And the inevitable:
Poor Emil. His sadistic mother laughs and laughs at this picture. Sad babies are so dramatic!
|Chance and Allyn|
Those of us with little guys (me, Allyn, Claire, Makenzie) did a lot of this. Of course our husbands were on duty a lot too. The beach and all the action wore Emil and Colin out at least twice a day.
|David and Ruby|
Speaking of Ruby, we celebrated her first birthday with cupcakes and singing on Sunday night. I didn't mention that before, so this photo is out of order. Still, I'll take a photo of smiling red heads where I can get it.
Wednesday was the 4th of July. We did the beach and the pool again early in the day. Since I only got one photo of the pool, let's put that here.
This pool was full all the time. Bridget preferred this small swimming pool to the Atlantic ocean, which was about 100 yards away from our house. To each his own, I guess. We convinced her to spend her mornings at the beach, but there was no getting out of the afternoon swim. This might have been the day that there was no shade anywhere near the pool and I set up camp (otherwise known as a can of Dr. Pepper, my vacation friend, and some Double Chocolate Milano Cookies) next to Jeff, who was also on duty. For two hours we played Scrabble and cooked in the sun. He won (to Bridget's shame). (We had to bring a chair up on the deck where I was sitting because the one I tried first was broken with an empty box of cookies under it. Hmmmm! Sounds like a mystery for Nancy Drew.)
Katy and Matt were in charge of dinner on Wednesday and they went all out. Two kinds of pulled pork, corn on the cob, potato salad. All of Brian's favorite things. Aron and Brian helped shuck corn because that's how we do in my family. I loved that part - everyone helped everyone. What a pleasure to be with so many lovely people.
It wouldn't be a jolly holiday with Grandma without some decorating. That was Grandma camp on the 4th - decorate in the wind.
|Helena, Colin, Bridget, Anya, Chloe, Miles, and Emil|
After dinner (the dinner that Katy and Matt worked on pretty much all day) and devotional (which we had every night - and p.s. our family needs to sing the National Anthem for a baseball game, we're that good), Katy rounded up all the couples and told us to leave our children in the game room (home sweet lair for the 8 - 10 year-old boys). They had put together an Amazing Race for us to do! Can you believe that?! With everything else they had going on. Anyway, it started with a scripture puzzle at Mom and Dad's place (the Carriage House), with Dad in charge.
About five minutes into it Dad told us we could use technology to finish. Thank goodness. I didn't know where all those ands and ins were going. Dad gave us the clue for the next stop, which was in the sound with Matt. He didn't have time to blow up all the stuff to make our rafts, so he switched the task to a swim to the pole with the clue.
As they say on Thomas the Train, "Then there was trouble!" It wasn't that far, but open water is a lot different than the pool. You can't see anything and the current is trying to take you somewhere else.
True concern. You like our team shirts? Aron and Jeff were first out of the water, then Brian. We were led to the beach for our next task, which was building a sandcastle exactly like the one in the picture Aaron was holding.
Yes, that is the one photo my husband got of me from the front. My hair weighed 25 lbs. by then. Sandcastles are harder to build than I thought. The next task was to get photos of 10 different realty signs or 10 license plates from 10 different states. We chose license plates since we could get 6 right in the driveway. We didn't have to go very far to get the other four, then we were off to Surf City Pier (right?) where Ethan checked our photos like a pro and sent us to the end of the pier.
We met Eliza and Emma toward the end of the pier for our next clue, which had us going back to the entrance for a $4 milkshake. We got the milkshake and ran back to Eliza and Emma where Brian was to eat it in front of them.
Makenzie was the only female half of the team who did the milkshake. She almost beat Brian drinking it. Skillz!
He is so grossed out right now. Too bad. The guys running the bait and tackle operation at the pier sure had a tale to tell when they got home that night. "I seen the red shirts and the black shirts and then I seen y'all comin' and I didn't know WHAT was goin' on!" Yes. Thanks for letting us know we're behind. Emma made Brian shake every last drop of that milkshake into his mouth before she gave us the clue to get photos of us in front of three different beach wear stores. There was some confusion on that because of the way the clue was worded, so we had to go back and get a photo with both of us in the same picture. It didn't matter - Allyn and Aron and Melissa and Jeff had already met Katy in front of Mollie's Restaurant for their next clue. Those four continued to the next task (just like the TV show, everyone else was eliminated from the race at Katy's station). So, we were out. Sad and stinky. :)
We walked to the end of this lovely pier to meet our children and wait for everyone else. It was fun to hear the adventures everyone had. Allyn and Aron ended up winning, but they gave their prize to us ($100 gas card). Always so generous, those two.
There were some fireworks on the beach later, but I was too tired and sweaty to stick around for much of it. We somehow kept Brian's phone and wallet dry during that whole thing, but then he left his wallet in his pocket and I washed it. Fail! There go his birthday checks. What an amazing day, though. Brian and I are a great team - I love being reminded of that.