Friday, August 17, 2012

Summer Catch Up 9

We had one more vacation to head out on this summer and that was a week at the DeJong cottage with all 8 cousins together.

The week was suppose to run from a Wed to Wed.  At the beginning of the week my Uncle was going to be installing new and bigger windows overlooking the lake.  I was to call and check on the status that week before going up.  As is usually the case we found out that there was unforeseen trouble and the project was taking longer than planned.  We were told that we could still be up there but the when I talked with my sisters we decided that keeping the kids away from construction was not the way we wanted to spend our vacation, so we delayed the start a few days.  It turned out that we were there for the very end of the project, but then we got to take full advantage of the magnificent view the new windows provided which was perfect!

Going into the week we were also unsure as to how relaxing of a vacation it would be with 8 children in the cottage age 1 month through 6 years.  It sounded a bit daunting.  However, I think my siblings would agree that it went much smoother than we feared it might.  First, the two babies are such laid back and easy things. They were content to lay around and watch things most of the time and when there was some fussing, there were anywhere from 6-9 adults each day to take turns holding them.  (Of course I say this as one of the moms who didn't have to nurse 8 times a day or get up with them in the middle of the night.)  Second, the older kids got along great together.  They each had their day to be grouchy, but for the most part they entertained each other more than they fought.  And we didn't have any child in the crawling or just learning to walk phase which meant we didn't need an eye on them every second to make sure they were safe.  Third, even though we had 8 kids we had a bunch of adults too.  This meant that we could play tag team parenting. We each got a day, evening, or hour here and there to go off without the kids while someone else was watching them.

So here are some pictures.  Water was by far the favorite thing to do and Sam brought out his family's boat for the week.  Here are the kids all ready to go on the boat:

Michael was the first to want to go in the tube.  The others had a blast watching.

Becca had a turn too.  While she seemed to have fun she was content with just once and didn't want to go again any other day.

Jon actually became the star tuber and asked to go again and again.  He loved that he could control the speed by signaling the boat driver.

The cousins got in the action too - driving the boat,

hanging out,

and tubing also.

In addition to the boat, the water was fun to just play in.  The turtle was a favorite.  Since the water was so shallow and we had life jackets for the 2 year olds it was a pretty relaxing time for the adults to cool off too.  Oh, and you can't see Michael here because he is running and jumping off the end of the dock which was his favorite water activity.

We also took the kids out on some excursions.  We found out the Fremont library has a great children's section and that Fremont has a wonderful air conditioned McDonald's with a fabulous play place.  We also found a fun park at one of the local elementary schools.

This car was made perfect for our group:

Ever since we had three of us pregnant together people have been commenting on how much fun these three will have growing up as same age cousins.  I think that they are finally getting old enough to really begin to see that happening.

Meals for the kids became a bit of an assembly line process to put together.  It was a good thing they all like eating the same types of food.

The six of them really did just about everything together that week.  In fact when poor Luke had to spend some time on the potty and his mom set up a movie on the computer to keep him sitting to do his business, none of the cousins wanted to be left out.

Oh, and like I said there were 8 cousins there.  I think this is the first time I have way more picture of the big kids and not the babies, but they were there.  Micheal especially took on his roll of big cousin by helping to play with them and attend to them when they fussed.

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