Briggs loved the beach. He loved the sand and the water and the snacks. Briggs had watched us pack up all his sand toys and trucks. When we got to the beach on our first day, Briggs looked around and asked, "Where's the sandbox?"
Adelie's favorite beach activities included sifting through the sand for jewels (small, polished white rocks), playing with Aunt Maggie (my mom's sister), and catching ladybugs. She also loved dressing like "twinsies" with Carolyn since they had matching swimsuits.
Staley loved going on "dune adventures" with her cousins. They would head up into the sand dune to build forts, make spy clubs, and explore. When it was warm enough, Staley also LOVED going into Lake Michigan to play in the waves.
The kids had so much fun with their cousins and "beach cousins" (my cousins' kids). There were 18 kids in all, ranging in age from 7 months to 12 years old. One day, we ended up with 3 pairs of swimsuit "twins" among the cousins. How fun!!
On the coldest of our days in Pentwater, we skipped the beach and headed to a farm market and petting zoo. It was SO much fun and there was so much to do!! We spent the entire day there playing and seeing the animals.
Briggs loved the barrel train rides and the giant sandbox. He also enjoyed playing on all the different wooden playsets like the pirate ship, the tractor, and the train.
The big kids loved the giant jumping pillow, the wooden playsets, the spinning hamster wheel
to run in, and all the animals to see and feed.
Adelie was our most resourceful child. Since we didn't buy any animal feed, she would find all the feed that other people had dropped on the ground and then give it to her siblings and cousins to feed to the animals. She had more fun finding it than actually feeding it to the animals.
And the birds really liked Staley's shoes.
There was so much to do and it was a great way to spend a non-beach day.
This year, we had to switch up our living arrangements. Because there are now 7 adults and 7 kids with my brothers and their families, we had to split into 2 houses instead of one. We stayed in our usual house with Evan and his family while Erik and his family stayed with Ethan in a house down the street. We still spent all our days together at the beach and our evenings together at our house, but it was a little different not living all together this year.
Evening time was still family time when we would all gather at our house for dinner and playtime.
Pentwater traditions remain the same every year. We get together with the whole extended family for spaghetti night and s'mores night. We walk into town for ice cream. We always make time to go to our favorite stores and play games after the kids go to bed.
This guy definitely enjoyed s'mores night.
We also continued our tradition of trying to get all the cousins together for a picture with everyone looking in the right direction and smiling. This was a pretty successful attempt!
Since the sunset comes after bedtime for our kids, Zach and I got to enjoy one of my favorite Pentwater traditions--Michigan sunsets on the beach.
I love our weeks in Pentwater.
I love that my family loves our weeks in Pentwater.
I love that we are carrying on the traditions of my childhood while making new ones along the way.
Thanks, Pentwater, for another great year!
See you next year!!