Category Archives: going

Very Bunch of Chilly

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This weekend our Middles packed up and headed out for a weekend at camp. While it isn’t the first time they’ve been gone, it is the first time they’ve gone to camp. Exciting, yes. But I admit I was a little apprehensive about how they’d fare their first weekend away to an unfamiliar place.IMG_3342-1

Knowing that they were only about an hour away, that they’d really only be away for two nights, and that they’d be together was comforting for this Mama.  Our little home was so very quiet with only three Littles running about, noticed especially at suppertime when we rearranged ourselves around the table to make those empty chairs seem not so empty.  And while the Middles enjoyed their time away, it was so very nice to have all of our usual chairs filled when they returned home.  IMG_3346-4As usual for September, the weather has shifted a bit more. We’re not yet in Autumn, but we’re not in the midst of summer either. The shadows have lengthened, the light has changed, and there’s a different feel to the air lately. The sun rises a little later and sets a little earlier, telling us that these summer days will be ending soon.  Sophie noticed it when she was outside after sunset and ran back inside for a jacket, announcing, “It’s a very bunch of chilly outside.”

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We still have so many summer projects that we want to finish, and some that we haven’t even started yet. The change in the weather is working to encourage us to move as quickly as we can through the list and focus on those things that are most important, like firewood. Because, as Sophie said, “It’s a very bunch of chilly”. And we know that a warm fire will be welcomed very soon.

Silas Turns Two

IMG_3293-2 IMG_3294-2 IMG_3298-2 IMG_3305-2 IMG_3310-2 IMG_3313-2 IMG_3314-2Our littlest Little just had a birthday. It’s hard to believe that two years have gone by since the whirlwind weekend when he arrived. But my nursing babe is a babe no more. (Though he is still nursing.)

We’ve been trying to reduce the amount of Things in our home lately (seems like we’ve been working on it for a year), so this birthday created a bit of a dilemma for us. Do we purchase cheap toys that he doesn’t need and won’t play with for long? That’s an easy one. No.  Do we purchase more expensive but classic toys that really engage his imagination but that we just don’t have room for right now? A much more difficult question to answer.  The original answer was yes, just one little thing. But the day that I tried to go to the Bella Luna shop in Rockland because I was in the area, I found a note on the door saying they needed to close early. So we needed to do some rethinking.  And the final answer is one that all our children still living at home are embracing. We aren’t giving birthday “gifts” any more. From this birthday on (with a few exceptions here and there, since rules are made to be broken, after all) we’re going on birthday excursions.

Silas is a little too young to choose his place, so we chose for him. One of our favorite places to visit is a not too far away orchard, complete with ice cream, apple picking, goat petting and feeding, and a hay ride. We skipped the corn maze on this day since the day was about Silas and we didn’t want to wear him out.  But oh, did he enjoy his ice cream. And petting and watching the goats, especially one of the little ones who was nursing. And going on a hay ride, pulled by one of his very favorite things – a big tractor.  And being pulled in the wagon. (Which he was very reluctant to leave behind and tried to push it to the van for us to bring home.) And of course we picked a few bags of apples to enjoy.  It was a very good day, indeed. Happy Birthday, Little Man!

An Island Visit

A glance at the calendar told me that we’re in the last days of summer. I had been planning a visit to a dear friend since spring, and just hadn’t made the time to do it. So I put all housework, garden work, school planning and other things aside and gathered bathing suits and towels, packed a quick lunch for us to eat in the car, and the children and I were on our way.

IMG_2956-1I had forgotten the beauty that filled the drive from my home to her home. We didn’t pull over into any of the planned “scenic lookout” places, but we did make a quick stop, due to a Little complaining of a bit of a tummy ache, near an old cemetery at the top of a hill overlooking the world. (Okay, maybe not the entire world, but it did seem that way.) The view was enjoyed, the tummy ache subsided quickly, and we were back on the road.

I wish I could convey the peace that overcame me as we slowly made our way over hills, around turns, over a large bridge and a small causeway to the final turn to my friend’s home, finally arriving at the farm that has been in their family for generations.  The Littles ran off for a quick guided tour, thrilled to see baby chicks and turkeys. Then we did a quick change into swimming gear (well, the children did, us Mama’s knew how cold that water would be).

IMG_2968-4A little parking adventure, a short walk, and we arrived at the sand beach. For those of you unfamiliar with the coast of Maine, beaches are plentiful, but SAND beaches are precious few and far between.

IMG_2965-2Oh, that water was cold! But the children didn’t seem to mind at all.

IMG_2970-5IMG_2959-1It was, like all days spent with a dear friend, perfect. Sun, sand, water, and being with one I love so much. If I were a romantic, like Anne who lived in Green Gables, I’d call her a kindred spirit. (Good thing I’m not a romantic, right?)

This day, spent on an island at the end of the world, watching our children play in the water, taking in the abounding beauty of God’s creation, visiting and sharing life with a friend, this was a day of peace and joy. Exactly what this Mama needed in the midst of a very busy season.

Celtic Interlude

Saturday night storms brought a welcome weather change. Finally, an end to the hot humid days we’ve been having, returning us to the mid-70 degree temperatures we love about Maine summers. Before heading down the coast to spend some time visiting my grandfather, we stopped to enjoy a bit of the Celtic festival taking place nearby. Image

Image We enjoyed bit of bagpipes, drumming and dancing, then grabbed a bite to eat. Our family seems to always gravitate away from the crowds, so we moved toward the almost empty waterfront for our quick picnic which included climbing, playing, and enjoying the view. Image

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IMG_2869-4A walk through the vendors, a quick hello to friends, and we were on our way. Just a quick interlude, but enjoyed ever so much.

Capture the Summer

This summer has been flying by and we haven’t even gotten to the beach once yet. I know that this week would be perfect to go since it is so very hot here, but it seems almost too hot to sit out in the sun. (Hot is a relative term. It’s been hitting 90 degrees every day. Here in Maine, we call that HOT. Down in Texas, it was a cooler summer day.)   I think I need to just plan a day and go.

Even though we haven’t made it to a day of ocean side swimming, we have been doing a bit of summer seizing. Yesterday we met a lot of friends at the park for a game of capture the flag.Image

The waterfront was hot and still without the characteristic breeze to blow any relief until the sun began to set and the shadows grew long enough to cover the field.  The kids played several rounds of the game, with a few moments of rest in between and during the game. Image

After a while a band joined the scene at the waterfront for what looked to be a video shoot. Once the cameraman got all the shots he needed, the band had a little fun playing around. And we had a little fun listening.  ImageOne of the band members had a beautiful old Saint Bernard named Hugo. Silas followed him everywhere, and finally had a chance to sit and pet the “puppy”.  Image

Capture the flag gave us a chance to capture a bit of the summer.  Next stop – the beach!

Our Weekend Gift

This past weekend’s weather was gorgeous. We went to a nearby favorite park to enjoy a bit of God’s creation and we celebrated Emma’s 2nd Birthday (technically a couple of days late, but she didn’t mind).Swinging on favorite swings.

Playing in the VERY COLD water.

Sophie enjoyed her first ride in a swing.

Loving the sand and the water, which she called “Weee”.
Skipping stones.

I’ve found that there are days where my To Do list can be a mile long, but the best thing for us all is to scrap the list and go have fun. Our days of enjoying each others company are too few and far between, so when God gives us a gift – beautiful weather and everyone home at the same time – we should unwrap it with joy and not stick it aside for another day. What a beautiful gift that day was!

Non-Stop

Katie is flying home today so she’s here for Josh’s and her birthday. She scheduled a non-stop flight out of Portland Maine. It was a little late (an hour) taking off, but we weren’t concerned because it was a non-stop flight. So I just pick her up at the airport a little later than planned. No big deal. EXCEPT…. I guess US Airways didn’t use the same dictionary as the rest of the English speaking population. The non-stop flight that Katie was on, stopped. In Philadelphia. And it was planned. Kind of makes you go, “Huh?” Not only did it stop, but it stopped late. And the flight that was supposed to continue to DFW left on time, so she and about 5 other passengers missed their connecting flight (don’t forget, this was non-stop) to DFW and are rescheduled on another flight to arrive about 5 hours later than they should have. No, Katie didn’t make a mistake. I have her itinerary. No this wasn’t an unscheduled stop. Apparently that’s the way this flight works from Portland to DFW. So, are we the only ones who now completely understand why the airlines repeatedly receive such poor customer service ratings?

Sorry, no cute pictures. I need to get a new battery for my camera. The rechargeable ones don’t seem to work anymore. Recharged too many times?