August 17, 2009

Time to Reconnect

Our summer is a little different than many other people's summers. We are around people all the time. We are either with people at camps, or have staff or teens living with us, or have parties with friends or teens at our house. There is always something going on around us that involves people ... and we LOVE IT!!! We are so blessed by the many people that we have the privilege of spending time with and working with. God has used many people in our lives to challenge us, encourage us, make us laugh, cry with us, and carry the burden of life and ministry with us. We wouldn't trade any of it, however; by the end of the summer our family definitely feels a great need to reconnect. Our kids are the most important relationship that Todd and I have besides the one we have with each other and we have a short amount of time to cultivate that and build into their lives, thus we try to end every summer with a week long camping trip.

So camping is precisely what we did this last week. We headed out only a day and a half after camp (which makes us somewhat insane) with our 5 kids 6 and under to go camping (which makes us mostly insane!) and we had a blast! We went to Door County, WI. I had been looking into a trip there for the last two years and it finally worked out this summer. I reserved a camp site back in March at Peninsula State Park where we spent 4 nights. Then we went down to Wisconsin Dells to the Yogi Bear Campground (at the recommendation of my sister and her husband) for one night, then up to Bemidji, MN to visit my grandma and grandpa as my grandma just had open heart surgery. Here is our trip in pictures!

Can you BELIEVE this pic?!!! All 5 actually looking and smiling!!! This may be a one time event folks, take note!

This is my little miss KK, she is my adventurous little ladyHotel + hotel beds + 5 kids = wrestling, jumping and fun
We got to our campsite at Peninsula State Park much later than we wanted (that is definitely the way it always goes!) and so no one was at the entrance and we forgot our paperwork. We had no idea which site was ours and it was dark! Gotta love an adventure! I was prasing the Lord for our technilogical age and good cell service as we used Todd's blackberry to get online and look up our account to find our site number. I figure leaving only a day and a half after camp, and that being the only thing I forgot, I did okay. The middle man had one job while we set up the camper...don't let the babies eat rocks! He was fairly successful. :)
We had lots of things go wrong at the beginning of our trip. A water jug leaked in our camper and soaked most of Todd's and my clothes. I am sure it will be funny later!
The first day out there we went to Whitefish Dunes State Park. That had an awesome beach but other than that wasn't so great.

We took a hike there that was somewhat of a disaster! It was a really cool trail but much of it was lined with poison ivy on both sides. Try keeping a four year old and a 2 year old in the center of a trail! We hiked to a look out at the top of the tallest sand dune which was 100 feet above the water. Here is super dad carrying one of the babies and trying to contain the little man.
I was there too, here is my shadow to prove it!
Next we went to Cave Point County Park which was connected to the Dunes State Park. This place was awesome. We climbed all over rocks and played in the water here. The waves have made sea caves into the rock here and it is really beautiful. The boys loved it here!

The water really was that green
There was a neat tree there that the boys just Had to climb
The boys were great helpers on this trip. The hauled alot of water, and dried dishes for every meal.
They also helped dad build the fires
The girls roasted their first smores...but will have to wait till later to taste them! The second day out there we went to Washington Island on a ferry. It was so sad because I forgot the most important thing besides food for the babies, my camera!!!! Oh well, we had some fun anyway. It was a little challenging as there was so much to remember and bring with. We realized this day that some things are just not fun with our family at this stage of the game. We require large amounts of transition time so moving around to many places, especially if our bikes were involved was not always worth it. The day was fun and we sawa cool things. We went on a "trian" tour and learned about the island and its history. We saw Schoolhouse Beach and later biked there. It is an amazing beach of smooth stones. But in the end, it was not the most relaxing day. If you want to see Washington Island pics check this out as my sister went there as well. You can also see pics of the fish boil at her site. We did that on the way back from Washington Island at the same place she went, and again I still did not have a camera. Fish boils are a tradition there and a really neat experience. It also happened to be our anniversary that day so that was something fun to do for our day.
The girls needed a good scrub after a few days so they both got baths
The third day there was the most relaxing. We went to Nicollet Beach right at Peninusla State Park and spent a few hours. It is a great beach with very shallow and thus warmer water. All of us had a blast here. Even the girls loved playing in the water!

KR is so funny because she always sits with her legs spread way far apart

A teenage girl befriended us at the beach and loved playing with the girls. She built this little pool for them to play in. We also met another nice couple from Chicago that had two kids 13 months apart. We always enjoy all the neat people we meet along the way on these trips.
Todd and his girls
There was an observation tower at the park as well. The older boys and Todd really enjoyed this. I made it to right below the second big level and my fear sent me packing, oh well.
Here is a view of Horseshoe Island from the tower
We enjoyed the Cave Point County Park so much that we went back for an afternoon. We were so glad we did too because it was very windy and there were big waves crashing in. The guys had a blast getting soaked by these waves! Here are my men, I sure do love them all!
This was one of the first waves to get them
It didn't take them long to get right in there!
The big man took on some of the biggest ones. Check out the person jumping in the background here. Scroll down to see Todd doing this too.

The girls and I kept our distance, I didn't think they would be too impressed with geting soaked by cold water

So Todd decided to try the jump that many people were taking. If it had been the other day, I amy have too. It was warmer then and clamer and I am not afraid of water at all. However, this day was cold, the water was cold and the waves were thanks. He did it though and here is how it went...

Camping is not complete with out some smores and just plain marshmellow stuffing!
We biked to a lighthouse and the a park in our state park on the last night there. That was very fun too. The girls love to swing! Here is KK
and KR
Our crew at the lighthouse

Like I said above, we wrapped up our trip with a night with Yogi Bear. All of us really enjoyed this place. There is a great little water park there and they show old Yogi Bear cartoons outdoors on a big screen at night. Here are my little sweeties all bundled up after swimming.
They love the water!
The middle man and the big man loved the slides

We have found with twins, as those who have twins already know, that we draw a crowd most or at least much attention most places we go. These kids were fascinated with the babies and the boy in the front followed us around and wanted to be in all our pics! He was so cute!
In case you have noticed or wondered why there are very few pics of our little man. There is a very good reason for this. He is very hard to get pictures of! He is never, ever still and when I do get a pic he always seems to be blinking or something. I will have to try a little harder in the future I think.


Susan said...

Such wonderful pics!! So glad you were able to get away and spend time as a family!!

Joy said...

Looks like lots of fun!

shar said...

YAY for vacation! Also, I am a huge fan of the pictures of sibling pairs on the beach. That is, the older boys with their arms around shoulders, looking out to sea...and then the girls with their cute little baby butts facing the camera!! If I had that many cute pictures of my children, I would run out of room on my walls!

Stacie@HobbitDoor said...

Looks like fun! Lots of good pics!

4 Little Men and Girly Twins said...

what a lovely family! And very similar to mine. {grin}

I loved looking through all the pictures...

looks like you guys had a wonderful vacation!


Kate said...

Just wanted to stop by and see how the vaca went. Love the beach, any beach, so much fun to be had....

Kate said...

Just wanted to stop by and see how the vaca went. Love the beach, any beach, so much fun to be had....

Stacie@HobbitDoor said...

Looks like fun! Lots of good pics!