Pumpkin Carving Contest Photos 2018

pumpkin contest antigonish country parent


Did you submit your carved Halloween pumpkin photo yet?

Enter the contest for a chance to win great prizes by The Wheel, DQ, Subway, Pita Pit  and Goji’s!


Take a look at these wonderful creations for some inspiration.



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Green glowing pumpkin by Sherry & Cohen MacLean


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Patches, all ready for his dentist appointment! by Katie MacDonald


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Werewolf pumpkin by Katie MacDonald


keltic ford antigonish ad



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Toronto Maple Leaf pumpkin by the Bell family


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Angry pumpkin by Danny Hunter




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Ghost pumpkin by Mackenzie Gormley


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Ghost pumpkin and Jack-o-lantern by Mackenzie Gormley


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Jack-o-lantern and Carrot pumpkin by the Bouchie family


Kim Siver Re/Max realtor

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Cat pumpkin by Emily Spears.


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Creepy glowing pumpkin by Azel Noceja.


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Happy pumpkin by Bria MacHattie.


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Scary pumpkin by Jared MacHattie.


Sullivan's Auto Service


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Scary shark pumpkin by Patrick MacGillivray


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Cat pumpkin and vampire pumpkin by Lilah and Nellie Hallett (and Vincent Hallet)


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Buck pumpkin by Mitchell.


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Howling wolf pumpkin by Bria.


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Skull on fire pumpkin by Lauren.


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Ghost saying ‘BOO’ pumpkin by Angel.


DeCoste Electrical and Ventilation


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“Ahhhhh! Don’t eat me!” hungry pumpkins by Greylen and Myca Ash


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Happy pumpkins by Tigh and Nola DeYoung


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Yoda “Hmm, Happy Halloween you must have” by Amy Harris


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Happy vampire pumpkins by Bridget, Darren and Danielle Murphy


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Happy pumpkin by Simon MacDonald


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‘Optimus Prime is ready to roll out the treats’ by the Tate family


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‘Mr.Sucker Head is feeling sweet for Halloween’ by the Tate family

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Bob the minion pumpkin by Gavin Dort


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Anchor pumpkin by Jenna Dort


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Foster cat pumpkin by Ashlyn MacDonald


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Abstract art pumpkin by Grace MacDonald (“who at 20 months old wanted to join in on the fun!”)


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Charizard pumpkin by Easton Poirier


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Demers family creations by (top to bottom): Zach, Karlie, Marcus and Clara.


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Family of cat pumpkins by Hazel, Evelyn and Constance

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Griffiths’ family pumpkins


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Pumpkin in the Emerg. by St. Martha’s ER 🙂


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Kitty and Owl pumpkins by Jase Melanson


‘E.T. phone home’ by Aimee


Would you like to enter the contest too? CLICK HERE for the details.

Pumpkin Carving Contest logos


Fun Fall Activities in Antigonish

fall activities antigonish country parent 2019


Looking for activities to do this Fall?

Take a look at these fun activities happening in our area…




October 1 – October 28

Halloween Pumpkin Carving Contest 2018
Carve a pumpkin, then submit your photo for a chance to win great prizes!
For more information click HERE!
Pumpkin Carving Contest 2018 poster


Sunday, October 14

Fall Colours Fun Day At Keppoch 2018
For more information visit their Facebook pagekeppoch fall colours 2018 antigonish country parent


Sunday, October 14

X-Chem Nintendo Switch Labo Workshop
For more information see below
x-chem nintendo switch labo workshop


October 19

3rd Annual Halloween Harvest Bash 2018
For details see poster below
halloween harvest bash 2018 antigonish country parent


Saturday, November 17

Vikings Day Camp
For details see poster below

Viking day camp 2018 antigonish country parent


And throughout the Fall

Beautiful Local Trails

Enjoy the Fall colours by taking advantage of the many local trails available for free in our area, like the Antigonish Landing, Arisaig Provincial Park, Beaver Mountain Provincial Park, Brown’s Mountain, Cape George Lighthouse, Fairmount Ridge Trails and Chez Deslauriers Pomquet Acadian Trail.


Happy Fall!


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Find more local activities here: Fall & Winter Activities

World Oceans Day 2018 Sneak Peek

world oceans day stfx 2018

The StFX Biology Department will be hosting their 5th Annual World Oceans Day 2018 on June 9!

World Oceans Day, a global ocean celebration, promotes Ocean awareness through exploration, education, conservation, initiatives and beach clean-ups around the world.

This year’s theme is: Preventing plastic pollution and encouraging solutions for a healthy ocean.

What to expect?

There will be lots to see and do during the event. Be prepared to touch unusual sea critters, interact with the presenters and learn about local and tropical marine organisms.

There will be displays of preserved specimens (including whale bones, sting rays, cuttlefish, octopus) and many live microorganisms including sea anemones, sea urchins, sea stars, a variety of crabs, and our famous blue lobster!

Also on the list, a sea-weed station, make-your-own fossil print station, face painting, ocean themed crafts, and much more.

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Participating Organizations & Special Guests

♦  StFX Aquatic Resources Dept.  

♦  StFX Human Nutrition Dept.

♦  Bird Studies Canada

♦  Department of Fisheries and Oceans

♦  Canadian Coast Guard

♦  Nova Scotia Salmon Association

♦  Eastern Region Solid Waste Management

♦  The Sydney Odditorium

…Stay tuned, as we will be adding more to the list!

Antigonish World Oceans Day 2018 poster

See you there!


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First Tooth, First Dental Visit

by Dr. Paul Cameron, D.D.S.

“When should I bring my child for their first dental visit?”

As a full time family dentist, I get asked this question a lot.  The answer I give these days is based on recommendations from the Canadian Dental Association, and that is…

“I see infants by age 1 or within 6 months of the eruption of their first tooth”


When I started practicing dentistry 27 years ago, this was not the case. Dentists usually did not see a child until they were 3 to 3 ½ years old, because it was very challenging to get an infant to co-operate well enough at any age earlier.

During my career I started to notice that I was seeing a significant number of 3 year olds that already had lots of cavities, which concerned me.  I thought there must be something we can do as dentists to prevent this from happening.

In 2001, I attended a Continuing Education course in Halifax put on by Dr. Ross Anderson, who is the Chief of Pediatric Dentistry at the IWK Hospital.  He was starting an initiative to encourage dentists to see infants at an earlier age, by their 1st birthday.   I started to follow this philosophy almost right away ever since that course.    Dr. Anderson taught me how to do a thorough proper Knee-to-Knee oral examination” of an infant, and he taught me the important things to discuss with a new parent during that visit.


Knee-to-knee examination performed by Dr. Jennifer MacLellan, Paediatric Dental Specialist, IWK

Here are some of the key points

  • The child is facing the parent
  • The parent stabilizes the child’s arms and legs
  • The dentist stabilizes the child’s head on a comfortable flat surface (e.g. pillow)
  • There is constant communication between the child, the parent and the dentist

A complete video of a knee-to-knee oral examination can be viewed here.


Since that time, Dr. Anderson along with a number of other Pediatric Dental Specialists, have made this a National Issue, which the Canadian Dental Association has gotten 100% behind it and is actively promoting to all dentists across Canada.

One of the biggest challenges that I faced at first, was to actually convince the parents that the oral health of their infants was important and how poor oral health could really diminish how a child will grow and learn.  As I mentioned earlier, I was often surprised and dismayed when I saw how much dental disease was already present in my 3-year-old patients.   So now by seeing an infant at 1 year old, it gives the parent and myself an excellent opportunity to discover any issues very early stage and to have a healthy discussion on proper oral health care, including nutrition and home care.

The greatest reward from these early visits is to see the infant with their new parents get onto the right path to oral health at a young age.

There is a lot of information available to young parents on the Internet about oral health, but almost “way too much information”, and it is difficult to determine what information comes from credible sources.  Your dentist should be your “Go-To Expert Resource”, and there is nothing that compares to sitting down one on one with your dental professional to discuss the individual oral health of your child.

firts-tooth-full-pageEven after practicing for 27 years, I still get very excited to see a new 1-year-old patient on my day’s schedule.  To me, I know that is going to be a very productive and rewarding appointment with keen parents who want to do the best for their child, and as well it will be a fun appointment!



Paul Cameron, B.Sc., D.D.S. Antigonish, NS

Dr. Cameron is a full time General dentist. He is a past president of the Nova Scotia Dental Association, and a past Board Member of the Canadian Dental Association’s Board of Directors.

Five Kids, Hockey, Swimming and a SCAD

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by Micaela Fassina

Since February is Heart Health month, here’s a story for you. My name is Micaela and I survived a heart attack.


I was 44 years old, with 5 children between the ages of 5 and 13. I was relatively healthy, and trying to get into better shape. I was doing aquafit 4 times a week and learning to play hockey in a weekly mom’s clinic offered by our local hockey association. There is no history of heart problems in my family, I don’t smoke, or drink excessively, and I try to eat as healthy as 5 kids and a busy schedule let me. I’m a stay-at-home (or in-the-van) mom: at the time of the heart attack we were in the middle of a kitchen & 2 bathroom renovation and had 4 kids in soccer, 3 kids on swim team, 2 kids in diving and one in synchronized swimming. (Before you say anything, we do not force our children into any activity they don’t want to do – this was all their choice.)

On July 18, 2017, it was business as usual. The kids and I were at our community pool for their daily lessons and my aquafit. However, a child (not mine!) had been sick in the pool and it was closed while it was being shocked with chlorine. So lessons were dry-land, and the moms decided to do “land-fit” instead. I set aside my iced coffee, fully expecting to finish it in half an hour, and sat down to do some sit-ups. Except I couldn’t pull myself up for even one! Ok, on to lunges. Three lunges in, I experienced the strangest thing I’ve ever felt: an explosion radiating out from my chest going down both arms and up my neck into my jaw, and at the same time, a vice clamping down on my chest, all of it painful. I figured it was heat stroke, or sun stroke, or dehydration, or something. I went to sit down, but was now feeling nauseous and I knew something was very wrong. We had just recently lost an acquaintance to an undiagnosed heart attack, and my symptoms mirrored his. So I called my mom to come get the kids and then lay down in the grass. In the 10 years we’ve been members at our pool I never once lay down, so next thing I knew I was surrounded by concerned friends and lifeguards. They called 911, while my sister-in-law called my husband. Other moms were trying to keep my kids occupied and out of the way; apparently one of my kids was swinging a baseball bat around! Two of my kids refused to be distracted and sat watching me at my most helpless. I tried to reassure them, but was so sapped of strength that I could barely talk.

I never lost consciousness and my heart never stopped, but my memories of that time are disjointed and surreal. I remember trying to crack jokes to lighten the mood, and being disappointed that the firemen that answered the call weren’t better looking. I kept on eying my iced coffee hopelessly, wishing I could finish it. A friend rode to the hospital with me, and I made sure that she had grabbed my cross-stitch to bring along, just in case. By the time I was going through triage, I was already feeling better and was hoping it was just an embarrassingly strong case of indigestion. In fact, when my husband arrived at the ER, he didn’t have to ask where I was; he just followed the laughter.

Tests after tests were run: blood work, multiple EKGs, CT scan, ultrasounds and X-rays. Everything was coming back negative, except for one item in my blood work: my troponin levels were rising. Troponin is an enzyme released when the heart has been damaged – proof that I had suffered a heart attack even though I was perfectly healthy according to all other test results. After a night in the ER, it was decided that I would be admitted and sent to have an angiogram, which is a procedure where a catheter is fed through an artery in your wrist (or groin) into your heart. Dye is then injected through the catheter while you watch live X-rays images of your heart pumping. If necessary, this is also the time when stents would be inserted. It took a while, but the cardiologist finally found the remnants of a 30% tear in a secondary artery, which had already scabbed over and was healing by itself. Two days after the actual incident, I had an official diagnosis: Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection or SCAD.

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SCAD affects mainly, but not only, otherwise healthy women of child bearing age. There are no specific or consistent symptoms or warning signs. Some people experience the same pain I did, while others compare it to severe and lingering heartburn. SCAD can be a minor tear like mine, or a full-blown rupture requiring bypass surgery, or instantly fatal. It can recur, but why in some and not others is a mystery. Because SCAD is a rare diagnosis, there is currently not much research or information.

I’m currently on a daily regimen of blood thinners, beta blockers and baby aspirin for at least one year. But there’s nothing I can really do to prevent another SCAD from happening, since no-one can tell me why it happened in the first place! They have ideas: it might have been stress from the reno or over-exertion, or the heat, or my not having had breakfast that morning, or Mercury aligning with Pluto, or Zeus arguing with Poseidon on Mount Olympus… I sometimes wished I had been a smoker or morbidly obese, because at least then there would be a reason for the heart attack, and something concrete I could do to prevent another one from happening. And that is another source of frustration: trying to make people understand that SCAD is different from a “traditional” heart attack. My mother is still trying to rationalize what happened; she remains convinced that there must have been something in my life I could have done differently.

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My life since SCAD has been different, but the same. It took a couple of months for me to feel “normal”. I was not allowed to exercise for 3 months, after which I did a stress test (12 minutes on a treadmill) and got the all clear for everything except heavy lifting and isometric exercises. I’m seeing a psychologist for my PTSD, and thanks to social media, there is a great on-line community of fellow survivors offering support and understanding from around the world.

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My latest cross-stitch project


The initial recovery combined with the medications left me exhausted for quite a while. I have to watch myself and my stress levels, and make sure I have more “me” time and that I don’t over-extend myself – too much. With 5 kids currently in hockey, swimming, music and drama, there are days when I have to be in multiple places at the same time and I don’t know which way to go. But that’s what family, friends, a good support system and carpooling are for. And when I’m having a bad day, it’s ok to say, “I can’t do this” and go hide under the covers for as long as I need. Every time I hear of a woman my age passing away suddenly and for no known reason, I wonder if it was SCAD (Dolores O’Riordan springs to mind). But ultimately, I’m learning to not dwell on the what-ifs and the what-might-be. The most important thing is that I am alive and well right now, and still rocking the mom-wife-daughter-sister-friend thing.


Micaela Fassina, Supermom of Five Montreal, Quebec

Snowman Wall of Fame 2018

Snowman NS Country Parent

Welcome to the Snowman Wall of Fame 2018!


Grab some hot chocolate and browse through the wonderful creations submitted to the 2nd Annual Snowman Contest.



Click on the images below to get the full pictures and the details on the snowmen.

Click HERE to find out how to submit your own snowman picture for a chance to win prizes!


The 2nd Annual Snowman Contest is supported by


To browse through more pictures scroll down the post!


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Maleigha made this upside down snowman. Got flipped over by the strong Nova Scotia winds!


Snowman 2 Country Parent

Mama Snowman and her baby


Johnny Miles snowman

Johnny Miles running snowman


Chillin’ Highland Snowman


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Donna made a melted beads snowman, Guysborough


snowman 3 Country Parent

Cohen and Sherry made a Tartan proud snow-person representing Cape Breton!


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Bridget’s NS version of Scotland’s “Nessie”, a snow Loch Ness Monster


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Paris, Sophia, Julia and Sophie. Julia is an international student visiting from Brazil. This was her first time building a snowman!


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Finlay and Ronald with their happy family snowman.


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Samantha & Sabrina built this snowman: Mary, with her baby Patti snuggled in a toque.



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Madeline built this adorable little snowman in Sydney.


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The Blais’ family “little” snowman


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St. Joseph’s 4H Club members with their beautiful snowmen masks!


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Frosty the illuminated 3D yarn snowman!


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Catherine and Emily (pictured) built their family! The youngest is sitting on her Daddy’s head 😊


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Ellie and Jack with their snowman!


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Lillian’s and her grand daughter’s adorable snowman, Hants County


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Madison and her beautiful snowman Gregg!


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Jacqueline’s adorable tin snowmen from Cape Breton.


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This magnificent snowdragon was built by the Pinch family: Matthew, Stacey, Sylar and Dalton. The snow creature, built in three days, was inspired by Autism Nova Scotia who set up a program for Dungeons & Dragons to help people with autism work on their social skills.


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Lucas and his two wonderful snowman friends!


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Gina’s adorable spare sock snowman.


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Nora’s take on a traditional summer treat with a snowman twist: the Snowsmore!


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A worried snowman and an angry snowman made by Donavan and Keagan Gillis in their Lapland 4-H club!


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A Nova Scotia snowduck


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A Nova Scotia snowshark


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Bridget (from Bayfield) and Buckie (from Afton) made a colourful snowman family!


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Ronda Boudreau who loves snow made these two snowmen!


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A beautiful Nova Scotia snowman dreaming of sand and sun!


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Lauchie, Duncan and Adrienne with their happy hockey player snowman!


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A lovely tall snowman and his friends.


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Sheila’s beautiful tartan snowman!



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Abby’s colourful SnowFish!



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Lauchlin, Jack and Sophie from Afton built a StFX Xmen Snowman. They’re cheering for the XmenHockey team who are in Fredericton competing for the AUS cup. Go X Go!



Dani and the snowman she made in her backyard.


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Snowsisters built by Isla and Harrison.


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Lucy’s Easter snowbunny hopping over to wish you a hoppy day!


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Matthew with his lovely colorful snowman!


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Lucille’s ‘Upside down kinda day in Antigonish’ snowman!


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Owen’s little snowmen – small but mighty!


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Daniel and Thomas’ beautiful snowmen “Edith and Marjorie”!


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Cecy’s beautiful snowman!


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Happy tall snowman and his friends 🙂


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Scarlett’s 1st Snowman!


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A wonderful recycled tire snowman!


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Livia’s mini-snowman built with very limited amount of snow!


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Jeff and Kylee made this snowman. The snowman is sad cause he will be leaving soon (but will be back next year).


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Havre Boucher 4-H Club had a great time building 3 snowmen and a fire!


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Huggable snowman and his friends.



Click HERE to find out how you can submit your snowman picture for a chance to win prizes!


Does Your Family Use Vision Boards?

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Vision boards are a fun and creative way for children (and adults) to set personal goals every year.

They offer a great way for kids to get motivated and take action to reach their goals, especially in the tween years when most kids seem to start losing their motivation to engage in activities, or see the benefit in doing various tasks.


These simple visualization boards can help them hone in on their interests while developing much needed planning skills for the future.

Here are a few simple steps to creating vision board:

Keep it simple

All you need is a medium size poster board and glue, or a cork board and pins. Any type of material can be added onto the board: cutout pictures from magazines, newspapers, or simply written goals on a piece of paper, anything goes.

Big dreams & small dreams

It’s absolutely wonderful to dream big and include amazing goals on the vision board, but make sure to also include realistic and achievable goals.

Set specific goals

It helps to set specific goals and to think out of the box. The vision board can contain more than just ‘material’ things. It can include activities they would like to do, amount of money they need to save to purchase something they want, skills they would like to acquire or improve, places they would like to visit, ways they can give back to their community.

It’s also important to come up with a plan to actively work towards achieving the set goals.


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Include short term goals

Short term goals are easier to achieve and in turn can motivate children to fulfill the rest of their vision board goals.

For instance, if your child wants to receive a higher grade on their next week’s math test, then ask them to come up with a plan in order to achieve this goal (e.g. do an extra 5 minutes of math every day).

Include long term goals

Long term goals require more thought in terms of action planning, but can be broken down into smaller tasks along the way.

For example, learning to type using all ten fingers can seem overwhelming at first, but this skill can be achieved gradually over time. So, practicing keyboarding 5 minutes every day, while tracking and rewarding progress weekly, can make this goal attainable by the end of the year or sooner.

Personalize it

Get creative. They can personalize their board by adding things they love and things they are grateful for (e.g. the family pet).

As a parent, you might also learn something new from your ever-changing child. My son added on his board: ‘Learn to do Bardownskis’. So, I asked him if Bardownski played for the Montreal Canadians. He laughed at me. Turns out Bardownski is not an NHL player, it’s a type of hockey goal, where the puck hits the hockey net cross ‘bar’, then drops ‘down’ landing in the net …the ‘ski’ part apparently just makes it sound cooler!


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The bigger picture

Keep the vision board in their bedroom, in plain sight, as a reminder. When a goal gets accomplished… CELEBRATE!

If some of the goals don’t get reached by the end of the year… no worries. Learning to deal with setbacks, thinking positive, and noticing the good intention behind any goal setting is just as important as reaching the goal!


Vision boards can be a useful tool at any age. So try making one for yourself too. The outcome might surprise you.



In Defense of Bad Moms

by Micaela Fassina

Last summer, a fellow mom and I left our kids with the hubbies and went to see the movie “Bad Moms”. In a theatre full of other escaping moms (and an occasional dad) we laughed so hard we cried. And during the drive back to reality, we spoke about our “bad mom” moments. But it got me wondering why moms have to be labelled like this, and why we need a movie like this to make us start talking about the pressures of modern motherhood.

I think many moms can agree that the (often self-imposed) pressure to be a perfect mother can be overwhelming. Not only do you have to raise your kids according to the latest accepted standards, but you must only feed them home-made meals from locally sourced organic food. Your children must be able to read before starting kindergarten – easy enough since you can spend all your time teaching them in the many hours they are not watching TV or on any electronic devices. Once in school, lunches and snacks are nut-free, egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, and legume-free. After-school activities are scheduled in a relentless barrage of arts, music, culture, and athleticism. And the special events are Pinterested to within an inch of their lives.

I remember one Halloween when I baked and frosted about 150 pumpkin- and witch-shaped sugar cookies for my preschooler’s and kindergarten student’s classes. Looking back on that late night of frosting hell, I can only ask myself why did I felt the need to do this? Was it for my now 10- and 12-year old children (who don’t remember these cookies – I asked), or was it to impress the other overachieving moms? And I assume that many of these other overachieving moms were caught in the same vicious cycle as I was. We were all feeding off each other in some classroom version of “keeping up with the Jones’”, except the Jones’ were really only our own expectations.

On the flip side, one of my better bad mom moments happened when my older son fell face first down a jagged icy mountain of plowed snow (which I warned him not to climb) at the bus stop one morning just as the school bus turned the corner. After assurances that he was ok, he got on the bus, even though his face was covered with surface scratches. Of course, a half hour later I got a horrified phone call from the school as soon as they saw him, and had to drive to school with a tube of Polysporin.

They say the best comedy is based on real life. “Bad Moms” is an exaggeration of both sides, but it resonates with so many mothers because they see themselves, or other moms they know reflected in the on-screen characters. Halloween cookies excepted, I don’t do the perfect mom thing; but I don’t think I’m a bad mom either. I figure that as long as I raise my children to be well-adjusted and (in public) well-behaved, I’m doing OK. My children were in disposable diapers, and ate store-bought baby food. They watch TV and know how to find YouTube on all our devices. If they forget to bring something to school with them, I don’t run to deliver it. If they do not complete homework, I do not make excuses for them to their teachers. Their after-school activities are not forced upon them, but picked by them – if they ask to do it, they can do it. Teaching them to be independent and letting them learn from their mistakes will serve them better in the long run than me “helping” them by doing everything for them.


Pictures from both extremes: my homemade jams & cakes, and the kids doing their things (my daughter dressed herself).

Micaela Fassina, Supermom of five Montreal,Quebec


Antigonish March Break Activities

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So March break is right around the corner. If you are staying in the Antigonish area throughout the break and looking for things to do, here are a few ideas:



Programs your kids will love

 😀 At the Library

The Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library (PARL) offers many free activities during the break! Make sure to register early as some programs are space limited.

march break parl


 😀 Science fun

The StFX Chemistry dept. offers the X-chem Outreach Science Club.

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For more children activities click on the following links (which can also found under the Antigonish Kids Corner tab in the main menu).


Outdoor activities

 😀 Hit the trails

Explore the numerous trails in our area. Enjoy the fresh air whether it’s hiking, coasting, skiing, snowboarding or snowshoeing.

No equipment? No worries, the Town of Antigonish Recreation department loans recreational equipment throughout the winter months.



😀 Identify animal tracks

Animal tracks are easy to find in the snow, especially early in the morning. Snowshoe hare, squirrel, grouse, deer, raccoon and mice are some of the most common animal tracks you might encounter.

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Hare tracks and grouse tracks

😀 Build a snowman

Although the Snowman Contest is over, you can still submit your snowman pictures to countryparent@gmail.com (subject: Snowman) to join the Antigonish Snowman Wall of Fame 2017!

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Indoor activities

 😀 Swimming and skating

Take advantage of the free skates and free swims offered by the Town of Antigonish until March 19.

TOA free activities


 😀 Bowling!

Enjoy a game of bowling, day or night, at Pins Bowling Center.

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😀 PC Cooking school

Family cooking classes are offered at the Atlantic Superstore.


 😀 Spring cleaning?

Why not. Get an early start on your spring cleaning and get the kids to participate too! Now is the perfect time to go through last year’s summer clothes, which they have probably outgrown. You can drop off clothing and footwear in the designated Canadian Red Cross bins closest to your area.donation boxes


Happy March Break!








Definition of a Supermom

by Micaela Fassina

First of all, I have to say that I have never, ever called myself a Supermom except in the most derogatory manner. Other people call me Supermom all the time, which made me uncomfortable because I think that I’m just surviving, treading water, trying to keep from drowning under all my various obligations. But let’s take a closer look.

If sheer quantity of children defines a Supermom, then I qualify. I am a mother of five children, ages 12, 10, 7 and 4-year old twins.  But that wasn’t planned.  We had already gotten rid of all our baby stuff after kid #3 when we found out we were expecting twins and had to get it all back times two! Don’t get me wrong; I love every single one of my children and couldn’t imagine my life without them.  But being a mother of five was not part of my game plan when I graduated university.  I know a mom of seven (yes, seven – no multiples!) who was trying to convince her husband to go for #8. I would call her a Supermom, because she actively pursued this life and thrives on it (at least in public).

Maybe it’s volunteering that makes a Supermom.  All my children attended the same co-op preschool, of which I am now the treasurer after doing a stint as the co-chairperson.  I also do my assigned duty days (doubled now because of the twins) helping the teachers in the classroom.  When my oldest was on the competitive swim team, I was a timer at her meets.  I spend one afternoon a week in the elementary school’s library.

If kilometers logged while chauffeuring children to activities makes a Supermom, then I guess that’s me as well. This year, all 5 kids are playing hockey, the eldest started an after-school drama, the 10- and 7-year-olds are also in Kung Fu, and the twins are taking winter swimming lessons. We just finished a summer of soccer for 4 of the 5, and swim team and diving at our local pool.  I rarely have to drive more than 50 km away from our house, but I’m always in the car.

Is the ability to multitask like a boss the ultimate Supermom qualification? Well, as I am writing this, one of the twins is coming to me crying because the eldest “pulled my dress”, so now I’m typing with one hand as I comfort & snuggle a preschooler. Oh, and the oven is preheating so I can cook dinner.

Reading this overthe-twins, I still don’t think I’m a Supermom – not unless I consider that I am surrounded by other super people: my husband who coaches hockey and soccer, and both sets of doting grandparents as well as aunts and uncles, who are willing to lend a hand whenever necessary (which is often).  That, and my jumbo kitchen calendar (if it’s not on the calendar, it doesn’t exist), keep me afloat enough that I look like I know what I’m doing.

But if there’s one thing that makes me feel like a Supermom, it’s the fact that my kids love me & think I’m the best mom ever (even if I yell too much, and am often the worst mother in the world).  When they tell me that I’m the best cook, or look to me for validation, or come to me when they are hurt or need their tears wiped, that’s when I know I’m a Supermom in their eyes.  Ultimately, that’s the only label that matters, no matter what other people might call me.

So, no matter how you are living your life, with one kid or seven, single mom or with a huge support system, if your kids love you (and they do!), you are a Supermom!

Micaela Fassina, Supermom of five Montreal,Quebec