Friday, November 29, 2013

Welcome Little Levi!

 Finally after a week and a day of being overdue our little lad finally made his grand appearance on Friday, November 15th at 3:55 pm.  He was a good sized boy weighing in at 9 pounds 13 ounces and stretching out to 21 inches in length.  We are so happy to finally be able to hold our little fella and the kiddos are equally thrilled with their new little brother.

Levi's Birth Story:

I had been experiencing some mild contractions the week before Levi was born but they were far and few between.  Through the day on Thursday I had more contractions but again nothing too noteworthy although we did put in a call to Marko's mom just to let her know that there might be a possibility that we could be going to the hospital a little early. I had an appointment with my doctor at the hospital at 8 o'clock Friday morning.  It was an early start but I was happy to be on our way with the distinct possibility of meeting my little baby very soon.  In our rush to get out the door we forgot to bring my overnight bag so it was a quick turn back to pick it up and off we went again.  It reminded me of when Sean was born and we had left our apartment door wide open--baby brain!

Once we were at the hospital the doctor checked me and since I was at 3 cms dilated, he decided to break my water.  To help get things going we went walking for half an hour.  I walked quickly hoping that this would help and the baby would soon be on his way, once our 30 mins were up we headed back to Labour and Delivery to see what progress I had made, disappointingly not much had happened so we were sent back out to wander the halls.  We met a few friends along the way and they wished us well, also met some other folks waiting for appointments who were curious and they hoped the baby would be here soon as well.  After walking and taking stairs two at a time for an hour and a half and experiencing only a handful of contractions, we had to admit defeat as no progress was made.

It was about 11 o'clock and at this point we began the oxytocin which also meant having to stay in bed.  As far as pain management went I only wanted to use gas as I like having the use of my legs.  As the oxytocin worked its magic, the contractions got stronger but not much closer together.  After a couple of hours the nurses checked me and much to my disappointment, still no progress.  The nurses were amazing and did their best to help me stay positive but as we passed the 2 o'clock mark and still no change I was starting to come undone.  The overwhelming feeling that I might be there for many more hours labouring with no progress was almost too much to bear.  I asked if it was too soon to have the gas and it was--another blow to my confidence.  On the verge of tears, I realized that crying wouldn't help and just had to hang in there and breathe and relax as much as possible. Then the horrible feeling of nausea swept over me--I hate throwing up! I told the nurse I felt like I had to throw up and she passed Marko a container (lucky fella) and not a moment too soon.  I threw up a couple of times and would you believe that finally I was ready to go!  They quickly called the doctor and with three good pushes out came our little Levi--all 9 pounds and 13 ounces of sweet baby boy!  Marko cut the cord and they got him all cleaned up and brought him to me!  So happy and blessed to be a momma all over again!

Last belly shot that morning.

And here we are together for the first time.

A very proud big sister!

Mr. Levi.

Such a Lovey.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

My Birthday Boys and Other Stories

November 7th marked the birthdays of two very special fellas - my wonderful hubby and my youngest son.  It also marked the due date of baby #4, but it would seem that baby the fourth likes where he is and is content to stay there until he can have a birthday to himself.  We just had a little get together to celebrate Nate's birthday.  Our friends Shawn and Denise and their boys came for presents and cupcakes.  While the kiddos enjoyed a movie, the parents got to play Citadels together!  Birthday parties are always fun when the parents get to play games too!  We also had a little birthday party with Marko's family on Thursday night. Any reason to have more cupcakes is good to me!

 In other news, we have just finished up our swimming lessons for this year.  All three kiddos did well and passed their level.  In fact, Emma-Lyn jumped up two levels.  The girl is a fish and just LOVES swimming and was super ecstatic to be going into level 3.  Sean is going into level 6 and Nate is enjoying the preschool program.  It was a great time for the kids and moms alike to get out and enjoy an afternoon out together.

Today was day two of being overdue. I really can't complain, the worst partof this pregnancy  has probably been the heartburn and a couple of Tums fixes that right up in no time.  The kids are getting pretty anxious to meet their new baby brother and I'm so looking forward to holding this little baby in my arms.  At my last doctor's appointment we scheduled the next appointment for next Friday at the hospital, just to see if things are progressing and if not maybe giving things a little boost, so to speak.

 In the meantime I'm keeping busy with homeschool.  The children are really enjoying their studies and doing well working together and individually.  Nate participates in math, history and science.  He loves being included in the big kid stuff.  Once the baby is born we will take a little hiatus while we figure out life with a newborn all over again.

I have to say that we have been so blessed by friends with meals and baby showers!  While I'm able to get the school stuff done and the housework done, the tiredness does seem to creep up on me pretty quickly these days so to have a meal dropped off here and there has been a godsend!  The children for their part have even done what they could to help me out.  The other day, I was ridiculously tired and Sean decided to draw me a bath and while I was soaking in the tub, he and his siblings set up a tea party in the living room. When I came down there were blankets spread out, cups and saucers, juice and milk in a pretty little creamer and candles.  And to eat, Sean had made ants on a log--celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins. It was delightful. 

 Mr. Nate checking out his gifts.

 Looking at Mommy to see if it was time to blow out the candles--Nate and Emma-Lyn on the other hand look like they are discussing world issues.

 And this is the best toy ever made besides Lego.  This was the gift from our firends the Bowmans.  It's a fun kid friendly construction kit.  They get to saw "wood" and hammer nails to build projects that they dream up or they can follow directions.

 They all had a blast!
 Don't tell the kids but they are all getting a set for Christmas! :)

My two birthday boys!

Monday, October 07, 2013

The Ups and Downs of Homeschooling

Ahhh, homeschooling so many hills and valleys to traverse.  Hills of accomplishment, victory, understanding and confidence.  Valleys of frustrations, failures and the ever hurtful self doubt.  And while the valleys sometimes seem insurmountable and more than one can handle, there is help.  I am so thankful for the wonderful support groups across this little Island.  We hit a bit of a valley, Emma-Lyn and I, the curriculum that I had picked for phonics was just a no go.  We were just about at the point where neither of us wanted to even consider doing school.  I was at my wits end and turned to other seasoned homeschoolers for ideas and suggestions, anything to help us out of our rut.  And I was so relieved to hear the words of encouragement as well as practical resources that were offered.  Emma-Lyn and I are now back on track and loving our time together.  

 That being said, sometimes things can come up that just make homeschooling unfeasible and families need to make the transition to either private or public schooling and that happens.  And it's okay.  In my opinion, public and private school families homeschool--just to a lesser extent.  I spend my whole day in this lifestyle, while  "regular" school families use the time after school. Any time that we take to personally educate, or spend quality time developing character in our children is time well spent!

This week we're having a week of Fun Fall activities.  Today we had pajama day and had tea and poetry time.  The kids had a blast and enjoyed a small cup of After Eight tea!  They loved being able to use Gramma Hope's wee little tea spoons to stir their tea.   

Sean even read us a poem.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Back to Our Homeschool Routine

 This past week marked our first week back into bookwork.  We kicked the year off with a special breakfast of french toast and bacon and for snack the kiddos got to decorate homemade letter cookies that spelled their names.  They thought that was really great!  The previous week they had picked out their own special school supply which they got to unwrap Monday morning.  Sean picked a calculator, Emma-Lyn picked some sparkly pencils and Nate opted for a NASCAR book.  The calculator has been a hit with all the kids--something about objects with buttons!  At lunch time we headed down to the waterfront for a nice little picnic.  We spent our afternoon in town for a doctor's appointment and running some errands.

As for how our school day looks, I'll give you a wee little glimpse into what the "typical" day at the Peric household looks like:

7:00-7:30-- We're all getting up and getting dressed and making our beds.  This month Emma-Lyn  takes down the laundry to the washing machine, Sean sets the breakfast table and afterwards Nate clears it.

8:00- 8:30 -- Breakfast time, followed by Daddy's departure to work which often means the kiddos are up and out of their seats to go out and wave good-bye.

8:30- 9:00--  Time to do the dishes.  The kids take turns washing, rinsing and drying/putting away while I supervise.

9:00- 9:30 --  Free time and time for me to putter getting odd jobs done as well as check facebook.

9:30- 10:00  --  I start school with Emma-Lyn.  We work on phonics, read aloud and math.  During this time Sean is working on his own.  He has a chapter to read in the Bible, his spelling list to copy, countries to find on his map and a French cd-rom to work with.

10:00- 10:15 -- Snack time.  During snack I read our chapter for history and the kiddos answer questions orally about the selection.

10:15- 11:00  We might work on the rest of our combined studies, such as Bible and Science.  The children are loving the science curriculum--there is lots of experiments for them to try out.

11:00- 12:30 -   Sean and I work on his reading aloud, language and math.

12:30 - 1:30 - Clean up our school stuff and have lunch.

1:30- 2:30 -- Quiet time.  Oh how I love quiet time!  Each child goes to a room by himself or herself and spends the hour playing or reading quietly.  I flop on my bed.

2:30 - Snack time again.  For the rest of the afternoon we might do a special project together like making apple butter, baking bread or putting together a wreath.  The children have more free time and I finish the odd jobs I have going around the house.

5:300- 6:00 --Time to make supper.  I try to have a meal plan made up for the week so I don't end up scrambling to figure out what we're going to eat each night.

6:30 -- Supper time.  Daddy is home and our day is winding down.  After supper this month Sean is wiping the table, Emma-Lyn is sweeping and Nate pushes in the chairs.

7:00-7:30 -- Getting ready for bed. Pray time, Bible reading and a story.

7:30-8:00 -- Play time--which could be playing LEGO together, or a game or watching a little tv together.

8:00-  In bed.  A song and hugs and kisses good night.

That, in a nutshell is kinda how our days go.  The times are there but not always followed strictly--at all.  It's more of a this happens and then this happens after that--maybe at the specified time and then maybe not.

On Thursdays we have swimming lessons, Nate is in the preschool class, Emma-Lyn is level 1 and Sean is in level 5.  They are all very happy to be doing swimming again.  At the end of the month Sean will be back into his piano lessons.

 My happy trio on their first day of homeschool.

 Special morning breakfast--looks like Nate was eager!

Decorating their cookies.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Lazy Days of Summer...

It seems like just yesterday it was July 1st and the whole summer lay before us just waiting to be explored and now here we are enjoying the last couple of weeks of a wonderful summer.  I have loved every minute--the weather has been grand and we've been able to travel and check out new places. 

That being said I think we're all looking forward to the fall and the school routine again.  I've been busy planning and getting things ready and I'm looking forward to exploring subjects with the children.  At the same time though, I do love how free flowing homeschooling can be.  Everything doesn't and usually won't be marked down in any planner, there is just so much learning happening anyway that I don't think you could get it all penned in.  Just the other day Sean found my little stash of mad money and wanted to count it--why not?!  Sounds good to me, nothing like a little math to keep your mind in shape.  Once he calculated it we decided to go check the flyers to see what we could possibly spend our new found money on.  Sean enjoyed the activity and thinking about how much money we would need/use to purchase different items.  I love those unplanned moments.

While summer begins to fade our thoughts turn to the delights of apple picking, roast beef dinners, cups of hot chocolate, raking leaves into gigantic piles to jump in and so much more.

 We spent quite a few days out at Kings Castle.  The children love walking the paths and checking out the characters along the way.  Love their expressions!

 Another favourite spot is the bird sanctuary.  There is always something new to see.

And who doesn't love a good bonfire on the beach.

 Setting sun on the water.

We went to see the Celtic Ladies and Men. The kids were super thrilled to get on stage and try out their dance moves.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Highlight Reel

 In case you were wondering, spring did indeed come to the Island as did summer.  We are currently enjoying some lovely warm summer weather!  I LOVE it!  It has been such a welcome relief from the winter that did not seem to want to end.

Since last I posted, May has finished as have June and tonight at midnight marks the passing of July to August.  We've been enjoying a fun filled summer.  At the beginning of June I went on a trip to a homeschool conference with a wonderful group of moms and just had the most wonderful time.  The kids and I worked on the garden and it is now producing, we've had some snow peas, a lot of lettuce and the tomatoes are coming along nicely.  We've had days at the beach, playdates at the parks, parades and fireworks, and trips to Nova Scotia and to museums.   Sean is currently enjoying his first camp experience at Emmanuel Bible Camp.  We dropped him off on Sunday and we pick him up on Friday evening.  I can't wait to hear all of his stories!  Later on this month we plan on going camping, Sean and Emma-Lyn have a week long VBS to go to,  a Sunday school picnic to go and any other fun things we think up to do.

In case you're wondering, I'm about 5 months along now and feeling great.  I had some morning sickness but nothing nasty--I still can't handle strong odours but it's not bad.  I haven't had any cravings as of yet--in past pregnancies I've craved ice chips so we'll see if that comes up again.  The kids are excited about the our new baby boy and were extremely thrilled when they got to put their hands on my tummy and feel the baby kick.

 Loving the trail walks.
 And of course we love hitting the beach as often as we can.

 We went to Avonlea Village and had a wonderful time with other homeschooling families.  I even got to try out my manure flinging abilities--I came in second. :)

 Everyone loves a parade and we've been to quite a few.  Looking forward to this year's Gold Cup and Saucer Parade in a couple weeks.

And who could forget strawberry picking! So much fun and oh so tasty!  We picked 16 pounds which made for quite a few jars of jam.

 And this is Miss. Emma-Lyn showing off her newly acquired bike riding skills.  She is so happy!

 Since this October marks our 10th anniversary, Marko and I went on a little getaway to the South Shore of Nova Scotia--here we are at Peggy's Cove.

The following weekend we took the whole family to N.S to camp in my folk's backyard.  We went to the Shubenacadie Wildlife park, the Balmoral Grist Mill and the Sutherland's Saw Mill.

 This is Balmoral Grist Mill--such a beautiful spot.

And here we have Sean and his friend at camp--they both look pretty clean here, wonder how grubby they'll be by Friday!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Could This Be Spring?

 Well if you're in Newfoundland you're probably thinking that this can't possibly be it.  And even here in PEI it has been dubious by times whether spring was really showing up or not.  This weekend we got to enjoy not only icy cold rain showers but some snow was mixed in just to keep things interesting.  I am thankful though that the snow did not stick around like it has in Newfoundland--I can't imagine digging out from under 25 cms of snow on the May long weekend!!!  That being said we have been enjoying some warmer weather although somewhat sporadically.  We've had the kiddie pool out and the kids really LOVED being able to splash about in it again.  And we went to the beach for the first time of the season.  We didn't swim but, we did muck about in the waves and played in the sand.

Today we had a grand time of it doing outdoor work with the kiddos.  Marko finished the second section of fence for my veggie garden and he made my second planter to go in the front flower bed.  Emma-Lyn and I primed them and hopefully we'll get them painted this week.  We got the garage cleaned and because of that we were able to haul out the BBQ!!  Very excited about that.  I have some of my herb garden planted in containers  in the side flower bed which I'm really thrilled about.    As far as my veggie garden goes, I haven't got it planted yet.  I'm trying out something new to me, it's called a no till garden and it's a more organic way of growing veggies.  I put down a good layer of topsoil, covered that with newsprint and followed that up with a layer of dry leaves and grass clippings.  From what I have read this is a great way to keep weeds to a minimum and maximize the health and harvesting of my plants.  I have some seeds and hope to get some seedlings to put in the garden this week.

 I call this "Pure Joy!"

 And for me this is "Pure Delight!"

My little herb garden.

And this is the front flower bed--just missing my new planters--hope to get those in this week.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

I Won An Award!!!

How cool is that?!!  And it's not just me, it's for my blog!  Yep folks, you heard it here first--I'm kind of a big deal!  LOL

Well, okay not really a big deal at all, but still someone I have never ever met and lives across the world --Singlemomof1 from Searching for Sanity nominated my wee little blog for the Liebster Award.  I know what you're thinking--what in the world is a Liebster award?!  To be honest I had never heard of it before I was nominated, basically its an award for bloggers from bloggers.  And really it's a fun chain letter passed from one to another.  If you are a lucky recipient of this award you get to share 11 facts about yourself and answer the 11 questions that your nominator asked you.  You are then supposed to send on the love and nominate 11 other bloggers with a following of 200 or less.  I'm not really able to pass on the award to 11 other bloggers as I don't follow that many blogs and most of the ones I do already have a huge following.  So really I can only accept this as an honorary award.

Now for my 11 facts:

1. One of my jobs as a teenager living in rural Nova Scotia was being Daisy the Talking Cow at Magic Valley Fun Park. 
2.  I was insanely shy and very quiet when I was in elementary school--I started to come out of my shy shell in high school--Now people have a hard time getting me to be quiet--just ask any of the homeschool moms!
3.  I've lived in Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and P.E.I.
4.  I LOVE the beach--spring, summer, fall or winter are all perfectly wonderful times to visit the beach!
5.  I didn't get my driver's licence until I was 20.
6.  I was a Miss Canada Day Princess in Westville, Nova Scotia.  I even got to sit on the back of a beautiful blue corvette for the parade!
7.  As a kid I was pretty messy.  So messy that my folks got me a poster for my bedroom door that read: It's my mess and I love it.  Also a door knob hanger that read:  A neat room is the sign of a sick mind.
8.  My folks also kindly nicknamed me Calamity Jane as I was always falling over or into  or off of anything and seemingly everything.
9.  I once sat in the backseat of a police cruiser--when I was like 2 or 3--I vaguely remember the experience.
10.  At my highschool we had two lunch periods.  And one day I accidentally went to lunch at the wrong period--it took me awhile to realize it and I was too embarrassed to go to my English class so I snuck around the back of the school and hung out with the smokers--the Principal decided to come by that way--I tried desperately to avoid eye contact but we ended up discussing the weather --I felt so bad about skipping class I had my mom write a note explaining to my English teacher my faux pas. I was such a rebel!
11.  We moved to Nova Scotia on my 14th birthday--it was the most bitter sweet birthday I've ever had.  I had to say good bye to my bestest friend but I was also moving to a new place with new adventures.

And now for the questions:

1. What is the best thing about having children?  Being someone's Mommy.

2. What is your biggest pet hate?  It's gotta be plastic wrap--it's all CRAP! 

3. If you could have dinner with one person dead or alive, who would it be?  I know it says one person--but I can't pick just one.  I'd want to have dinner--specifically Christmas dinner just like oldtimes with my extended Hope family.  I miss them so much!

4. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?  The ability to transport myself to any place in the world in the blink of an eye.

5. What is your favourite place in the whole world?  The beach with my fam.

6. Finish this sentence: A perfect day for me would be...  to start this sunshiny and warm day sitting on my deck sipping my tea and reading then I would follow that up with some quality time at the beach with the fam and my hubby would have packed a wonderful lunch for us.  To finish up this amazing day with a date night with my handsome hubby at CapeLight where I would enjoy a tasty dinner of a half rack of ribs.

7. Are you a feminist?  Nope.

8. If you could be a celebrity, what would you want to be famous for?  My dancing--cause it is out of this world!!  Yeah, not really but it would be funny.

9. Do you believe in ghosts? No.

10. Who is your biggest hero?  My hubby.

11. Tell me a secret.  Baby # 4 is due in early November. :)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Easter Fun Part 2

 Finally, I'm sitting down to write out the second part of our Easter.  On Good Friday our church held an Easter Conference that both Marko and I were involved in.  I had nursery duty, while Marko was the worship leader for the second meeting.  And to add to all the fun my family was on their way over for the weekend.  It made for a bit of chaos on Friday but we got it all figured out and everyone was happy.

We finished up our stuff at the Conference and met my folks at our place. We had a lovely time of just chatting and catching up and then my folks headed back to their room at Lane's Cottages.  We got to keep Trooper at our house which the kiddos just dearly love and we all enjoyed walking her in the morning before breakfast.

My family popped in around 10 and we were all just standing around talking and trying to figure out what to do with our day when my friend Laura who lives on a farm called and asked if wanted to see some sheep get sheared.  Everyone was game so soon we were on our way to the farm.  We all just loved it.  The kids love it because they enjoy playing with their friends and getting to see the animals.  Gramma and Grammpa just LOVED being on the farm.  So many sweet little lambs to hold and pat.  And watching the sheep shearing was really quite interesting too.  Laura and her husband Robert are great sources of information on everything agriculture and beyond so not only did we get to see animals but we also got a better understanding of how farms run.  We could've stayed all day but we needed to get back home to get the turkey in the oven.

I think Gramma would have liked to take this little guy home!

Sheep shearing--what an amazing job!

Just such sweet little animals.

Nate giving kisses to the lamby.

Grampa Hope has always been kind of the "special" one in the family and this day he was in fine form!

Once we were back home and the turkey was in the oven Gramma and Grampa had a few Easter treats to share with the children.  The kids were delighted!

At first glance they thought they were getting lightsabres!  They were just as tickled to realize they had bubble wands in their hands that they could easily pretend were lightsabres.

They did blow a few bubbles before reenacting scenes from Star Wars.

Marko's mom and sister joined us for supper and we had a grand time talking and enjoying one another's company.

We don't do the Easter bunny here but we do hide some chocolate eggs for the kids to find.  We shoo the kids upstairs while we hide their colour coded eggs all over the kitchen and living room.  So funny to watch them scamper about looking for their eggs and when they discovered someone else's they would start yelling for that person to look over there.

Mr. Nate going in for the green egg on the lego roof.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

My Thoughts and Prayers

Are with my Hope family again.  My Uncle Barry is in the hospital and we've been told he isn't going to make it.  I'm not sure how much time is left.  My heart goes out especially to my Aunt Mary Jane and cousins Mark and Kent as they go through this difficult time. My mom and dad and sister too, all send their love and prayers to the whole family.  Its so hard to be so far away and not be able to help, if only to be a shoulder to cry on.  Just reminds me just how precious every day really is, may we take the time to be thankful for each moment we have with our loved ones.  Love you all so much.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Easter Fun Part 1

 This Easter I tried changing things up by dramatizing some of the important scenes leading up to and including Jesus' death and resurrection.  It was a bit of work but so much fun.  The kids really enjoyed being a part of the scenes.  Before each scene we would pray and after every scene we'd sing a hymn.

 His triumphal entry.  The kids made their palm branches and threw down their garments for the "donkey" to walk over while shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!  The King of Israel!"  We played this out a few times.

 During the Last Supper Jesus washed the disciple's feet.  So I washed each child's feet. The kiddos thought this was quite the thing.

 Our version of the Last Supper.

The betrayal by Judas.  The money bag and a note from the Chief Priests.

Jesus and his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Jesus is depicted by the white cloth and cup at the base of the tree and the pillows are the sleeping disciples.  The angry mob (the kiddos with their clubs and swords) came for Jesus and led him to his trial.

 Here the priests tried Jesus and condemned him to death while Peter watched from the warmth of a fire.

 Here are the children warming themselves as Peter did.  They role played being Peter and denying Jesus.

 Jesus was brought before Pontius Pilate.  Pilate offered the angry crowd either Jesus or Barabbas--The crowd wanted Barabbas and what of Jesus?  "Crucify Him!"

 He was scourged, mocked and beaten and finally crucified. 

He was laid in the tomb and a large stone rolled in front.

For His resurrection we made resurrection rolls.  Using crescent roll pasty dough, marshmallows, melted butter, and cinnamon and sugar.  The marshmallow represents Jesus, with the butter as the anointing oils on his body and the cinnamon and sugar as the spices. The marshmallow is wrapped up in the pastry tomb.  Place it in the oven for 8-10 minutes.

The finished product. Open it up and the white marshmallow is gone!  He is not here, He is risen!!