2019 Nature Fest

Today was a blast!!! Summerside put on a fun event at Heather Moise Heritage Park. There was a tracker/wagon ride, bouncy castles, petting zoo from Island Hill Farm, pony rides, face painting, pumpkin painting, hay bale maze and more.

I’m not going to go into detail about our day, except a tiny bit about the pony rides! That’s right, all the kids got a turn to ride the ponies! Even little Thomas!! I was so surprised that he got to go by himself while the pony was lead around the circle. He did not cry or want down! Smiles and then a serious face as his time was coming to an end. I think he was happy not being so far away from us, but in a serious way. Hahaha!

Around the end of the pictures, you will find some hilarious ones!!! You will laugh out loud!

Alaina getting her face painted!
Yup, soccer!
All ready to go!
Great balancing Daniel!!
Cutie pie
Hello!
The bigs!
Julia in the bouncy castle
Up she goes
Jack waiting his turn, patiently
Daniel, Alaina and Jack.
Jack and Daniel going head to head. Daniel’s legs there!
Jack and Daniel, same position
Daniel first, Jack had a great race!
Ummm, Alaina is leg!
Up she goes!
Thomas on the hay bale maze.
Julia joint him! We spent a ?or of time here!
Jumping from bale to bale
What now?
Julia on the pony!! First time!
Alaina on the pony, first time!
Julia coming back round.
Alaina coming back round
Daniel on the pony, first time!
Jack on the pony, first time!
Daniel coming back round
Jack coming back round
There goes Thomas!
Looking good!
Thomas coming back round
Done! Very happy!
Julia got her face painted at the end.
Julis loves pictures,
Showing some cool moves!
Last one!! Lol!!!
What we did
  • Face painting (Alaina)
  • Falcon sighting
  • Bouncy castles
  • Alpaca visit
  • Hay bale maze
  • Pony rides
  • Free apples
  • Petting zoo
  • Pumpkin painting (Julia, Alaina and Thomas)
  • More hay bale maze fun (Thomas, Alaina)
  • Daniel ran laps around the park and took Jack to paint pumpkins together!
  • More face painting (Julia)

No balloons or single use drink packs. Brought our own water. Waste free event for our family. The kids loved the animals!

So much fun! Thank you City of Summerside!

Hurricane Dorian, 2019

Atlantic Canada was hit hard by Hurricane Dorian September 7, 2019 after it came up from the South. Living in Summerside, we did not worry about having to store water, as the city has water towers to supply it.

Things we could have done to get ready for the storm, waste free
  • Instead of buying bottled water, fill up containers already at home
  • buy dry goods for foods and canned.
  • flashlights and candles at the ready
  • solar lights at the ready (sort of a decorative source)
  • Store away items outdoors to prevent damage/replacing
  • Wash all the cloth diapers before the storm hit (my stash lasts 36 hours, would have gone to underwear if need be, find a place to wash soiled diapers too.)
  • Pack a bag of clothes, just in case of evacuation
  • Dishes caught up as well as laundry
  • When buying groceries, not stocking up on perishable items (buy what is needed for a couple days, and use it up)

I am sure the list can grow longer.

Our home actually did not loose power. Though, we were ready for it to go out. Thomas had fallen asleep with me in the chair, so he went to bed easily. Jack on the other hand did not want to go to bed, he was too scared of the wind and noise. Even knowing the power could go out. We let him stay on the couch for as long as he needed. His bedtime is 8:30 pm, but he did not fall asleep until around 11:00pm on the couch. As Chris was working away upstairs (or playing a game), me and the 4 kids were cuddled together watching a movie, waiting for the power to go out any minute. I felt bad having Thomas upstairs, I wanted him closer as all the other kids were togther. Julia and Alaina fell asleep during the movie and I was next to go. I woke up when the movie ended, surprised the power still on. Daniel turned off the t.v and cuddled in his blanket to go to sleep. Jack was asleep by then. I was not very worried about the storm to be honest, but wondering why we did not loose power! I stayed on the couch staying cozy as possible.

Jack on the couch, Daniel in the front, Alaina in the middle and Julia at the back. They made nests on the floor with comforters . Fun night, like a slumber party!

During the movie time after Thomas went to bed, me and Chris slipped outside after realizing the two large trees by our drive way (mostly just one) had blown down on the other property next door. Though luckily, there was no damage to the building or the car parked under the tree. Our driveway, in the corner got ripped up as the roots of the tree were pulled out, and just the earth was pulled up around the corner of the garage, not damaging it.

Our van. Trees down on next property.
Two trees.
This one lifted from the ground some. After some rainfall the next day, it lifted more.
Corner of the driveway is lifted
Earth is lifted around the garage, but garage is fine.

In the backyard, one of our fences were blowing over, just a two piece partition. The wind was howling through there. We lost a large shrub which was blown over by that wind. There are two and the second one was slightly pulled the opposite way. The kids called these shrubs The Bumble Bee Trees. In the spring it is covered in yellow flowers and smells so good! In turn it is covered with bee’s, busily buzzing about from flower to flower. Bumble Bee Tree also known as Forsythia! We saved the shrub blown over and trimmed it down. We also trimmed the second one too, we will move them to another location which in turn allows more open space in the back yard.  We were planning on trimming them anyways this fall. Though I am afraid the flowers will not return next Spring, which saddens me. Extra effort to be made to leave the dandelions and put out more flowers for the bees.

Forsythia. Picture from Spring of 2019. The shrub on the left blew down to the grown. The other was pushed slightly to the house. Bumble bee tree.
After Hurricane Dorian
Base is broken.

Our roof leaked water, which is a big headache. It is an older roof in need of repairs, but the storm really pushed more than we thought it would. Long story, not going there.

Morning came and all was well. Power still on, kids happy but yet surprised of the damage around town. It was like going to go see Christmas lights, but not in a good way. Lots of “Whoa’s” and “look at that one”. I am happy no one on PEI was injured.

Adventure Time With Thomas

So this past week, 3 big kids are in school and Jack, our second youngest went to grammie and grandads’ house for a few sleeps. This gave some great open time for me and Thomas to hang out. Chris of course, hard at work supporting our big family.

Day 1

I packed my backpack with essential supplies such as a cloth diapers and reusable wipes, a wet bag for soiled diaper, spare pants for Thomas, snacks like trail mix, apple, banana, juice if needed and my reusable water bottle. In my backpack is always packed first aid supplies, mug, cup, bowl, utensils, bar of soap and a small towel.

Me and Thomas took a walk with the stroller to the boardwalk. My main goal was to go up to the Credit Union Place and go see the horses at the track. Thomas is always looking for horses on drives and loves seeing them! For a nearly 3 year old, he can say the word “horses” so clearly! Amazingly cute!

On our walk, it was a breezy cool day. My ears were starting to hurt, so we ventured off the boardwalk onto more sheltered streets. When we arrived at the horse track we saw one horse training. Also, there was a tracker grading the track. Thomas loved it! I sat him on a post and held him close as he watched.

We walked around a bit more and found a couple more horses in pasture as well as a couple mules. Thomas learned a new word, mule. We ventured into Credit union place to warm up and I decided to get a coffee, in my own mug. I asked the lady at the counter and sure enough my mug was accepted for filling. Mind you, this was my first cup of coffee in about 3 weeks. It was yummy and hit the spot! I had a choice to use the single use creamers (x2) or a jug of milk to add to my coffee. Normally I use cream, but opted for the milk, much less waste! I got Thomas a cookie as well, but it was bagged (compostable bag) before I even knew it. Next time I need to ask, no bag! Some of these choices are up to us, ask and choose better!

Before we left, Thomas needed a diaper change and myself the bathroom. Easy switch of the cloth diaper and I used my scent free bar soap and towel to wash and dry, saving on smelly liquid soap and paper towel. I really do not like using other soaps. The smell that is left on my hands leave me the feeling of not clean and very uncomfortable.

After our rest, we started home. We stopped quickly at the Notre Dame Community Garden. Lots of veggies and fruit growing! I was happy to see the spot was greatly used!

After we were home for a short time, Thomas dozed off and had a great little nap. Of course I moved him to the couch!!

Day 2

Today I took Thomas to the pool at the Credit Union Place. This was his first time (maybe once when he was a little baby, don’t remember). He was super excited about the news of going to the pool, in the water splashing and playing with toys. All that changed once we entered the shower room. The water provided for a pre rinse was so nice and warm, but Thomas would not have it. He is actually not one for water fun, but I was certain he would enjoy at some point.

We got to the pool area, put on a life jacket and headed to the water. He was calm until we got to the water. He became uncertain and clinged to me. He was not very happy in the water. I tried using toys and a ball to cheer him up. He did stay quiet for a short time. I tried using a kiddie boat with his life jacket on to see if that would make him more calm and have fun. Same situation, so I tried nothing but me, mom. Held him, chased a ball around and got him to throw it. Thomas still was not comfortable, until we saw a horse racing by the window outdoors. The racing track is just outside, and you can see horses pass by. Thomas was excited to see it, and that was the highlight of the pool. I decided it was a good time to head out, we spent maybe 30 minutes in the water.

I brought my shampoo bar and body wash bar, wrapped in a towel. Easy transport in my backpack. Rinsing after the pool is my favourite part, nice warm water and usually a great cuddle with one of the kids, but not Thomas. He would not have it unless a stranger came walking by talking to him. Shy fellow.

Jpeg

Since we were not there as long as I expected, we took a drive to see if we could find some horses. We scored, found 4 of them grazing. Seen some trackers too which Thomas was excited about! We got home, had some lunch and he had a nap afterwards.

Day 3

This day, I will probably spend at home, catching up on house work. Easier to do the extra special things with less distractions around (kids, hahaha). I think me and Thomas will make some cookies too! yummy!

Reusable Lunch Baggies

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.

 

Last Berry Pickup From a Local Farm

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.

July Beach Day at Kenny Shore

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 . . .

Julia and Jack settling in
Alaina got her first bucket of water already
Chris and Daniel in the background, found the sandbar. Thomas running and Jack digging.
Hair down!
Uncle Steve playing with the kids. Big kid at heart here!
Jack
Water guns are out! Steve has two!!
Steve running after a floating shovel.
Dramatic leap over the shovel.
Kids are highly amused!
Got the shovel.
Lost his saftey glasses though. (Found the next day on the shore by brother Mike. Yay!)
Chris and I. Picture perfect!
Thomas squirting dad with a squirt gun!
Here comes Julia
Refilling and going after dad
Another floating toy, another dramatic rescue!
Julia trying to race Uncle Steve.
They made it!
Chris, looking tired from the sun.
Thomas going along with the fun
Filling up the water gun
Look out for Jack!
All 5 kids. Alaina, Daniel, Thomas, Jack and Julia
Alaina playing with the log.
Thomas by the water exploring
Daniel and someone, can’t tell.
Water gun play and gang up on Unlce Steve
So much fun for the kids
Alaina running for a refill in the bucket.
Uncle Steve now has a bucket of water as defence.
Look out
Can’t remember if Alaina is looking for help from Steve or is going to squirt me!

July 25, Out With the Kids

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!

Alaina, Julia and Jack running off to hide
Daniel counting.

Thomas is not afraid to climb! He surprised me on a curved ladder!

There he goes, 4th time and no accidents.
Almost, my heart pounding!
Making it! Ta-da!!

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.

Jack and Thomas side by side
I love that he can use the big kid swing!!
Julia
Daniel and Alaina swinging. Julia playing in the dirt.
Switched Thomas over so the big kids could swing. He still fits!
Hot day!

While the big kids were playing hide and seek, Thomas got on the slides as well.

Down Thomas goes.
Here he is.

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.

Keeping close to Thomas, you never know!
Kids running laps around the area. It has 3 bridges which leads in a large circle.
Off they go!

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!

Daniel turned left before I could get his picture with the group!
Full circle back to where we started, while the big kids headed to the track
Thomas loves to explore and is not scared to be by himself!
Getting up to the track

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.

Hey Daniel!
Jack coming up the track
Rest time, but not for Thomas, lol!
Here he is!
Kids down the way!
Here I am, there they are
Julia coming around
Jack boy
Alaina
Julia made it back!
Cuties. Alaina is great at watching Thomas! Daniel too! I will call to them, look after so and so, and its never a problem!
Time to head back.

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!)

Many many colours!
Hands in!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Daniel, marking #14. Lol. He does not know why!
Share share share! Lots to go around!
Alaina is so quiet, sweet and pays attention to detail! She is making a snowman! LOL!
sit back and enjoy!
Feet up, kids are busy
Jack using all the colours per brick!
Daniel used a whole purple chalk stick! oh my!
Alaina’s work. Rainbows so sweet!
Julia, here and there.
Hop scotch.

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!

Quiet Day at Home

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!

Cooking super!
This guy, sleeping with his food!!! Lol! Wrapped in so many blankets!!! How!!!?
Jack is not camera shy!
This girl, well . . . Isn’t she sweet!! Lol!
Happy go lucky Alaina!
Daniel doing his favourite thing!

 

Our Overnight Trip Away From Home

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.

Back left to right: Food, Diapers, Alaina and Julia’s suitcases. Front left to right: Thomas Bag, Cold food, Daniel and Jack’s suitcase.
Spare clothes and beach towels
Our own dishes for a possible surprise outing
Food. That bread is my homemade bread stored in the bag I have been saving for such an occasion.  Bag of cleaners and medical supplies.
Some good stuff to go with my oranges! Shot of Vodka with a slice of orange or two. Seriously! Beats the box/canned juice.

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.

Outdoor fun
Waiting for the water to turn on.
There it goes
Not a big spray, got to stay close to get wet!

Gang up on Uncle Steve.
Thomas cruising, well, learning to!
Bailey and Samson

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
Cousin Jessie, beautiful than ever!
Steve and cousin Emma, Jessies sister
Dance Floor, I am no where there!
Bailey and Drake
Me, Chris and Steve
Me and Steve
Trio brothers. Steve, Mike and Chris. Some bunny ears too!
Chris and I. We got to slow dance. Been a long time since we did that! While here at the hall, we realized its been over 10 years since we were in here! This is where we had our reception and party on our Wedding day.
Chris reusing his cup!!
I was having a blast!
Steve enjoying himself too!

 

This was one of the best days in a while. Lots of fun, family and laughter.