I'm waaaay late, but the week has been busy busy. Better late than never.
Gwen celebrated her 4th birthday last Saturday (25th). Can't believe my tiniest baby is such a big girl now. She's a wonderful child and such a blessing to us.
She had a princess theme party and was so excited by her castle cake, castle pinata and the birthday hat!
Wearing her lovely party dress
Have to include this one because Ethan kept trying to walk in front of me while I was taking pictures. Its SO a brother thing.
Elsa unimpressed by the hubbub
A stick horse (er, unicorn). Despite her face, she really liked this!
Uncle Michael helping her read the cards
Pinata! In typical fashion, I didn't get a picture of the birthday girl hitting it down, but the other kids did a great job too :)
A long day calls for a much needed snooze on the couch.
After the party was over, we had to turn our planning to the upcoming trip to the family cabin at Lake Chelan. Its located on Gold Creek, about 8 miles north of Manson. There are no roads that come close to the cabin, so its boat access only. There is also no plumbing, and running water is drawn off the creek and run through a filter into the house. No hot water! Its a lovely, special, rustic place. Its so neat to go to a place that your Grammy has memories of from her young adulthood, as does your Mom and Dad, and you, and now your own children.
Usually we take our boat to Chelan, but the water is quite low this time of year (making it hard to dock the boat) and my Dad wasn't able to come. He's the only one who can make that boat run, so we decided to take The Lady Of The Lake, a ferry that travels the entirety of the lake every day. It makes flag stops at various points... one of those being our cabin. It was totally fun taking the boat, but it made packing hard because we were limited by weight AND we knew that if anything was forgotten we couldn't just send Dad over to the other side to pick it up.
Mom and I were handling the food, and we both had detailed lists. It was a hard balance having to keep things light and lean, and yet still satisfying because we knew we'd be working while we're there and Chelan always calls for a lot of snacks. Mon-Thur I was totally consumed with planning, purchasing and packing.
We got up very early on Friday (me at 3:30) and all met in Monroe at 5. We had to be at Fields Point by 9:30 because the boat left at 9:45. We made good time and were there by 8:45am. The kids were super rambunctious the whole way there... can't blame them though. They were so excited!
Unfortunately we were over-weight on a few items (though some of us think that it was a mistake...) so we had to pay extra, but it was all good. We were on the boat and on our way.
My brother Michael and his girlfriend Melissa. The little pup is Kai, my Mom's dog.
The kids waiting for the boat to come in. Usually there is no beach here. The lake was very low.
Our first view
The day was perfectly crisp and clean
Lovely apple (half the tree is pear I think...) in bloom
Gwen zonked out before dinner
The wood stove that I cooked on all weekend. There is something so... authentic about cooking on a wood stove. When we started this baby up, we discovered that there was an ants nest in either the wall or the stovepipe. Tiny ants came pouring out around the chimney in both the kitchen side, the living room side and even upstairs where the chimney passes through to the roof. They all died. I'm not kidding when I tell you that we swept up dustpans full of the things. Luckily after the initial carnage, there were no problems.
Everyone playing Settlers of Catan
Doing our clean up of the grounds... we burned a few fires on the rocks to get rid of a bunch of driftwood
Working and playing wears a kid out! Even better when you have your great-Grammy to snuggle with.
Ethan, Elsa and Toby taking their nap
The Lady picking Becki up on Saturday. See how far down on the rocks she had to load up? That was a nightmare to move coolers and bags up and down on wobbly rocks.
Nana and Elsa
Gwen showing off her marshmallow. You can tell she'd had a few...
Aaron and Ben
Our first family portrait with Elly and aren't we a sight?
The bonfires burning at dusk...
Random house shots. It is just so lovely in spring!
Our stuff to load onto the ferry... do you see a little face in there?
On our way home we stopped at EZ's in Wenatchee... awesome burgers! They also have the most darling kid's meals.
Our drive home was kinda rough. Grammy was riding with us because her car was parked at our house... that's not what made it rough though :) Elsa cried almost the entire way. When we stopped in Wenatchee for dinner, I got garlic fries (yum). I then proceeded to spill the oil from the fries on Toby, who was nestled between the two back seats! Ugh. Just what we needed in a crowded car. A dog covered in fragrant garlic oil! The baby continues to cry, the kids continue to fight. We stopped and switched drivers multiple times. Finally, just 30 minutes from home, everyone falls asleep. Poor Grammy. She was very kind about the whole thing but I'm sure she was glad to get home to some peace and quiet!
All in all we had a great time. I wouldn't say it was relaxing for me, but any trip to Lake Chelan is restorative to my spirit.