No summer seems complete without the trip to Big Sand. This year it felt a little different knowing that all our worldly "stuff" was in a truck on its way to Boise, ID and that when we left Grand Rapids we would not be returning. We also closed on our house and tried to sign papers while at Evergreen Lodge which was a little tricky at times. Thankfully, it all worked out and we are now settling into our new home.
The moving truck was loaded a day earlier than we anticipated so instead of leaving Friday for Minneapolis to stay with Michael for the night, we left Thursday afternoon and stayed in a hotel in Madison, WI. After breakfast and swimming Friday morning we headed to Minneapolis to stay with Michael for the night. The kids thought the 3 1/2 hr ride the next day to get to Big Sand was really short! I've listed a few of the highlights of a truly beautiful week.
Staying in a cabin with these cuties (Finn and Nora, although Dave and Nikki are pretty cute too:):
|Finn was initially petrified of the big fish his daddy caught!|
Skiing, wakeboarding and tubing:
We are so grateful for those uncles who drive the boat so the kids can do these fun things. I still didn't get pictures of Caleb wakeboarding, but he had a lot of fun working to jump the wake. Uncle Greg and Aunt Shantelle had a couple of fun videos for us to watch, though. Lydia skied for the first time this year and was able to stay up for a short distance. I think she would love to try again next year. After 30 years having no interest in skiing, Dave gave it a try this year. Evidently he and Nicolas had a deal that if Dave tried, Nicolas who has also had no interest in skiing would give it a go too. It took Nicolas a couple more attempts than Dave (up on his first try!), but soon he was riding behind the boat like a pro. When not wakeboarding, Caleb worked on his slalom technique:)
In tears and not sure she wants to try again
But a pep talk from mom encouraged her to try again
Up and behind the boat for a little bit longer time!! Our brave Brie-Brie!
Just before his first time skiing...ever.
And up on the first try! Not sure how he did it because at one point his skis were going in completely opposite directions. But he pulled it out by pure force of will!
Look at that concentration
Determined to stay up
Hey, this is no sweat!
The precise art of sand ball making and trowing
Catching frogs and minnows (closely related to beach time:):
No pictures of the disc and soccer golf on land, although they were also big hits this week.
Dad celebrated his 70th, Caleb his 17th, and Lydia her 11th...all in one week.
Aunt Becca took senior pictures for Caleb while in Park Rapids. I tagged along and snapped a few myself of the birthday boy.
Lydia wanted "dirt" for her birthday treat so Grandma and I found this big planter at Walmart to fill with yummy pudding and Oreo cookies. The cousins decorated with Big Sand pictures.
Of the cousins, Seth and Alexandra had it the worst this week, although Bryan and Becca's kids may have had it just as bad the week before. We were thankful Benadryl worked wonders, because not being in the water was not an option for the kids!
The loons were especially vocal this year.
The kids thought the black squirrel was kind of neat.
One afternoon the bald eagle flew to this tree and posed for several minutes before flying off again
Anna found this huge spider on a walk. Thankfully, it was dead...shudder
Evening meal/Spending time with family:
This is one of my favorite times of the day because everyone is in one place. I think the other people in the resort like it too because then they can figure out who exactly all belongs in this big clan! We also love Grandpa's treat at the Logging Camp every year. Not only is the breakfast awesome, the atmosphere and company are unbeatable!
Love these brothers!
Grandpa and Grandma with all the grandkids. The Lord willing we will have twin Bleeker boys on the picture next summer!