Thursday, August 20, 2015

Random summer happenings

As much as I love vacations, I also love being at home in the summer. It takes a little more convincing this year (and by convincing, I mean bribing and threatening) to get the kids to play outside and pretend they're still six. I'm exhausted by the end of the day; not from playing hard but by negotiating hard. I know the kids are all normal pre-teen/teenagers, but I get wistful for those busy days when they were buzzing around outside. Now I claim victory in the small things: a bike ride to Polo Park, Neve riding her bike beside me while I run, eating ice cream on the deck, and jumping on the trampoline with a sprinkler underneath. And if all else fails, I just throw hula hoops around the yard, put up our piece-of-junk new badminton net and pretend it's 2009.
Last week we had a birthday dinner for Dale's mom at my brother- and sister-in-law's house. Dale's sister and niece left the next morning, much to Chloe's sadness. Her cousin is off to college next week, living away from home for the first time. Crazy! Talk about wistful-ness! Chloe also left the next morning to lifeguard at a camp for a few days, which helped to distract her from missing Sarah.

I made the cake - it was pretty yummy. I can't take much credit since it was mostly ice cream.

My little nieces danced at the Portuguese Folklorama pavilion again this year which was as adorable as ever. My sister-in-law also danced this year for the first time in a long time. She used to dance when she was younger and now her daughters wear her costumes. It looks like so much fun that we all wish we were Portuguese, especially Neve. I’m still waiting for the Mennonite pavilion. The food part would be easy but the prospects for the entertainment component are grim. Watching someone quilt or play crokinole may not be a big draw. Maybe we could sing the Doxology in four-part harmony.

My brother Dan arrived from Vancouver on Wednesday. He got to see the girls dance, spent a few days at my parents’ and then a large percentage of my family spent the weekend at Bob & Janet’s cottage.

Friday and Saturday were super hot, although it started raining on and off late Saturday afternoon. It was still so, so hot though that I seriously worried that I would die of suffocation in the night, even with no blankets and two fans. And then suddenly in the morning, it was cool enough that I needed a sweater. Despite the cool, cloudy weather, Bob still took the kids for tube rides. Bob is such a good sport and tirelessly pulls the kids (and adults) around the lake. I surfed for the first time; it was pretty cool, but I was nowhere near letting go of the rope and just surfing in the boat’s wake like Bailey, Jan and Bob did.

It was a great weekend doing the usual cottage things like swimming and eating and playing silly games involving grizzly bear suits and yellow cake uranium, and some new things like making giant bubbles, thanks to Dan.

It's the end of the game and no one is sorry.

No one is sorry here either.

Here's a photo story of a typical tube ride. It took a bit of convincing for Dan to join Spencer because of the inevitable sore neck/shoulders/miscellaneous pain that follows. But he started out positive:

Cautiously optimistic … this isn't so bad ...

Okay, this is getting intense ...

Let me off!!

No really, LET ME OFF!

Dan was eventually flung into the water, which I unfortunately didn't capture. But Spencer was still smiling.

I bet it would be easier to convince the kids to play outside if we had a lake and boat in our backyard.


Anonymous said...

No kidding...lake and boat = happy children (especially with a willing uncle to tow them around and assume responsibility somewhat while you sip cold bevy's on the deck).


Anonymous said...

Awesome pics as usual! Especially the tube ride photos. Jim

Daniel said...

Awesome photos!! Yeah, you really captured the intensity of the tubing - I'll let you know that I didn't get FLUNG, so much as worn down. I chose a nice slow smooth place to curl into the fetal position and end the insanity.

Anonymous said...

Oh man, THIS makes me miss Manitoba!!!

xo Sio

Anonymous said...

Love all of it, once again!
Cousin Carolyn