Something Beautiful or Humorous: Apples that Eli painted

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Finally, the Bear Lake Report, with a Guest Blogger

Ok first, I have to say that I really really really was kidding & exaggerating about how frustrated I was with my kids in that last blog. Really. I do want them to live to be 3 and 6. I do. I do. I do. Say it 3 times and it's true. :) No, we're still frustrated and confused parents, but we're normal. The kids seem like monsters sometimes (at the soccer game today, Mia put grass down my shirt, poured the water bottles out on my chair so I got my butt wet, then poured more on the dirt, so she could rub her foot around in the mud, then kept knocking the chairs over and tried to run away several times...) but they're normal too! We will survive!! And thanks so much for your comments. They were very comforting & energy-giving. I definitely needed it!

But to escape day-to-day life for a bit, I thought I'd give you my husband, Chris' version of our week at Bear Lake with my comments in the photo captions & at the end.

Bear Lake Top Ten by Chris

  1. Bats. One night we were playing a game and I looked over at the game room to find a bird there. Then I looked again and realized it was really a BAT!!! @#$%^&*. Luckily, the week got better. (No bats in this photo, but you could see why they would want to "hang out" with us there at the cabin.)
  1. The Weather. August was really HOT in DC. It was a very mild June and July. The humidity was low and the temperatures were mild. We actually went out on the 4th of July and felt comfortable. But when August came, the heat and humidity kicked in. I would arrive home from work after the 1 mile bike ride from the train drenched in sweat. On the other hand, the weather at Bear Lake was FABULOUS! I was always comfortable and never too hot or humid. (Because there are fewer trees, the sky is so much more visible and was giving us beautiful shows like this each afternoon.)
  1. Running and Walking. I went on a run alone and a couple of walks with Natalie. It was nice to take in the landscape that is so very different from what we are used to in Virginia. My coworkers laughed when I told them that we could look around in some places and not see a tree as far as the eye could see. (This was taken from the car on the way from Provo to Bear Lake. It's been a long time since we have lived in the west and the lack of trees was hugely shocking for us.)
  1. Food. It was nice to have dinner from different families and see how they handle the task. Some people think that the next reunion should be a full-service resort, but I think eating food that the different families cooked gave an interesting character to the week that helped us get to know everyone a little better. (Luckily, they had a pretty big kitchen with industrial sized appliances- there were 21 of us to cook for!)
  1. Movies. We had one night where we just chilled and watch Wild Hogs. It was fun. I also watched the first half of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which a fun blast from the past. (This is a picture of my cute nephew, Cannon...)
  1. Pool Table. One of the first things I saw when I walked into the cabin was the pool table. That’s when I thought, “This is going to be a fun week!” Playing pool takes me back to childhood memories of playing pool with friends. It’s one of those comfort games that I can never get enough of. I shot a few games with my dad at the Cardon reunion too. (I don't have a picture of the pool table, but this is my sister, Anna with her son, Evan.)
  1. Skipping rocks. On our first day there, I went with Eli, Mia and others down to the beach. I spent hours just playing in the sand and water. One of my favorite things to do at the beach is to skip rocks. I think I threw one rock that skipped upwards of 15 times. This is another childhood comfort activity. (The different color tones and the depth and blueness of this lake was breath-taking. This is definitely my favorite photo of the trip.)
  1. Games. I love playing board games. I particularly liked Carcassone, maybe because it was the newest game. It was a fun time though. (While we were playing games with our siblings, in-laws & older nephews, Mia and Eli were blissfully running wild with the rest of the pack of cousins. )
  1. ATVs. I’m really glad that Christer brought his ATV’s. They were a fun way to get to the beach and to play when there. (This is my brother, Christer with his step-son, Noah. Christer's 3 oldest boys, Damion, Dayton & Noah each also have dirt bikes- little motorcycles. They were so cute with their helmets riding all over the beach.)
  1. Water Skiing. Even though I had a hard time getting up, I still had a blast. I love water skiing. My only wish is that we could have stayed longer so I could have gotten up again, because my second attempt at getting up on the water was successful even though I didn’t stay up for long. Unfortunately, by then I was pretty tired and didn’t try again. (This is Mia and my nephew, Carter on the boat.)(Here is poor sickie, London and her dad.)
What didn't make the top 10 was the hospital visit my niece made because she was so sick that she was throwing up blood! It was the second of my brother's kids that had the flu while we were up there. My sister-in-law spent more time in the laundry room than at the beach. I felt so bad for her. And of course, with all the stress, people got in fights and a couple of us kept threatening to pack up and leave. But I'm glad we all could go & be stuck in that cabin for a week at the lake with each other. We'll have those memories for a long time & anything's worth building strong family ties. (Here are all of us posing for the auto-timer.)


Dana Broderick said...

It looks like you had an amazing time at Bear Lake! How fun!

Natalie, I read your last post and I'm sooo sorry about everything but I couldn't help but laugh. (I laugh just thinking about it!) I seriously wish I was super mom and had the perfect answer for you but I don't. I'm always reading parenting books to see what I can do to improve my parenting. I loved the idea about praying with your child. And I think being as calm as you can be, if that means walking away from the situation is the best answer and then coming back to it. I wish I were a perfect mom. I'm so far from it that I hesitate to give you adivce. One book (called Raising Happy Children) said to use the stop and think method, instead of time out. This is where the child stands in a corner until he or she is ready to talk about what they have done, why they have done it and how they will fix it next time and anything else they need to talk about. Really to just talk about the whole situation. It sounds rather simple but honestly, talking is good for adults and their problems so why not for children. Time outs just make them feel alone and they don't understand why or how to change a behavior. I've been doing that with Audrey alot. I don't know if it's been working perfectly but she seems to understand her behaviors more and I can see her trying to work at improving them. She is also a better communicater.

I think we all have days like yours where we are frustrated and wonder what we did wrong or what in the world we can do to fix our children.

Keep up the great work! I know you're doing a fabulous job!!!

Deb Kress said...

Thinking about perfect parents, Rob made the comment the other day that he thought the kids of people who had tons of them- like 10- were just different- Calmer and meeker. I know that's not always true. There is definitely some families that you think, "could someone please explain birth control to that lady," but the ones that just seem to have it all together and love their kids all the time and just seem perfect to the rest of us. We have known a few families like this and their children are so easy and good. Is it their parenting that is so much better or is the Lord really blessing them with good children? Rob thinks it's the latter and I think I will have to agree just so I don't feel terrible about my own parenting.

Collie and Zach said...

Natalie, I just love the fam! I wish we could see you all more. Josh went through the temple last night and your mom and george were able to come! It was so great seeing them before they leave on the mish! Hopefully next time you are in town you guys can come visit us too!

Britt- Sparkled Vintage Charm said...

how fun!!! looks like you had a great time!!!!

Natalie C. said...

These comments have been so good! Thank you, everyone for your moral support. We'll get through this!!