Growing Out On A Limb

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Gingerbread houses

A tradition around here… the help gets cuter every year!


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Christmas Concerts

Its christmas concert season! Now that the boys are in two schools we had two to go to (and potentially three next year!) But I’m not complaining… it’s better than not having any like last year.

Emery’s group did two songs. The second one was a french version of the twelve days of Christmas where they held up objects when it was their turn. Early on Emery dropped his paper. He reached for it as it fluttered to the floor and I tensed up as I watched him looking at it – what would he do? Would he get upset? Would he jump off the risers to get it? As I waited I could almost see the gears turning in his head.

But it finally came to their turn (he was 12) and he just very quickly and nonchalantly raised his hand up right alongside the boy beside him, as if nothing was going on and that paper was still there. I told him later I was proud for how he handled that and he said that was his plan all along “because that’s what I did when we were practicing without the papers, mommy”. No big deal, mommy!

Oliver’s group also did a mix of French and English songs. He surprised me by wanting to dress up in his shirt and tie (albeit a crooked one). It’s usually a struggle to get him out of gym pants!

I love the concerts – there is nothing quite like singing children at Christmas time (or any time!).

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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.


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



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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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.



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.


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.

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Parlee visit

On Labor day we all traveled to Parlee beach to spend a long weekend at aunt Betty’s cottage – Nana and Papa, Ali and the girls, and us!  It was a cold, rainy, and grey weekend so there wasn’t a lot of swimming time at the beach but we still enjoyed walks on the beach and managed to fill the time and have lots of fun!

We took a walk the first afternoon to the pier – it was really windy and the skies were angry but we didn’t get rained on!  20170901_151504


Cutest lobsters I have ever seen!  20170901_152556

A little walk on the beach, complete with sweaters.  The sand always feels good on the bare feet though!  20170901_184501


The kids couldn’t resist running into the parking lot which always seems to be filled with seagulls!  20170901_190851This handsome boy… 20170902_135938

The big inflatable made a comeback on this weekend!  20170902_153813

The sun came out for half a minute.  We were only there to have a walk but the boys couldn’t resist getting wet!  20170902_161212

The clouds were dispersing (for a while anyway)… 20170902_161353

The kids really loved combing the beach for treasures.  There were seashells, crabs (well, mostly their shells), and a TON of little hermit crabs in the shallow water.  20170902_162954We did manage to make a couple of campfires, though we dressed warmly for them!  20170902_195212What trip to Shediac would be complete without a visit to the big lobster?  It’s a great playground for the kids!  20170903_110510


Not sure what he is looking for … hmm.  20170903_110624


Papa and a few of the grand kids taking a break…20170903_113950

There’s the big ball again.  The kids got tired of rolling in it and decided it would better serve as a landing pad for launching themselves off the deck.  Good times (and no injuries!).20170903_125453


Ali has clearly been practicing her pitching but I think dad’s batting needs a little work (maybe a new bat would help)!  20170903_130511

We did get one afternoon at the beach.  A few of us got in the water (though briefly) but it was a really good time playing frisbee, wandering the beach, and wading in the sand bar pools.  The only pic I got of the whole afternoon was these two lovely ladies basking in the sun.  20170903_145202

We celebrated Aaliyah’s birthday while we were there, which included opening gifts around the campfire.  And glowsticks.  Lots of glowsticks.  20170903_203634

The weather might not have been what we hoped it would be, but it was still nice to spend time with family and relax – good grub, time at the beach, lots of UNO games.  It’s hard to complain about that!