Monday, January 18, 2010

Weekend Away

This weekend we participated in a surprise for a friend's birthday - her husband got us all to book a weekend away together near Yellowstone to surprise her, and she only found out when they pulled up to the 6-bedroom cabin we'd rented and saw us all standing there. It was such anticipation and tiptoeing to be part of such a surprise, but all good fun.

Lots of the crew there (12 adults and 8 kids) went skiing, and Sylvie here shows off her goggles to Clara. But Christina and the girls opted for winter fun right outside the cabin, and lots of fun inside it.
We had planned for a few months to arrange all the food, drinks, and entertainment we'd have at the cabin. But we forgot ice! Luckily, there was plenty of pristine snow piled high outside. Eamon (husband of the birthday girl) made the kids these slushies with lemonade and snow (margarita versions for the adults were delicious, too!).

The girls definitely had their moments on this trip (sleep regression and some sustained whining) but they had many more moments where they were just little sunshines.

Here's a shot Clara took of Steve and Elena playing one evening.
Elena LOVED this backpack she swiped while another friend (Scott) was out skiing - I think one of her own is in her near future (not for school, just because both girls really, REALLY like walking around with them on!).

Lots of games ensued - many new, but also plenty of old ones. Twister! Christina bought this to teach the girls body parts, right/left, and color - but it is definitely still a crowd-pleaser.

Steve is pretty clear about his aversion to board games - so how sweet it was that he played several with the girls, anyway?

Jessica (below) initiated the "everybody watch the kid near you" rule, and it worked pretty well this weekend. We had one teen, and two maybe-tweens, but the rest were pretty much still little ones who were apt to get into mischief at any turn. Or, as evidenced below, get into sweetness, too.
One day Christina stayed behind with the four littlest while most of the others went off to ski - we had apples and peanut butter, colored in a calendar from Auntie Lissa, played in the snow, discovered icicles (first time for the three littlest) and tried to watch "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs." Charlie LOVES it, none of the girls was too keen on that much tv and just wanted to move onto the next adventure.

Leni loved this lamp - it had flickering "candles" inside.
Caryn challenged Maeve (our group's biggest performer) to a wide-eye-off - alluring, no?

It was a birthday celebration, so there HAD to be cake. Christina and Caryn made enough cake for about triple the number of people there - and we picked at it all weekend long.

The girls with Maeve - they adore all the older kids, but have a special spot for Maeve. They were very disappointed to realize when we left today that Maeve wouldn't be returning home with us.
Peek-a-boo! This house was BIG and laid out so long that we were often losing ourselves (and one another) in it. It was a great house for hide and seek (which Clara and Elena learned about for the first time).
Another big crowd-pleaser for the younger set was this set of stairs - they loved sliding down them (little ones on the belly, bigger ones on their behinds, and although no one did it, there was lots of talk of sliding down them in sleeping bags!). Not pictured was the very favorite feature of the house - the laundry chute, which carried many a stuffed animal, doll, and sets of clean pajamas this weekend from the upper floor to the lower (over and over again).

Much of the weekend took place in the kitchen - here is a sweet moment with Caryn and Clara - two peas in a pod, telling secrets.

And here's the crew - the "Five Families" as Caryn called it. We're so lucky to have these people in our lives, and lucky to have had a weekend away together.

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