Sunday, September 19, 2010

Off to Church

Libby was just passing through the dining room, where I was helping Andrew with homework. I had to ask her what was up. Her answer? "I'm takin' my baby to church!"

Thank goodness our church has a pretty relaxed dress code.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Beach

Our long-anticipated summer beach trip has come and gone. We've been back for two weeks now; but with school starting almost immediately after we got home, I haven't had time to go through pictures and organize my thoughts about our trip. I would like to note, however, that we had every piece of luggage unpacked and all the other trip detritus put away within two hours of getting home. I do not believe that has ever happened after one of our trips, and I am hereby giving myself and Steve an electronic pat on the back. Go, us.

This was our best beach trip yet! We stayed in a beautiful new condo. The boys were beside themselves with delight to find themselves sharing a room with a bunk bed and their very own TV. (Honestly. They would have happily holed up in that room for the entire week and emerged blinking and pasty at the end and declared it a wonderful vacation.) Libby could walk this year. Let me repeat that. Libby could walk this year. No one had to be carried to the beach. Everyone could run and play in the surf. No one was crawling on strange floors, picking up who knows what. Taking babies to the beach is entirely different from taking kids to the beach. Taking kids to the beach is fun.

Poppa and Gangee joined us for the week once again this year. Gangee and Adam are both early birds, and every morning they went for a walk on the beach. Adam really looked forward to those walks and went in to wake Gangee up each morning -- well before 7 am -- so they could hit the beach. I love that Adam had that special time with just him and Gangee. Poppa spent his time, as always, catering to his grandkids: watching countless hours of Sesame Street videos with Libby, walking the boys to the pier, and throwing kids around in the pool. (Good thing Gangee's been making Poppa work out!)

We always try to have a nice vacation so the kids will have great memories of our family trips. I am a traditionalist (shock), so I always try to get in the "classic" beach activities for the kids. This year, we visited the state aquarium. We spent quality time playing in the pool. We body surfed in the ocean. We ate ice cream on the pier. But if you ask my oldest son, the highlight of vacation was...playing the Crane Game. Andrew spied it at the general store at the pier and suggested that next time we went to Walmart at home, he could play the Crane Game in the lobby there! Deciding quickly that playing the Crane Game at the beach was *slightly* less trashy than playing it at Walmart in our hometown, I gave Andrew the go-ahead to play. And wouldn't you know...the little booger won.

Par for the course, I have quite the gallery of goofball pictures. The elusive "perfect picture of all three kids on the beach" remains elusive. But we're getting better! There was definite improvement this year, and I remain optimistic that one day I will get that picture. And the kids didn't cry about getting their pictures taken this year. Andrew just said resignedly to the others, "Mom's gonna dress us up in church clothes, take us to the beach, and take our pictures again." That kid gets smarter every year.

All in all, this was vacation at its finest. We spent the week coated in Cheetos dust and sugar cereal residue. When it got too bad, we'd just take a little dip in the pool. Do not ask me how many few baths my children got that week. It's embarrassing. I think I remember throwing them all into the shower and shampooing their hair once. Beyond that, we relied heavily on the scouring properties of beach sand and the cleaning power of chlorinated pool water.

Great vacation. Great family.