Friday, July 13, 2012

Topsail Island, North Carolina

I was going to start this post with a photo of Topsail Island, but then I remembered that was Jennie's photo and it's in Brian's computer.  Darn!  I love stealing.  Anyway, I mentioned we took a big family photo on the beach about five minutes after my family finally got there (after a cold shower and a nine hour drive for us - I'm just making my excuses for my appearance now so that when everyone has this photo in their home they will understand).  How about that?!  Seventeen adults and twenty-five kids.  My Mom did it.  :)

We had name tags that were very Corporate Conference in Omaha (we saw one of those, so I speak from experience).  Bridget kept her "badge" close all week and it's still on her suitcase.  On Saturday night we had a little introduction ceremony that took quite a while, but it was fun to see the kids introduce themselves and say how old they are.  Bridget was in HEAVEN with two cousins, Chloe and Anya, the same age she is.  Most of the time Brian and I didn't know where she was in the house because she was too busy playing.  I would post a picture of the house, which was enormous and beautiful, but that's Allyn's photo and it's in the other computer.

My nephew, Taylor (17), left Sunday morning to go to China.  Yes, CHINA.  We didn't get to spend time with him, but that's what Jennie and Ben get for raising a smarty pants.  The rest of us went to church in Hampstead, North Carolina.  I think we added seven toddlers to the nursery, which made it burst, spitting out Emil and Colin.  Brian and I spent most of the time running after those two in the hall.  They're a handful at church anyway, but they were out-of-control in Hampstead.  (That's Colin below doing his pregame exercises before we left for church.  "Oooottt?!"  He also started saying "Mama" during this trip.  It's irresistible. He means me, too.)
Mom made dinner on Sunday (ham and cheesy potatoes) and she looked like she was worked over by the time everyone lined up for their food.  It made me nervous for the next night when Allyn and I were going to be in charge.  Everyone was hungry and it was pretty loud - I didn't know if we'd make it, but it worked out. :)  After dinner we watched a kite surfer from one of the balconies and then we watched a storm roll in.  That was incredible!  Jen said it looked like Dementors, and when you really watched the clouds, she was right.
Ben (leaning over), David, Bridget, Anya, Helena

Colin and Ruby (held by Grandpa)
Anya and Bridget
Eliza, Vivien, Lilja, and Emma
Jen and Henry

Harrison, Weston, and Adam

Don't be alarmed that I'm going to be this detailed about the rest of the week.  Once we established our routine of getting up, feeding kids breakfast, getting kids dressed for the beach, putting two layers of sunscreen all over everyone, playing on the beach until lunch, feeding the kids lunch, putting boys down for naps, one of us taking Bridget to the pool while the other did whatever they wanted to do for an hour, Bridget and all the other kids going to Grandma Craft Camp (LIFE-SAVING MEASURE ON GRANDMA'S PART!), then dinner, an activity, and falling into bed.  That's it! 

I took my camera to the beach on Monday, so here's that action:

I was very far away taking this picture with my zoomed-in camera.  Look at Emil's face!  (And Brian's arms. :))  That baby loved the water.  He kept running into the ocean and wanting to be taken into the waves.
Bridget had a great time with Chloe on the beach.  (Can you see Bridget's fingernails?  The older girls had a mani-pedi station upstairs.  Even the baby boys had painted nails after being upstairs for a few minutes.)
Anya and Helena (Katy and Matt's) making Chloe (Melissa and Jeff's) and Bridget mermaids.
Colin had more fun in the pools on the shore.  I put his rash guard on backwards.  First day, what can I say?
Miles (Melissa and Jeff's)
Helena, Bridget and Chloe.  One of my favorite photos of the trip. :)
Evie and Anya (Katy and Matt's)
Brian and Emil

Allyn, Aron, and I prepared and served dinner on Monday night (spaghetti, salad, zucchini and summer squash, garlic bread), then Aron and Brian cleaned up.  THEN we went all the way back to Hampstead for a talent show.  That's Jeff practicing his "act" on the deck.  I was chasing Emil around and we caught him.  I have no photos of the talent show, just video.  I have been instructed not to put video of the talent show on the internet.  Our number was me playing a song from "Carmen" on the piano while Bridget hula-hooped.  (She can hula hoop for hours.  It's for the kids!)  Bridget was so worked over after that first day of playing in the ocean and then in the swimming pool!  Her eyes were red and puffy and she was exhausted.  During the 30 minute drive to Hampstead, she cried and cried.  "I don't know if I can do my act!"  (I should mention here that we had watched all of Season One of The Muppet Show in the car on the way to North Carolina.  That's why Bridget is talking like she's part of a Vaudeville show.)  She wouldn't come up to the stage area with me, but after I'd played more than half the song, she started hula hooping behind where everyone was sitting.  Someone must have pointed out that there was an "act" going on behind them, because everyone turned to look.  She got her cheers, so it was all fine. :)

Only ten more days to report on and a thousand more pictures to go!


JenAllred said...

You an steal my TopSail picture from Facebook. Trade for ALL of your pictures :)

martinizing said...

I cried as my kids identified their cousins in these pictures. It's so nice that they know who they are now. You're still 'Bridgie's Mommy'.

Nicole said...

Ha! You reminded me of Gabriel playing with Noah. "Hey! Buddy!"

JenAllred said...