Roughing It

Roughing it...not really.  This past weekend, we took advantage of a long weekend and went on the "camping" trip that we were supposed to take last summer, but couldn't fit it.  I say "camping" only because the trip was to a cabin on a lake.  There wasn't anything that I would consider remotely comparable to what we consider camping except maybe the fact that there was a lake.  A friend sent me a message asking if we were really camping in this could weather and my reply was that we a nice cabin with a hot tub and satellite TV and an amazing view of the lake.  The only "roughing it" that we were doing is having only one tiny bathroom for the nine of us. 

We purchased this little get-away at a charity event over a year ago, and our summer/fall just ran out before we could find four nights to be away, so we were able to change the dates a bit and use the property in the winter instead.  The timing meant that we weren't going to be able to use the boat and teach the kids to water ski, but we were still able to play near the water, and skip rocks and even go fishing!

Skipping rocks on the ice! That was actually pretty cool.  We eventually started using ice that we broke off from the edge of the water so that we wouldn't feel like we were littering up the water so much.

Catfish carcas

The ice was really cool.  We had to prove that it wasn't safe though by throwing a couple of big rocks through it so that the kids wouldn't walk out on it.  We did have a couple of little slips and some wet shoes and pants.  :)

We couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather in the middle of January in the midwest!  We've been having warm weather--like 60 and 70 degree warm weather, but the day we left, it was 11 degrees!  Perfect for drinking hot cocoa and snuggling in front of the fire to watch a movie.  We weren't concerned.  Thanks to a friend, we were equipped with gourmet hot cocoas to last the entire weekend, and by Friday afternoon, the weather was again remeniscent of spring instead of winter. 
Hot cocoa and coffee were on all weekend.  What a treat!

The view from the hot tub near sunset.  God's splendor. 

We enjoyed time in the hot tub that was out the back door and overlooking the lake.  It really was a spectacular scene, and because no one seemed to be crazy enough to be out on the water, it was constantly inhabited with birds.  Our surroundings were so peaceful due to our off-season peaceful that all of those birds could be heard from quite a distance and there were so many of them that they actually created a low rumble and then when they all took flight, it truly sounded like a jet flying nearby!

 We did a bit of bird watching too.  We spotted 14 bald eagles in one place, and were able to get close enough while they were sitting in the trees to confirm our sightings.  Beautiful!  Lots of other eagles and hawks and vultures and gulls and ducks and geese.

We explored the banks of the lake for treasures like glass shards that were rubbed completely smooth from being tumbled with the sand and rocks, and feathers, rocks, bricks and lots of driftwood.  It was run to see all the signs of wildlife around us.  And since we didn't spend time in a boat on the water, we opted for the park instead!

Turning as fast as possible, followed by "Now, run in a straight line over to that tree".  LOL  I know...that's so bad!

Ben's "state of Nebraska" brick!

Check out all of that really cool driftwood!

My parents joined us on Saturday for a couple of nights.  Its always nice to just hang out with them when there is no agenda.  The cabin offered all the modern ammenities needed to host a great weekend, but still remind us it was a cabin, not a resort.  We had a great time making meals and eating together, even though only two of us could fit in the kitchen at one time, and that is kind of being generous.  It made it fun though! 

The weekend was indeed a success in providing some relaxation, especially as this time of year is the calm before the storm in the world of accounting. So good to spend this time together as a family since the coming months will mean much less of that quality time together.