Sunday, April 20, 2014

What a Weekend!

It was fun, it was full and it was fast!  It feels like my folks just got here for Easter and they're already home again safe and sound.  We had a wonderful time with them while they were here.  The kids were super excited and couldn't wait to see Gramma, Grampa, Auntie Karina and especially Trooper.

They arrived Friday afternoon and since we were tied up with our church's Easter Conference, they headed over to Red's,a local restaurant for supper.  We were supposed to call them when we were done but decided to pop over to the restaurant instead.  I couldn't have planned the scene better, all three of them were completely engrossed with what was going on on the giant flat screen TV on the wall, and failed to notice my entrance. The opportunity was just too good to pass up. With a goofy smile, I stealthily tiptoed over to their table. Forgetting that I was in a public place, I reached out and tickled my parents while exclaiming, "Boogedy, boogedy, boogedy!" My mother screamed, my father and sister jumped and I laughed heartily.  Then I noticed the other restaurant patrons and apologized, sensing that the essence of my prank may have been lost on them.

After they had finished their meal they joined us back at our place and we celebrated Christmas and Emma-Lyn's birthday.  My folks were supposed to come over at Christmastime but we were all in the middle of snowmageddon at that time.  The kids loved having second Christmas and were thrilled with the new construction set they received.  It's like giant Tinker Toys and we made a tent that the kids immediately filled with their stuffies. And I must admit I was the biggest kid in there working away with the toys. I think I may have to get my own set. 

On Saturday morning we took Trooper for a walk, talked a lot and celebrated Easter with lots of chocolate! Gramma Hope brought over a turkey and some fixings and we got the veggies on and enjoyed a scrumptious dinner. Grammie Peric and Auntie Linda also joined us for dinner which was lovely.  There is nothing so nice as having your extended family in your home for a meal.  I remember many such occasions in my childhood home and they have made a lasting impression and I'm grateful to share those same kind of precious moments with my own children.

On Sunday morning we all made our way to church and enjoyed a morning of fellowship and worship.  It was a wonderful way to wrap up an incredible weekend.  I am so thankful for my family who would make the long trek around to visit for the weekend and for warm spring days that make such visits possible. Most importantly I am thankful for my Saviour who knows that though I am a bruised reed, He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench. Isaiah 42:3

 Mr. Jolly Jumper himself!

 Gramma and little Levi.

 Giant Tinker Toy fun!

Build it to the ceiling!
 Mr. Smiley Pants
 Levi: "Seriously mom, please put the camera down and help Gramma figure out how to put my sleeper on me!  She's trying to put my leg through an arm hole!"

 Nate super excited to have Easter dinner.

This afternoon we took the opportunity to stop in at MacPhee's Orchard and check out their maple syrup operation.  What a heavenly aroma greeted us upon entering the sugar shack  And yes, we took some maple syrup home with us!

Monday, March 31, 2014

What is This Spring You Speak Of???

 Last Wednesday life in Atlantic Canada was beginning to look like scenes from the  popular movie Frozen and now it would seem we are setting up for the Ice Capades!  We have snow, rain, freezing rain, sleet, the whole gambit. What we really need is some sun and heat and maybe even some grass to mow and more HEAT!  We just want to feel normal and not stuck in some never- ending groundhog day (curse that furry little beast).   Arghhhhhh!  It has to end sometime soon right?!

In other news we've changed up the supper routine a wee bit.  Now the kiddos help prepare the evening meal.  This may include chopping vegetables or stirring pots or getting out the needed ingredients or whatever other task that may need to be done. The kids have enjoyed being a part of the process and I think it gives them a new respect for what goes into getting a tasty meal on the table.  They all love baking so involving them in making supper seemed a natural progression.  I enjoy working with them even if it does take longer and involve more clean up.

Is this normal for spring?

 Before the snow fury...

 The progression..
 Full on storm.
 And the morning after--a world of white

And now for something completely different:

Thankful for this little ray of sunshine!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Another Milestone

Miss Emma-Lyn lost her first tooth on Saturday, she was delighted! On Sunday we went out for supper to Pizza Delight to celebrate.  The kids just love going to restaurants, we don't go that often so I think that keeps the magic of it alive.  Nate especially enjoyed sweetening up our waitress.  He coloured pictures and talked to her about them and then gave one to her.  I'm pretty sure that's what got them some bonus fries with their order.

In other news Levi had his four month appointment and it seems the boy is a bit of a featherweight.  He went from being in the 40th percentile to dropping to the 3rd. Not the most optimal growth rate.  In all other ways Levi is the picture of health, he is an alert and strong little baby.  While the doctor isn't concerned he did suggest that getting some more calories into him would be a good idea and that we might like to look at supplementing with a little formula.   Yesterday we tried out the formula and Levi was having none of it.  I can't say I blame him but at the same time it's hard to know what to do. I've received quite a bit of advice on facebook and hope to put some of it into practice.  I find pumping difficult but I do want to increase milk production but possibly more importantly I would like to improve the quality of milk.  Thus I think I'm going to have to look at improving my own diet to see if that helps things progress.  You'd think by the fourth child I might have a handle on this kind of thing...apparently not so much.

And now we await the biggest forecasted storm that the maritimes have seen in a very long time.  They're calling for a whack load of snow along with some wildly crazy wind.  I thought this was spring?!!

 Delighted little girl.

Enjoying an afternoon in our tent with hot chocolate and snacks.  We enjoyed reading and relaxing together after a busy morning.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Things We've Been Up To Lately

1) Snowmobiling.  My sister-in -law bought a  second hand snowmobile not that long ago and invited us over to her place to check it out.  The kids were super excited.  Her cousin Mark also came over with his snowmobile and pulled sleds full of very happy kiddos around the back field.  Then I got a turn to go for a spin.  Man, can those things ever fly!!  Linda even let me drive it--that was crazy scary and fun all at the same time!  I think I'm much more suited to being a passenger.

2) Tobogganing and snowshoeing with the homeschool group.  This event was held at the farm of one of our homeschool families.  We had a great time.  Levi and I hung out in the farmhouse staying warm by the fire while the kiddos had a blast going coasting down the hill and trying out the snowshoes. I'd post pictures but I managed to forget to put the memory card in the camera...sigh

3) Hanging out with friends. I went to Tims with a friend and while we were chatting we were interrupted by an older lady who wanted a closer look at little Levi. As she cooed and tried to cajole Levi into smiling at her she asks me if he is my first and I tell her that he is my fourth to which she exclaims, "Are you crazy?!"  My answer: "Well, it helps."

4) Parenting win. I have discovered that the best thing after a dentist appointment is going to the Superstore and indulging in some free cake. 

5) A very good friend of mine published her first ebook.  It is fantastic and I'm glad I bought a copy. Jo is a wonderfully warm hearted woman who shares her struggles and accomplishments as a mom.   She encourages and reminds us how to enjoy our everyday moments.  Life does not have to be a completely disorganized mess or an agonizing life of chasing after little ones.  Life is made up of moments worth living and enjoying to the fullest.  Jo shares her experiences and gives practical help along with some super tempting recipes.  Check her book out by clicking here.  And she also blogs here.

6) We all got the flu.  Just thankful that Marko and I weren't sick at the same time--that would have been a nightmare.

7) Sean and Emma-Lyn took part in a fundraiser for childhood cancer awareness.  The event is called Colours for Cancer Awareness.  Children were invited to take part in painting their own masterpiece that was then photographed and put on the event's facebook page and everyone is invited to bid on the pictures.  This Friday evening they will continue the silent auction as well as have entertainment.  The proceeds go to fund Childhood Cancer Programs at the QEH here in PEI and at the IWK (children's hospital) in Halifax.

And here are some pictures of Mr. Levi. Hard to believe he'll be 4 months old on Saturday!

Monday, February 24, 2014

I Love a Good Book

 There is just something so wonderful about a well written and enjoyable book.  I just finished The Know - It- All: One Man's  Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World  by A.J. Jacobs.  If you're looking for something fun and informative this is the book to grab.  The author sets out to accomplish the task of reading the entire Encyclopaedia Britannica in a year.  I love how he wrote about the interesting tidbits he learned and interspersed that with reflections from his own life.  The only downside of a really good book is that even it will come to an end.  Usually when I get a great book I find it very hard to put down and find myself reading up well into the wee hours of the morning.  This time I started the book during the day and was often interrupted by children or the need to make meals and such.  While I really didn't want to put the book down it did make it seem like the book was lasting longer.  I was sad to come to the last page and close the book, so many laughs, so many insights...sigh.

Now I had my own quest -- to find another great book to read.  I scoured the library book shelves, but nothing seemed suitable and I came home feeling somewhat dejected and really needing a good book fix.  And here is where my handsome hubby came to my rescue and asked if I had ever read J.R.R Tolkien's The Hobbit?  I had read it, but that was many, many years ago.  Way back in grade 6, I think it was. I remember having to design my own poster and I can still picture it in my mind - a big red cartoony type dragon  lying on top of a big pile of gold.  I also remember really enjoying the story although the details had become more than a little hazy.  And while I enjoy traversing the uncharted paths of a new book, there is something comforting and soothing about picking up an old book somewhat forgotten perhaps, but familiar and inviting just the same.

The kiddos love books just as much as I do which is a great trait to hand down to them.  We have four bookshelves (well, five if you count the one in Marko's office) in the living room.  And this past week it was time to reorganize the books. Some books needed to find a new home and others just needed to find the right shelf.  I tag our books; science/fact books get a green sticker, good literature books get a blue sticker, Bible books get a red sticker and the just fun books get an orange sticker.  I find this system, as simple as it is, works really well for the kiddos and me.  We can find the book(s) quickly when we need them and when we're finished we can easily get them back where they belong.  The only problem with organizing the bookshelves is that you find so many books that have been forgotten and can't help but look at a few as you go along.  Which in and of itself is not a bad thing, but when you've used up most of the afternoon doing this and have forgotten about making supper, it can become a bit of a problem.

 So many books. I'm happy to report that the books are back up on shelves in their proper places.
And I just had to include this photo that my good friend Denise did up for us.  I just love it!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Valentines and Other Stories

Last week we enjoyed a fun homeschoolers Valentine get together.  The kids had a great time making Valentine bags, decorating scotch cookies, exchanging valentines and colouring pictures. We all enjoyed Famous Peppers pizza.  I LOVE their maple chicken pizza -- so yummy!  I think the children especially loved loading up their scotch cookies with enormous amounts of candy and sprinkles.  Sean decided the following day to take all his valentines and glue them in a scrapbook. I love when they come up with their own little projects.

Valentine's day itself was fun and mildly eventful.  It was a Friday and so it was cleaning day here and we all got right on task and we were making progress.  That is, until I thought I could do a bunch of things all at once.  I started the lunch dishes -- got the tap running and then grabbed some laundry and thew it in the washer, ran upstairs to do something else and came back to the kitchen just in time to watch the waterfall.  It was ever so soap-sudsy.  Thankfully Emma-Lyn was handy and grabbed some towels as I shut off the tap and unplugged the sink to let some water go down the pipe rather than down the kitchen cupboards. And while I could console myself with the thought that at least the floors were getting a good cleaning, it was a little frustrating as I had just finished mopping the kitchen floor.

In the afternoon we made our own heart-shaped scotch cookies and I drizzled a small amount of chocolate over them rather than cramming them full of coma-inducing sugary goodness.  For supper we dressed the table up to look like the children were at a restaurant and they chose their favourite meal.  Sean had Creamy Mushroom Chicken Soup and Nate and Emma-Lyn opted for some good old fashioned Mac n' Cheese.  Marko and I headed out to Red's for our own Valentine treat.  Just for future reference: Chicken Taquitos are yummy-- I could eat a whole plate of those for supper!

This weekend was also a long weekend with Monday being Islander Day.  We had been invited to our friends' place to stay for a sleep over.  We were all very much looking forward to this.  The kids were super excited to play together and the adults were  looking forward to playing some games without worrying about having to get home at a good hour.  We were almost thwarted by a winter storm but we made it to their doorstep before it weather got too nasty.  We did encounter some less-than- great winter driving but we made it and enjoyed a great weekend with friends.  We ate so much good food and also got to try out some tasty seaweed, miracle berries, umami and flowering tea balls. It was a great weekend.

 Our neatly arranged Valentine bags.

 He was pretty proud of his cookies!

 So much sugar!! LOL

 The cutest little dimpled cheek ever!

My sweet cutie pies.