We spent 7 straight weeks at the cabin this summer. I think we may have spent 3 nights at home and one was only because Lawson got an ear infection. We also took a couple of road trips in there, as well. The kids might have washed their hair 4 to 5 times and sandy feet was our norm. It was amazing.
Hugh and Calder started the summer going up north fishing with my dad, Luke, Luke's father-in-law, and brother-in-law. Hugh said he did incredible as they were on the boats fishing the entire time. Calder learned about pitching in and I'm sure got told on a number of occasions, "What happens on a fishing trip, stays on a fishing trip!"

Hugh has this goal to visit every provincial park in the province. I thought it was brilliant, as I love an adventure, until we started looking at how many there are. This is now a lofty goal, but I think we could make it work if we plan to do it into retirement! This summer we went to Greenwater Provincial Park for a day. It was a quick trip from the cabin and it was fun to spend an entire day on the beach. We don't do this kind of thing at the cabin, since we have my parents' cabin on the lake and our boat. The kids absolutely loved pitting in on the beach, eating our picnic lunch and building sand castles. Boone and Lawson also loved playing with the kids around us. Hugh and I debated taking the boat to do some exploring, but instead we hauled our bikes and spent a good part of the morning exploring the trails. I definitely would like to do this kind of trip again.

We love our boat. We don't go out everyday. Our kids like being on the water, but aren't that big into water sports yet. My favorite is a snoop cruise along the shore with a morning coffee, but I think Hugh's might be middle of the day, park the boat and swim.

I think the kids' favourite place to swim is right in front of my mom and dad's cabin. They are fish and particularly like it when we sit on the dock to watch so they can take off their life jackets. Calder did an excellent job of swimming lessons this June passing level 2. We gave him a "lake" swimming test and he passed with flying colors. This allowed him to even have his life jacket off when we were swimming on the boat. I think he really enjoyed the freedom and got quite good at diving because of it.
This winter, my mom had asked my dad if he would build her a bit of an outdoor kitchen. We often do fish fries and my mom was hoping for some counter space and a bit of cabinetry underneath to store a few of the tools. My dad took the couple of images my mom had had passed on as ideas and clicked himself to a pizza oven. You might be thinking that my mom must have been annoyed because the pizza oven has no counter space or storage, but my mom knows my dad and this project, as challenging as it was, is completely Lorne. My dad was pumped about it. And Dad doesn't get pumped about much save his kids, grandkids, and dog. And truly, mostly the dog.

Things this project illustrated about my dad. He is brilliant. He took a number of pizza oven designs and melded them into the oven you see. He is calling this the Cadillac of Pizza Ovens.  Dad is an incredibly hard working. He spent 100s of hours creating this oven. It was crazy. Lastly, it illustrated how handy dad is. He had never done brickwork before and managed to flawlessly create a thing of beauty. Do not ask my dad to do any brickwork for you. He was very clear that of all the trades, bricklayers might be the ones most grossly underpaid. It was hard, tedious work. 

We ate a lot of pizza this summer. As delicious as this look, I think I can speak for my parents when I say we haven't quite perfected the crust yet. It is going to be rough next summer trying to figure it out ;-)

You should see this girl on her run bike. It is downhill to my Mom and Dad's cabin and Lawson glides almost the entire way. It is quite incredible. We actually rarely used our golf cart to go to Mom and Dad's this year. Lawson was able to independently get herself there. Pretty awesome.
I spent a night at my friend Twyla's campsite just outside of Wakaw for our second annual girls' sleepover. This was one of the most fun evenings of the summer. I am really lucky to have such a good group of high school friends that I am still able to connect with.

Lawson (and the boys) were absolutely smitten with their new cousin, Leeta. That being said, I'm a bit afraid of the lasting impression baby Leeta has made on my kids. She honestly did not cry once that I can remember. Not when she went down for a nap, not when she was hungry, and not once "just because."  Feel free to punch my sister in the throat  harass my sister the next time you see her. A baby this good doesn't even happen on t.v.
Remember that time that Calder ran into the sliding door of the van? Oh my goodness. I won't forget it.  It was a bit of a miserable day, so we had spent a good part of the morning at an auction sale in Tisdale and then ate a packed lunch on the way to Melfort to go swimming at their indoor pool. The pool had listed their public swimming times wrong on their website, so we headed to Tim Horton's for a donut and to kill some time. On our way out of Tims, Hugh pushed the automatic door to open Boone's sliding door.  . . And Calder ran straight into the back of it. Instead of swimming, we spent the next 3 hours at the Melfort hospital getting a stitch. Maybe next year we will get to the pool. . .

This winter we met Ben and his parents through Calder's hockey team. Not long after the team was made a girl I know from Kip was talking to me at the rink and said a couple of confusing things. It turns out that Ben and his family have a permanent camp site at Kipabisqau, but we had never met them! Not only that, Ben's uncle has a cabin 2 down from my parents that they are always at. Ben's mom gets the summers off as well, so Calder had a tremendously fun summer building forts and "lakes' with Ben and spent quite a bit of time with Ben on his boat. This connection has turned out great for our whole family. We love the Dusts!
Near the end of August we headed up to Lower Fishing Lake to spend some time with my brother, Brittany and Cruz at their cabin (more pictures later on. . . These are out of order and it is too much work to fix). Before we headed back to Kip we swung over to the Gem Lakes and went hiking. I would recommend this for EVERYONE. It is gorgeous and although I haven't really done much hiking I would say it is a moderately easy one. We picked wild blueberries, threw rocks into the lake, and enjoyed a picnic lunch.Where Hugh had to sacrifice his sock for toilet paper as Lawson had to go #2.  Our kids love being in the bush, so this day trip fit the bill. After 2 km you have to decide if you are doing a 4 km or 5 km loop. Hugh and let the kids convince us to do the 5. Big mistake. Boone had, up to this point, walked the whole way and we had only carried Lawson on a couple of steep parts. We were about 200 m past the decision point and Boone was whining. We should have taken that as our hint to turn around, but apparently Hugh and I wanted a serious workout. We ended up carrying Lawson for about 2 km and Boone for about 1.5. It was a bit torturous at the end.

This was the best group shot we got of the 3 kids. Boone was pretending to sleep. Sigh. I would have demanded another attempt, but seconds after this was taken Calder was stung by a wasp. #Itried

Boone's walking stick. . . He found it at a fire pit along the trial. It is actually a hotdog stick, but he loved it. At one point he "accidentally" stabbed Lawson for the 3rd time and so I forcibly removed it from his grip and stuck it up in a tree. He was sad, as you can see from the picture above. In fact, he was so sad at the prospect, that he was wailing before I even acquired it.

As we hiked on, Boone remained bawling at the tree I had stuck the stick. Calder backtracked to the tree and grabbed the stick from Boone. Calder gave Boone a swift lecture on "don't stab Lawson again" and Boone's crying ceased. It was pretty sweet. Particularly because this isn't really something Calder would typically do!

We had some great bike rides this summer. Typically we would go to the end of the lake and back, but sometimes it was just to the park. When we got home for the summer, Boone figured out how to pedal and started riding his bike without training wheels. He got it figured out on our pad at the back of the house. It was a pretty exciting moment for all of us!

We took a trip up to Emma Lake to see our good friends, the Gateses in August. The have an amazing spot on the lake and the we had an equally amazing time. Exploring a new location is one of our favourite things to do and we got to check out a couple of the interlocking lakes and did a snoop cruise to look at a number of mansions cabins. We are definitely crashing their place again!

My sister, Jes, spent a ton of time at my mom and dad's cabin this summer as she was on maternity leave after having her daughter, Leeta, in May. We were so lucky to get to spend a good part of our summer with her. We even got to celebrate Nash's 2nd birthday at the lake.

Another highlight for our clan was Hugh's cousin's wedding in Melfort. Our kids were so excited to go to the dance with their cousins. Boone hit up the dance floor like nobody's business. He didn't need any encouragement. Lawson like to hit the dance floor with me, so it was good I was in my comfy heels. Calder and Pace mostly ran around, but hey, Hugh and I were pumped he was out there!

There were a couple of complaints upon my request for some family photos, but these were taken in under 10 minutes and turned out amazing. Photo credit for the one of the 5 of us goes to Billy!
I think this is my favourite picture from the summer. I already have it up on our photo wall!

The weather wasn't the greatest when we were at Lower Fishing, but who you're with can easily trump weather and we had a fantastic time. Boone was just asking this week when we were headed back. And he was talking about the winter version, so I think we might just need to crash their place in February again.

All-in-all, we had an excellent summer adventure. We are always ready to head home at the end of August, but that doesn't make it sad to leave. We love our cabin and the memories made at the lake and are already looking to making more in 2018.


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