Monday, October 19, 2015

Bear Lake, Idaho, Day 1

We had a little mini family reunion in Bear Lake, Idaho this summer. We had 6 of the 9 Abbott kids there with 26 of the 40 grandkids. 

We stayed at my step-grandmother's property in St. Charles. My family stayed there years ago (before we were married, right before Josh left on his mission), but this was the first time Dave and I have gone since she built the bunkhouse. For some reason I pictured it having just bedrooms, but it has 3 bedrooms plus a big loft, kitchen, living room, dining room, bathrooms, laundry, etc. It was awesome!!

Nine teenage cousins attended EFY together in Utah (they had a blast!!!), while we hung out with the younger kids at Bear Lake for a couple days. On our first day there, we explored some ice caves in Paris, Id. 

That's dirty snow Chloe is standing on! Apparently there's not as much snow and ice there as usual this year, but it was still really cool.

       Troy and Josh                                        Ice stalactites/stalagmites       

 Some people hung out at the opening of the cave without going deep inside. 

 Then we climbed up to the top and explored all the great rock formations up above.

Some of us were a tad nervous with this part - sheer cliffs, jumping...I was mighty glad no one fell.  

Josh and Megan's baby Declan is one of the most thoughtful-looking babies I've ever met. He looks wise beyond his years! What a cutie!

Daniel and Brennan, matching sweatshirts :)

This was the only day we got to spend with Kristen's family. They arrived a few days before us and left right after we got there.  

 My boys packed their mountain board, and there were lots of great places to ride it. 

The cousins all tried it too. 

After we got back, we enjoyed just relaxing at the cottage. The kids loved playing together, and there was so much to do!

 Such a fun place! No wonder Emily and Aaron take their families there every summer!

There was even a great hill for mountain boarding up the street.                Katrina painted faces!

Aren't they lovely?


 Relaxing on the hammock. 

 Oops, there's a 2 kid limit.

Yard Jenga! 

Bang, our favorite card game.
Meals were on the front porch (I'm not sure what they're doing here). Emily organized all the food and handed out assignments. It was a lot of work, and we really appreciated it!!

This is Grandmother Renee - she just turned 90!! She stays in the cottage all summer, which has been in her family for a few generations. It is full of antiques and great stories. She joined us for meals when she was around - she's still stays super busy!

That night we drove over to the lake. It was cold and windy and stormy - the kids ran around and enjoyed a lightning show.

Thursday, October 15, 2015


There have been some years when summer comes to an end and we realize we didn't go to the beach nearly enough. This was not one of those years! We went quite a bit - either with the whole family or just me and the kids or with cousins and friends. 

We went to lots of different beaches, too. We used to mostly go to Hearst Beach, which has very small waves and excellent weather - perfect for little kids. The problem is now the big kids just want to boogie board, so we had to find beaches with big waves.  

Some of their favorite waves are at Morro Bay (which is why there are always a bunch of surfers there). Then we love to buy our favorite salt water taffy afterwards. It's handmade, and it's the best!! 

Funny kids! They don't even bother with wet suits anymore - it takes too long to get them on/off, and they don't think the water is that cold. Actually, the water is warmer. It's an el nino year, yay!!! Bring on the rain!!

One reason I've liked going to the beach better recently is that the kids carry all the stuff! I don't have to carry anything! I love having big kids.

And we don't have little babies or toddlers, so everyone is self-entertaining and happy - no crying about being cold. These two are totally content to play in the sand and chase birds. 

It never gets old.

We even ventured all the way down to Grover Beach. That's where Spencer finished the kayak trip, and he really liked the waves. 

They found this cool sting ray there.

Two very good friends moved away this summer (boo!), and we had a couple of farewell trips to the beach with them. 

This is Cayucos, which we don't go to very often. I told the kids that next summer we should try to hit all the beaches in the county at least once. They liked that idea.

It's always fun to watch kite surfers.

This was the day after Spencer got his braces. He was feeling pretty sore! He just got them tightened last week, and he feels icky again. He started questioning whether he really needed the stupid things, and then we looked at some old pictures and couldn't believe how crooked his teeth used to be. They sure do work fast! Three months down, nine to go!

         Our friends tell us they'll be back to visit because they love these beaches. I sure hope so!

Actually my friend Nancy has already been back a couple of times. They invited a bunch of us to join them for a bon fire. It was a beautiful sunset!

What a great way to end the summer!