Monday, July 28, 2008

Vacation Recap

I haven't gotten around to updating my blog about my vacation last week. My sister Susan summed it up pretty well. Here's an excerpt from her blog until I have a chance to post my own pics and thoughts:

Wow!! We just got back from an awesome week!! For the first time ever, my entire family spent an entire week together!! (Oops, I guess I don't mean entire....Bethie wasn't able to be there because she had just started her new job.)

It's funny to think about how much time my family spends together with my dad, brothers, sister-n-laws, nieces and nephews, hanging out at each others houses...but never have we attempted to spend an entire week together (I think it was for fear of killing each other after a couple days!) Surprisingly we did really well!!!

We stayed at two cottages (next door to each other) at Higgins Lake. The cottages were perfect for our families! There was enough room for everyone to eat comfortably, hang out when it was raining, play games at night, etc. When it was raining, the kids were able to go from one cottage to another to find different things to do (yeah for tv and video games....for rainy days only!!!) We were right on the water....with a huge grassy yard in between the cottages and the lake. It was the perfect setup!

Although the weather was far from perfect, we still had a great time!! Nothing like driving up in a huge rain storm, to start a vacation. We had three days where it rained off and on ALL day long and one day where it rained the ENTIRE day, other then that, we had great weather.

We started the week off by a small gift exchange. Dan and I both presented Dave with this shirt.....
....Dan gave him a child's small, I gave him a child's large. The picture above is him sporting the kids small. The picture below is possibly the most awkward picture taken all week. It's of Dan trying to help Dave get the small shirt on. Dave seems to be enjoying it. Alot.

Then Dave gave me my be-lated 30th birthday presents....

...some very large sunglasses, a very large grandma bra (not sure what I am going to put in there), shortbread cookies, some 'lovely' perfume, a beautiful lilac candy jar with nips in it, and certs. Everything my grandma used to love....perfect for an old lady, like myself.

The days were filled with swimming, playing games, playing cards, eating, tubing, riding on a boat, running around, reading books, campfires and whatever other crazy things the kids came up with.

Kris's cousin was kind enough to let us borrow their boat. What they didn't know was that it was going to break down after the first time we used it. Kevin, Dan and Dave walked the pontoon over to the marina to have it fixed. $250 some dollars later, we were back in business. Until it broke again the next day. At least Kevin knew what it was (the same thing as last time, but a different side) and was able to fix it for a lot cheaper.

The kids had a blast tubing on it. Yeah, we realize that a pontoon boat doesn't go quite as fast as a speed boat, but we didn't care. After puttering around for hours, the kids decided to get a little creative and did a free-style competition. Anything from standing up, to switching tubes to a hand-stand. I'm pretty sure Maddie wins the award for coolest trick ever (see picture on right!!)

All of the cousins got along awesomely! Everyone had someone to play with and there were really no major problems. Matthew won "the most patient cousin" award this week. He pretty much took care of Ben for us. Ben would drag him anywhere he wanted "Matt-chew" to go. Never once did Matt-chew complain. The funny thing is, Ben isn't really nice to Matthew, he likes to punch him, wrestle him, jump on him when Matthew's not paying attention, but Matthew doesn't care.

Because Matthew hung around Ben so much, he learned one of Ben's infamous faces....the "oh-dear-what-have-I-done??" face. Matthew learned how to use that at very appropriate times.

The water at Higgins Lake is the most beautiful water in the world. Except when it has the wonderful swimmers itch. Which it does right now. Miraculously, the kids didn't get it, but the adults did. Kevin and Dave got it from dragging the pontoon boat up to the dock so many times for us and for dragging it to the marina to get fixed. Some how I got it from walking in the water for 24 seconds to rescue a shovel that floated away too far and now am itching like crazy.

The only time we all left the cottages was to go putt-putt golfing and go-karting. (I think its pretty impressive that 7 adults and 11 kids were able to stay busy for 6 days and only leave one time!!) It was a miserable 19 holes to watch 10 kids play through. Ben thought the idea was to hit the ball as hard as he possibly could. We had to remind him countless times to hit the ball lightly.

Okay, I'm done giving the minute by minute descriptions. Here are some of my favorite pictures from this week.

Jon and I beating my dad and Judy in cribbage. That was the first time Jon and I had played in 15 years!

A sunset cruise on Higgins Lake. Before the boat broke.

Jon was on his best behavior this week. We think it was because he was solo-parenting and a.) didn't have time to cause problems and b.) he knew that if he did, no one would help him with his girls. (Little did he know, we would have anyways.)

We went out to the sunken island to swim around. Unfortunately it was a little too windy, the rocks had algae and the water was too cold. That meant no one wanted to get in. For the most part, the kids sat on the boat, waiting for us to leave.

Emily and Libby were brave enough to sit on the tube. Just not touch the slimy rocks.

Gabe tried to take his rightful place as king of the slimy rock, but Uncle Dave is much stronger (and has a beer in his hand)

Dave tried to convince the kids that there was buried treasure on sunken island. Apparently Matthew was the only one who fell for it. Him and Dave went out searching while the rest of the kids shivered patiently.

Uncle ching-bonk and Allie


After the first day, we passed the job of sun-screen applier on to someone else, other then Emily.

Like I said above, the kids got along so well. Emily and Allie played super well together until one little misunderstanding happened. Dave and I were listening to the girls tell what was going on.
Emily says, "Well, Allie was getting on my last nerve."
Allie (not sure what that meant apparently) says, "But I didn't know. I didn't see it!"

It was all I could do, not to bust out laughing!!

There are so many other funny things that happened this week...most of them are inside jokes....some aren't. For instance, when playing speed scrabble one night, Kevin called my dad, "Daddy." That went over really well with all of us. We will NEVER let Kevin forget that. We mentioned it as often as we possible could this week.

All week long, my kids (Allie and Ben) were having the hardest time remembering Aunt Cathie and Uncle Dave's names. Half way through the week Dave decided he wanted them to call him Uncle "Chick-bonk" (that is what Emily used to call Chipmunks.) I dunno why. Just because. He was giving Ben candy every time he called him that. So by the time we got home, Ben remembered that his name was Uncle Dave (or Chick-bonk.) I still think Allie is confused.

So yeah, we had a great time. We are already planning on doing this again next year!!

Alright. I think that is all. I'm sure I have lots more things to add...just can't think of anything now.

You can see more pictures here and here.

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