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Summer Expectations, Geocaching and Grilled Pineapple Chicken Foil Packets

In that latitude the temperature flirted with a hundred degrees for a few of the dog days, but to a child it can hardly ever be too hot. I liked the sun licking the backs of my legs, and the sweat between my shoulder blades, and the violet evenings, with ice cream and fireflies, wherein the long day slowly cooled. I liked the ants piling up dirt like coffee grounds between the bricks of our front walk, and the milkweed spittle in the vacant lot next door. I liked the freedom of shorts, sneakers, and striped T-shirt, with freckles and a short hot-weather haircut.

We love easily in summer, perhaps, because we love our summer selves.

John Updike

Summer is flying by! Doesn't it always work like that? Ahhhhh, summer, the lazy days when we can enjoy each other, the weather and go on new adventures.

Unless you're a Mom. If that is your lot in life then summer is made up of planning, packing, driving, shouting, cleaning, cooking, yelling, sunscreening, and smiling through it all in order to create lasting memories.


Don't get me wrong... I LOVE these 2 months. Especially this year because I know next summer I will be working. I am already sick to my stomach over the thought of not being there with my Girls to enjoy our summer holidays. Every minute of each day I am trying to remember that this is it. This is what it is all about. I won't remember the screaming and sibling arguments. I WILL remember the family time, the adventures we went on and the love that was shared.

The fact remains though... summer is hard for me for a few reasons:

1. Ninja works ALL summer. Early mornings and late nights. I am on my own for the majority of the summer. Things I usually ask Dad or Ninja to do... are now my responsibility.

2. We are in a different routine. It takes me a while to get into the groove.

3. We have a TON of visitors. Like, from the day after school ends right though to the fall. That is a LOT of socializing. I have social anxiety. It takes a lot out of me to entertain constantly.

4. We own a seasonal business. THIS is our busy time. Dinners are later, bedtimes are later, and there is just more daily stuff to do.

I remember my summers as being a whole lot of independent play time. Of course we didn't call it that back then... we called it normal. Bike riding, wading pools, freezies, homemade koolaid popsicles, catching frogs, chasing the boys, skipping, scavenger hunts and late night hide and seek as the sun set on an exhausting but incredible summer day.

I know we can't go backwards but I am sad that those easy times have come to an end. I remember my Grandparents talking about their summers as young children and the good old days and now I am remembering my childhood summer days that way as well. I look back at those days and the memories are a fuzzy glow of fun days but I'm assuming that every day doing the same thing was fun.

Was it? Honestly I can also remember fighting with my siblings and being bored AF. Counting down the days to an organized camp or our 2 week family vacation. My best summers were when my Grandparents picked us up in Winnipeg and brought us here to Penticton. We travelled to the coast, Portland, Seattle, camping, sailing lessons, and enjoyed lots of fun planned activities.

I think that each generation tries to give their kids what they didn't have. Most of my generation had 2 working parents so summer was spent making our own sandwiches and keeping busy while our parents worked. I think as the "latch key" generation, we are doing the complete opposite. When I was a kid there weren't the same amazing camps offered on a weekly basis. Now, there are so many unreal opportunities for the kids to make their summers memorable. My generation is big on keeping kids active at the risk of driving ourselves to the brink of insanity πŸ˜‚. Only time will tell how much this way of thinking will screw our children up or if it really is creating lasting memories that will help them succeed in life. I was talking to a friend the other day that made an offhand comment that now a days we don't need to save for our kid's higher education but more for their psychiatric bill πŸ˜‚.

I just hope my kids know that I tried my best to provide summers filled with fun, education, experiences and family.

And we ARE going to enjoy it God Damn It!

Funny enough the other day I was prepping dinner while HBear was at golf camp and SBean was playing Barbie in her bedroom. All of a sudden I heard, "Jesus Christ God Damn it!" 😳. I ran into her bedroom in shock. I threatened her with the only thing I knew, Tabasco Sauce on the tongue if I ever heard that language come out of her mouth again! I have no idea where she heard that phrase! Honestly if she was repeating me, she probably would have yelled something that started with F and ended in uck 🀣. When I was a child enjoying those dog days of summer I remember our next door neighbor (a close family friend) catching me cursing and placing 2 drops of Tabasco sauce on my tongue. I didn't swear again until I was in my late teens!

Later on while I was actually cooking dinner HBear came out of her room bawling. Between tears she was able to say, "Mommy SBean just said Jesus Christ God... I can't even say the word!!!" 🀐. I chased the Bean down but she was like a wildling trying to escape my grasp. No Tabasco Sauce was needed and I sure hope she doesn't do that again as I'm not sure what to do πŸ˜‚. I have a bad feeling the next time will definitely be in front of someone πŸ™ŠπŸ€£.

My SIL and JQ left this week and my Aunt and Uncle from Calgary came for a weekend visit! Ninja and I managed to squeeze in an episode of HWYWH. Check out episode #25 Water Bombers Overhead.

While my Sis was here I tried to make easy foil packet dinners so that we could maximize our time together doing fun things rather than prepping in the kitchen. We had a super easy and delicious chicken foil packet that went right on the BBQ. I promised the recipe and here it is! What I liked the most about this dinner was that HBear made it! She has been very eager to learn how to cook lately so this week we made the menu together, did the shopping and now she is helping with every meal!

Grilled Pineapple Chicken Foil Packets
Adapted from Creme De La Crumb

4 chicken breasts cut into 1½ inch pieces
2 bell peppers, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 15-ounce can pineapple chunks
1 cup teriyaki sauce
1 cup Asian toasted sesame dressing

Preheat the grill. Lay out 4 large (about 24 inches long) pieces of foil. 

In a bowl whisk together teriyaki sauce and sesame dressing.

Distribute chicken, peppers, onions, pineapple chunks, and sauce between the sheets of foil. Fold the the sides of the foil over the fillings and seal shut.


Grill packets for about 10-15 minutes, turning over once half way through. 

Carefully unfold foil packets and check chicken to make sure it is cooked through.

This week both of the girls were in a camp of their choice! HBear chose Golf camp and SBean picked Skating camp. They both loved their choices! HBear took lessons with the pro at Summerland Golf and Country Club. It always makes me so delighted when my 8-year-old daughter gets to golf a gorgeous course before I do πŸ˜‚. She learned a lot and her love for golfing definitely grew which makes Ninja and I very happy as well. We love golfing and hope that it is something we can do as a family later on in life. On the last day I walked into the clubhouse and they were all eating lunch and watching the Open ⛳️πŸ˜‚.

SBean did super well at her skating lessons. At first she was an absolute adorable little manipulator πŸ˜œ she pretended she didn't know what to do and one of the young skating instructors held her under her arms the entire lesson! After class I told her not to be fooled by her cuteness πŸ˜‡ and to please let her do it on her own, she got much better after that. In fact this was her best skating ever! Proud to say that she has officially moved on from pre-Canskate to Canskate!


HBear had to go back to the Dental Specialist this week. She rebroke her tooth while camping with her G2Besty last week. We have been in so often… the Dentist and I can actually ask things like, "how did the move go? Did your daughter get into the dance camp we talked about?" πŸ˜‚ SBean came with us this time to get acquainted with the Dentist… She has to get a filling in a small cavity next week 😬. 

The Girls said bye to cousin JQ on Wednesday. As we will see them in a few short weeks it was much easier saying goodbye this time.

While HBear was at golf camp SBean and I took advantage of the gorgeous scenery by doing an impromptu photo shoot.





We also took advantage of being in Summerland by going to a new park!

This weekend we did some Geocaching. We are working on a special quest! Mary Hyde has lost her treasure and we are collecting map pieces to find it. This weekend we found 6 caches which equalled 30 coins and that's exactly what we needed to be awarded our first map piece! We started at the Farmer's Market and then we walked ups our street and found a brand new waterfall! Right at the end of our street! Huh!

We Geocached down by the Marina and played in the waves.




We drove up to Westbench and found a few caches up there plus explored a new park! We decided to pick up a Little Caesars pizza and take it to Skaha beach for a picnic instead of going home and making a big dinner and spending all that time on dishes 😊.



This weekend my Uncle and Aunt from Calgary were in! We got to enjoy 2 evenings with them catching up and shooting the breeze πŸ’•.

We went out to Kaleden and rode our bikes down the KVR halfway to Okanagan Falls. It was hot. Really hot. SBean had trouble with her training wheels and got spooked, once she tipped over once it was all downhill from there. Ninja was amazing though and calmed her down and stayed with her until we made it back to the van. After that we walked over to the beach for a much-needed cool down.



Next week will be busy with travel preparation and more adventures... until then, enjoy the chaos, these are the days memories are made from.


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