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Sweet and Sour Meatballs & the End of Summer



You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.

Winnie the Pooh

I have so many mixed emotions about summer coming to an end.

This week was back-to-school haircuts and I ran into a Mom from HBear's school. She was sad that summer was ending because she just loves having the kids around so much.

😳

At first I thought… She totally does not mean that. Any Mom that says that is just trying to make the other Mom feel guilty for thinking the complete opposite.

And then I reflected. We had a fucking awesome summer!

Yes, there were some mind melting freak outs that tested every patient molecule I have in my body.

Yes, SBean said, "Woawyn Woawyn betend..." 50 billion times in the past 8 weeks.

Yes, it was a revolving door of summer guests from the day after school finished until 2 days before it all begins again.

Yes, Ninja has worked his ass off all summer and falls into bed snoring before his head hits the pillow every night.

But... that just means our relationships have gotten stronger because we have gotten through those meltdowns and made it to the other side. The girls have learned a little and Ninja and I have learned a lot.

It means that HBear and SBean played together. A lot 
😊 and that makes my heart swell.

All the visitors meant we had a family and friend filled summer with memories to last us until the next time we have the pleasure of their company. That makes me feel, full.

Ninja has been exhausted. This has been one of our busiest seasons yet. However, that means our family business, that we believe in and have invested everything we have in, is doing well. That makes me feel, light.

When I look back at the summer I know there were more laughs than cries. There was definitely more smiles than frowns and there was more conversation than yelling.

I don't think that Mom was trying to make me feel bad. I think she had already attained this interesting bit of info that I had just realized.


Tomorrow my little girl starts grade 3.

While I was sitting outside "writing" this, Ninja came out and said HBear needs you.

When I got to her bedroom, she was in tears.

"I was just doing my word search puzzle and the word was family tree. It made me think of Nana and now all I want to do is cry." She said. πŸ˜’

I climbed up her ladder and went and sat on the top bunk. I said "I know how you feel Sweetie. You have been pretty emotional today," she shyly nodded yes. "Sometimes I'm like that too. Sometimes I'm a bit impatient or I don't give you my full attention. I am thinking of Nana too."

She just sat there wordlessly, her chin quivering and tears that she was trying to hold back spilling onto her cheeks. I said, "Sweetie, Nana would be so proud of the little girl you have become. Seriously. Nana loved adventure and she would be so proud of all of the amazing things you did this summer! OMG she was your biggest cheerleader! Everything you did was a performance and every performance Nana would cheer and clap and dance for you. Every time, no matter what you did LOL. You know what I was just doing? I was sitting outside thinking about what a great summer we had, didn't we?" She quickly said yes. "I was also thinking about how much I'm going to miss you when you go back to school in 3 days. You are my best friend and I've gotten used to having you here. I will miss you a lot."

She jumped on me and we hugged it out.


When she finally let go I said, "geez if it's this hard on me, I can only imagine how hard it is for you! You must be a little bit scared about grade 3 on top of all of that! That's some big stuff." She nodded in agreement.

She then asked what kind of things Nana liked to do?

"Well, Nana wanted to bungee jump! Nana wanted to fly like a bird. She loved going fast."

And she said, "well it's a good thing she's a butterfly now." πŸ’›

"I think Nana is in the stars. Ultimate flying. You know, 2 minutes after Nana died, Papa got a bing on his phone. It was an email telling him that his star had gone live. Nana had bought him a star and named it Ronnie. The email was letting Papa know that a camera had just been launched into space so that he could view his star. I like to think, that was Nana."

She agreed wholeheartedly. We then began discussing astrological signs and the stars. I went to the Computer and printed up a short description of her sign, Sagittarius. I gave it to her and told her she could read it but she had to save her questions for the next day. Distraction. πŸ˜‡

That was hard. As we sat there criss cross applesauce, holding hands on her bunkbed my throat felt completely constricted. I was holding back tears so hard that my words literally cut off because my throat could not open.

The next day she wanted to spend the whole day doing family things 😊 that was good because we did too.

A few other tidbits that happened/occurred to me this week...

*******


We went to get water (fill up our jugs) and we pulled up and there were 2 people sitting on the curb. Not to be judged 
😜 but I could clearly see that they were waiting for their dealer. As I pulled up, they got up. I thought it was to give me some room as they were sitting right beside the parking spot I just pulled into. I turned off the vehicle and they walked around the van. I watched as the "gentleman" went to go open the passenger side door! I hit the lock button immediately. He started rattling the door handle saying, "let me in!" I yelled back, "no! I have my young daughter in here! Back away!" He quickly backed away and began apologizing. He explained that he was waiting for… Someone, in a white minivan. I quickly got SBean out of the van, grabbed our water bottles, locked the van and went into the store. I have to say it rattled me a bit. I felt my Mama Bear come out LOL.

*****


As we were driving to the water store, SBean saw somebody throw garbage on the ground. She was very bothered by that. She said "that is not treating our earth very kind!" I think we have an Earth Ranger on our hands. πŸ˜Š

*****


SBean went from Mommy and Daddy to Mom and Dad this week. She must think it is so cool because she says it 9999 times a day. "Mom! Mom. Mom? Mom. Mom! Mom? Mom." 😁 I don't know what I hate more, hearing it over and over throughout the day or just the word itself. Are my Girls getting so big that I will never hear Mommy again? My heart broke a little when I typed that.

*****


Remember on our anniversary I got Ninja a monkey playing the cymbals filled with hard candies? He has kept on his nightstand. The other day Ninja came marching out and demanded, "SBEAN did you eat my monkey candy?" SBean picked it up every day and asked for candy so it was a legitimate question. πŸ˜‚ She very innocently shook her head no.

Then I asked her. Again, she insisted that she had not.

I looked at Ninja and said, "you know? I don't think she did! HBear did you eat Daddy's candy?"

HBear looked up from her dinner and looked confused, "no!"

"SBean? Did you eat Daddy's candy? It's not nice to lie." I looked directly at her and she still said no but there was a little hesitancy in her voice so I quickly asked, "what it does the monkey candy taste like?"

"It's sweet oh and hard."

πŸ€”

2 days later she woke up crying and screaming, "Daddy Daddy I'm sorry I ate your monkey candy!" πŸ˜‚


This past weekend we went geocaching. While we were driving SBean told us all about how she ate the candy. I asked her, "how did you do it?" and she said, "well I closed the door so Daddy wouldn't see. I used something to get it down because I am too little. It fell and bounced and I looked at the door but Daddy didn't come in. They bounced right into my hand so I ate them. ALL of them!" She was very proud of herself. πŸ‘Ή

*****

At 1 spot, while we were geocaching, HBear got out and started yelling for me. I ran around the van and there was a garter snake! I have a ridiculous fear of snakes. I haven't seen 1 in the whole 7 years that we have lived here. I have pretended to see 1 to practice how I would act when I DID see 1... in front of my kids! 

So, when I saw it, I said, "oh look a cute little snake! Come see girls!"

πŸ™„

Yeah right πŸ˜‚ I screamed like Jamie Lee Curtis, turned so quickly I almost knocked SBean over and broke the tripod getting into the van yelling, "close the doors!!! Close the doors!!!"

HBear calmed down and went searching for the cache with Ninja while I sat in the van with a bawling SBean trying to reassure her that snakes weren't actually scary. That we were bigger than them and they were more scared of us than we are of them. All the while shaking in my sneakers. She was so cute saying, "but Mom! You aren't scared of anything!"


 

This week I made meatballs. I'm not a big fan of meatballs, it is almost like meatloaf and that is just YUCK. My Dad loves meatballs though so every once in a while I make them for him. Actually, Ninja never complains about meatballs either.

These were delicious! I was surprised at how moist they were and how tasty the glaze was! SBean mauwed down on dinner! She ate her meatball so fast I thought she fed them to the dog... and we don't even have a dog! I will definitely be making these again soon!

Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Adapted from Mel's Kitchen

1 1/2 pounds lean ground meat
3/4 cup quick oats, lightly pulsed in Ultimate Chopper
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup onion, 
finely chopped 
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Sauce:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Preheat the oven to 350.

For the meatballs, combine ground beef, oats, eggs, onions, milk and 
Worcestershire sauce and mix well. 


Form into about 12 meatballs (right around 2-inches each). Place in a lightly greased 9X13-inch pan.


For the sauce, whisk together the ingredients and then pour the sauce over the meatballs.



Bake for 30 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.


Serve over hot, cooked rice, if desired.






This week was pretty low key. We are in pre-routine mode. We are gearing up for a BUSY year. With SBean in Preschool and activities... this will be a whole new stage of parenting.

Just when you have it all figured out. 
πŸ˜‚

HBear finished up tennis lessons this week. She really loved it!




They were in the newspaper this week. This was the picture.😊


She also finished up paddle board/yoga. What an amazing experience! Those kids blew my mind! Next year I want to join! She is on the green board in the first picture and on the red board for the rest.









SBean and I played at the park while HBear was at her lessons.




We had to drive to Kelowna to exchange some pants that Gram And Grampa bought the Girl's for back to school. On our way home we stopped at Hardy Falls to see the beginning of the salmon run. I love it there!


 






SBean and I made the yummiest most perfect cornbread muffins to freeze for lunches. It is my neighbour's recipe and it is AH-MAZING. I will post it soon!


HBear and I made cherry cheesecake for our family visitors this weekend.

We also did the obligatory back to school haircuts. SBean loves the hairdressers! As soon as we got there she started her happy dance! Her stylist gives her a lollipop when she is done. πŸ˜‰

 

We had ok weather on Saturday for dinner with my Uncle and family. I got to see my Cousin pregnant!!! So exciting. The Girls love my Aunt! They did yoga together, showed her their huge wall map... for 45 minutes lol. I love having family over because even though we rarely see each other, we inherently KNOW each other. Best. Feeling. Ever. The feeling of belonging to someones. It is so weird seeing my younger Cousins as a wife and soon to be Mom and as a Nurse and young adult. It is wonderful to see them a few times a year and glimpse into the lives of the women they have become. Even though I know them... I still don't actually know them. So I love the moments when we can catch up. It was a nice visit. I didn't get any good pictures as I was too busy talking LOL. These are the few that I got.




On Sunday it was raining and the place they had rented had terrible beds so we met at Bliss Bakery in Peachland for a delicious breakfast before they headed back to Calgary.




We spent the last day of the September long weekend exploring and Geocaching. We drove through Peachland, up the Connector, up to Merrit and then down through Princeton and home. It was chilly! You are so high up and it was a overcast day, it was only +10 in places.





 











I hope everyone had a safe, fun, adventurous, memory making, laugh filled summer!


We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer's wreckage. We will welcome summer's ghost. 



Henry Rollins
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