Water, Sand, and Fun

One of the major perks of staying at the lake house in Benton Harbor was it's private beach. My kiddos and their cousins all love water and sand; everyday we spent hours hanging out on the beach. It was nice not having to worry about crowds or the kids wandering off - the adults could actually relax too!

This swan floaty was such a fun surprise. The boys spent hours hopping on and off it. On our last day there, we actually had some bigger waves. Mini Man and Big Buddy had so much fun pulling the swan out as far as it could go and then letting the waves crash them back into the beach. They were laughing so hard that Jeremy and I couldn't resist joining in on the excitement. 

I've never been a huge fan of sand, so it amazes me they way these kiddos can spend hours digging, and even being buried, in the stuff. 

This above picture of Little Lady taking a reading break cracks me up...she is such a fashionista!

Even the babies embraced the beach vibe. Maca had the brilliant idea of bringing an infant pool with built in shade so the babies could enjoy the beach without us having to worry too much about sun, waves, and sand snacking. They also, of course, loved getting lots of love from their aunts, uncles, and Maca. 

Just looking at these pictures makes me feel relaxed - it was such a fun restful week!

Lake House and Family

Early this summer we were blessed enough to enjoy a week at a lake house in Benton Harbor. The place was beautiful, but the thing that really set the week over the top was the company. The only way it could of been better is if Jeremy's youngest sister and her husband would have also been able to join us. Lucky, for us we got to visit them in Colorado a few weeks later - don't worry, there will be a blog post ;).

I already have three sisters who I consider friends, so I don't understand how I got so lucky to also have three sister-in-laws who I think the world of. All of them are smart, considerate, and generous. We planned this get together to celebrate Heidi being done with her surgical vet residence. Vet school plus surgical residence means sacrifice, and sadly one result was that we didn't get to see her nearly as much as we'd like. 

Above she's showing the kids some of the operations she's done - they are pretty impressive and some them (turtle, snake, etc) are a little out of the box. The week was about celebrating her and giving her a chance to relax. However, she and her husband Colby are such servants that they ended up preparing almost all of the meals and taking care of most the clean-up too. Boy, do they have skills! I am not the healthiest cook...sadly, I love me some sugar...whereas Colby and Heidi pretty much always eat paleo and have done a couple Whole 30s in the past. Jer and I were pretty convinced that we'd never join that band wagon. After eating their "healthy" food, though, and hearing them talk so passionately about the difference whole food is making in their lives we've decided we are going to give it a try in September. 


Even more than that, I love getting to call Jeremy's sisters my sisters, I love that my kids get to call them aunts and their equally amazing husbands, uncles. It's such a gift when you have amazing people pouring into your children. 

The kiddos also have some pretty sweet cousins. It's so much fun to watch their love for each other grow. 

Maca's in charge of the matching pajamas. I think she does a great job! I hope these kiddos will always be up for wearing them. 

Jeremy has told me that his mom had three main goals when homeschooling her children: they would love books, know how to swim, and learn to play the piano. She succeeded in these goals with all her children and it looks like, at least in 1st goal, her grandkids will also be following suit. 

There were so many great things about the lake house property but the sunsets were over the top. I couldn't help but take pictures every. single. evening.

It was so hard to leave at the end of week. It is also hard to put all the joy we had into one blog post, so you can expect another one soon with some pictures of all fun we had on the beach. 

Nerf Party

Big Buddy turned nine this month! Every time another birthday of his rolls around my emotions are so mixed . My heart could burst with pride when I think about the young man he is growing in to; but I also wish motherhood came with a pause button. 

This year to celebrate he wanted to have some of his favorite friends over at a local forest preservse so they could shoot each other with Nerf guns. 

Lance Park Beach

A couple Sundays back we drove up to Lance Park Beach after church. I was really excited to check out this beach because the reviews looked pretty positive. With a large family, full of younger kids, I keep my eye out for beaches with close parking, nearby restrooms, and a bit of shade. This beach had all of those things. It's also small and a bit closed off so you don't have to worry about loosing kids.  It was so close to perfect that I'm sad to admit it had one huge negative - there was a crazy amount of dog poop in the sand. Therefore, I can't recommend you go check it out. We might venture back some day; there is a part of me that hopes that maybe the messiness was just a one day fluke. 

We still made the best of our afternoon, just making sure to steer the kids toward cleaner areas. All my kiddos love water and with their eager earnest hearts they do a good job of overlooking most negatives.

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