Neat Notes

I really thought that I would be blogging more again this summer, what with all the time that I have at home just hanging out with the kids.   It turns out that days in the summer just fly by whether you want them too or not and it’s hard to believe there’s only one more week in July!    And here’s proof we are getting close to August,  local sweet corn!  And the kids are all helping shuck it,  and more than the corn itself, kids helping always is my favourite. 🙂

But we’ve been keeping busy and having fun and even today was kinda exciting because we woke up to this…

Our Monarch chrysalis was black!  That mean that today would be the day a butterfly emerged and so I moved it outdoors so it could warm up and not long after that we saw this…

A brand new butterfly!   It just never gets old.  And ever since we made our Butterfly Garden, every year we raise at least a few butterflies, although I’m really started to suspect that I get more joy out of this process than the kids.  Although Sophia is completely enthralled with them this year and calls me over to look at the caterpillars multiple times a day.

It’s just so amazing to watch a tiny little caterpillar like this one (he just hatched yesterday and that’s Sarah’s finger not mine)


go from that small to this big in a just a few weeks.

Almost 2 inches long and pooping like a champ.

We have quite the caterpillar nursery going here right now with eggs and babies and caterpillars.  Call me crazy but it’s just my summer hobby…  so there !!

And I’m enjoying everything all a little bit more this summer because my house has miraculously been staying tidy.  Even more tidy then when the kids were in school and that is a small miracle in itself.  But I have to say I really think what is helping is my ‘neat notes’.  Let me explain.

I’m a very scattered person.  When I am doing one thing I am thinking about a million others and even some simple multi-tasking like baking and talking and the phone doesn’t work so well for me.   (Anyone for muffins without flour? )

So a typical mess making scenario happens something like this.  I walk into the kitchen to make dinner and I’m thinking of a millon crazy things as well as probably talking with the kids.  So I start to cook without being really focused, and then before I know it, whoops, the kitchen is a disaster zone!    I can be very very messy and it takes ages to clean up after supper.    And I got so tired of it that a few weeks ago in a fit of frustration with myself and my careless ways, I printed off some notes for myself and taped them up all over the house… example…

And believe it or not, they’ve been working!  For this oh-so-scattered-girl, they really work!  I come into the kitchen thinking of those million things things, but then read the note and think, “oh, I can do that” and then I do!  It’s cut down on my kitchen clean-up time after dinner by 60%, it’s wonderful.

And another example…

Again, the notes just tend to bring me in the present, make me focus for a minute and bingo,  I’m not leaving a trail of destruction after me, which is at least a start.    Once I get myself straightened up I can start in on the kids. 🙂

These notes kinda make me laugh at myself and my mom says that they are like I’m nagging myself, but I just know that they force me to focus,  and that it works.  And I’m finding that in my pregnant – and let’s be honest… irritable state –  a neat house is one less stress in my life.

And a less stressed mom is a happier mom who can spend more time watching caterpillars and butterflies and playing with her kids.  Isn’t summer wonderful?


Sometimes, you walk down the stairs into a play-room that’s finally clean and see all four of your kids sitting together on an old gold love-seat watching a DVD together and enjoying each other’s company…  and then in that moment you realize that you must document this immediately with a photo because these moments are what mother’s live for…  not to mention the fact that they are few and far between. 🙂

More often than not, the moments look something like this…

I’m so happy to own a camera!

And then I can capture the girls on film….

And the boys…

And then I won’t ever forget these days.

Sometimes I just feel like the most blessed, most unworthy mother in the whole world!

Playing Hookey

Last week was the kids last week of school.   But they weren’t there to enjoy it.   Instead of tarmac and portables, my kids were feasting their eyes on this…

That’s right campers, we pulled our kids out of school for the very last week and went to the cottage and  it was one of the best decisions we ever made.   In fact, when I told all the kids teachers what our plans were earlier in June, they all looked at me without hesitation and said ‘No problem!”.    Report cards are done,  things are all wrapped up and they are basically just trying to keep the kids busy so it was no skin off of their back.

So don’t tell anyone but we would love to make this a habit.  🙂

We went to our favourite town and hiked on our favourite trails and even played at our favourite park.

Sarah found a little someone who I’m sure she wished was real…

And I got my picture taken!  I was there, on vacation with my family really!

And then we got to celebrate Erik’s birthday there!   Our boy is 9!

Erik does the best reactions when he opens gifts.

And who wouldn’t have a face like that if you were 9 and opening up a model rocket from your grandpa.   And then on his actually birthday a plane from Oma and Opa…

And we celebrated with the traditional birthday pumpkin pie which was delicious even in June and it’s just so great to see this child of ours growing up and he makes me proud.

So enjoying family, the lake, friends and July the 1st with the most enjoyable, most random display of fireworks I’ve ever seen in my life,  made this little extra vacation we snuck in one of the most enjoyable I’ve ever had.

It pays to play hookey.