Last jumps of the season

Summer is practically over it’s true.  Although our weather keeps trying to make final come-backs, like this past weekend when it was so warm that although Jason was in the process of closing the pool, the boys had to take some final jumps…

And no, he’s not jumping into an empty pool,  I can’t imagine we’d take a picture of that.

Yes Will, thumbs up to jumping into frigid water, but you are 6 and that explains alot.  It doesn’t explain why when you were goofing off with your brother this morning in the basement when you should have been getting dressed, you –  in your apparent bid to protect yourself  –  grabbed a can of coke, shook it and threw it.    Well all I can say is that after the wrath of God (in the form of your mother) came down upon your head you were suitably sorry for your foolishness.  And I guess at 6 you can be allowed a little foolishness.

It may also have been foolishness for me to buy 2 bushels of pears to can when I already have enough on my plate.  And because it was so warm last weekend they all ripened at once and so I’ve been spending my days and nights canning pears and now the house and I are one big sticky mess.    But I sort of feel a bit Laura Ingalls-ish when I look at all my canning and jam, and just dare the long winter to come this year because we will be just fine living off our canned pears.   Well maybe not but there is something to be said for that good feeling I get  when I look at my full jars on the shelf.

So the pool is closed, the pears are canned, the weather today almost feels like a warm summer day…  but we’re ready for fall!

Our wonderful (Not Thanksgiving) Weekend

We really enjoy going to the cottage in the fall, but when we went last weekend it was more with the fond hope that the weather would still feel like summer.   It didn’t, until the day we left which seems to be the way things roll at the cottage.     We had taken a few extra days to make it a long weekend and I know that I remarked more than once that if we had brought and cooked a turkey, it could have passed for a Thanksgiving weekend no problem.  The weather when we got there Wednesday night was downright chilly and Thursday was cold and very windy,  but the light was beautiful when the sun managed to peek out from behind the clouds.

When I ran back into the cottage after taking this shot my feet were almost numb, because weather or no weather I refuse to wear socks and shoes on the beach and look like a renter even on a Thursday in mid fall when there isn’t a soul around.  That’s my pride, or maybe it was just me being lazy and not wanting to find my flip-flops.

By the afternoon it had warmed up a little more and we were able to spend more time outside, the kid played in the sand…

suitably bundled of course, and later that night Jason had fun with the camera…

I do enjoy a good landscape photo…

Seriously the clouds and the lake really made us feel like we had suddenly been transported into mid October. So we were thankful when the wind calmed down Thursday night and it was great weather on Friday to do some hiking.

Just a daddy hiking with his girls…

And someone obviously worked very hard to make this bench out of sticks along the trail and as it was a bench made out of sticks on the trail, it had to be sat on by the children and as their parents we dutifully took the picture the situation required..

As an aside, someone was joking the other day about not having pictures of the youngest child. But I have to admit that in all honesty, I probably have MORE pictures of Sophia than of the other kids. Maybe it’s precisely because she is the baby and I feel I have to capture every second before she grows up on me just like the rest of them.

On Friday night we were joined by some good friends with their four kids and their pop-up trailer.   They soon settled right in…

The kids love having other kids to play with and they kept each other entertained for the rest of the weekend which was nice for the parents!

So that was our weekend. Nothing too thrilling or exciting, just a fun relaxing weekend with family and friends not eating turkey and pumpkin pie, which is too bad,  because that would have been delicious.

Walking with the Wise

I wanted to let  you know about a great kid’s CD put out by Sovereign Grace Ministries.  It’s called Walking with the Wise and the songs are all based on Proverbs and they are so catchy!  I love listening to them – along with the kids of course – and nothing beats hearing your kids sing,  “To tell the truth is what I want to do, because you love the lips that speak the truth.  To tell a lie leads me away from you, so help me God, to tell the truth.”    Just one of the many great songs on the CD.  We also love “Lazy Bones” and “A Cheerful Heart”…. I would HIGHLY recommend this not only as great tunes, but also a great teaching tool for your kids!

You can download it directly from Sovereign Grace here, but be warned that although a bit cheaper, it does involve unpacking it and copying files so if you like things easier, you can also get it from iTunes.

Happy Dutch Women

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while but when you decide to combine back-to-school with re-painting your kitchen and living room, things are bound to not get done.    The painting should actually be done tonight, and so my house is almost back in order, with a huge emphasis on the ‘almost’.

A few weeks ago, Macleans our Canadian news digest,  published this article about how Dutch woman are some of the happiest in the world.  I loved it.    The reason they are so happy?   They don’t work full-time!  Most of them work part-time and some don’t work at all.     One of the women interviewed in the article stated that she has only ever worked part-time… “to have time to do things that matter to me, live the way I want. To stay mentally and physically healthy and happy.”   I say, “Right on!”    Now of course this means that these women aren’t trying to become CEO’s and hold other top positions in companies,  in fact the article also states,  ” Dutch women rank consistently low, compared to those in other Western countries, in terms of representation in top positions in business and government—and rank consistently near the top in terms of happiness and well-being.”      So incredibly enough, they’ve traded working away their lives trying to reach the top, a cog in a world of faceless cogs, to  make a more fulfilling life for themselves and they are  HAPPY.  Happy, that rocks.

If you read the whole article you will see that there are those who aren’t happy about this.  They feel that women should be striving for equality in the work-place and that refusing to do so is a slap in the face to feminism (which I’m not a fan of anyway)  and to stay at home or work part-time  is setting a bad example for their daughters and the one critic also goes as far as saying that Happiness is over-rated!  Happiness over-rated??    But the Dutch women simply respond that they should be able to choose to make the life they want,  and so they should.

What I love –  being of sound mind and one-hundred percent Dutch-blooded – is that these women are prioritizing things that they love over money.   And I’m sure money is why many women here in Canada feel they need to work full-time and maybe they do,  but we are a one-income family and yeah, we probably live more simply than others, and give up somethings that we couldn’t afford, but I don’t miss any of these things.    (And I even dare-say that we are on-par financially with many dual income families)   And to have the time to make my house a home, to care for my children and husband, to bake cookies and drink coffee with my friends…  yes, I would have to say I’m very happy too.

It’s a whole new world

Yesterday felt weird, really strange.  After I put my three children on the bus for school I was left with one.  One child to take care of for the entire day.   Just ONE.   It kinda threw my whole game off.  Jason thought I should have been extra productive but he doesn’t understand that this is a huge shift for me, I need to adjust.   And this adjusting time might take weeks.   It feels like a whole new world… with endless possibilities of napping, drinking coffee and reading. Ok, Ok, so maybe my focus should be on getting more things accomplished at home and getting some quality one-on-one time with my sweet Sophia, and maybe not more time shopping. I do like the fact that I can spend more time at the school and both Erik’s teacher and William’s teacher don’t mind me bringing Sophia, so yesterday I stayed and helped Will’s teacher for over an hour… I love that I have the freedom now to do that now.

Ok, so I promised some before and after pictures of Sarah.  Here was her hair before…

Then after…

See what a great job layering she did? And how much she chopped off?  And don’t mind the tag from her pj’s… but she didn’t want me to take pictures of her at this point so I took what I could get.

And then here she is Tuesday, the first day of school with her new hair cut…

I’ll admit at this point that we like her new hair cut. It’s really cute, combs out easy and she likes it… which is very important in the grand scheme of things.

And it’s hard to believe that our little girl has started school. She’s been excited for months and loved seeing her class and meeting her teacher Tuesday. But I was still expecting some tears yesterday morning or some clinginess or something for her very first full day of school, but apparently I expected wrong.

We arrived at the bus stop in plenty of time and she played with all the kids so she obviously wasn’t that nervous. And then when the bus pulled up, William grabed Sarah by the hand and brought her over to the bus without a back-ward glance.  I was running after her asking her for a kiss but she was too focused and kinda shooed me away!  So her and William got on the bus – thankfully Erik still asked me for a hug and a kiss before he got on – they found a seat, she gives me a glance and they are off.  It was kinda anti-climatic really.  I thought, “Fine! Go to school and don’t cry for mommy.”  But the nice part was is that I didn’t have to get teary or upset either.   So it really was a win-win situation.

And she had a great day, when I was at the school helping William’s teacher one of Sarah’s teacher’s walked by and said she was doing just fine. That girl is tough and I have a feeling school won’t ever get her down.

Now for an update on the boys.  They are doing great too.  Erik showed up for school the first day with a huge box of school supplies – he wasn’t excited about starting school, but he was excited about the supplies – and he’s adjusting to being with a new teacher in a PORTABLE.  Yuck, but someone’s gotta do it.  And William has a lovely teacher and has his best-buds with him, so he’s pretty much set.

So that is how we are rolling this September, all of us trying to find our new groove and although the weather is crummy, the out-look for this school-year is looking pretty good.