Growing Out On A Limb

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Video Games Live

A couple of weeks ago Oliver and I went to see Video Games Live… a mash up of the NS symphony and music from classic and current video games. It is a city by city tour created by a famous video games composer and I thought it was the coolest possible way to introduce Oliver to the symphony.

He didn’t recognize some of the older games (not did I) but he still enjoyed the videos and when I pointed out the different instruments.

It was high energy and a lot of fun, complete with giant bouncing pokeballs at the end. The symphony was amazing as always – it’s the coolest job ever, right? – and was super fun for both of us.


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A Very Canadian Weekend

Last weekend, after all that snow, we set out to enjoy it.  We had waited so long for it after all!  Plenty of snow, mild temperatures… it was an idyllic Canadian winter weekend.

On Saturday, as usual, Emery curled in the morning.  We then met Oliver for his hockey game, where he won the “herd hat” (player of the game).  It was his birthday so we spent the rest of the day celebrating it as a family.

On Sunday, the mild weather meant the snow was perfect for a snowman and Emery built two forts facing each other so he could have snowball fights.  We dug out our fire while the kids played.


He had a change of hats but it didn’t matter much because he fell over before we went inside.  20170219_113320

That afternoon we invited friends over for a campfire.  We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows and had a few drinks while the kids slid down the hill (over and over and over again).  It was such a beautiful day to just be sitting outside and of course to do it with some of our favorite families made it that much more enjoyable!  20170219_160127Mmm… s’mores!20170219_160929

On Monday (Family Day), the boys and I took off for a snowshoe.  I have been itching to get out since all that snow fell and here was our chance!  We pinpointed a waterfall on the map (another “waterfall hunt”), took our geocache treasures, and strapped on the shoes!

The trail was off of Pockwock road so not far from home.  It was not well used, though you could tell a few people had walked it before us.  20170220_103640Not far off of this main trail we found Pockwock River Falls.  I’m not sure the pictures do it justice because it was a surprisingly substantial waterfall.  20170220_110743_001We parked ourselves overlooking the falls and had our hot chocolate and snacks (and selfie, of course).  20170220_110816This massive rock was just up the hill.  It will be neat to explore in the summer.  20170220_111050We had looked for several geocaches on the main trail but found none – likely they were buried in snow.  We knew there was one by this large rock but didn’t hold out much hope until Emery spied a black box wedged in a crevice in the rock.  We had to dig for this one but we found it!  20170220_112530

20170220_113400The Pockwock River empties into Wright’s Lake.  I can see us exploring this area much more in the summer.  20170220_113816There was a bit of complaining on the hike in and hike out, but this view still fills me with happiness.  I am so glad we took the opportunity because the temperatures have been spring-like this past week and much of that lovely snow has melted.  20170220_115921

On Monday afternoon we visited friends that have a rink in their yard.  This was a treat for the boys, especially skating with their seasoned hockey player of a son.  Even Eleanor put her skates on for a while.  20170220_150832


The kids didn’t have any trouble falling asleep those days!  What a great wintery weekend!

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Sidney & Stanley

Last weekend we headed to dartmouth for the stanley cup parade.  It was really neat to see Sidney Crosby in the news all week, popping up all over the city with the cup – Tim Horton’s, the waterfront, a senior’s home.  It really is difficult to imagine how it feels to come home and have thousands of people line up to see you and celebrate with you.  Or to imagine how proud you must feel as a parent to know that your kid is a hero to so many other kids out there.

Oliver really wanted to go.  He and his friends talk a lot about hockey and, though he doesn’t play, it seems to be heading that way.  And who knows when we might get the chance to see a stanley cup parade again?  So we packed up and headed over early for the 10:30 am parade.

Heading over early meant there was plenty of time to kill.  I can’t believe we fit all five of us in a selfie!  And only two of the kids look like they’re picking their noses – bonus.  20160716_094716


Extreme closeup #120160716_094859Extreme closeup #220160716_094922

Extreme closeup #3 – Eleanor needed to get in on the action too.  20160716_095010

The pics are the best I could manage.  Look at the row of guy standing in front of me, all with their phones up!  It makes me chuckle a little bit.  20160716_105052We were very near the beginning of the parade route so we could stand right up next to where the truck rolled by.  Most people walked behind the truck for the whole parade, which ended a few blocks away and they did speeches and more celebration.  That was a little too much for us this time and it was really hot so we opted out.  20160716_105059



Honestly, I’ve been feeling really “meh” about encouraging Oliver to get into hockey.  He has friends that do and he talks about it all the time so I know he wants to, but I (maybe selfishly) dislike the idea of hanging out at an arena and early morning practices on the weekends.  It just seems to take over your life (not to mention your wallet).  But Oliver is an active and athletic kid.  And a competitive kid.  And he could stand to learn how to be competitive while being fun and fair and a good sport all at the same time.  So we have signed him up for a week of hockey summer camp so he can try it out and we’ll go from there.

And after watching Crosby in the news all week – making people happy by visiting the IWK, senior’s homes, and all the rest – I figure that there are far worse people that my kids could hold up as their heroes.

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Canada Day Weekend

We were so lucky to have a bunch of family in town last weekend – nan, dawn, scott, gabby, chris, cindy, madison, and abby!  It was great to have all of them to do Canada day stuff with, as well as the typical Halifax touristy things.  We definitely hit the highlights, which is fun for me to do now and then as well.  It kind of reminds me of what makes this city really great.

The Canada Day parade.  Honestly, it was kind of the pits this year – it seemed short and kind of boring, but I guess it’s still fun to gather with so many people for the same purpose.  Especially when the purpose is to celebrate how great Canada is.  IMG_20160701_102642


Check out the teeth (or lack thereof!)… IMG_20160701_103256




After the parade we wandered the waterfront and had lunch at RibFest.  An odd place for a vegetarian, yes, but man… those fries were good!  IMG_20160701_123552

Nan and the littles.  IMG_20160701_165452

Saturday was rainy so we headed to the market (yay!) and hit the mall.  IMG_20160702_105904

After supper the kids played beanboozled.  This was our first time and it was hilarious to watch the kids.  Emery was very somber and quiet through the whole thing – honestly, I think he heard the word “game” and then wondered why we were making him taste vomit-flavored jelly beans before the game started.


We also spent some time at Peggy’s Cove and Queensland beach.  It was a beautiful day to be hanging with the family at the beach!  IMG_20160703_125031

It was a busy and tiring week but I’ll take visitors any day of the week, especially when it’s family!

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Duncan’s Cove

Last weekend we had the most special of visitors here and decided to go check out a new hiking spot – Duncan’s cove.

It’s off herring cove road, so a bit of a jaunt to get there.  And the start of the trail is a bit off from the parking spot, but we managed to find our way and wow, was it worth it.  IMG_6873

It reminds me a lot of the high head trail in prospect bay – a rocky trail along the sea.  It’s a long trail but we didn’t go too far – the boys tend to zig zag all over the rocks rather than follow a straight line.  That’s fine by me – it just means there’s lots of trail left for another day.  I’ve read you can see whales from here too, at the right time of year. IMG_6878



It sure is fun to do these things with these two!


The boys love jumping along the rocks but it was pretty hard-going for eleanor.  She doesn’t yet have the footing that the boys do.  IMG_6895




IMG_6915There’s much, much more to explore here!


A Day Downtown

Saturday was a downtown day.  We normally don’t wish away winter but, with very little snow, it hasn’t felt like much of one and I think we are all looking forward to the sunshine being warm again.

We started off at the Discovery Centre.  It was my first time and they have so many fun things for the kids.

Legos (are everywhere!)…


… headless Olivers (which, he says, was the day’s highlight) …

… two-headed Emerys … IMG_20160409_113524

… mechanical T-rexes that the boys could drive… IMG_20160409_113955

… and a T-Rex named Sue!IMG_20160409_121346

They even had a bubble room (where, miraculously, the boys did not get wet)… IMG_20160409_114813

… and – not pictured – a hurricane simulator that made us laugh and laugh.  What a fun place!  The grown ups most definitely tired out before the kids did, because they could have run around there all day.

One of the coolest things – in all of our opinions – was the fundraiser they have on now for their future building.  For $5 each, you get a 6×6 lego plate.  We each chose a pattern, filled it out, and then got to stick it onto the gigantic lego wall mural that they are building.  Coolest fundraiser ever.


This is what they have so far, so they’re just getting started, but it is going to be HUGE and look super amazing.  IMG_20160409_120748

Then we walked up the block and had lunch at Durty Nelly’s.  Really, everyone was just super-excited to be drinking chocolate milk for lunch.  IMG_20160409_124053


After lunch, we waddled to the public library.
They also have a lego table, lots of fun toys, and of course we left with a big stack of books.  Eleanor had a great time playing with the pretend kitchen and made a couple of girl friends.  I love watching her share and interact with kids other than her brothers.  IMG_20160409_134139


On the way from the library, the boys wanted to pose with ol’ churchill.  They also had fun chasing the pigeons around and making them fly.  IMG_20160409_142355

Emery picked some purple crocuses that were popping up on a lawn.  I told him it would be really sweet to give them to the lady at the ice cream store since they would be wilted by the time we got home anyway.  I was pretty surprised that he said yes!  And she adored them.  IMG_20160409_142532

Now this is a sweet spot to have some ice cream!  And finally… a sunny afternoon to enjoy it!  IMG_20160409_143409

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High Head Trail

Back in October, we had a really fun visit with nana and papa.  On Saturday afternoon, we went to one of our favorite hiking trails – High head trail in Prospect Bay.  (I thought I had posted these… sorry, nana and papa!)IMG_20151024_141131

The boys love this trail because they can scramble over the rocks (I do too, to be honest).  IMG_20151024_152754High head is a coastal hike so the air smells salty, there’s always a nice breeze, and the view is always spectacular.  On this day, the sky was blue and the air was warm and it was the perfect fall afternoon.  IMG_20151024_151804IMG_20151024_144745

Stopping for a snack might be everyone’s favorite part of the hike!  IMG_20151024_144624

IMG_20151024_144320Nana and papa enjoyed the salt air.  IMG_20151024_142245IMG_20151024_141935Super strong man…IMG_20151024_135748Super thinking man… IMG_20151024_142908IMG_20151024_140659