So this year....It all started Sunday morning July 20th, I did some early morning grocery shopping for the big trip, then headed home to finish packing. Raindrops fell from the cloudy sky as we headed for the mountains. We dropped our dear Tenaya off at the doggy inn for the week and were on our way.
We arrived at our beautiful cabin overlooking the lake. I was excited to know that this was going to be our home for the next week. Steve, Carson and I were accompanied by:
- Jodi & Dean and their 6 month old twin girls, Emelyn and Delaney
- Amanda along with her two boys, Trevor (2 1/2) and Parker (11 months) and her wonderful mother-in-law, Marti from Pennsylvania
- Stacey & Blaine and their 7 month old daughter, Jane
- Marie with her 10 month old daughter Olivia
- Suzanne, Carson's babysitter even stayed for a few days to lend a hand and enjoy the festivities
If you are doing the math... yes, you are correct, we had 7 children all under the age of 2 and a half!!
We coordinated breakfast and dinner among us and ate rather well during the week. My personal favorite meal was the lasagna. Oh, maybe it was the tacos?? Ok, it was the barbecued chicken skewers. We will just say that every meal was amazing!! Our days were spent soaking up the sun and swimming in the lake. Carson couldn't seem to get enough swimming. He loved to jump of the back of the boat into Steve's arms! Our evenings were spent playing with babies, and engaging in highly competitive family gaming!! Apples to Apples is always a true crowd favorite, along with Cribbage and Taboo! We may have caused James Brown and Helen Keller to roll over in their graves. Please... let's have a moment of silence...........
Tuesday, July 22 we celebrated Jodi's birthday and were thrilled to watch her open her new Wii. Dean may have beat me at bowling but I won at baseball!!
Friday morning, Amanda, Marti, Trevor, Parker, Suzanne, Carson and I piled into my Denali and drove to Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad. Carson has a severe fasination with trains, or as he calls them, "choo choo." The boys were so thrilled to ride the giant steam engine. But the funniest part of it all was right when we arrived. We were all standing at the station waiting to board the train when I noticed a rather familiar face. It was our cousin Torben from Denmark. He and his wife, Hanne flew in to surprise the family for the picnic. Nobody new that they were here. There cover was partly blown. We were to tell not a soul!! I am a bad secret keeper, I may have slipped to Steve but didn't ruin the surprise for the people it mattered most to!
(Please let me make a side note to the whole Torben story. Torben lives in Denmark and had not been able to make any of the annual picnics. But he is so loved that in year's past, our family is just crazy enough to have posted a picture of Torben on a stick to include him in the annual photographs.)
Friday night we invited all of the family, including the those who were camping and those who were staying in other cabins, to a BBQ bash. After dinner a select few were feeling adventurous and decided that they wanted to try the rope swing in Willow Cove. We drove 5 miles an hour to the cove were Jessica, Foley, Suzanne and I swam over to where the swing was. All I remember from this wild adventure was watching Suzanne swinging towards the water but accidentally letting go before she was actually over the water. Pooooof, there was a huge cloud of dust as she rolled down the hill into the water. Thank God she was not seriously injured and only suffered a few embarrassing scratched on her back and arms.
Saturday was the actual picnic that began early with the set up of the day use area. Family steadly arrived throughout the morning and Torben's surprise visit brought the whole crowd to tears. As usual, the barbecue was amazing thanks to my dad and godfather, Merrill. Carson played in the lake most of the day as we celebrated Carol's 60th birthday.
As our week came to an end, Sunday meant packing up and saying goodbye. Stacey and I were ready to stay another week as I was NOT ready to go home. Unfortunately however, Steve injured his lower back and was anxious to return to the comfort of his own couch.
Our picnic is already scheduled for next year, on Grandpa's 105th Birthday, which of course is also my Mom's birthday!! July 18th! See you there!!