Thursday, September 8, 2011

Summer in a Nutshell

I've been pretty MIA this summer... so considering it's September, I'd say it's high time for a quick recap of the past two months!

I will be touching on both vacations we took (one with Jon's family followed by a visit home with my family) a bit later... but for now, here are a couple highlights!

* Lazy mornings *
I'm not sure how, but the girls internal clocks switched to "summer mode" as soon as school ended! Rarely were they up before 8:45 am - 9 am... and that my friends makes for one happy mama!

* Strawberries*
Homemade jam stocking the pantry and frozen berries stocking the freezer... mmm   mmm good!

* Pinto the Pony *
Remember this equestrian friend?

Our neighbors gave him to us a long while back. He still looks like he has a bad case of leprosy... 

... but the girls absolutely ADORE him, in spite of his drab appearance!

There have been many summer horse races won on this here champ.

My winter plan is to give Pinto a make over for next summer... so needless to say, my painting skills will be brushing up in no time! (ha!)

* Sprinklers *
Alia received this hopscotch sprinkler for her birthday and with the SCORCHING hot summer we've had, it was a hit!

We set 'er up on the back patio (three cheers for no wet grass on wet feet!!) and the girls could party to their hearts content... 

... or until their skin turned too pruny for their liking!

* Cruisin' the Circuit *
As you know our little lovelies have their fair share of four wheeler and snow mobile rides... but this John Deere Gator took the cake! Some good friends brought it out to our place while they were visiting and it was hearty enough to carry all five kiddos around the yard!

Apparently Larren didn't know what to think of Miss. Jillian's hat! :) I happen to think she looks positively scrumptious in it!

* Sisterly Selections *
Okay... it's probably obvious by now, but I thoroughly enjoy dressing my
 girls alike! I've limited myself to only a handful of matching outfits... to keep from going overboard... but when I see sights like this out my window, it simply makes my insides smile!

* Slave Labor *
Our patio table was quite due for a washing when I got a grand idea! Why not have the girls do it?! :)

Fill up a bucket with sudsy water... hand out some old clothes... and we have two happy helpers on our hands!

And let me tell you... they did a more thorough job than I would have done!

There was no stopping them...

the play box got washed, the church pew (on the verandah), the patio table, the front steps, the kids' picnic table, their cozy coupe, and of course...

Pinto too! From not just one, but two sisters!

Clothes were getting drenched quicker than you can say "soggy diaper", so into their bathing suits they went.

Larren was the first one to see visions of swimming pools... 

... followed by big sister!

They were happy to cool off and I was delighted to get a few things crossed off the to-do list!

* Roll Kuchen in the Kitchen*
Raise your hand if you know what "roll kuchen" is... yup, that's what I thought. Only the locals know what I'm talking about! So I'll enlighten you with what I've learned over the years...

-Roll kuchen is basically deep fryed dough that is paired with watermelon. And that's what the menu consists of. Nothing else! No meat, no veggies, no main dish... if you're lucky you MIGHT get corn syrup to dip it it... but apparently tradition is tradition and no one else thinks the meal is as incomplete as I do!

- It started out as a Mennonite thing, but now I think pretty much everyone in this part of the world eats it... regardless of religion!

- It is only eaten during the summer months, when it's too hot to cook... which I never actually "got" until this summer when I was melting for literally all 24 hours of the day!

Because I'm married to a Canadian who grew up with this tradition, and because I've now lived in Canada for 6 years and only eaten roll kuchen less than a handful of times, and because I thought the girls should know what their peers are talking about when this meal is mentioned... I decided to give my first batch a try.

It was yummy!

I couldn't help but pair the watermelon and roll kuchen with corn on the cob though. There may not be any meat... but dough and fruit as a MEAL just doesn't feel right! :)

* Annie Get Your Gun *
I like shooting guns.

It probably has something to do with the fact that I grew up in a family where shooting contests at birthday parties, Thanksgiving, Mother's day, Father's day... you name it... was a normal occurance! 

Our lives have changed a fair bit since two littles ones became part of our family, and shooting just doesn't happen as much as it used to!

So when Barb and Zeke... our MB adopted family... asked us to come down for some good ole' fashioned shooting (WITH the offer to entertain the girls!), I was excited!

And... as you know... if there's boys involved, SOMETHING is going to get blown up! It just so happened there was a watermelon who wasn't the best in the bunch... so a watermelon was the pick of the day!

It's also a little known fact that when Jon and Zeke get together there's going to be LOTS of laughter... a bit of adventure... and a healthy dose of "pushing the limits" to keep things interesting!

I've always said I couldn't marry a guy that I could out shoot. And, I'll be honest, over the years there have been a couple of boys that didn't pass the test. But... I'm pleased to tell you THIS handsome gent can out shoot me any day of the week! (I made certain of this before I said "yes!") A good eye and a steady trigger finger are attractive features indeed! 

The whole idea of a boy coming to court one of our girls is a bit unsettling to me. I'm pretty sure, when that time comes, there will be a daddy with a shot gun on the front porch... but... well... I'm not so sure there won't be a mama along side of him... for added effectiveness! :)

* Biker McBee *
The last time I left you I posted about Alia's big biking adventures. She was still trying to get the hang of riding on gravel... but in just a few short weeks she has absolutely MASTERED it! 

She can manevuer with pro speed and precision... and as an added bonus... our crash reports have gone WAY down as well!

* Another Item on the List *
We love our little community. We are quite thankful to be living where we do... which is why finding a bigger house has been challenging. People live here for, like, EVER. The turn over rate is basically non-existent... which is not exactly in our favor at the moment!

While we were away this summer a new item was added to the "We Can't Move From Here" list!

A new park!

It is absolutely fantastic to have a park within 1 minute walk from our house! Another added bonus... we are usually the only people there! Just the girls and, on a busy day, one or two other kids at most! We have been there a minimum of once or twice a day since we got home and the girls have thoroughly enjoyed the new addition!

The only downside... our evening walks have become MUCH shorter than they used to be. It's now a straight B-line to you know where!

* Routine is a Good Thing *
As much as we loved being away with family this summer, it was quite nice to get back to routine when we arrived home!

* My Man *
And... one of the final highlights of the summer : getting to have my love with us for two whole months!

We're reminded that, even though teaching has "it's days"... it really is the BEST family friendly job we could possibly ask for!

So... there ya have it. Our summer in a very, very SMALL nutshell!

More on our vacations coming soon... though I wouldn't hold your breath if I were you! :)

Thanks again for popping by! 

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