Sunday, 29 July 2012

Smiling at the 'Simple Things'

I just have to start out with a 'simple thing' that made me smile and put my hands up as in praise to the lord.  I came home from grocery shopping and my oldest jumped right in and helped carry groceries and put them away, I never even asked.  That simple thing is what makes me smile.  I am not about the material things, bling, or luxury items.  Truly simple things are what make me happy and smile :)

Well, we had a great vacation back home, and extended our stay by one night.  We ALL had fun, and relaxed.  We swam daily, usually more than once.  Paul went fishing twice a day, and successfully even, lol.  We went boating, tubing, my oldest and youngest learnt how to water ski, picnicking on the beach, more swimming, some relaxing on the deck, and, on the dock, late nights and not too early mornings, made for some great memories.
A view from the deck of my kids tubing behind Papa's boat.
My bestest hairy buddy, T-Bone, watching from the lawn in a perfect spot to see the action at the lake and keep an eye out for the pesky squirrels and chipmunks that kept him busy during the day.  He isn't much of a swimmer this guy, but he loves to splash around in the lake, he cracks me up, it's a funny sight, as he paws the water and tries to catch the splashes with his mouth, again, and again. 
A little simple fun, the tube is tied to the dock and it's a floating raft to dive off of in the deep.
Some lunch time entertainment as we enjoy our picnic on the beach.
The peaceful view from the dock in the evening,   A little serenity right there!
Caught and released this dude, just not as many around anymore.  They were everywhere when I was a kid, bummer all the construction that goes on ruins their habitat and egg laying ground.
Just a little tasty treat made, post holiday, mango salsa, with a nectarine or two as well, yummy.
Mangoes chopped, nectarine chopped, red onion chopped, red pepper chopped, fresh cilantro chopped, a little salt and a whole lime squeezed of its juices.  All measurements are to your own taste, use as much of something as you prefer.  It tastes better once it sits for a little while in the refrigerator.  I used unsalted organic tortilla chips, but the Tostitos multigrain scoops are yummy as well. 
I am so enjoying the weather we are being blessed with, and not doing much else than having fun with the family, projects are building, but, are on hold for yukky days, and once school restarts in September.
Thanks for stopping by and will update with more family fun soon.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Hometown visit

The family is heading to my hometown for a little trip to relax, do some fishing, swimming, and have a great visit with my parents.  We haven't all gone to my hometown in a couple of years, so to pack us all up and head out is a bit of an effort.  Hubby's boat  has to come with us, as it's his new purchase this year, and he is more comfort table fishing out his own boat, then borrowing my Dad's.  The small Northwestern Ontario town is surrounded by lakes, with great fishing.

I do love my small hometown, and appreciate it when I finally get a chance to visit.  It was a great place to grow up as a kid, and my kids love to visit and take part in events there as well.

A girl friend's float plane.  My hubby, Dad, Uncle and cousin went on a fly in fishing trip some years ago and had an amazing time, successful fishing and many laughs.
Blueberries are plentiful in that area.  Filling the freezer is a must to get thru the winter, as store bought blueberries are just not the same.  Blueberry muffins, blueberry pancakes, blueberry cheesecake, blueberry pie, blueberry jam, sheesh blueberry everything, yummmm....
A good ole shore lunch of fresh caught pickerel, fried potatoes and beans are what everyone should have a chance to sample.  My parents live on the lake so coming home and having dinner of the same, is just as yummy.
Enjoying the sunset while relaxing in the evening is a great way to end the day.  Put your feet up and reminisce about what fun things we did and what we will do the next day.  Eye lids are heavy from all the fresh air and excitement, and a great sleep is a guarantee.
Hope everyone is enjoying summer and all it has to offer.
Chat soon

Thursday, 12 July 2012

School is out and we are having fun...

Holy, I haven't been on here in a while.  School ended without a hitch and the kids immediately began their usual;  late nights, not so early mornings, swimming like crazy, friends, quick lunches and dinners to return to the water fun.  Now I did manage to get gifts together for my kids teachers, king of last minute for the final product, I only knew what I wanted to do at least a month before, but hey, that's how I roll lately.  Just not as organized as I usually am.  Oh well, it all turned out just fine.
I started with this first.  Yummy, and I got my idea from here Northern Cottage, which is one of my favourite blogs I follow.  You can also find a variation on Pinterest, but I liked this one best and found it before I found the one on Pinterest, so I went with it.  I did try to find 125ml jars, but couldn't find any at the time, now that it is closer to harvest time here, jars are abundant, oh well, again.  More caramel dip for the teachers and none left over for us, except a small sample that didn't last long.  Not even a chance for dipping apple slices, just fingers, hahaha.... So a jar of caramel dip, and 2 apples in a cellophane bag tied with string and a cute tag attached.  A cute and yummy twist on the apple gift giving for teachers.

Each teacher received a basket of yummy treats to start their summer off with a smile.  Baskets were from Dollarama, and all other treats were bought or made by myself.  Just a little something to let them know how much they are appreciated.  Our small rural school is fantastic and giving homemade goodies is always a great way to show how much these teachers mean to us.  Truly, we are a huge family there, and we get to know each other a little more than most teachers, kids and parents.  The number one reason we purchased our property and built our home where we did.  School zoning, at one most amazing school. *sigh*  OK, enough, move on to our summer fun.
This is our dock at my Happy Place (camp).  It has been through a lot over the years, and winters have been tough on occasion, but, this year it was found in one piece at least.  Other years not so much, lol.  We have arrived in the spring to find half the dock drifted down the lake, or the side boards cracked and broken, repair after repair, it still keeps us above water, and always the main place to have fun in the summer.  We were missing a rung on the stairs, and a cross piece at the front, but it functioned well until our other chores were done.  This is what the dock looks like almost all summer.  Every bit of summer "stuff" is collected on and around it.  Canoe, kayak, surf board, noodles, butterfly nets, bucket for frogs and minnows and any other critter that may come along, goggles, snorkels, fins for swimming like a mermaid or dolphin, your choice.
A day without a boating adventure across the lake would just never do
The traditional picture of a cute critter, now I should say that I am not a fan of squirrels, I'm more of a chipmunk person, but this young little guy was just so cute.  Look at those big eyes, Our regular chipmunk has some competition in the cuteness category, lol
My Happy Place would not be complete without our beloved sauna, built by my hubby.  This makes staying there even more enjoyable. Whether it's cold or hot out, a sauna just feels good.  
At the end of the day, a cozy fire is a must.  We may or may not make smores, we may just roast marshmallows, we may crack some peanuts by the fire, or, just sit quietly, listening to the crackle of the wood, and the loon calls in the distance, as we reflect on the wonderful day we had, and how much life has to offer.  Dance like no one is watching (it's kind of fun to do now and then)  Life is good!  Stop by again soon, I will return, I promise, there is just so much fun to be had, I get carried away.  This weekend promises to be another round of good and memorable times, my parents come to town, birthdays to be celebrated, and laughs all around.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Canada Day and beyond

  Well, what a great time at my Happy Place, school is over for the summer, and we have had some most excellent weather.  I must add, my kids have yet to say "I'm bored"!! far anyway.  Swimming has been number one on our list as our temperatures have been a bit on the high side for us.  Today is supposed to be a scorcher yet again, so being in the water will be a must.  I popped home for a quick stop to do some laundry, replenish a few things, including water to keep us hydrated, and have a quick visit with my parents that came into town to switch up their vehicles, from rental to their own.
   I didn't have time to prep for our Canada Day at home this year, June is always chaotic, but I found this year even more so, I got my house cleaned and my chores done, including all things ready to go to our Happy Place on the Lake, but neglected to decorate for one of our favourite holidays :(  I cheated and hung a Canada Day shopping bag on our front door, weighted done with a few rocks, which intrigued the kids to ask, "what's in the bag, Mom", but that is all I did.  We weren't home at all, so I didn't feel too bad.   My camera is at camp, but just wanted to show you a few of my favourite things of this week past.  Swimming, BBQ, iced tea, swimming, relaxing, sauna, smores, perked camp coffee, friends.
this Canada Day Mantle is wonderful, and makes me wish I had done a little more to my home, but alas, I can just admire it from the picture and hope I can do more next year.  A little inspiration for me, a favourite blog of mine Crow's Feet Chic
another favourite thing of mine, is Peek Frean Digestive cookies, with chocolate on one side of each biscuit.  We use these to make smores.  The chocolate melts perfectly and the digestive cookie is delicious.
small individual bags of Doritos are another fave of ours.  We make individual taco salads and eat right out of the bags.  Everyone adds their own fixings and they are yummy.
one of my most favourite pictures of all time, I am terrible with where I find things online, but she is on etsy somewhere and makes fantastic stamped silver pieces.  If I can track her down I will post later, I promise.
this little pic is also a fave of mine, and a plan for myself and my kids to make today.  I found it on Pinterest.  We have tons of rocks to collect and create these little feet on an old board.  Love it. Love it. Love it.  This is where I will end my post and carry on to my Happy Place.  Have a fantabulous summer, and I will post soon with a few of my very own pics.
Chat soon,