Sluiter Christmas Retreat

This past weekend was the annual Christmas retreat for the Sluiter side of the family. Grandpa and Grandma Sluiter reserve a “cottage” in Northport, Michigan for the entire family to use for the weekend and celebrate Christmas and just being together as a family.
I guess “cottage” is sort of misleading. You see, the Sluiter side of the family has swelled to about 68 members; Cortney’s dad has 4 sisters and 3 brothers – the cousins range from being in their mid to upper 30’s all the way down to elementary school. So what we really stayed in was more of a really HUGE condo. It sleeps 64 people (with so many babies, this still works for our size family). There are also numerous pullouts and couches. There is a huge double kitchen in the middle of the place, a great room with a fire place, a game room, bar, mini-gym, and laundry room downstairs, and a bunch of bedrooms and “dens” on the main and upper floors.
This annual event is looked forward to by all of us – and every member of the family attends! Gramps and Grams started doing this after we lost Cort’s dad in 2005 as a way to all see each other at least once a year – obviously with that much family we are a bit scattered throughout the country.
As a way to get us to mingle and get to know each other better, Grandma always has little activites for us to do. She assigns us rooms with people we might not talk to so much, gives us assigned seating at meals to break us up even more, and creates a “duty” list for each meal so that we are on a team for either preparing or cleaning up one of the meals. Along with all these things, we also play tons of games (table shuffle board, ping pong, pool, video games, card games, board games, etc.), watch TV, or just chat.
We are very blessed with such an enormous and fun family!

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.