Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Camping Saga...continued

There are two things I remember about the day I affectionately call "camping Monday".  The first, was taking the boat out, again for a short time (I think less than one hour this time), and getting a combination of wind burn and what I think was frost bite, on my toes.  I took a VERY short tube ride with Declan, and was more than happy to let Brett have a turn by himself on the tube after that. 
Mind you, yet again, the kids had fun.




I, on the other hand, used their body heat to warm me while we were sitting on the beach, in blankets and towels. 


Please ignore my camping hair. Camping has to exist outside of normal life, as Hilda once said, and that is how I explain my appearance during that week. 

The second thing, is that Brett caught a gopher! I named him "Gerald the Gopher" and he got into our dining tent and nibbled at Hilda's plums.  So, we used the rest of the plums as bait, seeing as we knew he liked those already, and Brett set up the trap.


A large bucket with a stick to prop it up, attached to a rope that Brett was holding.


We set it up in the dining tent.


After waiting for about an hour (I think), Gerald entered the dining tent, unaware of his impending capture, and scampered up to the bait...and then BAM! Brett pulled the string and Gerald was caught!

Here is a video of his release...



video

And please no comments about animal cruelty, the gopher was not harmed, and was released immediately. 

Tuesday through Thursday, the rest of our Bible study group came out to join us.  For those adventures, please come back tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

There are things I remember...

and things I forget.  I miss you.  I guess that I should.  Three thousand five hundred miles away, but what would you change if you could?

Sorry, a little Counting Crows flashback.  August and Everything After was my favourite CD for a LONG time. 

And now, to the point of this post. 

We were camping last week.  Yes, you read it right, I, Nicole Schuster, went camping for one WHOLE week.  I'm not sure if you remember what the weather was like last week, but allow me to enlighten you.  It was cold.  And windy.  And rainy.  But, there were some wonderful memories that were made while we were out there.

I saw my first shooting star.  Hard work (seriously) for me.  Apparently my eyes have a "shooting star blind spot", but it was awesome when I finally saw it.

We managed to take the boat out on Saturday (the day after we got there) for exactly one hour. 
During that hour, Elijah had his first tube ride



and Hilda and I had our first tube ride together.







and our first little dip in the lake!

Sunday, was freezing.  Seriously cold.  But, after we had a rousing game of soccer to warm ourselves, we managed to head to the beach for a little (and I do mean little) fun.










Sadly, I only had the camera for part of that little excursion, but trust me when I say it was hilarious.  Brett, Khai, Declan and Elijah had their bathing suits on.  Hilda, Chris, Helmut and I were in long pants and sleeves.  The wind would blow the sand into our faces.  Well, at least the kids had fun. 






(P.S. this is my absolute most favourite photo as of this moment)

During our little trip to the beach, Justin and Magda came by.  Thank goodness they did.  If they hadn't, we may not have realized that one of our tarps was on fire back at the campsite.   It was so windy that our overhead tarp had fallen into the fire.  NOT GOOD. 

Anyway, after the rain and the wind, we decided to head in to Kenora for supper.  With the exception of Abby throwing up in her car seat, it was a wonderful break from the "camping" part of our week.  Ha ha.



And, on the way back to the campsite, we saw the most beautiful sight!


Clear sky on the horizon! Absolutely breathtaking!

But, it didn't last long! Come back tomorrow to find out the rest of our little story...

Monday, August 23, 2010


My little Declan started daycare today.  I don't actually start work till the boys go back to school, but you take daycare spots when you can get them!!
I'm not sure how I feel about it. 
So far, I've experienced sadness, excitement and trepidation. 
He's my little baby, and I'm not sure I'm ready for him to be away from me yet.



Friday, August 13, 2010

My news.



I am going back to work. 

This is all I have time for today! We're off camping...I will explain more when I get back!

Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010



This, is how I feel.  Like I could fall asleep at any given moment, doing any given task.  I'm in the middle of trying to organize a few things for our churches VBS program; running children around to various activities; trying to pack for camping (we leave on Friday); working (I'm doing a LOT more of that lately) and trying to keep the house in order. 

All of this would even be doable, if I was getting to sleep before 2 a.m.   Unfortunately, seeing as I only start working most nights at 9:30 (either just as, or just before Brett is heading to bed), that isn't happening. 

I'm exhausted.

However, I do have some pretty big news to share and I'm hoping to post that tomorrow.

Sweet dreams!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tales of the tube.

Last week, Khai INSISTED that he was brave enough to be flipped on the tube.  However, whenever Helmut started going fast, he would always ask to slow down or get back in the boat.  On one such occasion, Helmut was pulling Khai and Michelle in...


...and he flipped them!


Khai LOVED it.  He thought it was hilarious. 


Michelle was not so impressed.


But I think she had fun anyway.


Ever since then, Khai has wanted to jump off the tube and swim back to the boat (but he's still too afraid to go fast!)
   *****



Normally, when we go boating, Declan and I take a couple short trips on the tube, going VERY VERY slowly.  He laughs and says its "bumpy" and then he decides he's "all done".



The last two times we've gone out, he's learned that giving a "thumbs up" (not Michelle's version) means to speed up or "go faster Daddy! Faster!".  He loves it.  Helmut only goes a tiny bit faster, but he giggles and shrieks with joy. 

Today, Helmut kept telling Brett he was going to "dump him" off of the tube.  Declan joined in the chant saying "dump, dump, dump 'im in!" 

Well, Declan and I went on a ride together, as usual.  He said his "all done" and we readied ourselves to be pulled back to the boat. 

Brett pulled us back and as we reached the boat, Brett accidentally pulled the wrong way on the rope, and Declan and I got "dumped" in the lake. 


Declan was NOT happy.  It's actually quite a drop from the tube to the water, and he was mad when we got back into the boat.  I tried to get him to go back on the tube right away, you know, the old "get back on the horse" theory, but he had no desire.  I was a bit worried that he wouldn't want to go back on at all, but, all it took was Khai and Brett going on together to make him want to get right in between them.


video

He even went on to kneel up on the tube with Khai and myself.



*****



Brett has become quite the skilled tuber (is that a word? what I mean is that he is getting really good at tubing) and has been asking me to take video recordings of him tubing.  He has already posted one to YouTube, which you can view here.  That one is of Brett and Kelsey's boyfriend, Kyle, tubing. 

Today, I took this one.  He and I each had to go by ourselves today because it was just the 5 of us, and there has to be an adult on board to watch the tuber (there's that word again), not to mention the two little ones on board.  ** warning: the water was very choppy today.  You may experience motion sickness while watching this video.  I did. **


video

Did you see how excited he was that he was still on the tube after it flipped?? AWESOME. 

We have discovered that you can do more tricks when you're on by yourself (and when I say tricks, normally, I mean making little jumps.  That thing from the video was NOT intentional) and you have a bit more control.  Not to mention, when you go flying, you're not bumping into the person next to you (ahem.  Michelle). 

A fantastic day all-in-all!

*****



Each day we have like this, reminds me of how glad I am that Helmut has finally realized his dream of owning a boat.  And that his dream wasn't simply about owning a piece of machinery.  It was - is - about creating memories together like this as a family.  It is about learning more about each other; spending time together and just being a family.  I love you Helmut.  

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I think the costumes really made the performances.

Thursday night, this one and I visited the Warsaw-Polish Pavillion where Magda was dancing.  It was wonderful! 


I love watching Magda dance, and though the food (perogies, kielbasa, pork cutlet, barley - my personal fave- and veggies) was good, the dancing was AMAZING.

I apologize for the crappy pictures, but the ambassador table was right in front of us and it was difficult to get good pictures :(  But that's Magda, second from the left (above).


My favourite detail of this dance was that some of them wore shoes, while others were barefoot.  It was beautiful and reminded me of an ATM that has a surcharge, when it was previously surcharge free...oh, sorry, that's a different story altogether...it reminded me of spontenaity, carefree days and a joy for living.  It also reminded me of Italians smushing the grapes for wine with their feet, for some reason I think that's beautiful.  Little details like that touch me.  This one certainly did.


Because I couldn't get a decent picture of her during the performance, I took this one after.  Justin looks impressed, doesn't he??


Oh, I love you guys!! I love that you know how to have fun together.  I love that you are maturing together.  You are a pleasure to be around.


And lastly, I purchased a BEAUTIFUL necklace from the cultural centre upstairs.

The Warsaw-Polish Pavillion gets 5 stars from me, (the costumes get 10).

Friday, August 6, 2010

The best kind of party...

Yesterday, after picking up a parcel, sending out a parcel and dropping off a teacher's gift (because I ordered them from Etsy and they didn't get here in time for the last day of school...totally my fault!) Brett, Khai, Declan and myself met Shannon and her three kids at Dairy Queen for lunch.  Then we headed over to Ruckers for some arcade fun (even I like some of the games there) and then back to Dairy Queen for a mini birthday party for me!

Shannon bought me a cake  (a chocolate chip cookie dough blizzard cake) ; they all sang me happy birthday and we cut it up right there (well, we tried to cut it up!).  It had just come out of the freezer, so it took her about 20 minutes to cut the first piece (I couldn't even get the knife into the cake).  But, eventually we all had pieces and it was DELICIOUS!


Brett ate his like this.  That way he could at least bite into it!



Khai didn't seem to have too much trouble with his.  As long as it's ice cream, he's eating it!



Declan wouldn't let me take his picture.  He was being stubborn.  SHOCKING.  I know.



Shannon and Brooklyn enjoying their cake.



Tyler.  I love you kid.

It was a fantastic birthday party and I really enjoyed spending that time with you all.  Thank you!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Days like these...



We've had 2 days filled with attempted golfing, actual golfing, a VBS meeting, rain, Ruckers, Dairy Queen (and NO, I did not write the review about this location.  I actually had quite a pleasant experience there), a visit with friends, some work, the Polish Pavillion, a part of Folklorama, Dollarama, Purolator and some Scrabble with my man.

I will be back tomorrow with a few fun pictures, but now, as it has been a LOOOONG last couple days, I will hit the sack and likely fall into a deep sleep before my 30th birthday begins.  In 34 minutes.

Sweet dreams.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I wish it would have rained today. I love the rain.


Today was a rough day.  I suppose it's to be expected after so many good ones, I suppose I'm due for a bad one, and today was it.

To summarize:

Bad dreams set you up for a bad day.
Common courtesy apparently no longer exists. 
Children will be children.  Especially when you don't want them to be.
Men don't get it.  Ever.
Occasionally I will take something someone said the wrong way.  Other times I'm exactly right and I'm allowed to be offended.
Bathing suit shopping should only be done when you're too drunk to care that you don't look good in ANY OF THEM. 
It's ironic that I hate clutter.  Because my house is full of it.
When the province estimates a bill, they should not estimate it at almost $100 more than last month.  Really, that's just ridiculous.
My bluetooth sucks.

And now, in my grouchy state, I will attempt to play a semi-competitive game of Scrabble on the iTouch with my hubby.  I fully expect to clobber him.