Saturday, July 28, 2007


Going to Electric City, WA feels almost as good as going home. I'm not sure of the exact number of years my family has been setting up camp at the same hilly campground, but I promise I'm not exaggerating when I write that the Banks Lake tradition has been around for a good 23 years. . . . .who would have guessed I'd be grown and bringing my husband and 4 children there? There has always been a little part of me deep inside that hoped that the tradition would still be alive and going strong when I was old and grey. I have so many fond memories of this place that I wanted nothing more than for my children to experience the magic of the rock?. . .the lake?. ..or is it the campground? Really. . .when I really think about Banks Lake . is so much more than cliff jumping off a rock, water skiing on the lake or sitting around a roaring campfire. The magic of this place lies in the people, the memories, and the time spent together. While we don't require a Banks Lake to draw our family closer together it has become a gathering place were relationships can be strengthened and memories created. I love this lake and more importantly what it represents in my life. With all the ups and downs I experienced, that we all experience in life, there was always Banks Lake. Our family didn't vacation in Hawaii, Mexico, or tour Europe. . . . every year we did the same vacation. . . Banks Lake. I don't believe any one of us kids would have had it any other way. The closeness that it has brought to our family is indescribable. I'm grateful that as adults we have made the effort to go with our own families and babies. Thank you to everyone that helped keep this tradition alive. At first thought, I would classify myself as a hotel and pool kind of girl. . .but when I really think about it I'm most certain that I wouldn't trade my tent and sleeping bag for the world. Who would have thought camping could be so fun??

Camp Roles

Have you ever noticed that when you attend a social gathering or family party that each of the attendees seem to fill a particular role. . . you have your wall flower, your busy body, chatty Cathy, don't forget the social butterfly. . . well. . . whether you put a name to them or not they are there. . . I suppose the same is true when you are camping. :)

Daddy-O ~ Commander and Chief
True to form, our childhood patriarch still lead the entire party. Dad decided where we played, when we left, and when we ate... all without saying a single word. I guess when you got it, you got it.

Deanna ~ Queen Aqua Butterfly on a mission
Okay let's decode this one. The new boat toy was the AQUAglide, and Deanna was its queen. She would ride that small island back and forth to camp and hang out on the thing while we were at the beach. So thus the Aqua portion....the butterfly on a mission is representative of her ability to bounce from one person or group to the next with a mission of making everyone smile. Special name for a special lady.

Carissa and Natalie ~ The Kicked Back Kool Kids
Now this is what I call Kool and Kicked back! Well the grand kids couldn't get enough of them these two girls. When the boys couldn't be found we just did a little scan for Carissa and Natalie. The little guys would be discovered brushing up on their grade school flirtatious ways. The little girls would look to them with adoration and approval. . . .big smiles and beauty queen waves for the Kool Kids on the beach.

Joel ~ Mellow Yellow with a hairy bum crack
Not only is Uncle Joel the most mellow guy born into our family (not to mention the ONLY!), but every evening we saw him walking back from Hale's Famous convenient store with a 1 liter Mountain Dew. That drink must be what makes him such a great brother. If the dew isn't what makes him great I'm certain it is what makes him hairy! Either way, Joel is a champ.
Mandy ~ The adventurer you never saw coming
Cliff jumping, air chairing, protein shake drinking party animal! We used to think Mandy was not much of an adventurer but this trip proved everyone wrong. You name it, she did it! This girl makes camping fun...even though she did it in a trailer.
Ella ~ The little Mermaid that couldn't stop swimming
Eating ice cream must make you want to get in the water because Ella did both of those things with a passion. We couldn't see into her trailer at night, but I'm pretty sure she slept in the bath tub instead of her bed...with an ice cream cone in her hand.
Kayla ~ Shaking booty Spitfire
This baby doesn't walk she dances. Kayla was one confident spunky little lady and she knows how to shake it shake it but good! She was the most happy when lounging in her little lady chair or shaking it in the water. I could watch her shake it any day . .this girl has got some moves.
Tim ~ No Nonsense Camp Regulator
Quiet time is at 10:00 PM every night. Try and push your luck and you'll get sprayed down with the hose. Pee Pee can go anywhere but inside the tent, try that and you get thrown in the lake. And anything left on the table with a spoon in it is fair game...even corn! He doesn't make the rules he just enforces them.
Shauna ~ Pretty Tough Mom with a Hard A**!
From sissy girl to super woman. Shauna has changed her life. She had every child on her lap for a ride behind the boat. She had every camper on their bellies working out with planks. And you bet she had those little babies in bed (crying or not) when she said it was time to sleep. One tough momma- with a pretty tough body, as some people pointed out.
Max ~ Big Kid Solo Knee boarder
This was the year little Max got behind the boat all behind himself. Yup, he may not be able to swim, but he can get pulled. He can also build a sand castle and teach children how to use the bushes when there was know bathroom in sight. Stop growing up Max!
Alexander and Barrett ~ The two bickering old women
Are these boys two or are they 102? The way they fight, cry, and harass each other would make you think they have been joined at the hip for over 100 years. My goggles, no mine. My puppy...MY puppy. I pee pee, ME PEE PEE.... best friends and best enemies every day and every night all from the same embryo.

Jacqualynn Grace ~ Whiskey Tango with an attitude
Not every girl is pearls and lace. Little Jack would take spaghetti sauce in the hair and weeks without showers any day. Who would prefer to swim in a dress instead of a suit? Who would eat with their hands instead of a utensil? Whiskey Tango (W.T.) Jacqualynne Grace, that's who.
Jen ~ Swiss Army Sisser
Jen really came through for everybody this year. She was the super boat driver, the coach, the planner, the transporter... everything but that little corkscrew bottle opener thing... or maybe she had that on the bottom of her shoe too? Heck she even had vanilla when I needed it. . .who takes vanilla camping? Every time I turned around she had at least one baby attached to her hip. Thanks for being great Jen!

Ross ~ Ideal Wing man
Let's not jump to any conclusions . . .just because Ross is a pilot doesn't mean I have this desire to categorize everything he does with a pilot type metaphor. However, Ross was there when anybody needed a wingman. He'll build a cold girl a fire, talk story with a group until 12 O'clock at night, then turn around and take some rookies behind the boat at morning's first light.. . Ross you can be my wingman anytime.

Jason ~ Energizer Bunny on crack
We all know how the drum beatin bunny keeps goin and goin... well Jason would put that furball to shame in a head to head energy competition. Want to throw the football? Want to jump the rocks, want to rally the boat? Want to slolom? Want to Wake board? Want a knee board war? Want to tube? Want a man cone? Okay great, then what we will do after lunch?
Brooke ~ Survivor of the inside kick boxer and the pukey trooper
This little lady was getting beat up from the inside as well as the outside. Kick kick kick from Hailey and then cry cry puke from Tay Tay. Sounds like a party. Yet through it all she survives and does it with a smile. YOU ROCK!

Taylor ~ The little pukey Trooper
Play play play barf! Swim, boat, eat, barf! Yeah Taylor is a machine. But by the end of the week she not only became healthy she became a party animal. Faster in the boat. . . .more air on the ball. . . .bigger sand castles . . . she likes everything bigger. . faster. . .and better. . .

Hayley ~ Embryo with an attitude
Kick Kick Kick . . .Hayley is the baby not the mommy- but come to think of it mommy is a bit saucy also. :)
Alyssa ~ The Beautiful boobilicious pillow prankster
Wowsers, what more can you say than look at that pic! Add to those little puppies a mommy's little helper attitude and a natural desire to razz anybody and everybody and voila. . . Kisser!

Thanks Everyone for an amazing Banks Lake Trip! See you next year!