Thursday, September 8, 2011

Birch Lake

Earlier this summer, Brad's sister and brother-in-law purchased a lake home in northern Wisconsin, and over the Labor Day weekend, the four of us were able to take advantage of the "family discount" and enjoy some time there. We joined Brad's parents, two of our nieces and a nephew for the long weekend.

It is a really beautiful, peaceful place. No TV, no internet, barely any cell phone reception. A cozy little hideaway to literally do that - hide away. I love that we were able to show the boys the beauty of the outdoors without the usual everyday distractions. {This coming from the gal who is anything but "outdoorsy."} Drew may have found himself a bit bored had it not been for his cousins. Can I just say that the boys' cousins are incredible?!?!

Like really, a lot.

The age difference between Drew and Reed and the Vander Waal cousins ranges from ten to 19 years. When Drew was first born, I thought this was kind of stinky. My children will grow up the same way I did - my cousins on my dad's side are all much older than my brothers and me, and my cousins on my mom's side are all very close in age. My boys will experience the same - older cousins on Brad's side and cousins close in age on my side. Because of this, I am much closer to my cousins that are closer to my age. And I think I assumed that because I wasn't particularly close with my much-older-than-me cousins, my children wouldn't be either.

I was totally wrong.

Things might change as the boys get older. But maybe not. But for My boys are so so special and lucky to have the cousins they have. Lewis (14), Alison (15), and Lauren (13) doted on both Drew and Reed, giving them their attention and time and participating in whatever it is the boys wanted them to play. They explored outside, played games, did puzzles, read books, played in the lake, canoed, Wii'd, and anything else they could think of! Whatever the boys wanted, all three of their cousins said "yes." It was so cool to watch the interactions between the five cousins, and to see their relationships bloom. {And of course, Grandma and Grandpa doted on the boys, too. I think that goes without saying. :)}

We had beautiful weather - highs in the low 70s, with a chilly 64 degree Sunday. Perfect for me! We look forward to going again when we can fully enjoy the lake {and by "we" I mean the boys because I don't swim with fishies} but we had a wonderful time, nonetheless.

A "friendly" spit tournament lasted the entire weekend. Drew had his first lesson and did great!

Both boys canoed with Lewis and Brad - and Drew (Brad) found this lily among the lily pads and brought it back to shore for me. Awwwwww.

It's all fun and games...

...until someone lands face first in the lake sludge!
No kidding, his face was completely covered! I think his flip flop got stuck in the wet sand and he fell forward when it finally unstuck. Poor sweetie! It was so gross and so sad!

He cleaned up well, though, and rested in his thinking spot. :)

So yeah, I wish I was more experienced with the outdoors so that I knew how to be more carefree and relaxed (I'm not good with dirt). But I know enough to know how to do s'mores! YUM!

No internet access, but Drew learned how to play a few new computer games. *sigh*

I just find this funny. Looks like he's peeing on the tree, doesn't it? :)
He's not. Promise. The boys were playing with that little green bush there. The things they find amusing...

No cable, but lots of Mario Cart on the Wii.

Sunday night, our last night - both boys exhausted!

Thanks, Rob & Glenda!
We can't wait to visit again!


  1. Great pictures-looked like you all had a great time! Give the boys-all 3 a hug for me. hahaha----

  2. i wanna go to a cabin like that! And i def dont do the outdoors or swim with the fishies either. Glad you are having fun!