Friday, August 11, 2017

Cottage Time 2017 – Part 3

One of our cottage traditions is that Hannah and I make Monkey Munch/Puppy Chow together.  (Yes, she did her own hair!  LOL!)

(2010, 2011 with recipe)



Do you think she enjoyed this?IMG_5326

The 3rd weekend we went up to visit mom and dad we were able to stay longer as Hannah and I were at the beginning of a week of vacation together.  Such a special time!

The storms were gone.  The hydro was back and we were ready for lots of rest, relaxation and summer fun together!  My brother and SIL left the day we arrived but my cousin, his wife and son were now in the area so lots of family time and fun were just around the corner.

Hannah enjoyed feeding the ducks with Grandma.DSCN0062

I will never tire of this view from the cottage. 


Hannah and Nathan enjoyed the metal detector treasure hunt on the beach.


Grandpa preparing the evening campfire.  S’mores anyone?DSCN0080


My cousin Aaron and Hannah! Winking smile


Another wonderful summer of family time at the cottage at Muskoka Bible Centre is in the books. 



Until next year…

Monday, August 07, 2017

Cottage Time 2017 – Part 2

My parents rent a cottage for the first 3 weeks of July and Hannah and I enjoy going up to visit them each weekend.

The second weekend we drove up Friday evening after I finished work.  While we drove in beautiful sun most of the time, weather announcements on the radio often told me that there was a number of severe storms brewing around us.

About 20 minutes before we arrived at the cottage I suddenly began receiving texts from family asking where we were and if we were okay.  We were under a bit of cloud but there was sun all around us.

As we got closer to the cottage it became clear that quite a storm had just gone through.  It ended up being a localized storm but for as quickly as it came and went it left quite a bit of damage behind.  My friend TL had her car parked near the dining hall and after the storm this was what she found!



It’s hard to see here but my SIL took this picture from inside the chapel.  At this point they could not open the doors to the outside as almost a foot of water had quickly accumulated when the rain and hail fell.  You can see the benches in the back and how high the water was on their legs.


As we were within about 1 km of the cottage the roads and cottages got dark indicating the power was out.  Normally this isn’t much more than an inconvenience but it’s a challenge for me as I have sleep apnea so I must sleep with a CPAP machine.  No power = a rough night with many episodes of wakefulness and choking.  Ugh!

Thankfully my dad called to say that Dan, the cottage owner was going to bring an extension cord from his generator down the 50’ hill to our cottage so that I would have power for ‘Darth’, my CPAP machine. Smile  I was SO thankful for this as I really didn’t know what I would have done.  (Possibly had to turn around and drive the 2 hours back home.)  History has proven that power going out at the cottage is never a short lived experience and it often lasts hours. 

Even though we were oh-so-close to the cottage it would take us another 60+ mins. to get there as the storm had washed out the road and hill that I needed to get to mom and dad.  Thankfully the staff at the camp were quickly on cleanup and they graded a little bit of the road and hill to allow traffic to get through.   (This picture was taken the following morning showing the machinery used to re-grade the hill….a second time!  They had almost graded the hill the first time when the second storm hit and washed away all of their work! Sad smile )


Hannah and I finally reached the cottage around 11pm, gathered essentials from the car and made our way down to the cottage.  We chatted with mom and dad for a bit but then quickly called it a night.  There was a second thunder storm that went through that produced a lightening storm like I’ve never seen before!  2 solid hours of thunder and lightening every few seconds was surreal.  (Can you believe I didn’t even think to take video of it?  D’oh!!)  The storm finally passed around 2 am and I was able to sleep.  Thankfully Hannah slept through the entire storm!

Here’s a video of the first storm that my dad took from inside their cottage.  The white things in the air are pieces of hail.  It was about an inch deep everywhere once the storm passed.

The next morning we woke to a beautiful sunny morning but still did not have power so Hannah and I went on an adventure into town and picked up a shareable box of coffee and went to share it with family and friends around the camp.  Let’s just say we were pretty popular!  (Again, no pictures.  You can tell how everything was just a little out of sorts.)

Although the skies were sunny it was easy to see that something had happened the night before.

Dan and Marg’s hill between their house and the cottage is filled with beautiful hostas.  This picture was taken a few years ago.


This is a close-up of one of the hostas the day after the storm.  Sadly all of them looked like this!  They had all been shredded by the hail.2017-07-31_11-03-08

No power led to creativity.  Kallen created a decoration with the water bottles and played a game of ‘jump over the water bottles.’ 2017-07-31_11-05-29

No power also meant no water so we used buckets of lake water to flush occasionally.  LOL!


Thankfully the sun stayed out so we had a great day outside.



In the end the power was off for almost 30 hours!  It’s safe to say we were excited when it was back on at 1am Sunday morning.  Sunday also became the day that many BBQed everything in their freezers that had thawed during the storm.  Thankfully mom and dad didn’t lose anything as theirs was plugged into the generator.

Ah, cottage life.  Mainly wonderful and amazing but occasionally a little challenging too.  A weekend with a story though, that’s for sure!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Cottage Time 2017 ~ Part I

July always means cottage time with the family and it’s a great time for us all to be together! 


This picture happens to show how Hannah’s teeth are moving apart as she grows and her mouth is making room for adult teeth.  Even though she’s 8 1/2 Hannah has only lost 5 teeth and there aren’t too many loose at this time.  I’m hoping all this room will mean we can skip the orthodontist later on but only time will tell.  And….Hannah still reacts to mosquito bites and with the wet spring and summer we’ve had there a mosquitoes everywhere.  Poor pet.  Her eye swelled up quite a bit even though the bite was up in her eyebrow.


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Cottage time is always made tons more fun with the addition of golf carts!IMG_5246



Craft time at Nana and Papa’s.  Hannah’s infamous concentration face includes her bottom lip tucked in.  This is her concentration face, comfort faces and more.



Sunday, July 02, 2017

My Grade 2 Graduate!

Hannah graduated from Grade 2 this past Thursday! 


She was in a 2/3 split and did so well!  Her teacher was absolutely amazing and brought the very best out in Hannah!  Mme N took an interest in each child in her classroom, learned what made them tick and focused in on their personal needs and how each student learned.  Hannah’s confidence in the classroom grew by leaps and bounds as she went from a little girl who sat back and observed others to one who fully participated.  It was an amazing transformation as I had watched Hannah be an observer for all of her earlier years in school. 


I am blessed to have a job that allows me the option to work a little extra each day and then have every 3rd Monday off. 

IMG_5172On these Mondays I volunteered in Hannah’s classroom in the mornings.  It was neat to observe her grow as well as get to know her classmates and teacher too.  I often didn’t understand what was being said as everything in the classroom is done in French but it was amazing to see Hannah confidently fully participate in French and also make many new friends!

We went to the school fun fair earlier in June and Hannah enjoyed hanging out with many different friends from her class.IMG_4978


We are both very thankful for Mme N and are hoping Hannah has her for a teacher again next year!IMG_5121

On the last day of school each child was presented with a ‘Classroom Award’ and Hannah’s was perfect for her!!  She has always loved digging through the recycling bin in her classroom and making creations out of what she found.  (Mme would tell me that she’d bury things down in the bin so that Hannah and he little friend B wouldn’t find them as they’d both pull them out to make their creations.  LOL!)

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Her award was accompanied by this adorable pic!


For now, it’s summer!!  Goodbye’s are hard but the break is welcome! 

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I like to pick Hannah up little treats to celebrate her accomplishments on the last day of school.  This year is was Canada 150th Birthday Day Tic Tacs and water balloons.  I love how excited these little things make her!



Have a great summer Hannah!!

Grade 3….here she comes!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Building Self-Watering Planters

A couple of years ago my co-worker Cory introduced Hannah and I to self-watering planters. 

At 5 he helped her drill holes in the top bucket!  She loved this!!IMG_7206

A little bit of hard work never hurt anyone.IMG_7215

This is h-e-a-v-y!!IMG_7221

Planting peas (which sadly the bunnies enjoyed before we could) with Bethie, Cory’s daughter.IMG_7212


In the end the planter worked wonderfully and we had lots of fresh tomatoes later in the summer!IMG_8230


Earlier this month we went back to Mr. Cory’s house with a co-worker and his nephew and built a new planter using bigger buckets that wouldn’t need to be watered quite so frequently.  (We won’t talk about the tons of rain we’ve had this year that is also helping out!  Yikes!!!)

Hannah was much more confident this year and jumped right in there.IMG_4986

More drillingIMG_4989

The bottom of the top bucket.  The small holes are for air circulation, the middled sized hold one the side is for the watering pipe and the large hole in the centre is for the cup that will feed water up to the plant roots.IMG_4991


Adding dirtIMG_4995


This year’s finished product.  Thanks Mr. Cory!!IMG_5003

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