Thursday, August 30, 2012

We Went Camping!!!

For the very first time ever we went camping as a family!! And I am so very happy to report that is was a wonderful success! To be honest there were times I thought it was all going to fall apart and we wouldn't be able to go or that the whole thing would go horribly wrong.  Marko was not exactly keen to go camping, whereas I was just chomping at the bit to go.  That being said, I grew up camping and doing the girl guide thing, Marko not so much--definitely not the girl guide bit at all!  But, I was determined and what with the gorgeous tent from Uncle Frank and Aunt Holly how could we not go?!!

  So, I booked a site at Seal Cove campground for one night and started making my lists and packing things up.  The morning of our grand adventure as Marko was heading out the door for work, he looked at my large pile of camping stuff and said "I'm not sure you're going to get that all in our car."

 Oh, my sweet mercy man, you just sit and watch me do it!!  was my thought.  Off he went to work and this tetris- minded girl  put her packing skills to work.  It was a bit of a tricky job but I got it done! I was so pleased. There was no time to rest because a new-to-homeschooling mom dropped in and we got to have a wee chat.  No sooner was that over, then  Nate and I had to head out the door to go to the closing ceremony of VBS at our church.

Sean and Emma-Lyn loved going to VBS last week with their friends from Kids Club.  They did a great job at the closing and there were hot dogs and muffins afterwards.  Once we had eaten I got the kids in the car and did a last minute grocery run.  We were home before 2:00 and Marko wasn't to get off work before 3:30.  I decided to forgo naps and let the kids play around as we waited to go pick up daddy.  I messaged Marko and asked him if he was excited to go camping and his honest reply was that he wasn't all that keen.  I was a little disappointed at that point but refused to let it rattle me.  At 3:00 I packed the cooler and put it in the trunk.  I checked with Marko to see if things would be a go for pick up at 3:30--he didn't think that was such a great idea--looked like it would be closer to 4 before he could get heart sank again.  But still, the kids were excited so we jumped in the car and headed in the direction of  the office.

We waited and waited and waited some more.  We were getting restless and Marko had said 4:00 so we pulled up at the office at 4:00.  Still no Marko and now Nate had to pee. I quickly ran him in and chatted with Marko--he was less than pleased.   Apparently summer hours at the office were over and he had no idea when he was going to be able to leave.  I thought at this point maybe we should just cancel the whole thing, I was so disappointed.  Surprisingly Marko was optimistic that we would still have a great time.  He did make it out of the office at 4:30 and we made to our camp site by 5! 

As soon as our feet hit the ground we got to work.  Marko started the fire while I worked on the tent. 

The finished product!  Love this tent!  It was so quick and easy to put up. While we worked on the site the kiddos had a blast looking for insects for their insect investigation kit.

They found a grasshopper. :)

I just fell in love with the campground - such beautiful scenery everywhere you looked!

There was even a little path behind our tent that led right down to the water.

The kids just had so much fun investigating our campsite and the beach.  They loved the tent and enjoyed the campfire.  Sean was pleased to be Mr. Science while we were there.  Here he is showing off his magnifying glass and tweezers.

And I am just so very proud of my hubby, he may not have been keen but he was an awesome camper!  You would never have guessed he was a rookie!  And after everything was said and done he was happy to have gone camping and is actually looking forward to the next time we go!

The kiddos waiting for supper.

We walked down to the beach as the burgers and potatoes finished cooking.  Soooo peaceful!

And supper was yummy!  We followed it up with everyone's camp favourite - S'mores.  Except we didn't use graham crackers or pieces of chocolate.  Instead we brought chocolate coated cookies with caramel filling!! Yummmmmmy!

I'm pretty sure the kids were asleep as soon as their heads hit their pillows.  Marko and I were then able to just enjoy some quiet time by our fire--it was mostly just smoke by this point, as we hadn't brought a whole bunch of firewood  and didn't have enough change with us to buy some more.  I had high hopes of finding wood in the morning so we could have a breakfast fire.

The view in the morning---so delightful

So serene.  It was nice to just quietly walk along the beach by myself and enjoy nature. 

It was fun to watch the arctic terns fly over head and then plop down into the water and just as quick they were right back up in the air again.

The little brook behind our campsite.

And this will forever be known as the trail of woodly goodness!!  I love walking down trails and couldn't pass up wandering down this one for a while and was I ever glad that I did, I found the mother lode of wood!  I grabbed as much of it as I could and brought it back to our site.  Boo Yah--gonna have breakfast fire!

Sun peaking up over the campground.

Making breakfast, we had bannock cakes as well as traditional bannock on sticks.  The kids loved the bannock.  I had also brought cereal but Sean wanted only the bannock with peanut butter and jam!  Such a hit!

Check out was at 11:00 so after a walk down on the shore we got to the business of taking our tent down and packing up.  Before we left for good, we tried out the pool which was great since we had worked up a good sweat.

Sean jumped in the deep end and swam all the way to the shallow end! 

Eamm-Lynny jumping in.  Such a great way to end such a wonderful experience.

Before we headed home we made a stop in Murray River to enjoy our picnic lunch.

We found this great little gazebo and we had a lovely time talking about our camping trip and planning for the future.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Embrace the Crazy!

While there are days when I am sure that I am going to pull every last living hair out of my head because this child dumped her milk cup--again or that that one was found playing in the toilet--again or that this one was found attempting to create his own inventions with materials he found in the garage--again---I wouldn't change my life for anything.  There are other moments that so far outweigh those frustrating ones that it more than makes up for it.

Let me share:  this evening at the supper table Emma-Lyn pulled a red bit off her pizza and asked me what it was, I told her it was a slice of red pepper.  "Well, how do you know that?" she asked, and my response was, "Because I'm smart."  Problem solved.  She wasn't exactly thrilled with my response but let it go at that.  Later on in another conversation, this time Emma-Lyn was quizzing daddy, she wanted to know how Marko knew a certain fisherman's name and before he was able to respond she followed it up with, "and don't tell me its because you're smart."  Both Marko and I broke out in laughter!  That, my friends, was pure gold! 

After supper the kiddos wanted to play outside instead of having indoor playtime and that was fine with us, it gave us a few moments to talk about our days uninterrupted and then we were able to join them outside afterwards.  The kiddos loved having daddy chase them around the house and then it was their turn to chase him.  So much laughing and squealing!  Once daddy had chased them silly and mostly dead tired we decided to have our prayer time and story time out on the deck.  Now, before we got started the little girl from next door came over to show us the new back to school clothing she got in town today. After we all oohed and ahhed we invited her to sit and stay with us for prayer and story time and she did.  I have to give the girl kudos for staying and praying with us.  The children loved having her over and it was just so nice to share with her.

Then it was time to get down to some bedtime business. We quickly filed the kids through teeth brushing and toilet time and into pjs.  Then we sat in Sean and Nate's room for songs.  All the children picked hymns this time which was really special for us.  They usually enjoy having daddy make up songs for them.  Once we finished our last song I scooped up Emma-Lyn and brought her to her room and sat and rocked with her for awhile which I just dearly love.  She is such a little cuddler and will cuddle right into me--honestly I don't know which of us enjoys rocking more!  At this point the boys were getting silly which they have been doing recently at bedtime and I'd really like to nip this behaviour in the bud.  So I quickly put Emma-Lyn to bed with hugs and kisses and then spoke with the boys.  Sean got quite upset and confessed that he felt like he was the worst person in the family. My heart ached for him, he was so sad, we reassured him that he wasn't and that the Bible says that there is none righteous no not one.  And that we all make mistakes.  And we told him that no matter how bad things might get, we will always, always love him and he will always, always be a part of this family. With many kisses and hugs we said goodnight and shut the door, but within minutes Sean was at the door--crying.
"What Sean?  What's wrong sweetie?" I asked.  "I am so happy, so happy to be in this family that I'm crying." He said as he wiped his tears.  I scooped his big 6 year old body up unto my lap and rocked him and kissed him. "I love you so much sweetheart, you were my first blessing and I love you dearly." "Yes, Mommy?  And Emma-Lyn was your second blessing and Nate was your third right?"  "Yes, darling you've got it."  By now, the tears have stopped and he's cuddling into his blanket.  "Good night Sean"
"I love you Mommy"
"I love you more baby."
My heart just melted.  To think that my little guy's heart was so filled with joy at being a part of this family that it made him cry was just heart melting.

Daddy is gonna get you!!

This is AWESOME!!

Would you look at that girl go!!

Ooooh I think Emma-Lyn is gonna catch daddy!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Summer Visitors

So happy when good friends are able to make the trek back to the Island for a visit.  We were so thrilled when Noel and Dwana were able to fit us into their hectic visiting schedule.  They both have loads of family to visit as well as friends so we were mighty excited to hear that they would be able to drop in on Sunday afternoon.  We enjoyed meeting their two beautiful girls.  The kids had so much fun playing and getting to know each other.  It was great to catch up with Noel and Dwana, I would so love to visit with them again next summer at their place in Ontario!!

In other news we've been enjoying more beach time as the weather continues to be hot and humid.  No better way to end the day then with a well deserved dip in the ocean!  I love how different every day at the beach can be, sometimes the water is still and and peaceful and other times the surf is up and playful.  I had so much fun just jumping in the waves with the kiddos.  At one point I had Nate in my arms and Emma-Lyn strapped to my back as we bounced along in the waves!

This week we are looking forward to the Gold Cup and Saucer parade on Friday and then the Sunday School picnic is on Saturday.  Next week will be another week of VBS for Sean and Emma-Lyn which they are looking forward to. I'm looking forward to it too, as it will be some more quiet time that I can get out my school books and do so more planning.  I'm really looking forward to the coming school year.  I'm planning to do unit studies and I've already found some great resources at the local library and there is just oodles of great stuff on the internet.  There's just a few things I'd like to purchase and then I need to figure out my topic schedule.

We've done a bit more organization in our front entryway and have 3 new storage containers lined up under the counter.  I've labeled them with the kids names and now they know where to go to get their hats and mitts and gear.  So glad to be able to utilize an area that was just dead space.  We're also planning a de-wallpapering  party for the second Saturday of September to take down all the wall paper on the second floor of the house.  So if you're looking for something to do that day, please feel free to come join in the fun! :)

Sweet little Nate eating mini grapes at the beach.
 And this is how Daddy does his workout!

 The kids love it!! :)
 Little Miss Mildred playing with the train.

 The whole gang on wheels.

 Mildred thought that this one should at least be taste tested.

 And oh, the ever expressive Miss Estella...both are such sweetie pies!

 I mean just look at that face!! Love it!
 And Sean playing the big brother and giving horsey rides!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Life is just Beachy!

 If there is one place on earth that I love it is to be on the beach!  And I love it all year round!  It is really quite amazing to visit the beach in the wintertime and see how the water is frozen and just to witness how eerily quiet it is at that time.  The summertime though, is just so heavenly.  I love the smell of the salty sea air and the sound of the waves lapping on the shore.  I love watching and playing with the kiddos in the sand and what is not to love about splashing in the waves?!

This past Sunday afternoon as I drove the kiddos to Wood Islands I was thinking how easy it is for me to take the kids to any number of beaches in just minutes!  I feel so blessed to live on such a beautiful island. So just to warn you, I have quite a few photos of beaches in this post.

Lets start with Wood Islands.  So many times, we drive by here on our way to and from the Ferry to Nova Scotia that I finally just had to take the kiddos there.  Marko wasn't feeling well Sunday afternoon so it was just me and the kids.  We had a wonderful time checking out the playground and the lighthouse.  I asked the clerk what she thought of the beach and where would be best to go and she actually suggested trying another beach just 5 minutes away that had a life guard area.  So off to Northumberland Provincial Park we went. And we had a marvelous time, the water was cool but totally refreshing and there was a great little playground for the kids after we were done swimming.
 So this is the mini fishing shanty village the the kids enjoyed playing in at Wood Islands.

 And here we have a stunning photo of me wearing a gorgeous yellow jumper and sou'wester combo and as an added bonus a white beard and the cutest little lobster you've ever seen!

 Ahhh, relaxing at Northumberland beach.  Truly a great way to spend an afternoon.

This past Saturday had us back in Charlottetown at Grace Baptist Church enjoying their fun day.  What a blast!  The kids loved the bouncy castles and sitting in the big trucks.  I loved meeting up with old friends and chatting and laughing the afternoon away.

Emma-Lyn practicing her jump shot.

And Nate jumping high in the sky!

The kids LOVED these trucks and especially enjoyed trying out the horns!

Nate's favourite by far was this great green tractor.

Speaking of Nate he has been doing such a great job at toilet training!  I have to say out of the three kiddos he has been the easiest to work with.  We used a sticker chart and he recently filled it all up so off to Dairy Queen we went for celebratory ice cream and we stopped into Walmart to pick up some Lightning McQueen undies!  He loves his undies...Funniest part is pretending the characters on the undies can talk to him and remind him to keep them dry for the day--the boy just eats it all up! 

This ice cream tastes like victory!

Trying to get a shot of my hubby and me and two little monkeys decided to get in on the action. :)

Ready for more beach pictures?  On Tuesday we enjoyed a lovely playdate with some great mommas and their kiddos at Tea Hill Park.  In the afternoon after Sean was picked up to go on his camping trip with his Auntie Linda and Grammie Peric, I took Nate and Emma-Lyn on a little excursion.  I thought we would go to Cardigan and check out their marina there but when we got there I just wanted to keep on driving--so we drove and I found some great dirt roads to go on and one that lead to a great little beach.  As seen here:

The kiddos had a great time exploring and splashing around in the water.

This is where we had to leave the car--the road just ended at the sand dunes.

We enjoyed investigating all the flora and fauna.

A tiny little ladybug

An arctic tern flying overhead.

I love that Nate is on his tipy toes to throw in his rocks.

I tried to roll his pants up to keep them from getting wet--Just an FYI no amount of rolling up will help if your toddler insists on sitting in the water!

A really cool shell we found.

A flock of Canadian Geese hanging out in the pond behind the sand dunes.

And I had the remarkable experience of having this particular critter walk over my foot.  I screamed and jumped as did the kids and then we watched him as he made his way around us.  I had to wonder, if he was the crab I had poked with a stick earlier and this was his moment to get me back!! LOL

 Starfish! :)

And now in case you were wondering  why I chose the particular dirt road I did, here is the name of the road that lead us to the beach:

I just had to find out if it was true--was there really a creek riddled with mosquitoes down there or is it just a cover up so no one will want to come down here?!