On our way to the cottage we had to make a stop at Mike's Bake Shoppe for kringle. Scott picked up some donuts to eat right away. After eating so many sweets the last few days I had to pass.
This was probably the best donut I've ever had. So rich.
The night before while giving Theo a bath, he said he had to go potty. I told him he couldn't pee in the bathtub and that he had to go on the toilet. That's when he admitted his fear of falling in. Luckily my parents have a smaller seat attachment on their toilet. After he tried it out and realized he wasn't going to fall in he peed two more times on the toilet. This is huge for us. He's refused to use the toilet from the very beginning. To celebrate we let him pick out a toy. He's been wanting a transformer since he saw it on Harvey's wishlist.
Another year and another NYE weekend at the cottage.
While we waited for the cottage to heat up we said hello to the lake.
Blake arrived soon after us and we had to get a tree before it got dark.
It seems like each year it's becoming more difficult to find a good 2nd Christmas Tree.
But eventually we found a good one.
Mr. Mike grilled burgers on our first night. I suppose it's OK to grill in winter.
The next morning Ruth got second Christmas off to a start.
My first gift was a solar powered bear with light up eyes.
What could it be. No really. I can't remember.
The biggest gift was last. I love the creative wrapping Cottage Santa does. This was the birdfeeder hook.
This year I got a birdfeeder hook, butterfly house, craft beer Madlibs and a solar powered bear eyes light.
Theo got a wooden truck with blocks. Cottage Santa had wrapped all the blocks individually. Meadow got him some new cars and the kids got a snowtube.
Meadow got a plaster mermaid kit, Trolls bowl warmer, a mini mermaid figure. Theo is the new puzzle master in our family and got a Blue's Clues puzzle.
Afterwards Blake and I did our annual walk around the lake. This time I tracked it and it's 1.62 miles to walk all the way around.
The snow was actually pretty deep where the snowmobiles hadn't been, we could have used our snowshoes.
On the other side of the lake we noticed we could see the little cottage on the point. Normally it's hidden behind trees. We later heard from one of the neighbors that they had lost about 50 trees in the storm!
I stayed back with Theo and played on the frozen lake.
There was a big storm in the fall that took out a few trees on the land.
One of the neighbors trees landed on our side. My dad and him helped cut it up.
The kids were fighting to get to the inner tube sled.
We all wanted a turn.
I thought we'd spend most of the day chopping up wood, but grandpa couldn't get the log splitter going.
So more sledding it was.
The neighbor showed off his WWII Jeep and took Mike on a ride.
I totally had a toy car version of this when I was a kid.
Theo and I chased after the Jeep but couldn't keep up.
Blake did his daytime fireworks. Starting off in the woods.
What she said.
Was so nice to spend the whole day outside after being stuck inside with house projects the last couple months.
Theo absolutely loved riding on the snowmobile with me.
The kids were not into the Kitty Cat snowmobile this year.
Then it was time to start the New Years festivities. Meadow's new makeup kit came in clutch.
This year we decided to get back to reality and go to the Al-Gen Supper Club in Rhinelander.
We were both a little nervous about going out. It seems like almost everyone we know got Covid this week and cases are at an all time high. The neighbor was even surprised we were going out. Scott said his Hail Mary's before entering.
My cousin Katie had visited Rhinelander over the summer and came here. I had never heard of this place before and thought it would be a good choice for New Years. The decorations were pretty amazing.
This place was magical.
Blake must have found the perfect pescatarian menu item.
And the brandy old fashioneds were on point.
The kids agreed that their Kiddy Cocktails were great.
Cheese spread and tomato juice starters. This place was so old school.
As it was Friday, I was hoping they would have their fish fry but instead they had a special menu just for New Years.
You know G.G. got the lobster.
Mike and Gail wanted to spend some time at the bar, but the rest of us thought with the Omicron wave, we should head back to the cottage.
A coworker had gifted me the game of Tenzi for Christmas. I had never heard of this game until 6 months ago and now I see it everywhere. She knew we like to play games at the cottage. I loved it. Meadow and Scott not so much.
I tried playing this game, but it just hurt my head. I stuck to switching back and forth between Dolly and Miley Cyrus' NYE wardrobe malfunction. To be clear Dolly Parton did not have a wardrobe malfunction.
This year I got paper lanterns to release at midnight.
They had a little trouble getting going and kept falling then rising again. Scott made the comment that this is how forest fires start. They are banned in Minnesota. The whole night I couldn't sleep because I was worried I had started a fire somewhere.
Happy New Year!
Meadow and Theo tried to make a rink on the small pond along the shore.
In the summer we're going to clean it out so we can actually make a little rink for them.
He was so excited that he insisted I get his ice skates.
And then he didn't skate...
The kids love riding on the pull behind sled.
Today had a little bit of wind. So I brought out the kites.
I stuck mostly to snowmobiling all weekend.
We finally convinced Theo to try the snowmobile. He started going towards the middle of the lake and when I tried to move him back on course he decided to he had enough.
Brooke brought out buckets of water in a attempt to make the tiny pond skateable.
We kept trying to get Theo to drive the kitty cat, but he wasn't having it.
I attempted to make maple snow candy. I saw somewhere that if you boil syrup and pour over snow you can roll it into taffy.
It wasn't quite working. I finally looked it up and saw you're supposed to boil the syrup to 235F before pouring.
The second attempt worked much better. The syrup hardened right away on the snow instead of just melting through the snow.
Blake tried some and said it was so sticky he couldn't open his mouth. I'm not sure I'd call this taffy but more like maple lollipops.
It was so sticky.
Brooke requested a family portrait since the four of us never show up in photos together.
Meadow makes a photo book every year about her favorite things. I realized we never got a photo of all of us for the cover.
Look mom left the house.
Theo tried out snowshoeing before going in.
Somehow the conversation came up about being able to balance an egg during the equinox. Blake said you can balance an egg any time of the year. We all gave it a go and he was indeed correct.
Before leaving, mom had a surprise for dad. She found a local artist to make a wood burned map of the Three Lakes chain. The artist even brought it over herself.
Back at home we opened up presents that Santa had left while we were gone.
A house kit for Theo's Magnatiles and Minecraft for Meadow.
Day 1 Scott had gotten a lucky gig to check out some off the beaten path campsites for Hipcamp. Our trip was going to bring us to the Appalachians. We packed our car full and headed east "early" Friday morning. Early for us is never that early, but at least we got out on the road at a decent hour. While driving through Madison we stopped at Cabela's to pick up a few more supplies that we would need. Our original plan was to make it to Indiana Sand Dunes tonight. Scott mentioned that if we drive through Milwaukee we could skip the Chicago tolls. I agreed and then he asked if we could stop in Cudahy to say hi to the folks. I said we might as well stay the night. When we got there we went to Tsing Tao with my dad, my childhood favorite restaurant. It's in an old Ihop and has a great buffet at any time of the day. Sorry Scott, I wasn't impressed. That's because your pretentious. Anyways, Meadow decided she didn't want t
Theo's been on a Mario spree recently. Mario Maker 2, Bowsers Fury, Mario Odyssey. He's also been getting a bit riled up by the challenging moments. It was crunch time for me to get these costumes done before Halloween. Meanwhile I once again ended up in the northwest exurbs. This time I purchased a used Iron Sleek backyard rink setup. The kids are going to have the best winter ever. Somehow I managed to haul all the hardware and 19 long 2x6s. The kids Christmas present had made it home safely. I guess while I was gone the kiddos actually played air hockey. Fitting. Sometimes they get along. The fourth costume and I was finally getting the hang of these appliques. These were looking so good. Meadow dug into one of her old lego kits. Busy day. Must mean a visit to La Casa Market for deli tacos. So good. Love that it's just down the street. I did the finishing touches on Scott's costume. These costumes are really meant for kids and teenagers so I had to alter Scott
All winter we had plans to go winter camping, but because its been so so cold we had to keep putting it off. Scott was supposed to work on my birthday and last minute didn't have to. We decided this would be the perfect time to go before the snow melts. I think we would've went earlier in the worst winter in recent memory, but a baby and sub-zero temperatures don't exactly mix.