“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4
The Lord truly has given us one of the desires of our hearts this summer, which is working as a family to serve our guests and see the joy that brings around the resort. Of course we had days of struggle, occasional bad weather, and other hard situations; but that’s life right?!? Mostly, we are once again filled with awe and amazement of our Lord’s provisions, faithfulness, and blessings. The wonderful moments and memories are abundant but here are some of our favorites from the summer.
1. Charlie the clown
Charlie the Clown came to Riverside Resort on Memorial Day weekend to help us kick off our 2018 season. We had so much fun! He made balloon animals (and hats), took pictures with the kids, walked on stilts, and entertained us with an amazing unicycle routine. What a way to start the summer and celebrate the holiday!!
2. Awesome fireworks display
In the past, Riverside Resort has set off fireworks over the 4th of July, but then took a several year hiatus. 3 years ago, we decided to start it back up. Since then, we feel that every year and every show has gotten even bigger and better than the last. (Not to mention our fire masters are gaining more confidence! 🙂 ) What a brilliant display of light, sound, and color. If you missed it this year, make sure to put it on your calendar in 2019 as we plan to continue this yearly tradition. Check out this year’s finale!
3. A First for Caleb
Caleb, our oldest son, is 9 years old and this year he took on the task of helping to mow the resort lawn. There is a lot of great green space which means there are endless opportunities to mow. Caleb says that he likes to mow because it is a “pretty good work out”. He was in charge of mowing the grass around the bathhouse and the playground area in the backyard. Even though he has enjoyed using the push mower this summer, he said he is anxious for when he can also use the riding mower. 🙂
4. New Record
This year we had the most guests we have ever had in the month of August!! It was fun for our busy weeks of June and July to continue all the way through the summer. We were able to meet so many new guests for the first time as well as welcome back cherished and familiar faces who faithfully come back year after year.
5. David, the Fish Master
David, our second son, is 8 and he is quite the fisherman. He is unsure the exact number of fish he caught this summer, but we all agree it has to be over 70. The biggest fish was a 20-inch catfish!! He fishes mostly off various docks at the resort, but he said his favorite spots are Becker Lake and Mud Lake. Both of these lakes are just a boat ride away from the resort. David’s preference is to use a “blue and silver” lure, but he says you can catch a bunch of sunfish just using nightcrawlers. He is a wealth of information so if you have any questions while fishing at the resort be sure to track him down! 🙂
We look back fondly and thankfully at our summer and look ahead in expectancy and excitement for the fall that lies ahead!
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9
As we say ‘goodbye’ to summer, we say ‘hello’ to a new school year! This time of transition is full of excitement, nerves, shopping, and lots of planning. Here are some tips to help make this school year the best yet!
A – Attitude
Winston Churchill said “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference”. We need to set an example by having a good attitude in all situations. The beginning of the school year is very exciting, however, it can also be hard. If you keep a good attitude, it will be infectious to those around you.
B – Boundaries
Set boundaries on activities during the school year. Kids are so busy just going to school therefore, it is even more difficult when we cram in so many other things before and after school. Sit down as a family and talk about everyone’s priorities. From there, figure out together what will work best.
C – Calendar
It does not matter how many people are in your family or how many schedules you are trying to juggle. It is a good idea to have a common calendar with everyone’s activities listed. This helps everyone to be on the same page as well as decreasing miscommunication between family members.
D – Designate
Have specific places at home for specific activities. For example: eat at the table, sleep in your bed, relax in your living room, and find a place where homework can get done. This will help keep everyone focused on the task at hand and aid in keeping a consistent routine.
E – Eat
Eating and what we choose to eat are essential for our mind and body throughout the day. Eating breakfast before school helps children to stay focused on their work and not think about their rumbling tummy. It is also important for children to eat healthy snacks and meals throughout the day. Check out this website, it gives some helpful tips about nutrition for kids.
F – Fun
Don’t forget to have fun. Learning is fun, being with friends is fun, and helping in your child’s classroom is fun. If we take the fun out of learning and the fun out of school, kids are going to be less excited about going.
G – God
Most importantly, make God’s plan and His purpose part of your child’s school year. Pray with your children about school situations, memorize scriptures that could be encouraging throughout their day, and read the Word of God to keep truth in everyone’s hearts.
“Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all He promises and faithful in all He does.” – Psalm 145:13
We believe with our whole hearts that this is true! God’s kingdom is eternal, He is trustworthy, He is faithful, and His dominion endures through all generations! What great hope that brings. Nothing else endures ALL generations, but some things get pretty close. Like some of our faithful and steadfast guests that have come to Riverside Resort for years and years. Two of those families are the Gilmores and Kruisselbrinks.
Al and Barb Gilmore (left) cherish time with their family and love to cheer on their grandkids at different sporting events. They farm as well as raise beef cows and draft horses. Barb worked in the banking industry for 38 years and just recently retired to help Al on the farm. They have been married almost 43 years.
Jim (Barb’s brother) and Vicki Kruisselbrink (right) also love to spend time with family, as well as take time to travel. Jim is a crop farmer and Vicki is a nursing assistant at an assisted living and care center. They have been married 37 years.
It was a privilege to sit down with these two couples to ask a few questions and talk about their experiences at Riverside Resort.
How did you first learn about Riverside Resort?
Barb – “Our mother wanted to spend a week together as a family at the lake. We have siblings that live far away from each other and she (mom) wanted all the cousins to get to know one another. A family from our home church had come to the resort and highly recommended it. Not only did they recommend the resort, but they also recommended Jim and Jeanette DeRose (the owners at that time). Mom made a reservation for the first week and we have come every year since. We have always had to get multiple cabins in order to house all the family that comes.”
Barb and 2 of her granddaughters
How long have you and your family been coming here?
Vicki – “The first year we came was 1997, and have been coming every year since.” That’s 21 straight years!
This picture was taken of the two families at Riverside Resort in 1998.
Why do you keep coming back?
Jim – “We keep coming back because everyone enjoys it. We always do the same week so everyone can plan it from year to year. We also continue coming so that we can hang out with our family and get to know them better. The kids love it and sometimes it is the only time we all see each other the whole year.”
Barb – “It is a family friendly place, and we feel very safe. It is fun to just sit, relax, and visit with one another.”
Jim – “Vicki and I live only 15 minutes away from Al and Barb but we really never hang out. The Resort is far enough away from home that we feel we are really on vacation and are free to have uninterrupted time with them.”
Jim and Vicki enjoying the minnow races!
What are your favorite activities at Riverside Resort?
Al – ” I like to nap. I also like the water and the outdoors, I am comfortable here.”
Barb – “Our mother was deathly afraid of water. None of us (Barb, Jim, or their siblings) knew how to swim. As children, we never went to the lake or went boating or anything. Once we started coming to Riverside that changed. Now all of our kids know how to swim and they love the water. We (Jim and Barb) like to sit up on the shore and watch everyone swim and have fun.”
Vicki – “The Sunday morning church service is my favorite activity at Riverside. In addition, Barb and I like to read here because it is so nice and quiet. I have also liked the addition of the movie night the last few years.”
Al and the kids playing bean bags
What is your favorite Riverside Resort Memory?
Vicki – “My favorite memory is family game night with Barb and Jim’s mom and dad. We would all squeeze into one cabin and just play games together. We would stay up late into the night just enjoying being with one another.”
How would you describe Riverside Resort to someone who has not heard of it?
Vicki – “I would say it is very family orientated and quiet. We so appreciate the DeRose family, their Christian values, and their hospitality.”
Jim – “Yes I agree, they (the DeRose family) are part of our family now too.”
Some of the grandkids with Riverside Rabbit
Confession time, do you or do you not participate in the bunny hop when Riverside Rabbit comes to visit?
Al – “Yes, we all have, but not each year. When our grandkids were little we would do it with them. Now they are old enough that we can just watch and enjoy them having fun.”
The couples enjoying a pontoon adventure with Jim DeRose (the previous owner)
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
We believe vacations are very important, because you are able to spend time with those you love while getting away from the normal hustle and bustle of everyday life. Getting out of your routine is a great way to rejuvenate and relax, however can cause you to fall into some unhealthy habits and behaviors. Here are some ideas to help you stay on track even while away from home.
1. Keep a water bottle with you at all times
It is always important to stay hydrated, especially when it is hot outside. Energy drinks, sodas, juices, etc are fine to have once in a while; but make sure the majority of liquid you consume is simply water.
2. Bring your own snacks
When you are out and about you will get hungry. If you wait until your stomach starts to rumble, most likely you will grab a quick unhealthy snack (as that’s usually cheaper and more readily available). Bring a bag of carrots, an apple, or some trail mix to curb your hunger until the next meal.
3. Brown bag it on the go
Going out to eat is wonderful; however packing your own food tends to be healthier (and definitely a money saver). Another advantage of packing your own meals, is that you do not have to stop everything to find a restaurant. You already have your food with you and ready to eat!
4. Drive-past, don’t drive-thru
While traveling it can be tricky to make wise food choices, especially since there is fast food everywhere you look. Research ahead of time to see if there are healthier restaurant options on your route or if you just want to pack along your own food for the trip.
5. Plan pitstops
Research your traveling route ahead of time to find the best places to stop and get your body moving. You will get a little exercise and take in some great sights at the same time.
6. Visit a farmers market
What a great way to immerse yourself in local culture! Here you can round up some fresh and healthy local produce. You can eat your food right at the market while taking in more of the city, or carry it out for later.
7. Sight see without a taxi
This is easy, practical, and really the best way to experience any location you visit. Instead of flagging down a taxi to go a few blocks, simply walk (or potentially bike) and take in all the other sites along the way.
8. Take advantage of your location
You can workout in a gym anytime. When you are on vacation get creative with your workouts. Take a row boat across the lake, go running in the city, or take a paddleboard to a new, unexplored island. Whatever it is, utilize the equipment and terrain of the location you visit, and enjoy what God has created.
9. Don’t forget to sleep
If you are anything like me, your itinerary is jam packed with exciting activities and experiences. Don’t forget to allow time to sleep in, as proper sleep is key to good health and a successful vacation!
“But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” – John 4:14
God provides both “living water”, which sustains the soul forever; and also “physical water”, which quenches thirst for a period of time. But it is such a wonderful gift! Water sustains us, it cleanses us, it purifies us, and it is super fun to play in. 🙂 One of the very popular attractions at our beach swimming area is the splash mat. People of all ages play on it and they continue to create new and exciting ways to use it. Here are a few that we have seen!
Who doesn’t love to just be at the beach and relax? The splash mat can be a perfect place to just chill because you do not have to worry about getting sand all over your body and you can just move smoothly with the waves. Warning: If relaxing is your goal, you will have to be a little strategic in your timing to avoid the SPLASH that typically comes with being on a splashmat.
This encourages taking turns and seeing who can slide all the way off the mat. It is sometimes difficult to start running because the mat can be slippery, however that just adds to the fun and challenge of it all.
Jumping is an age-old activity, that almost always seems to produce both smiles and laughter. If you get a group of people to all jump on the mat at the same time, you can get some good waves going. Not only is this fun for people on the mat, but others on shore will get to practice some wave jumping as well. 🙂
When someone has got the music inside them, it just simply cannot be contained. It doesn’t matter if you are walking down the street, hanging out in your own bedroom, or playing on a splash mat. When you feel the movement of the water, it sometimes just takes over and the dancing begins.
5. Play Football
I suppose many sports could be adapted to play on the splash mat, but this summer there was a group of guys playing football on it. It makes sense: there is ample room to throw the ball and to avoid a tackle you can jump safely into the water. How points were scored is still a bit of a mystery, but that did not seem to matter much. When you try it, you and your group can create your own rules. 🙂
6. Push people off (with their permission of course)
Why is pushing people into the water so tempting and satisfying? I do not have the answer, but I do know the feeling. Before this activity starts, it is important to make sure that everyone is on board with participating. However, we all know the universal rule: if you push others, you are giving permission for others to push you.
7. Share it with the ducks
That’s right. The ducks love the splash mat too! Typically you can find them there in the early morning hours because it is more peaceful and they have the swimming area all to themselves.
When you visit Riverside Resort make sure to try all these different ways of using the splash mat and see if you can come up with others as well. We would LOVE to hear about them!
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
There are so many wonderful things about camping. The fresh air, time spent together, the beauty of nature, gathering around the campfire, and of course EATING. Eating is one of the most fun parts of a camping trip because it sets the tone for everything else. If everyone is satisfied and well-fed, typically every other activity runs more smoothly. (Talk about ‘Happy Campers’ 🙂 ) Here are some of our favorite meals to cook over the fire.
1. Hobo meals
This is a great meal because everyone can create their own and it’s healthy and filling. Start by putting some ground beef on a piece of tin foil. Then you can add whatever you like: onions, carrots, potatoes, corn, etc. Once you have put all the food in the piece of tin foil add a few dollops of butter and perhaps some salt or pepper. Then fold up the tin foil and set on the fire to cook. Once it is done you can top it with cheese, sour cream, ketchup, or anything else you think sounds good!
2. Pudgy pies
This is another meal that everyone can make just the way they like. You will need pudgy pie irons. Let your imagination run wild with the sandwich fixings you bring. Once your main meal is over, make sure to keep the irons out; they also make super yummy desserts. Here are 7 recipes to get you going.
Traditional but so yummy. This is such an easy meal because you can grill them on a grate over the fire or simply stick a skewer in the middle and roast until golden brown. You do not need all the ingredients of the last few meals, just a bun and your favorite condiment!
Another traditional and timeless camping choice. Just start a fire and throw the patties on the grate. Make sure to talk about the best part of the day while waiting for the burgers to cook perfectly over the fire. Everybody loves burger night.
5. Shish kabobs
Put a few chunks of your favorite meat along with veggies of various kinds on a skewer and you have yourself a delicious shish kabob. You can make these as fancy or simple as you desire. Make sure you think about this meal before leaving home so that you can pre-cut all the necessary meats and veggies for easy assembly by the campfire. Looking for shish kabob inspiration, check out these ideas.
Spaghetti might seem like an interesting camping idea, but it is easy to make and requires minimal ingredients. All you need is a pot to boil water, noodles, and your favorite spaghetti sauce. This carbo-loaded meal is great after a long day of hiking or other strenuous activities.
7. Walking tacos
This yummy meal is sure to satisfy everyone in your group. The original walking tacos were made with fritos but feel free to substitute any type of chip. A variety pack of individually packaged chips could be the way to go. The only on-site preparation needed is heating up the taco meat over the fire, this is of course if you have all your other fixings cut up and ready to go before hand.
8. Pigs in a blanket
This tasty meal is easy and only requires 3 items: 2 ingredients and 1 roasting stick. You will need some refrigerated crescent rolls and hot dogs. Simply unravel the dough and roll a hot dog in each one. Stick the hot dog on a roasting stick and cook in the fire until golden brown. Voila, dinner is served!
Try and/or tweak these meal ideas and see which ones your friends and family love most. Happy cooking!
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4: 6 & 7
We all love to vacation, don’t we? Can we also agree that some parts of vacationing can be stressful? Preparing for a vacation is “no joke” and can even lead you to second guess whether all the preparing/planning is worth it. Well, I am here to encourage you and provide a few tips that can make your family’s experience fun and memorable…. without the pre-trip fights and frustrations.
1. Get your laundry done early
Have you ever gone to pack your suitcase and some of the clothes you were planning to pack are still laying in the dirty clothes pile? Say it ain’t so! To avoid this, do not allow yourself to get behind on laundry before vacations. Do a load each day or every other day starting a week before you depart to make sure that everyone has all their clothing options when they are ready to pack.
2. Clean your house
Clean my house? Are you crazy, we won’t even be there? Yes, I agree, however having the knowledge that a clean, uncluttered house awaits your return can be very calming. It can also lead to a much more relaxing and manageable un-packing experience.
3. Create packing lists
If you are traveling with children, it can feel like a lot of extra work especially if you feel the need to pack for them. I find that giving them a packing list works great. They can independently (depending on the age of course) get their bag packed and all I have to do is check it to make sure they are not missing any essential items (like toothbrushes 🙂 ).
4. Prepare a detailed itinerary
Typically this step takes a lot of time and energy, especially if the place you are traveling to is new and unfamiliar. For our family, we have found that the time and energy we spend planning the vacation really pays off while we are enjoying it. Having an itinerary helps us use our time wisely instead of using vacation time to plan our days.
5. Prepare food for travel/vacation
Food is an important part of life. Right?!?! 🙂 Take time to look at each day of your vacation and get a rough idea of what you will eat. We find that even if we choose to grab a bite at a fast food restaurant, we still like to have fresh fruits and veggies on hand to go with it. Having them pre-cut and packed nicely allows you to eat them immediately when they are needed. We like to pack along healthy options but also some fun snacks that we do not normally have around the house.
6. Get activity bag ready for travel
Whether you are traveling with children or not, an activity bag is a great way to help the time in the car pass quickly as well as have fun along the way. Pack your favorite books, cds, audiobooks, and more. We have found some great car games to play with the kids and have even brought along school worksheets for them to complete to keep their brains sharp!
Things may go wrong, prepare yourself for the delays that WILL happen, and pray about your time away. It is a blessing to vacation with family and friends, make it a memorable experience that all will look back on with fondness.
“Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another and all the more as we see the day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:24-25
We are so encouraged by the way we see families and friends interact with each other during their time at Riverside Resort. The weekly activities we offer help foster these interactions. We try to incorporate new activities; however several are so popular and even have become ‘traditions’ for many of our guests, so they stay the same year to year. 🙂
Church Service @ 10:00 am
Each Sunday morning from June 17 – August 12th we will be holding church services at Riverside Resort. We have invited speakers, musicians, and other entertainers from around the area to come share with us. These services are not only for our guests; but we invite anyone and everyone to join us. For a complete list of our church services this summer click here.
Pontoon Adventure with Captain Jim @ 1:00-3:00pm – NEW!
Captain Jim will be driving our guests around the Sauk River, providing bits of history, telling stories, and pointing out excellent fishing spots. This will be a tour that you do not want to miss. 🙂
Volleyball and S’mores @ 7:15pm
This has always been a very popular event. All guests are welcome to come down to the volleyball court and participate in a friendly game of volleyball. Once the volleyball starts winding down, all players and spectators can stick around to enjoy a yummy s’more!
Bean Bag Tournament/Yard Games @ 10:00am
Can’t get enough competition? Or maybe you just like to have fun? Either way, this tournament will be perfect for you. It is fun to see friendly family rivalries being created as well as the making of new friends. The winners of this contest will receive a free ice cream treat from the resort store.
Did someone say Ice Cream!?!? 🙂
Craft: Wood Wind Chimes @ 11:15am
This summer during our weekly craft time we will be making wood wind chimes. This is a great opportunity for the whole family to enjoy a hands on project together. Once you get home, you will have to find the perfect spot to hang it. Then sit back, relax, and listen to the wind blow peacefully through it.
Movie Night @ 8:00pm
Enjoy a movie under the stars. This outdoor movie is a unique experience that you will not want to miss. This summer we will be featuring the movie Ferdinand. Grab some bug spray and your favorite movie treat!
Riverside Rabbit Visit @ 3:00pm
During the beginning of the week, our young resort guests can come to the store to get a picture to color for the contest. This needs to be returned before Thursday at 3pm because that is when Riverside Rabbit will come meet with everyone and judge the pictures. Along with the contest, Riverside Rabbit will dance with guests to his favorite song, “The Bunny Hop”! He especially likes it when adults choose to join in on the fun. 🙂 Finally, we will have minnow races. The winner gets to keep their winning minnow!
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs”. Psalms 100:1-2
We are so READY to kick-off the 91st season of Riverside Resort and our 7th year as owners! We shout for joy to the Lord for all of His provisions and for His unwavering guidance.
We absolutely love the summers, but once the fall and winter roll around we know ourselves (and our children) could use a little recharge. We had a great off-season as a family with time to relax, play, work, and simply enjoy being with one another. There were many great times, but our highlight of the off-season was the opportunity we had to go to Disney World. It was so fun to watch the joy on our children’s faces as well as act like children ourselves. 🙂
We have been looking forward to opening our 2018 season for many weeks now. Smelling the freshness of spring is amazing and we know that with it will bring many friends and families to the resort. We are anxious to see children running around the resort, families swimming together, and friends fishing on the docks. These are just a few of the many wonderful things that bring joy to our hearts each season.
Each off-season we pray and talk about what changes we could make to improve the resort. This year we took on the large project of finishing the basement in one of our two vacation homes, Pine Valley (cabin #18). Previously, it had a spacious first floor with a large kitchen and living room, in addition to 2 large bedrooms. We have now turned this house into a 4 bedroom house, by raising the basement ceiling and finishing it off. Now in addition to the upstairs, we have 2 more bedrooms, a luxurious bathroom, as well as a small kitchenette and living room. We are so excited to offer this additional space! Do you want this to be your home for a week this summer? Be sure to check out our availability.
Each season we like to offer new experiences to our guests. This year we are excited to introduce Riverside Resort’s first ever boat tour. We call it, “Pontoon Adventure with Captain Jim”. Captain Jim will be driving our guests around on the Sauk River, providing bits of history, telling stories, as well as showing excellent fishing spots along the way. Jim and his late wife, Jeanette, owned the resort for 32 years from 1979-2012. Needless to say this guy knows all the ins and outs of these parts! You should plan on checking out this exciting new activity when you are here this summer!
We are extremely excited for you to join in on the fun this summer!
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.“ – Matthew 4:19
Picture this…it is a gorgeous day; the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the water is calm, and the fish are ready to bite. I can almost smell the minnows and nightcrawlers, can’t you? Riverside Resort is located on the Horseshoe Chain of lakes and it is a great spot to go fishing. Because there are so many different depths, people catch all types of fish, however, there are 6 that we see most often.
Did you know that these little guys are in the fish family called “Centrarchidaes”? Say that 5 times fast! 🙂 These “panfish” or “sunnies” are great for just catching and throwing back. If you do catch a bunch of larger ones, however, you can easily enjoy a nice fish fry. These are the perfect fish to catch with children, because they are easy to handle and quick to bite your bait!
Also in the Centrarchidaes family, Crappies are said to be one of the best tasting freshwater fish around. The best time to catch these fish are during spawning season, which is spring and early summer. Minnows and small jigs seem to attract these fish like moths to a flame. For more information and tips about Crappie click here.
Walleye have excellent visual acuity when there is little light. Because of this, they are most active during dawn, dusk, and on overcast days. During the spring they will take almost any bait, but then they start getting more picky during the summer months. Once autumn rolls around, they once again, become easier to catch.
4. Northern Pike
Did you know that the largest Northern Pike ever caught was 58 inches long and weighed 68 pounds? That’s bigger than my 7 year old! I am guessing this fish was a female because they are just naturally bigger than the males. If the one you catch is not that big, do not be discouraged. According to “American Expedition”, the average Northern Pike is 3-7 pounds and 24-30 inches long.
Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Spotted Bass are the most popular game fish in North America. Although they are very popular to catch, cooking them is considered to be a “fine art” that not all possess. When cooked correctly they are delectable, but if not, they could taste pretty “fishy” (not in a good way).
Well, hey there good lookin’! I think there is a reason not many people choose to have these around as pets. We get excited when we catch them, but they are not so great to cuddle with. Catfish are typically “bottom feeders”, so if you are looking to catch one of these guys you will have to make sure your lure is pretty deep.