Sluiter Weekend Gettaway!!!

This past weekend was the fourth annual Sluiter Family Christmas Retreat. If I overheard correctly (and I am sure someone will correct me if I did not), there were 74 of us there this year! We were missing the Moore family (with 3 kids 3 and under and living out of state, that is a big trip, but we missed them!), Katelyn, and Matt. The funny thing is, as of right now, 2 of us are pregnant and expecting to add to the family! Goodness! We have almost outgrown the enormous resort!

Anyway, Cortney and I planned to leave between 2:00 and 3:00 on Friday afternoon. Of course, if you know us…ahem…ME…at all, you know that totally didn’t happen. We were on the road by 4:10, though. Cortney got a Garmin this year, so he was excited to put it to use. I was warry of this electronical voice taking over my job as the navagator, but it actually proved to be a great thing!

The trip went fine, with only 3 bathroom breaks for this pregnant lady. We were up there and in our room by 8:00, which was perfect! This year our roomies for the weekend were Cort’s cousin, Alyson and her husband Chris. They were great roomies, and we hope we were just as quiet and courteous and they were!

Friday evening was spent welcoming each family member as they arrived and catching up with everyone. Friday night is also the time to check out Grandma’s list for your weekend “duty.” Each year she divides the meals up between all the family members. Everyone either helps prep one meal or clean it up.

Friday night is also usually the latest of the two nights since people are so excited to see each other! Some of us only see each other this one weekend a year!

Saturday morning seemed to come quickly, but the breakfast prep peeps were at their stations/stoves on time to prepare us a YUMMY breakfast of sausage, bacon, eggs, and french toast!

Look at that spread. Sluiters sure know how to do breakfast!
After breakfast, Cody found himself in a little, um, “tussle” with Aunt Lisa. From my vantage point, I believe she was tickling him and wrestling him at the same time. Whatever was happening, Cody was the clear loser in this battle. Better luck next year, brother!
We had some leftover bacon after breakfast that Gram figured we could use for our baked potatoes at dinner. There were, however, a few bacon munchers who tried to sneak some of it…
yes, that’s Grandpa caught red handed with his mits in the bacon tub!
After breakfast, we have the whole day to hang out, rest, and catch up before dinner. I spent most of the afternoon reading for fun (something I just don’t seem to get enough time or energy to do otherwise during the school year), and napping. Cortney spent his afternoon catching up with his cousins and checking in on his little wife who may have done more napping than reading…hmmmm.

This was the view, by the way, from our room. That is Grand Traverse Bay. For those of you who don’t know where Northport is, it’s on the west side of the Bay on the Leelanau Penninsula about 24 miles north of Traverse City.
Eventually, Cortney came into the room and tempted me out with some rounds of euchre. Our opponents, Aunt Diane and Uncle Doug Sluiter, pretty much handed us our butts in a basket, but it was still a bunch of fun.

The fun was cut short though because Cortney and Dianne were on dinner prep duty!
So while they made dinner, I went roaming for other people. You really don’t have to go far. There was pandamoniom in the Great Room while the search for Liz’s cell phone was in full swing. Apparently she dropped it in a couch the night before. Huh…how many Sluiters does it take to get a cell phone out of a couch?
Oh and then there was the baby! Cousin Lauren had her little girl, Anya (sorry if I messed up that spelling!), up north and I am fairly certain that baby was not want for arms to cuddle in! Even Cody got in on some baby holding. Huh….looks like he will make a pretty good uncle!
Liz had that baby an awful lot that weekend. In fact, I put her in a group I called the Baby Stalkers. Aunt Lisa and Dave were in that group too…they were always out on the look for that kid and were more than ready to take her away from anyone else who may have been holding her. I hope they know I will be looking for this baby excitement when ours is pooping and crying in a few months!
Man! Look at that dinner! YUM!
Everyone was eagerly awaiting the prayer so we could hop in line and get some grub!
Oh guess who was on dinner clean up…yup, there I am condensing sour cream, butter, and bacon.
After dinner it was time for the Sluiter family Christmas program and church service followed by family games. Grandpa and Grandma said a few words before the program and prayed over us after. This is always a special time for everyone!
Joy and Nate worked it out for the great grands to do a recitation of the Christmas story from the Bible. It was so cute!
Nate delivered our message this year, and as usual he got some family involved in skits to help illustrate his points. He’s such a great speaker and Cort and I love to listen to him preach the Word!
After the Christmas program, we played some fun games that Lisa thought up…I don’t have any pics of those, though because I was busy helping my team! Hopefully someone else can get me some pics of those events!

Later that evening, after more Euchre (where Cortney and I regained our butts from Diane and Cousin Doug this time), I had to retire to the bedroom once again. Apparently lots of sitting and standing was making this little lady sore all over!
Sunday, after breakfast (that only Cort took part in. I, admittedly, slept right through it), we packed up our gear and braved the icey roads for home. Again, I slept through most of this. You would think that with all this talk of sleep, I was quite well-rested when we returned home. Not so much. I took a two-hour nap on the couch and could really head for bed as soon as this blog entry is typed up.

We want to thank Grandpa and Grandma for a fun-filled weekend with the family! We enjoy seeing everyone and hope that even when we grown out of the Northport Retreat, we will continue to find ways to get everyone together for a reunion once a year.

Tomorrow is back to work…the holidays are officially over, I guess! We hope everyone had plenty of time to enjoy friends and family like we did! Now it’s time to get down to the business of getting 2009 off to a great start!

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.


  1. missy widener says

    wow, now THAT is a serious reunion, sounds like madness but in a good way….and get that sleep in whilst you can! my philosophy was to try to get less sleep near the end because then I would be ready for sleepless nights…, not such a good idea…oh, and your quote of the day is the best, it was like you picked it for me because my mind was a wicked wild last night….happy back to work week!