Signs of Spring

This past Saturday was my birthday. There was no way I was staying inside and thank goodness it wasn’t a Wednesday or we would certainly be having a storm of some sort as past Wednesdays have shown. Luckily, after the last Wednesday’s crazy blizzard with hurricane force gusts (oh yippee) the weather took a break and much of the snow melted. It was damp and muddy but just fine for going outside if you asked me! 😉

I love peeking off the trails and finding little fluffy bundles of friendly lichen like these pixie cups. So wonderful to see!

29Mar2014_Point Pleasant_02If my search was correct, these are British Soldier lichen amidst what we boys and I call a Fairy Forest.

29Mar2014_Point Pleasant_0829Mar2014_Point Pleasant_07I was so excited to see this little guy – a sure sign of spring! Coltsfoot!

29Mar2014_Point Pleasant_11A very common lichen here in NS – Old Man’s Beard.

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The boys took a break at Prince of Whales Tower. Then Stephen joined them as I went trampling around in the mud.
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We ended up at the shore and spotted this blubbery dude out on the rocks! Sea lion I do believe! Wish I’d had my other camera at this point – oh well. Can you see him/her hanging off of the rock over the water? I know it’s not very clear but I couldn’t help but take a picture anyway.

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One spot overlooking the harbour was perfect for some javelin throwing using old broken branches. Good fun!

As we left the park the blue sky appeared for a bit, something we haven’t seen much of these days! A good day indeed.

Ice on the trail

A couple of weeks ago we went, yet again, to our favourite park for a walk on the trails. It was a mild day and the walk was very slippery but the boys didn’t mind! There were some very cool ice formations here and there and I couldn’t help but take some pictures.15Feb2014Shubie Ice_01 15Feb2014Shubie Ice_03The boys spotted this leaf below the ice. It was moving gently from the flow of water around it as the ice melted.

15Feb2014Shubie Ice_05 15Feb2014Shubie Ice_06Luckily the water here is only a few feet deep with no current. Great for safety when viewing ice floats.

15Feb2014Shubie Ice_07The boys spotted this piece floating by and I managed to grab it. It was clear as glass.

15Feb2014Shubie Ice_09Of course, the ducks saw us and thought we had food! Sorry ducks, not allowed to feed you, park rules! (although many do anyway)

15Feb2014Shubie Ice_10 15Feb2014Shubie Ice_11Bubbles!15Feb2014Shubie Ice_13The boys wanted me to take a pic of this piece as well and I thought I’d go in for a closer look.

15Feb2014Shubie Ice_14It’s amazing the forms that take shape as ice melts.

15Feb2014Shubie Ice_15Since this day a couple of weeks ago there has been snow and rain. Does not make for a fun trek. Hope to go out again soon – we all need that fresh air and sun! Come on Spring – we are ready!


Germs germs everywhere!

We’ve been fortunate this winter to be sick-free…until a couple of days ago when Xman got a cold. Ironically enough, in Minecraft Homeschool the assignment this week has to do with germs and this is one if the videos they watch before they build their germs and the hospitals to hold the sick. Glad to know that we’ve taught the kids to cover their sneeze the most effective way…whew!

Here’s a cute one.

Also, if interested in books we have found the Your Body Battles series to be fun and informative. Xman said between sniffles that he wants us to get them from the library again. 🙂

body battles


Stephen told me not so long ago when I commented on the amount of snow we have had this winter that it seems to go in 10 year cycles, according to his father, and that seems to be pretty accurate. The last time we had a real winter, as in snow, snow, snow compared to snow then rain then just really cold weather, was 10 years ago when White Juan hit the area. A lot of babies were born the following fall. 😉 The only reason I recall that L wasn’t a White Juan Baby is because I remember that Stephen has to go outside and shovel on his own because I was already a couple months pregnant. I guess there really is something to say for cold weather and babies!

Every winter I get very excited making plans to be spending a lot of time outdoors to hike, toboggan, skate (hasn’t happened yet), and try snowshoeing. The weather hasn’t co-operated until this year. The past two Wednesdays we have had snow storms and for January we had 70cm of snow! Yes, it rained inbetween and but snowed a lot again. Timing is crucial for getting outside in snowy weather on our east coast but we’ve been lucky to have already been on a few hikes and now snowshoeing.

Some wonderful friends of ours, the same ones who invited us last year for maple syrup making, sent me a text while the boys were in theatre class to see if we were interested in going snowshoeing that afternoon. This was last Thursday and the day before was a snow storm. I had planned on taking the boys tobogganing but the offer to snowshoe is rare. We were very excited!

The boys caught onto snowshoeing right away and it was easier than I expected. Xman took his snowshoes off for a bit to run around in the snow with one of the boys for a bit. They had a great time jumping in the deep snow and running around.The boys were even running in their snowshoes by the end of the day. I was reluctant to try this for fear I would fall on my face!

Nonetheless, we were out for two and a half hours! Wow! What an experience and it was so beautiful on the trail. Often times we had to yell out “skier!” as there were many skate skiers on the trail as well, and we would move to the side to let them pass. Maybe we will try that another time!

Thank you again to our friends for inviting us. It was a wonderful experience and being outside on such a beautiful, snowy day was incredible. We all slept well that night. 🙂

Jan302014_Snowshoeing_01Instagram! We took a break and ate some snow. 😉


Beautiful blue skies and a great view of the lake.


Somehow one of the boys always ends up with a big stick along our walks. Many end up in the car. 😉


Happy, tired boys!


Beautiful sunset and a light snowfall to greet us at the end of our treck.Jan302014_Snowshoeing_09


Homeschool Adventure Week #5

X ended up catching a cold again this week so there was a lot of low energy going around. I brought L to sports class this week while X stayed home with Daddy and played Yahtzee. I really didn’t want him running around being all snot-filled and feeling like he just wanted to lay down and rest. That being said, L scored a goal during their soccer game!

This week was filled with little projects and board games, me second shooting a wedding on Thursday (weird I know!), reading and resting, and Xman really wanting to clean the floors!

X Washing floorX-floor-wash

Floor washing attracts a curious Gypsy girl!


L got the Lego Play Book for his birthday and he has been building a miniature town complete with a museum, beach and hover trucks.


The days were beautiful so we took advantage by spending our time outside playing chess, strategizing, snacking and planning more creations.



X won chess pretty much fair and square I gotta say.


…all while the house siding is being torn down around us to make way for new siding!


L and I played scrabble and I showed him how to incorporate one word into another while utilizing the ‘triple word score’ making him beat me by a long shot. See bottom left where he added ‘go’ to ‘car’ then next turn ‘soy’ to ‘cargo’. Great game!


We read a FABULOUS book by Neil Gaiman which had the boys and I roaring with laughter and enjoying the notion that time travel can make someone be in two places at one time, while flying in a Floaty-Ball-Person-Carrier with a dinosaur. Dinosaurs aren’t really extinct, did you know that?

I just finished reading a wonderful book filled with myth and magic which has left images in my head and set my mind to wondering…and wandering…

We have a cousin arriving today for a week of visiting! I am glad and thankful that Xman was so keen to clean the floors!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend – we bought two Tofurkey’s this time around because last year we found they were so good that one just wasn’t enough! 😉

A brace and a birthday

I guess you could say I’m posting this one for me because it may not be of any particular interest to anyone else other than immediate family. For us it was a big day.

Yesterday was Stephen’s birthday. Yay! Happy birthday, my love! You are my most wonderful partner and I am blessed that we were led to each other.

The birthday plan was going to be breakfast out and maybe a café, a nice walk or something in the lovely outdoors and mixed into this was L and the removal of his brace after one year. So we were out to celebrate both. As it turned out all boys ended up with awful colds. So the breakfast, café and outdoor excursion were crossed off the list. Pizza and a movie at home instead. Still fun, just more on the ‘lay low’ side.

But, we did still go into our dentist’s office to have L’s brace removed that has been in place for just over a year now. It’s a different kind of brace from what I have seen before. This one was inserted to help his front teeth grow down and not out. You see, L tends to sleep with his tongue pressing up against his teeth and he does still have a bit of a lisp which is now much better and his teeth have managed to grow down straighter than without the brace. It was awkward for him at first, especially eating as I can only imagine, but he was a trooper for a whole year. Very proud of him.

L said to me yesterday morning that he was going to miss being able to cut through bananas with his brace. It was like a knife in his mouth. Kids are amazing. One positive thought just erases all the others. So wonderful.

So this is L, filled with congestion and looking like he just woke up, getting ready from his brace to be removed. He did a great job staying still. There was some difficulty at first as the brace was cemented on and at first didn’t want to budge.

2013Sep16_L's-Brace_01 2013Sep16_L's-Brace_02

Ah, there we go!


Ya, we have like the best dentist everrrr….he’s awesome. Really.


Cleaning the cement, well scraping really, the cement off the teeth was a chore and called for a bit of hand-holding by Daddy.2013Sep16_L's-Brace_05Whew! All done!2013Sep16_L's-Brace_09

“It feels so different in there!”2013Sep16_L's-Brace_08

My sleepy happy boy.2013Sep16_L's-Brace_06

Still energetic enough to run around with his brother. I managed to get him to stay still for just a moment.

2013Sep16_L's-Brace_07All in all it was a wonderful day.

Happy birthday, my sweet husband, happy birthday.
You all may be been snotty but that doesn’t make the day less important.

Oh, and the cake was so yum (and not just because I made it!). Using coconut oil in place of margarine for icing is amazing, just saying.

Can you guess how old Stephen turned? I had a bit of a scrounge for candles…plus Xman thought to put them on backwards for fun.

2013 Sept Steve's bdayXman wanted to learn to play this for Daddy so Steve figured out the keys for him.


Belated Father’s Day and Happy 12/17 plus Summer Solstice!

This past Sunday was a great day for us. Not only was it Father’s Day, which we wholeheartedly thank the boys for (oh yeah!) but it was our Anniversary as well. We have been married 12 years and together for 17 as we got married on our 5 year anniversary. Thus, the Happy 12/17.

It’s been tough, a real challenge, you know? Sometimes we just don’t like each other.


There is no one else I would rather spend my life with than this amazing and handsome man. I’ve known him since he was 18 and I was 23. We were in our first year of art college at the foundation party when I asked him if he was drinking. He said his birthday was tomorrow and he promised his mother he wouldn’t drink until he was 19. He was serious and I was gobsmacked.

Who admits to that? He did.

I will never forget the respect I had for his morals of which I find these days/decades are down the tubes. Mine were slipping down a steep slope when we met. I was starting to feel I just wouldn’t find anyone who really cared about others, was truthful and stood by their beliefs. I knew then and there that he was someone I wanted to know, to be around. Forever.

Love ya, my man. You make me laugh. You make me humble as I take note of myself and my self-contradictions. You have made me a better person indeed. Thank you.

We may celebrate our 25th anniversary a year early to make it our 25th in 2025. Cool, right? 😉


We had just recently purchased a bike rack and were excited about having a beautiful day ahead of us after days of rain. We had talked many times of going on a family bike outing but we just needed to buy a bike rack first, of course. The boys helped Daddy assemble the rack. I love how keen they always are!


Lensbaby_005 Lensbaby_032

Once the bikes were mounted we had hopes that the rack would hold four bikes. It did a fair amount of bending and bouncing but we made it to the trail. Whew!

I had borrowed a Lensbaby Spark from work and brought it along as my only lens. Fun!


…zoom zoom…

Taking time for Lupins.


 We had an amazing time on our first family bike ride. It was a perfect day in every way!

Bike_84The next day I made a belated paleo carrot cake. You can’t rush a good bike ride and carrot cake takes time! Especially when it’s a new recipe. Carrot Cake is Stephen’s all-time favourite of cakes. But paleo? Well, even the boys loved it. Completely loved it! Thanks, Dawn, for the recipe. Now L wants one for his birthday!

As for the bike rack? It made its way back to Costco. Shifty bouncy thing it was. Made us nervous. We found out after some searching around that our car is only meant to handle two adult bikes on a hitch rack. Bummer. Need a new plan…

Today is a big day with L’s drama class’ evening performance after many hours of rehearsal. We were going to wake up to welcome the sun and then sleep when the sun sleeps but it’s going to be a long day for him anyway. We will, however, make our Solstice Strawberry Jam before we go to rehearsal…maybe with some bananas added this time…and a lot of sunshine!

Happy Solstice Everyone!




Eesh, he did it again…

…yes, that darned bug got Xman again and the same eye as last time! Two years ago in June, the boys were playing outside and Xman got bit near his eye. It just looked like a mosquito bite but it bled a bit. By the evening it was swelling. That was about 4 hours later and seemed unusual to me. Well, by next morning I couldn’t believe how he looked! I think the popsicle helped. Such a sad, big bottom lipped, boy!


You should have seen the other kid. Kidding…kidding.


Poor guy, he did well despite his lack of depth perception. I think the apis may have helped his eye this time around from swelling as much as last time.

Alas, I did not have a popsicle to hand over but I still got the big bottom lip.


He got some carrot cake instead. Yum!

xmanseye_02Hmmm…must post more images with my good camera (I used my point and shoot for the last two). The first ones look much better.

Alas, he’s still a cutie!