Monday, April 23, 2012

The Beach, BubbleWrap and Bagels

 With temperatures rising I felt it was definitely time to hit the beach for the first time this year! The kids were ever so excited to go and couldn't wait to get down to the water.  We went to Panmure Beach and picked up Daddy from work afterwards.  The car now has a nice layer of sand on the floor!  Yippee summertime here we come!! :)

 Heading up the dunes.

A great time to play!

 Ahhh the shore, the red sand, the lapping waves--you can almost smell the salty sea air.

Nate LOVED playing in the water, I'm sure that if I had let him he would have just gone splashing right up to his chin in the water!

Sean just loved getting to play in the sand again.

 My happy little trio of beach bums.

 And here we have one of the perks of Daddy's job.  Sometimes he comes home with bubblewrap to stomp on!  This was hilarious.  The popping was loud enough for Sean to plug his ears.  I even got a chance to jump on it--so satisfying!!

 And now we have my first attempt at making my own bagels.  It was a bit tricky but well worth it.  The kiddos had bagels for their dessert after supper tonight!  I think they like it!!  Next time I'd like to try to make sesame seed bagels.

 Boiling away....

And the final product!  YUM!  They may not be the prettiest bagels but, I think they're pretty tasty for a first try.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Maple Syrup Camp

 Last Friday the kids and I had a great time on a field trip to a maple syrup camp.  It was a chilly day but it was interesting to see the old way of running maple sap and the modern version.  After traipsing around in the woods we made our way back to the sugar shack and learned how they turn the sap into yummy maple syrup in the evaporator.  My kiddos really enjoyed the trip and I'd have to say that their favourite part was getting to eat pancakes fresh off the griddle and drizzled in the best maple syrup I've ever tasted!!!  Such a great day!  We even bought a half litre of maple syrup for ourselves. :)

 The old fashioned way...

The modern version, everything runs through tubes, so much more sanitary.

 The evaporator.

Mmmm, pancakes, oh and for dessert homemade cupcakes!!

Monday, April 16, 2012


Isn't it grand when you succeed at something?  And isn't it all the more satisfying when it's something you  don't usually do and are not completely sure of what you're doing?!

Today was that day for me!  It started with successfully pumping up the kids' new soccer ball.  It doesn't seem a big deal probably to most people but, it was proving itself a wee bit tricky.  Turns out you need to have the needle fully inserted so that the pump is right against the ball in order for it to work.  So pleased to walk into the living room and joyfully toss the ball in the air in front of the kiddos.  They were thrilled and all clambered outside to start kicking the ball around.

My second round of success was being able to fix the kids' wagon.  Somehow the kids had managed to bust the tongue of the wagon that held the handle in place.  Marko just recently ordered a new tongue so I set to work this morning on the deck.  The weather was beautiful so it was a great spot to work.  I was armed with a channel lock, an adjustable wrench and a screwdriver.  It was a bit awkward to get the old part off, but off it came and the new piece was installed.  Final touch was to put the handle back on and that was the easiest part to do!  Yay!  I love to build stuff or put stuff together but usually I'm also armed with instructions.  Today I didn't have my usual safety net and I was so pleased to be able to accomplish this small feat. 

This afternoon we took the wagon for a spin down to the waterfront.  What a great time we had.  Nate and Emma-Lyn rode in the wagon while Sean happily walked along beside me.  The kids love running around the turntable and of course finding rocks to toss into the water.  After awhile I noticed Emma-Lyn walking with the wagon and every once in awhile she would pick something up and toss it in the wagon.  Sean quickly caught on and decided to help her.  They were playing recycling... Too funny.  It ended up as a family effort to tidy up the area.  There was some broken glass in places that we decided was much better left alone  but, we picked up a number of plastic cups and other odds and ends.  The kids loved to be able to help out and enjoy their time at the waterfront.  Success! :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spontaneous Field Trip

Yesterday was a wonderfully warm and sunny day so I decided that after we got our school stuff done, we would pack up a picnic lunch and head over to the MacPhail Homestead for a little field trip.  The kids were excited and so was I!  It is a beautiful spot to enjoy nature.  It's an old homestead that leads to beautiful trails.  The kids just love the trails and the little river that runs through it.  Bridges are a  favourite spot to stop and toss stones and sticks into the water. 

I had forgotten that to get to the homestead you do have to drive down a bit of a dirt road which at this time of year was mostly mud...thankfully it wasn't too bad and the car didn't get stuck.  Also, its still early in the year so the homestead itself wasn't open, which didn't bother us much since it was the trails we had come to explore.

 We found a delightfully sunny spot to have our little picnic. Nothing fancy, just some pb&j sandwiches and water to wash it down.  Now with  full bellies and bodies ready for adventure we headed down the trail.  A couple met us on their way out and they warned us that the snow was slippy.  I wasn't daunted, I had figured there would be snow so we had our boots on and warm pants and jackets, we were set!

  We enjoyed the first bridge and made our way across to the first patch of snow...indeed it was slippery but not unmanageable and we forged on.  Sean was really intent on getting to the little island a ways down the river and I was kinda hoping to get that far too.  We trudged on until it looked like we could go no further, but Sean being the agile boy he is, climbed up the embankment and encouraged us to follow.  It's at this point that I should have said, no it's best we go back.  But I didn't, I really wanted to go further too, so up we all went.  It wasn't until we were at the top and gingerly making our way down that it struck me that somehow we would have to make our way back.  I pushed the thought from my mind and looked forward to getting to the little island.  We were successful and the kids had a great time splashing about and tossing rocks.  Sean did get wet in his attempt to get to the island but that didn't seem to bother him so we played some more until Nate walked right into the river and got ridiculously wet.  We were planning to go visit our friend Bonnie and her girls so it was high time to get out of there before anymore of us got drenched.

Yeah, so the trek back was more adventure than I had bargained for, sliding down snowy inclines is much easier to do than trying to go back up them with a wet toddler!  We did a lot of slipping and at one point Emma-Lyn voiced my own concerns when she yelled, "We're all gonna DIE HERE!!"  She has a thing for the dramatic...But with much praying and inching along we made it.  We were all varying amounts of wet but we were alive and on our way to Bonnie's!!  Bless Bonnie's heart she even had some dry clothes for the kiddos to change into when we got there!

 Our happy little picnic spot.

 Making our way down to the first bridge.

 Gotta love that sunshine peeking through the trees.

 A great vantage point.

 I just LOVE coming here.  It is so peaceful and calm---unless of course you're slipping on snow which is more alarming and scary.

 And of course throwing rocks for that all so satisfying splash!

My weary and wet little travelers.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Easter and Other Stories

This Easter was a bit different.  We had hoped to be spending it with my folks who were going to make the long trip around to be with us but that changed when my mom's car died.  Then we still had the Easter Conference on Friday at our church to look forward to but, that got a little muddled when Sean got sick.  I still went with Emma-Lyn and Nate but it wasn't the same without Marko and Sean.  We still enjoyed the weekend but it was a little wonky shall we say. 

We ran errands on Saturday and I got to go to my Photoshop course, I'm looking forward to the next class I get to learn how to swap out heads!! :)  Afterwards the kids got to hunt for Easter eggs which just happened to be colour coded! 

On Sunday we had a good ol Maritime snowstorm so there wasn't any church in the morning.  We stayed home and cuddled up on the couch and sang a couple hymns and read a Child's Easter story.  Marko and Emma-Lyn went to the evening service and stayed for supper afterwards.

Today we took it easy from school stuff since Sean still isn't feeling great.  That said, we did manage an impromptu science experiment.  Sean had been reading his Simply Science book and wanted to try out the sink or float experiment.  While Sean and Emma-Lyn picked out things to try, I set up a chart to show our predictions and the outcome from our experiment.  It was fun but got a little splashy by the end of it.

 The kids have picked up on my photography hobby and have been snapping some of their own shots.  Sean took this one

 Marko and the kiddos on the staircase, by the time I got my camera out Nate had lost interest.

 Nothing more fun than roughhousing with Daddy!

 Sweet little guy with his blankie and his thumb. :)

 My handsome hubby, sure do love this man to bits!!

 Who knew Daddy's butt doubled as a pillow?!!

 This photo makes me so happy!!  First bloom in my yard and I love it!  It's yellow, its small and its glorious!

The kiddos and their experiment.

Monday, April 02, 2012

These Are A Few Of Our Favourite Things

I thought I'd post about some things that we enjoy doing as a family.  I would have to say our number one thing to do, is find new trails or visit old ones to walk on.  Last weekend we walked down a trail that I have driven past a couple times and had hoped we would get to visit one day soon.  Last Sunday was our chance and we had a delightful time.  I have to say we have found a new trail that I'm sure we'll be heading back to time after time.  Sean brought his bike and had a great time cycling along.  There were a couple of staircases to contend with, but nothing we couldn't handle.  Marko and I just couldn't get over how lovely it was and how thankful we were to spend time there.  There was a lovely bridge over a large pond that we stopped on to admire the view and of course the kids attempted to play some pooh sticks--it wasn't all that successful since the water was still covered in ice.  Most amusing part of our gallivanting was when we realized that we were no longer on the trail and somehow ended up on an access road. :)  Thankfully we were able to find the trail again and not end up in some farmer's field in the middle of nowhere.

This summer we're going to try out some new things which will hopefully become some more favourite things.  We'd like to get into cycling, only hitch is that neither Marko or I have a bike so hopefully we can find some soon.  Also on our list of things to do together this summer is camping!!  I can't wait!  I LOVED camping with my family when I was younger.  My Uncle Frank and Aunt Holly-Ann bought us an awesome tent that I'm just dying to try out!!  After doing the camping out at my folks place last summer, I'd like to check out some campsites on the Island and see how that goes.

I'll tell you one of our least favourite things to do that we recently had the privilege of experiencing--getting lost!! Or more accurately, losing the children!  On Saturday we headed into town for some shopping.  Everything was going smoothly until we hit Zellers.  At one point Marko took the kiddos down to the toy area while I checked out swim wear. ( I am in desperate need of a new swim suit)  Once I got back to Marko we realized that we were missing Nate.  We looked down all the aisles and then I started calling and getting a little anxious.  As I was making my way down the aisles and calling louder, the clerk at the electronics saw me and asked if it was a little guy I was looking for and sure enough it was.  He had made his way down to the t.v.s and was watching a cartoon.  Phew...  With that over to the checkouts we went.  And of course at this point Emma-Lyn needed to use the bathroom. I took her and Nate and left Sean with Marko in the croweded checkout line.  This time when I got back, Sean was missing.  This sent chills down my spine as the checkouts point out towards the busy mall, where it just so happened the Easter Bunny was having his picture taken so there were extra bodies milling about.  I plopped Nate and Emma-Lyn in the cart and started going down the checkouts and scanning the crowd in the mall for Sean--nothing.  I went back the way we came and looked down aisles--nothing.  At this point I was very worried and nothing I was doing was getting me anywhere, so I headed to customer service to ask them to page Sean.  They not only did that but they also sent out a code yellow and gave out descriptions of Sean to all the employees.  The lump in my throat was monumental by now and I was wringing my hands.  The kids never took off on us before and I couldn't believe that we had just lost two of them in the same store in the same afternoon.  I turned around and scanned the store again and saw Sean's head bobbing towards the checkouts, I took off in a full run and grabbed him.  I have never been so relieved in my life!  On the way home we discussed with the children what we should do when we're out shopping.  I definitely do not want to relive an experience like that again!

 Out on the trail.  The boardwalks were awesome!

 I'm pretty sure I took this pictures while we were wandering on the access road. :)

 Time for pooh-sticks...this side had water but the other side was ice...kind of made dumping stuff over the edge a little anti-climatic.

 More of the pond.

Me cuddling with my sweet kiddos.  All safe and sound with their mamma, just like they should be. :)