We spent Labor Day Weekend with Eric's side of the family at his aunt and uncle's property. My cousin-in-law and I were laughing this weekend about how our husbands' hearts start to race when they get close to the Toutle property. Tons of childhood memories are wrapped up in this place. I suppose if I could go back to childhood quite so easily (I have only once gotten the chance to go back to Haiti as an adult and never since being married) I might just want to take my family along, too, even if it doesn't hold everything for them as it does for me.
We own a beautiful trailer, but our truck that pulls it has been broken down and we haven't prioritized getting it fixed. So, for the first time since we were newly married, we tented at the Toutle. Honestly this was the easiest time we've ever gone. We stayed one night and the kids are finally old enough that I am not having to stay right with them every single moment. The girls have grown out of some of their allergies, as well. Until this year one or the other has had some kind of skin reaction sometime during the trip.
This particular weekend will forever be marked as the weekend the kids finally were big enough to go up into the tree house.
This picture makes the tree house look just as magical (and heavenly) as it has been in their little minds since they first started going and all the other cousins were climbing up and down the tree house "ladder".
And to hear them talk, it lived up to their vivid imaginations.
Daniel would love a two-story tree house like this in our backyard. It makes my heart race (for different reasons than Eric's), so I'm thankful that we don't really have the ideal spot for this kind of construction yet.
But if we are completely honest, it is time with Daddy that the kids love best about the Toutle. And the moments he spends with them is what they will remember.
The tire swing is my favorite.
The girls love the disc swing. I'd probably love that one too, but I exceed the weight limit (100 lbs). So I kept my feet planted on the ground this weekend.
My husband said I needed to be sure to give him photo credit. He took this one of me and Gracie. I love it. I love it when my hubby holds the camera. Fewer pictures to sort through and always better ones. He is used to shooting film, not digital.
The cousins have a dog. I love a dog for the weekend, especially since I don't have to take care of her at all.
Hubby took this one.
He took this one of his mom and dad too. This reminds me of my parents, they still hold hands too. That's going to be Eric and me in another twenty years.
Gracie is the one who always wants the tractor ride. Aunt M. was wonderful to flag down Uncle A. and boost Gracie up on his lap to take her on a loop around the center of the property. She L.O.V.E.D. it!
Daniel refused to be in the annual picture on the rock with all of the second cousins. He'd gotten stung by a bee (a first) and he was very uptight about being anywhere near where he had been stung.
And the work from the weekend was cutting and stacking wood for the winter months when the cousins all go hunting and the wood because the source of heat for some incredibly cold mornings and nights,
The kids went down to the river with Eric. It gave me some time to get the insides of our tent packed up and loaded into the car so that when Eric came back I was ready to help him take the tent down.
We were all so glad that Evan could get off work to spend the weekend camping too. Now that Evan is out of school we don't see him as much, even though he actually works less than ten miles from our home.
Toutle Acres, it's been fun! See you again next year...