My family just returned from our annual Labour Day weekend camp! It’s been a tradition for 15+ years now. A weekend everyone looks forward to all year. Then it comes and goes all too soon, but we go home with full hearts and ready (I think) to face the new school year. It’s like a grand finale to summer!

Just a little history; this piece of property in Austin, MB is owned by my parents who purchased it strictly for their family to enjoy! It’s 160 acres of rolling hills, woods, valleys and meadows! Slowly the family is adding cabins to a site we call Oak Ridge. The land is only accessible by vehicle when there is no snow and no mud so it’s an adventure to say the least! No electricity and no running water! So we’ve learned to be creative and thoroughly enjoy the challenges. Our kids run freely with no concerns of outside civilization. It’s just us and whatever the land has to offer. I find I hardly see my older boys all weekend, they are off exploring and adventuring with their cousins. Coming back covered in dirt and brimming from ear to ear and we provide them with hearty home cooked meals over the fire pit! Speaking of cousins, there are now 62 of them! Yes my parent’s have 62 grandkids and 5 great grandkids! I’m number 9 of 12 children, 6 girls, 6 boys! Being raised in such a large family, has been the biggest blessing in my life! I’m eternally grateful to my parents for the foundation and example they have laid for all of us!

This year was the sweetest one of all family camps and I think the family would all agree. We had much to be thankful for after a year where we faced some of the deepest valleys yet. Both my mom & dad having overcome what we all thought humanly impossible! But here we were once again as a family with BOTH parents alive and well!

I did not take out my camera much but thought I’d share some of the images I did happen to take. It was a mostly rainy weekend but it really didn’t phase us! We constructed a temporary shelter and crowded under when it rained.. for meal times, coffee time, visiting, family charades, and a time of singing and sharing!

Thursday was one of the hottest days of the year and that’s the day we set up camp! I did an impromptu little shoot with my niece Kallia modelling a gorgeous bouquet from Academy Florist before it died. Then it was all about putting up tents and settling into our cabins. Only to be woken up at 1am by a massive thunderstorm coming through. All the tweens and teens were quickly rescued from their tents and brought to safety! So that was an adventurous start to the weekend!

Day 2 I failed to take pictures.. oops.

Day 3; set up coffee shop and treated my family to lattes. Mom’s traditional rolkuekin and watermelon!! YUM.

Giant bonfire prep begins. As the older people find dead trees and haul them in with quads, the younger ones spend hours playing on the logs!

Forgive me, I may have been a bit partial to 2 curly haired little blonds :/

Day 4 we woke up to thick fog and some of the boys showing me the meadow. Followed by a time of sharing and singing.

After nap, it’s time to get the bonfire activities started!

Day 5; clean up cabin and pack up. Bittersweet day always, don’t want the time to end but also ready to go home and shower and sleep in our beds!

I always pick a bouquet of wildflowers to take home with me!

Hope you enjoyed a little peek into our weekend!