Sunday, April 29, 2012

Children's Museum

 While the boys played in Atlanta, the girls went to the Children's Museum in Wilmington.  Laura and Katy came, too.  The teddy bear hospital was a hit.  It is probably where we played the longest.  There were some fun things to do outside, too.  But it was WAY too hot.

 Sariah was in heaven playing dentist.  Laura was the model patient.  (You can see the bus outside.  Like I said, tons of fun -  in January maybe).

 Brooklyn loved the teddy bear hospital, too.  She looks so grown up marking the chart.

The girls also like the space shuttle.  The moon shoes were harder than they looked.  It was a fun trip to the museum.  Thanks to Grandma for playing with Sam at home.  He was much happier there.  Next time we'll take you, too, little buddy.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Beach Bums

The Beach . . . where do I start? Everything I can think to say sounds so cliche: how peaceful it is, the mesmerizing waves, the soft breezes. It truly is calming. I could let myself go and let my worries and cares dissolve. I have to admit that several times as I sat on the beach I just did not want to come home. I guess we will just have to go back!

I loved that we could spend so much time there this summer. I love that my kids had the whole routine down pat: suits on, sunscreen on, find your flip flops, (in the meantime Mom packed the towels, beach bag and snacks) jump in the van, count the bridges over the waterway, look for the Wrightsville Beach sign, find a parking spot at beach access #4, walk through the hot sand to the cool sand, find a spot to drop the stuff, play, have a snack, drink some water, play some more, protest when it's time to go and beg for just one more minute, rinse the shovels and pails, head to the shower, rinse off, back in the van, fold up your towel and put it on your seat, home to Grandma's, eat a snack in the kitchen while you wait for your bath, shake the sand out of your suit, get clean, rest up for next time.

It was quite the process, but worth every minute. I can still see the huge towel pile in the laundry room (especially when the whole crowd was there) and the piles of sand I swept up in the bathroom floor after all the baths were done the the suits were shaken out. We got pretty good at sending all the kids through the bath in a short amount of time. I can still hear the shrieks of protest when we sprayed the kids off in the cold water at the shower in the parking lot. I can still see the sandcastle Grandpa built with the kids. That was all they talked about as we planned our vacation, building a sandcastle on the beach. And although it did not turn out perfect, I am sure it lived up to all their expectations. I can still see my little Sam chasing the birds on the sand. He loved the water, too, and got a little mad at us when we would not let him run head first into the ocean. He was completely worn out after about two hours. It was all we could do to keep him awake on the ride home so he could have his bath before he hit the crib. I can see Ally playing in the surf with her cousins. They made up some game called, "flushed away." I am still a little fuzzy on the rules, but I know it involved a lot of giggling. I can see Sariah sitting on the sand, kicking her legs as the waves washed over her. She always won the contest for most sand in your suit. I can see Zac run into the waves with no fear, trying to keep up with Uncle Brian. He rode his first waves on the boogie board this summer. (We also had to explain currents and undertows to him and then Mom had to let go and trust him.) I can still see my timid Brook, getting a little braver each time we went. By the end of the summer she was jumping and splashing with the rest of us. And I can still see my trooper of a husband who went with us as many times as we wanted to go, even though he had a bad burn on his leg that did not take too kindly to sand. (And how did he get a burn, you might ask. On a his friend's motorcycle as they were heading up the canyon to go tubing on the river. See, he did play a little without us, too.)

While the pictures will never do the memories justice, I am glad we took them. And I am glad we brought home some sand and shells to help us remember, too. It will have to tide us over until next time.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Family Pictures

One of my favorite souvenirs from our summer at the beach is our family photos. The people I cherish most in one of my favorite places. Doesn't get any better, especially when you have a great sister-in-law who happens to own a nice camera and knows how to use it:) Thanks, Toni for working your picture magic. I know it took a good chunk of your "free time" to put this all together. We love you! Someday I will learn how to do a slide show on my blog, but for now you will have to do the old fashioned scroll down the page thing. Enjoy.

Favortie Places

We have a few favorite places that we visit every time we are at Grandma and Grandpa's: the aquarium at Fort Fisher and the ferry in Southport. Sometimes we do them both in the same day, but this time we made separate trips. The aquarium at Fort Fisher is awesome. Sariah and Zac remembered going from four years ago and they were excited to go again.

Of course, being the geeky English teacher girl that I am, I had to take a picture of this sign and include it in the post. I love it!

Of course, we really go to see the marine life. The touch tank is always a highlight. Brooklyn talked the whole drive out about touching a starfish at the aquarium. She was a little hesitant when she actually got the chance, but she did do it. I just couldn't snap the picture fast enough.

Sam loved the "fishies." And he loved being with his grandpa. We all had a good time, but we missed Joseph this time around.

Grandma and Grandpa surprised the kids with lunch at Chuck E Cheese on the way home. They were thrilled! They were too busy having fun to stop for a photo op. But Sam cooperated once. I sat him down on this ride and then put the token in. When it started moving, his whole face lit up. I wish I could have captured that look. It was pure delight. Bet you can't guess where he spent his tokens?

Joseph did get to join us for our trip to Southport to ride the ferry, as did Toni and the girls. The kids love the fact that our van can drive right onto the boat. And they like to feed the seagulls that follow the ferry looking for a handout.

After we used all the bread and were sufficiently windblown, we headed upstairs to sit in the air conditioned, quiet cabin. The kids enjoyed looking out the window and waving to the other ferry we passed. We saw a few yachts and dreamed about being rich enough to have a family reunion on one of those, but then decided it would be too crowded and we were content with our ferry ride.

On the way home we stopped near Old Brunswick Town to see if we could see an alligator up close. We saw a little one, but the big gator was hiding under the lily pads. It was HOT, but very pretty. Another great Carolina day.