I can't believe it's been eleven days since I've posted...it doesn't feel that long!
We spent about seven of those eleven days at my parents' cottage, and had no internet access throughout that time...a nice change of pace, to be honest. It was good to be there - something that I haven't always been able to say because I haven't always been a huge fan of cottaging (I find it a lot of work to prep for time at the cottage and this prep competes with the zillion other things that need doing). We spent the majority of that time on our own, just the five of us, as we have a bunch of weekends this summer, and that has proved to be a mostly good thing. My parents, and my sister/family were up for the last two days of the long weekend, and that was good, too.
The kids did a ton of tubing behind the motor boat, swam as much and as often as possible, jumped off the end of the dock into the water about a million times, went for walks, built forts with blankets and bunk beds, examined bugs and frogs and toads and water bugs and a barely dead crayfish and a fish that had been shredded by a large bird of prey, went kayaking, and explored nearby islands. On our one rainy day, we read books, watched movies, played a game, and painted. We ate when we were hungry and didn't when we weren't. On both of the last two Saturdays at the cottage, we had a movie night and I delighted the kids in the middle of the movie both evenings with what they called a 'junky snack' (which was really a combination of healthy and junky food): popcorn; platters of fresh fruit (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, cherries, watermelon, plums, orange slices); tortilla chips with 7-layer dip; and chocolate chip cookies. They loved the movie night snacks (they don't usually have snacks between dinner and bed) and I think we have created a Saturday night tradition at the cottage.
The kids love the water (I am officially parenting to three fish!) and they love kayaking! The boys were introduced to kayaking a couple of summers ago at our h/school family camp in spring, and they have loved it since. We ended up sharing the cost of a kayak with my sister at the end of last year and the boys were enjoying that so much that Geoff and I ended up purchasing two smaller, lime green kayaks for them this summer. They have used and used and used those things, to toodle around the bay on their own, to visit a nearby island, to explore around the lake with Geoff, and to deliberately tip them over (and over, and over and over) and practice climbing back on. They spent hours on these things just over the past week and can handle the kayaks amazingly adeptly - even in rough, wavy water.
Lizzie was rather funny about the whole kayak thing: Although we never pressured her to try the kayaks out (she's barely six!), she voluntarily and adamantly promised, with tears, that she would never, ever, ever go kayaking. That self-imposed restriction lasted until this past weekend, when she decided she wanted to climb onto the back of one of her brother's kayaks to experiment being paddled by him around the dock. That's all it took...from then on, it was a fight to see who got to use the small green kayaks. Over the course of the weekend, she and Geoff went out on their own little adventures on two different occasions and she was thrilled to be able to go and explore some islands, too, with her Daddy. For a small child of barely six, she's doing remarkably well and, on calm water, can handle the kayak fully on her own! Geoff noted at the end of the weekend that Mountain Equipment Co-Op also sells hot pink kayaks!
I have lots of pictures to share with you, but it's been a full month since I last uploaded pictures from camera to computer and it takes time to do this and to edit them a bit for lighting and size (and to delete all but a few of the hundred pictures I took of the kids tubing!)...I need to get on this.
Anyway, it's good to be back home now, and it's good to be back on the blog. I have a number of posts that I'm struggling to get finished and am getting a little mired down by them...but they're coming.