Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ordinary & Extraordinary {Giveaway}

We enjoyed a family vacation shared with close friends last week.  While the drive up (and down) and life in a cottage with two other families, including three more children was at times exhausting, the memories that were made, were well worth the work.

When I'm preparing for a vacation with our kiddos, I always try to remind myself that the 'vacation' is not really going to be the restful-break from work- trips that they once were.  In some sense they are more work. I picture it almost as 'survivor style' vacation. Okay, so perhaps it's not quite as dramatic as the T.V show, but for me, it's just as much excitement and suspense. You're out of your element, away from all your comfortable things, and you have to make due with whats around. Sometimes that means using paper towel for coffee filters or laying down babies to sleep in a laundry room and using chairs on their side in place of baby gates.  For me, this is part of what I love about vacation.  A time to stretch out of the regular ordinary, and make a new special ordinary in a strange place, and getting by with whatever tools we have or make.   The ordinary schedules of life and babies, naps and meals follow you wherever you go with our family of five, but I love the opportunity to branch out and make the days extraordinary.

For example, our walks are quite an ordinary thing.  But throw in some friends, sun setting in the background, and two spirited young boys laughing and giggling with rocks crunching and flinging under feet, and you've got some makings for an extraordinary memory.  It's just how you see it and what you make of it.

A quiet deck with warm sun resting and setting on the old beams of wood looks as it always does, peaceful and quiet.  It withstands a long day of pitter patter feet running and knees crawling back and forth all day long.  Quite an ordinary thing, yet the story of the days tales that it tells are extraordinary.  The memories that it holds of all the days and weeks of feet walking to and fro could tell some incredible stories.  Of sun soaked days resting on beaches edge, lazy afternoon naps in the restful arms of the decks worn floral wicker couch, and magical evenings spent under the gloriously God created milky way and stunning stars.  If these beams could speak, yes, they would tell an extraordinary tale indeed.

We make use of an ordinary grassy field and create some out of the ordinary memories with friends. Relationships grow, friendships strengthen, and we learn from each other, only in the way that the day in and day out of one whole week in the same house can teach.  We more than survive this week- we thrive through it.

On Thursday the husbands blessed us with a day on the town to celebrate my birthday.  We headed into the beautiful historic down-town Kingston, to enjoy some old fashioned stores and coffee shops of course!

* A Big shout of to the most amazing babysitters three families could ever ask for. Thank you girls!

I was also blessed that same evening with a sweet surprise date night with my hunky man.

We came into the cute town of Gananoque to check out the Pig iron barbeque, and also stumbled on a farmers market on our way in.  We picked up some incredible dark maple syrup from Gibbons Family Farm.  I had never before tasted dark maple syrup, but let me just say that it was the most amazing maple syrup that I've ever tasted. The best news is that they do mail orders.  So if you're looking for some good quality incredible tasting maple syrup, and you are not able to source any in your area, these are your source! Check them out.

If you're looking for the best full plate with a mound of tasty meat on it, check out the Pig Iron. Dale and I devoured those savoury ribs and beef brisket in a very short amount of time.  We also had an amazing side of grilled zucchini with shallots, garlic, arugula drizzled with a lemon sauce.  This gave me a great idea of what to do with our garden full of zucchini.

As we ended our evening and walked back out to the car a nostalgic feeling filled the air as it erupted with a mini symphony in full swing playing in the middle of the park.  We sat down to enjoy a few melodies before heading back to the cottage.

On our last morning I enjoyed a dock date with my early rising babe with loons and birds singing serenading our extraordinary time.  

...and she's now done with our date.

As the summer comes to a close, I would love to hear about some extraordinary memories that you made this summer.  I could be making ordinary rainy days memorable by making forts in the house, or picnics on the beach, or a family trip.  Please share your summer experience and I would love to bless you with the free gift of a clutch purse.  The winner will be announced on Fridays Photo Post on August 24th.


  1. This summer we had the incredible opportunity to take our LONGEST family holiday to date. We too went to the Kingston/Gananoque area and what fun it was to see the kids as "soliders" at Fort henry and watching them swim in the St. Lawrence river for the first time. Many memories were made on this wonderful holiday as a family of four and we capped it off family camping with Paul's whole family for the August long weekend. Love the memories and am so thankful for the pictures that were taken to remind us of summer holidays till we can do it again next year :)
    Alice B

  2. My summer consisted mainly of preparing for our new baby boy, and in the process spending some amazing quality time getting to know my daughter. Although she will never remember what we did, we have the photos and my heart will always be full from the time we had together. Then just 2 weeks ago, we celebrated the birth of our son. God has blessed us this summer, even though it didn't involve a single cottage trip or exquisite family vacation... hoping next year takes us on some trips away from home :-D

  3. Hey friend! This was a very blessed summer as we could visit with family from Switzerland again! One of my sisters, my nephew and I got to sleep at the Toronto zoo one night for what they call 'Serengeti Bush Camp'.... funnest experience ever! We got after hours tours, got to roam the African animals at dusk, had a campfire and heard the raccoons fighting over leftover marshmallows just outside our tent at night... In the morning they woke us up with Lion King tunes... I definitely recommend it... very kid friendly too. :)


    Carla deWinter

  4. Your cottage pictures look wonderful, Josee! I have many many fond cottage memories...what treasures. I love cottage mornings on the dock, just me, a few loons, a steaming cup of tea and my Chambers devo book...aaahhhhh. This summer also allowed for a chance to scoot around Amish country in Pennsylvania on a little 50 cc. Scooter.what a blast! Even more fun...being "out zipped" by my 69 year old mom :-). She just loves to go fast!

  5. I made memories with my nephew in the great state of Iowa! One that sticks out most was his first birthday. :)
    -shay kember


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