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How to Offer Forgiveness

Whether you believe in God, the bible, or not, forgiving others allows us to live a whole life. If we hold onto anger, pain, and bitterness it festers and consumes us. But forgiving isn’t easy.

It takes much  more than saying the words, “I forgive” to truly let go of a grudge, especially when it’s deep, and not hold it against someone.

I’ve read many articles on forgiveness, but none of them really allowed me to let go and forgive. Something eluded me.

Now I believe I’ve found the secret.

I’ve found an amazing ritual that allows me to let go of my desire to be right and to offer up forgiveness.

  •  Write down everything you feel the other person has done to harm you.
  • Read it over, add to the list. Dig deep.
  • Write down the things you like about the person, outside of the situation.
  • Write down everything you can learn from the situation. Keep it positive! You’re not learning to hurt someone else before they hurt you. You’re not learning to ‘avoid a person’. You’re ‘understanding what it feels like to be treated a certain way, recognizing when you’ve similarly treated someone like that, and changing your own actions’.

 

Keep it personal. On your journey, you will have different lessons than someone else. Just as not everyone will be hurt by the same experiences, nor will everyone feel good about the same experiences.

Forgiving is about lessening the pain in the world. You may not lessen the other person’s pain, but you will lessen your own, and be less likely to spread more pain.  That is the healing power of forgiveness.

 

 

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Self Development

When Ella was a new baby, Ryan and I attended a parenting conference, I couldn’t tell you much about it now, except for one speaker. I barely recall her name, Ivy Shawl Song (or something like that), I don’t know anything about her, but she had a very powerful message.

She said in order for a person to have a fulfilled, happy life, a person needed ten ways of identifying themselves that had nothing to do with their work or family roles.

At the time I was an RN, a wife, a mother, but beyond that I had few interests or hobbies that I could pursue. The act of becoming both a nurse and a mother meant I needed to give up other aspects of myself. At the time, it hurt. I fought it. Looking back, I’m not happy with the person I was, though I know that person was me, and made me who I am.

That person was empty, but she tried.

I picked up various hobbies, tested them out, saw if they fit. Many I put back. Others I held onto. But mostly I remained where I was.

Over time, 1 child turned into 2, then 3, then 4. Plus 3 cats and 2 dogs. Our lives became very busy. But those titles of mother and wife weren’t enough. I needed more. I needed to find myself.

It’s taken time, but now I have many different hobbies and interests that help define who I am as a person, singular. Myself.

I am spiritual. I’m still not sure if this falls into one of the categories that doesn’t ‘count’ or not. But my spirituality brings me comfort, and it’s a part of who I am outside of my relationship and work roles. If it wasn’t for my faith, I don’t know if I’d have made it through the past ten years or not, and I know my faith brought me so much comfort and healing while I had cancer and was going through chemo.

I love Disney. I enjoy reading about the company, the parks, resorts, and entertainment. And of course, I love spending time at Walt Disney World. I can hardly wait for the day when we can experience all the things we’ve yet to experience there!

I sew. Not often right now, but I make dolls, stuffies, and even clothing. I’m self taught, and sometimes I feel very insecure about my sewing abilities.

I enjoy reading. Often my reading is done online, but at least once a month I pick up an actual book and I read. I just took Lisa Scottoline’s book, “Most Wanted” as well as Brene Brown’s “Daring Greatly” out of the library, both highly recommended books by people I like.

I love to craft. Most recently I’ve been working with wire. I’m really excited about my newest creation and can hardly wait for it to be finished!

I enjoy entertaining. This includes creating party themes, decorations, activities, and the food.

Cake decorating is an interest I have as a result of our dietary restrictions. But I enjoy the challenge, even if the results frustrate me to no end!

Gardening is my passion. It’s how I spend my time relaxing. It doesn’t matter whether I’m digging holes, or sitting staring at my flowers, I find both equally refreshing.

I’m a dreamer and a planner. These two are intertwined so closely, even as they’re almost polar opposites. I love to plan for everything, and change plans as needed, but I also love to plan for the ‘what ifs’ and the one days’. What if this dream of mine came true? Then what? I know what I’d do. It’s something I find great joy doing.

It’s taken time for these interests to develop organically. There were times I had neither time nor energy to devote to anything other than the basics. But I’m now happy with where I am and the person I’m becoming. A few years ago I wouldn’t have been able to say that.

I can hardly wait to see who I am in a couple more years!

What are ten interests that define who you are?

 

 

 

 

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We’ve been busy

What a month August has been. It’s almost over and I feel like I barely noticed. The nights are darker and the days have been getting colder, though I hope the latter is just a string of bad weather and that September is nice and sunny.

I had the good fortune to take most of the month off from work and with that nice break we’ve been very busy! Not as busy as we planned but busy nontheless.

First off we sold our second vehicle. We are now a one vehicle family, which is a big change. We’ve been biking more and more, Sarah’s been scouring bus routes to figure out how to get to the kids classes when I’m working. Our municipality has  very limited busing and that can be hugely inconvenient. With the biking we are all feeling healthier, Ella and Agatha can ride more than half way across town now and I definitely feel the workout hauling Cordelia, Brom and all our packed gear behind me in our Chariot.

The vehicle we’ve kept has issues with the A/C so I had to take it into the dealership twice to get that fixed, now I have to get a full set of new tires as well. Unfortunately, that means we have to postpone our trip to Drumheller to visit the Tyrell museum until after they’re replaced, which will hopefully be next week.

I wrote my 2nd of 4 Power Engineering 3rd class exams. I was pretty stressed going in as I did not feel prepared. But I passed! All is good. Time to book the next one and get studying, again.

13937775_10154220233496013_948117389128556722_oWe’ve celebrated so many birthdays and ate so much cake, Agatha turned 8 at the beginning of the month and had a super cool mystery / spy themed birthday party. I had a blast recording special messages as the computerized spy master. I finally got a chance to use a program called Audacity that I’ve had for ages as part of my video editting programs. Playing with all the fun effects made for a good time.
We also celebrated my mom and nephew’s birthdays with a hot dog roast out at my parents acreage, my Aunties and Uncle were in town and it was fantastic catching up with them.

Lastly, Brom turned 3! He got a party on his actual birthday with some family friends and again today with my family. He was just blown away by the fact that the presents on the counter were for him and not someone else!


I didn’t get started on renovating Ella’s bedroom, but I did rearrange our family bedroom so that I could bring down a bed and trundle so that Agatha and Cordelia could have their own beds now. Agatha has been using a matress on the floor forever and I didn’t think anything of it until she asked when she could have a real bed. So the real bed upstairs that was already hers moved down. So now there is only Sarah, Brom and myself in our bed (most nights), only one more to go! Though I did spend last night in Cordelia’s bed cudding my little girl. I tend to travel from bed to bed as the girls still want cuddles.

We got a puppy! That means I don’t get to sleep as much and I’m busy during the day IMG_0406training and ensuring she doesn’t eliminate in the house. Moana (Mo-Anna, after the new Disney princess) is a 3 month old black lab cross. Crossed with what? We don’t know. She had white toes and a white spot on her chest. We’re thinking some sort of small shepherd. She’s high energy and likes to chew and play, our older dog Chester loves to tug-of-war with her. She also like to wake up way before everyone else and won’t go back in the crate even after a potty break, which means I’m pretty tired right now. She’s doing much better with the crate since we got her and I’m sure that means she’ll be better at going back in in the mornings so we can sleep again.

So that’s what we’ve been up to, how about you? How’s your summer been?

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We've been busy

What a month August has been. It’s almost over and I feel like I barely noticed. The nights are darker and the days have been getting colder, though I hope the latter is just a string of bad weather and that September is nice and sunny.

I had the good fortune to take most of the month off from work and with that nice break we’ve been very busy! Not as busy as we planned but busy nontheless.

First off we sold our second vehicle. We are now a one vehicle family, which is a big change. We’ve been biking more and more, Sarah’s been scouring bus routes to figure out how to get to the kids classes when I’m working. Our municipality has  very limited busing and that can be hugely inconvenient. With the biking we are all feeling healthier, Ella and Agatha can ride more than half way across town now and I definitely feel the workout hauling Cordelia, Brom and all our packed gear behind me in our Chariot.

The vehicle we’ve kept has issues with the A/C so I had to take it into the dealership twice to get that fixed, now I have to get a full set of new tires as well. Unfortunately, that means we have to postpone our trip to Drumheller to visit the Tyrell museum until after they’re replaced, which will hopefully be next week.

I wrote my 2nd of 4 Power Engineering 3rd class exams. I was pretty stressed going in as I did not feel prepared. But I passed! All is good. Time to book the next one and get studying, again.

13937775_10154220233496013_948117389128556722_oWe’ve celebrated so many birthdays and ate so much cake, Agatha turned 8 at the beginning of the month and had a super cool mystery / spy themed birthday party. I had a blast recording special messages as the computerized spy master. I finally got a chance to use a program called Audacity that I’ve had for ages as part of my video editting programs. Playing with all the fun effects made for a good time.
We also celebrated my mom and nephew’s birthdays with a hot dog roast out at my parents acreage, my Aunties and Uncle were in town and it was fantastic catching up with them.

Lastly, Brom turned 3! He got a party on his actual birthday with some family friends and again today with my family. He was just blown away by the fact that the presents on the counter were for him and not someone else!


I didn’t get started on renovating Ella’s bedroom, but I did rearrange our family bedroom so that I could bring down a bed and trundle so that Agatha and Cordelia could have their own beds now. Agatha has been using a matress on the floor forever and I didn’t think anything of it until she asked when she could have a real bed. So the real bed upstairs that was already hers moved down. So now there is only Sarah, Brom and myself in our bed (most nights), only one more to go! Though I did spend last night in Cordelia’s bed cudding my little girl. I tend to travel from bed to bed as the girls still want cuddles.

We got a puppy! That means I don’t get to sleep as much and I’m busy during the day IMG_0406training and ensuring she doesn’t eliminate in the house. Moana (Mo-Anna, after the new Disney princess) is a 3 month old black lab cross. Crossed with what? We don’t know. She had white toes and a white spot on her chest. We’re thinking some sort of small shepherd. She’s high energy and likes to chew and play, our older dog Chester loves to tug-of-war with her. She also like to wake up way before everyone else and won’t go back in the crate even after a potty break, which means I’m pretty tired right now. She’s doing much better with the crate since we got her and I’m sure that means she’ll be better at going back in in the mornings so we can sleep again.

So that’s what we’ve been up to, how about you? How’s your summer been?

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Parenting Through Fear

Yesterday, when we went swimming, Agatha was excited to finally be old enough to wear the ‘grown up’ wristband at the pool. She no longer needs an adult beside her in the pool, and she isn’t required to wear a life jacket in the deep end.

I was nervous. To me, she doesn’t really know how to swim that well, and when I’ve tried to teach her to tread water, I’ve been less than successful. To me, my children should always wear life jackets. But I know that’s not what’s best for them. She was excited to swim without a life jacket. She was confidant in her ability. I was nervous.

We’d already been swimming for a while when we noticed the inflatable obstacle course in the next pool over, the deep pool. Agatha felt confidant, even more so than when we arrived. She wanted to try the course. Ella went first, then her, then me. I cautioned her not to fall of the side because the water was really deep.

Yep. In my head I thought about the water being too deep for her on either side of the obstacle course, but it didn’t occur to me that the course ended with a big slide into the deep end. Yeah…

She made it all the way through the course, climbed up the slide, and without hesitation slid into the deep water.

She looked panicked when her head bobbed up. But she did awesome treading water. The lifeguard asked if she needed help, she said yes. So the lifeguard tossed her a kick board, it didn’t quite make it, Agatha swam over to get it. She grabbed a hold, and looked at how far away the edge of the pool was, she kicked and kicked and finally made it. The entire time I shouted encouragement at her, but that was about all I could do. She was safe. She needed to do this herself.

When we all made it to the edge, she didn’t want anything to do with the obstacle course again. Even with a life jacket. I understood. She’d had a huge scare. But I also saw she’d done amazing. She’d been scared, but she stayed calm. She’d been scared, but she still managed to swim to the kick board. She’d been scared, but made it to the edge on her own.  She’d been scared, but I was terrified.

I could hardly stop shaking. I felt like I was going to throw-up. I wanted nothing more than to protect her from all harm, but I’d let her do something that could have seriously hurt her, or worse! The thought of that twisted my insides into knots.

But I know what it’s like to live in fear. I know what every day is like when you’re afraid of the potential harm that can come from any and all directions. I know what it’s like to live in fear and I don’t want my children growing up like that.

I talked to her. I empathized with her. We hugged and I told her how proud of her I was, then I asked if she’d like to get a lifejacket and try again. She said no.

I could have stopped there. I could have hugged her and let her know I supported her decision. Part of me wanted to. A big part.

But I didn’t think that was the best for Agatha. I did what any self respecting parent does, I bribed her.

I promised that on Monday I’d reload her Starbucks card, and together we’d go to Starbucks, just the two of us. All she had to do was try again, with a lifejacket. She said she still didn’t like the idea, but she’d do it. I hugged her.

She went through the obstacle course perfectly, but when she got to the top of the slide, she said she couldn’t do it. She sat there, almost crying. Afraid. I encouraged her, offered to push her, then suggested she slide on her tummy. She liked that idea.

Her head bobbed up, she sputtered a little, but quickly made it to the edge on her own.

I could tell instantly that that was it. She wasn’t going again. I was okay with that.

She told us she’d gotten water up her nose.

Ella laughed and said, “Me too!”
Agatha’s eyes widened, “Really?”
“Yep.”
She paused to think a moment, then said, “I want to do it again!”

She loves and admires her big sister so much, but even she got water up her nose! She made her decision. A different decision. A surprising decision. So we went again, and again, and again.

It would have been easier had I just made Agatha wear a lifejacket when we first arrived. My fear said she should wear one. When we approached the obstacle course, I thought repeatedly that I should make her put on a lifejacket. But she was confident, and I didn’t want to dampen her confidence. When she was scared and didn’t want to go again, I could have let her walk away. I could have soothed my own fears so many times today. But for a moment of safety, I’d have taken away the opportunity for Agatha to feel such intense pride in her accomplishment. I’d have never seen the pure joy on her face. It’s a fine line to balance, but I error on the side of letting my children stretch themselves and even letting them get hurt or scared on occasion because, even with the pain and fear, the payoff is so huge.

It isn’t easy parenting through fear, even now, far from the pool, the idea terrifies me. The thought of all the ways my child could be hurt or killed haunt me. But it is vital to me to step back and let them fly. Because I know the if I hide a world of opportunities from them now, it’ll be that much harder for them to face the world in the future.

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Agatha’s post about her day

Today at the pool, there was an obstacle course. The first time I didn’t do good, but the second time I went with a lifejacket.

And I DID IT!

It was so much fun! If you ever do it, I bet you’d have fun too! But just to warn you, a heads up, it’s wobbly! Me and Ella tried to knock each other off. I think it was fun, once or twice I just about fell off, Ella did fall off once. And the water was freezing! So when we went down the slide, we froze!

And guess, what? I swam good for my first time! I can do it underwater. But today I even did it kicking and putting my arms up (crawling). I usually push with my arms (breast stroke). When Daddy went in, he froze! I bet mommy thought it was really really cold. Because she’s always cold.

Then we went skating, and then we really froze. We rode our bikes, we didn’t drive, so we didn’t have as much space to bring supplies with us. So we didn’t have our warm clothes with us, only shorts and t-shirts. I skated without a balance support for the first time!

Then on the bike ride home, it was hard because there were lots of hills going up hill. But the ride didn’t take long.

 

 

 

*We didn’t bring our camera to the pool, so I didn’t get a picture of the obstacle course

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Agatha's post about her day

Today at the pool, there was an obstacle course. The first time I didn’t do good, but the second time I went with a lifejacket.

And I DID IT!

It was so much fun! If you ever do it, I bet you’d have fun too! But just to warn you, a heads up, it’s wobbly! Me and Ella tried to knock each other off. I think it was fun, once or twice I just about fell off, Ella did fall off once. And the water was freezing! So when we went down the slide, we froze!

And guess, what? I swam good for my first time! I can do it underwater. But today I even did it kicking and putting my arms up (crawling). I usually push with my arms (breast stroke). When Daddy went in, he froze! I bet mommy thought it was really really cold. Because she’s always cold.

Then we went skating, and then we really froze. We rode our bikes, we didn’t drive, so we didn’t have as much space to bring supplies with us. So we didn’t have our warm clothes with us, only shorts and t-shirts. I skated without a balance support for the first time!

Then on the bike ride home, it was hard because there were lots of hills going up hill. But the ride didn’t take long.

 

 

 

*We didn’t bring our camera to the pool, so I didn’t get a picture of the obstacle course

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The Beauty of Pain

Trigger Warning: Substance Abuse

There’s beauty in pain. If you stop to see it. Sometimes there’s beauty in your own pain, but often you’ll never know it. You stop to watch people, you see them walking down the street, eyes averted. Stepping around each other. Never touching. The sun slides off them. You see the dust. You see the pain. There’s beauty there. Hiding behind them, intermixed in their story. There’s beauty. If your own pain lets you see it.

When you see the beauty of those who’s lives are different than yours, when you see the beauty of those who struggle, you gain the ability to see your own humanity and your own beauty. So often people are so wrapped up in their own pain that they never stop to see anyone else. And they certainly don’t see the beauty in someone else. I know. I’ve been that blind person so many times.

But every so often, we open our eyes and see what’s hidden behind the pain. Every so often we see the beauty that shines behind the anger, the fear, the pain.

The principal was Mr. D. I don’t know if he was a good principal, or if he’d been a good teacher. I don’t know if he ever gave a child the shoes from his feet, or if he ever used a strap on a kid. All I know is his perspective.

Mr. D smiled. When you walked in the room, he looked up and smiled. He always had a calm word of encouragement. Even when his life crashed before his eyes, he tried to lift others up.

I met him when he first came to the unit I worked on as an RN. He talked. I listened.

He didn’t know how to empathize with others without taking their pain as his own. After many years working with children no one wanted, children ignored, children abused, beaten, mistreated he couldn’t take it anymore. He drank.

His body couldn’t take it anymore. Slowly it shut down. His mind fragmented. Sometimes he shared amazing philosophical conversations, other times he couldn’t remember his daughters’ names.

The world is full of so much pain. So many sad, broken people. Sometimes those people are strong enough to keep fighting against all odds. Sometimes they hide their pain, fear, self loathing in substances. Other times the weight of the world’s problems become too much to bear.

Mr. D knew what the world should be like, but all he saw was the pain and sorrow. It was too much to bear.

Few people saw the pain in his heart. Few stopped and listened to him. But those that did heard a story filled with so much anguish they’d be amazed at how well he held up. One man who carried the weight of all the children who’d come to his school. A man who saw his mistakes, regretted them, and held tight to them. A man who tried to make the world a better place, one child, one drink, at a time.

Around the same time, another patient stands out in my memory. A young girl, a teen, with AIDS who was also really sick with another infection. She talked big and strong. She talked to frighten and revolt. She was terrified, hurt, and broken.

Most of the nurses wouldn’t even enter her room without security. They were terrified she’d attack with a needle. The nursing carts were required to be locked at all times. They were afraid she’d get a needle. She was sick. She just wanted to be better and get out of there.

After she’d been there a couple days, her detox was in full swing. It was bad. I had a word with the Dr. So did she. Soon the security detail left, and her detox stopped. The nurses were so angry. We needed to force her to stop doing drugs. She was such a pretty girl, and if she’d only stop doing drugs, she’d be okay.

She was a pretty girl.  Don’t get me wrong. But she’d spent her whole life around drugs and drug users. Her parents and guardians used drugs, her boyfriend used. And when he couldn’t afford to pay, she was used. Using drugs numbed her pain. She told me about her pain. The pain of being forced. She told me about the pain while she laughed to hide a cry.

How can a person who’s whole life is pain ever change without someone showing them immense compassion and respect? Sure, we could have forced her body to clean itself out, much the way we could force her to shower. But a body gets dirty again, unless you clean the room it sleeps in. She described to me, in graphic detail, some of the abuses she suffered. Yes, she wanted to horrify me. But she also shared so much of her pain. There was nothing I could do, but listen.

I noticed her central line, the IV that goes right to her heart, had a hole in it. The risk was astronomical. She didn’t need to find veins when the doctors so nicely left direct access.

She got a new line.

Central lines require special needle-less adaptors to maintain their integrity. One day as I provided her care, I talked to her about the system and why it was so important not to use real needles. I also talked about her risk of infection if she didn’t clean the port properly. I may have left a pile of cleaning swabs in the room.

Later I talked with her again about the importance of not using needles. I also talked to her about using clean needles to protect both herself and others. With the doctor’s agreement, I left a pile of needle-less adaptors in the room, by mistake, of course.

We both agreed the risk to her and others was much greater if we didn’t teach her how to be safe.

It was one small act. I wish I could have done more. I wish I could have shown her that there are good people in the world. I wish I could have done something to ease the pain and fear she carried in her soul. Instead I provided her with a needle and direct access to her heart. She smiled. She got better. She went home.

Every person has a story behind their pain. No story is better, no pain is worse. Each person has their own pain that neither diminishes nor worsens someone else’s pain.

I think of these two people often. Their journey impacted me in so many ways. Their journeys taught me a new kind of compassion and acceptance. Their paths crossed mine and made me see my patients as people in a way I hadn’t seen them before. My life, my world, is better because these people were in our world.

Today I’d like you to think about your own beauty, and the beauty of someone who’s hurt you. Even with the pain, the anger, the sadness. Look for the beauty. Your heart will thank you.

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New Puppy

We got a new puppy yesterday. Today we woke up at 5 AM.

We got a new puppy yesterday. Today we have piles of baking soda all over our carpet.

We got a new puppy yesterday. Today my desk is piled high with things I’ve taken away from the puppy.

We got a new puppy yesterday. And she is cute!

Introducing Moana, the newest member of our family.

 

She is so sweet, and feisty, she already has Chester wrapped around her little paw! I’m sure we’ll share more about her as she gets bigger.

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Bored? Games!

We love our board games and when it gets rainy or the snow piles up we clear off the table and set in for a day of gaming.

Here’s a list (in no particular order) of games we like to play as a family:

froggieboogie
Froggie Boogie – A fun little game of matching and memory. The baby frogs are hopping around the lily pads and hoping not to get caught. The kids roll multi-coloured dice and match it to one of the Momma frogs, lift up one of the eyes and if it has a frog on the bottom they got caught and stay where they are. No frog and they move ahead one lily pad. First one all the way around wins! This is a fantastic game for the little ones, bright colours and no reading or counting.
waterworks
Water Works – The leaky pipe game! You lay out cards building a pipe system while fixing leaks and causing them for your opponent! Again a nice simple one, few rules and no counting or reading required!

ravensburger-the-amazeing-labyrinth
The aMAZEing Labyrinth – I played this game every chance I got when I was little and it was one of the first board games I picked up to play with my kids! Each player has a pile of treasures to recover and has to navigate an every shifting board, there is strategy how you shift the board to help yourself while hindering your opponent. Once again nice colourful cards and board, no reading and tonnes of fun

pic38668
Ticket to Ride – Build a train by drawing cards and attempting to reach your secret destinations for extra points! This one requires a little reading and a lot of subltety, Sarah and I tend to sit out and help the children manage their cards and guide them to their destinations. Lots of fun bright train pieces, a manageble amount of rules and some reading required.

mrjack Mr. Jack Pocket edition – The devious Mr. Jack attempts to outsmart Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, and their faithful pooch Toby. In a race to either gain magnifying glasses or find the killer by positioning the detectives around the board this little game draws a lot of giggles especially when Detective Daddy can’t figure out who Mr. Jack really is! Some rule to read before hand but after that no reading or counting required.

zooloretto-family-board-game
Zooloretto – Build a zoo and collect animals! Score points for diversity and full pens while not having extra animals in your barn. Each round starts with putting tiles in three trucks, usually until the trucks are full, then selecting which truck you want to take and then placing the animals or food carts in your zoo. The strategy comes down to which truck you add your tile to. Do you stack a truck obviously in your favour and risk someone else taking it? Do you spread potential good tile in each truck so at least you’ll have something? Or do you play like Ella and do your best to make every truck work sgainst Daddy’s zoo? The denial game is strong with that one! A fairly hefty amount of rules and scoring can be tricky, but again no reading during the game and adults can always help tally scores at the end. Though we mostly just compliment each other on our awesome zoos and rack the tiles for another go!

clue-board-gameCLUE – The old murder mystery game, gain information by asking questions and getting answers from your opponents until you can make the final accusation! The new CLUE has changed since I was a kid, the characters are a little more modern. Mrs.White is no longer the maid but a lawyer and Mustard is now a MMA champion. That aside the game plays exactly as it always has. Reading is essential as the note pads for clues have all the characters, weapons and locations written on them.

tokaido.jpgTokaido – One of the newest additions to ouir board game shelf. This game follows a cast of characters that travel across Japan making stops at different locations and inns along the way. Points are scored by purchasing momentos, leaving offerings at temples, making paintings, encountering stranges, and eating a varied diet when staying at the inn. Again the rule book has a lot in it and some cards to have words to read on them, but being a game where all information is open it allows us a parents to help the kids read and enjoy the game without anyone getting an unfair advantage. There are many different characters to play as and they all affect your journey via special rules so the replay value is huge. A great great game.

This is just a sample of what we’re playing right now. Tell me what board games you enjoy playing with your family! We love to try new games all the time and we’d welcome suggestions for filling out our game shelf!