Growing Out On A Limb

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July randoms

We have had so much going on in July and August looks like it will be even busier.

We picked Ali and Aaliyah up at the airport in mid July and were super happy to see them!  Nana and Papa came for the weekend too.  It was so nice to see all the kids sitting around the same table, enjoying breakfast, and they played together really well too.IMG_6298 Cutie Aaliyah (and the rest of us) enjoyed the pool that weekend.  It was hot!  IMG_6299 One morning the kids and I hung out at DeWolfe park in Bedford.  It has a nice boardwalk along the basin and a really fun playground too.  It was a beautiful sunny day and snacks in the grass are always fun.  IMG_6322

IMG_6325 Super smile from super Emery!IMG_6328On an overcast afternoon in the middle of a particularly rainy week, the kids and I went for a walk on the St. Margarets Bay trail again.  It was just what we needed after a few days spent mostly inside.
IMG_20140715_150853IMG_20140715_152207While daddy and Oliver were in Fredericton for the week, Emery, Eleanor, and I got up to all sorts of fun.  He took to the Circle Pie game on my blackberry and picked it up so quickly and was so good with it that I called him “rainman”.  IMG_6380

Eleanor was being her super cute self and falling onto the pillows.  Emery and I were laying on the couch at the time so I think she was trying to mimic us.  IMG_6429


We spent a little time at the playground together.  Eleanor loves the swings, especially when her brothers push her.  IMG_20140720_132946 It was super super hot that afternoon so Emery found us a small patch of shade to lay down in.  Eleanor just wanted to go go go, of course.  
IMG_20140720_134908-001During a little quiet time, I turned this color game on the tablet to see what Eleanor’s reaction would be.  She started putting her open hand on the tablet, kind of slapping it.  I pointed my finger only twice before she started copying me!  I think this is even earlier than her brothers!


Baby selfie.  She brings the cute factor of the picture waaaaaay up!  IMG_20140725_130138



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Hurricane Arthur followed us home

Last weekend, Emery, Eleanor, and I took a trip home.  It ended up being a trip we won’t forget anytime soon!

The forecast was ‘hurricane Arthur’ and, because hurricanes usually track along the coast, I was worried about the house and leaving Brian and Oliver behind, but also happy to be driving away from it.  Or so I thought.

We arrived Friday afternoon after a beautiful, sunny drive that was complication free in terms of the kids.

Saturday morning, one of the first things we did was cut Emery’s hair.  Papa was pretty proud of his first haircut and Emery was definitely looking handsome!

Notice the light?  About 9 am on Saturday was the last we saw of power the entire trip.


It was a blustery and very rainy Saturday but we visited around anyway.  We visited the Crains and their power went out.  We visited nan and the power went out.  One community after another went black.

That evening (and the next) looked like this.  I love getting the ‘Q’, in case you’re wondering.

IMG_20140705_201354We went to the camp on Sunday afternoon.  No power at the house, no power at the camp… the only difference was I had to drive to the Crain house to figure out their plans as there was no cell service.  When is the last time I had to do that?!

Dad packed his chainsaw for the ride out to the camp and it’s a good thing he did.  There was quite a bit of damage done.  Some on the main road was already taken care of but we had to clear trees in a few places.  This was the biggest one.

When we got to the camp, there were two really big trees down and the little brook was raging.  I was really looking forward to some brook trout fishing with dad on this trip but there’s no way the fish would even notice the worm in that fast water!  IMG_20140706_095102Other than not being able to be near the water, the kids (and adults) still enjoyed their time at the camp.  Emery loved playing with his six cousins.  It is so good for him to play with new kids.  It is also good for me to see how he fits in and interacts with other kids too.

I think Seth had a sweet spot for Eleanor.
IMG_6201 Coley was cute as a button.  The flies loved him, poor little thing.  IMG_6205

Coley and Jonas.  IMG_6207 The babies love grammie!  IMG_6211 Hey little Levi!IMG_6212 Papa was tending the fire/smudge, as usual!  I love the look between them here.  It makes me wonder what they just said to each other.  IMG_6214 Eleanor was there too, holding her own among the seven boys!  IMG_6217 Three generations and three of the prettiest ladies in my life!  IMG_6221 The next day, we went strawberry picking and made my freezer jam.  How’s that for not letting a power outage slow us down?!  
IMG_6267 While we were finishing up the berries, we told Emery that we would go outside in a few minutes and pick up sticks around the yard.  Ten minutes later, I went outside and found Emery with this huge pile of sticks already collected!  He’s such a keener and a good helper.  IMG_6268 Blurry, but I like this pic of nana and Eleanor anyway.  IMG_6271 Emery did a pretty awesome job on this pic of me and my mom.  She means so much to me and just kept trucking, power or no power.  I’m not sure what would slow her down.  IMG_6282 “Can’t see me!”IMG_6290 And one more silly pic, just hanging out on the front porch.  IMG_6296We left on Tuesday, three days after the power went out.  It was different and sometimes cumbersome but in other ways it was nice – it made us slow down and do quieter things together, think on our toes, and sometimes be creative.  We went to bed early, read more, and yes, I washed my hair in rain water.  But to be honest, it had been way too long since our last game of scrabble anyway and my hair really did feel really soft after the rain water.  So thanks for that, Arthur.

Today is Thursday and my parents got their power restored just this morning, over five days later.  Arthur won’t soon be forgotten since mom and dad (among many many others) both have to drive out back of Bath/Bristol to get to work, thanks to a road washout at the bottom of Kinney hill.

Mom and dad say they have never seen a storm or power outage like this in their time together, especially this time of year.  I am betting that people will pay a lot more attention to the next hurricane that comes up the east coast!



For weeks we have been eyeing the wild strawberry plants around the playgrounds in our subdivision.  Yesterday I noticed that one in particular was not only ready but huge.

Since we don’t have a u-pick nearby (boo), I decided today that we needed to go on a strawberry picking adventure and have strawberry shortcake for supper.

Oliver looks busy here but he quickly gave up due to the bugs and the heat and spent his time in the shade of the play structure.  IMG_20140702_132735 Emery, always the trooper, stuck with me the whole time and enthusiastically exclaimed, “I found a big juicy one!” about every other strawberry he picked.  He so thinks with his gut!  IMG_20140702_132739 Our bounty.  Yum.  IMG_20140702_164814 Strawberry shortcake – biscuits, berries, and whipped cream.  Soooo good and we all agreed it was worth enduring the bugs and the heat for an hour.  IMG_20140702_182815 Eleanor agreed.  She has four teeth coming in at the moment and I’m pretty sure at least one of them is a sweet tooth!  IMG_20140702_182830Strawberry picking reminded me of being a young girl, going out behind the house with a little bowl, and spending what seemed like forever to get enough strawberries for a small bowl of berries and milk.  It hardly seemed worth it when I was little but today, as I prepared fresh and delicious food for my family from strawberries that we took the time to pick ourselves from the wild, I got it.  It’s the type of innocent pleasure that this generation seems to be missing out on more and more, and exactly the type that I want my kids to experience again and again.


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Canada Day 2014

Our first Canada day away from our little home town!  We spent the day like we normally would… parade, family, and good food.

We started at the International Tattoo Parade.  In a word, it was … impressive.  Marching band after marching band, dancers, and all types of uniforms.  The boys loved it (in spite of the lack of tractors and four wheelers which, for the record, I missed).


IMG_6184 This was the highlight for me.  The swiss marching band (all percussion) were marching in perfect unison and suddenly broke out into free dance.  IMG_6193 And then they were back in formation as quickly as they left it.  IMG_6194 Pipes and tartan.  How Nova Scotia.  IMG_6195 We packed a picnic and decided to have it at Sir Sandford Fleming park (otherwise known as the Dingle park).  It was a sweet spot to sit for a while.


IMG_6197And we climbed the Dingle tower after lunch.  It’s a neat spot with a beautiful view of the northwest arm.  IMG_20140701_124257

I will definitely come back to this spot with the boys.  There are trails and a small beach beside a playground, all of which the kids would love.
We all came back home after lunch to spend the hot afternoon in the pool and have supper.  One of the festive highlights of the day was definitely these Canada day cupcakes made by willa!

IMG_20140701_172754Gotta love a holiday, especially when it’s Canada day!