School Year Finished, Summer Begins

On the last day of school, we were asked to attend for a presentation being made to Rebecca at middle school. Rebecca received two awards: for excellence in English and leadership in her grade. It was a nice surprise for all of us.

We were lucky to dog sit this past week for a perfect little dog, ‘Simon’. The girls were quite taken with him.

Abby finished grade 5 this week . It was bittersweet for her as she had to leave her favourite teacher – Mrs K. W. She has been in her class for 3 years in a row and was incredibly lucky to have a teacher that was so kind , caring, dedicated and fun at the same time. We are grateful for Mrs KW.

This spring, Abby practiced for her final play, “Jukebox Time Machine” . Abby had a lead role with her friend Kim. It was a treat to see her singing all the eras of music.

Rebecca had her summer semi formal dance — and was excited to dress up and dance with her friends. She practically jumped out of the car when I dropped her off at the school for the dance.

The Bay

We live close to a large bay connected to the Saint John River, which is tidal to the Bay of Fundy.

Steam ships used to visit Hatfield’s Point and the wharf back in the day. At present , it’s used as the gathering point for the community, mooring boats and in our case, a jumping platform!

School year ends, Summer begins

The end of the school year brings great weather and with that outdoor activities.

We love our local river in Springfield, with its big maples and nice landscape views. The girls played in the sand on our turn-around spot, while I fished for bass.

During the girls last week of school was their track and field event. Both girls had lots of good practice at the events from their run, jump, throw sessions this spring.

During one of the 400m heats, Rebecca was in last place only to get a bout of determination and pass everyone to come in second. Her face says it all.

Abby always participated as well and is getting more competitive and aggressive with her running. This is the same girl that still gives away cards when playing a competitive game of Settlers of Catan.

With school finished, we’ve been having heat wave after heat wave, which is rare for us this time of year. We tend to beat the heat by heading to our local watering holes of sorts. Below is the girls before the Canada Day celebrations.

Dad took these awesome photos of us during one of the hot spells, while spending the afternoon at Shaw Falls. I’m lucky that girls love waterfalls as much as I do.

Dad and I took to a new thing for us, a game of golf. Dad spent the time giving me pointers on clubs, hitting technique and how best to find your ball. We ended up scoring a little differently and judged ourselves on balls found vs balls lost. We came out ahead! Below, Dad is putting at the golf course in Midland.

It wouldn’t be summer without heading to a cottage by Johnston’s Point. Rebecca and Abby spent their days and evenings in the water of the Northumberland strait.

Only new last year, the ladies have been full into softball and have been making us proud each game in key positions of pitcher or first base. Both are learning each position quickly and surprising us with quick catches and good hits. There’s something relaxing about watching the kids play softball in the evenings amid a country setting.

Rebecca is pitching above, and Abby at bat below. They are in separate leagues this year that thankfully play at the same time.

The funniest part is the after game play by play of the game’s highlights.

Spring-ing along through the season

As it always seems to happen, once the weather  and temperatures of winter leave us — spring comes fast and so do the activities along with it.  Sheena has kept the ladies busy over the past few months with weekend day trips for hiking or other fun stuff, such as the indoor trampoline park at ‘Get Air‘ in Moncton.  There are so many activities in one spot and within an hour will certainly tire out anyone, including two busy kids of ours.

For the past three weekends, the ladies have travelled in our area with friends for day hikes to Friar’s Nose, a steep but worthwhile climb to a lookoff in the Parleeville area near Sussex.  We’ve been there a few times before and the view never ceases to please. The group also headed to a past destination for us at Kierstead Mountain Falls.  It’s a great spot for a quick waterfall adventure and also not far from Sussex.

Spring is also ice rescue training time for the Belleisle Valley Fire Department.  I enjoy taking on the tasks involved in practicing for ice rescues.  Modern equipment makes it easier to get in the frigid water and focus on techniques and safety.  I helped out some of the newer members who were trying the suits out this year for the first time.

Sheena and I had a nice breakfast date during the week, which seems to be the trend lately.  One of the days there was a balloon in the morning air above Sussex.  I was lucky to have a quick visit to Ottawa during a course in March.  Any visit to Ottawa must include seeing the Parliament buildings.

On one of our Sunday outings, we headed to the Norton area for a geocache in one of the areas of the Stonehammer Geopark.  Areas around Saint John have unique and old rock formations, including fossils found in the the rock walls we were looking at off of Hwy 1.  While cutting the highway, riverbeds and flora fossils were found in the rock.  Seeing the ripples of a river bottom perpendicular to the ground is a strange experience! The girls were excited to look for and spot the different fossils along our walk.

We also have been moving toward more older kid outdoor activities at the house — and had the chance to put up a trampoline.  Needless to say, they’ve been at it whenever they have a spare moment — including a world record time before 8 am on the first day after it was assembled.

Spring is also time for fishing — and not too far from our house.  A Christmas gift from Aunt Wee and Uncle “Fish” , they’ve been putting their new rods to use.  Trying to follow in their Grampa’s shoes — or as seen in a recent photo — hat!  Grandpa (Dad) had fun posing for one of Grandma’s (Mom) paintings from years back.

Skating: Canada Style

What happens with a stretch of sunny winter weather; the Olympics on television day and night; a flag; and a provincial holiday weekend? Skating and pond hockey.  In the past couple of days, we headed out to our local ice and took along our sticks for a family game.

Abby practicing her moves!

A few pictures from our pre-game warmup.

They wanted faceoffs!  Here you go girls.

Just a beautiful set of days in our neck of the woods.

Rebecca had a few practice moves as well.  We are lucky to have a nice spot so close by.

March Break in NB

We decided to stick around our own wintry New Brunswick for March Break this year.  We had an eventful week with a hike, two days of skating and a trip to Fredericton to a ‘science museum’.   Our hike was to the Parlee Brook Amphitheatre Ice Falls near Poley Mountain.  The girls enjoyed the 4 hour return hike in beautiful weather and incredible ice scenery.  It was my third of 40 this year.

Our skating adventures were on two radically different temperature days.  One was just above zero, the other about -12.  Needless to say, the ice conditions were amazing at our neighbourhood ‘pond’.  The ice was as clear as the water in the summer time.  Abby loved sliding down the banks onto the ice.

During our ‘rain day’, we drove to Fredericton for a 3 hour visit at Science East.  The girls spent the time exploring different experiments demonstrating all sorts of science facts and themes.  Their favorite was a wall painted with phosphor, which held the illumination of a flashed light for a short period of time.  Rebecca was also picked for a ‘hoverboard’ demo as part of learning about gyroscopes.


New Year news

During our Christmas and New Year break, we had some fun with family and friends.


The girls had a visit from their Aunt Laurena and also took a trip to Resurgo Place, a museum in Moncton, where we all met with friends and cousins Karen and Kelly.  The museum has neat learning play stations, where you can try out experiments and inventions, plus the usual exhibits.

New Years was a great time for the kids.  They were invited to their first New Years party and got psyched up with New Years movies and music before going.  The midnight fireworks were a big hit — for some more than others!






We also took a trip to Cape Breton between the snow storms after New Years.  It was a short trip, but we were able to catch up with the grand parents, spending a few family days packed with activity.  The big hit was The snowstorm day where we spend time playing games, watching movies, sledding, ‘belated Christmas dinner’, snow wrestling and more silly games!

Of course the beach combing in winter was our outdoor highlight.

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I took a 11 kilometre snowshoe hike on my birthday as part of my 40 at 40 challenge this year.  Sheena gave a gift of hikes to me, and I just have to do them! I’ll post more details on each one as I knock them down.  The first was in Wagmatook, Cape Breton.  I hiked in 3-4 feet of snow to the Humes River, in search of Humes Falls.  I did lose the trail near the end and without map or GPS, decided to turn around as it was getting late in the day.  Poor Willow was tired , not to mention her owner too.  A retry will be necessary.

Moving into December already!

IMG_0083Seems like time is moving along really quickly this year.  We’ve already reached and passed first report cards for Grade 4 and Grade 3.  Both girls did really well and had great reports from their teachers during Parent/Teacher meetings.   

 I asked if Rebecca could take a picture with her 3D printer in her class — as its been the source of much dinner table discussion at home. The 3D printer is in the background at right.  The green cup creation is a product made by the class.

IMG_0083 We seem to hold true to our traditions each year at Christmas time, which means we’ll have Hallmark Christmas movies playing around the third week of November, attend the Santa/Christmas parade in Moncton, our own house decorated for the Christmas Tree Party we host every year and our own Christmas Tree ready to go the week after.

Sheena’s mom always enjoys when the kids come to their house and decorate their tree.  Here’s Abby with a few smiles and getting into the spirit.

We’ll usually time our trip to Moncton for the Christmas Parade.IMG_0083  You can’t beat their floats, marching bands, animals and the crowds for the event.  It was one of the nicer ones we’ve been to this year and with fireworks no less!

I snapped a quick photo of the kids waving to the man in the red and white suit at the end of the parade!  Both were quite excited to see him after an hour watching the others go by.

We were introduced to winter this year in one swoop of snow overnight.  We lost power IMG_0083overnight during this storm and had about a foot of snow to play in, ripe for making snowmen and forts.  It seems to have stuck around as well for the Christmas Tree party, which we had this weekend.  Everywhere else in the area has brown grass still!

With Christmas also comes Rebecca’s first piano recital for the year.  This year, she played ‘We Three Kings’ and did very well playing in front of the crowd. IMG_0083