A week later and it was cottage time.
4th of 2023. It may not be New Year's Eve, but it's another highlight each year.
This is the one time of the year that our whole family is together.
Scott and I arrived late at the cottage. As it was Meadow's 10th birthday we let her open presents right away. More Lego's from Scott.
Brooke doesn't get them. Once they're built, they're done. Well, someday she can make Frankenstein buildings with them once she's bored with her creations.
And lots of new books and dresses from me.
When you leave your child with our parents he may come back with all his hair gone.
What the heck, I was a bit miffed. Theo's rad curls won't be back until Christmas.
The 4th always means lots of swimming in the Lake.
Meadow was trying really hard to get the deer to eat out of her hand.
I feel like I'm always baking when I'm at the cottage. Since we've been gone and Meadow was gone I made her birthday cake.
Blake made some sort of cider signature drink. Went well with the OG of summer beers. Franziskaner Weissbier.
Another Friday night fish fry.
Grandpa's fish fry's are always a highlight of summer visits to the cottage.
With birthday cake for dessert.
I topped her cake with a chocolate cat of course.
I made dad his own sugar free cake.
Theo was not happy that we were singing the birthday song for a second time in a few minutes.
More presents for Meadow. Another series of Warrior Cats books.
Fireworks on the lake.
Daniel brought all his equipment so we could decorate the boat for the boat parade. We had a dance party while he was testing some things.
We each take turns cooking each day. Chelsea always makes amazing breakfast bakes.
We saw on Facebook that you could make a 4th of July wand at the 3 Lakes Center for the Arts.
So we made a day of exploring downtown Three Lakes.
I had never actually been in here yet.
What a cool deco interior.
If there's crafts Meadow will be there.
As we are rarely downtown, we decided to check out the shops.
The bookshop was so cute.
Meadow in her happy place.
Maybe we should make it a 4th weekend tradition to shop the Three Lakes main drag.
We picked up some Three Lakes iconic prints at this shop. Blake sadly did not leave with this visor.
We went back to our favorite store, The Little Dipper. We got Meadow a new sweatshirt and Theo a couple new shirts.
Man do I love Little Dipper. And Blake's silliness.
Daniel was hard at work back at the cottage.
I bought a used kneeboard a couple years ago and had yet to try it out. Today was the day.
I hadn't done this in over 10 years, I had forgotten how to start.
She couldn't do it and eventually gave up.
Then Harvey gave it a try. As he's so light, he just floated right away.
Harvey could do lap after lap around our half of Dog Lake.
Then Daniel showed off his wakeboarding skills.
Why is everyone so cool?
I gave it a try, but had about as much luck as Chelsea. Some of us are not made for extreme sports.
I tried out my slackline again. I'm so bad with balance.
Dan was supposed to make shrimp boil, but forgot his big kettle. So he whipped together an andouille sausage and shrimp pasta. We all agreed it was one of the best cottage meals ever.
Not bad for last minute change of plans.
I had plans to make my giant egg sandwich again, but apparently Pillsbury no longer makes their French Bread in a can. I improvised with regular bagels and made monkey bread for the kids.
While we were making wands the day before we saw that they were going to be showing the Super Mario Bros. Movie the next day.
So we returned with the whole family and wathced in theaters for the second time. I couldn't stop singing variations on "Peaches, Peaches, Peaches, I love you..." the rest of the weekend.
The Farber's arrived which means more presents for Meadow. A koosh and sun art.
It seemed less buggy over here or something.
The first few pizzas were a bit smokey, but they got better as the grill got going.
We have to end with a dessert pizza. Next year we should start with breadsticks.
Brooke's sisters told her to skip the peanut butter. A mistake.
I remember the kids not liking it, but they were long gone by the time dessert came out anyway.
I thought Dan's andouille and shrimp pasta would be the highlight of the weekend, but Jeff's New Mexico breakfast bake was just as good.
We have some good chefs in this family.
This must be the hangout spot for the big kids.
G.G. likes to say that I take stupid pictures (yeah, I know, makes a photographer feel good about themselves), so I took a few posed pictures. Who thinks posed pictures are stupid?
We forgot that we already had a bunch of lights for the pontoon. With Daniel's addition, we'd have an extra festive rig.
Can you spot the turle?
Then we had to go knee boarding again.
Next time I want to try waterskiing again.
I thought I'd give it another go. I managed to hold on for a 100 yards or so, but couldn't get myself up. The next time, I stayed down and then pulled myself up once afloat...and then crashed into the waves.
Then Blake made us 4th of July shots.
Nacho table time.
With all the weight we couldn't go very fast.
We ended up making it last in line for the parade.
Before we knew it it was morning and parade time.
I still don't recognize Theo with his haircut.
The best two...
parts of the parade.
My band teacher always made us wear our full uniforms in summer too.
Theo was doing a great job collecting candy.
Right as we were leaving to go home, Meadow let go of her birthday balloon.
Leave it to my dad to figure out how to get it down. He wrapped duct tape inside out around a long board and twisted the balloon string around it.
That guy is a jack of all trades.