Reflections on a Summer Almost Gone

I’ve been back to school for a week. Our kids still have one more week, but soccer practices have already started. The calendar says it’s still summer, but as far as our schedules go, it’s fall.

I wasn’t the fun mom or the productive writer or the great house organizer I wanted to be this summer. I didn’t do the things I wanted with my kids, I didn’t meet my self-imposed deadlines, and exactly zero of the organization projects I wanted to do this summer got done.

I keep blaming the fact that my summer break was shorter by two weeks and that I had less kid-free time, but to be honest, I just didn’t manage my time well.

But the kids loved the summer. We made trips to the library, walked to the donut shop, splashed at the splash pad, played at parks. It wasn’t such a scorcher this year, so we were able to go outside almost every day. Cortney expanded the sandbox so all three kids could play in it, and they took advantage.

It wasn’t a super busy summer, and that was Ok.

We did go again with my parents up to Pentwater for a long weekend. It was pretty windy and a bit chilly, so my dad didn’t take his boat along this year, but we had fun anyway.

We went from a Thursday to Sunday, and we packed in a whole lot of sitting around, not sitting around, and yummy snacks.

Grandpa made breakfast every morning and since the Sluiter children could basically eat ONLY breakfast foods for the rest of their lives, they were thrilled with homemade french toast, pancakes, and breakfast meats each morning.

And even though it was cloudy, windy, and sort of chilly, we still went to the beach on Friday because guess what? Kids do not care. They just want to play. So we adults sucked it up, and let the kids play for a few hours.

While Alice and Charlie stuck mostly to the sand, Eddie (who may be part fish) was in that chilly water almost the entire time we were at the beach.

Last year Alice wouldn’t even let her big toe touch the sand. This year she literally rolled in it as if it was the best thing ever to touch her skin. Kids are weird. And awesome.

My mom and I planned the meals/groceries a few weeks in advance, and we kept it pretty simple: grill foods and snacks. Of course my mom brought the fixing’s for s’mores even though the cottage doesn’t have a fire pit. But we had a charcoal grill!

Mmm…s’mores over charcoal!

Of course beach + s’mores = messy toddler, so a sink bath was in order. What cottage experience is complete without a toddler in the sink?

And just because it was cooler than usual, didn’t mean that the grandpa couldn’t take the boys fishing each day. Or that we couldn’t do a little ring toss, badminton, or card games.

Grandpa even helped Eddie with some of his cub scout adventures. They spent a lot of time on the fishing adventure learning types of fish in Michigan, Michigan fishing regulations, and of course catching fish!

They even learned about canoeing since the wind died down on Saturday.

Charlie got a ride in the canoe too!

Sunday was warmer and sunnier, so we hit the beach one last time before heading home. And of course Grandpa and Grandma had to treat us to ice cream!

I love that we have this summer tradition with my parents. It’s so fun to spend time together playing for four days.

Plus it’s a nice way to wrap up summer before I go back to work and the craziness of fall kicks back in. Even though the summer didn’t end up being exactly what I had in my head that it would be, we still had a great time.

And now I have to get back to lesson planning and making seating charts.

 

 

holiday on a holiday

I have so many pictures from our cottage “holiday”.

So I am taking today, a holiday, to pass them on to you, oh internet.

Enjoy.

This is what dinner looked like every evening. A picnic table, food, and family.

This is what dinner looked like every evening. A picnic table, food, and family.

This was Charlie's pooping stump.

This was Charlie’s “business” stump. Yes, he is “processing” in this picture.

 

Cort and I had a date afternoon where we walked the pier in Pentwater, checked out the state park beach, and did some touristing downtown in all the shops.

Cort and I had a date afternoon where we walked the pier in Pentwater, checked out the state park beach, and did some touristing downtown in all the shops.

out to Lake Michigan

out to Lake Michigan

 

In to the channel

In to the channel

Downtown Pentwater has a winery, the Oceana Winery. My brother and his wife were there when we walked in, so we had some wine-tasting company.

Downtown Pentwater has a winery, the Oceana Winery. My brother and his wife were there when we walked in, so we had some wine-tasting company.

 

We ate food on a fire.

We ate food on a fire.

My brother read with is little daughter.

My brother read with is little daughter.

 

Cort channeled his dad's talent of making DELICIOUS breakfast for the masses.

Cort channeled his dad’s talent of making DELICIOUS breakfast for the masses.

My niece played in her "playpen"

My niece played in her “playpen” so she could stay clean

 

yeah, she's pretty cute.

yeah, she’s pretty cute.

Charlie played in the dirt.

Charlie played in the dirt to stay dirty.

 

Yeah, he's pretty cute too.  And apparently he's also packing heat.

Yeah, he’s pretty cute too. And apparently he’s also packing heat.

The kids spent time with grandma...

The kids spent time with grandma…

...and grandpa

…and grandpa

We played games.

We played games.

Learning to hold all those cards was tricky.

Learning to hold all those cards was tricky.

 

sometimes we won. Ok, Eddie and I won ALL THE TIME.

sometimes we won. Ok, Eddie and I won ALL THE TIME.

It was like roughing it...but not really.

It was like roughing it…but not really.

 

I mean, this doesn't look too rough.

I mean, this doesn’t look too rough.

 

family beach days were daily occurrences

family beach days were daily occurrences

Swimming was fun

Swimming was fun…

 

Until you got yelled at.

Until you got yelled at.

 

They never played nicer than when the collaborated on digging massive holes.

They never played nicer than when the collaborated on digging massive holes.

 

We cleaned ourselves sometimes.

We cleaned ourselves sometimes.

 

These two were inseparable--from each other as well as Jack from his Oriental Trading Company Catelogue. It was his weekend reading.

These two were inseparable–from each other as well as Jack from his Oriental Trading Company Catelogue. It was his weekend reading.

Quality time was spent together.

Quality time was spent together…even if we were a little grungy feeling for 5 days.

It’s definitely busier with two kids running around.

Gone are the days when my vacation schedule is my own.

But for now, that is Ok.

Happy Labor Day Weekend.

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