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Staying healthy in mind, body and spirit during COVID-19 has its challenges, especially for those who have likely taken on added roles with their kids at home. And for the kids themselves, whose friends, routines and daily activities have been out of sight for what seems to be far too long.

For our amazing Employment Services staff members, Shelley and Peter, who have a combined family with five kids between the ages of 2 and 12, this time at home has brought both added challenges and some positive surprises.

“Keeping five kids aged 2 to 12 busy under regular life circumstances can be a challenge,” says Peter. “With our limited options on what we can do during COVID-19, it made things much more difficult. We decided to make the most of the situation and set up a ton of fun activities for the kids.”

Activities include building a fort in the wilderness, making hearts to hang in the window in support of frontline workers, going on bike trips (and how to change a bike tire), how to address and mail letters, teaching them how to cook and more.

“We also read a novel to them called Time Traveling with a Hamster every night which they all couldn't get enough of,” explained Peter.

And since Peter has a video production company the family kept busy by making their own cooking show called ‘LEECS Cooking’, a name the kids came up with which uses all their names; Leyland, Elias, Elise, Carter and Sophie.

“It taught them how to make healthy food, have fun and learn a little bit about what goes into making a TV show,” says Shelley. “We already shot a second episode and we are currently working on the edit!”

Peter, Shelley, Leyland, Elias, Elise, Carter and Sophie, have all learned a lot from their extra time together, including patience, sharing, team work, independence, creativity and compassion for others.

“This was a learning moment for them,” explains Shelley. “Our community has been challenged in ways it hasn’t been before, or at least in a very long time. We wanted our kids to learn what it means to come together and to be kind to one another, to look out for others and to remain positive under difficult circumstances.”

Although they are looking forward to possibly adding more activities to their schedule with our communities beginning to open up over the coming weeks/months, they have enjoyed this time together and feel they will be better for it.

“I think we’ve done okay,” says Peter. “The kids are happy, healthy and have learned a ton of life-skills so far. Now we just need to continue on this path to ensure our community remains healthy until this pandemic is completely behind us, which likely will still be a while yet.”

Thank you Peter and Shelley for a little inspiration and encouragement to help inspire all of us.