Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Weekend at the Lake House

Because summer is almost upon us....Eric had a 3 day was a holiday so we had no hockey or lacrosse games....the stars and planets were perfectly aligned, we finally had a chance to take Markos to the lake house at Alpine Lake for a weekend.  Somehow visits to the lake house are not nearly as relaxing for me as I would like, but the kids had fun and I guess that's what is important (for now).  ;-)

We arrived Friday evening, after dark, and got settled in.  Daniel eagerly showed Markos the loft bedroom where the kids sleep.  Markos liked it up there which was a relief to me because I wasn't sure how he would do with sleeping upstairs while we were downstairs.  Unfortunately, he did wet the bed 2 of 3 nights and I suspect that might have been partly because once he was up there, he was afraid to come downstairs at night by himself because he rarely ever does that at home.

After getting up and having breakfast, the boys headed off into the woods to play.  I gave my standard (useless) plea, "please don't get in that stream and get all muddy".  Yea, right mom.  Like THAT'S going to happen!  They promptly went to the little stream in the woods behind the house and got all muddy.  Daniel showed Markos the huge rock that is beside the house, only to discover that Markos is too short to get up on the rock by himself (thank goodness!).  I eventually went out and helped Markos up onto the rock.  It was yet another time that I'm a happy that Markos has a fear of heights.  I'm pretty sure that might save his life someday.  ;-)


We went down to the lake shore and Eric did his usual golf ball and snake hunting, immediately finding a ring-neck snake that he was super happy with.  Daniel held the snake with no reservations.  Eric insisted that Kenz and I touch it.  Although we didn't really want to, we obliged.  Markos, on the other hand, really wanted to, but just couldn't make himself do it!  He would get all set, with his hands cupped to hold it, then the second Eric would get ready to put it in his hand, he'd panic and open his hands and jump away.  I suspect that by the end of the summer, he'll be holding snakes too.  (yea.)  Speaking of snakes, Daniel made Eric very proud by finding and catching a snake all by himself.  (oh joy.)  Thankfully, before he attempted to pick it up, he did ask Eric to check and make sure it was ok for him to pick up that particular snake.


The boys played along the shore for a while - throwing rocks and splashing the water with big sticks.  They asked to get their feet wet.  They ended up completely soaked.  Again, no surprise.   Mackenzie and I sat in our chairs and read, looking up occasionally to ensure that they were still there.  Lily laid under our chairs to stay out of the sun.  Smart dog. 


Lily was not a fan of the water, nor is she a fan of walking.  She is, however, a huge fan of simply being where we are.  She would want to be down at the lake with us, she just wouldn't want to walk down there.  So, Kenzie usually carried her. She is the cutest, sweetest (soon to be most spoiled) dog, EVER.  We took her crate with us, so she slept fairly well for being someplace new.  Granted, I had informed Eric before we went that I was taking the weekend off from night-time dog duty, so I forced him to get up with her throughout the night even though he was sick (no rest for the weary - I don't get to be sick when it's a weekday and she needs to go out!).  I did get up once or twice and take her out, and I was glad that Eric was primarily doing it because it's a little scary at night to take her out up there.  It's very dark out, and I kept envisioning a bear or some other large animal jumping out of the woods at us.  Lily wasn't helping my overactive imagination and fear any either.  She is very jumpy and afraid when she's outside and hears ANY noise at all.  I hope that as she continues to grow, she gets a little braver or she's going to look ridiculous - being a large hunting dog and all, afraid of a bird.

We had a fire Saturday night and Markos was able to try his first S'mores.  It was no surprise to us that he didn't like it.  The boy likes nothing sweet except twizzlers and cinnamon coffee cake.  Didn't like just the plain marshmallow.  Didn't like just plain chocolate or even the plain graham cracker.   After trying and then whining, "I don't like it!", he settled for sitting by the fire with a bowl of jalapeno tortilla chips -- his favorite!  Daniel enjoyed chocolate and safe-for-him organic graham crackers that I found.  The rest of us ate S'mores (and then felt sick - a little s'mores goes a LONG way!).


Sunday was Mackenzie's 14th birthday.  YIKES!!! 14!!!  How did THAT happen?!

We got up and did the usual - boys playing in the woods, playing by the lake, Eric catching snakes, Kenz & I sitting in the sun - until lunch time.  The kids did swing on the tire swing for a while.  Markos was excited and couldn't wait for his turn, but he quickly discovered that he wasn't a fan when Kenzie gave him his first push.  I was taking pictures and kept saying, "smile", despite his terrified expression.  Funny thing was, he would stop whining and smile every time, but it was such a forced, get-me-off-of-here-smile, that I kept cracking up laughing at him.

After lunch, we all got much needed showers and got ready to go out to celebrate Mackenzie's birthday.  We started by playing mini-golf over at the lodge at Alpine.  It was Markos first time playing.  He lost interest in attempting to actually learn to putt very quickly, but thankfully, we had the place to ourselves so he just ran around and played whatever hole he wanted, without having to endure the painful waiting his turn while playing with the rest of us.  We stopped keeping score because Daniel fights too much when keeping score and it was chaos anyway, (but I'm pretty sure that I won).  :-)

After mini-golf, we loaded into the van and drove over to Deep Creek Lake - about 20 miles away - to go to dinner at Uno's.  A friend of ours (and one of Mackenzie's teen girls' group leaders at our church) called Uno's and had them surprise Mackenzie with dessert.  It was huge and she ate almost all of it.  When we were finished, we played outside Uno's for a while.  This Uno's is on the lake and has a pirate ship, whale, elephant, giant patio chairs, etc. to play on out in the grass between the restaurant and the lake.  Markos had been excited about the elephant since Daniel mentioned it the day before.  I think he might have mistakenly thought it was going to be a real elephant, but he was still excited to sit on the fake elephant.  We watched the ducks down by the docks and took a ton of pictures.  It started to get really crowded (holiday weekend at the lake - go figure!) so we headed back to Alpine.  I took the kids to the playground at Alpine when we got home and we stayed until dark.


Monday, we got up and I started cleaning up and packing up while the kids played with Eric.  Same stuff, different day.  Aside from taking a hike to the Memorial rock, which is Daniel's favorite rock there, we pretty did the same thing we did every other day during the weekend - sit by lake, catch snakes, take walks, play in woods. We headed home late afternoon and make it back to Pittsburgh before dark.

All in all, it was a nice weekend.  The weather was beautiful, and after all this rain that we've had, that was a welcome thing!  Unfortunately, we all arrived home with bad sunburns because this momma wasn't even thinking about sunscreen yet (because of all this rain that we've been having!).  Oops.  Sorry kids.  Thank goodness for Solarcaine spray.

Stay peaceful lake - at least until we return again anyway!