We didn't have the best sleep in the cabin, but I suppose that's to be expected. We were camping, after all. Here were our sleeping arrangements:
Benjamin and Andrew took the bottom bunks. Rachel and Miriam took the top bunks (though the camp missionaries strongly suggested that only visitors ages 12 and up sleep on the top bunk we figured we could bend that rule since our girls are used to sleeping in bunk beds). Zoë and I shared an air mattress (though we also brought alone Zoë's bassinet she didn't stay there long).
We were staying in the round cabins they call yurts at Heber Valley Camp, though technically I think yurts are, by definition, supposed to be portable not permanent structures. Still, they're a little more fun than the regular rectangular cabins (except when it came time to clean because then it was hard to keep track of where I'd started—you could keep cleaning in circles forever).
We had a lovely pancake breakfast before heading to Legacy Lake for some canoeing. Here's Miriam eating with Uncle Jacob and Aunt Shayla:
Later she decided she's rather eat with Leah and her sisters:
Here's Miriam at the lake, waiting to see if we would get lucky enough to snag a spot on a canoe. We didn't reserve the lake; rather we just showed up to join other groups if they happened to not fill all the canoes.
There's a sandbox by the lake with a bunch of sand toys. I think Benjamin enjoyed this the very most of everyone at the camp!
Andrew must have taken this panorama of the lake because I don't know how to do that. Come to think of it, it might have been Jacob because Andrew just barely took the time to figure out how to use the macro and flash on this camera (he's been handing it over to me to fix the settings since we got it).
We put Jacob in charge of taking pictures while we went out on the lake with the kids. He did a good job.
We were told "three to a canoe, no exceptions" so we decided to take Benjamin with us and farm the girls out. Rachel rode with Michelle and Lauren (Ken's daughter). Miriam rode with and Madison and Natalie, I think (also Ken's daughters).
I only think it was Madison and Natalie because we (though I can probably blame that on Jacob, really, since he had the camera (kidding, kidding)) failed to take a picture of Miriam's canoeing companions. But here she is getting ready to jump into a canoe.
And here's adorable Gavin in his life vest.
He went riding with his dad, cousin Kayl, and Uncle Todd. Somehow they—and many other canoes—had four and five people in them, so I suppose we didn't have to be so quick to foist our children onto other cousins' boats. Oh, well. They had fun and it encouraged inter-family mingling.
The lake was a little crazy with swarms of canoes while we launched, but after everyone spread around the lake it didn't seem too crowded at all (though we possible crashed into a boat or two because we can't steer).
The missionaries told us to look for an alligator out on the lake and that got our children rather nervous because we really do have to watch for alligators in some parts of our state. In Legacy Lake the alligator is just a floating toy, and we told this to Benjamin several times to pacify his fears. When we paddled by it the first time he started screaming.
"Get away! Get away! Get away!" he instructed, waving his arms and panicking.
When we went by it a second time he said, "Oh! It is toy!"
He still wouldn't touch it though.
Out in the middle of the lake I turned around to tell him that I didn't know the way back to shore (because he'd panicked so beautifully the day before when I wondered aloud if we were going the right way). Just as I thought he'd do, he started breathing fast and looking all around. Then it dawned on him that I was just being silly and he laughed as he pointed to the shore. "It's that way!" he said.
I had him worried for a minute though!
Here we are in our canoe:
And here's Michelle, Rachel, and Lauren:
And here's us again:
And here's Michelle, Rachel, and Lauren coming into shore:
No pictures of Miriam in her canoe, alas. But here's Rachel finding her land legs again:
It was a good way to spend an hour! When we were finished we went back to camp to check on Zoë. She was fine, of course, being cared for expertly by other relatives.
We started setting up for the big Anderson reunion that afternoon. Rachel helped by growing marshmallow front teeth...
...while Auntie Sarah taught Benjamin the beauty of the duck face.
The big family reunion was fun. We all had to wear name tags telling who we descended from:
Grandma had made up a poster for each child, detailing their posterity. It was a really good reference (for me) the whole weekend!
We had lunch and then all the cousins got up to tell what their family was doing. Most of the grown ups sat around to listen. Most of the children got bored and left to play outside of the pavilion.
Cousin Jean is the oldest living cousin to ever hold the Anderson name and she brought along a violin that's a bit of a family heirloom. She said she played the violin when she was younger but that she eventually stopped playing. Then her grandson fixed up this violin and instructed her to play it everyday, so she has. She played us a song on it and left it in the back of the pavilion with a copy of its story, which I'll share in another post.
Grandma brought a suit Lawrence Albert Anderson wore on his mission. Here's cousin Scott trying it on (and showing us how much taller Lawrence Anderson must have been compared to him):
The rest of the afternoon was spent visiting, playing, and packing up. Oh, and there was a lot of baby-holding going on, too. Here's Rachel sitting with Auntie Katharine and Auntie Emily, holding baby Maren:
And here are some selfies that Uncle Jacob took with our camera:
And here's Miriam with Leah:
These two girls had so much fun together. They played the whole time we were there and when it was time to say goodbye they cried. It was so sweet. Here they are dancing in the woods:
And playing by the rocks:
Jacob got a fussy Zoë to fall asleep, so I took a picture of his "proud uncle" face:
Benjamin turned a little slinky and kaleidoscope into a rocket launcher and went around showing everyone how he could make it blast off!
Here's Aunt Dorothy playing washer-toss with a cousin whose name I don't know...
Soon people began leaving and we started doing some serious clean up. I helped by taking the kids back down to the lake (not to get out of helping but to get the kids out of the way).
This picture of the kids is pretty good:
This picture i just a little better:
When posing for pictures, Benjamin's fierce, Miriam's sassy, and Rachel usually goes for sweet or silly (sweet was winning today).
Here are the kids getting the last of their wiggles out in the sandbox before we loaded them up in the van:
There isn't really a whole lot to say about it except that everyone should have access to such a tranquil sandbox. It's a pity there aren't more sandboxes with a view like this one:
Not me—the lake and the mountains, I mean.
We were sad to say goodbye to Heber Valley Camp and to our little cousin-friends but were happy to go back to Grandma's house for more family time, but in cozier conditions.