Last weekend at the farmer’s market I picked some cloth lunch bags for the kids at school. I am trying to cut down the number of dishes that need washing. Also, containers take up a lot of space in the kids lunch cans. No pre wrapped snacks go to school with my kids. Snacks are bought at Bulk Barn or are homemade. Crackers are the exception, have not tried to make them myself yet. Also, fresh fruit and veggies are usually bought package free.
Inspire Essential Oil Heatable Bags makes all kinds of bag like items from reusable grocery bags to money purses. Definitely worth a look if you in the area! I will be purchasing more in the future for school. Super simple to wash them too, just put them in the next wash cycle. I find the containers are very tedious. Takes a long time for them to dry because of all the crevasses, let alone washing them 5 days a week, gets tiresome. 4 containers per lunch can = 12 tops and bottoms per day. Sometimes I get away with reusing some that had dry goods inside like crackers or pretzels.
Anyways, not really wanting to rant, lol. This bag here is my favourite. It makes me think of my daughter Alaina.
We never did make it to a strawberry u-pick farm this year. Time flies so fast and I have a hard time to just plan and go. Also, I don’t really have the space to store/freeze a bunch of berries. I have not planned on making jam this year either. It will be easier next year I imagine when the little people are another year older. Thomas is still in cloth diapers, there seems to always be housework to do and so much fun outdoors doing other things. I can not imagine bringing Thomas to a u-pick either. I would just be chasing him and not picking. lol.
On Saturday, Daniel, Jack and I went to Compton’s Vegetable stand to get some more berries to snack on at home. I brought my own bowl, as last time I was in, they allowed me to dump there crates into my bowl and they could reuse the crate. They were very happy to do it again. I found out today was the last day for the u-pick. Deep inside, I really did want to go and at least get enough for snacks during the week and also just take the older 4 kids. But, I missed my chance, and that is okay. I bought 4 crates and used my bowl.
Our first official trip to the beach this year was amazing! The kids are easier this year to manage and everyone had so much fun! Thomas is still cautious of the water, but now and then he tested it, then falls in as this beach has a bit of a drop. He was fine! Nothing wrong with a bit of a dunk!!
Grammie Jean and Chris’s brother Steve was there too. Grammie brought water guns for them to play with. What a fun adventure they had! I got to go swimming, have not done that for a couple years at best. Always stayed close to shore with the kids. It was so nice! Me and the girls played too, carrying them on my back and trying to swim away from them as fast as I could while they chased me, so close to my toes.
Chris got in the water with Daniel right away. They walked out to the sandbar, still knee deep at least; it was high tide when we got there. Chris usually likes to go for long walks along the shore, but he did not get a chance this time. I am sure we will get there again soon!
Daniel sure has grown to like the water. Though he can not swim yet. He makes fun by dumping a bucket full of water over his head. So funny!!
Alaina spent much of her time digging a hole at the shore line. She found a baby shrimp or fish in her bucket. She set it free so it could go back to its mommy! So sweet!! Floating logs are another favourite, but sticking very close to the shore.
Julia liked going in the water if someone was with her. Otherwise, she was playing in the sand or squirting everyone she could!
Jack also mostly played in the sand beside Alaina. He came in the water a few times. Jack had lots of fun with the water guns too!
Thomas spent most of his time on the sand. He did not stick around the water very much and did not want us to take him out in it. A couple times he tried on his own, but fell into the water.
Chris’s sister Catherine and niece Isla came to the beach later in the afternoon. Isla is a good swimmer. No fear in her! Isla and Jack spent lots of time together too. Best cousins! Though, I have no pictures to show of these two, forgot . . .
Busy day once the chores got finished. From about 2:30 – 7:00 we visited two parks. First we went to Central Street. This park has the splash pad, but also many play areas. Daniel, Alaina, Julia and Jack played hide and seek. They had so much fun! I got to follow Thomas everywhere he wanted and could go. He is one busy boy!
Thomas is not afraid to climb! He surprised me on a curved ladder!
We got some swinging time too! The kids love to swing. I wish there were more swings at this park; there used to be before it got revamped.
While the big kids were playing hide and seek, Thomas got on the slides as well.
So, by 4:00 it was time to go home. Need to get some supper into everyone. Not long before we got home and before I started supper, the power went off! All over the city. Oops!
So after finding some good snacks for everyone, they all went outdoors. Boys oh boys did they get loud!! No one was listening to me either, so I packed up a few items in my bag went outside and told them we are going out again! Need to burn some more energy!! We went to Heather Moyse Heritage Park. Big open space, lots of paths and little bridges as well as a running track!
I got everyone out of the van and told them to just go and have fun. Be loud here!! LOL. We walked the trails and bridges. Daniel found a frog, sitting in the pond soaking up the sun.
After the many laps around the bridges, I took them further down the trails. We went down another circular path then I let the 4 oldest dart for the track. Out of sight, but on a one way path to the destination. Me and Thomas took our time to get there. I could hear them in the distance, lots of joy, I knew they arrived!
Once I got to the edge of the track, Daniel had already made a full circle run and met us there. Jack was not too far behind him, but he too made the full circle! Alaina made it half way then cut through the field to meet us. Julia was plodding along, in her flip flops. She certainly did her best too! They played in the field a little then we headed back, kids were thirsty and we left our belongings back were we started.
Once we got back and refreshed, I hauled out the pack of chalk I have been hiding and waiting for the perfect moment to give to the kids. They were overjoyed! (I do not buy the small packs as they are wrapped in plastic. This big box is plastic free! Always check and look at the options available!)
I let the kids colour the bricks along the walk ways. It was shaded and cool! Perfect! I even got to put my feet up for a while! I also made a hopscotch for the girls.
A boy and his mother arrived shortly after. The boy was riding his bicycle for the first time! He was doing great and Julia wanted to try! She politely asked if she could have a turn and it was no problem. She got to try a few times, and she did not too bad. Just needs to learn to keep peddling! Next trip here, I am packing the bikes. That is one area we have not worked on with the kids, bike riding! I did not take any pictures.
When we got home, the power was on, the stove clock read 12:07. We were just on time! Everyone got cleaned up, Pj’s on, popcorn and a drink for snacktime. I put on Toy Story #1. The house got super quiet, Thomas fell asleep after his snack was finished. Everyone is in bed, here I am finishing this post!
Its been a quiet day at home. Kids are in and out. Playing games and swinging outside. I got the grass cut and currently making shepard’s pie. Super yummy!! I guess I should get a recipe up for that!! Really did not do too much today, pretty lazy. Looking forward to the next few days. Hoping for some beach time with the family!
Meanwhile, I took a walk around to see what everybody was up to!
This weekend we all went to Chris’s parents for a big family get together for a one night stay! His cousin was getting married, and lots of family came home from away!
His sister Catherine and her husband Johnny as well as their 3 kids arrived. Steve and Michael, Chris’s younger brothers also arrived. The house quickly filled up, with a norm of 3 people living there, that number grew to 17 once we arrived!
Its been a long while since everyone was together. For The night, my mom took our 3 oldest. We kept Jack and Thomas. We had plans to party, Chris and I have not been able to party together for many years! I will guess 6 or 7 for sure!
Let me start from the beginning before we left home
Before being able to commit to staying overnight on the weekend we needed to make sure our regular routine was complete. Basically, every Friday night is a simple grocery run for the items I do not get locally and/or plastic free. Saturday morning is the big grocery run where I visit many stores to complete our weekly shopping. The Summerside Farmer’s Market, Superstore, Bulk Barn and The Summerside Butcher Shop. Not only did all this shopping need to happen but pack for our overnight stay. Not just an overnight stay, a possible beach visit and we brought extra food to help make up for what our family of 7 may eat and spread out to the rest of the family there. Not only pack that but pack for 7 of us, one of which is still using cloth diapers (No disposables for special occasions, I am committed!).
I am Notorious for making lists!! I always make a list for everything that needs packing and things that need to be done. My mother in law always laughs at it. When our first born was a baby, we went on a trip to Moncton and I wrote everything we brought on a list right down to the toys and clothing! Guess what, no list this time. It would be too long!! LOL!
All the kids packed their cases with their overnight items. I had a bag of spare clothes for everyone and for towels. A bag with food. Me and Chris had a bag. A bag for diapers and another for soiled ones. A bag with a cleaner for real soiled diapers as well as sunscreen, Tylenol, heat bag (for Julia’s sore legs once in a while. We ended up needing it, glad I packed it!). My trusty backpack with reusable dishes in case we went for ice cream.
By the time we were packed and ready to go, it was about 2pm. Pretty good timing I think with regards to what was needing to be done. I might have completed some house chores as well. I did not want to come back home to a messy house trying to settle everybody back in and unpack! Have I mentioned I like to be organized?
Left home and traveled the hour to West Prince
What a crowd we all made! The kids were all over place, inside and outside. Catherine’s daughter, Isla, was super happy to meet her cousins again. The last time we seen Isla she was turning 2. She is turning 4 very soon! They brought a sprinkler for outdoors by which the kids loved. Our niece Bailey, her boyfriend Drake and her pup Samson were also there. Steve, one of Chris’s younger brothers was ganged up on by the kids. There is always that fun uncle!! After supper I took Daniel, Alaina and Julia up to my moms home, they are just a 10 minute drive away.
Next was time for the little to go to bed. Snack and drink and a nice nest of blankets made up on the floor in the bedroom. Jack and Thomas had everything they needed right down to their teddies. Jack was out first and Thomas after with no issues!
While we were here, Chris’s cousin was married. We were planning on going out after the reception to celebrate. First, I needed some drinks. I brought along the bottle of Vodka and some oranges. I started out with a couple shots and Bailey followed suit after. Off we went to the hall which was a 5-10 minute walking distance. While there, ordering a drink with Chris, I realized I did not bring my own cup. I felt awful! Using the single use plastic cup that was offered. I should have just passed up on the drink (Later I would have totally agreed with that statement! lol). Once my drink was gone I wondered if the bartender would refill the same cup. I totally had to find out! Sure enough it was no problem. They were happy to as it would save on the cup usage. Me and Chris reused our cups and I told the surrounding family, by which I have no idea if anyone reused. We got home later and I was out!
Night out, Pictures taken by me with Baileys phone, permission to post pictures too
This was one of the best days in a while. Lots of fun, family and laughter.
Went to one of the local farms selling fresh strawberries! Compton’s Vegetable Stand. The berries are packed in quarts, wooden crates, by which on PEI are considered a waste package. Treated wood can not go into the compost system.
I decided to bring my own bowl as I would if I was going to the u-pick. This way, the farmers could refill the wooden crate for another customer. I like package free when possible, sometimes I have to be the one to pull the strings!
We will be going back for more, or if there are some at the Farmer’s Market tomorrow (Saturday) that will due! Support local when I can and I like to support many local farmers/businesses, not just stick with favourites all the time. They all need our support!
Another beautiful day, took the kids to the park. Julia, Jack and Thomas. This time, Thomas sat in the wagon, Jack took his scooter and Julia biked. An extra scooter was in the wagon for Thomas so he could use it at the park!
The park has a paved strip which is awesome for the kids! Biking for practice and great for chalk!
The kids had a great time! While they played, I picked up trash, again. Not much though, so that was great! The used the swings a bunch, kicked the soccer ball around and blew bubbles.
Home for homemade slushies and a rest from the sun!