Monday, October 11, 2010

Our Thanksgiving Adventure

I am happy to report so speedily that we had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of little twists and turns to keep us all on the edge of our seats.

We left for the mainland a little after 8:30 am Sunday morning. We didn't wake up until 7:30....which made trying to get out the door very hectic. And me not thinking that we would be pressed for time, didn't have everything packed up and ready to go. So while I was herding the children to get dressed and eat their breakfast, I was also running around picking things up and packing them, trying to remember everything we might need. I managed to get everything together with Marko's help, but it wasn't until we were in the car that I realized that I hadn't stopped to get my own breakfast. We thought about stopping to pick up a muffin and a coffee but, thought it would be better to get to the Ferry on time.

We got there in plenty of time. We did not realize just how windy it was out on the Strait and the boat had a hard time coming in to dock, but dock it did and quickly we were all loaded in and we headed up on deck. We were surprised at just how many people were on board and seeing as it was the smaller (and in my humble opinion, crappier) boat, the seating was slim pickings! We did manage to find a row of seats together and settled in to make the best of it...And then we set off into the WILDEST and ROCKIEST boat ride we've ever had as a family...(Marko and I had a worse experience on our trip to the Magdalen Islands but we'll leave that for another story)

The boat tossed and rocked, rolled and pitched. It didn't take long to see colour draining from fellow traveler's faces and even Emma-Lyn looked like the motion was getting the better of her. So I took her over to one of the windows in hopes that this would help her feel better, which thankfully, it did. Sean and Nate didn't seem bothered by it at all. Marko was less than excited about all the rocking back and forth, but I was fine and tried to keep the kids entertained. By the time we were getting close to N.S the waves and wind were calmer and the kids and I were able to wander around some. Needless to say we were all very happy to get into our car and drive onto solid ground once again. We finally made it to my parent's door step just in time for dinner!

What a scrumptious dinner it was! Lots of turkey, potatoes, crocolies (this is broccoli and cauliflower together with a delicious cheese sauce) sweet potatoes, gravy, cranberries and so much more. We stuffed ourselves silly and then sat in the living room for a wee bit. Since the boat ride over had been so extremely eventful, we were thinking that we'd drive back over the bridge, but we were not relishing that idea too much. So when Gramma Hope suggested we stay the night we were more than delighted. We were not all that sure how we would fit everyone but as Grampa said, "Where there's a will, there's a way."

That afternoon, the children helped Gramma Hope pick tomatoes from her garden and we checked out the fish in the pond and went for a little walk up the lane. While the kids watched a bit of tv, Marko and Auntie Karina and I went in town to pick up an air mattress for Marko and I to sleep on. We also picked up a few other necessities and then headed home.

The children had their supper first, while we set about our plan of action for appropriate sleeping arrangements. We settled on having Sean and Emma-Lyn sleep on air mattresses in Gramma Hope's office and Nate had his playpen set up in Gramma and Grampa's bedroom. Marko and I would camp out on the air mattress in the living room. Nate had a bath and then was tucked in for the night. Sean and Emma-Lyn took a bit of cajoling but were in bed by about 8. Then the evening was ours! We had scrumptious turkey sandwiches! We chatted and laughed until about 10:30 or so when Karina pulled out the new air mattress which came with it's own motorized pump...unfortunately that pump did not come with 4 D cell batteries and there didn't seem to be any batteries of that type handy. Also to make matters more interesting we couldn't seem to be able to use a regular manual pump to inflate it. At this point Grampa Hope and I took off to the nearest convenience store for batteries. As luck would have it though, Auntie Karina found another motorized pump that fitted the mattress and they were able to inflate the mattress before we got home.

With all that taken care of it was most definitely time to pack it in for the day. I went up to nurse Nate while the others brought his playpen downstairs and put it in the dining room. Nate took a bit of convincing but was soon off to dreamland once again.

In the morning we had breakfast and checked on the Ferry schedule to find out that all the boats were running smoothly! We decided that we'd take the 1 o'clock boat back and spend some of our morning at the Green Hill Look Out. It was a stunning day with the sun shining and all the leaves on the trees in such brilliant hues of red and yellow. A great way to also celebrate our 7th anniversary! :)

After a quick lunch of tomato bacon sandwiches, we packed up the car and headed for the Ferry. Upon our arrival we were met with the most wondrous of sights!! The GOOD boat instead of the crappy one was going to take us back to PEI!! I was thrilled!! This boat is bigger, it has much more seating and there is even a place for the kids to play! I didn't even care that the car would have to go down in the hold, I was just so pleased to not be on the other boat. The crossing was fantastic. No rocking or rolling, a bit of bumping around but nothing to compare to our previous crossing.

Once home we unpacked, threw the kiddos in the bath and threw some supper on the table. We gobbled that down and put the kids to bed. Phew! A great weekend to be sure!!

I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving as well!

A star is born!

Helping Gramma Hope pick tomatoes.

Nate doing his part...
And that would be upping the cuteness factor!

Sean attempting to work the water pump...Just for FYI my folks do have running water in the house. :)

Checking out the pumpkins.

Reading time with Grampa Hope.

As we were going to leave, Gramma and Grampa's dog Trooper wanted to come with us! :)

And now just some scenic pictures:

The next two are from the Green Hill Look Out:

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Yep, it's well over a month and I'm finally updating the ol' blog again. It has been such a wonderful summer!! The weather was so fantastic!! We spent a lot of time outside, at the beach or in the backyard.

I had my birthday and it was a whole lot of awesome! My bestie came over with her kiddos and surprised me with cake and presents! I was flabbergasted!! LOVED it! Then that night Marko took me out to see our friends the Skys. They also surprised me with a wee little cookie with a candle and a many facefuls of yummy nachos!! Total blast!

This fall saw the beginning of our adventure in homeschooling! We are loving it! Not every day is stellar but, over all it has been an awesome experience! Sean is quite the keener so it makes my job easier. Emma-Lyn has also been reaping the rewards of this new situation since it means new things for her to do as well.

This fall has also been a new adventure for our oldest kiddos as they are now roommates. I was so nervous to try this out... I just wasn't sure how the two of them would do. They have done superbly! I couldn't have dreamed it any better. They love being together and it has really made routines go much smoothly! They still fight over stuff and do regular sibling things but, it really has been a great change for us. Nate is now in Emma-Lyn's old room and in a crib which has been a good adjustment for him as well.

I can't believe that my sweet baby boy is going to be a whole year old in just less than a month!! He has been so much fun! He is a great little guy and I couldn't imagine our family without him. He is super smiley and loves his family. He isn't walking yet but the boy is ever so quick on his hands and knees. He loves to clap his hands and make his brother and sister laugh. He's also trying to figure out how to snap his fingers. He'll watch me intently as I do it and then he'll look at his own little fingers and try to get them to do it too. So sweet!

Tomorrow we're heading to the mainland to celebrate Thanksgiving with my folks. Totally looking forward to that. The kids and I have been making crafts all week to bring to the festivities! They had a lot of fun and got pretty messy doing it.

So here's to a Happy Thanksgiving to you all...I am thankful for any and all who actually still drop by this ol' blog...I know I haven't been a very good blogger so it's nice to know that some people are still interested in our little part of the world. :)

My surprise birthday cake.

The gal who makes everything happen!! Where would I be without her?! Probably lonely... :) Love ya Bonnie!! Thank you so much for being you!

My wonderful son showing off his amazing nose blowing abilities! I am soooo proud!! LOL

Crowding around the cake.

Our friends, the Skys. So much fun!

Summer fun!!

Love this face!

Emma-Lyn on her new to her bed on her side of the room.

Two sweethearts!

And now on Sean's bed.

Ain't he cute!
Love this kiddo! So funny too!

Out on our daily walk! Another part of our homeschooling routine that has been soo good for us and a lot of fun!

Ooooh, how could I forget our first time geocaching!! The kids had a lot of fun!

The kids painting their masterpieces to take to Gramma and Grampa Hope's!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

At Long Last...My Post About Our Weekend on the Mainland

So I've been working on this post for the past week...slowly so slowly posting pictures up every night...Blogger was insanely slow at getting these up so that's why it was a nightly event... :)

In any case finally I'm here to tell you how everything went from beginning to end! Hold on to your hats folks! :)

On Friday we took the kiddos to the Gold Cup and Saucer Parade in town. It was a very long parade...about an hour and a half long but still a lot of fun and the kiddos seemed to enjoy it.

Here is our happy little crew awaiting the parade...

We managed to find Troy and Jennie and what a delight it was to have them with us!! Emma-Lyn spent a lot of her time sitting with Jennie. :)

These horses were amazing! And this is pretty much my best photo from the parade as my camera's batteries died shortly there after.

After the parade we went home for lunch and naps for the kids. I cleaned the car (I know, odd thing to do, but its so much nicer to have a clean car when going on a road trip!) and then finished packing it up. As soon as the kids were up from naps, we had them in the car and on our way in no time.

The kids love the ferry ride! They amused both themselves and other passengers with their antics...I lost count as to how many times we walked up and down the decks!
I don't suppose you can tell that the lad was having fun eh?!!

There's my baby girl...all Queen of the world!! :) Doesn't hurt to have Daddy helping you up!

We landed at my folks place the same time they got home from work so you can just imagine the chaos as the kids go skittering about all over the lawn and the adults are busy setting up house in the tent and getting supper together (thankfully my folks had the presence of mind to pick up a couple of delicious pizzas from the Superstore!) It was awesome! We sat out on the veranda and enjoyed our supper, but just before supper the kids had the thrill of a lifetime when Grampa Hope showed them how to live it up country style!!...
"Yes kids, its time to play, Roll the Tires!!!" Mom's car needed new tires so this was what happened to the old tires!!

Emma-Lyn and Grampa made a fantastic duo at rolling tires!

Sean showing off his brute strength!

You can just imagine how incredibly pleased Gramma Hope was about this!! The poor flowers had no idea what hit them...
Taken from the flower's perspective!! I know I'd be shaking in my roots!

The homestead! I love this place!! After being here for the weekend, Marko and I are more determined to find a home for ourselves in the country.

The whole lot of us, minus Nate who was already in bed by now. Again, the pizza was scrumptious!!

While Nate got to sleep in the luxury of a play pen in the house, the rest of us were roughing it in the tent out back. I was a little wary, not knowing how the kiddos would react. They did amazingly well!! Emma-Lyn complained about being hungry, but then Sean told her how to go to watching him! Too funny to hear them chatter in the back room while Marko and I tried to sleep in the front room. Nate was up through the night for a feeding so I ran in and just when I was going to head back out, the heavens opened up and the rain just came tumbling down!! I decided I'd rather not get soaking wet and headed to the living room to bunk out on the chesterfield for a bit. When it slowed down I made a dash for it and made it in the tent before it started up again.

Come morning the rain had passed and everyone survived their first night camping in a tent. In the morning the big excitement was to go with Grampa to get the paper.

Off they go, the happy trio.

Once they had the paper, each child got a section to bring in as fast as they could! Sean looks like a little paper boy shouting, "Extra, Extra Read All About It...Perics Survive First Night in Tent with Flying Colours!!!"

Emma-Lyn on the other hand would rather run and read! And Grampy was just pleased to have all the company. :)

The day started out kinda cloudy and grey but quickly became sunny and warm. We decided to take the kids to the Museum of Industry and do a bit of grocery shopping.

But first a pic of the lovely little pond out back behind Gramma and Grampa's house...
Doesn't it look wonderful...I just love this little spot. So serene and beautiful.

The kids also loved throwing apples, twigs...whatever they could find into the water. :)

And this is the Museum of Industry in Stellarton. The kids had a hoot!

They had Sean's attention right away!The boy is all about trains and I'm sure he could've spent his whole time just playing on this train.

My two little monkeys!

This is such a great museum. So many hands on things for the kids to do! Here the kids find out about the usefulness of pulleys.

Learning about the power of water!

Here they get the chance to work on a chocolate factory assembly line...I Love Lucy flashbacks anyone?!! :)

Nate had a great time checking everything out too. So thankful for the Mobi wrap. Kept him happy and my hands free! :)

Emma-Lyn and Daddy pulling the bell in the train.

A very charming look for Sean?!

I love Nate's expression in this one! :)

Okay, so this was Sean' absolute fave part of the whole museum. We'd go off to see other things and he'd always want to come back here to check on the trains! :)

It was a wonderful morning out and we headed back home for some lunch and some time just around our little home away from home...seen here:

Such a great tent!

We had bought the kids a life jacket so I took Sean and Emma-Lyn out on a tour of the pond...They had a grand time!

So happy...just sailing along.

Happy kid or what?! :)

That night we were in bed by 9:30. I didn't think I'd be able to fall asleep so early but I did! And the kids did too and thankfully, it was an uneventful night :) We decided to head to Magic Valley Theme Park for the next day.

This is just a little theme park not far from where my folks live. I worked there for two summers as Daisy the Talking seen here:

Nope, I wasn't in the cow...she's mechanical. I stood behind that window with a microphone and chatted with people as they entered the barn. :)

Sean and Emma-Lyn weren't quite sure what to think. But as we went on different rides the kids wanted to come back to Daisy to talk to her. At one point we were half way across the park when we headed over to the barn and Emma-Lyn kept calling out DAISY, DAISY!!! It was so cute!

Here is the girl herself taking a wee car out for a spin! :)

Here is the fam on our fist train ride!! :)

Going around the bend!

Looking mighty pleased!

I used to come to this place as child but back then it was called Storybook Village. There were little houses and scenes from children's stories and rhymes set up along a path.

Sean and Emma-Lyn with Humpty Dumpty. I'm sure there's a similar pic of my sister and I kicking around here somewheres.

Along this path there is a castle and sadly the best they could come up with to put in here was this:

They called them the Beach Bunnies...and oh how creepy there were and still are! They were the bane of my existence when I worked here. When I wasn't Daisy, I had to run up to the castle and let patrons "enjoy" the sights and sounds of these bright fellows. As you can guess they sang Beach Boy songs much to my delight/horror... I do not like the Beach Boys and whenever I hear one of their songs a part of me dies just a little bit...LOL

And the kiddos reactions...I did manage to get Emma-Lyn up to dance for a bit. Just outside the castle are a couple rides which apparently even adults can ride as seen here:

Daddy and Emma-Lyn driving their fighter plane.

Nate wondering where his family went and why did they leave him here?!

And then it was paddle boat time. We had a nice relaxing time on these. Although Emma-Lyn was a little miffed that her feet couldn't reach the peddles to make the boat go.

Our final ride of the day were the bumper boats which both Sean and Emma-Lyn enjoyed immensely!

Emma-Lyn kept asking Daddy to spin her!! She loved it!

After Magic Valley we headed back home to pack up the car so we could catch the 4:30 ferry. We made it and had a lovely trip back to the Island. The kids were all in but their shoelaces by the time we got home. We gave them a quick supper of sandwiches and sent them to bed... Ahhhh, what a great family vacation!!