Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Whoop, Whoop!!  I have enjoyed my birthday day!!

It began with the breakfast of champions: Belgian chocolate coffee with chocolate hagelslag on whole wheat bread and I washed all that down with a handful of Skittles! YUM!

I had hoped to watch The Sound of Music but our copy was ruined and I couldn't find anything online--so we watched Mary Poppins instead.  Lots of good songs in that movie too.

In the afternoon the kids and I piled on my bed and read a book.  Just as we were midway through, Janet and her girls arrived with cake.  We enjoyed a quick playdate with cake!  One of the best kinds of playdates!

We had Uncle Henk and Auntie Linda and Grammie Peric join us for supper.  We had pizzas from Famous Peppers and a yummy ice cream cake from What's the Scoop.

 My cake! YUM!

For my birthday present Sean set up a treasure hunt for me using the clues from our Ukloo game.  The kids and I had a riot running up and down the stairs following each clue's instructions.

And yes, the final clue was check on the toilet!  Sean found that quite humorous.

We finished the evening by playing a few rounds of my new game called Things.  It was a fun little game.

In the midst of this fun day I did manage to smash my left knee quite soundly into the screen door.  I have an ice pack on it now. So if you see me hobbling about tomorrow--it isn't my old age getting to me--it's just my clumsiness coming back for me. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tomorrow is the BIG DAY!!

Turning the BIG 4-0 tomorrow!!  Woo Hoo!  The kids are pretty excited and have been asking what will I be doing for my birthday... And so far it looks like I'll be blanching and freezing zucchini and making new chore charts! Do I know how to celebrate or what?!!

I kinda feel like I've done all the celebrating over the weekend and now I just get to eat more cake!!  I have put up some decorations and I'm looking forward to the day--I do have family coming for supper so that will be special.

And now a few more shots from the weekend.

 Our breezy campsite and tent up and ready for the weekend fun!

 The campsite was huge! 

We may have had more than our fair share of vehicles on one're usually only allowed two vehicles per site.

 The views from our site were amazing!

Oh, yeah baby--I be rocking this 40 thing!!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Got a Free Haircut Today!

The wonderful folks at GoCuts were giving free haircuts to students and teachers all day today.  I really appreciate that they included homeschool moms in the teacher catergory!  We just managed to get in before they closed.   I've been wanting to get a little trim for awhile and this was perfect!

So happy!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

40 is Just Around the Corner!

I turn 40 on Wednesday but I started celebrating this weekend!!  I enjoyed a wonderful weekend away with my amazing group of friends at the Linkletter Campground in Summerside.

Claire was ready to PAR-TAY!!  Such a super fun filled weekend!

Some highlights:

- The campground itself was just stunning!  Beautiful sunsets and we were right by the water and my campsite was HUGE--also the staff there are the BEST!
- My friends are AWESOME!!!
-The campfire and S'MORES--Yum
- Singing the songs from the Sound of Music together
- Being able to set up the tent in the wild and wacky wind!
- Dancing around the campfire to 80s music!
 - Belly Button Man....that was interesting..
- Watching the sheet lightning pass by us.
- Waving sparklers around in the dark!
- Tims coffee in the morning--while still wearing my pjs

- thrift shopping--soooo many lovely books!
- The many to gaze at--also got to see a shooting star
-Coming home to my wonderful family

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Lots of Visiting Today

We enjoyed a lovely playdate with the Bowmans in the morning and then another fun playdate in the afternoon with the Arthurs. The kids had a grand time playing together while the mamas chatted the hours away.

And this is my current read.  And I'm loving it!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Full of Fun Day

We enjoyed a much anticipated playdate with the Mooney's today.  We all had such a great time.  The kids played and played while Maria and I talked and talked. 

Afterwards the kids and I had some errands to run and we stopped into McDonald's for supper.  I thought they might like to play in the Playplace but they were much more interested in hitting Teahill before we went home. 

It was a gorgeous evening for a bit of beach fun.  The water was warm and inviting and the sunset was enchanting.  The kids splashed  and ran and then we all snuggled up on the blanket with a quick snack to enjoy. The perfect ending to such a lovely day.

 Walking in big brother's footsteps!

 Watching the others play...

 They seem so far away...


Tuesday, August 23, 2016


The kids had themselves quite the time in the pool this afternoon.  At this point I asked them to splash as hard as they could. They didn't need much encouraging.

Love my kiddos and their craziness.

Monday, August 22, 2016

A Quietish Day at Home

It was nice to just putter here at home today.  The kids splashed in the pool, read books, played with cars and just hung out.  At one point the kids were reading and I was scrolling Facebook when I realized that Levi was not in the room and he was being WAY TOO QUIET!  I jumped out of my chair and ran to the kitchen to find out what the wee lad had been up to.  Found him slathered in nectarine pulp and he was busily "painting" my kitchen chair in the sticky goop as well. Fun times!

I did manage to find some time to organize some of my homeschool plans as well as work out some Sunday School stuff as well as Awana stuff.  I know most people would probably use their computers for this kind of thing but I am definitely a pen/pencil and paper kinda gal!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Time For the BEACH!

After what has felt like non stop activities and places to go to and people to see it was nice to just stop and plunk ourselves down at the beach. We love Panmure beach! The kids swam and splashed and dug in the sand while I pulled out some school stuff and worked on planning.  It was so lovely and relaxing.  Also nice to bump into friends and chat for awhile.

My view this afternoon.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Awana Fun Day

Today was our Awana Fun Day at our church.  We had face painting, a couple of bouncy castles, games and much more.  I enjoyed working at my balloon animal table.  It was a very fun day!

Our face painters were amazing!
 Miss Emma-Lyn as a fox!

 And I even got my face painted!  Such a work of art!  I even went shopping in Charlottetown with my face painted.  Got some stares, some folks just looked away and others did the double take. I tried to keep a straight face as I wandered through but when I got back to the van I just had to laugh--such an interesting social experiment.  Two clerks at Canadian Tire told me that they loved my face and I shouldn't wash my face ever again!

This evening the children enjoyed their last night with our friends at VBS in Charlottetown.  They had so much fun!  And they especially loved the pie in the face at the end.  The leaders were all such good sports and the kids learned so much from them. They're already asking to go next year!

 The lead in...

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Parade Day!

Nate is feeling kinda stiff and sore but is doing much better today.  We all enjoyed going to the Gold Cup and Saucer Parade this morning.

Grampa Hope was in the parade and the kids were excited to look for him.  We spotted him right away and I called out, "GRAMPA!!" Nothing, no recognition whatsoever..So again a little louder, "GRAMPA HOPE!" Still he waves politely to other parade goers but is still completely oblivious to us.  By now he's pretty near on top of us--last chance. " GARRY HOPE!!!" Voila!  He sees everyone and then pretty near attempts to crawl through the crowd to say hello!!  That's my dad for ya!

We enjoyed a lovely visit with my folks in the afternoon and then I took the kids into town for VBS which they enjoyed immensely!

What a Whopper of a Day!

The day began simply enough.  Everyone rolled out of bed as they tend to do in the mornings.  Marko woke up with his back aching and decided once he got to work he would see about making an appointment with the chiropractor.  The kids and I kissed him good bye and got on with our day.

The kids played with Lego, I got the laundry on the line and spent some time in my garden. We got a call from Marko later in the morning saying that he had an appointment for this afternoon and that we'd all go in together.  I sent off a quick message to see if the Beuckerts would be home so that we might pop in to drop some books and a movie off while Marko was at his appointment.  A quick reply came back that they would be home and would love to have us drop by.

And all of these things went off without a hitch.  Marko went to his appointment while the kids and I made our way over to the Beuckert's. We enjoyed a lovely visit. Rachel and I chatted over tea while the kids romped around on the deck or coloured at the kitchen table.  Three of the boys went for a bike ride.  While they were off cycling around the neighbourhood, Marko called to say that he was ready.

 I quickly packed up my kids and asked Rachel where I might find our wandering cyclists.  I followed the route she mentioned and did not find any of our things were getting interesting.  Back to Rachel's I went to inquire where else our little lads may have wandered off to.  Quite possibly they may have wandered over to a local school ground known for it's sledding hills.

Off I went again and I just pulled into the parking lot in time to see the three of them make it to the top of a steep hill and then scoot down at a tremendous rate! Nate's bike's front tire hit hard into the small dip at the bottom which sent him quite hard into the handlebars and off the bike.  From my vantage point it looked like a serious accident.  I quickly put the van in park and went tearing down the hill yelling, "Nate are you okay?!!"  He was up and walking before I could get to him and thankfully a couple of teenage boys had already ran over to him to see if he was okay.  The wind was knocked out of him and he had small cuts and bruises on his forehead but he was complaining that his breathing hurt him.

I would let the cuts and bruises slide but hurt ribs and lungs make me nervous. I tucked him into the van and piled the bike in the trunk and brought him back to Rachel's.  We got him cleaned up and I decided that it would be worth the wait to head over to the hospital to see what should be done.  Rachel was ever so generous and let me take the rest of my kids to her church's VBS tonight while I picked up Marko and we got Nate sorted out.

Just as we were pulling into the hospital parking lot we realized that I didn't have Nate's heath card with me.  I normally carry them in my wallet but I had taken them out for Grammie for when Marko and I were away.  I made a quick dash into the hospital to see if they'd still take him in.  And yes, if you live in PEI they will find your file and you are all set to go.

We got Nate registered and it was just ten minutes before the nurse called us in.  And as she was processing Nate's symptoms another nurse walked by to say that another room had opened up if she had anyone to send in and she gave the room to Nate. We were very thankful!  Then to make things even better it was our own family doctor that was on duty today!

Our doctor looked over Nate and decided that nothing was broken, that Nate was built of tough stuff but would probably be quite stiff and sore tomorrow.  Poor little guy.  He did very well at the hospital.

That had to be the quickest time through outpatients ever!

Since we knew the other kids were probably enjoying their time at VBS we didn't have the heart to tear them away so we headed over to Little Ceasar's for pizza.  We found a quiet park and had our supper.  As we ate I remembered that my folks were in town and gave them a call to see what they were up to.  They were enjoying supper as well but would be up for company afterwards at their hotel room.

Marko was really hoping to go to trivia night downtown with some friends so I dropped him off down there and then picked up the rest of the crew before heading over to mom and dad's place.  We had a lovely time at their room.  Levi spilled several cups of iced tea but thankfully no spill was too bad.  We were getting a little noisy and it was getting late so I herded the kids back into the van and called Marko to let him know we were on our way.

Marko had enjoyed his trivia time and we all marveled at the lightning as we made our way for home.  As we headed out of Stratford the rain really picked up and the lightning was intense!  It was a slow and careful ride the rest of the way home.

Now everyone is snug in bed and the wind and rain have passed. Time to find my way to bed too.

Just some shots from my garden. (Nate didn't want to have his picture taken)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Just a Chair

It looks like just an ordinary chair.
But it's not.
It's Levi's chair.
And it's not what you can see that makes the difference.
It's what is no longer there.
Levi is a big boy now.
No more booster seat.
And he will sit in his big boy chair.

My little boy is growing by leaps and bounds, no sooner is he in his toddler bed then he is also saying good-bye to his booster seat at the table. And I am left begging time to slow down just a bit.  Let me savour each of these fleeting moments as they pass.

These current quick change of events made me think of the Raffi song called "I Wonder If I'm Growing."  It has always sounded a bit like a sad song, which seemed odd to me as a child.  You would think it would be a happier kind of tune as the child discovers that he really is growing.  But as a parent I can feel that bittersweetness of the moment. It's precious to see your children grow but a bit heartbreaking when if feels like time is going so very quickly.

Raffi's I Wonder If I'm Growing Lyrics:

I wonder if I'm growing
I wonder if I'm growing
My mom says yes I'm growing
But it's hard for me to see

My mom says eat your sandwich
It will make you grow up tall
But when I eat my sandwich
I'm hardly bigger at all

And I wonder if I'm growing
I wonder if I'm growing
My mom says yes I'm growing
But it's hard for me to see

My mom says wash your hands now
Then you can go and play
Hey! I can reach the tap now
For the very first time today

And I think I must be growing
Oh I know I'm really growing
My mom says yes I'm growing
And now I know it's true

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

So This Happened Today...

It wasn't really in the plan for today but since I was out in the garage hauling out all my stuff for the 70 mile yard sale, the toddler bed came out too.  Levi was pretty chuffed to climb into his own bed by himself!

He had his afternoon nap in there without much trouble.  He's gotten up a couple of times this evening so there's going to be some learning curve for the little guy.

Happy to be reading in bed like his big brothers.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Back to the Routine

It is nice to be home but you do come to realize just why the break was so needed and enjoyed. I love my kids and today they were a little more crazy and full of life than usual!

Everyone needed to talk at once and at least once or twice people needed to be playing with the exact same toy at the exact same moment.  Good times! 

Also on my list of fun things today was going in to get Levi up from his nap and discovering that he had freed himself from his pants AND his diaper!  Thankfully, he and his bed sheets were dry.

We did enjoy some poetry and tea time this morning and the kids loved using their new New Brunswick mugs.

And this afternoon we read these two books.  They are the last in a series called Sarah, Plain and Tall.  We've enjoyed each book and these were no exception.  I read these aloud and had a hard time reading through tears through the sad parts.

 Afterwards we watched the video of Sarah, Plain and Tall starring Christopher Walken and Glenn Close.  I cried through the sad parts and I think the kids may have as well.  Can't wait to watch Skylark and Winter's End.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Home Again

It was WONDERFUL to get away with my just my handsome hubby it was also WONDERFUL to come home again!

This morning after breakfast we decided to pull out a board game to play before heading out the door.  We had brought quite a few with us and felt we should at least play one before heading home in the rain.  We played Pandemic and won just in time!

 So hard to get this man to smile for the camera!

Once we had everything packed and our game finished we headed out the door in search of souvenirs for the children and Grammie Peric. On our way we noticed the signs for the Carleton Martello Tower and decided to go there first.  It had been on my list of things to see but we had gotten busy with our other activities.  I am so glad we managed to head out there. The view was amazing even in the misty rain! And the interpretive centre was fantastic.  And you can't go wrong with an admission price of $3.90!  Sadly, we couldn't go in the tower as it's currently getting renovated.

A cut-away model of what it would look like inside.  

 Explanation of the tower:

Another cut away diagram of the inside of the tower.

Such a great view--my picture doesn't do it justice:

It was so wonderful to come back home.  I was giddy just thinking about coming home to my babies once again. And hoping that they were excited to have mommy and daddy home again.  I honked the horn as we pulled in and the kids came tumbling out of the house with arms stretched wide and voices excited talking about everything. I.Loved.It! 

Levi was so precious...just kept saying momma--momma and then I scooped him up and he plunked his little head on my shoulder and wrapped his little arms around me--I couldn't stop laughing--I was soooo happy!

Some treats we brought home for the kiddos:

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Day Three of Vacation

Today we went out to the Fundy Trail Parkway.  Wow- now that was some challenging hiking and biking!  We had a great time though and met a nice couple from Tennessee.  On our way back to Saint John we stopped in at St. Martins to check out their caves.

In Saint John we did a little shopping at the Bibles for Missions store and picked up a yummy double chocolatey chip frappucino from Starbucks.  Then we crashed back at our hotel room before heading out for supper.  We also explored some of uptown Saint John and wandered around Market Square and enjoyed listening to a live band perform.

Fundy shots:

 This was a crazy long and wiggly staircase!

 I'm not sure if you can see me up on the observation deck but I'm up there waving back at Marko.

 And my view of Marko from the observation deck

The caves at St. Martins:

And one must have at least one shot of a covered bridge in New Brunswick.

This was soooo yummy!

The live band: