Friday, July 31, 2015

Summer 2015: Week Five

So as of today, our summer is half over. And I just know that, with all our traveling in August, the last half will fly by. So what did we do this past week? Well, when I looked at the pictures, I realized working full-time and sending the kids off to childcare really messes with interesting blogging. Our evenings are now filled with errands and chores and I don't know most of what the kids do during the days. It's very odd.

When they did have time at home, the kids mostly wanted to play and be by themselves. Sam put together the other three possibilities from his new (to him) building set from Willem.
And when he wasn't constructing things, Sam was reading. It's kind of annoying because, when he's reading, Sam is oblivious to the world, and it's impossible to get him to do anything. Dave and I are super-confused about where he gets this from! (I'll give you a hint: it's both of us :) Ha!)

In fact, below is the stack of books I checked out of the library for him on Thursday night. I'm hoping that it will keep him busy for the next two weeks but I kind of doubt it. I remember having disagreements with the librarian when I was a kid because she thought I was taking out too many books, and I thought her limit of 15 books per card was stupid because that would only last me a week. I think she eventually started letting me take out more :)
In the meantime, Rachel has been enjoying hot chocolate (on some of the hottest days of summer, which I don't get) and drawing.
Yesterday I wasn't working because Sam had an appointment. We stopped to water our friends' garden, and then went out for lunch. It was a lot of fun. And yes, Rachel always wears her headbands like that.

As of today, my training at work is officially over. I now have the keys to the kingdom (ha!) and am ready to fly solo. This afternoon I am going to do some super exciting household chores and continue packing up the house in preparation for getting our floors redone. This is basically a heads up that next week's recap may be even more exciting than this one :)

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Feeling The Vegetable Love

I was going to do my 30 Week Writing Challenge post today but Dave has been really busy at work lately and couldn't scan my pictures so that post is coming next week. And sorry I repeated some pictures from yesterday's post but some of them were necessary for this one too! #bloggerfail
Tuesdays are one of my favourite days of the whole entire week. That's because on Tuesday, we get to do our CSA (community shared agriculture) pickup and our house becomes inundated with fresh veggies. And eggs. And flowers. And, for the past couple of weeks, meat. And as I mentioned yesterday, then we are basically set for food.

CSA, for those of you who don't know, is when you pay a farmer to grow vegetables. They grow whatever they decide to and you get a regular share every week. My friend, Angie, started this CSA about six years ago and we joined to support her and because we wanted to eat locally. So every week from about mid-June to October, we get to go pick up our vegetables. (And flowers. And eggs. And meat.)
Every CSA works a little differently, but I really like Angie's because it has a "choice table." This is where we get to choose a number of items, based on the size of our share.
This year a friend of Angie's decided to start a flower CSA. She also sold shares and I bought one as a Christmas gift to me from my parents. Stephanie has various bouquets of flowers available each week and we get to choose which ones we like. If you follow me on Instagram, you will have gotten to see some of my amazing bouquets.
Angie also started an egg share, since she has some chickens. We get half a dozen farm fresh eggs each week and I have been so thankful for those.

And Angie's partner, Darrel, has started selling organic meat, which he raises, at the pick up. Since our CSA months mean we eat a lot of BBQ with steamed greens, fresh salads, and/or grilled veggies, Dave has started buying some meat from Darrel to BBQ.
One of the things I love about the CSA is that we get vegetables we normally wouldn't buy. Like kale. And hakurei turnips. And a variety of greens. We make kale chips, we grill beets, we steam greens. And we all love them, especially Sam. He eats such a great variety of vegetables in the summer. He devours a bunch of kale (in chip form (baked with olive oil and a little salt)) like they're going out of style, he munches and crunches his way through kohlrabi and hakurei turnips, and, of course, every week, Angie gathers up some sorrel for Sam and he gets his special delivery.
And then there's Nasturtium Salad which has become a new favourite in our family!
So all of this is to say, we love our CSA, in case you hadn't figured that out yet! If you have the option to join one, my advice is to DO IT. You may get some weird vegetables every once in awhile (I'm looking at you fennel) but the new discoveries you will make are more than worth it.

And now I'm off to make some kale chips.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What's Up Wednesday

Ever since my friend, Tracy, started linking up with "What's Up Wednesday," I have been wanting to answer these questions, even if I don't join the link up. I lied. I decided to join the linkup so here I am for the first time :) This link is hosted by Shay of Mix and Match Family, Mel at The Larson Lingo, and Scheaffer at Pinterest Told Me To. The questions seem like a good way to review the month. So here goes...

What we're eating this week... As with most weeks this summer, we've been eating a lot of BBQ with CSA veggies. They are sooooo good and I just love this time of year. Other than that we've been eating a lot of quick and easy meals because, thanks to training, I've been working until 4 for the past few weeks.

This week in particular, I've been enjoying fresh buns (made by me) with strawberry freezer jam (made by Janice) and the combination is so good!
What I'm reminiscing about... I've been thinking a lot about the last time I did this job ten years ago. Some of the post-it notes I wrote are still on the desk where I currently sit. The same mugs are in the cupboard, and it's odd to run into my handwriting on file folders. So much has changed in this position since I last did it, but some things remain constant.

What I'm loving... I'm loving how quickly my laundry dries hanging outside on the line in this heat. I'm also loving eating popsicles almost every day :)
What we've been up to... We've been s-l-o-w-l-y packing up five of the rooms in our house in preparation for getting our hardwood floors refinished. And we've also been running a lot of errands in the evenings because I don't have time to do them during the day anymore.

What I'm dreading... Honestly, I'm dreading (a bit) the month of August when I will be trying to fit in working full-time among doing childcare for friends of mine. I am looking forward to having more time at home with my kids but my evenings, early mornings, and weekends will be focused on work.

What I'm working on... I'm s-l-o-w-l-y getting our yard weeded. There are only three four major problem spots left. Maybe I will get a few more of them dealt with before I leave the province for a week. Maybe.
What I'm excited about... Oddly, I'm excited about when the person I'm covering for goes on maternity leave and I can purge, sort, and organize to my heart's content. Much as I enjoy seeing post-it notes I wrote ten years ago, I don't think they need to be there anymore :) (Don't worry, I'm not going to purge anything that is useful.)

What I'm watching/reading... Honestly, (and sadly), besides blogs and the training manual for my job, I haven't had much time for reading lately. It's so sad. And so not me.

What I'm listening to... Umm, sadly (again), Rachel melting down A LOT. I don't know if it's due to the disruption in her life right now (Mommy going back to work, various people watching her and Sam during the day), her age, or the impending school transition, but ear splitting, headache inducing meltdowns happen about every two hours when she's around. It's exhausting and makes me want to rip my hair out.

What I'm wearing... Work clothes!!! Yay! And since it's so hot, I'm wearing a lot of skirts.
What I'm doing this weekend... We're heading to a Jays' game with friends on Saturday. We're going to church and having a picnic for lunch on Sunday, and the rest of the time I will be working. It's a long weekend but I'll even be working on the holiday while Dave is at home with the kids.

What I'm looking forward to next month... Going to Saskatchewan! A fun run I've signed up for! Getting two paycheques! Going to two baseball games! Traveling for two weddings! There's a lot to look forward to in August :)

What else is new... I'm not loving my FitBit as much now that I'm at a desk job, being trained, eight hours a day. Let's just say the (physical) realities of this new job aren't as exciting as some other parts of it. Ha!

What will you miss most about summer... Well, remember that I am Canadian so our summer isn't even half over yet. We still have another five weeks of summer vacation left, so I'm not really thinking about what I will miss yet. I'm still looking forward to everything we have left! See above about next month :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My Life Is Complete

After searching through every grocery store, every convenience store, and on every street corner last summer, guess what I found on a random trip to a random store to pick up a few things on Saturday night?
Hail, hail, the gang's all here :)
You may have heard my shriek of happiness when I saw my name shining out at me from the grocery store fridge, and you may also have heard my cry of pain when Dave suggested drinking them all less than an hour after I'd come home with the Holy Grail.

Since I want to keep them forever, you may still find all these unopened bottles in our fridge in two years. Of course, if Dave has his way, they'll all be in the recycling bin on our next garbage night.

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Weekend I Ended Up With Fake Botox (And Other Stories)

If I were a nicer person, I would tell you all about the fake botox right off the bat. However, I'm going to make you either a) read this entire post to find the story, or b) skim the entire post to find the story!

We started out our weekend with having four kids for 24 hours. Since those friends want to be blognonymous I can't show you any pictures, but we decided to put the extra kids to work. We all walked to the liquor store to get empty boxes. And then each kid carried a box home. We also had the wagon and the Chariot filled with boxes. And no, we're not moving. We have to pack up almost every room in our house so we can get our floors refinished.
The end result will be awesome; the process of getting there, not so much.
While we waited for our two extra kids to go home, I decided to start weeding along the fence and see how far I got. Dave thought it was a slight waste of time but even he was impressed with the end result.
Then, because we are awesome, Rachel and I walked to the grocery store for a few items, and left Dave and Sam to deal with the aftermath of four kids. They did a GREAT job of cleaning the playroom.
For some reason, the kids are drawn to my whiteboard markers, which I want to use for myself, so once in awhile they get to play with them for a treat. Really, with art like this, I should let them go wild more often. This is, in her own words, "Rachel in a spaceship, searching for the treasure." The treasure is the blue circle with the cross through it.
After admiring other people's pictures of their kids on Sunday mornings, I decided to try and get pictures of Sam and Rachel when we are going to either church or synagogue. I'm going to call it "Sabbath Siblings." Getting Sam to pose for these pictures, and not read his book, was a bit of a gong show. Rachel cracked me up though!

We had a great sermon yesterday morning at church about how perceived scarcity can lead to power imbalances, and how our society runs on telling people they don't have enough. Ironically, after that powerful sermon, which I am still chewing on (and obviously not quickly enough), we headed to the mall. Funnily enough, our pastor (the one who preached the sermon (we have three pastors at our church)) and his family joined us, so I felt okay about it :) Ha ha ha!!!

After lunch, Dave took the kids to play on the rides (which we never pay for-- the kids just like climbing on them), and I browsed in a few stores. Then one of the mall kiosk employees gave me a sample of facial moisturizer and then asked if she could do a demo on me. Since they always look like fun, and I thought it was for the moisturizer, I said "Sure!" She then proceeded to smear something under one of my eyes, and as she smeared it on, she said, "In about two minutes you will feel a tingling, tightening sensation. It's like botox." Awesome.
I got out of there as quickly as I could, praying for the safety of my eye, and told Dave, "I just got fake botox on one eye. Ahhhh." He started laughing and took a picture. And then asked me how my "faux-tox" was for the rest of the afternoon. Gah. I'm never going to endure one of those demos again, especially since the skin around my eye felt wonky for a couple of hours afterwards. Also, I'm not planning on using the free sample.
After the mall we went shopping for a chair. Sam parked himself in this one and proceeded to read for the next hour. Rachel went around and picked all the chairs she wanted to buy.
We eventually made it back home, just in time to make supper. The hour between supper and bedtime was looking to be a little scary until I remembered that Willem had passed on a toy for Sam which I hadn't told him about yet. Sam spent the rest of the evening constructing various things from this set.
And then I baked cookies. They were so good that I almost forgot about the traumatic faux-tox experience. Almost.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Summer 2015: Week Four

It's funny that I post these on a Friday because then you always see the last of what we were doing the previous week. So week four of summer kicked off with the last day of VBS. I made a colourful musical water xylophone for the kids to play with. Then I spent the afternoon at my second (half) day of work.
On Monday the kids had doctor's appointments in the morning and then Sam and Rachel spent about an hour and a half working together on Rachel's workbook. The money we spent on these workbooks was the best money for entertainment value EVER.
The kids also decided to wrap some presents on Monday so we had a little present opening after supper. My "present" was my old sunglasses which I had given the kids to play with. Very useful :)
Tuesday was my first full day of work. I took two travel mugs of coffee-hot chocolate, my water bottle, and a can of Coke to get me through the first day. I was well caffeinated hydrate.

As we were eating supper outside on Tuesday night, a butterfly decided to check out Sam's hat.
Also, after my post on Tuesday, Dave took the following picture just for those of you who were really bothered by the markers. Truthfully, a part of me is still annoyed by the fact that they aren't in ROY G BIV order:
Of course, before you get too comfortable, Sam did then do this to about seven puzzles on Wednesday night:
I got into eating nasturtiums on my salad this week. They are so yummy, and surprising spicy! Think radishes but much prettier.
Sam and Rachel spent some time at other people's houses this week and I think they just enjoyed a lot of time playing together when they were at home. Here they had some game going with pretending Rachel's ponies were on a boat. And yes, Rachel often wears her fairy wings "just because."
When I was at Central Perk in October, they had a deal that if you bought two bags of coffee, they would send you a free Friends mug. Somehow their shipping got really delayed and so they sent me two. Because we had it shipped to Dave's aunt's in New York, we had to wait until someone was making a trip from there. On Wednesday, Dave's parents dropped them off, so I made up this tableau yesterday of my new mug, my weekly flowers, and some of the ingredients for South Georgia Caviar.
My plan of attack for the yard this week was our front. I guess our flower beds need weeding more than once a season. Boo. And supposedly lawn mowing is an ongoing task too. 

And that was week four of our summer. Tonight our friends' two sons are coming for a sleepover and to spend the day tomorrow so it will be a little crazy around here. What are your weekend plans?