My mom and I planned a surprise baby shower for Ruby. We bought cute plates and table décor ahead of time and even had cute cupcakes and other treats that we brought with us. Ruby was so excited and surprised. She got some really cute things for baby Cali. It was so fun to be able to do this for her as her family.
After getting back from the lake we spent some time relaxing at the house before heading out again but this time to go horseback riding. Grandma Anne and Grandpa Franz watched Madeline so Mike and I could take the big kids to go on a horseback riding adventure. John, Amy and Kyle came with us too. Abby was really nervous, so they spent a few minutes with her on her horse before everyone else got on their horse. Everyone aged 16 and under had to wear helmets. Peter wasn't that thrilled with wearing a helmet, but he did it anyways. The ride was through the most beautiful scenery. We rode through grassy meadows and then up through aspen trees and other dense tree areas. We even got to do a water crossing. It seemed like we were heading up for quite a while before reaching a plateau. We loved riding at the top of the plateau and some of us got excited with our horses and tried to pass each other. Some of the horses got really snippy with the horses in front of them. We all had to try and keep a decent distance between our horses. All in all, everyone had a great time riding horses through the wilderness and no one fell off or got hurt. We all rewarded ourselves with shakes afterwards. Some of us got the famous Bear Lake raspberry shakes and others opted for some sort of candy bar shake. You really couldn’t go wrong because they all tasted delicious!
Bear Lake is a lot bigger than I had expected. We were so excited to spend the morning playing at the lake. We headed over first with our kids and got the sunshade set up, so we had a cool place to sit while the kids played in the water. We brought the three kayaks that were sitting in the garage of the big house and the kids all took turns going out exploring in them. Mike headed over with Peter and rented a jet ski and each of the kids took turns going for a ride. It was hilarious watching the girls bob up and down as Mike did donuts in the water. I wasn’t sure if they would love it or freak out. They love it and asked to go again and again. I must admit that I was a little freaked out when we got going above 40 miles/hour but boy was it a rush. Eventually everyone else from the house showed up at the lake for some fun. Everyone took turns on the kayaks but only our kids ended up wanting to go on the jet ski.
It has been almost 6 years since the entire Kelsch/Wilhelm clan has gotten together. We spent a glorious 4 days together in Bear Lake at the coolest and most interesting house for my parent's 50th Anniversary. We called it the Big House. With three levels, 9 bedrooms, a theatre room, an indoor gym equipped with a trampoline, play set and half basketball court, an area on level 2 devoted solely to video gaming, and slides connecting each level inside the house and outside the house, it was a kids dream house. We spent most of our time in the house just chilling and letting the kids roam and do whatever they wanted. Each one of adult couples took turns fixing dinner. We played games, watched movies, took naps, and explore the sites in and around Bear Lake. It was great catching up with everyone's families and bonding like old times. I sure hope it's not another 6 years before we do this again.
We had family photos taken during our Kelsch/Wilhelm Family Reunion. I found and hired a photographer to do a big family photo shoot with the entire clan. We first went to a grassy meadow backdrop but that didn’t last long because Brandon kind of freaked out. We got a few big group shots and then some smaller family shots before heading over to the lake. The little kids seemed to do much better by the lake. Madeline did have a small melt down moment but in the end, we were able to get some good family photos of the big group and some with our smaller family. It was really great to not have the pressure to pose everyone for a big group shot. In hindsight, I think I could have done just as good of a job if not better than the photographer. Sometimes it is just nice giving the reigns to someone else.