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 Back in May I stumbled upon Theodore Roosevelt National Park. I had no idea there was a National Park in North Dakota and that it was the northern end of the Badlands. Usually our summer vacations coincide with Scott's work trips. Since he didn't have any this summer I thought we should take advantage of actually taking a vacation. What, my workcations are always classics? I suppose a second real vacation this year wouldn't hurt. We definitely have more time than normal. As long as we took Covid-19 precautions and avoided people. We finally settled on a time to go. Blake joined us so we borrowed our dad's van so we could ride together. Scott had just driven from Michigan the day before. Blake had met my parents in Wisconsin to get the van and then drove from Duluth to pick us up. I offered to drive since I literally only drive twice a month. I was still pretty tired from a long drive home. Don't @ me for doing this, as the kids say. Our kitty has been havin
As always, we made the trip to Little Chute and the Fox Valley for Thanksgiving. Since we don't eat Thanksgiving dinner until the evening. I suggested this year we drive on Thanksgiving day instead of leaving the night before. First thing when we arrived, G.G. was already giving Meadow gifts. My mom is always spoiling her. Then we were off to Brittany and Jeff's for Thanksgiving fun. Theo got the longest piece of cheese. Marina showing us her island on Animal Crossing. I made some maple whipped cream just before everyone arrived. All the cousins wanted to do at first was watch each other game. Theo stayed with us when the kiddos finally started to play something other than Switch. Eventually Theo warmed up to playing with his cousins. Look at this dumb picture. At least that's what G.G. would say. Chelsea surprised the kids with this cute cookie decorating kit that looks like Thanksgiving leftovers. Theo just watched. Silly little guy. This cranberry bread that Britt