Tag Archives: claire

Annual beach trip

Each year we go to the beach with my parents, Doug’s family and Grandmama.  This year was no exception.  Everyone arrived in Murrells Inlet, SC on Saturday morning (except Tom and I, we drove in late Saturday night after working on the house all day). We rented a large house right on the beach, which is necessary due to the number of small children that we have going back and worth from the beach to the house all day. Because the rates are much less expensive in May than they are for the rest of the summer, we pulled the kids out of school and took off for the beach.  Hands down, we had the most beautiful weather this year.

The cousins were so excited to see each other again.  Now that Doug, Jacqueline and the boys live in Maryland, the kids really appreciate the time that they have together.  I could put thirty pictures in the post to show how much fun we all had, but that would be a bit excessive.  I will show the highlights:

The five cousins having a grew time together.  The ocean was fun, but a big hole and pile of dirt was equally as entertaining….


Doug had his surf board with him and we rented a paddle board for two days.  The kids learned how to surf and ride the waves.  We all briefly tried paddle boarding.  The water was a bit choppy which made it hard to stand up on the paddle board.  Frankly, I was too afraid of what might be swimming under me to fully enjoy the experience.



The best part of vacation was that it actually felt like a vacation.  Many times going to the beach is more of a “relocation” than an actual vacation.  This time I sat in a chair more than I stood up. It was awesome!  The kids were finally old enough to play in the water and not need me hovering over them making sure that they didn’t drown.  The sun shirts that we all have on became the unofficial uniform of our vacation – they were on sale at the beach shop so we all bought one.  By the third day I had on a giant floppy hat and a sun shirt….gone are the days of bikinis and laying out to get a tan.


Tom and I did get our date night out on the boardwalk.  We deemed it as one of our best dates. :)  As for the other nights, we ate well, drank many margaritas, ate ice cream and watched a comedy on TV with Doug.  I hadn’t laughed that much in a very long time.  It was good to hang out with my brother again.

Vacation at the beach was amazing and unforgettable.  It was hard to go home, but I was very glad that the house was immaculate when I got there. (although no buyers for the house yet).  I have to thank Mom and Dad for starting this beach tradition and for carrying it on each year.  Thank you!!

Gardening, Pool, and Dinner

I had a very fun, busy and relaxing weekend…

On Friday night my kids all slept over at Grandma’s with Gabriel and Shepherd.  I dropped them off around noon Friday and didn’t get them until Saturday morning.  I was so relieved to have all that time to myself.  I had also just cleaned the house so I was able to enjoy a clean house for almost 24 hours (almost unheard of).  I decide that a nap was a very good use of a quiet house.  After the nap, Tom and I had a date night and then he went to bed early because he had an International distance triathlon the next morning at Lake Norman.  Tom’s continuing goal is to be on the top three finishers in his age group.  He had yet to achieve this goal until this race. This time, Tom came in third place in his age group.  He works very hard at doing his best in these races.  When I raced a few last summer I just wanted to finish and have fun, he wants to win.  Third place was a great achievement.  Here he is crossing the finish line and up on the podium….




While Tom was at his race (which I didn’t go to because I was sleeping in with no kids), I went over to my mom’s to play with the kids and see Grandmama Pat.  Grandmama loves to come over to see the kids.  Today she wanted to see them swim at the pool and help in my mom’s gigantic garden.  My mom’s bean plants are so tall that Faith had to get up on an eight foot ladder to reach the top of the plants.  This picture is actually only half of her garden.  The other half has tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash and zucchini.


After gardening we took the kids to the pool.  It turns out that the best time to go to the pool is on a rainy day.  It had be sprinkling off and on all day, but without any thunder.  Instead of their being 100 people at the pool there was only ten, and we were half of them.  My dad played in the pool with the kids and continued to teach Gabriel how to swim.  My dad loves to play and to teach.  The kids were crawling all over him towards the end.  Wilson kept climbing on him and stealing his hat.  Wilson doesn’t know when to quit so he kept doing it over and over again.  It is usually either annoying or funny.  This time it was both.  I happened to catch an action shot since he couldn’t stop doing it long enough to take a decent picture.


Even after all that, our day was not done.  We went over to Jeff and Joanna Wise’s house for dinner.  The Youngs were invited also.  Faith, Robin and Colton are in the same Sunday School class together and so are Dallon, Jesse, Wilson and Miller.  The kids have become good friends over the past year.  It was time for all of us to get together outside of church.  The BBQ, sangria and conversation were all very delightful.  I would love to do it again sometime.  The Wises have a beautiful house and are very gracious hosts.  I love that all my friends have a relaxed house that  is very kid friendly.  It makes for such an enjoyable night.

This is Sidney, Bobby,  Jeff and Joanna….


The kids are now old enough to eat outside while we eat in peace inside. I am not sure if much eating was done, but they were having fun….


Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my moms birthday (I won’t say how old). :). Of course, it was a typical Monday for her. The kids were there all day: four kids in the morning and more showed up as the day wore on. At the end of her day I showed up with a nice cream cake. The kids were very excited. The little ones helped out the candles on the cake….


Then we lit the candles and sang Happy Birthday to her. Here she is with most of the kids…


Mom works so hard helping all of us. She takes care of the kids, feeds them, hems our clothes, does our taxes, and lets us have all of her hard earned gardening goods. She is a woman to be admired and in awe of all of her special talents and abilities. Did I mention that she is also modest? :).

Thanks for all you do mom!