Years ago my parents came up with “groups” for the grandkids.  Group #1:Untitled-1(Let’s pretend they are all in the same picture with their arms around each other for that one…) Group #2:2012-07-11 Bear Lake 54176 Group #3:2012-07-11 Bear Lake 54182 Group #4:2012-07-16 Eyrealm reunion 54757 I love that these guys had a little welcome sign when the families trickled in one by one.2012-07-12 summer 56540 Group #5:2012-07-15 Eyrealm reunion 54706 Group #6: Mostly the babies back in this post and gosh I’m mad I didn’t get a good pic. of them together. I’m not sure if my parents made these groups more to keep them straight or to be sure to have more structured time with them in age groups, (which they do both very well), but one of the things I love it for most is for the jobs at Bear Lake.  Those kids work their little hearts out each summer doing jobs and cleaning up after each other.  Why?  You may ask.  Well, their cleaning frenzy is spurred by the fact that they get “stars” when they do a great job with their jobs and work together.  And whichever team gets the most stars at the end of the summer gets a special wing-dinger reward usually in the form of a late-night movie party.2012-07-17 Bear Lake 55835…with candy.  They go ga-ga over that little carrot dangled in front of them. If you look closely you’ll see that “Group #1” is sadly not overly motivated by movie parties (we’ll have to work on that next year), and “Group #5” is a little on the young side for the competition, but boy howdy are those middle groups ever excited about that little golden ticket that could be on the horizon for them if they work their little tails off.  (More “working-together” pics. back in this post.) Aside from the positive aspect on jobs that the “groups” allow, I also love that my Dad shares what he calls “Grandfather’s Secrets” with the older ones.  More about that and how much I love it back here. My Mom takes each group individually to do “Grammie Camps” together.  Those kids come back with stars in their eyes after they’ve had that golden quality time with their Grammie.  2012-07-10 summer 53855 …this year most of the “groups” baked bread at their “Grammie Camps.”2012-07-11 Bear Lake 540622012-07-13 Bear Lake 54207 The bigger girls always do art.2012-07-19 India 56244…And they always weed.  And work.  I think I like that part the most. Us sisters also did our own little “camp” and took our daughters to see another “Bandito” play on the other side of the lake at Pickleville Playhouse.2012-07-11 summer 56082 Let’s get a closer look at that crew:2012-07-11 summer 56083There we go.  I love the name Pickleville. Is that not the cutest name for a town?  But it kind of gives me a hankering for a nice juicy pickle which I don’t have right now so let’s get back on topic. The star of the play was nice enough to pose with the girls.    2012-07-11 summer 56084They were delighted, especially when he asked if they had a matching headband for him… We were to glad to have Dave…at least for a little while and even if it meant he couldn’t get up much with that darn broken foot…2012-07-14 Bear Lake 54502 I think my mom and I were a tad-bit confused here…2012-07-11 Bear Lake 54173 We were really glad Lyla left the lake before the “hair-cutting fiasco.”2012-07-11 summer 54037She has never had a haircut.  Not ever.  And boy is her hair pretty. I love that Aja had a few art stations for the kids.2012-07-12 Kristi's pictures 55181 …and that instead of having a reunion t-shirt this year, Tal and Anita gave us all a puzzle.  It is a collage of all of our family pictures put together. 2012-07-15 Bear Lake 54669I thought it was an awesome idea. I’ll just top this off with some “series” of pictures.  Sometimes one picture can’t do enough to capture the moment so here are some picture groupings of Bear Lake stuff. The “begging to drive the old Montero on the beach” series:2012-07-11 Bear Lake 540632012-07-11 Bear Lake 54064 The “back and front” series:2012-07-11 Bear Lake 540872012-07-11 Bear Lake 54090 The “sisters with sassy looks” series:2012-07-11 Bear Lake 54095ok…only one of them is sassy…2012-07-11 Bear Lake 540982012-07-11 Bear Lake 54099 The “playing with water-hose fun” series:2012-07-11 Bear Lake 541052012-07-11 Bear Lake 541132012-07-11 Bear Lake 54115They create their own “rivers” in the sand for hours and hours and hours with that hose. The “goggle series:”2012-07-11 Bear Lake 541542012-07-11 Bear Lake 54156 The “group 3 laughing” series:2012-07-11 Bear Lake 541832012-07-11 Bear Lake 541842012-07-11 Bear Lake 54185 Another “group 3” series (I have about a hundred of these…)2012-07-14 Bear Lake 543652012-07-14 Bear Lake 543662012-07-14 Bear Lake 54368 The “Group 5 at breakfast” series:2012-07-14 Bear Lake 542682012-07-14 Bear Lake 54281 The “Lu-on-a-rainy-day” series:2012-07-14 Bear Lake 543622012-07-14 Bear Lake 543882012-07-14 Bear Lake 54409 The “group 2 making weird faces and jumping series”2012-07-14 Bear Lake 543722012-07-14 Bear Lake 543752012-07-14 Bear Lake 54377 …And the “awesome-uncle-all-the-grandkids-better-get-their-fill-of-this-year-cause-next-year-he’ll-have-a-new-baby-and-will-most-likely-not-be-as-available-to-hang-as-much” series:2012-07-14 Bear Lake 544192012-07-14 Bear Lake 544202012-07-14 Bear Lake 544212012-07-14 Bear Lake 544222012-07-14 Bear Lake 54424 I have a million series of Bear Lake weather but must go so enjoy this one for now.2012-07-14 summer 56565

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  1. oh my heavens! your sister is in my ward out here in boston. small world! my husband and i teach her little sunbeam. well, we just got released last sunday :(.

  2. Ok, you are making me want to have a place at bear lake now. So much fun! I love the bread making, the art work and especially the tape used to hang the art work. 🙂

  3. I have recently started reading your blog and love how happy and loving your family is! I also love gathering all the mothering/family tips and insights you have. I was wondering if you have a short list of must-read parenting/mothering books. I have an 8 eight month old son and am already thinking and worried about raising him (and our future kids) in an environment different from the one I had growing up. My mother is not a very warm, loving, or demonstrative person and I think she always believed that any type of positive reinforcement would "spoil" us. I don't agree with that, but as I've gotten older I have realized she has loved me so much in her own way, and she is like that because of how she was brought up. Anyway, I'm sorry this is getting so long. I just don't want to repeat the same mistakes, and any recommendations for books or resources would be much appreciated! Thank you Shawni, and thank you for sharing your family with us.

  4. If you have a sec, which beach or part of Bear Lake did you go to? Since the water is higher all the beaches are weedy and we may stop going for a while, but your sand looked good, where?

    Thanks and love your blog!

  5. I found one of your mothering blogs pinned on to pinterest today. How fun is pinterest? Gosh, it connects people together in amazing ways, and I'm grateful someone pinned your post. Your family looks so wonderful,and I know that everyone has their own individual dramas within each family, but it really looks like you do a great job at reigning all of that in and enjoying life at the fullest. Thanks for posting, and I'm repinning your post! You may get a few more weird stalkers viewing your page. hehe….

  6. wow they all have grown sooo much! i' haven't been on your blog, in sooo long but your family has been on my heart, so thought i'd come back and see what you've been up too! your kids are so handsome and beautiful! that little Luck is so precious!

  7. Wow there are so many of these pics that I have never seen. It's impossible to catch all the goings on amongst groups with all those aunts, uncles and cousins. SO fun to see all these snippets of goings on that I missed!

  8. I am loving your blog. I also love your parents! No, I have never met them, but I have been to a couple of classes that they have taught and love them.
    I may be missing something completely obvious, but I can't for the life of me find a place on each post to "pin to pinterest". How do I do that?

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