We just returned last night from a wonderful family vacation to my parents' cabin in northern Michigan. Our week together was definitely a gift from God!
Getting the luggage packed for 11 people (Shelby came with us), plus food, towels, sleeping bags, etc., was no small feat.
Will this stuff fit in our van and car?
Somehow, Jeff stuffed all of the luggage into our vehicles, and we were off. We knew we were almost 'to the cabin' when we spotted the Pink Elephant in a nearby town. This elephant has been there since I was a little girl, (probably long before that), and our kids love to get their pictures taken there every year. This year, Ryan wanted to be sure that Shelby was included.
The cabin is in an association with a pool, so that is where the kids always wanted to be. Worked for me!
Taylor cooked an amazing breakfast for us one morning...eggs, bacon and Blueberry pancakes...mmmm....
The highlight of the week was a much anticipated trip to Mackinac Island. I love it there but haven't been able to drag Jeff to the 'chick place' since Ryan was small.
The Ferry to the island was exciting!
We walked around the island for awhile to show the kids all of my favorite places (Grand Hotel!), and then rented bikes. Ryan and Shelby decided to test the waters of their relationship by renting a tandum...
Chloe, SaraGrace, Jordan and Jacob were too little to navigate the eight mile trip around the perimeter of the island, so they rode in style...
"Ahhhh....this is the life!"
Along the route, we stopped to play in the water to cool off.
At dinner time, we headed to the Murray Hotel--one of the oldest on the Island--and where Jeff and I had stayed one night many years ago. Dinner can be one of those times where we feel all eyes on us and our 'large' family. Because of that, we try to make the kids behave. hehe They were a bit hyper, but doing well, when I began to notice a stench coming from baby Jake. I checked his diaper and sure enough...he had dropped the mother load. I still had a few bites of pizza left, so I decided to just pick him up and hold him close to me, to hopefully spare the other patrons from the odoriferous diaper. He was standing on my chair, facing out, and leaning up against me. As I finished my last bit of pizza, I looked down at my white shirt (my FAVORITE shirt, I might add), and noticed a brown stain. Noooooo....please say it isn't happening! I pulled Jake slightly away from me and saw a stain the size of south America, with several islands dotting the landscape. ACK! Ryan was mortified and told me to cover it up so that no one could see! I found that extremely funny! Fighting down hysterical laughter, I handed Jake to Jeff, who held him out gingerly (very subtle). The older kids noticed that other diners were now staring, as our attempt to stifle the commotion apparently failed. Luckily, we had just purchased some touristy t-shirts, so I grabbed one for myself and one for Jake and headed out the door behind Jeff. I stopped in the ladies restroom to change, but there was no place to change Jake. We headed to a nearby park, with the plan to lay him in the grass to do the deed. To our dismay, the park was now swarming with people and it was not going to be possible to change Jake without an audience. Oh well...we didn't know any of them, right?! The diaper contents were up his back and all over his shirt. GROSS! I had to fold it all up to avoid smearing it through his hair on its way over his head. One little boy came over for a birds eye view before being called back by his rather horrified parents. It was soon over and we headed back to the restaurant, trying to act like nothing happened - and that it was normal for a middle aged woman to leave her plate and go change her shirt in the middle of a meal.
Jake and Mommy in their new shirts
There was also a family photo attempt, marred only by SaraGrace's irritation at not getting to sit where she wanted.
Her nickname, "Spitfire" is well earned....
The day would be incomplete without this...
The FAMOUS Mackinac Island fudge
Waiting for the ferry at the end of a very fun day
It was a wonderful week and we are so thankful for God's provision for us!! Does anyone want to help me with my mountain of laundry?! hehe