Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas From Our Home to Yours

Can it really be Christmas Eve already?  And can it really be over a month since I last wrote a blog post?  Apparently yes, on both counts!  We have been busy with finishing up school stuff before Christmas break as well as enjoying some fun Christmas activities.

We did our Christmas baking and sent daddy to work with some and shared the rest with our neighbours.  We went skating with our homeschool group and had a little party and a bake exchange.  The kids enjoyed being a part of their Sunday School concert and Sean was pleased to play God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman at church that evening as well.

Sean turned NINE!!  He had a few friends over for the afternoon and had pizza and cupcakes.  Also  Sean started curling lessons and will be taking part in his first tournament in January.

We were invited to a friend's house to make gingerbread houses.  The kids loved this!! Nothing like slapping some candy onto a house made of cookies.  They loaded it with so many candies that it just kinda fell to pieces once we got it home.  They didn't mind since it still tasted good!

 Other things activities we enjoyed include the time we went to the little mall here in Montague and sang Christmas carols and handed out cups of hot chocolate.  A few evenings we drove around to check out the Christmas lights.

 And now, here we are on Christmas Eve, the kids are all tucked into bed and the presents will soon go under the tree and the stockings will be filled.  It has been such a peace-filled day unlike ones in the past where you just feel so rushed and stressed.  While I enjoy the pretty lights and presents and spending time with family and friends, I am ever so grateful to know and love Jesus who came as a gift to the world.  He lived and died that I might live forever with Him.  God bless you and yours this Christmas!  Merry Christmas!

 Kiddos all dressed up for our Christmas photo.

 Some days we just like to pull out our art supplies and be creative.

 What a cutie!
 Our little tree.
 The gingerbread house of many candies.

Sweet little Christmas grin!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

It's Been a Busy Birthday Month

 Nate turned the big five this year which meant a big party for him with all the trimmings.  In case you're wondering we do big parties for year 5,10 and 15.  For all the others there's still cake and gifts and friends but much less fanfare. 

So this year for Nate it was a racing car themed birthday party.  We had checkered flags and black and white streamers as well as racing cars and trophies decorating the kitchen and living room.  The living room was also decked out with a car mat and a couple of racing tracks and plenty of dinkies to play with. 

Upon arriving each guest got to have their picture taken with the birthday boy in our tricked out birthday photo booth.  I did a similar activity for Emma-Lyn's birthday but found it difficult to do the pictures and co-ordinate the rest of the party so this year my lovely friend Denise stepped in and took the photos for me.  The kids were so cute and Nate was thrilled and had to have his hand up in each shot so you would know that he was five!

Once all our guests arrived we gathered in the kitchen to make our very own Rocket Racers.  I wish I had thought to take a picture but we were all so busy putting them together I completely forgot.  The basic gist of it is a rectangular piece of foam for your base, straws and skewers for your axles, and foam circles for wheels.  Add a balloon and straw to your base and some sparkly stickers and you've got yourself a Rocket Racer.  Blow up the balloon and then let 'er rip, makes for hours of entertainment or at least until the wheels fall off!

After all that fun we let them play for awhile with the cars before popping popcorn and pouring drinks and getting them set in the living room to watch Cars.  They took a break for hot dogs and birthday cupcakes and then enjoyed the rest of the show until their parents came to pick them up.  On their way out our guests got their photo, their rocket racer and a bag of jelly beans in their loot bag.  You may be wondering about when we opened gifts.  This year we opted out of gifts and went the way of a book exchange instead.  A good friend of mine did this with her kid's birthdays and I think it's a great idea and Nate did too.  It's pretty neat since everyone brings a book from home and then goes home with a "new" to them book.

The following Saturday was Levi's first birthday.  How can he be that old already?!!  I just can't believe how quickly this year has flown by.  He is just such a sweet cheery lad that all his siblings dote on.  On Friday Grammie Peric slipped in to give Levi his gift and stay for supper before heading home on a very snowy evening!  Levi enjoyed his gift and was totally mesmerized by the candle on his cake.  My folks were going to come on Saturday but with the wild winter weather they decided to hold off until Sunday.  It was a whirlwind visit but fun was had by all.

 It was also Marko's birthday in the midst of all this but since he shares the day with Nate he was a little overshadowed by all the hoopla of turning five.  But next year Marko marks a milestone so perhaps there shall be more hoopla for him that year! 

 Nate and the blueberry pie that Auntie Linda made for him and Marko.

Happy Birthday photo booth.  This is Nate with his friend Sammy.  Sammy's mom is the photographer.

 And this is Ben, Sammy's brother.

 Levi checking out the cool gift Grammie Peric got him.

 Loving the candle on his cake...

 but not as much as the cake itself! YUM!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sir Walks A Lot

And there my baby goes, making his way right into toddlerhood!  How did this even happen?  He can't be that old already can he?  I can't believe that next month this sweet smiling lad will be one!  It doesn't feel like it's been that long.   He has grown so much and his siblings are so super proud of him and love showing him off to everyone and anyone.  And soon he'll running around with them trying to keep up.  Today his walking improved even more, he was pulling himself up on anything he could find then venturing forth until gravity and imbalance got the better of him and plop, down he went.

Today we enjoyed a fun homeschool outing down at the sea shore in Point Prim.  Levi stayed home with Grammie while the rest of us trekked out to the shore with our homeschool group in search of seaweed.  Once we had gathered a healthy amount we met at a local rec centre to learn more about the benefits of seaweed in our everyday life.  The children also enjoyed setting up some samples of our findings on paper to preserve them.  I'm so excited about this readily available resource and can't wait to go out to harvest some and incorporate it into my cooking...shhh don't tell my family!

 The view at Point Prim.

Some of our samples.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thanksgiving Weekend

What a wild weekend!

It wasn't how I had envisioned Thanksgiving, but all in all it was a very good weekend with lots to be thankful for.

Leading up to the weekend we were very busy and came up short on time and energy. We were basically packing as we were heading out the door  Also I had some trouble with insomnia so that certainly didn't help things.  That aside, we were all ready for a fun weekend away at Gramma and Grampa's!  We made it just in time to be the second last car on the boat.  And that boat, she was stuffed to the gills!! I have never in my life seen the boat so overloaded!  It was so bad that we had to spend the entire 75 minute trip standing up.   I suppose that isn't entirely true, we did have the option of sitting out on deck and freezing to death.  The kids did a great job and no one complained.  We found a corner we could claim for ourselves and we quietly waited out the duration of the trip while munching on our snacks and making idle chit chat.

A short drive later we drove into Grampa's yard and got settled in to enjoy quality family time.  All was going well until Levi made a grab for a pop can and cut his finger on the opening.  We got that taken care of and it seemed he just turned around and then hit his chin on the table and he cut his tongue on his teeth...more blood.  Can't put a band-aid on that.  Later Emma-Lyn got a slight burn when she picked up a candle holder and it was at this point I started praying that we wouldn't end up at the ER with one or all of the children sporting some sort of serious burn or concussion.  Sean, not to be outdone by his siblings, fell off a log and down an embankment and thankfully walked away with just a few scrapes and bruises. Thankfully this was the end of the children's mishaps.

My sister and I took the children to a local fall fun fair...oh my was it small. There was a little toddler sized bouncy castle, face painting and pumpkin people.  It was quaint but not quite the hours of fun we had imagined. We got the kids some candy and headed for a park.  We all had fun climbing, swinging and running around for a bit before heading home for a delicious turkey dinner.

The plan for the night was for the three older kids to sleep in mom's office, which is their usual spot and they look forward to it.  Levi was spending the night in Gramma and Grampa's room in his playpen.  Everything was going smoothly until it was time for Gramma and Grampa to go to bed.  Accidentally the bedroom light was turned on and Levi woke up.  We thought that we might be able to soothe him with a bottle and put him back to bed but it was a no go.  Marko and I brought him back downstairs to spend the night in the living room.  I tried to rock him to sleep in my arms for half an hour before giving up and taking him to the kitchen so he could tire himself out.  Levi and I finally hit the hay at 2:30.  I was so thankful for Marko, who, when the kids got up, got up himself and looked after them while I slept.

We weren't entirely sure what we wanted to do with our day.  Considering the night's escapades we decided to stick close to home and putter about the house before barreling out the door once again to catch the boat.  We had high hopes that the boat wouldn't be too crowded but those hopes were most unceremoniously dashed upon loading. Once again the boat was overflowing with people with hardly a seat to be found.  This time we did manage to find three seats together and scrambled into them, Marko and I both with a child on our lap and the sun streaming into our faces.  Now we knew why the seats were available.  Thankfully the boat turned before long and we didn't have direct sunlight in our eyes for the rest of the trip.

We got home and everyone helped to unpack the car before heading upstairs to bed. We had some pretty tuckered out kids who were more than ready for a good night's sleep.

On Monday we spent time just getting things done around the house before heading out to a lovely trail in Cardigan to meet Grammie Peric for a little walk.  It was a gorgeous day and we all enjoyed the fall colours.  Afterwards we went to Grammie's for supper which was a lovely way to finish a full weekend.

 If you've ever wondered, she's the crazy one!! :)

 My swinging monkeys.

 Me and my big sister having fun on the swings.

 The kids LOVED Auntie Karina's gardening tools.

 Grampa LOVED the turkey dinner, he also LOVES hat fashion!

 These two are best buds!

 And this fine young lad learned how to ride his bike without training wheels on Monday!

 Going for a trail walk.  Love the fall colours!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Our First Day of School

Well, it certainly wasn't the day I had imagined it would be, but all things considered it was a pretty good day.

The kids were excited about getting back to doing school work except for the fact that they were all suffering from a case of the grumpies.  Grumpiness aside we enjoyed some moments of brilliance!  The kids love the new setup and thoroughly enjoyed using their workbooks.  Sean seems extremely keen on working on cursive writing as well as learning where a lot of our English words come from.  I have a great book called From the Roots Up and it goes over different Greek and Latin words that we use today and gives the meanings and examples.  Emma-Lyn is keen on working in her journal and seems eager to do her workbooks.  Nate, unfortunately, was feeling under the weather and had a less than stellar day.  The poor guy didn't even want to colour.  He ended up lying down on the couch in the living room while we finished up our work.  Levi enjoyed puttering about the kitchen until it was naptime.

This year we all signed a letter of intent that stated that we would be prepared and willing to learn, to ask for help when we need it as well as contribute to a joyful and loving home.  Will we get this right every time? Probably not, but at least it's there and we can go back to that note to focus and move through our challenges.  I also posted the Peric Family Motto which goes like this:

As a family we resolve to...

Be patient and kind
and not envy or boast
We will not be proud.
We will not be rude, self seeking
or easily angered.
We will keep no
record of wrongs.
We will not delight in evil
but rejoice with truth.
We will always protect,
trust, hope and persevere.
This is what we aspire to be. There will be days when we get tripped up and fail, and that's okay.  We'll pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and be reminded of who we are and who we would like to become.  

We don't have a routine so much as we have a rhythm to our day. This also is posted on the wall and the children have copies of it and the motto in their binders.  Our day looks something like this:

  1. Get up and dressed and make bed.
  2. Chores
  3. Devotions and breakfast
  4. Say good-bye to daddy
  5. Dishes
  6. Outdoor time for 20 minutes
  7. Calendar time and snack for 20 minutes
  8. Working independently for 20 minutes—if time allows you may play.
  9. Science/ Geography for 20 minutes
  1. History/Art for 20 minutes
  1. Math for 20 minutes
  1. Lunch

Quiet time
Read Alouds
Help with supper prep

That being said, none of this is written in stone and I can see us tweaking it along the way to suit our changing needs through the year.

This afternoon we had swimming lessons which the kids are always excited about.  Nate stayed home with Grammie and Levi and had a nap.  Sean and Emma-Lyn swam like fish and loved playing with their friends.  By suppertime Nate was back to his happy little self and nachos were enjoyed by all!

The kiddos in the clothes they picked out for our first day.  Okay, so Levi didn't pick his cute outfit but I'm sure he approves.  Nate was lying down at this point so unfortunately I don't have a picture of him.

 Hanging out in the living room.

He looks like such a little old man.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Crazy, The Fun and the Hectic

It's been a busy few weeks since our trip to Quebec.  We enjoyed setting up our tent again at my folks' place for a weekend.   We went to the Museum of Industry again, this is one of the kids' favourite places to go when we visit.  And who can blame them, they have great interactive exhibits and the price is right.  We also went to Shebenacadie Wildlife Park which is also becoming a family favourite.  This time we wandered down to their interpretive centre.  What a delight!  So much to see and do.  We found out that Nate has the wingspan of a Mallard Duck, Emma-Lyn had the wingspan of a Peregrine Falcon, Sean had the wingspan of a Barred Owl.

We spent some quality fun time at the Celebration Zone in Charlottetown.  There was always lots to do and see as well as share the experience with friends!  We also got to check out the tall ships when they came sailing into the Charlottetown harbour.

Our homeschooling group had our annual Not-Back-To-School picnic out at Canoe Cove at the beginning of this month.  It was a great day for meeting new homeschoolers and laughing and dancing with old friends.  A great way to start the homeschool year.  That being said, we haven't begun our formal bookwork yet, we've had a few other things to do first.

My mom found out that she had breast cancer again and had a mastectomy done at the beginning of the month.  I went home by myself to help out and just be with my family.  It was such a blessing to be there.  I loved every minute of it.  We laughed, we talked, we sang and just had a wonderful time together.  My sister and I chased frogs around the pond and laughed ourselves silly.  My mom is doing great and recovering very well from her surgery.  So looking forward to seeing them all again at Thanksgiving!

When I returned to the Island it was time to switch gears and enjoy a week long visit with my father-in- law.  He lives out in BC with his wife Dona.  It was nice to have this time with him and the children enjoyed getting to know their Deda a little better.  I think the highlight for me was seeing them give him big hugs before going to bed and seeing the big smile it put on his face.

And now, we're just taking this week to breathe and ease ourselves back into our fall routine.  It has been an amazing summer and I'm kinda sad to see it go, but I know there are more adventures awaiting us around the bend.

Found this little guy walking across the road at Sheubenacadie so I got out to rescue him.  Funny how quick the little guys can go when they know they're being chased!

This girl can climb like a monkey!  I loved the monkey bars when I was little.  I tried my hand at going across and I made it, but it sure wasn't pretty!

Time to swing!

Guy Smiley
A Lynx.
Such a cool microscope at Shebenacadie!

Our humble little camp site at my folks' place.

Loved this little humming bird.
So peaceful!
From left to right are my uncle Frank, my mom and my uncle John.  My uncle John was visiting from Alberta and it was great to have the chance to visit.

Uncle Frank and his wife aunt Holly and uncle John.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Our trip to the Gaspe

I have the best mother in law!  She offered my hubby and I four days of babysitting in which we could take off for quieter locations, just the two of us.  We were so excited but we couldn't figure out where to go with all this new - found free time.  We thought about the Bay of Fundy as well as Cape Breton but when our friends invited us to come stay with them in the Gaspe our minds were made up.  Neither of us had ever traveled in that part of the country and we were pretty pumped to go exploring.

It's a nine hour trip so we decided we'd break it up by spending a night in Miramichi, New Brunswick.  We also stopped in Bouctouche to stretch our legs and have lunch. The day started off rainy but by the time we left the Island the sun was shining and things were warming up.  We stopped to check out the Elizabethan Gardens in Bouctouche which were lovely and we're looking forward to taking the kids there some day.  We enjoyed a picnic lunch as well as a bit of second hand shopping before heading back on the road.

Before getting to Miramichi I happened to open our little tourism guide and noticed an advert for ziplining.  I was stoked!  I would so love to do that and it wasn't that far from where we were staying.  Marko was perhaps not quite as thrilled as I, but being a good sport was up for it anyway.  We dropped our stuff off at our hotel and then quickly made our way to the ziplining area before either of us could chicken out.  It was so much fun!!  Marko conquered his fear of heights and had a great time and would totally do it again as would I!!  We had supper at a local restaurant and then made it just in time for the early showing of Guardians of the Galaxy.  We both really enjoyed the movie.  Such a full day!

Friday was rainy and cool but the weather couldn't dampen my spirits!  We were off again and this time with a fun little twist.  It just so happened that a wonderful friend of mine and her family from Ontario were vacationing in Bathurst, New Brunswick this week.  And we managed to make plans to stop in for a little visit.  I hadn't seen my friend in over 20 years!!!  How crazy is that?!  It was a delight to meet her family and spend time catching up.  The best part was that even though time and distance have kept us a part it was just like old times and picking up where we left off.

After our visit we were on our way again until we reached our destination of New Carlisle, Quebec.  We were staying with our friends, Robbie and Jackie MacGregor.  We arrived just before supper and spent time just chatting and checking out the local area.  We played some Monopoly Deal and chatted away the evening.

In the morning we made a short trek out to Port Daniel.  It was a pretty wet morning which made for some lackluster sightseeing.  We headed back to New Carlisle for lunch and then back out to Bonaventure to check out the local gift shops.  There were some really nice little shops with oodles of crafting materials and one that even had a workshop where you could pick out what you'd like to work on and then make it right there!  I would have loved to have spent an afternoon there making a necklace or painting a mask!  We did a bit more sight seeing before heading in for supper.  After supper we went for a lovely walk down on the boardwalk.  In the evening Jackie and I did some crafting while the fellas shared funny stories.

In the morning we went to church and then it was time to say good-bye to good friends and hit the road once again.  I was driving and was determined to get some more scenic shots and knew that as we made our way back to the New Brunswick border that there were some great opportunities.  I said to Marko, "If we see a scenic look-off sign, we're going! Sound good?!"  Marko was game and just as luck would have it we found one and off we went up the gravel road...The narrow tree lined road got steeper and harder to maneuver  as the ground was soft and the incline was steep.  I could hear the gravel hitting the underside of the car and the tires were spinning like crazy.  This was not good.  I tried a little harder but the smell of burning rubber and the car's inability to go up any further  made my heart jump in my throat and my stomach was not far behind.  The car stopped and now we had no choice but to go back down in reverse.  I thought I would swallow my tongue I was so nervous, but slowly and carefully we made our way back down the road of terror.  We were three quarters of the way down when we finally spotted a good place to get turned around.  I was so very thankful that a rest stop/tourist area was close by so I could get out of the car and we could switch drivers!

Thankfully the rest of the drive back to PEI was not nearly as eventful as that road.  We stopped in Bathurst and a couple of other little towns before arriving home after nine o'clock at night.  I loved our trip and can't wait to take the whole family up to the Gaspe!

 Our first stop in Bouctouche, the path to the Elizabethan Gardens.

 A lovely spot indeed.
 Time for a selfie!
 Marko all set for zipling!  So proud of him and such fun way to spend an adventurous afternoon.

 And there he goes.

 Our hotel room in Mirimachi.  It was quaint and comfortable. 

 Our view on a rainy morning.

 So great to get together with this fine gal and her family!

 Totally have to get together with them again!

 Gotta have the map and the GPS.  The GPS is great and all but I don't always entirely trust it.

 Our brief stop in Port Daniel.

 Sean loves TinTin so we had to take a picture of this fire hydrant!

 Just loved this mural.

 Pretty cool mini replica of a German U boat.  The story goes that during the second world war there was a U boat in the Bay of Chaleur and a soldier came ashore and was easily spotted and turned into a double agent.

 Scenic vistas.