“For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9:6
What a great event to celebrate, the birth of our SAVIOR! During this Christmas season, we so enjoy spending time as a family and reflecting on the wonder of God sending His one and only son to earth. Other fun traditions are tree hunting, tree decorating, cookie making, carol singing, and of course gift giving. We talked with Riverside Rabbit about his wish list for the this year and he asked us to share it:
1. Large Wetsuit (for bunnies)
Riverside watches our guests all summer long playing in the water. Whether it is swimming, skiing, tubing, or other water activities; people are always enjoying themselves immensely. Riverside has always wanted to participate, but the fear of getting his beautiful fur wet and damaged has always stood in his way. Maybe if he gets a wet suit big enough to fit him this could be his year to jump in on the water fun!
2. Riverside Resort Store Tab
Those of you who have had the pleasure of shopping at the resort store know why this sounds so appealing to him. (There is such a variety of candy, ice cream, and soda to choose from) Some of our guests have started giving their families a specific amount of money they can spend and Riverside thinks that sounds just dandy.
3. Digital Photo Frame
Each week during the summer months Riverside Rabbit has the privilege of taking many photos with guests. A digital photo frame would allow him to see his guests year round while still leaving wall space for other things.
4. Cantilever Umbrella
Just think about how relaxed Riverside Rabbit could be with this umbrella out on the beach. He wouldn’t have to worry about sun exposure or burnt fur. He could just enjoy time by the water with all the other guests. There might even be room under there for a few other friends!
5. New Dance Shoes
How often do you get a new pair of shoes? Well, Riverside Rabbit received his first pair in 1996 and has had the same pair since. Let’s see, 21 years of doing the “bunny hop” each week during the summer…well, you do the math. His shoes are getting to be pretty worn out. This hare is ready for a new pair!
Because, well, what rabbit doesn’t love carrots?!?
“In all things, give thanks!” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
1. Use a thankful jar/book
Take 1 minute every morning and write down something (or someone) that you are thankful for, try to not repeat to much. This could be a person, character trait, specific opportunity, physical object, or anything else you can think of. This is a great everyday reminder that you are blessed by something, and in fact, many things. Find or make a fun book or jar to put them in so that you can go back on days you may need a little extra encouragement, and look at all the blessings you have in your life.
2. Tell someone you are thankful for them
Schedules get so busy and sometimes it is hard to just take time to be with other people. Make an intentional effort every week to tell someone specifically why you are thankful for them. It would be wonderful if this could happen face to face, but sending them a handwritten card would also be a great option. This can be intimidating but the more you do it, the better it will feel. Just think about how it will bless those you love!
3. Serve others
It is very difficult to grumble about one’s own life or circumstances when you are serving other people. God has commanded us in the Bible to humble ourselves and put others before ourselves (Phil 2:3). Find a place in your church or in your community where you can serve someone who is perhaps less fortunate than you. This will help you feel more grateful for what you have, instead of falling into the easy trap of taking them for granted.
4. Make crafts
Maybe you are a very creative person or enjoy making “projects”. Think about a cute idea that would encourage you to be thankful every time you look at it. Maybe this could look like a poster board that reads “Always be thankful” or maybe it could be a wood pallet that was primed and painted beautifully that reads “There’s always something to be thankful for”. Whatever wonderful idea you come up with, feel free to make more and pass them on as gifts. If you struggle to think of crafts on your own (like me) you can search the internet. This particular site has 30 craft ideas for the kids to help create as well.
5. Check your schedule
It is easier to start grumbling and complaining when you are tired, stressed, or busy. Take some time to sit down and truly evaluate your schedule. Are you to busy? Are you spreading yourself too thin? If so, find a way to cut back on the activities or responsibilities you have and take time to enjoy the blessings that God has so freely and graciously given us.
“The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” – Psalm 24:1
Fall is a beautiful time to enjoy the outdoors and start to prepare for the long winter ahead. Below are a few ideas for you and your family to consider during this brisk change of seasons!
1. Apple Orchards
Going to an apple orchard in the fall is a MUST! Each orchard is a bit different but usually you can find some delicious caramel apples or apple cider to enjoy with the whole family. The closest orchard to Riverside resort is Hidden Cove Orchard in Cold Spring. This orchard is open Thursdays – Sundays and has a great selection of apples. Another great orchard option in the area is the Collegeville Orchard. This orchard is open 7 days a week and is located in St. Joe’s, Minnesota. Unfortunately, there are not many orchards that allow you to pick your own apples anymore, but no matter how you get the apples, they are sure not to disappoint.
2. Corn Mazes
Have you ever wanted to find yourself in a field full of corn and not know which direction to go? Well, let me tell you…it is a blast! This exciting activity is great for the whole family to do together; or, if your family is more the competitive type, you could take turns going through the maze to see who can make it through the fastest. There is a corn maze located only 30 short miles away from the Riverside Resort at Nelson Farm. Nelson Farm, located in Litchfield, MN, is open on Saturdays and Sundays. It is only open until the end of October so check it out now!
As the evenings are getting darker, a hayride is a great way to snuggle up with the family and relax. It can be tough to find a place to have a hayride, but that is where it helps to have friends or family that farm. All you need is a tractor, trailer, some hay bales, land to explore, and a willing driver…ta-da you got yourself a hayride! It could take some coordinating, but it is totally worth it! If you are like us and do not have any farming friends feel free to check out Nelson Farm or Collegeville Orchards, they have wagon rides which can be just as fun!
We love hiking in all seasons, but when those leaves turn bright, beautiful colors and the air is crisp; you can hardly keep us indoors. This is a great time to reflect upon the amazing God of the universe and His creative and artistic nature. One of our favorite places to hike is Quarry Park and Nature Preserve in St. Cloud,MN. The trails are great for all ages and the scenery is beautiful.
What would autumn be without the some serious pumpkin activity? There is much fun to be had with pumpkins; from picking your own, to carving them, to cooking up the pumpkin seeds. I always pray for warm weather on the days we carve our pumpkins, because it is much less stressful letting the family get messy outside rather than trying to carve them in the kitchen. 🙂 There are many places around Riverside Resort to grab a great pumpkin like Collegeville Orchard and Nelson Farm. Another fun stop to pick up a pumpkin is in Eden Valley at the A maze’n Farmyard.
Here are a few pictures of our family checking out the pumpkins at Collegeville Orchard:
6. Working together
Having fun does not always need to take place away from home or even away from “work”. Spend some time as a family this fall working as a team and making projects fun. It sounds cliche, but raking leaves into a pile and allowing time for kids to jump in it is a timeless and no cost activity. If you do not have any leaves of your own to rake, feel free to head on over to Riverside Resort, there are more than enough to go around. 🙂
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” -Lamentations 3:22-23
As our 2017 vacation season is coming to a close, we are once again reminded of the never-ending faithfulness of our Lord and Savior. Although it is such a blessing to be able to run a resort where families and friends can gather, there is much that could go wrong. The Lord has watched over our family and Riverside Resort in past years and this year has been no different. We want to share some of the highlights from this summer.
1. The Amazing Fireworks Show
We were able to top off our 4th of July celebration with a huge BANG! This is the second year in a row we put on a fireworks show from our main dock. This event was enjoyed by many. Our guests, family, friends, and even other boating on-lookers were able to share in the spectacular show. God again protected everyone on the shore and dock as working/playing with explosives is usually unpredictable.
2. Fabulous Fishing
It did not seem to matter this year if you were on the shore, dock, or out in a boat; you were bound to catch a fish. If you are just learning to fish or you are someone that needs more encouragement from the “thrill of the catch” this was definitely the perfect year for you. If our boys did not love fishing before this summer, they sure do now!
3. Exceptional Weather
We could not have asked for better weather during the peak of our summer season. Most years we plan for at least one or two weeks of intense heat along with at least one big storm. When the storm hits we are prepared for the electricity to go out or huge tree branches to fall. Neither of these things happened this year. As a result of this beautiful weather, our guests were able to enjoy any activity Riverside Resort had to offer.
4. Cabin Updates
This past spring we were able to make some fun changes to some of our cabins. New curtains and flooring helped to freshen up some spaces. We were pleased with the reports we received from our guests who stayed in those cabins and so glad they were able to enjoy the new updates.
5. NEW RECORD
This summer, at Riverside Resort, we had a record number of reunions and multiple family gatherings. It is so fun to see the resort flooded with members of the same family enjoying time with one another. To see cousins playing with cousins or grandmas and grandpas spending time with their grandchildren truly brings joy to our hearts.
Thanks for sharing in our wonderful summer!
“Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 11:19
This verse is talking about teaching our children about the love, power, and faithfulness of God. We do this daily, but there also other things we teach our children. One of these things is teaching them how to have fun. With a great summer behind us and bright hope for the school year ahead of us, here we are with one last hurrah before the summer ends. 🙂 Happy Labor Day!! One of our favorite things to do over this holiday is spend time with our family and friends playing lawn games.
Here are some of our favorite lawn games. We have also attached links to all the rules just in case any of these are new games and you need some assistance in learning how to play.
This is a fairly new game that is sweeping the nation (or at least we are doing our best to help spread the news about it). This is a game that can be highly competitive or one that you can play with kids. Make sure to wear comfortable clothes for this game! Spikeball rules.
If you have great aim with a frisbee from 50 feet away, you will not have to play this game long. The team that gets it in the middle hole wins! This is a rare feat however, so usually we score points the “normal” way. This game is a unique mix of corn hole and disc golf. KanJam rules.
Now here is a game for all ages! You have the ability to make the game as easy or difficult as you would like by choosing the playing field and the distance you throw the pallino (the small target ball). With the weight of these balls it can be hazardous; so make sure there is proper supervision throughout the game (especially if little ones are playing). Bocce ball rules.
This game is known by a few different names: bean bag toss, bags, beanbags, chuck-o and more. No matter what you call it, you are bound to have a great time playing. Cornhole can change from board to board due to the slope, slipperiness, and bounce that each board has. Keeps it interesting! 🙂 Cornhole rules.
The classic game of croquet has passed the test of time. This is a great game to play when your crowd ranges in ages from young to mature. One of the best parts about this game is you have the opportunity to “send” other balls outside of the playing area. It can be a trick or treat situation for both parties, because if you are not careful in the act of “sending” someone else, you make whack your own foot with the club. Ouch! Croquet rules.
Making your own ladder ball equipment can be quite easy and perhaps the wise choice because it may last longer. Typically when making ladder ball, one would use PVC piping which is quite durable. This is a fun, low-key game that can keep the party going and include everyone, regardless of age or talent. Ladder ball rules.
“God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” Ephesians 1:5
This is the good news y’all, that Christ invites all of us into His family. He so graciously has given us a glimpse of what this feels like by giving us earthly families. We know that being in an earthly family sometimes brings hurts and hardships, but it also brings so much joy and happiness. At Riverside Resort we pray that our activities, facilities, and resources provide opportunities for everyone to grow closer to their families and friends; and have a great time while doing them.
There are countless ways to spend time with others on our resort, but here are some ideas to get you started.
Some people enjoy to get further out on the water to fish, but there is great fishing right from our docks. There have been multiple occasions where our 3 sons have caught so many sunfish off the dock that it is hard to keep up with them.
2. Making water balloons
What a great activity on a hot summer day. There is great lawn space throughout the resort to play any water balloon game you choose. Or maybe you and another family member will be sneaky and plan an attack on an unexpecting target.;)
3. Taking a walk
You can take a walk at any time of day, but the most peaceful time is in the early morning. During this time, typically the grounds are quiet and the water is calm.
There is something for everybody down at the beach. You can have swim races, go down the slide, play on the splash mat, or simply splash around.
5. Collecting Rocks
God’s creation is beautiful and endless. Children are so good about noticing the small things in life. This couple has taken time this particular afternoon to find the best looking rocks with their grandsons.
6. Playing volleyball
Now time for some friendly competition! Maybe it will “older” vs “younger” or family vs family. However you choose to split the teams, there is bound to be lots of fun times shared.
There are multiple options to choose from at Riverside Resort from canoes, to paddleboards, to kayaks, to pontoons and even a few more. Click here for rental details. Some great memories are bound to be made.
8.Talking on the dock
After a long excitement-filled-day at the resort, just take some time to talk about the day or reminisce about other great memories you have had.
“But be sure to fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things He has done for you.“ 1 Samuel 12:24
We love to serve the Lord by serving our guests here at Riverside Resort; it brings us so much joy. One of the biggest ways we get to serve our guests is by making sure everything is clean, prepared, and in working order when everyone arrives for a time of fun, fellowship, and relaxation.
Saturday mornings really get our blood pumping because it is the day our cabins and campsites typically change from one guest to another. You know how they says it takes a village to raise a child, well here at Riverside Resort it also takes a small village to get all our cabins and grounds ready for our next weeks guests. We have a great team of people that help us do just this!
At Riverside Resort we have a special name for this team, we call them the “Bed Bugs”. They are responsible for unmaking and remaking the beds in all the cabins. Some Saturdays all 19 of our cabins need to be prepared for our guests, which means they change 54 beds! You go Bed Bugs!
Each week these dedicated teams take on the important task of cleaning all the cabins from floor, to bathroom, to refrigerator, etc. These ladies are very meticulous in their work and take pride in making sure the cabins are spick ‘n span for the next week’s guests to enjoy.
Have you ever seen such cute management? Although the little one is very cute, sometimes she is not all that helpful. 🙂 Once the Bed Bugs and the Cleaning Crews have done their jobs, we give it one more look with a fresh set of eyes. Can you imagine cleaning for 4 hours straight and never missing a spot? Well, our Cleaning Crews do almost that, but it’s still good to have one last look. During this step of the preparation, the yummy Cold Spring Bakery muffins and all the Resort and area information gets set out for the next week’s guests.
Grounds and Maintenance Specialists
This is a fancy title which basically means they need to be 7 places at once. The list for these men consists of mowing the grass, gassing/cleaning the boats, and tending to any and all maintenance concerns in the 19 cabins and across the entire grounds of Riverside. In these photos they were taking the a/c units from the cabins and cleaning them. (The nice lady in the photo is actually a “bed bug” just giving a little encouragement to the men.) If anything ever goes wrong with your house or boat feel free to contact these resourceful and talented men!
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalms 19:1
Imagine it is a beautiful, sunny day; the wind is calm and the water is as smooth as glass. There is no better activity than paddleboarding on a day like this. We, at Riverside Resort, have 2 paddleboards for our guests to enjoy. Paddleboarding is a fairly new concept for many people, but the neat thing about this activity is there are multiple ways to use it depending on the person, mood, or situation.
1). Paddle standing up
This is the traditional way to use a paddleboard. The biggest fear for most people about paddleboarding is the balance they think it requires. Believe it or not, the most difficult part of paddleboarding is when you initially get on the board and then again when you dismount at the end. The actual time you spend on the paddleboard is very peaceful and surprisingly stable.
2). Paddle while on your knees
This is an alternative to standing up that lowers your center of gravity so balancing is easier. Another advantage to paddling on your knees is that it works different parts of your arms, back, and core because your positioning on the board is different.
This is one of my favorite ways to use a paddleboard. Find a quiet little cove or a nice peaceful place in a “no wake zone” and just relax. You can use your life jacket as a pillow while you spend time sleeping, praying, reading a book, or just getting away from all the demands of life. What better way to enjoy God’s magnificent creation!
Did you know you can do yoga on a paddle board? It is so awesome! This does require a bit more balance especially if you are going to try some of those crazy poses where you stand on just one leg. Even though this may sound intimidating, there are many different levels and variations of paddbleboard yoga so don’t let it scare you. Here is a great video to get you started.
5). Strength Training
In addition to Yoga, you can also try your own strength training routine on the water or discover a new one! Adding the element of balance to any of your workout routines is going to strengthen your core and continue to work your muscles in new and different ways. Check out this youtube video.
6). Hang out on the beach and look “cool”
Still think paddleboarding isn’t for you? Here is a way to be involved without ever getting on the water. You can simply hang out with a paddleboard on the beach. Maybe just sit on it and people will think you are taking a break from a long voyage. Or perhaps fiddle with the different accessories on your paddleboard, maybe people will think that you are just returning or getting ready to depart. It’s all about perception! 🙂
However you choose to utilize a paddleboard, I encourage you all to try this unique and exciting aquatic recreation activity.
“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never go thirsty.” John 6:35
We rely on the word of God to satisfy our souls, but God has created us in such a way that our physical bodies rely on food and drink to sustain ourselves. We find this to be especially true while on road trips or whenever spending a substantial amount of time traveling. As July 4th weekend approaches, many of you will be “on the move” (maybe even some will be coming to Riverside Resort 🙂 ) It is amazing how food can brighten the mood of both children and adults when times are getting testy on the road (let’s be honest, car travel has a way of bringing out the worst in us, so food becomes important).
When choosing snacks and meals for a road trip, there are three principles that apply.
1). Food with minimal crumbs and low “messy factor”
2). Food that is mostly healthy (however having sweet treats from time to time is a must)
3). Food that takes some time to eat
To aid in a deliciously enjoyable journey, here are some “on-the-go” food suggestions for you to try:
******************* Items that need to be prepared before the trip: ********************
Bell Peppers, sliced Snap Peas, washed Baby Tomatoes, washedGrapes, washed and taken off the stemCarrots sticks, peeled but whole
Homemade cookie bites:
these are very tedious and take some patience, but they are well worth it.Having cookie bites as opposed to regular cookies allows everyone to have them more often during the trip. Also, eating “mini” cookies is just more fun. 🙂Trail Mix (pretzels, peanuts, M&M’s, Honey Nut cheerios, and raisins)Waffles: Here is a great waffle recipe!!
*************** Items that need zero preparation: *****************
Pretzel RodsString CheeseApples, whole
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17
Our desire is to give God the glory in all we do. We believe that God encourages us to take time out of our busy lives and get away from the pressures and obligations everyone has at their own home. Riverside Resort is a place where you can escape reality for a bit, while relaxing and connecting with loved ones. To help give some structure to your vacation, we offer various activities on a weekly basis.
Starting June 18th through August 6th, we invite different people to come help us worship while we learn more about our amazing Savior and Lord. The church services start at 10am. Check out the schedule of our speakers/performers for each week. We invite anyone to attend these services; it is not exclusively for resort guests. Please stop by and join us this summer.
On Mondays we provide the opportunity for all of our guests to get their creative juices flowing. At 3:00pm we have our craft hour. This year we will be painting bird houses. This is a great time to get out of the sun and get the fine motor skills working for a bit.
Bump, set, spike…or just get the ball over the net anyway you can. 🙂 On Tuesday nights at 7:30pm we have a volleyball game for all resort guests. It does not matter if your playing skills are comparable to Misty May Treanor or those of Kermit the frog, we encourage everyone to play. It is a great time to have fun with family, friends, and maybe even meet a few new people. After volleyball, stick around because we will have a campfire and all the fixings for you to make the perfect s’more!
Bunny hop, photo shoot, coloring contest, prizes, minnow races, and an outdoor movie. That’s right folks, this all happens on Wednesday. How do we do it you ask? Very carefully :). Starting at 3:00pm we meet up with Riverside Rabbit and dance the bunny hop. After dancing, Riverside Rabbit will look at all the coloring sheets the children turned in at the beginning of the week and he will give prizes away to the winner. Immediately after that all the kids get the chance to race a minnow of their choice. It is a great time watching all the kids cheer on their minnow in hopes of victory!
At 8:00pm everyone is welcome to gather for a movie under the stars. For the best viewing experience, don’t forget bug spray, a blanket, and popcorn!
We end our week of lively activities with a friendly, or for some, competitive bean bag tournament. Choose your teammate wisely as you prepare for the round robin tournament that awaits you. We have found that teams perform better when they have a cheering section, so even if competing is not necessarily your thing, we encourage friends and family to come spur them on.