Wednesday, July 6, 2011

JULY 4th: A LAKE CELEBRATION

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July. We were so lucky to have great weather in Michigan but for one big downpour on Saturday that didn't last long. I know that all of you know how much fun I have at the lake, but this 4 day weekend was nothing short of spectacular.

When we weren't feasting on brats, hamburgers, ribs and chicken {that the men made}, guests were whipping up delicious and beautiful side dishes in the kitchen. The kids even helped by making appetizers, cupcakes and bringing out bowls of chips, dips and fruit. We packed two refrigerators and several coolers with every drink known to man and with the warm temps, we killed most of it. 26 people can do that.
The kayaks were really put to use. I was amazed at the young ones that were able to maneuver them so well. Because we live on the bay, it's perfectly calm water to paddle around in. The water was so warm, everyone enjoyed floating around on inflatables, life jackets, whatever they could find.
On Saturday, when the temperature was the hottest and before a majority of our guests arrived, we took the boat out to the sandbar, where it is a tradition for a band to play off the island and crowds of people to anchor and splash and dance around in the waist high water. Shortly after I took this picture, the skies darkened and a storm came through. We made it back to the dock just as it started to pour. Thankfully it didn't last long and it cooled everything down so we were able to enjoy weather in the low 80's.
I took a ton of pictures {sorry, not so many of the food}, but I'm not posting many as I don't like putting pictures of little ones on my blog. This is daughter Emily and her boyfriend, Mike. Em bought a few floppy hats in Chicago to wear with her beach garb. She thinks she's in the Hamptons here.
Son Kevin and his fiancee, Mary Clare. We were so lucky to have Mary Clare's mom, Peggy and niece Hannah come also. We just love them to pieces and I loved having Peggy keep me company for early morning coffee and while we stayed out of the sun, watching everyone enjoy the water. What a great lady she is.
Mike, Mary Clare and daughter Abby taking a break from the sun.
Abby and her boyfriend Tom.
How do you have a gathering this big? Planning and motel rooms. Help yourself pastries and fruit in the morning and everyone pitching in with the food and refreshments. Lunch was at 2:00 and dinner at 7. And even though I felt overwhelmed at times, my wonderful family shooed me out of the kitchen and made sure that I would relax. And everyone made themselves at home.

This is not to say that we didn't have a few mishaps. Emily got locked in the bathroom when the door handle fell off. I was washing my face in the upstairs bathroom after The Husband fixed a drain and water poured into the downstairs bathroom where Peggy was using the facilities. Keys were lost and the light on the boat broke so we watched the fireworks from the boat launch area. Otherwise, things went smoothly.

Many great memories were made. We had a family from Ireland as our guests and it was their first time in the States. They marveled over the food, especially the side dishes and snacks, and made new friends for life. I learned they have fireworks on Halloween!

I'm exhausted to say the least. And next week I'll be back up to wash sheets and beach towels and sweep up sand. I don't mind, it was worth every minute.

I'm joining Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday. See all of you soon! :-)

75 comments:

Amy @MaisonDecor said...

Sounds like the perfect family celebration Janie!!

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

A purrrrrrrrrfect 4th of July! You are an amazing hostess.

May I ask a question? Daughters Emily and Abby... Which one was born first? I think Abby is the oldest but don't really remember.

~♥~

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

Looks like a great time was had by all. I'm sure you are the perfect hostess. Now relax and put your feet up you deserve it.

Shellbelle said...

Honey, you are the ULTIMATE entertainer! I can just imagine how much fun everyone was having, well, except for the few mishaps, lol.

I saw you guest cottage on Cindy's blog and it is ADORABLE! Love it, I could live in that for sure. Do you provide room service? Ha!

Jane, thank you for your kind condolences on the loss of my cousins. I'm getting my head together and finally feel like blogging again. They both led such wonderful lives and you can't ask for more than that.

Hugs

Martha Z said...

A perfect way to spend the holiday.
I'm glad you enjoyed my blog, California is a bit different from the upper mid-west. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Kathy@ Gone North said...

Sounds like an absolutely perfect weekend. How fun to have the boats all docked out where the band is playing... I am a tad envious.. :)

Maryrose said...

Hi Jane....what a fantastic way to spend the 4th surrounded by family and friends. I love that everyone pitched in and made themselves at home. That is my favorite way to have a gathering.
I loved seeing the picture of all of the boats on the sandbar!!! I would love a lake house...but wait, I think I say that every time. Great 4th and Great Post!

Theresa said...

Oh what a fun time had by all! I love seeing everyone enjoying themselves BUT it is SOOOO much work:) We had rain here too, just as we were finishing our party! Have a blessed day and a little rest! HUGS!

Coloradolady said...

That is the kind of fun that you don't mind cleaning up after!!! How great your holiday sounds! Perfect.

Our Back Porch said...

What a great 4th of July celebration you had! We had an awesome time, as well, with all the great F's...family, friends, food, fireworks, fellowship, and FUN! Have a lovely day, my friend.

Hugs and Blessings,
Rebecca

Janie's World said...

Sounds like that Lake House was put to perfect use! How wonderful!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Now that's what a lake house is for, Jane! It sounds like a great weekend and very laid back. I love that.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It really is the best fun! We had company...and now they are gone! I'm worn out, too...but happy! ♥

Lou Cinda @ Tattered Hydrangeas said...

What a PERFECT 4th of July Jane! We were at the lake too but it was HOT HOT HOT!! Temps over 100! I am the ULTIMATE sun girl, but it was almost more than I could bear! We stayed in the boat ALOT! I am so glad you had such a wonderful weekend!

Lou Cinda :)

Linda Chapman said...

I loved getting a glimpse at how you spent your holiday! FUN! Fun! FUN!! What a blessing to have so many friends and family around! You, my dear, are the hostess with the MOSTess!!

Honey at 2805 said...

Looks and sounds as if you had a wonderful celebration! You have a great looking family. Makes me wish I had been there too!

Sarah said...

What a fun weekend full of family and good times. And how nice to enjoy 80s and the lake. You have a beautiful family! ~ sarah

xinex said...

That sounds like a perfect and ideal holiday celebration, Janie, with so many firends and family all together....Christine

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Hi there! Looks like a fantastic time was had~ minus the few little mishaps! I saw your comment about drying the peonies...I have my peonies hanging upside down in the dark closet right now... but I don't know that they will dry out correctly. Do you have any tips on how to dry them?

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Hi there! Looks like a fantastic time was had~ minus the few little mishaps! I saw your comment about drying the peonies...I have my peonies hanging upside down in the dark closet right now... but I don't know that they will dry out correctly. Do you have any tips on how to dry them?

Mary said...

Sounds like a great celebration! It's wonderful all your family pitched in!

Barb~Bella Vista Cottage said...

Hi Jane, your pictures are wonderful and I can certainly relate. Since we live on the lake, there are always people everywhere....coming out of the woodwork sometimes. Ha.

Thanks for your sweet comment.

Hugs, Barb

dreams on 34th street said...

I knew your Fourth of July celebration would be Grand!I just love the spirit and fun of Independence Day!
On June 29th I became "Grandee" to sweet Holland Grace. (I too, am concerned about placing the little ones on my blog...but I did introduce her...)
Jane, we are both so blessed to be having such an amazing summer...
~Lynne
[w/l]

Ashley said...

Sounds like a wonderful July 4th weekend with some amazing memories made!

Susan said...

Yippee - what a blast Jane! I'm impressed you can host such a crowd. It's great that everyone helped out, too. I'm sure you'll hold great memories of this weekend. :)
- Susan

Karen said...

sounds like a wonderful weekend!!... and yeah, a little cleanup.

Enjoyed your pics.

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Sounds like you had a great holiday weekend Jane! The kayaks look like so much fun, also love the concert in the water:@)

Debby said...

Sounds like you all had such great fun. I really miss the cottage we had at the lake. Rest up.

sissie said...

Hi Jane,
I'm so glad that you had such a wonderful time with your family.

hugs
sissie

Teresa@oursoutherncountryhomeandfarm said...

This looks like so much fun, Blondie. And yes, we do all know how much you love going to your lake house, and I am so very glad you got to go and enjoy it with your family and friends!

bj said...

O, Blondie, it looks like a blast. So so glad you had such a great time.
Part of our family was out of town but we ended up with 12 folks so it was fun, as always. :))

Natasha in Oz said...

I haven't been kayaking for so long...what fun! I'm so happy to hear your weekend was so much fun. You are such an amazing hostess.

Now I'm kind of wishing it was summer over here!

Best wishes,
Natasha.

NanaDiana said...

Your weekend sounds like you had a ball. I think you are a lot like me in wanting to make sure everything is perfect for everyone and wanting everyone to feel "special & pampered as guests"...uh-huh- I spotted you a state away!

I ended up working all weekend and we did something we have never done- we ordered subs in...well, we HAVE ordered subs before..but never for a Holiday! Then we packed everyone in the car(s) and went to FrostyTip for icecream..and no one minded at all!

I'll bet you are wiped out but once you are rested you will want to do it all over again next year! xo Diana

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

We had both sets of grandparents, a great-grandmother, and another family with five little boys....so not used to little boys....everyone is home now....and it's time for laundry!!! :D

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

That sounds like so much fun! We never have a big family group together anymore...the kids are getting so scattered as they get older. I miss that from when our kids and my sister's were little and we'd get together with our "big" combined family of 12. Now we seem to have so many holidays with just the 2 of us, or on occasion one of our kids. Oh well, we wanted them to spread their wings!

mississippi artist said...

Sounds like a wonderful 4th-but I bet you are tired!It was hotter than the hinges on the back door of hell here and our central unit went out-not fun!

raggygirlvintage said...

Looks like a very fun weekend! We had our holiday on the Friday, a long weekend is always so great! Thanks for the sweet comment you left about me on freckled laundry, I love my blogging friends and you have been such a faithful and encouraging follower:-)
Tracey

Sue said...

You have been quite the hostess lately, Miss Jane! Glad you had fun w/all of your guests and your new found friends from Ireland. It's nice when others pitch in and help- being the hostess with the mostess can be overwhelming and tiring, sometimes! Stay cool- I'm sure it's as warm there as it is here in OH. :-)
xo Sue

Rettabug said...

Whew! Sounds like you had a wonderfully fun-filled, exhausting but memorable 4th of July!

I'm proud of Emily for protecting her skin with those darling hats! I wore them EVERYWHERE when we lived in FL & I'm so glad that I did.

♥♥♥ the picture of all of the boats on the sandbar! What fun!

Catch your breath & relax a bit now.
fondly,
Rett

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

What a lovely way you have extended hospitality to your family and friends. And your kids are so adorable. Isn't it wonderful having adult kids?

Enjoy resting up.


Fondly,
Glenda

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio said...

Now that sounds like a way to celebrate. Lovely friends and family, a lake, wonderful food and fireworks. You do things up right Jane!
Hugs,
Penny

Paula said...

Sounds like a great weekend! Love your calm bay for kayaking. We hope to get some kayaks once our dock is built.

Yvonne - Frl.Klein said...

It seems as you had a wonderful day!
Perfect!
Hugs,
Yvonne

Leslie said...

What a great celebration! You have such a sweet family.
We have been thinking about buying a (sit on top) kayak .. it looks like great exercise.

Have a great thursday

Melissa: Write it in Lipstick said...

your 4th was like my 4th Kayaks and all :)

Shelia said...

Hi Jane! Lovely 4th! Nothing like family, food and fun!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Knitty said...

Sounds like a perfectly wonderful weekend!

Picket said...

Hey girl...sounds like a fantastic day! I love gathering with my big family like that...loved seeing your beautiful kids and I hope the rest of this week has been a great one for you as well...have so missed visiting with you girl...take care...Picket

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hi Jane
Sounds like it was a perfect 4th July celebration... and looks like the place was buzzing with activity... Maybe one day I'll see the US on this fabulous celebration holiday...


Thanks for the kind comments.. sadly they are not my photos [I wish!! hehe] and I'm not on vacation.. just my usual Le Tour posts..


Have a great weekend.. ciao xxx Julie

Designs on 47th Street said...

Well now ~~ I enjoyed reading about YOUR holiday! We both had lots of food and people around, didn't we? Fun seeing your pictures?
Rest now you ask?? ha! I am watching my little grandsons for a couple of days. I'm dragging again tonight. ;)

Donna

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Sounds wonderful Jane!
I feel so honored that I got to stay at your gorgeous lake home.
Love the pics of your girls and sons, looks like everyone enjoyed themselves!
Miss Ya and think of visiting us too, ok? We really want to have you sometime!
Big Hugs,
Cindy

The Fajdich Times said...

Looks like the perfect weekend!! I had a family picnic for about 30 on Sunday. I am still tired:)

Mary said...

Glad you survived all the fun and mishaps - and have strength to return this weekend to clean up!! That lake was really heaving with people by looks of it - must have been amazing.

Babs said...

Janie, That sounds like a perfect 4th of July even with the mishaps. Sometimes it's the mishaps that people remember the most. LOL
I'd love having a large group but our family is small and about the most we can muster for a party is about 20. Thanks for sharing your 4th, it was fun hearing all the interesting and fun things that happened.
Hugs,
Babs

Rebecca said...

Looks like tons of fun to me! You know how to do things up RIGHT! LOVE IT!

xoRebecca

Martha said...

Thanks for the kind words about my knee surgery -- looks like you had a fun 4th!

Kathy said...

I loved the 4th this year too!
Sooo much fun.
Lake fun is the best!
xoxo~Kathy @
sweet Up-North Mornings...

KATHY said...

Sounds like you had a perfect weekend.Family,friends,and food!!That's the best.

Kathy

Lori said...

What a great week-end you had Janie ~ even with the mishaps and all those people ~ a good time was had by all I am sure. xo

The Summer Kitchen Girls said...

sounds like a wonderful weekend Jane! What great memories made....hope you've caught up and relaxed this week!!

My Crafty Little Page said...

What a wonderful lake party, Jane. Isn't it fun to have a houseful? Such a good looking family you have. Stayin' out of the sun? Me too - sometimes I miss it but it's just too hot! xoxo Nancy

designchic said...

Making memories for sure...looks so fun!!

Brambleberry Cottage said...

Coming from a LARGE family - your gathering sounds like the "typical" event, WHENEVER my family gets together...for any occasion. lol

I'm glad that special memories were made and the mishaps were minor for you.

Blessings,
Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage
http://thebrambleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

Elaine said...

Great memories for sure, even the mishaps are great for storytelling at a later date.

Paula ~ castleandcottagesigns said...

Sounds like a wonderful weekend Jane! How fun to have a sandbar out in the lake and a band playing!
Gorgeous photos, beautiful family!
hugs,
paula:)

Penny said...

Sounds like all of you had a great time. There is nothing better than the lake on the 4th.
Hugs,
Penny

Shabbyfufu said...

What a great bunch of family and friends you have Janie, here's to a great summer for you'all!!
xo, Janet

Susie Q said...

It all sounds just perfect to me Jane! I hope you had plenty of time to relax and enjoy it all!!
Stay cool with all this eat..it is sultry city out there today!
Love,
Sue

La said...

A fantastic celebration. You have a beautiful family, Jane.

Sweet Bee Cottage said...

What pure Americana! Love it! Now I want a lake!

Kelly_Deal said...

Jane, It looks like a wonderful time! I'm coming next year! ;)
Kelly

LoveLife{s.a.h.m.} said...

sounds like a great 4th!

Emily said...

I'm enjoying your fourth celebration through your photos. I'm sure a fun celebration was had by all.

~Emily
The French Hutch

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

A house full of great family, food and fun a person can't ask more than that for a Holiday Celebration. hugs ~lynne~

Ali said...

It looks like you had a fabulous holiday weekend! So pleased to have found your blog via Lori @Family Tree May Contain Nuts.

Ali x