Thursday, August 29, 2013

Loon Lake Trip 2013

Our annual Loon Lake trip was a success yet again! We had excellent weather, 90 degrees everyday which is perfect weather if you are in the lake all day.

Miia, Kaija and Kamryn diving....ready, set, GO!

We did the usual swimming, boating, fishing, tubing, and eating with great success! We only had one mishap with my sister Sanni who on her first ride on the tube was bounced off and her husband bonked her cheek. She got a nasty black eye right in time for family pictures...although I was impressed with her makeup skills.

Having fun before the BIG wave
Look at Sanni (far left) upon seeing the BIG wave come
Actual moment of impact
Reina did not do any fishing this year, but she really showed how brave she is. She followed the example of her older cousins and decided that standing on the tube was far more fun. She kept yelling "Faster, faster!" All while holding her thumb in a "thumbs up" fashion indicating the boat to go faster. You can actually see her mouthing "faster" in the picture.

She also became brave this year because she jumped off one dock and swam to the other dock all by herself. She can't swim without a life jacket yet, but I wasn't even in the water when I snapped some pictures of her being such a big girl!

Baelor didn't mind relaxing in his little boat since his lower half was floating in the water. Probably his favorite was a watering can which he wanted filled repeatedly to then make a river in the sand. He was easy as usual, even at night.

Nash even took part of the relaxing and "saving lives." Apparently Labrador Retrievers are naturally bred to bringing things into safety by pulling a rope.

The dog days of summer...
Nash "rescuing" Ashton
 Finn had a challenge this year since he had a recent broken leg. In fact, he had to go back into town to get the cast off during the first part of the vacation. All we could say was, "Poor Finn". He looked like a pirate with a peg leg...too bad it wasn't Halloween!

A couple of surprises this year included these balls that float on top of the water! Imagine those hamster balls, but for humans. I am quite adventurous, but this TERRIFIED ME! In fact, I was in the process of getting in one and had a mini panic attack and had to get out immediately. I don't fear heights, speed, or really anything else but I do have problems with clausterphobia. It took a little time and coaxing before I attempted again. While I was waiting for the air to be filled, I had to just focus my head down and sing a song. Once it was filled I was fine and even enjoyed it! So I actually got a little braver this trip as well!

Reina and Heleena



Matching boonie hats for father and son

We found any excuse to venture out to the market on the scooters

Reagan washing her hair in the lake quite elegantly

Each year there is usually a new addition to the family photo in the form of a baby. Can you figure out who the new "addition" to the family photo is?


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Grandma Guinn's 70th Birthday Bash

Happy 70th Birthday Grandma Guinn! What a great excuse to get the whole family together! There was a lot of rearranging and figuring out schedules to get such a big clan together for a few days, but the reward was grand. So grand that we had to take a picture with the (almost) whole family!

Top Left: Travis Mitchell, Forrest Mitchell, me, Paul, Steve Guinn, Alex Mitchell, Lucas Mitchell, Corbin and Wendy Guinn, Lydia and Nathan Brooks, Matthew Guinn Second Row: Lynnette Mitchell, Christina Mitchell, Reina, Baelor, Nicholas Mitchell, Degan Guinn, Julie and Benjamin Guinn  Bottom Row: Bryan Guinn, Logan Guinn, Brecken Guinn, Lauren Guinn, Madeleine Guinn, Grandma and Grandmpa Guinn, Jessica Brooks Not Pictured: brother Brad Guinn and family

We all headed down mid-July to Honeyman Beach near Florence, Oregon . This is Grandma Guinn's stomping ground of her younger days. She grew up near hear in Newport and Coo's Bay. Paul remembers coming to this exact campsite as a young boy.

Playing with cousin Lauren
Corbin, Wendy and Bryan (Paul's brother)
Degan being tackled by Reina (in jammies)
We had about 6 campsites all stringed together. Luckily we were close to the bathrooms (but not too close) and playground. We camped 2 nights and enjoyed spending time with cousins and aunts and uncles that we, sadly, don't get to see very often.

Sand as far as the eye could see
Grandpa Guinn taking it all in as the grandkids play

The weather was pretty good for beach weather on the Oregon Coast...clear and sunny during the day, but the wind would pick up at night and make it a little chilly. No rain and sunny days? I'll take it! The sand dunes were a fun addition to our fun. We tried to make a slick path with snow discs to coast down the sand, but even with MANY attempts and MANY people, it still did not work! Although it was fun trying!

The Mitchell boys trying to get our sand chute to work

Each family took part in a meal which made it a lot easier to plan. I highly recommend doing this with a large party as there is less to stress about when planning and packing.

Salmon cooked the Grandpa Don way!

One of the highlights was the big birthday celebration! This included festive decorations, a sand castle cake made by cousins Christina and Jessica, Grandpa Don's famous salmon recipe, and (most exciting) a skit!

This was created by Paul and Matt highlighting stories and events from Grandma Guinn's life. It started with some of her childhood memories, teen years, motherhood, and a little roasting as well! A lot of us had to play various roles in the skits. It was so fun to see Grandma Guinn's reactions!

Grandma Guinn laughed through the entire thing

A dramatic reenactment of the many trips to Utah Paul took with his family

It was fun catching up with family members we don't see often. I was impressed with the musical talent of this family...seriously blessed with every aspect of music; creation, development, range and execution! We did karaoke in town before we headed to the beach and saw so much talent. I even did a song even though I am not keen on singing in front of people all by myself. Probably my favorite highlight of our karaoke evening was when the large group of us who went did a duet, backup singers, and backup dancers all together! I know there is video footage out there that I gotta snag!

I love how this family hugs each other whenever, wherever (Mitchell boys)
  Our evenings around the campfire also added to my regard for the musical skill possessed by nearly everyone with Guinn blood coursing through their veins. Hopefully it passes on to all of our kids. Reina sings in tune and Baelor will sing any song who's words are "ball, ball, ball". (Okay, Paul had to add that whole blood thing for a little pizzazz!) We are so blessed to have such a wonderful BIG family. It is beyond my brain to even imagine the spec of adoration our Heavenly Father feels for His family.

Snuggling with Uncle Steve