July 12th

Sylvia turned 6 on July 12th.  It truly was her day to celebrate.  It started with opening a present from her sister.

Violet helped wrap the present!

and unwrap the present!

After grabbing a quick breakfast, we headed to the Mill City Farmers Market in Minneapolis to meet up with Grandma and Grandpa Chicken.  After the standard farmers market fair, we grabbed a quick ice cream cone in lieu of a birthday cake.

Notice the candle in the ice cream... we couldn't get it lite, so Sylvia was pretending.

Not sure what this is...

Time to open presents!

and the "big one"

Following the farmer's market, Sylvia and her friend Ingrid enjoyed a movie - "How to Train Your Dragon 2" and then headed to the salon for a manicure.

Check out those nails!

Why not get the hair braided as well?

and finish up the day with a kids meal at Wendy's

It was a great birthday for Sylvia and in continued the next couple of weeks as we put together several of her new Lego Friends kits.  While she needs a bit of help from time to time, she has done a great job of following the directions and building the project as defined.

4th of July Celbration

The 12th annual 4th of July Celbration is officially in the books.  The weather was perfect, the food was perfect, and most importantly, the company was perfect!

Since we are on our fifth year out at Cokato Lake, we have developed a pretty solid routine when it comes to the 4th of July party.  Plans and guests slightly change from year to year, but for the most part it is the same.  It starts with Grandma and Grandpa B doing all of the behind the scenes work - mowing, weed whipping, cleaning the cabin, etc.  Then, usually on July 2nd or 3rd, we head out to the lake for fine tuning... blowing up water toys, prepping the beach, topping off the jetski, setting up the big tent, etc.

When the late morning of July 4th arrives, the crowds start showing up and we go non-stop for 24 hours...

Kiddos thinking about jumping in...

getting closer to actually swimming...

how about some tubing???

WHAT?!??!??!  Oasis Island has some company!  Tropical Tahiti debuted in 2014

of course we need some birthday cake for Sylvia

eat up kiddos

still eating...

How about a four-wheeler ride?  (Don't worry Jim, the big boys didn't ride there!)

When we are ramping down and out of the water for the day, we still can have floaty wars, right?

The one big change this year was that all those that came for the day, spent the night.  We had three families in the cabin and two in tents.  This is a real sign of how old the kids are getting...  Soon they won't want the parent around!  Until that day comes, we will continue to get together every 4th of July and spend time with our great set of friends.

Fun at the Cabin

In preparation for our annual 4th of July Celbration, we had some extra work to complete this year due to three large trees coming down in a storm.   After a full day of professional tree removal, we still had a bunch of logs to move as well as some reconstruction work on the beach.

The aftermath...

With the help of everyone, yes even Violet, we were able to move most of the large items from the beach area. 

The sand was able to be played in again.

We were able to finally put the dock in (mid-June!) and do some more cleanup in the woods and beach area. 

It was hard work for all, but that is par for the course with a lake property.  

There was some downtime as well.  Sylvia and grandpa put together one of her new Lego Friends kits!



MMMmmmmm Marshmallow

These are some older pictures we found on the camera, but may be fitting based on the 4th of July right around the corner.  Hopefully the kiddos can enjoy some smore's this weekend!