Archive for Family Stuff

Week #42 Saturday Top Five Laughs

Saturdays Top Laughs dentistmelsbbutton-11

I think I am finally on a roll for Saturday Top Five Laughs posts. Woohoo! Once again, joining The Mommyhood Chronicles for Saturday Top Five Laughs – week #41 (for us)!

4. Hubby slipped in our hallway and knocked over the water cooler. You would have thought that World War III broke out.

3. Our oldest wanted our youngest to come and give her a kiss goodnight and Jr.’s response was, “No, you didn’t call me ‘the chosen one‘.” Oh my!

2. I am sitting here and I hear a voice groan, “I’m pregnant!” I look over and one of our daughters is sitting next to me with a ball beneath her clothes. Then another daughter does the same thing with another ball, but bigger ball. The first daughter goes, “How many children do you have in there?” Then a third daughter does and and the second daughter asks here, “How many children do you have in there?” I think they have lost it! Now the first daughter just exclaimed, with the big ball beneath her shirt, “Ahhh I am having quadruplets!”

1. Watching children learn to use the yo-yo is funny!

And I cannot think of a fifth one….brain is fried or frozen. Take your pick!

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Hermes the Guernsey-Jersey Bull Calf – Wordless Wednesday

FFR Hermes 122014

Remember our Guernsey-Jersey bull calf? We sold him in December. He was closing in on nearly 300 pounds at almost 3 months of age. We had to take some photos before he left for his new home. Of course, he was not very cooperative and moved quite a bit. Hopefully these photos show how big, healthy and cute he was/is!

FFR Hermes 122014_2

We did not even advertise Hermes was for sale. Someone had come to our farm for something else and asked to buy him and we decided to go for it. He was picked up a few days later. Comet, his mama missed him for a while and still does at times, but she is adapting now that we have her mama, Miss Moo back from her date with the Jersey bull.

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Week #41 Saturday Top Five Laughs

Saturdays Top Laughs dentistmelsbbutton-11

Hey, a second week in a row, I’m on a roll for Saturday Top Five Laughs posts. Let’s join The Mommyhood Chronicles for Saturday Top Five Laughs – week #41 (for us)!

5. A son, “I think I have high blood pressure because of the dishes.” He happens to be on dish duty this month. :o

4. Hubby through a paper this week and it landed in the bushes. Being a sly wife-y, I took a photo! lol!

FFR Robert in bush

3. Our oldest daughter told our youngest that he is the chosen one so now when you ask him, “What are you?” He says, “The chosen one.” He even told our daughter when she wouldn’t give him some candy that he was “The chosen one!”

2. Jr. was eating pizza and this is what he did with the cheese…

FFR Jr and cheesey pizza

1. Oldest son accidentally upset youngest son and when he went to comfort him, youngest son bit him in the shoulder. Ouch and ugh!

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How To Pick The Perfect Swim Instructor

How To Pick The Perfect Swim Instructor

by Kaitlin Gardner

When we started a family, I wanted my kids to learn how to swim. It was a skill that they would use for a lifetime, and our family would be around the water many times. Just going to the local pool and signing them up for classes didn’t feel right for me. I did homework to find the best instructor I could for my kids.

Ask around. I asked a number of parents with older children about their swim instructors. I heard some good things, and some parents steered me away from programs where they didn’t feel satisfied with the results. I was glad I took that time, because it helped me narrow down the choices before I went any further. I’ve found some great resources with more detail about swim programs for kids:

Boy Swimming

Photo attribution: Yatmandu

Learn To Swim: The Importance of Swimming Lessons

What Every Parent Should Know About Choosing A Swimming Instructor

Swim Lesson Plans

A personal visit. Once I narrowed down my options and had a list of swim schools that sounded the strongest, I made visits. I talked to the manager of the school, to get an impression of how professional the person was, because I felt like his approach would filter down through the school. I wanted someone who took the job of teaching my kids to swim as seriously as I was approaching it. I was really impressed by the commitment of the school managers, and knew I was on the right track.

What’s the plan? I wanted to know how the teaching would be handled – would they just have the kids jump in the shallow end and start showing them the Australian crawl? I wanted classes that would work through a plan where the kids learned basics and moved forward building on that foundation. I found several schools that had similar lesson plans, and I felt really good about the thoroughness and approach of the lessons.

Check instructor credentials. I asked the school managers what certifications were required for a swim instructor. I had looked online and found the required levels of certification, and in every case, the swim schools followed those standards. I was feeling really good about the schools at this point. Some people might think I was going a little overboard, but with the lives of my kids at stake, I was willing to take extra steps.

Watch a class. I asked the managers of the schools if I could watch a class. I had read that if they don’t want you to do that, it’s a warning sign that the school is not a good one. In every case, the schools I was considering encouraged to watch their swim classes. I sat and talked with other Moms who were watching their kids in class. I got a couple of names of great instructors from them, so I made sure to sit in on those classes. I had narrowed my choices to a couple of instructors by this point.

How’s the attitude? I didn’t want my kids to be taught by somebody who was just going through the motions, so watching the class, I was checking for the attitude of the instructor. I was amazed at how calm, caring and thorough the instructors were. They made sure each child demonstrated proficiency with what was being taught before they moved on. I was astonished by how well mannered and orderly the kids were. When I made my final choice, I was confident I had found the perfect instructor for my kids. It made me smile to watch them learning how to swim, and how their confidence in the water grew with each lesson.

Kaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania, where they enjoy exploring the countryside to discover interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint watercolors.

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Halifax Seaport – Wordless Wednesday

FFR Halifax Seaport

Halifax Harbour

While we were in Nova Scotia, we visited the Halifax Seaport farmers market. We went on a Sunday and I was surprised that is was not very busy. All the boys wanted to do was look out the huge glass bay doors at the Halifax Harbour! The water was quite choppy that day. Not sure this photo does it justice. It was a cloudy, cold day so we did not walk down on the boardwalk near the water or I could have taken better photos. I took this one from inside.

FFR Halifax Harbor at Seaport Farmer's Market


Halifax Seaport Farmers Market

The Halifax Seaport farmers market is a year round indoor farmers market, which I thought was great! I would have loved to have visited every day of the week just to see how much traffic it actually generates. My sister said that when she and her husband went on a Saturday, it was packed, which led me to believe that probably is the busiest day for the market. I was too busy looking around to think to take photos INside the market.

Do you have a year round farmers market near you?

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#40 Saturday Top Five Laughs

Saturdays Top Laughs dentistmelsbbutton-11

I am trying to get back into the groove of writing a Saturday Top Five Laughs post. I am still trying to find my blogging barrings after a month off, plus the holidays and so on. Without further delay let’s join The Mommyhood Chronicles for Saturday Top Five Laughs – week #40 (for us)!

5. When we were at Victoria Park Nova Scotia, our son said the water looked like root beer! ;)

4. Last week would have been Elvis Presley’s 80th birthday. I grew up listening to Elvis because my parents were Elvis fans. When I mentioned Elvis to the children, some of the younger ones asked who he was so I told them briefly who he was and then I shared a couple of music videos. As we were watching the first video, Jr., our three year old goes, “He can sing.” Just matter of factly. I forgot to tell my mom this when I was talking to her. She will get a kick out of it!

3. Jr. called a red pom pom a pimple and when I chuckled, he goes, “What’s this called again?” ;)

2. One of our son’s bemoaned, “Ohhh, I think I broke my tailbone.” Not the funny part. The next part is…A younger son responded, “But you don’t have a tail.” He said it seriously. ;)

1. The children were all reading Calvin and Hobbes…need I say more? It was fun listening to their pure-hearted laughter.

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Washing Babydoll Sheep Wool – Wordless Wednesday

Our Babydoll ram has been losing some of his fleece. Our oldest son decided to collect it and wash it.

Steps to follow when washing Babydoll sheep wool:

1. Filled the sink with hot, hot water. He said he got it up to 180′ F.

2. Then stir wool around.

3. Put a tiny bit of dish soap or laundry detergent in the water. Keep stirring. Not too hard.

4. Change the water. Repeat the process.

5. Lay out to dry on top of dryer.

Here is what it looked like:

Washing Wool_1_

Washing Wool_2_

Washing Wool_3_

Kind of disgusting, isn’t it?

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January is Organizational Month

FFR January is Organizational MonthYou may or may not recall January is Organizational Month. I have been trying for three plus years to get organized and it never fails something keeps coming up to hinder the process.

I admit I cannot seem to get our home organized the way I would like it. It is like I have a brain film over my organizational skills I used to possess. Perhaps 2015 will be my year…finally.

We are in the throes of de-junking now. We gave away several bags to charity last week and will have more to give away at the end of them month.

What do you need to organize? Do you have any tips to help the organizationally challenged?

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Falls at Victoria Park Nova Scotia – Wordless Wednesday

We traveled to my native province Nova, Scotia, Canada for a month in November/December 2014. It has been nearly ten years since we have been back “home”. We had an awesome visit. It was sooo good to reconnect with my sisters and have them meet our three younger children. It was wonderful to see my family bond with my children and visa versa.

Falls at Victoria Park_2_

Two of my three sisters each took us hiking. C took us to Victoria Park. Victoria Park has walking trails up a mountain, stairs to offer a more challenging hike, falls, picturesque views, a playground and pool (open only in the summer). Our older children had been there on our last visit in 2005, but our younger children had never been. This is a photo of most of the children overlooking the falls at Victoria Park Nova Scotia. Our oldest son stayed home with hubby to take care of the animals.

Nova Scotia received an inordinate amount of rain while we were home, especially my hometown. Farm fields were flooding, the rivers were high, lawns were saturated and as you can see, the falls at Victoria Park were roaring. Can you believe we were without jackets almost in the middle of December?! We have never been hiking in December, let alone hiking twice in the span of a week and a half!

FFR Falls at Victoria Park 121114

More from our trip later…

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#39 Saturday Top Five Laughs

Saturdays Top Laughs dentistmelsbbutton-11

It’s been a long time since I have last posted a Saturday Top Five Laughs post. Our last minute trip to Nova Scotia kind of threw me off. Without further adieu let’s join
The Mommyhood Chronicles for Saturday Top Five Laughs – week #39 (for us)!

5. Someone older in our family tried to eat a cheese stick with plastic on!!

4. While we were traveling to Canada, our youngest had a melt down. So we called my husband, who talked to him for five to ten minutes. There was complete silence on my youngest’s end, until we realized he’d fallen asleep!

3. My son passed gas on me and when he couldn’t do it again, said he wasted all his farts earlier.

2. Several of our children kept mixing up the names of family members and calling them Nanny B (a combination of Nanny and their Uncle’s name) Aunt B (really their uncle’s name) and Uncle C (really their aunt’s name.)

1. Youngest daughter: Can I have a cheesestick?
Youngest son: I’ll get it my lady.
Youngest son: *bringing it to her* Here you go my lady.

And that’s a wrap for this week!

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