Thought I would share some photos from the past couple of weeks of summer. The above photo, the girls were excited to get dressed up for a dinner with friends at their summer camp. The background is our lilacs which were in full bloom this year.
In the below photo, fun in the sun all day resulted in the girls jumping for joy. :) This one is taken in Wickham, a beautiful village off the Washademoak (Wash-de-mo-eek) Lake.
We had our Canada Parade in Springfield/Hatfield Point. The girls were sporting their Canada Day outfits. The owl is Abby's new 'beanyboo' buddy.
One evening after a rain, Sheena and Willow discovered some visitors to the tree fort. Three of them were taking shelter in the kids 'country kitchen'. This one hissed at Willow who promptly ran away scared.
I had to post these grassy poses. The girls look so great and so old!!
Yep, that's Abby melting hearts with her cuteness. :)
Its nearing summer and the end of school for this year. Time has flown by so far, we all can't believe the hot weather is already here. With the end of the semester, the piano lessons come to a close with Rebecca's recital. This year, she played 'Sweet Forget Me Not'. It's an Irish song, which we first heard from Newfoundland's Great Big Sea before the girls were born. Now its a special song for us as Abby and Rebecca have requested it sung for a bedtime lullaby for several years now. Rebecca did very well with her recital in front of everyone.
With summer also comes blooming flowers here on our hill. While clearing the trails and paths around our house and land, I found a neat spot with a patch of Lady's Slipper orchids growing in a small clearing. I took the girls to see them and spoke about how rare they are to find in the woods, let alone in a grouping.
While we have had rain what seems a couple of weeks, yesterday, we finally had some warm sunny weather. We took the girls out to the Kennebecasis River in Hampton. Launching at the Rivercentre is a great spot to put in, but also a fun swimming spot for the girls afterward. We headed down Beamer's Creek which connects with the Kennebecasis just west of the launching spot. There are always many types of birds to see. We started with a view of an eagle's nest, going well with the feather Abby found before we launched.
Beamer's Creek is a nice relaxing paddle. Sheltered from the wind, the creek flows through marshland and tall elderly Maple trees which stretch over the creek throughout. We usually turn around near the large marsh behind Darlings Island, but it can be turned into a loop if you continue along the creek back toward the Kennebecasis.
Happy 9th Birthday to Rebecca! She was excited for this weekend for some time as she knew that she would get to visit with her cousins and run in the Bluenose Run along with her sister -- in Halifax! Rebecca requested a homemade 'chicken fried rice' supper and was happy to have a 'somewhat' surprise cake with her cousins. She was grateful for the gifts received over the past few days as well and wanted to send a thank you to all! Our first evening was spent enjoying company and catching up with family.
The following day, we started off to downtown Halifax to get ready for the kid's well-anticipated Bluenose Run. Originally, they had learned about it from a beach friend they met last year, who said she runs in it each year. Both girls had it in the minds they would do the same in the following year and had trained throughout the spring with Sheena. They've been attending 'kid fitness' at the local gym and practicing runs, even pushing strollers around for their laps inside during the cold weather -- so, just getting there was a big thing for them. Here's the crew of them lined up to take in some of the pre-event activities. (Rebecca, Ocean, Summer, Abby)
A large part of the experience of the Bluenose Run is enjoying it with thousands of others who also attended the race. For the kids races, they have it set up as a closed course -- so the kids run with other kids sans parents (in some cases) and have a big finish at the Metro Centre. There they meet back with parents among a large crowd of other kids also meeting their parents. Needless to say, the organizers recommend finding your meeting spot in the Metro Centre prior to the race and going over the race plan with your kids at the same time. We were told that this year a record number of people attended the kids races, with 4000+ running at the same time. We laughed, because 4000+ could easily be 6000+ with parents in the mix. Here's an example of the starting area prior to the kids run.
Abby started first and ran around the Halifax Citadel for her 2K run. Sheena met her at the finish line and had to try and get Abby's attention several times as she was running with such a determined and business like expression! Abby was proud of her accomplishment and her coveted blue nose.
Rebecca ran her 4K run around the Citadel and the Halifax Commons route. I tried to see her at the finish line, but there were so many people finishing that I obviously missed her at the line, seeing that she turned up at the meeting spot and Sheena found her first! She was also very happy about completing the race. It was one of their first races alone in such a large crowd.
After a celebratory dinner and a well needed rest at home, I enjoyed a 'quiet' evening with Kris and Jean-Paul for a couple of boardgames.
The following day, we had plans to meet with friends for most of the day. One of the visits was with Matthew, Melissa and meet their 7 month old Millie. We met them at the new Halifax Central library and had our introductions before heading off for a walk to get lunch and a stroll through the Public Gardens. The girls really took to Millie and Millie was a delight to see laugh and smile at the attention.
Here's Rebecca following Matt down Spring Garden Road.
Our last weekend in April was spent on a spring trip to home in Cape Breton for a long awaited visit. We had wonderful weather for our trip, which allowed us to do some hiking, beach walking and fishing. The above photo is Abby holding up her intro rock to our trip and her photo slide show. She was very excited to compile a number of photographs for her class to see where she had been and what she had done while she was away. This became a common discussion throughout our time away!
Our hike took us to the MacKinnon's Brook trail in the Cape Mabou Highlands. It was a crisp day, but great weather for hiking. We took the kids the 1.5k uphill to the look-off of the Northumberland Strait. PEI was visible from our perch above the ocean. Here's Rebecca with her newly found hiking stick.
The path to the look-off leads to a nice clearing and a good spot for lunch.
Abby relished in her usual job of caring for Willow along the trail. We love it too, because she keeps the pace going quite well.
There was the usual excitement upon arriving at our destination.
The timing was slightly off between cameras, but makes it fun playing with angles.
We were invited on another day of our visit to see the animals at a neighbour's house. There were quite a few sheep for them to see, chase around and in Rebecca's case, pick up like a cat.
There's also a kind horse called 'Flicka' at the farm. The girls enjoyed giving apples as a treat. They were laughing at the way she reached out with her teeth to pick the apple from their hands.
No trip to the Mabou and Inverness area would be complete without a beach walk. We spent a couple of hours enjoying the sights and also keeping our heads down for sea glass.
Our Saturday afternoon was planned for a while, specifically to go fishing with Grampa in the Southwest Mabou river area. Both girls picked up the casting and fishing very quickly this year. They are certainly growing up fast. Grampa took home two fish, which Abby really enjoyed cleaning! She was so excited and retold the story of how she used scissors to 'cut the fish from the poop hole to the head'.
Last but certainly not least, we had a big moment while in Cape Breton. The girls have been listening to East Coast music, noteably fiddle music since they were very young. They've danced around our house, their grandparent's houses and elsewhere. They've heard stories of us going to square dances and listening to fiddle music, but were never able to go because a) they were a bit young and b) they couldn't manage to stay up that late. However, finally, this weekend, we had the chance to bring both of them to the year-round square dancing in West Mabou. These dances have been going on for decades and although not in the busy season at this time of year, they still provide some fun on a Saturday night. Its a bit hard to take photographs and video in the dimly lit hall, but hopefully you'll get to see the kids at their first dance. I'll never forget the looks of surprise and enjoyment on their faces while they swung around with us and figured it out (ha!). Abby was a trooper and danced three sets (9 figures) while we were there. So much fun yet to be had with these two!