Our trip started out fairly well, considering the planning and packing it takes to prepare for food, clothes, water & supplies for a family of six for a week.  Dad discovered a new leak in the cistern during our work week, and it stayed too cold the whole week of Spring Break for us to patch the crack.  So we had no running water!  We loaded up our trailer and minivan with wood, decorations, food, water, and supplies and headed out Friday after David and the kids got out of school.  There were six of us, plus luggage, plus (cringe) three FULL GROWN golden retrievers in the van.

But we were happy and brave and together.  VERY together.  So...the three-hour trip from Frankfort to Aurora would have been long enough with that crew, but we made...um...a detour.  I had found some lodge rugs on Craigslist for an amazing price. They were perfect for our planned cabin redecorating project, and David agreed it was a good deal.  So we went an hour out of our way to pick the rugs up in Lafayette before backtracking through Frankfort and south again.  The rugs were gorgeous. We loaded them up.  But then the fun really began.  With dog puke.  And then, when we stopped in a subdivision to clean it up...all three dogs ran away!  David was so over it by then, he was ready to leave the dogs running wild in Lafayette and go back home to Frankfort and read a book and forget the whole cabin ordeal.  But we pressed on.

Not all of the trip was lovely, but we made it.  We tried to remain brave as we watched our watches and realized that we would arrive - well after dark - to a freezing cold cabin.  We planned to keep the kids in the van while we scurried inside and got the fires blazing to take the edge off the cabin chill before we unloaded.  We were pleasantly surprised when we pulled up Smiley Hill Lane (Yes - that's the real name of our road!) and looked up the hill to see the cabin lights glowing and smoke rolling out of the chimney!  Dad and Garen had driven from Cincinnati to get the fires going and heat up the cabin before we arrived.  They also had a good pile of wood chopped to get us started.  We felt so happy and spoiled.

Saturday  Dad, Garen and his wife Crystal came back with the 4-wheeler for some fun.

Garen's a tough dude, but he loves those dogs.

Corin wearing Grandpa Wolf's huge, furry Russian-looking hat

Karissa LOVED 4-wheeling with Daddy

I didn't know she was such a daredevil

It was fun to have all 5 golden retrievers together....3 are ours, 2 are Garen & Crystal's

David in dog-training mode
I wasn't too crazy about Garen's ingenious method of load the 4-wheeler onto his truck.  I could just see him flipping it over...

Loved this moment between Karissa, Caiden and Maggie

David chopped a LOTTA wood that week!

And kept us warm and cozy inside

The kids were so thrilled with their job of hauling wood inside from the pile

It really was freezing - they were troopers

We were ready for some good Birdwatching and Birdlistening!  We are crazy about this book...it has the birdsongs of 250 North American birds.  Each bird is described and pictured and assigned a number.  You click the corresponding number to hear a gorgeous, real recording of that bird's call or song. 

What better way to celebrate our first days of Spring Break at the cabin -  than by making S'mores (my Dad calls them smears) in the fireplace!

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