Growing Out On A Limb


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Pool!

We closed up the pool this past week but I realized I had not posted these pics from earlier in September.

We so enjoy our pool!  The boys both swim like fish above and below water and do jump after jump after jump.  Eleanor started out the summer by being nervous to get in at all but quickly learned to trust her life jacket and spent most of the summer climbing in and out of the pool and swimming by herself with the jacket on.

The boys love doing trick jumps so on this day I took out the camera to capture the crazy.

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I think this was a flip … ?!?!20160910_151312

Oh my word, I crack up every time I look at this.  20160910_151440

It’s kind of sad to say goodbye when we close up the pool, but there isn’t a thing wrong with fall either!


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Yogi camping

On Labor Day weekend we hauled the camper home and spent a long weekend at Yogi bear.

What a campground for kids!  We got there on Thursday and the place was nearly deserted but on Friday it filled up to near capacity and was bustling.  Waterslides, mini golf, a new water park, a pool, and activities all day long… if you want to keep the kids busy, it is not hard to at this campground.

Oliver especially loved the mini golf.  Eleanor gave it a good try and …

20160902_130202… well, she looked super cute trying.  20160902_130213We had a couple of reunion events to attend, one of which took us back to a very familiar splash pad.  20160903_132928We also attended sweet Gabby’s second birthday party.  The cake pops were awesome (just ask Emery).  20160903_152853Seating was limited.  (Not really though).  20160903_154853On that weekend they also had a hot air balloon festival in bath, my home town.  It seems like an odd place to have a festival like this – a small town that has lost so many businesses in the last fifteen years that it is now unremarkable to drive through, a shell of the town I grew up in.  But every flight brought out people to watch the balloons filling up and, during their flights, cars would stop along the country roads to watch them float along the river valley.  It felt like it brought some life into that town, even if it was just for a  weekend.

This picture is from mom and dad’s back yard.
20160904_080509Back to jellystone… we spent our last day at the park with family and friends, running from the water park to the pool to the slides.  It was a beautiful end-of-summer day.  20160904_150343

I spent the weekend trying to convince emery – unsuccessfully – to try the water slides but he did love the water park!  20160904_150414

20160904_151306Oliver had no problem with these or the bigger waterslides.  20160904_152241This is a pretty sweet shot of nan and our two little girls!  20160904_182703

We had a great bbq after a day of sun and then packed up the next day and headed home.  It was a great place to camp and close to a lot of people I love, which made it a thousand times better!


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PEI 2016

So many pictures from such a good vacation in PEI!  We spent a week on the island almost two weeks ago and my vacation buzz is pretty much gone so it’s a perfect time to go through and post the pictures.

And away we go!  20160807_143539We spent the first half of the week in Campbell’s Cove… one of my favorite spots ever.  It’s on the eastern side of the island, away from the touristy crowds.  We stay at a small family campground that has its own private beach (that wouldn’t begin to be full if every single camper headed to the beach).  I love how homey and friendly it is, how quiet it is, how the beach is right there, and how the kids could ride their bikes and run whenever they wanted.  20160807_200206Emery wasn’t feeling great the first part of the week.  He pretty much spent every campfire bundled up like this.  20160807_205826Nana and papa and the Hills were along for this part of the trip.  We were super happy to have them along!  20160807_205843It was kind of windy and cool but we did get some beach time.  This is my new favorite picture of eleanor.
20160808_103055Eleanor didn’t get in the water here but she sure loved the sand!  IMG_7023I could take pictures of her all day.  IMG_7011
IMG_7028Emery still wasn’t feeling well but I still like this picture of him with the red cliff behind.  IMG_7009There were good-sized waves one day, which were fun for everyone!  The campground had boogie boards that the boys enjoyed.   IMG_6983

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20160808_103311Who knew that rob has a “thing” for kites?!  It was a perfect day for it and he shared with all the kids who wanted to.  One kite string broke and it went in a nearby field.  Rob was pretty scared hesitant to walk through the tall grass to get it, so he offered up an ice cream to whoever retrieved it.  The kids (and papa too!) thought it was pretty awesome to be getting ice cream at 9:30 in the morning!  IMG_7037

Just a pretty shot taken while on mission kite retrieval.  IMG_7046

I love this toothless smile.  Oliver loves loves loves the beach and the ocean and everything about it.  IMG_7031

Eleanor loved their little playground!  She spent many hours there with sophie and willa – on and off the swings, up and down the slide, and making sand pies in the “kitchen”.  20160808_105128

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20160808_113242We left the campground only once for a change of scenery and went to the old Elmira train station, where the confederation trail ends.  We took a little walk on the trail.  Emery got stung by a hornet but the walk was great other than that!  20160809_143054

20160809_145414This is a really random shot that was taken after our walk but I love how emery seems to be photo bombing it!  20160809_153116Campfire after campfire after campfire.  No one is complaining about that!  S’mores make such a mess but … well, how can you not?!20160809_201026

20160809_210407A morning shot.  One of the things I remember from camping as a kid was having those tiny boxes of cereal.  It was such a treat because we rarely got the “fun” kinds of cereal at home – think frosted flakes or fruit loops.  Yes, we make bigger breakfasts some mornings too but, for me, those tiny boxes of cereal equal camping and are always on the shopping list.  20160810_075327Papa got lots of grandkid time…20160810_085021… and was his normal goofy self here and there.  I must note that there was an adult bike nearby but of course that’s not papa’s style (and we wouldn’t have it any other way!).  20160810_101119(1)Partway through the week we packed up the camper and went to Brackley beach.  The campground was bigger, the area more touristy, but we had a really lovely campsite and were just a short drive from the beach.  The campground had a pool and a playground and activities too!

Oliver was pretty proud that he could do the monkey bars back and forth.  20160811_095450

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Everyone loves the swings!  20160811_120436We had one afternoon of rain but everyone got comfy with a movie (for about three and a half minutes – then one of them touched the other).  20160811_145106

20160811_162040Towards the end of the trip we knew one rainy day and one sunny day were coming.  We had promised the kids we would do a theme park with water slides one day but didn’t want to waste the sunny day on that, so we packed all the kids in the car (ours and a few cousins) and went to shining waters.  Best.  Decision.  Ever.  It was cool at the waterslides and yes, we got a little wet, but there were no lines or waiting anywhere.  And everyone had fun so it ended up being a great day.

Funny mirrors!  20160812_112534Random train in the woods.  20160812_113218

20160812_113247That roller coaster behind was the best ride (in my opinion).  I convinced emery to try it the first time we went and he sat beside me.  He was cool with it for about 10 seconds but then it picked up speed and went around a turn on its side and emery screamed in legitimate terror.  I’m not sure when I’ll ever get him on a decent-sized roller coaster again!  20160812_122045Eleanor enjoyed the rides as much as the boys, though she obviously couldn’t go on all the same ones.  20160812_133251This one was a fan favorite but especially for eleanor because the other kids could go with her on this one.  20160812_135602There was a smaller roller coaster that Eleanor and I couldn’t get on… 20160812_134203… but I caught this sweet shot of lucy and oliver!  And emery seemed okay with this one.  20160812_134205The water slides were a bit of a bust.  They had four water slides (two of them were tube slides) and a really awesome section for smaller kids with smaller waterslides.  It was just too rainy and cold for emery and eleanor to enjoy them.  Oliver tried the bigger slides but I think one of them frightened him a bit and then it was game over.  I rode a few times with the older cousins and they really were a blast but we didn’t stay in that section for long because of the weather.

We did get some sweet balloon animals out of it though!
20160812_151810As we were leaving, the kids noticed the llama was poking her head out of the window.  Notice sophie’s best llama impression (and yes, sophie… this picture will make an appearance at your wedding).  20160812_154447The rain of course made for a puddly campground when we got back.  20160812_185936_001I will never go on a camping trip without a container of lego.  It’s the great equalizer.  20160812_194704And then… brackley beach.  Ahh, it’s such a pretty beach.  Our family never stepped foot on cavendish.  Hauling three young kids through those crowds for a chance to sit two feet from another beach goer just isn’t attractive to me.  But this beach… yes.  20160813_133220Sand castles be darned.  We built our own creeper!  20160813_150851Ok, no wait… this is my new favorite picture of eleanor. 20160813_151031What a beautiful day for the beach.  I love all the shells.  20160813_152311Emery finally got in the water!  20160813_153803The campground we were at had a halloween night where the kids dressed up and the campers handed out candy.  We were limited in our costume supplies, but Oliver went as a hockey player (complete with black eye), Emery put on his transformers sweater with the hood up so he looked like a transformer, and Eleanor had a paw patrol mask that was intended for her birthday party but doubled as a costume.  20160813_184944We had a joint birthday party for everyone with birthdays in august and september.  Everyone was showered with gifts and birthday cake!  20160813_190735I think Eleanor’s favorite gift was this doll.  It came with a stroller, diaper bag, and all the accessories.
20160813_192038We packed up and drove home in the pouring rain.  It made for quick and wet packing full of lots of complaining (mostly by the kids), but we made it home safe and sound.  20160814_085532It had been a while since our family all got away together for a good stretch of time.  Of course we had the odd up and down, the odd meltdown, the odd sour puss moment, but all in all our first big camping trip with our camper went really well.  My hope is that we are building the type of memories that still stick with me from my childhood.  Can’t wait for the next one!


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Dollar Lake Camping

This was our first camping trip with our new-to-us camper (woohoo!) and, despite the fact that we had no water or electricity, it was a great first run and gave us a chance to figure out what we still needed.  It is an off-the-beaten-trail, no frills campground but well maintained and the lake is gorgeous for swimming.  The weather was hot and sunny, the company was top notch, so the entire weekend ranked right up there !

There is a really lovely sandy beach that is open to campers and the public.  The water looks muddy but it’s just sand on the bottom.  And the water was perfect for a dip.

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Cutey cute cute.  20160723_105210

Cutey cute cute x 2.  20160723_105216

The boy loves his books!  And what better place to do it?  20160723_16105020160723_162915

Sweet digs!  Brought to you by the finest Price is Right model at site A18.  20160723_162941Adorable!  20160723_163753

We are all so pumped to go out again… next time is a week in PEI!!


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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

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

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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.

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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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Shubenacadie Wildlife Park field trip

Before school ended, I finally got to go on a field trip with Oliver (darn work).  It was to the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park.  It was a fast and furious trip around, but a good one – since it wasn’t too hot, we got to see some of the bigger animals up and around.

This duck followed Oliver around and was not at all shy about letting him know that he was into his food!  Oliver wasn’t shy at all about giving it to him either!  IMG_20160622_103736

IMG_20160622_110539Oooh… a wolf!  Insert minecraft wolf references here (and believe me, we did!).  IMG_20160622_112121This mama bear and her cub were really active too!  IMG_20160622_114150Other favorites were the minks (they seemed to be into wrestling that morning) and the otters (the boys have been slinking into the pool like otters ever since).  IMG_20160622_121734

It was a fun day that even included ice cream and a swim with friends afterward!


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Girls’ Weekend

A couple of weekends ago, Eleanor and I found ourselves with an entire weekend to ourselves… no boys.  We did one special thing, a few of our favorite things, and a lot of just hanging around the pool since it was such a nice weekend.

First off, Eleanor and I got dressed up in pretty dresses and went to the Frozen musical.  It was so cute – Anna and Elsa on stage and retelling the Frozen story.

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Kristoff and Olaf joined partway through.

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The finale was ‘Let It Go’ one more time and “snow” being shot out of … something.  Eleanor stayed put but there were older girls up front dancing for this part.  It was so cute.

The whole theatre full of people and the loud music was a little overwhelming for her and she sat on my lap the entire time, folding my arms tightly around her the whole time, but in the end she told me she loved it so I think it was worth the trip.

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We got a little shopping in (one of our favorite things – really, she loves to go shopping with me) and had friends over to swim with us one afternoon.  The next day was a bit of work around home and more pool time for us.

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Partway through the afternoon she put on her cap and backpack and spent about 45 minutes getting in and out of her little truck.  I guess she was headed to school!

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IMG_20160626_151043We were pretty happy to see the boys come home but I always enjoy our one-on-one time.  She really is quite a character – her innocent little mind comes out with the funniest things!  We will have lots of mother-daughter times to come!