Growing Out On A Limb


Spring campfire

Last weekend was the best shot of spring we have had yet.  It was warm and melt-y and sunshine-y and one of those days that pull you between ski pants to stay dry and t-shirts because you’re too warm … a perfect spring day.

We jumped at the chance to make another campfire in the backyard, complete with hot dogs and cheesies.  Campfires are fun, even if you have to dig out the firepit!  IMG_20150412_160303IMG_20150412_155655 The mighty shoveler, taking a break.  IMG_20150412_160234Campfires are always better with friends.  We had some good ones over for this one.  The kids enjoyed sliding on the hill behind the firepit, though it’s too soft now for us parents to get around easily!  IMG_20150412_164057

Five days has made a huge dent in that snow.  Now we’re looking forward to spring!


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Easter Monday 2015

On easter monday, we met friends for bowling… eight kids, four adults, and three lanes.  It was a rowdy time but the perfect thing to do that was a little special on a holiday weekend!

Emery is still figuring out his style… IMG_20150406_102915… but Oliver already has quite a fancy one.

 We played legos that day too (because what day would be complete without legos?!)


Later that afternoon we made a fire in our shoveled-out fire pit.  Yes, it is the first week of April and we still have that much snow!

IMG_20150406_144946 Our backyard has an awesome slope to it and, because the snow was getting soft and wet, it has made for awesome bum-sliding the last couple of weeks.  IMG_20150406_143045

Eleanor giggles and giggles when she slides on my lap.IMG_20150406_143120 The boys like it freestyle.  IMG_20150406_142650 IMG_20150406_142646 And then there’s super freestyle!

And then, because we didn’t have enough, it snowed a few more inches that night.


 I guess that’s “spring” in the maritimes.   Call me crazy but it was really pretty to wake up to.

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Easter 2015

Before Easter, Emery said the bunny might have to borrow santa’s sleigh to get to us.  I think he was right, based on the snow we still have, but whatever the method, he made it.  We all had the four days off so had lots of time to hang out with family and friends.

Nanny and grampy came for a couple of days, which was a last-minute treat.  It’s always nice to have family around on the holiday weekends and it gave us a great excuse to have our easter dinner early, on friday.

On Saturday we went to the library for an easter egg hunt (and new books).  And we prepared for the easter bunny by dying eggs.

IMG_5348 IMG_5349 IMG_5351 IMG_5354 Eleanor didn’t help, of course, but she cheered us on (in between crackers).  IMG_5356The kids liked decorating their own easter cupcakes.
IMG_5359 Emery is always keen to help me bake.  He likes the decorating but he is always eager to help me right from the beginning.   I tell him it makes the cupcakes taste better when you make them yourself.  IMG_5364 IMG_5367 And of course there was the easter egg hunt.  Oliver woke up earlier than anyone and saw the eggs laying around but was very patient, as I asked him to be, and waited for Emery to wake up.  I think we need to hide more next year… it was over too soon!  IMG_5374 They both got a big kinder egg, a mixels lego set, and stickers and that was plenty enough to make them happy.  IMG_5377 IMG_5379On Monday we went bowling and spent time outside sliding and around the campfire but those pics will be in the next post.

I really look forward to holiday weekends, when we can all spend a little extra time together, spend a little more time in our jammies, not make any plans and just hang out.  But I admit, after a few days I also look forward to getting back to routine!

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THE snowstorm of 2015

When we moved to nova scotia, I hoped that we would see some snow.  I lived here for a few years and remembered snow always followed by rain and slushy sidewalks and puddles so I knew our winters would be different.  Please… enough to get out and play in and enjoy winter.

When this storm hit we already had more snow than this area usually sees.  My neighbor told me that even last year’s accumulation (after a winter of weekly storms) didn’t compare to what we had.  That was February.

Then, when we were in NB on march break, this storm hit.  Brian was home alone, sick with the flu, and ended up being snowed in for almost two full days.  I was seeing posts on facebook of incredible snow accumulation, neighbors helping neighbors, streets in our subdivision not being plowed for days, transit shut down.  There was so much snow that the normal plows that people hire to clear out their driveways just couldn’t do it.  In at least one case, someone ran their snow blower down the street the day after the storm, just so neighbors could get to each other.

So I was anxious to get home and see it for myself.  Honestly, part of me wanted to be there while it was happening – I love snow storms anytime but there is something really neat about THAT much snow, about being shut in and watching the updates and, especially, seeing neighbors banding together.  They helped each other shovel, they gave people in critical jobs rides to work, they offered to bring their neighbors supplies when they were plowed and others still weren’t.  That’s neat and makes my opinion about the neighborhood we have chosen to live in that much better.

This is the only pic I have from directly after the storm.  This is from our kitchen.  Brian had shoveled this deck the day before and the storm built a drift about four feet high.  Thank goodness our neighbor offered his snow blower so Brian could clear our driveway.  IMG_20150318_092326This is a video of our walkway right after Brian shoveled it.

This is a a few days after the storm, as we were coming home.  I feel like this picture really doesn’t do it justice.  The storm howled on Wednesday and the first sign of a plow was on Thursday afternoon – it pulled into dover court and promptly got stuck.



IMG_20150321_154727This is the walkway into our house (just look at the comparison to the video above – a few days made a big difference).  Again, I don’t feel like this does it justice.  Brian said the amount of shoveling just to clear this path was incredible.  IMG_20150321_154952

The kids and I came home to the pics above on Saturday.  I knew our friends were in Florida and was not sure when they were coming back.  I knew really cold weather was coming on Monday and that it would freeze the snow banks solid so, when we drove by their house and saw their driveway had not been touched, we (or I) decided we were going to spend some time helping them out on Sunday.  I knew how disheartening it would be to come home from vacation and have to drag your kids and belongings up over that snow bank… we had to help.

Here is the before pic.  IMG_20150322_092746And the after!  It was a lot of shoveling but I just worked away as the boys played ‘star wars’ on the snow bank beside me.  Just as we were finishing, the neighbor showed up with his snow blower and finished the driveway.  IMG_20150322_111205When we were done, I told the kids that our hearts should feel warm because we helped out our friends.  It’s hard to know what sticks with them but I hope they remember that for a long time.

The snow has been melting a lot the last couple of weeks but people are still talking about that storm.  And people are worried about the melting, of course.  We are trying to take in every last bit of snow play we can… at this rate we might go from ski pants to swim trunks quicker than we could have imagined!

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March Break 2015

This is Oliver’s first year in school so was the first year where march break really mattered.  The kids and I jumped in the car and spent the week with our family in New Brunswick.  Unfortunately Nova Scotia’s march break doesn’t line up with NB so we only did a bit of visiting with friends.  Even more unfortunately, three out of four of us were sick at some point in the week.  But we still did lots of visiting with family, lots of playing outside, and made the most out of our week.

I was a bit nervous about the solo road trip with all three kids but I prepared a bunch of activities to keep them busy and they were great both ways.  We even downloaded/rented some kids’ audio books, which the kids seemed to really like (note to self for future road trips!).

On our first day home we were treated to a snow storm, which always makes me happy!


Nana and papa have some massive drifts in their yard this year, which makes for good outdoor fun.  IMG_20150315_160008

Papa is nothing but a big kid and I am reminded of that every time I see him playing with the kids.  He was helping Emery climb the tree here.  IMG_20150315_160553

Then he was helping Emery bring out his inner monkey.  IMG_20150315_160833

I could tell he was itching to climb up that tree himself so I goaded him on a bit and … yup.  Big kid.  I hope he never changes.  IMG_20150315_160913

I worked on Monday, was sick Tuesday, and worked again Wednesday.  Then I took a couple of days off to just hang out.  Some of these pics are compliments of nana’s camera, just the odd pic while we were playing around the house.  DSCF0040 DSCF0047 DSCF0048 This was a beautiful sunrise out nana and papa’s front window.  We knew there was a storm coming that day so this was the “red sky at morning, sailors take warning”.  We did get quite a storm while in NB, but little did we know what was headed for Nova Scotia that day!  DSCF0057 DSCF0062 DSCF0081 On Friday, we just played around home.  I love playing outside with the kids (maybe I’m just a big kid too).


Check out this massive snow drift behind the house.  In all their years there, a drift like this has never built up.  Emery saw that tiny patch of bare ground and said, “Mommy!  Spring!” while standing beside a 10-foot snowbank.  I had to smile.  IMG_20150320_140255

We dug tunnels… DSCF0086 … and jumped …DSCF0090

… and slid… IMG_20150320_142517

… and slid some more.  IMG_20150320_142630

IMG_20150320_142748 What a silly bunch!   DSCF0092 We had a really fun week overall and I was really thankful that my co-pilots were good travelers.  I love the idea of doing something special for march break and, even though pictures of beaches and palm trees were inundating my news feed, there’s no place I would have rather been.  DSCF0096 (Okay, part of me wanted to be home once that big storm hit, to be part of it.  But we did our share of shoveling in the end and you can’t replace quality time with family!)