Monday, January 4, 2016

September 2015 Review

September was just gorgeous--a welcome extension of the summer. I had a stressful summer so it meant a lot to me enjoy some wonderful vacation/warm weather/outdoor moments in September.

School Begins

I hate it when school starts. I hate saying goodbye to my children and having them gone for hours everyday. I know I am weird in how I feel about this, but it is true. I love the magic and lack of structure that summer brings. I love being outside and enjoying the warm sunshine. It was with a very sad and heavy heart I waved my kids off on the bus for a new school year. I have two children in elementary school, two in middle school, and one in high school. So far, all the kids seem to be happy about their teachers and schedules.

Winter and I resumed our habit of waiting for the bus to come home after school. She is my little buddy and just loves being outside with me. She also loves seeing her siblings come home. One day we were sitting outside and it hit me that she will soon go away and I'll wait alone for the kids to come off the bus. They sure do grow fast. 

Kids Just Don't Stop Growing

Along with the theme of Winter growing, my boys are growing and changing too. Josef join the ranks of YM in July. The first day of school, my three oldest boys all went to the temple with their dad for a youth temple trip. 

How the heck did this happen? Weren't they just babies like yesterday???

Up to the Adirondacks We Go

We have some friends who own a complex of cabins up north, near the Canadian border, in New York. They have been very generous in allowing us to go an explore the area. This time, they were headed up there themselves for Labor Day Weekend. We divided up the cabins between the two families. One of the best things about their cabin is that they have a dock on a gorgeous lake. They have plenty of water equipment like canoes, paddle boards, tubes, water-skis, and a motor-boat, Since the weather was so gorgeous, we spent most of our time playing on the water. We even took the kids out to water-ski for a bit. I think my kids like swimming and water as much as I do.

We had one really hilarious experience on the water that will probably become family legend retold at all family dinners and funerals. One evening, as the sun was taking its sweet time to set, our friends went to a cocktail party across the lake. Determined to get in one last jaunt on the lake, the older three boys took a canoe out. Trent had on flippers in case he decided to swim later. Brent and I settled the younger kids in the canoe and paddled across the lake. Seeing the sun slowly dip down the horizon over the lake was magical. Winter and Jonathan gently drifted off to sleep as we paddled. As the sun dipped lower, Brent and I turned around the canoe and set back for the dock. We weren't in a hurry but didn't want to be caught on the lake in the dark without light either. As we were paddling home, we heard and saw a tremendous splash in the middle of the lake. The shouting indicated that the boys were involved. As we grew closer, we saw all three boys in the water, the canoe tipped over, and heard a lot of shouting. It's pretty hard to right a canoe, especially in deep water, without help. As the boys floundered and shouted at each other, we paddled hard to get to them. I was trying to calm down the boys and stop the the terrific row they were having, but they ignored me totally. Meanwhile, Brent is trying to figure out how to lift the canoe over ours so they can get it turned over. Finally, a motorboat roars out to us and cuts their engine. A nice elderly couple motoring home from the cocktail party asked how they could help. I was so mortified to hear the boys continue their vehement and loud arguing. With the help of the motorboat, we fix the canoe, get the boys settled in the canoe and headed back to the shore. Did that end the debacle? No. They fought the entire way back to shore. I was so mortified because sound carries across the whole lake. Our friends commented on it when they got back and said that we were louder than the college kids across the lake. I don't know if we'll ever be invited back again.

Ward Service Project

A young man in our church congregation put together a great Eagle Scout project to paint, clean, and organize a small homeless shelter in a nearby community. To support him finish the project, all auxiliaries took charge of a different section. It was a big undertaking. The Relief Society was in charge of the attic sorting and organizing clothing. You cannot even begin to imagine how cluttered and disorganized it was. I was so worried that it would take us days to finish. This is where the miracle of volunteers comes in. We had several people come in during the day from church and with their help we finished in a decent amount of time. I'm really proud of the work we did.

Colonial and Revolutionary History

Our area of New York has a lot of Revolutionary War Historical sites. You can hardly throw a stone without hitting something of historical importance. Brooke's teacher gives homework passes to students who attend special events like this Revolutionary War Weekend up at a historical home in Fishkill. I took the kids there after church. They looked really cute walking around in their church clothes. We all enjoyed the historical demonstrations, especially the musket demonstration. I have ancestors who lived in New York during the late 1700s. I have ancestors who were loyalists and some who were patriots. When I attend events like this, I don't feel remote or removed from the events. I can imagine people I'm related to living life in this manner.

Apple Picking: An Annual Tradition

Hudson Valley has hundreds of apple orchards. In the fall, apple products overwhelm the market. You just haven't lived until you have tasted fresh pressed apple cider from a local orchard. Apple Cider donuts are to die for. Then the different varieties of gorgeous apples just make my mouth water. I love taking my kids to pick apples. We do it every year. Sometimes Brent can come with us and other times he has to work. This year it was just me and the five younger kids. Walter opted to stay home and work on homework. Trent was awful and several times I wanted to pack everyone in the car because Trent kept arguing with me. Winter had a marvelous time picking apples off the ground.

Constitution Marsh

Brooke's class went on a field trip to Constitution Marsh, a protected wetlands area with a mission for educational conservancy. Brent went along and they both had a grand time together.


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