Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas is Coming!!

And our kids are ever so excited.  This year we started a new tradition, instead of doing an advent calendar I wrapped up 24 different Christmas or winter books; one to unwrap each evening at bedtime.  The children have really enjoyed taking turns picking out our Christmas book.  Last year at about this time I took Sean and Emma-Lyn to see The Sound of Music at the Confederation Centre in Charlottetown.  This year we saw The Wizard of Oz.  They just LOVED it.  Emma-Lyn was sitting next to me and got very excited near the end and she pulled me close and said, "I know what she's going to do next!  She's going to click her heels and say there's no place like home!"  She was very pleased with herself for knowing what was going to happen.

 I love live theatre--I remember being in a theatre group in Newmarket. I enjoyed some small roles had fun learning to do make up and seeing just what goes on behind the scenes to get a play up and running.  In university I did some more theatre work but mostly behind the stage.  I did some costume and prop stuff but the most challenging job I did was stage managing.  I remember one night at the intermission the stage hand and I went over what props needed to come off the stage what had to go on.  With that checked over I went to the actor (yes actor--there was only one) and the front of house managers and got ready for the second half.  In this play, I think it was called House; the actor had the ability to turn the lighting on and off by clapping his hands.  In one scene he was to clap the lights off and then turn on a mechanic's inspection lamp.  We were approaching this scene when the actor claped off the lights, the entire house was now in utter darkness.  I and my lighting and sound guy were following along on the script when we noticed that the actor had veered completely off script and was adlibing  like crazy.  It was then that I looked up into the darkness and realized that the lamp was not onstage!  I was horrified, and there was not one single thing I could do about it. I just stared into the darkness and hoped that the actor could find the lamp.  Thankfully, he did and the play continued without another hitch.  Phew!  Fun memories.

In other news I've begun working on painting the entryway.  I have about 80% done in the first coat of linen - coloured paint.  I'm so excited to be actually tackling one of our many reno projects.  The kids even helped sand and put primer on the wood paneling.   I told Marko that this was his Christmas present from me.  Although, I'm not sure when I 'll be able to get it all finished, it may just have to wait until the new year.

And for the first time in my short homeschooling history we had a pajama day.  All three kids and I were coming down with the cold so I decided we could stay in our pjs and do some fun Christmas stuff.  We made snowflakes and did some baking and watched a movie.  It was delightful!   That being said, all three kids did change their clothes at some point during the day.  Not me though, I was hard core and lounged in pjs all day!

Today we made up our Christmas treat trays and gave them our to our neighbours.  It was lovely to stop in and chat and share with our neighbours and let them know that we appreciate them.  Tomorrow will be cleaning and doing some final prep for Christmas.  I'm looking forward to spending time with family and friends.  From our home to yours we wish you a most blessed and Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. 

The kiddos all dressed up for their Christmas Concert.

Our Christmas decorations.

Monday, December 10, 2012

My Big Boy Turned 7

We made the big decision this year that we'd like to make life simple yet still fun, but perhaps we'd turn the crazy down a notch or two by not having a big birthday party and instead do a fun activity just with the family.  We'll still have big birthday bashes for those BIG birthdays like turning 5 or 10 or 15 and so on.  Sean decided that glow bowling on the weekend was the thing to do.  Wednesday was his actual birthday so I decorated the kitchen and we gave him his present after breakfast.  He was thrilled to get some Star Wars Lego! We had Bible study in the morning which meant he got to play with some of his favourite friends.  And while we hadn't planned on a party, the neighbour kids came over for supper which led into cake time---which in this case was actually cupcake time and then there were their presents to open.  So it was like having a mini party with less children but just about the same amount of chaos.

Saturday was a very busy but very fun day.  In the morning I took the kids to the Library and the Nearly New Shop while Marko worked on his sermon prep for Sunday.  Then after lunch we headed into Charlottetown to run some errands before heading to the bowling alley.  The kids were so excited to be there and were very happy to have Auntie Linda and Grammie Peric join us.   The kids needed a little help to get going but once they worked out their technique they did great.  Emma-Lyn enjoyed Daddy's suggestion of standing backwards and sending the ball between her legs approach.  After bowling we went to Dairy Queen for some yummy blizzards.  It was a wonderful way to celebrate Sean's day.

 Glowing in the dark

 Nate watching his ball make its way ever so slowly to the pins.

 Me and my funny girly--with Sean squeaking by in the background.

 Mr. Bowling!

 Cupcake time!

Ahhhhh icing on the face!

Monday, December 03, 2012

It Would Seem I Took A Bit of A Blogging Break

 And that would be partly because we've been busy and I had some photo uploading issues to deal with but, now they seem to be solved and perhaps we are in the calm before the storm of Christmas activity.   The kids are so very excited for Christmas. We put our tree up after our first snowfall--it wasn't much but the kids did manage to go out and make snow angels and do some shoveling.

I took the kids out on a tea party date.  We had hoped to go to a little cafe called Ruby's but they were closed.   We were all dressed up so we walked to Kate's Cafe in the mall instead.  The kids thought it was fantastic.  We had pancakes and home fries and they were delicious.  While we waited for our food we had a lesson in art appreciation.  We looked at the different paintings on the walls and talked about what they made us feel like and/or what we thought was going on in the picture. 

 The gentlemen at the table--Nate looks so impressed!

 And my beautiful girly.

\Our ladies Bible study has started up again and it has been so nice to get together with these ladies and share with them.  I've enjoyed being stretched out of my comfort zone for this group.  Some of us have had the chance to lead the study, which at first I wasn't all that keen to do, but it has been a great experience for me. 

It looks like we may be done of our trail walks for this year.  We had an amazing season checking out all kinds of different trails.  There are some definite ones to come back to as well as ones that were less than interesting.  The last trail walk we went on we had such a blast.  We had races, we sang songs at the top of our lungs and just let out loud whoops and hollers and there were some piggy back rides---I even got one!

In other news, Sean has begun piano lessons.  A fellow homeschooling mom is a piano teacher and she teaches at the church just up the road so we thought this would be a great opportunity for Sean.  He has loved his lessons and we are making progress with making time for practicing.  I have an older Casio keyboard that he can practice on for now, we may have to look into something a little better if he finds that piano is something that he'd like to pursue.  Speaking of lessons, the kids have their final swimming lesson at the pool this Thursday.  They all have done a really great job this session and the instructors have been so much better this time around too.

Last week I decided it was time I cleaned out and thoroughly organized my kitchen cupboards.  I took every last thing out and took out the insane little pieces of wood that were nailed down inside some of them--guess it was supposed to be for standing your plates up, but we just found them annoying.  So happy to get those out and get things put back to normal. 

 Here's my kitchen in mid process---this plus the opposite counter top was covered as was the kitchen table.  I had no idea we had so much stuff piled up in there.  It was nice to get rid of some of it and put things in order.

 Apparently my kids think I should never be left unsupervised.  While I worked on cleaning shelves, these two sat and ate apples and looked at books.

We had a wonderful opportunity to be in the Christmas parade in Souris this past weekend.  The kids were so pumped to actually be in a parade.  The church we went to in Charlottetown put in a float and invited us to be apart of it.  The kids and I sat on the float and sang our hearts out while Marko walked/ jogged behind the float passing out candycanes taped to tracts.  Marko wasn't too keen to go, but afterwards he was very glad to have been a part of it.   

Sorry for the hodge podge of a post--guess thats' what you get after taking a Bloggy Break. :)

 Our Christmas decorations:

 The kitchen swag.
 And our little tree.

 And the three little ones all set to go outside...and it is only at this moment that I realize that a couple of them have done some growing and need some new gear.
Time to play in the white stuff!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Birthdays and More

This past Wednesday was Marko and Nate's birthday!  Nate turned the big 3!  We enjoyed a full day, we put away the school books and immersed ourselves in birthday fun.  In the morning we walked to the mall to pick up party decorations and Sean and Emma-Lyn wanted to pick out a gift for Nate as well.  They chose two packs of play-doh, Nate thought that was cool.  We also popped into the Superstore so Nate could pick out a toy from Gramma and Grampa and Auntie Karina--they had sent along a gift card and Nate was really excited to get to use it.  He picked out a little Gordon train that lights up and makes train noises. We headed home with our purchases.  I put the kettle on and popped some popcorn on the stove top.  The kiddos settled in to watch their favourite movie, Cars 2 and eat popcorn and sip hot chocolate.  While they were busy with that I worked on decorating the kitchen. I love decorating and getting into the joy of celebrating.  Midway through my decorating Emma-Lyn came to check on me and she just stopped in her tracks as she looked up in wonder and exclaimed, "Momma, so BE-U-TI-FUL!!"  At this the boys came running and the look of pure joy on their faces was awesome!  I was able to get the cake made before lunch and then frosted it in the afternoon.  I'm getting better at the cake decorating, still have a long way to go though.   We had bacon potato bake, broccoli with cheese sauce, chicken nuggets for the kiddos and salad.  Grammie Peric and Auntie Linda joined us for supper, as did a couple of the neighbour kids.  It was a fun night.  Both Nate and Marko enjoyed themselves.

On Sunday we had a little friends birthday party for them as well.  This time we invited the MacDonalds and had ourselves just a wonderful time.  The kids have been friends since birth and just adore any time they get to spend together.  We had pancakes for supper which Marko made--he makes the best pancakes and waffles!!  And while we were waiting for that we cooked up a plan that would involve having the MacDonalds stay over to watch The Amazing Race.  We used to always get together to watch that show; it was exciting to think we might be able to do it again.  Their girls were going to get into some borrowed pjs and sleep in our bed while the adults enjoyed some nachos and a great program.  The kids were excited at the idea of having a mini sleepover and we were excited to have extra friend time too.  The kids took a little convincing to go to bed but they did -- and we all enjoyed a wonderful visit together.

Monday was a day off for Marko so we got some yardwork done and I baked another cake, this time for Grammie Peric.  Later in the afternoon we found a lovely trail to walk  near Wood Islands.  We spotted two eagles and had fun collecting foliage for a bouquet to bring to Grammie.  It was such a beautiful warm day, I was glad to spend it outside enjoying nature.  That evening we enjoyed another birthday supper at Auntie Linda and Grammie Peric's house.  I love spending time with my family.

 While the writing may look like a 5 year old did it, it's a lot better than my "Good Job!" cake I made for Sean when we finished school last year! :)
 My two happy men!

 And this is cake number 2--we bought this one from the Sobeys--it's a Smartie cake.

 Ya just gotta love this gal!  Not only a whole lot of fun to be around, she also does dishes!! :)

 Oh, and who can forget the dancing?!  The kids rocked it out pretty hard.  Favourite part of this pic is Hannah's blue sock sticking out!

 After the dancing finished and children got settled we had story time.  Brian read the Bible story and Marko read the children's story.

These next few pictures are of the finished product from our unit study on the body.  The children enjoyed learning what the different parts of their bodies did, and getting to colour the pieces and put them on their own body.  We've done a short unit on Remembrance Day and now we're into a longer unit on Canada.

 Miss Emma-Lyn with her body.
 Mr. Nate
 And Mr. Sean

And now for some fun shots from raking up the yard and from our trail walk

 They loved sliding into the piles of leaves.

 That is until they started leaping into the piles of leaves!!!

I so enjoy the peacefulness of these walks and am so happy to have these pictures to remind me when the weather gets too cold for trail walks.

 Just thought this tree was really funky!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Small Town Living

Gotta say it, I love my sweet little town of Montague.  It may not have all the perks of city living such as lots of cute coffee shops or even more big box stores, but what it lacks in those amenities it more than makes up for in community living.   Take our town library for instance, we love that place!  We're there nearly every week and the children scamper to the children's section, grab a book and sit down amongst the oversized stuffed toys.  Meanwhile, I get a chance to chat with the librarian.  There is one gal there that is a hoot, she loves the kids and is always excited to see them.  And she's always inviting us to come to whatever event the library has on.  This past weekend saw us there for the 2nd annual tea party.  The kiddos LOVED it.  There was story time and songs and a table beautifully decked out with the sweetest little china set of tea cups and saucers.  We enjoyed chocolate cupcakes and our choice of iced tea or orange juice.  The next tea party will be in May and I get to help organize it.   I'm already looking forward to it.

Another great thing about the area we live in is all the great trails we can hit without having to drive a great distance.  We've made it a bit of a tradition to go for a walk down a trail every Sunday.  During the summer time it could get a bit buggy but we still enjoyed finding new places to explore.  This past Sunday we walked down a trail near Cardigan.  There were a lot of freshly fallen leaves to kick about and listen to as they crunched underfoot.  The kids tried to make leaf angels with limited success, it was entirely way too funny to watch them give it a try. We're going to miss the trails in the winter since they become trails for snowmobiles ---hmm maybe time to invest in a snowmobile?!!  Not likely.

My sweet little princess between her princely brothers. :)

I'm not sure why, but I just love this picture.

My superhero kids on our trail walk.

The attempt at leaf angels.

There is a beautiful little stream down there.

I LOVE the colours of Autumn.

The community of Cardigan.

What a cutie!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Look!! We Adopted...

A bunny!!!  Had you going there for a moment didn't I?!!  On Sunday morning I received a message that a friend of mine had news of some free bunnies and wondered if we would like one of them.  I mentioned it to Marko and seeing as the cage and such were free, we went for it.  The kids were so excited to find out they were finally going to have a pet.  They've wanted a dog for a long time but it just never worked out and then along came word about this bunny. 

Our bunny arrived on Monday evening.  The family she came from are moving to Newfoundland and couldn't bring their bunnies with them.  The children were sad to see her go but glad to know that our little family was going to be welcoming her into our home.  The kids were thrilled!  The bunny was quite nervous but content to stay in my arms as the children pet her and got to know her a little bit.  We've decided to keep her in the garage as her cage is quite large and she's used to living in barn.  We'll bring her in the house for visits in the kitchen.  I know rabbits can be trained and maybe we'll think about keeping her in the house, but for now this works out well for all of us.  We had a vote on what the bunny should be called and her name is Awesomelope.  We just love her!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Thanksgiving Weekend Adventures

We had a wonderful time with my folks for Thanksgiving.  I so love going to their house for the holidays.  I love the view from their house and we always manage to talk a lot, eat a lot and laugh a lot.  Favourite quote of the visit came from Grampa Hope, "We can kill two stones with one bird!" Going to be a family favourite joke for sure!

 We helped Grampa get all the yard furniture put away, well mostly Grampa put it away, we just brought it over to the barn and he did all the organizing and putting away.  Meanwhile we all meandered down to the pond to check out the fish.  I would love to catch one of the big ones, mainly just so we could get a good idea of how long and how heavy it is.  The kids love throwing in the fish food and watching the fish come and gobble it all up.

 The kids were excited to get back inside the house since Gramma had picked up some new gently used toys.  They had a great time with the new stuff--there was a bit of quibbling about riding on the toy tractor but it was all good.  We had our Thanksgiving dinner Saturday night and we had the kiddos eat first and then settled into bed before we enjoyed our meal.  The food was soooo tasty and there was just so much of it.  YUM! We sat and talked and laughed and just enjoyed our evening before turning in.

Surprisingly the kiddos slept in till 7:30 which was nice and then they went with Grampa to get the newspaper--they LOVE doing this.  They especially love racing back to the house.  I'm sure this will be a treasured memory for them--being with Grampa and running like mad to see who makes it back to the house first. It's a lot of fun to watch as they're all wearing their pjs and Grampa has big rubber boots on.  And even Grampa runs with Nate on the way back in.

After breakfast Grampa headed out for church in time for choir practice.  Shortly after Grampa left, Uncle Frank and Aunt Holly came down the lane way on the tractor.  The kids thought this was really cool!  Little did they know that Uncle Frank was going to let them go for a ride with him.  Nate was a little nervous to get on but he thought it was great and wanted to go again and again and again.  Both Emma-Lyn and Sean had a blast as well.  Thank you Uncle Frank, it was such a treat!

Soon afterwards we were on our way to church.  The kids were really excited about going this time since there would be Sunday school for them to go to.  They had a blast--even Nate got to go so he was impressed!  I was impressed by the amount of people who came over to welcome us--I thought it was a bit funny as we have been there a couple of times before but, that was over the summer and maybe these folks had been away, at any rate we definitely felt welcome!

In the afternoon we enjoyed the warm weather and had a little impromptu photoshoot in the backyard.  The fall colours were just gorgeous.  We quickly packed up the car before supper and we loved the leftover turkey dinner just about as much as the first time!  We had to really move quickly and get in the car and over to the ferry terminal in time to catch the boat--we were the 2nd last car on!

Monday morning the kids slept in till 8 and we didn't get out of bed until 9--such a nice way to start the day.  That being said I think we were all a bit spent from the weekend but didn't want to admit it.  We went for a walk on a new trail and while it was beautiful and we did have a nice time our attitudes were less than wonderful.   Poor Nate fell down or got hurt but he soldiered on, and Sean and Emma-Lyn were cranky and Marko and I were both tired even with the sleeping in.  In the afternoon Marko took Nate on his date while I made biscuits and Sean and Emma-Lyn played.  That afternoon Auntie Linda and Grammie Peric came for supper.   It was a lovely way to finish our Thanksgiving weekend.

 Nate and the tractor.

 Nate and Trooper enjoy their little chats together.

Time to get the paper.

 Now that's a real tractor!!

 Love my family!

 And of course the fish!