The kids counted down to August 6th like it was Christmas - and the Johnson Family Reunion at Fish Lake delivered again. Here are some of the highlights: We spent hours cruising up and down the mountain in the many off-road vehicles. Grandpa babe wins the award for best ranger driving skills. With him behind the wheel plowing through nature, it's always a crazy adventure.
The kids enjoyed some much-needed sleepover time. Stick them in the back of Grandma's trailer on a couple of foam mats, and it's cousin heaven. Our little bunch of pigs in a blanket!
Adventure was everywhere! These guys built forts, gathered an arsenal of stick weapons, hunted coyotes, wandered into mysterious mountain man cabins, and poked a dead "wolf" with a stick.
I'm sure they were covered with an impenetrable layer of dirt, but that just made it more fun!
I always make the mistake of packing a bunch of toys and games to keep the kids busy, but the bags always sit untouched in the car. It's so nice to watch the kids use their imaginations and play with sticks, rocks, and the occasional cow turd.
June's highlight of the trip was catching critters at the little scummy pond downhill from our camp site. I brought these dollar store nets thinking they would be used to catch butterflies. Sadly, they were always full of salamanders, snakes, snails, and frogs.
June spent a good 3 hours each day in the swampy mess. She's definitely my little tomboy, not afraid to get her hands dirty.
Klive loved it when all the kids were occupied in the pond scum. It just gave him another chance to hop behind the steering wheel and cruise for chicks. This little beauty is number one on his Christmas list.
We'd take a quick trip down to the creek to wash the pond off of us. Here's the whole crew of kids ready to take a river bath.
Kaleb brought his paint gun and set up a Wolverine Training Course. We took turns trying to hit the paper-plate targets. Yaya Julie looks pretty serious about this gun business.
Another ride? Sure, why not.
Grandpa Kyle loves hugs! I think this photo was taken just after Grandma just kicked his butt in a game of Rummicube.
Marshmallow time! No camp trip is complete without a fire, giant mallows, and Grandpa Babe lighting some form of hazardous material on fire.
The Washburns brought the usual, bags and bags of crafts for the kids. They got to color their own hot chocolate mugs, paint rocks, and make their own puff-paint t-shirts. We also took the kids on a ranger treasure hunt. They found their loot right back at camp in the coyote trap they had rigged.
These two kept us all in stitches. Tukk would whip his manhood out whenever he felt the urge and marked his territory all over camp. And I'm pretty sure it's Caulder's aspiration to do stand up comedy when he grows up. My kids sure do love these two.
And on our last morning, we all rolled out of bed at 4:30 and headed to the lake with Grandpa Kyle and Grandma Sara to reel in some fish. Grandpa did all the dirty work - he kept the poles baited and waded out into the cold water to cast the lines. Then he handed them off to the kids and let them make the catch. They were catching fish so fast, Grandpa couldn't keep up.
June really got into it this year. She was hooking and reeling them in all on her own. And she's definitely not afraid to handle the slimy stuff.
We caught our limit in only 2 hours. The kids were in fish heaven! Thanks Grandpa!
We played a dirty trick on Yaya and made her watch Klive while we fished. He puked all over her. I guess his tummy was a little rough from the giant marshmallows and entire watermelon he ate the night before. Bless his little heart.
We topped the trip off with a final ranger ride up the mountain and a family picnic.
We ate, pushed over a few dead trees, played in the water . . .
and headed back to camp before this storm moved in on us.
Every day I feel so blessed to have a family that loves to be together as much as we do. Can't wait to do it again next year!