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To My Dearly Loved Grandfather

Posted by Live Love Mom on September 18, 2020 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Dr. Stéphanie McEndree

Dear Grandpa,

I can't believe you're gone. I was sure we would have at least a few more years together. I wasn't told that you were in pain, or that your health was declining. I wish I had been informed sooner, before it became too late. I was told before you went, you had no more pain. I am glad that you were able to pass away with your dignity intact, and that you are no longer suffering. You never wanted to be in a nursing home, so I am relieved you never had to go in one. You were able to stay home with your wife and close to your loved ones. 

I am very thankful that you came to my wedding. My brother and myself, and my girls were able to see you one last time before you passed away. My brother hadn't seen you in three years before then so it was especially important. You got to meet his girlfriend of now seven years. I am glad that I went to visit you April of last year. We got to spend a week in your home where my girls brought you great joy. My oldest particularly enjoyed your company, and would cuddle and hug you a lot. We all sat together during mealtimes and ate well. 

Not many men live to meet their great-grandchildren, and I am so happy you met yours. I never had the pleasure of meeting any of my great-grandfathers, and here both my kids met both of theirs through me. It truly is a blessing. You were there for the most important milestones of my life; my children's blessings, and of course my wedding. You got to meet my kids when they were babies, and got to watch them grow up to school age. That certainly is something.

I remember you fondly. My brother and I would play in your basement when we were just kids. As we grew up, we got to spend more time with you. I would cook with Grandma and my brother would accompany you in your wood-working. I'd knit with my grandma and you'd play outside with my brother. We were always well fed, loved and pampered when we went to your home. We got to spend time with my aunt Trina and all her dogs. You even came to visit us during different holidays. It was very special having grandparents who not only spoke english, but who were so active in our lives. There wasn't a birthday or Christmas that went by without us getting a card from you and Grandma, even as adults. 

When I visited you in PEI, you told me your life story. I wanted to share that with the family now, and I can tell you that I won't ever forget it. You were a strong and brave man, and you loved your family the best you knew how. We will always remember you and keep you close in our hearts. We love you, Grandpa. We attended your funeral and there was no dry eye, not even my kids. They understand now that you're gone and you aren't coming back. They also know that you are watching over them now. Rest well, Grandpa. Rest in peace.

You were born the day after Christmas in 1939 to Alexandre Hallis and Marie Marguerite Baker, in Montreal. You were their first child, and you would later have six brothers and sisters. The youngest of your siblings was born when you were 9 years old. Your family lived in Longueuil, and you were particularly close to your Aunt Rosie. When you were about 15 years old, you were given to an all-boys orphanage. Your mother was deemed mentally unfit to care for her children, and your dad was working. Your siblings were also put in orphanages. You spent your teenage years in that orphanage, and you were able to visit your family for Christmas. They always gifted you clothes, since toys were not allowed to be brought back with you to the orphanage. You got to spend holidays with them. The orphanage wasn't easy, as the boys would cause fights and there were bullies there as well. At 16 years old, you finally got out of the orphanage. Orphanages were being abolished and a foster care system was set up, and you had nowhere to go. You told me that your younger brother Georges was taken from your parents and placed with a foster home at that time. You said he was the only one never to have been put in an orphanage, and you suspect he was abused. You signed up after new year's in January, in the military by telling them you were 18 years old. You chose the Air Force, and started out as a Private. Finally you could start your career, and you had a place to go. In your 20s, you were stationed in Prince Edward Island, where you met my grandmother. You were married in August when you were 23 years old and settled on the island with your wife. The next year, you had my dad. My grandma got pregnant twice more but unfortunately miscarried. She was told by the doctors that she would never have any more children. You moved to Bagotville since you were assigned to the base there, and Grandma was pregnant again. Thankfully, 6 years after my dad was born you had a healthy baby girl, my aunt Trina. You stayed there for a few years and that's how my dad and aunt learned french. You knew french already since you were born and grew up in a french province, but it was new to my dad and his sister. Grandma of course refused to learn the language so it must have been lonely for her. As live went on, you were stationed in Nova Scotia, and even Germany as my dad recalls. My dad told me that at one point you were in boarding houses for military families, and there were rats that came in the house out of the toilet. I was told that you killed the rat, flushed it down the toilet, so that ''those other rats know not to come up this toilet''. That actually worked. You found your calling in the air force as a firefighter and put out fires in military airplanes. You had accululated so much vacation time that you ''went on vacation'' when you were 52 years old. By the time you were 55, you had retired at the highest rank, Chief Warrant Officer. You settled in PEI with your wife and daughter. You wisened into old age and watched your kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids grow up. You did wood-working as a hobby and didn't do it for a profit. You could figure out measurements just by looking at a photo of something. You were really talented. Your father's family came from the Ukraine and Poland, and your mother's family was french. You were buried in Pleasant Valley, PEI. 

Rest In Peace

Jean Hallis


Celebrate Your Birthday During Coronavirus

Posted by Live Love Mom on June 12, 2020 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (1)

by: Stephanie McEndree

Wondering how you can celebrate your birthday during a lockdown complete with social distancing? Are these times with the coronavirus making you wonder how you can still have a nice birthday? Are you wanting to celebrate your birthday without putting your health or anyone else's health at risk? You've come to the right place! Here we explore different ways you can still have a great time while also keeping everyone healthy and safe. If you are someone planning a birthday for your loved one during the pandemic, here are some good ideas for you as well.

Have a video call conference. Call all your friends and family into one place, or one at a time. They are sure to sing you happy birthday, wish you happy birthday and want to celebrate. Reminisce over the old times and walk down memory lane. Talk about your favorite moments together.

Get some balloons. If you want, have some balloons you can blow up or get some already filled up. It will give your place some ambiance and help you get into the headspace that this is a celebration. Turn on your favorite music if you like.

Bake a cake. Get some ingredients together or even just a cake mix, and bake a birthday cake of your choice. Don't feel like baking? Get one at the grocery store that's already pre-made. Get your favorite flavor, and make it festive with sprinkles and candles. Blow them out and make a wish!

Spend time with your housemates. Whether you live with family or friends, now is the time to take advantage of their presence. Cuddle with your significant other, play with your kids, enjoy time with your friends. Play board games, watch tv, go for a walk. 

Go to a drive-through. Get some takeout or go to a drive-through so you can get some hot food. Eat your favorites! Some places even offer free dessert if it's your birthday. Just show them your ID! Be sure to wear gloves and a mask when you go out just to be safe.

Go to a drive-in movie. You can go to a drive-in movie if they are open where you live. Stay cozy in your vehicle and watch a good movie outside. You can also put camping chairs outside and bring some popcorn and soda and some blankets.

Have a picnic. Go in your front or backyard or even in the living room. Place a blanket on the ground and have a nice picnic. You can have some grapes, cheese and crackers with some deli meats or have some sandwiches, salad, whatever you like.

Look at the stars. Lay on a blanket or in a sleeping bag and watch the stars. In August, there are even shooting stars and if you live up north you can admire the northern lights. You can look up constellations first, then try to find them in the sky. There are even some apps that help you identify and locate them. 

Got any more ideas? Comment below!

How To Spend Time WIth Family During COVID-19

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 29, 2020 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (4)

by: Stephanie McEndree

It can be hard being apart from your family during this pandemic. Here are some ways you can spend time together despite the coronavirus.

Video calls. Whether you use facebook, skype or even snapchat, you can video call with your family. People are starting to use Zoom so they can video chat with many people at the same time. Have an online family reunion and spend some time together.

Play games. There are apps linked to facebook that you can play together. You can also play games via video chat, such as bingo or battleship. You can play almost any game through video chat if you try hard enough, or are creative.

Activities. Do activities together online. You can go on video chat and watch the same youtube workout video and do the workouts together. You can try Zumba as well and laugh as you try to dance like the instructor. You can also learn a dance from TikTok together.

Phone calls. Pick up the phone and call your family! Especially with the older generation, they love having a phone call from their loved ones. If you're not sure what to talk about, you can always mention the weather and ask how they are doing and what they've been up to lately. A popular topic is how everyone is passing the time being cooped up.

Send them something. You can send a letter, a card, flowers or even a delivery meal to brighten up their day. If it's their birthday soon, mail them a small gift if you can afford it. It will let your family know you are thinking of them even during these hard times.

Got more ideas? Comment below!

Homeschooling During The Pandemic

Posted by Live Love Mom on March 23, 2020 at 5:25 PM Comments comments (0)
by: Rebecca Norris

Reminder: When making a schedule during this time as home, you don't need to be rigid with times! Let your child lead their own learning in their own time. If some activities run shorter or longer, that's ok!

NASA Video & Photo Library


Netflix documentaries


Adventure Academy

Buttonwood Park Zoo animal encounter @11am


Virtual Field Trips


Virtual Museum Tours


Daily drawing


Free science lessons


Scholastic daily lessons


Fluency & fitness


Storytime from space


National Park virtual tours


Cosmic kids on Amazon Prime and YouTube


New England Aquarium at home events & activities


Art lessons


Music Lab


Daily science experiments


Zoo School every Tuesday and Thursday at 2pm!


Marine Biology Camp

Mondays and Thursdays at 2pm


13 zoo live streams


25 min kids workout



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Top 6 Indoor Games

Posted by Live Love Mom on December 9, 2019 at 7:50 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Stephanie McEndree

Now that the weather is getting colder, it’s time to think of indoor activities for the kids. This is especially difficult when you have young children under schooling age.


It all depends on how much space you have inside your home.


1. Bathtub fishing: Buy plastic toy fishing kits that are sold at the dollar store. Fill up your bathtub, and put the plastic fish inside. Give the fishing pole to your child, and let them fish away! You can add bubbles in the bath to “hide” the fish and make it more of a challenge to find them.


2. Ball pit: Buy a small inflatable pool at the dollar store, and a bag of plastic balls at Walmart. Inflate the pool and fill with the balls. Place your child inside the pool or next to the pool and have them play with the balls!


3. Living-room camping: Erect a tent, whether a camping tent or a fort or a teepee made with blankets and pillows, in the living room. Place sleeping bags, pillows, blankets and flashlights inside the tent. You can include a picnic basket and have a meal or snack (s’mores are a great idea) inside! Prepare a series of flashlight games like making hand puppets with the shadows, light beam battles, or pretending your flashlight beams are the same as from ghost busters. Couple this with pillow fights and ghost stories and your camping idea will be a hit, no matter if you sleep in the tent that night or not!


4. Blow bubbles: Buy a bubble bottle at the dollar store, or fill a container, bathtub or small inflatable pool with soapy water. For a bottle filled with bubbles bought at the store, simply give one per child and one for yourself, and blow bubbles! You can also blow bubbles yourself and have your child run around to catch them! For a bathtub or pool with soapy water, have the child stand barefoot in the middle of the pool or tub. Use a hula-hoop and place it over the child and immerse the hoop in the water at the childs’ feet. Then, lift up the hoop around the child and watch your child be immersed inside a tube shaped bubble! Your child can then, inside or outside of the tub or pool, use several objects to make bubbles like hula hoops, keychain loops, coat hangers, or anything that has a hole in the middle!


5. Disco night: Choose various accessories to set the mood like over-sized colorful glasses, feathered boas, neon wigs, silly hats, and colorful clothing. Plug in a colorful light, preferably one that turns and/or blinks. Turn off all other lights, and watch the lights change. Turn on your child(ren)’s favorite tunes, and have a dance party! You can also turn on a dancing video on the television or computer and try to follow along.


6. Play tents: Buy children sized play tents and tunnels at Kids R Us. Set these up where you have the most space; your living room or child’s bedroom. Connect the tunnels to the tents, and watch your child(ren) crawl and run with joy! If you have some, you can also place child sized furniture inside the tents so they can pretend it’s their own miniature house!


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Gift Ideas For Kids That Have Too Many Toys

Posted by Live Love Mom on February 14, 2017 at 4:40 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Stephanie McEndree

Your children already have too many toys? Your family members ask what is bought as a gift during the holidays? Here are some ideas that will not spill over your toy bin.

Clothes. If you do not have enough, clothes are always useful. The children do not stop growing, and with the cold that is already here, we need warm clothes. A winter kit will not hurt either.


Go to the zoo. A ticket is worth a visit, but an annual pass ensures that children can go there more often. It guaranteed a good time and lots of good memories.


Pass for a play center. There are often play centers like Le Machin Chouette for example, which offer passes for the year. Choose a center near you because if there is a car crash, do not have to walk too far.


Go to the aquarium or biodome. This makes educational places for children and makes good moments with family. There is also the planetarium, the insectarium, and the botanical gardens.


Package for an educational farm. A good example is Guyon Farm, which offers a petting zoo and a butterfly center.


Package for a pool. For long, flat days at home when it rains, go to an indoor pool with your family. There are some who offer swimming lessons too.


A season of a sport. Do kids want to play sports, learn something, or do something? It’s a great gift idea to offer him some paid. A sport is also refundable on taxes.


Diapers for those who have children not yet potty-trained. This with wet wipes or washcloths is super useful. There never is too much!


Books are never wrong and stimulate learning. Even though they’re babies, parents can read them before bedtime.


Hygiene goods such as soap, shampoo, or special laundry soap that needs it. Toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc. will never go bad either!


Edible Delights that you can eat her choices that are always appreciated. Everyone has to eat, so it’s always very useful. Do you make muffins or good lasagna, etc? Done their dishes for tasting. Otherwise you can always buy a fruit basket.


A trip would be appreciated as well. Bus tickets, plane tickets, camping coupons, coupons for gas, etc. are all great gifts.


Tickets for events like concerts, theater, cinema, shows and circuses provide a good time for the whole family.


Movies for their collection, their favorite series, even a collection of funny videos would take the kids a bit as parents make a meal or clean up.


Apps for their phones or iPads for their fun or entertain when they get bored.


Music for their radio, iPhone, iPod, mp3 or even just an engraved CD will surely please young people.


Did you have other ideas? Put a comment!


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Top 20 Outdoor Activities To Do As A Family

Posted by Live Love Mom on June 24, 2016 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Stephanie McEndree

Here are the top twenty activities for kids during all seasons! Different types of activities are listed for variety. Whether you are low income, high income, in the country or in the city, here are some wonderful ways to entertain your children and spend time with them, no matter what the season!


Sports. This is a great idea year-round. It can be as simple as playing soccer in the backyard, to going skiing as a family, or playing basketball at the local gym. Sit down with your children and make a list of all the types of sports they would like to try, or are interested in. Consult your budget, and see what you can come up with!

Seeing animals. Think going to a zoo, or an educational farm. Seeing these creatures up close, and maybe even having the option to hold or pet one, will be thrilling for your little ones. You can even consider taking the children to a butterfly sanctuary or the aquarium.

Park. An idea as old as time, local parks are an easy, free way of entertaining your children. They can run around, slide, swing, and climb to their heart’s content while you can watch close by and catch up with your mom friends!

Fruit picking. This is a great idea for summer activities, and early fall. Not only is this very educational in the sense that your children will know more about where food comes from, but you get to take the fruits of your labor home with you!

Seasonal attractions. These vart according to the seasons. Visit a local pumpkin patch and corn maze during the autumn season. Attractions like skiing, snow-boarding, sledding, tubing and more are great pasttimes during the winter.

Fairs, carnivals and parades. Not only do these provide games, but also rides and food. Be sure to bring your camera, you will want to remember the smiles for years to come!

Sidewalk chalk. Provided there is no rain forcasted for that day, get your children some sidewalk chalk so they can create a work of art in your driveway or the sidewalk.

Puddle jumping. This is good for a rainy day, or the day after a downpour. Be sure to have your children wear their raincoat and boots!

Igloos. These can be tough to build, but a fun and collective effort to execute. Parenting hack: if you have a child-sized play house, place it outside and pack it with snow for an igloo-cheat!

Snowmen. Fun to build during the winter, be sure to build it close to your home so rebel teens don’t destroy it. Be sure to include the classics like the carrot nose, the hat and scarf!

Snow angels. Just put on your snow pants and plop on the snowy ground and snow-angel away!

Snowball fights. Gentle and without ice, pack a fistful of snow into a snowball and have some fun!

Slushes. Be sure to gather clean snow, and mix in a cup with some juice. There you have your own home-made slush! Bonus points for freshly-squeezed juice from your own fruit.

Leaf pile, good for photos as well as family fun! Try building a shelter with the leaves, and of course throwing leaves around. Afterwards, put the leaves in orange trash bags and color in jack-o-lantern faces with black marker.

Flower picking is great for spring and summer. Open fields often have wild flowers growing everywhere.

Camping can be cheaper during the off-season, like in April or September. You’ll need extra blankets, but just build a warm fire and you’ll be all set. Don’t forget the s’mores!

Fishing in a boat or on mainland is a creative way to get supper as well as spend some relaxation time with the family!

Pinterest art projects. This can include anything from handprint art, hand turkeys, even building your own life-size play-trains, kitchens and homes!

Treasure hunt. Make a treasure map for your children, outlining the backyard. You can bury candy under a leaf pile or even in the ground for the final prize! Bonus if you can get them to use a compass.

Tie dye shirts is a messy yet creative activity to unite together as a family. Keep your souvenire shirts afterwards and wear them with pride!


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Quality Time

Posted by Live Love Mom on March 25, 2015 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Stephanie McEndree

For parents who have shared custody of their children:


You may sometimes find your child asking about the other parent. Where is daddy? Where is mommy? I want mommy here too, I want daddy here. This can be especially difficult when you have more than one child, and they are both very young, therefore they don’t understand why their parents aren’t always together.


Here are some helpful tips to help your young children through this trying time.


1. Phone calls. Let your child call their parent, once a day on the days that the children are not with the other parent. Whenever your child asks about their other parent, offer to have them call the other parent. This way, they can keep in touch and fulfil their need to stay in the loop with what’s going on with the other parent.


2. Skype. Do you and your ex both have internet? I recommend skype calls. Your children will get to see their parent, and this will make them very happy. The other parent will then be able to show the child any changes in the home to prepare them before they arrive, and share what they are doing. Children are very curious and often wonder where the other parent is and what they’re doing. This will satisfy that curiosity while also maintaining the bond with the other parent. They will also appreciate very much that you let them keep in touch with the other parent.


3. Photos. Is your ex unavailable? Is he at work or at school? Go through pictures of your ex with your child, especially photos of your ex with your child. You can explain what your child and your ex were doing in that photo. If possible, you can show your children photos related to what you believe your ex is doing at that present time. Is he working? Show your child photos of your ex working. Is he sleeping? Show your ex photos of him sleeping, etc.


4. Videos. You can show your child pre-recorded videos of your ex. You may have home videos lying around from when you went somewhere as a family, or maybe he sent you a video of him and your child singing, dancing, or out somewhere special. Play these videos for your child. If you do not have any, ask your ex to record a video message to your child. What is really popular is a good night video, maybe with a lullaby or reading a passage from a children’s book.


5. An item from your ex’s place. This can be a special toy, a stuffed animal, or a blanket, even a book. An item from the other parents’ home can make the child feel closer to their parent, despite the distance. It can also feel good for the child to have something close, that he or she can hold and hug when they miss the other parent.


6. Keep them busy. While the child asking for the other parent is inevitable, what you can do is provide pleasant distractions. Keep the child busy with toys, games, and going different places. Visit the library and pick out books and movies, go to the zoo, go to the park, the aquarium, local fairs and parades. Make activities fun and new for your child. Enrich them with education and play, and they will be too enthralled to focus on their negative feelings.


7. Keep a steady routine. Ideally, this routine is similar to your ex’s routine with your children. It is important to communicate to the other parent if the child needs a bath, if they need medication, if they have napped or not, if they are due for a snack or a diaper change, etc. This way, the child’s basic needs are met without delay, and you are informed of how the day went at the other parent’s place. The child will feel less other-parent homesick when the routine is the same from one place to another.


8. Let them see your ex in-laws. Whether you go visit them yourself or your ex goes with your children alone, if they are good for your children, let it happen. The children love family and friends, and will like spending time with people who love them.


9. Let them see their friends often. Whether at the park, daycare, playdates, mommy groups or school, your children can always benefit from socializing.


10. Let your child see the other parent’s pets, if they have any. Your child can offer to walk the dog with you, so you can all go to a dog park and play with the dog. If your ex has other types of pets, you can play videos and photos of their pet so they can keep in touch with them.


The point is to keep the child feeling as safe, happy and fulfilled as possible. Do not get angry or upset at your children for missing the other parent. It is nothing against you. You and your ex were a couple before you became seperated, and your child may miss you being a family under one roof, which is normal. When seperating when the children are young, it is important to maintain seperation with the other parent so the child doesn’t get confused. Once the children see from a young age that their parents are no longer together, they will come to accept it and no longer expect or hope for both parents to be together all the time.


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