The kids and I practically lived at the cabin last week since we had so many real estate showings at our house in the Twin Cities. Twenty-three showings in eight days, to be exact. It was easier to pack up and move to the cabin for a while, so that's what we did.
Tory, Aden and I arrived to the cabin on Thursday afternoon, just in time to play outside in the snow for a while. About 6 inches of new snow had fallen since we'd been there last, so Tory did what she does best -- stop, drop and snow angel'd in every spot she could. Likewise, Aden did what he does best -- eat alllll the snow. Good thing it was fresh!
We ran errands in town Friday morning, and then I brought the snow indoors for a sensory-type activity. I pulled together some bowls and spoons and made some snow paint (water + food coloring) for the kids to use. Tory thought the whole thing was kind of lame (like, "why are we doing this when we could play in the snow outdoors?"), but Aden really loved it. He's the one who struggles to maneuver his little body around in the snow, so this gave him a chance to play without all the frustration.
Andi drove to the cabin separately on Friday night, and the four of us did some exploring outdoors Saturday morning. There are three state-owned islands on our lake but I haven't spent much time on them. They're open for anyone to use, but against the law to camp overnight. Anyway, the four of us hiked out to one on the ice, pretending we were on an exploration. Tory and Aden played hide-and-seek with a stick in the snow, and discovered a cave underneath the roots of a toppled-over tree. Let them be little -- I love how the cabin brings out the adventure and imagination in our kids.
That afternoon, Andi's friend Chris drove up from the Twin Cities and the two of them went snowmobiling together. Andi wanted to take advantage of the freshly fallen snow -- you never know when / if we'll get more, after all. (Last year, the snowmobile trails were closed the entire season for lack of snow.) Our cabin neighbor, Lisa, stopped over and asked if Tory wanted to come outside with their family for a while so she did that, Aden took an afternoon nap, and I found myself with two quiet hours to myself. Unheard of these days!
Later after Andi returned to the cabin, we met Lisa's family outside on the ice for a bonfire on the island. The crew roasted hot dogs, ice fished with tip-ups and drank a few beers around the fire. Love these impromptu get-togethers at the cabin so much!
Andi made us a yummy broccoli, pepper and ham frittata for breakfast on Sunday morning, then the four of us hopped in the Ranger for a mid-morning cruise in the country. Last winter, we went for truck rides almost every weekend but for some reason, we've hardly gone at all this year. It was a nice change of pace to drive around, drink hot tea and look at stuff. So relaxing and so redneck, all at the same time.
On the way back to the cabin, Andi picked up a Kitty Cat snowmobile from a local auto body shop. His cousin gave us the kids snowmobile after his four girls outgrew it. It needed new spark plugs and a carburetor, but runs great now! We headed back to the cabin to test it out right away.
It took Tory about an hour to grasp how to push the gas button with her right thumb, and maneuver the steering at the same time. Once she figured it out, she was off like a rocket down the cabin road.
Rest assured, the Kitty Cat snowmobile moves as fast as a lawn mower; both Andi and I could run alongside the kids as they rode it. Just enough power to send Tory along with an adrenaline high!
We let Aden drive, too, and not surprisingly / scary enough (!!) for this mama -- he did great! My toddler and preschooler can drive a snowmobile; I'm dumbfounded.
Tory was such a tough girl, she even attempted to pull her own sled out of the snow bank - ha!
Best of all was the look on Andi's face. He was so proud of his kiddos for being brave and trying something new. Since then, all Tory can ask is "when can we go back to the cabin and ride that Kitty Cat?" So much fun. Can't wait to get up there again next weekend.