This post was brought to you by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers via sheblogs.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. 

The older our children get the more I feel as though I live in my van.  Every time I turn around it seems I’m running somewhere – school, work, grocery store, swimming lessons, library time, playdates, post office, doctor’s appointments, Starbucks (because Mama needs a good cup of sanity every now and again) the list is endless.   In fact, I spend so much time in there that I keep emergency dental floss in the glove box & a mini “fix it beauty kit” in the console. 

I do my best to keep her fed (fill ‘er up!), washed (sort of) and vacuumed (once in a while, kids are messy – why bother) and Corey keeps my engine humming by doing all that maintenance-y stuff that vehicles require to run.  I count on my van and on the few occasions where she’s showed her attitude and no functioned properly I’ve truly felt stranded, abandoned and slightly panicked.  We are blessed, as are most of us in North America to have not only the luxury of a vehicle for travels from A to B but also an abundance of fuel and resources to keep them moving.   

Our Family Stone - CAPP Pic 2

Canada is a rich country in so many ways, and the fact that we are so fortunate to live here hasn’t escaped Corey & I.  We have clean water to drink, schools for our children, safe (compared to the rest of the world) streets to walk down & a bevy of natural resources to enjoy, to respect and to use.     

Did you know that Canada is home to the 3rd largest oil reserve in the world, with 97% of it in oil sands or that we are the 5th largest producer of crude oil?  Until recently, I didn’t. 

I also didn’t realize what that truly meant for my family.  When I thought of crude oil & natural gas, I thought of the basics – the fuel in my car, the oil (that Corey says needs to be changed regularly) in my van, the flame in my gas fireplace & the warmth from my furnace.  I knew it contributed to a few other things but to be completely honest, I didn’t know what they were. I just counted on them to be there. 

But what if they weren’t? 

Crude oil plays a bigger part in our lives that I could have even imagined, and without it our world would change, dramatically…. 

In a Canada without crude oil, approx. 550,000 people would be unemployed and Canada’s stock exchange, the TSX would be missing 20% of its value.  Our vehicles wouldn’t have the fuel they need to run, our roads wouldn’t have asphalt & our planes would remain grounded.  Businesses around the country would have bare shelves, missing not only the products brought to them via those transportation methods but also many of the products themselves.   

Our Family Stone - CAPP Pic 3

Without crude oil many of the items we count on, on a daily basis wouldn’t exist.  Things like crayons, tires, ammonia, DVDs, and eyeglasses all begin with the raw materials produced from crude oil, and without it, we wouldn’t have them. 

It wouldn’t just end there though, each year our communities would suffer in an even bigger way.  Hospitals, schools, roads & social programs would go without massive funding provided by the oil & gas industry in Canada because right now that industry makes payments of $18 billion dollars per year to the government for exactly those things.   That alone would have personally changed our world – what would the hospitals that have cared for our children have been like without that money? 

Our Family Stone - CAPP Pic 1

Thankfully right now, we are fortunate that we don’t have to live in a Canada without crude oil.  I can still live in my van (rest assured I do come out to bathe)(occasionally), Corey can still ride his motorcycle, Bethany can see through her glasses & Audrey can create masterpieces with her crayons.  You can spend Saturday night, snuggled in front of your gas fireplace with your children watching a DVD and we can all trust that in an emergency there’s a hospital ready & equipped to help us. 

For more information about the Oil Sands industry visit 

This post was brought to you by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers via sheblogs.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. 



Grace - Bread Fail

5. Baking Days – Even when my bread decides it’s a lazy Sunday and mid rise decides to collapse.  (Related: It’s still delicious & makes fabulous 3 minute French Toast)

 Grace - Daddy Working

4. A hard working husband/Daddy who puts in  10 – 14 hour days, leaving before the girls wake up and often times coming home after they’re asleep.  These fall days when we can sneak in and see him at work are so special to our girls.


3. Umbrellas.  Where we live rain (and the smell of cow poop) is common, and right now we’re in the middle of a few days of serious downpour.  Having to drop off/pick up kids at school, waiting outside to do both, I am abundantly thankful for our umbrellas that keep us, and our glasses dry!

 Grace - Workout buddies

2. My little workout buddies.  I love the mornings when they join in, and get their sweat on, not just because it’s impossibly cute but because they’re gaining a great habit & they have no idea!  This day in particular was that much better…“My two little loves decided to join the end of my morning workout today. They thought @andreaorbeck was hilarious promising us a “tight tushy”!  (Which I explained was to make hiking easier)” the giggles at all Andrea was saying were a good distraction for this Mama, who’s tushy was on fire!

 Grace - Cousins

1. Family.  We don’t see them often, or nearly enough but when we do they get soaked in!

 Grace - Family

Grace in Small Things is a social network created by Schmutzie to wage a war against imbitterment!  Check out my first post here.


Investing in their future: Grow an RESP with RBC

September 26, 2014

When I was pregnant with Bethany companies started sending us all sorts of information, formula samples, diaper coupons, bags, onesies and RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan) pamphlets.  I’d open the packages but to my very pregnant brain – it all seemed to be written in Greek. After she was born, I managed to figure out […]

Read the full article →

The kind of funny you just MUST see!

September 14, 2014

 We don’t laugh enough.  Somewhere on the journey from 5 to 30 we let the process of living become a business, a serious business with worries, stresses, and responsibilities.  They become so important that they consume our days, adding weight to our chests (not the good bigger rack weight either) and wrinkles to our brows. […]

Read the full article →

Summer Memories & Fun with Kinder

August 25, 2014

Alright, so….how is it possible we’re already at the end of summer vacation?  (At least we think we’re at the end of summer vacation here in BC) It feels like only a few days ago we were saying goodbye to Grade 1 (sniff) and Preschool (SOB!) and now here we are getting ready for Grade […]

Read the full article →

Audrey Update: One Year

August 20, 2014

For 5 years I’ve waited to write this post.  I’ve dreamed of it, written it in my mind, and anticipated its “publish” moment, which I’d planned to be Monday evening.  It’s good, it’s (mostly) positive, and with all the thought that I’ve put into it, it should be easy to write…. but it isn’t.  Instead, […]

Read the full article →

Disney Princesses Don’t Make Girls feel Unworthy – We Do.

August 7, 2014

I am SICK of hearing about how Disney Princesses are the reason that millions upon millions of girls & women suffer with self esteem issues.   Women around the world are griping and complaining that these figures & dolls, with their “perfect bodies*” are unrealistic and make our daughters feel less than, ugly, fat (you KNOW […]

Read the full article →


July 17, 2014

This past weekend the girls and I had the great privilege of a “Girls night away” with my Mom.  It was time that was long overdue and time I’ve been longing to get. You would think that living in the same town, attending the same church and working for my Mom, in the same office […]

Read the full article →

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe (with or without ice cream machine!)

July 10, 2014

We are an ice cream house.  Corey loves his ice cream almost (ALMOST) as much as he loves us girls.  For him the consumption of ice cream is a ritualistic event – there is tea, there is slow savoring and there are bowls filled to gigantic proportions of ice cream.  Seriously, this man can eat […]

Read the full article →

Childhood Memories Chips Ahoy Rainbow Chip Cookie (Copycat Recipe!)

July 4, 2014

As a kid (and maybe for a while into those early years called “adult”) my very most favourite store bought cookies were the Chips Ahoy Rainbow Chip Cookies.  I could easily devour 6 cookies with 1/2 a glass of milk in 10 minutes – and when my mom wasn’t looking they were around I did.   […]

Read the full article →