Michael Ling DDS - October 2019


a o n e

OCT 2019


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Keeping Our Family Entertained and Happy All Year Long

Sometimes I’m in awe of just how lucky Michael and I are when it comes to our five children. This gaggle of kids we have been raising

for the past decade never ceases to impress us or make us laugh. Our family moved to Burlington from Brantford this spring, and while moving a family of seven across Ontario is never easy, having our big, growing Whether it’s a Ling family dance competition or a craft day, our kids always seem to find a way to keep the fun going. They would be content for hours if we only gave them a bucket, a shovel, and some water before sending them outside to play. They enjoy summer days spent digging in the dirt and winter afternoons sledding and building snowmen in our yard. But as any parent knows, sometimes you have to venture outside, shake off the cabin fever, and enjoy some quality family time. With a large family, you have to be creative when it comes to finding activities for everyone. You want to find places that are going to be fun for the older kids as well as the toddlers without breaking the bank. That’s not always easy, but we’re lucky to live in a community that values family time as much as we do. This summer, we had a blast playing and splashing at Nelson Park here in Ontario. There’s a beautiful splash pad for our younger children, while the big kids enjoy the water park rides and swimming. In the fall, our kiddos enjoy riding their bikes through the park, and as a family, we like to follow the path that leads down to the riverfront. It’s the perfect way to get our family outside no matter what the season. The trails in Ontario also have great opportunities for keeping children’s entertainment cheap. Sometimes we send our kids out along the path to collect as many fun rocks as they can find. Then at home, we use nail polish to decorate the rocks or we glue the pebbles and rocks to Bristol board. family with us made the move that much easier.

We can always find an excuse to make crafts as a family, but each season also brings about new opportunities for family fun. Autumn festivals and events are always big family favorites with the Ling clan! We also enjoy visiting Brantwood Farms in the fall to decorate pumpkins, go on hayrides, and pick our own apples. Brantwood Farms even stops the ride so kids can pick their own pumpkins. When winter rolls in, we take the kids to the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre for ice skating and hot cocoa. As Michael zooms along the ice with the older kids, our little ones and I enjoy warm beverages and watching their siblings skate by. When school is out and summer days are looming on the horizon, I’m always searching for ways we can cool down, enjoy the nice weather, and stay active. Our older kids participate in hockey during the summer and make friends across their coed teams. They keep up their athletics during the school year with basketball, too! Of course, every event or family outing has its challenges. We can never drive too far for fear of wiping a kid out and prompting a tantrum. We worry about kids getting bored or events being too challenging for others. Yet, that doesn’t stop us from getting out there and enjoying this wonderful community we live in! You just have to search for events that fit your family. My advice would be to check with schools, local community centres, your YMCA — our favorite place to drop in for games and swimming — and other local groups. Michael and I are proud to raise our kids in Ontario. We can think of no place better suited for our goofy, crazy, and sweet family. We hope your family finds ways to enjoy it just as much as we do!

—Dr. Meg Ling



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