Growing Out On A Limb


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Holidays 2017

Better late than never… !  We had lovely holidays this year – the perfect mix of friends and family, home and away, busy time and down time.  I was telling a friend in early December that as the day actually approaches, I find myself getting less and less in the Christmas spirit, but this year I was into it… maybe because I got my shopping done early?

We had no grandparents visiting this year so we decided to throw a party for our family friends – an open house, open invitation on the 23rd to all of our friends to just drop in whenever they could, for as long as they wanted.  I have no pictures but we had such a good turnout and such a good time, I think this will become a tradition.

We spent some time with our good friends on Christmas Eve, then went on with our traditions – two of them are new jammies for all and sprinkling reindeer food in the front yard for Santa’s reindeer.

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Christmas morning was fairly typical for us.  The kids never get up too early, we take turns opening our presents (this takes a little bit of cajoling), and then we have breakfast.

Emery asked Santa for a hatchimal, though I’m not sure he really knew how they worked – by the time we got up, the egg was broken through and the chick was hatched (he says it broke when he picked it up, but the obviously forced holes in the shell tell a different story).  Oh well, he loves it anyway.  20171225_064423

We had our tree downstairs this year at the kids’ request.  It was kind of a nice change!

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I love this pic of the kids – they are opening each other’s gifts here.  We always give them hints and ideas, but I think next year we will just give them a limit and let them choose freely.  20171225_070646I love Emery’s face in this one.  20171225_071348

Kitty cat head band… she could not be any more girly if she tried.

20171225_073413Case in point:  taking care of her new doll.

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New game… Jenga!  It’s a winner for sure!  20171225_091728Emery got a dinosaur bone excavation kit… he absolutely loved tapping away at this thing.  It kept him occupied for at least an hour.  20171225_094713

Even Oliver got in on the action!  20171225_100332On boxing day, we packed a few of our favorite new toys and hit the road to NB!  20171226_100622

One of the reasons we went home this year was to see my dear friend Ang who was visiting with her four boys and husband from St. Croix.  One of the first things we did was go to their place to slide together and I am telling you, it was COLD.  It didn’t seem to bother the kids though!
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Here are all the kiddos from oldest to youngest, in all of their post-sliding glory.  We loved getting to know each other’s kids and they played so well together.  DSCF4202

And then my phone camera broke so I only have a few shared pictures.  We spent the next days at nana and papa’s with ali and the girls.  We visited, we slid, we played games, we ate lots of yummy food.

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Any time these kids get a chance to play together and get to know each other is a great time as far as I’m concerned.

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The kids hated to leave so I would consider that a success!  We spent another fun night at Wendy and Rob’s playing cards, then headed home.

New Year’s Eve was a rather impromptu day with friends.  The cold weather made for frozen lakes all around so we headed down the road for what might be the most Canadian winter activity ever.

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Then we hung with friends for lunch and in their hot tub, then to our place for a few more drinks, football, and a sleepover with their girls.

What a great couple of weeks – we couldn’t have asked for anything better.  When it was all said and done I was ready for the return to routine (little did I know the first week of school would have two snow days).

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Thanksgiving 2017

We spent thanksgiving weekend camping at South Mountain campground in the valley… last camp of the season and we could not have planned a better way to finish it.  It was the perfect mix of friends (new and old), food, activities, and beautiful weather.

On Saturday morning we went to noggins to check out the corn maze.

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The boys enjoyed running the maze (and consequently being yelled at to not go too far ahead about every two minutes).  Thank goodness they weren’t the navigators!  20171007_105018

I can’t remember why she had a sour puss on her face in the corn maze.  Puss or not, she still looks crazy cute in her troll glasses.  IMG_7313

It was a fantastic day to be outside and visit the farm – the maze, a haunted house, slides, a tire mountain, and so much more!  20171007_111217

20171007_111326Everyone was happy to spend some time there, but we had to get back “home” to get ready for turkey dinner!  20171007_112732_001Everyone pitched in something and we had a delicious meal outdoors, serving twenty seven people spread across five campers (plus a couple extra).  It was an amazing meal and so nice we could eat outside without sweaters!20171007_165611

The campground still had some activities going – the jumping pillow and chocolate bar bingo were the most notable (no, we didn’t win).
20171007_180531This little missy spent a lot of time on her bike this weekend!  I think it’s safe to say she has mastered the balance bike and is on to a bigger bike next summer!  20171008_092856

On Sunday we went to the pit races in New Minas.  The picture I had of this in my head did not end up being accurate.  This was a lot of fun – sitting on the edge of a gravel pit in our lawn chairs, eating pizza, and watching trucks tear up a fun course up and down and around the pit.  The kids especially loved the couple of wrecks we saw (this one was a slow topple over).  20171008_111022

20171008_113206(0)Oliver wanted one with the truck parked right behind us.  20171008_115241

Eleanor loved the playgrounds.  This campground has lots to keep the kids busy, even in October.  20171008_161921

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Overall, this is one of the best camping weekends we had all summer!  I think the campground you are at matters much less than the people you are camping with (although this campground was definitely sweet and we will definitely be returning!).  This was the type of weekend that, even if it wasn’t Thanksgiving and we didn’t have thanks on our mind, you couldn’t help but be thankful for the friends around us, for making new friends, for having the means to spend a weekend like that, and especially for having three beautiful children that can run and play and hug and laugh and yes, even fight.  I’m thankful for it all.


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Camping at Plantation

A couple of weeks ago we took the camper out for what we thought was going to be our last trip of the season.  Plantation campground is in the valley and, even though they didn’t have their normal activities running and the pool was closed, it was really lovely.  I believe that camping with the right people can make even the crappiest campground a good time and that definitely was the case this weekend!

We were parked right beside the playground and the kids made a LOT of use of it.  Our camper is right in the middle of this photo.20170916_095248

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Swings, slides, a basketball court, a sand pit… I’m not sure the kids could have wanted for more!  20170916_103402

It was a hot Saturday afternoon so we left the campground in search of a place to swim.  We ended up in Harbourville, where the swimming was not good but the beach was kind of amazing.  The beach is full of rocks that are spotted with gems – mineral crystals leftover from a lava flow millions of years ago.  We all enjoyed beach combing here and seeing the way the rocks sparkled in the sun.  20170916_130210

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Still on the hunt for a swim, we went to Aylesford Lake Beach.  20170916_140522It was a bit of a drive, but we ended up at this beautiful spot.  It was closed for the season so none of the facilities were open (bummer) but it was also really REALLY quiet (awesome).  The water was pretty cold but it felt really good on a 30 degree day.  20170916_14054020170916_140905I can’t remember what was going on right before I snapped this pic but I love the pose!  20170916_155736

What else do you do at a campground on a hot day – watergun fight for the kids (and washer toss tournament for the grownups!)20170916_160357

And of course there were campfires.  Campfires and s’mores!  20170916_203910

It was a really great weekend with friends we’ve known and friends we are getting to know.  Good times all around.  And now we are excited for Thanksgiving weekend, our new last camping weekend of the summer.


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Shubie

On a lovely Saturday afternoon earlier in September, we decided to head to Dartmouth and check out a park we have heard lots about but have never visited – Shubie park.  It seems to be right in the middle of everything – highways and big box stores (like the new Ikea!) – but it’s really quiet and easy to forget where you are once you are on the trails.

The canal runs right through the middle of the park, which makes for some pretty scenery and lots and lots of ducks.
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A kind stranger lent us some of her stale bread and suddenly there were dozens and dozens and even more dozens of ducks flocking around.  They were eating right out of the kids’ hands.
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There were lots of people enjoying the sunshine and getting some exercise.  We barely scratched the surface of the park, but it is a well-used trail that we will definitely visit again.