in a simple black frame from Michael's. It's sitting on our kitchen counter and we're already choosing which fun things we want to tackle first.

Anyone else have boredom busters to share?  Feel free to comment or send me an email at sonya @ evestudios dot ca.


Ideas for Families

As we head into summer, I am reminded of a favorite activity we've done together as a family:  the Farmer's Market Feast.  First we get in the van for a road trip with a bit of cash along.  After we arrive, we find some delicious fresh food (like farmer sausage, corn on the cob, baby potatoes and carrots).  Then we take it home and enjoy our feast!

What are your favorite summertime family activities? 

Some of the ideas we receive will be posted on our facebook page.  If you haven't "liked" our page yet, go there now so you don't miss anything...it's also a great way to know when our blog has been updated (or you can follow by email - top right of this blog).