Friday, July 25, 2008

The Beach!

Well…we had a blast at the beach! Seven full days of nothing but family to help out and love on our little ones. Sun and more sun. An ocean FULL of jellyfish. A tent set up on the shore, perfect for breathing in the fresh ocean waves while staying out of the sun. I loaded up on SPF 50 all over, save my face, upon which I applied Neutrogena SPF 70 with helioplex. Ahhh…I’ll look young forever! Ha! However, I do love to sport a tan. Being white and pasty and all, I’ve never tanned easily. In the last few years I’ve turned to tan in a can, attempting to master the perfect application. (Note to user: don’t pour hydrogen peroxide on tanned in a can areas…streaking WILL occur!)

T and I had some wonderful nights just the two of us. We had some good, long conversations. We shared our hearts with one another and found plenty of areas in our marriage we can work on strengthening. One night we enjoyed dinner at an Italian restaurant. I had the most delicious tuna. Taylor had tornados of beef and we both enjoyed a delicious, though over priced, shrimp in pineapple and rum butter appetizer. The food was fabulous, but the conversation even better! After dinner we drove along the coast and just talked for a long time. Another night we took MW to ride a ferris wheel and then for dip n dots. She still says that was her favorite time. We got to the top of the ferris wheel and she started wiggling a bit and declared emphatically that she HAD to go tee tee and could NOT wait. We were like, “oh yes, you WILL wait!” When the ride was finally over, T picked her up in his arms and RAN her to the potty! Afterwards, T’s parents came and picked up MW so T and I could go to a movie. Ahh…the luxuries of having parents around who love to help out! What a blessing! To say I was spoiled would be a generous understatement!

Each year at the beach the ladies in the family rotate nights cooking. Being that I’m in the “grandchild” category at this point, I’m not actually required to cook a meal, but Grandma has kindly yielded one of her nights to me. It’s always fun to cook for a crowd, especially when I have help with my children! (Not to mention, Grandma and Grandpa INSIST on covering the cost of my groceries for that meal…hey, I’ll cook for you anytime you want to cover the cost and keep my kids! Bring it on!) So we had a delicious dinner of Chicken Diablo over wild rice (this is a pounded flat chicken breast stuffed with cream cheese and chopped mushrooms, rolled and tooth picked, and then “basted” with large grain Creole mustard, baked, then served over the long grain rice with a butter, brown sugar, and pecan glaze). We had Southern Living’s famous Baby Blue Salad, only I added blueberries to it (mixed greens, mandarin oranges, sliced strawberries, spicy toasted pecans, and blue cheese in a balsamic vinaigrette dressing) and fresh Verde horsts! (That’s French green beans! Hee, hee!) Dessert was delicious cream brulee and decaf coffee with half and half (honestly, is there ANY other way to drink coffee?) Yummy!

T3 rose early every morning. My MIL got up with him two mornings and let me sleep late. On the last morning T got up with him so I could sleep a little longer. I read four novels and several magazines. I had some sweet times with the Lord. On the way to the beach MW and I finished all of our thank you notes, which is saying something! We had about thirty or so to write. I had MW dictate each note of thanks to her little friends for the birthday gifts they lavished on her…any ideas how long it takes to get a four year old to dictate a thank you note? We’d just read a Winnie the Pooh book where there was this King who lived in the Hundred Acre Wood (now don’t ask me about this, because I was never a big Pooh fan and have no idea where this guy came from, I’d never heard of him before…). He wore striped underwear. (Don’t ask…it was just in the book…) So MW thought it was just hilarious to tell everyone in each note (not to worry, I omitted it) that she hoped they were “wearing striped underwear!) Oh, and then to get her to sign her name. We’re a little late learning to sign her name…I’ve just been working with her on it….oh my goodness. It was a serious test of my patience! But, we’re done. Next time will be easier. It was fun, just exhausting at times!

She and Grandpa J built some amazing drip sand castles and she and T built a gigantic castle that stayed up all week! One afternoon I took MW down to the beach with me. I was hoping to get to read. She, on the other hand, wanted my full attention. She’d baked several pies and cakes and needed me to taste each one! Finally, I asked her to do “surgery” on my leg. “Now Mama, this will hurt, so you have to act like it’s really hurting.” Eventually I wised up, “MW, give me a shot to numb my leg and then proceed with the surgery.” She did, and I enjoyed about ten minutes of reading in silence! Except for the guys next to us who were singing “it’s time for a b double e double r-u-n” over and over again. Hee, hee!

The children were amazing to watch. I love to see the expression on their faces as they think and feel the sand and play in it and with it. T3 ate two “sand suckers.” Those are suckers he dropped into the sand and just kept eating! Ick!

JJ gave MW some swimming lessons and got MW to put her face in the water, to float on her back with her head on JJ’s shoulder, to jump off the edge of the pool, and to kick, kick, kick above water! Yea!

There were many amazing moments and fun things! Such as MW’s dress up shows and parades…surprises multiple times a day (from Grandma and JJ)…fun movies to watch…the beach….the pool…coloring…snacks and more snacks…Capri suns galore! Our kids were, um, slightly spoiled. But, it’s once a year and so much fun! I mean, really, I can’t complain that MW doesn’t want me to bathe her, she wants JJ to. She doesn’t want me to brush her hair, she wants JJ to! I’ll never quite measure up to JJ in certain departments, and that’s just fine with me! Really, please, bathe my child for a week and get all those tangles out! Withdraw that privilege from me for the week, please!

I do believe God worked in my heart while we were at the beach. He reminded me that my worth is in Him and not in anyone else’s opinions of me (including my husband’s and children’s, etc.). He also reminded me that I’m not the Holy Spirit and I can’t change anyone’s heart. Not only do I NOT have that ability, it isn’t my place. Well that’s a load lifted.

T finished reading the last two books in the Harry Potter series. I haven’t read these. They aren’t exactly my genre. Evidently, while reading them, a person loses all contact with the outside world and is unable to communicate with anyone. The reader also loses all regard for other LIVING, BREATHING creatures, such as their family, and becomes engulfed in the pages, unable to do anything but read and read. (Late into the night, early in the morning, everywhere, no matter what they are doing.) Yes, I have issues with my spouse when he pays more attention to Harry Potter than me. I was jealous. He’s finished reading them. I think I’ll ban them from our home! Hee, hee!

Well, there were so many fun things to write about, but I’ll leave you with what I’ve already written.

About my vehicle and the flat…my sweet neighbor who is 87 helped me load both carseats and MW into her little car. She then drove us to pick up T3! What would I do without her? She's the best! So, after finally speaking to T, and telling him what I did (no, he hadn’t checked the blog yet…), he asked if I was kidding? “No. I am not kidding. This is for real.” To say he sounded bummed, well, that wouldn’t quite suffice. He’d had a miserable day already. A guy on his crew had gone to the ER with chest pains. They’d had to take a unit offline. (NOT GOOD!!! VERY BAD!) They were under manned already…T had planned to drop by the hospital on his way home from work to check on Mr. Chest Pain and now he’d have to come home and deal with his scatter brained wife’s ripped tire! So a friend shows up with a dark chocolate candy bar. I was like, “and how did you know I needed this today?” I told her what was going on and she asks, “Do you have Triple A?” DUH!!!! So I called Triple A – I knew we got it for a reason! I’ve never used them before. THEY ARE AMAZING! GREAT! I’m a member for life post this experience! The lady on the phone is super nice. She tells me someone will be out to change my tire within the hour. Five minutes later I get a call telling me what time the guy will show up. Fifteen minutes later, I get a knock on the door. It’s the guy! John was his name. We all (as in T3 on my hip, MW in her dress up clothes wearing two different shoes – evidently the style these days! My own little Punky Brewster – I need to teach her about mismatched socks! Super cool!) We follow John out to the car. I’m thankful he knows what he’s doing, because I had yet to learn how to get my tire down (to my credit, I did know how to change a flat on my Honda). MW was enthralled. I asked if the guy would be bothered if we watched, or would prefer we wait inside. “No matter.” So…we watched. Poor guy. Both of my children took in his every move. In about fifteen minutes he had the tire changed, hung the ripped one from under my car, had put the trunk back into order, and was filling out the paper work. Done. T would be SO HAPPY! Then, about forty-five minutes after we’d returned inside, I get a call from Triple A making sure everything had gone as planned and that we were safe and well. Oh yes, I’m a member for life! My children will have Triple A when they start driving! Give me good customer service, and you’ve won me over!

T was quite happy. “Who did you get to change your tire?” Score!


  1. Sounds like an amazing adventure... one of those better be your Christmas card!!!

  2. What a wonderful trip! I am a little bit jealous I have to admit. I wish we had extended family vacations like that, to have that much time on the beach with just Scott! What a dream. We are going to the beach in a month or so, but I have a felling our trip won't be quite as relaxing :) I do love your pictures!

  3. BTW you can come and cook at my house ANY TIME! I need to come and watch you b/c I don't even know where to start on a meal like that.