Monday, August 15, 2022

July 2022 Recap: Our Week at Oyster Haven

I really wish I'd kept up better with the family memories this summer!  But here it is, the last July Recap post (to go along with Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3).

Starting on the 3rd of July and going trough the 9th, we had Oyster Haven, which is otherwise rented out to vacationing guest families, all to ourselves.  Huzzah!!

I have been working hard at detachment—you know, at trying not to feel jealous of the VRBO customers who stay at this beloved house way more than we do.  Trying not to wail, “But it’s not fair; it’s MY house!”  Trying to just feel supremely grateful that we have this idyllic lakeside spot where we can give our kids and grandkids a special rent-free vacation week together each year.  We have owned the house for seven years now, and I’m finding that with practice, the whole detachment thing is getting easier.

But when I look down from the yard at our private beach in its private cove, with our gang hanging out by the water...well, you can see why I wish we could spend more time there!  It's heavenly, truly.

We only had four of our five boys with us this year.  (Our oldest and his wife, who have six kids, couldn’t make the trip from Iowa, due to the schedule of his new job.  But maybe next year!)  So altogether we had 10 adults and 13 kids (aged seven and under) staying in a four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom house.  We have technically outgrown the house—but we somehow make it work, by golly!

My husband I and took the first-floor Master Suite, which has a queen-sized bed and a twin in it.  We would have welcomed a grandchild roommate (or even two of them, because we had space for an air mattress if needed); but all the kids were able to sleep in the rooms to which they’d been assigned.

Everyone slept family-style, which could have been a nightmare but wasn’t: son #3 and Preciosa had the most kids, five, so they got the biggest upstairs bedroom, the Norman Rockwell Room (with a queen and two twins, to which they added an air mattress and port-a-crib);

son # 4 and Braveheart shared the Aviation Room with their four youngsters (a queen and a twin, with an air mattress and Pack 'N Play added);

son #2, Ginger, and their four boys had the large (but unfortunately not air-conditioned!) basement ping pong room, which we’d converted to sleeping quarters by adding two inflatable beds, one a king and the other a queen, and a Pack ‘N Play for their littlest guy;

and finally, our youngest son and his Babisiu had the Little Cherubs Room, which was more than adequate for the two of them with a full-sized bed and a twin.

Okay, so that’s it for the room assignments!  The rest of the post is going to basically be a photo dump, because I think the pictures will tell the story of our week better than words could. But if I had to sum it up with just a single word, this is the one I would choose: PERFECT.

The kids had a big "project" going all week, which involved digging a
"river" in the sand and filling it with water from the lake.

The kayaks are always a hit with the kids.

As is Papa's pontoon boat!

I don't think there's anything cuter than these little beachcombers!

It's handy to have a mom/aunt in the family who used to be a kindergarten teacher and is great
at organizing fun activities for the little ones!

The grown-ups did all get a night relaxing in the hot tub together, once the kiddos were in bed!

Some of the grandkids got the hang of paddling their own kayaks this year!

Cousin love!

For our youngest grandchild, Jet, it was the first time dipping his toes
in the lake!

Getting to drive the boat is always a thrill!

Catching minnows is a popular pastime at Oyster Haven.

While our daughters-in-law worked to get a good shot of all the grandkids on the dock, Papa and
I couldn't resist a little photo bombing.  :)

Those are just a handful of the hundreds of pictures I took during our week.  But I think they give you a pretty good idea of how wonderful it was.

[Sigh]...I can hardly wait for July 2023!


  1. One day, please God, I am going to rent this house from you!

  2. This looks so dreamy! And to have most of the cousins all together, also dreamy. I would love to hear more about what I am assuming was an epic water balloon fight. They even have little teams. My heart bursts with happiness for you and I appreciate so much you recognize the goodness and the graces that make weeks like this happen.