This summer we rented a home in Door County, Wisconsin for a week!
We have been wanting to go there for many many many years...
even before we began adopting!
BUT as luck would have it we put unleaded gas in our diesel engine on the Fourth of July... bummer...
I left our vacation info out of the blog because
I didn't want to announce to the world that
we were just... about... to... leave...
for a family vacation...
We rolled with it folks because when ya have a big fam nothing goes as planned!
We made good use of our extra time at home.
And watched the women's USA soccer team win the
We went boating
(as our van was being repaired).
Everyone was so nice and they did their best to get it fixed asap,
so we could go on our vacation!
As soon as it was ready we piled in and left for Door County!
The drive was wonderful!
And we were all so happy to finally arrive at our destination!
Billy and Kelly arrived the evening before us (with a tornado close behind them)!
This is a new rental home!
It was fabulous!
Five plus a separate quarters for Billy and Kelly!
What a treat!
That works for us!
I think I may have to live here forever!
We hung around the home for awhile.
The kids played and then I read to them!
The Mrs. Piggle Wiggle series was recommended to us by Caitlin-
Our "daughter in love"!
It was her childhood favorite!
She helps parents solve parenting problems!
A woman after my own heart!
The kids relaxed and watched Spy Kids!
The sunsets were magnificent!
So peaceful at the end of the day!
The view was so appreciated by all!
They have set their wedding date for next summer!
And so the planning begins!
Joey loves his big brothers!
A couple weeks ago he nonchalantly looked over at Billy and said...
"so... are you Billy or Johnny... or who?"
this really did happen!
He was so tactful and appropriate.
But it was soooo funny!
(We were all a bit surprised!)
We loved the large center island!
With smaller chairs I could easily get 7 kiddos on it!
Kelly and Billy hung out and read in the backyard
Green Bay was beautiful!
We relaxed in the backyard with Kelly and Billy and completely ruined their quiet time!
We made dinners on the grill and had smores every night!
We took a boat ride to Washington Island and enjoyed a day there!
The kids love skipping rocks or "learning how to" skip rocks!
The rough waters of Lake Michigan have made all of the rocks perfectly smooth!
It's a $250 dollar fine to take a rock...
I was tempted!
BUT for the record we left ALL rocks there!
We did a couple 500 pc puzzles!
A cute little girl from another family grabbed the 1000 pc puzzled before I could get to it...
I restrained myself and avoided arm wrestling her for it!
We tend to get a few different sizes of the same clothes that we really like!
Nothing like an evening by the fire pit cuddling with some adorable kids!
Next day we took a few kiddos to the zip line!
This was their first time!
(I've never had my first time and I am okay with it!)
They loved it!
It really was quite safe!
They were always hooked up to something!
I think hooked up or not I would have had a bit of anxiety peeking down...
Oh my goodness honey!
They had five different zips from platform to platform!
Everyone was nervous for the first one,
They were much more relaxed for the second one!
And by the third one they were doing tricks!
The two helpers liked to play tricks on one another!
Oops, Anna didn't quite make it to the platform!
So they needed to rescue her!
Which take some muscles on the part of the rescuer!
We went to a petting farm and feed the baby animals!
Bottles of milk!
We held the chickies!
Loosen the grip Abby!
Hold 'em like this honey!
We held kitties!
It was a cute little farm and everyone enjoyed it!
Gotta do a tracker pose!
Then it was off to the sand dunes and beach to play!
The "close call" near accident(see earlier post) was between lunch and the sand dunes.
It was nice to be here and exhale for a moment.
We are so thankful to God for the safety of our family
and for the safety of the other couple.
It could have ended horrifically-
thank you Jesus for your protection.
Our kids LOVE the sandy beach!
They could have played here forever!
All the children made candles!
The owner instructed the kids on what to do to get the different colors and shades!
They were delighted to make their own candle!
There are A LOT of really cute little stores in Door County.
One problem with that is...
we are not cute and little...
And we can't do cute and little...
I felt like we were an accident waiting to happen.
So we avoided the cute and little
they were selling ice cream!
The owner of this cute and little store loved the kids and took a pic for herself and then one for us!
She gave us LOTS of popcorn to bring home!
Wonder if she did it just to get us outta there ; - )
The restaurants in Door County are also
"cute, quaint and little"
(okay there are some bigger ones BUT not many)
We went to a pizza place and with just one glance we knew we would take up most of the seating.
They took one look at us and the wait... just... got... longer...
They said they had some picnic benches in back and we could get take out pizza...
We actually took them up on their offer and it worked perfectly!
We ate most of our meals at home.
It just worked out better for us!
The kitchen and the outside grill were phenomenal!
The kids did some crafts at home
The new deck furniture arrived while we were there!
One more fabulous spot to enjoy the view!
Helllooooo down there!
Gourmet hot dogs and chips for dinner!
(I think I see a few veggies on there too!)
We are all about empowering our kids!
They each got to cook their very own "gourmet"...
(Just kidding with the gourmet stuff.
It just seems to make me feel better when I am feeding my kids a hot dog, again!)
This has been a banner year for smores!
Every party is a success when you serve up smores!
Our big girls are doing so well and we are so thankful!
Billy and Sarah just had to have a race!
Sarah sometimes taunts her older brothers and then they just HAVE to prove
(Thankful Hubby wasn't in the race!)
Yes, Billy did win...
Your good for another year Billy!
Next Sarah will be racing Mark, Johnny and Matt!
Be careful of Johnny... he's been working out!
They are all quite competitive- Sarah is in the right family!
So... many of you may have been part of this conversation...
I sent the children outside so we could finish the packing to head home and check the house to make sure we had everything...
And guess what Joey and Luke found!
Joey was one foot away and Luke (5 feet away from it) "heard it"...
Thankfully he told Joey to move away from it...
I heard the commotion and then the children ran inside to tell me there was a rattlesnake in the backyard.
There are no rattlesnakes here...
I went out side and took a pic of the very interesting snake in the landscape.
it lifted it's tale and rattled it at me...
This was a first for me...
and my eyes were not sure of what they were seeing...
We think it is a timber rattlesnake...
Sooooo, after getting everyone in the car and ready to go I decided to check for that rattlesnake again.
I opened the back door and began to step out
much to my surprise...
this guy was right under the stoop...
He had moved and he was ready to fight.
I screamed, jumped in the house and slammed the door...
snapped a few pics through the glass and
made a mad dash for the car out the front door!
And here ends our summer 2015 vacation!