Summer Fun

What a busy summer! The kids spent their first summer free from daycare. They had many lazy morning and adjusted to a “summer sleep schedule” pretty much the first day after school ended, sleeping in until 8:30 or 9.

We spent many weekends at the cottage exploring the swamps and lakes behind our cottage, and getting out into Georgian Bay exploring some of the bigger islands and getting all the way out to the French River. The water was so warm and great for swimming this summer. The girls have gotten so much more comfortable in the water and Leah is starting to swim a lot more without her life jacket!

By the water
Swimming!
Finally without a life jacket!

Our August week was spent doing some work on the dock and lots of swimming! We also got a bunch of cleaning and rearranging of furniture and removing some of the really old stuff. The weather was a bit unpredictable and we got some very strong winds and rain on a couple of the days, great for naps and catching up on a good book. There were lots of blueberries to be had, so there were many blueberry pancakes and a couple blueberry pies. Ava and I went on a bike hike to one of the lakes in the back, We built a little teepee and collected pretty rocks. Ava decided to name one of the hills we climbed after herself because it was the prettiest rock with a good view. Hopefully we remember which rock it is in the spring so we can take her back to see it again.

Drying off in the sunshine
Enjoying a s’more at sunset
Sunset
Blueberry picking
I get the feeling this munchkin did more eating than picking
Baby painted turtle. Taught the kids about safe handling and where they like to live and what they like to eat
Our Sporting Poms out on a hike. They love the cottage as much as we do.
Picnic Lunch on our Piney Island
My Girls

Nick and I took the kids to Kingston for a weekend this summer to celebrate Nick’s Grandfather’s 90th Birthday. It is wonderful to spend time with family to celebrate such a huge milestone.

September was beautiful. A lot of people close up the end of August or just after Labour Day so the river was quiet. We went on a boating adventure all the way to the mouth of the French River past what used to be the French River Village. There really isn’t much left of it now – it was decommissioned in the ’40s or ’50s. It’s fun exploring the small islands and seeing some of the old fishing camps. My dad has so many stories that have been handed down from his father that we can share with the kids. It is so much fun taking the pontoon boat out for picnic lunches. We have traded the sausages on the a fire pit for more of antipasto style lunch. Lots of cheeses and some meats as well as some couscous and fresh bread. Something about a huge forest fire going through last year makes people a bit touchy about having a campfire.

Sunsets are so different every night its hard to not take a thousand pictures.
A view of the La Cloche “Mountains” from the cut through to the French River.
Found a cranberry patch way up on a cliff.
My kids being their wild selves.

I can’t believe how fast the summer seems to fly by. We had so many great evenings planning and dreaming about what projects we are going to do next. It seems that we have run out of small and relatively inexpensive projects. Time to save up for the big ones – raising the cottage, septic system, perhaps even building a new cottage… dream big they say. We are probably going to close up for the winter the weekend after Thanksgiving. Its usually fairly miserable, cold and wet, which makes a bit easier to go home. I am already looking forward to next season.

We are all starting to get back to the fall routines. The kids are having a blast with school. The reunion of friends for both the girls has been fun to watch. I am getting to volunteer in Ava’s class again this year. I really enjoy watching the kids grow and change over the year. I got my dad to order a pack of daffodil bulbs for the kids to plant in the school garden so they can watch them grow and flower this spring!

The kids will start back to CrossFit Kids in a couple of weeks, and Ava has started back to dance classes. Its good to get back into a solid routine. My house might actually get some much needed attention. We spent yesterday working in the gardens. I think we are going to make a more low maintenance garden here and plan bigger ones up north. We had great success with cucumbers, hot peppers, tomatoes and potatoes up there, They love the heat from the rocks the soil warms up and stays warmer longer up there. I got 4 jars of pickled jalapeños off of one plant!

Off I go, its a good afternoon to get the cars all cleaned and get some stuff in the garden done so it’s ready for winter.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Well, I don’t know what happened to this year. Last time I had a few minutes it was November, and here is it is January 2019!

The kids had a great time with Halloween. This year they walked up to all the doors by themselves and I got to walk with a bunch of Leah’s friends Moms. Its nice to chat and get to know them.

The girls all dressed up for Halloween! They are dressed as Shimmer and Shine from a kids tv show.

November brought the first snowstorm of the season. The girls got to have a friend over and they spent much of the time playing outside building snowmen and having toboggan races.

Play dates in the first snow!

What do you want for Christmas??

December came before I knew it, and we were full Christmas mode! We attended some wonderful parties with so many wonderful people! The girls both put on wonderful winter concerts at the school. Leah is involved with the primary concert now and it is a bit more of a production than the kindergarten concert.  At the end of school we dropped the girls off to stay with their Oma for a few days so we could get Christmas presents pulled together and prepare Ava’s new room. The office has been relocated to the basement and the floor was painted and re decorated for Ava.

Getting the Christmas tree all decorated.

Leah is getting so tall! She was a great help this year getting all the decorations organized and hanging up her favourite decorations!

The kids chasing me up the tree. I can’t hang the lights fast enough.

Waiting for Santa!

We spent Christmas eve with Nick’s mom, we had a lovely dinner and a carol sing and play put on at her church. Christmas day we spent with my parents and Grammie. The girls are lucky to have great grandparents both sides  that are able to play with them still.

Opening her stocking!

Christmas Morning!

The dogs got into opening their stocking too!

They loved getting each other a Christmas present

Talking Turkey!

I had to work a bit over the holidays, but I had the first week of January off. It was so great to spend some quality time building puzzles, playing board games and lounging in pjs watch cartoons.

I finally got around to finishing up some scrapbooking from the year. I print a big order from Shutterfly once a year and then spend a good part of the day pulling the 4 books together. One for each kid, the cottage and ourselves. I think it takes as long as it does because it is so fun to look back through the years and also looking at the recent photos and remember all the fun/good things we did this year. It also starts the count down to when we can get back to the cottage.

I took the girls Christmas photos in January this year, Leah wasn’t really in the greatest mood, so I may try again in a couple days. The snow is pretty right now.

Christmas Photo

Happy girls!

We are ramping up for our competition season. Nick is competing in his first competition in a couple weeks. Im so excited to share the experience with him.

Im working towards my Masters qualification this year as well. My first exam is in February! I have really forgotten how to study and it has been a challenge getting back into it! I am looking forward to getting this first part done. If I pass I will be presenting a scientific paper at a conference in May along with an oral exam.

 

Back to the books!

Changing of seasons

I am behind on posts as usual, I just finished writing about August, and here it is November.

We enjoyed another beautiful week at the cottage at the beginning of September. It was beautiful weather and the water was very warm. I took the girls on a bunch of picnic lunches and spent much of the time just enjoying being outside.

Leah and Ava out on a hike in the swamp.

Picnic Lunch

Hazel, Kodi and Ginger like the chair we pulled out of the cabin. It has a good view of the river.

Cleaning up the shed that came down last fall. We had a bit of a fire and cleaned up some of it.

Family hike

hiking

The association on our river held our annual pot luck get together on the long weekend after having to reschedule due to the fires. There was such a great sense of community and great fun had by all. It was so nice to get to chat with everyone and how they coped with the fire. What was destroyed or what they did while we were all stuck at home waiting it out.

The fire was still considered active when we were there for our week in September so we didn’t do too much exploring. We went swimming at our island in the bay. It would be a wonderful place for a cabin, and we keep tossing the idea to the universe and maybe we will win the lottery one day. For now we just go and spend the day there. Have a picnic lunch and explore our little island.

some mosses and ferns are starting to grow, the damaged areas are always changing now.

Ginger loves boat rides!

We spent almost every weekend in September at the cottage. The water stayed warm for so long this year. Our cousins were up at their cabin again so we spent a day with them at their cottage. It is a lovely place out on the bay, that has also been in their family for a couple of generations.

The last sunset warm enough to be out on the boat. Ava doing her best to stay awake.

On the weekend of the 22, my dad went up on his own to the cottage and we got a terrible wind storm that moved our dock and waves were crashing sending water spray all the way up to the front door of the cabin. When the weather broke my dad had to head home, so when Nick and I went up the following weekend we needed to get the dock ready for winter. Which also meant someone needed to get into the water to hook the anchor to move it. I somehow managed to volunteer myself for this task. So I cooked myself by the fire and created as much of as sauna effect as I could. Found my dads diving booties and jumped in! It was cold! I had to attach our ratchet lever hoist low enough on the anchor chain so we could lift it off of the bottom. Then I jumped out of the water and the two of us pushed the dock back into place, dropped the anchor back down then get back in the water and undo the hooks so we could take the come along back out. I was back by the fire as fast as I could be. I am so thankful that we don’t need to pull our dock out every year.

Cold drive up the river!

Late september sunset. If you have been following the sunsets you will notice how much it moves during the year.

Hazel thinks the water might be getting a bit cold for swimming.

 

October came so quickly! We had a great Thanksgiving. My mom and I worked at Rockton Fair on Saturday showing people how to work with wool. My mom spent the day spinning and carding and I knit for the day, The scarf I started last fall is almost done now!

Ava “helping” clean up leaves

Leah is also great at “helping” rake leaves.

Nick and my dad closed up the cottage on the following weekend- it was not as cold as last year but still almost too chilly to be there. We do miss the wood fireplace at our house now. This time of year I find myself surfing the realtor.ca for bigger houses that come with a large garage and a wood burning fire place  with some room for a couple of chickens.

Well, November is here and so is the snow. I am starting to look forward to the Christmas season. That first dusting of snow always sends me into a Christmas crafty mood. I have some projects I am working on for gifts and cookies to bake! I need to get some Christmas photos of the girls, perhaps on Friday when they have a PD day.  Time really seems to go by faster with each year that passes. I am glad that I can track little snippets of it here. I enjoy going back through and seeing how the girls have changed.

That’s all for today! It’s story time- Another chapter of the Secret Garden.

Puppies!

What an exciting few months we have had in our house! Ginger, our pomeranian, had a litter of 5 puppies on January 31st. This is probably why I haven’t been very good at updating my blog! We have really enjoyed watching the puppies grow and finally go to their homes.

Pomeranian puppies at 1 week old.
Puppies at 1 week old.

Pua (like the pig from the Moana movie) at 1 week old.

 

 

Bread- 1 week old 

A huge milestone. At around 4 weeks old their little eyes start to open, they are dark blueish.

The first few weeks were very easy, the puppies lived in a large box with Ginger, She kept them clean and warm and they didn’t really move around much. At around the 4 week stage we got them an exercise pen and they started really moving around and being quite active.  Once they hit about 6 weeks old, they were really engaging and the kids really loved playing with them every day.

At 5-6 weeks old they have found their feet and can see and hear. Much more interactive, watching them play can make hour slip away.

Raven at 6 weeks old.

Very playful puppies.

They love to play with each other. As each one went home the rest would miss their sibling.

Hazel- causing trouble

Sleeping Hazel.

Finn

It was great meeting the families who were going to take the puppies home and watching how excited they were when the big day arrived. We kept one puppy- they are so hard to resist, her name is Hazel and the girls love her to bits. She is fitting in well, and is learning very quickly.