Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Our Last Days at the Beach

'"'Now leave this land at once and go back to your native land.' "'
Genesis 31:13

The last Saturday at the beach, we always have a special treat for breakfast:  stale Krispy Kreme doughnuts toasted with butter.  It doesn't sound very good but it really is! :)  [Anything that has to do with doughuts is...right? :)]  Paw-paw buys the doughnuts at the beginning of the week, and then, by the end of the week, they are aged to perfection!  So, Paw-paw cuts each doughnut in half, dollops butter around the ring and, for a few of them he sprinkled streusel on top, before throwing them in the oven.  (Streusel is a sugary, cinnamon topping you put on muffins and such.)  
The product before being cooked in the oven.
Doesn't it look good?!
Paw-paw fixing up the doughnuts.
Our last breakfast together. :-(
I think that we went down to the beach after breakfast, as a sort of goodbye.  Hannah and I persuaded Uncle Kevin, Paw-paw and Daddy (I think) to come in the ocean with us one last time.  It was cold, but if I remember correctly, it was warmer than usual.  Hannah and I completely submerged ourselves, after we let our bodies adjust! :)

Once everyone was cleaned up and lunch was eaten, everyone (other than us) prepared to leave.  (We decided to stay until Sunday morning but everyone else was leaving before dinner.) 
This picture was taken as Hannah rocked Justus upstairs, while Uncle Kevin and Mae-Mae packed down in their room.  I think that he just woke up, which is why he's cuddling with Hannah! :)

Before dinner, we gave everyone hugs and kisses goodbye and then waved to them from the steps, as they rolled out of the driveway.

Truth be known, I know that most of us were depressed once they left. 
It felt so quiet and lonely without them there.

Anyways, life had to go on so we ate dinner and cleaned up.

Then we went back over to Pea Island Wildlife Refuge for some more pictures! :)

As you can was a bit windy! :)
(Mama was having her back problems at the beach, so that's why she's holding onto Daddy.  She only went about half-way down the trail.)

The first thing my siblings saw was a turtle!  He was pretty cute and, luckily, he was out of reach, or he would've become the family pet in a matter of seconds. :)

Lydia on the trail.

The trail was so beautiful during the day, but around dusk it was gnat, mosquito, biting-fly, you-name-the-bug, heaven.  So, we went around the trail! :)

Lydia again.

Hannah got a nice little tan, didn't she? :)


When we emerged from the walkway, the sun was casting glorious rays on the sky.  It was so beautiful!!

Alexis, Mama, and Hannah.

I don't get tired of these pictures, so bear with me! :)

By the way, you can see some geese in the picture, if you look.  More on them later...

I rarely get him to smile, so I treasure every time he smiles for me! :)

There's the goose from the picture above, and its goslings, in a row.  :)

Daddy and my siblings herded them close together so I could get a picture of them.

Isn't that sun gorgeous?

Eden and a flower she found.

The biting flies were really getting bad, so some of us went off the trail and kept closer to the water, to take advantage of the breezes. 

Daddy and Lydia.

Lydia was walking around barefoot and somehow Daddy found what we call, a rolly-polly (we pronounce it roll-e-poll-e).  They are so cute, and if disturbed, will roll up into a ball that will roll if pushed...hence the name rolly-polly! :)

Lydia trying to capture the bug.
(You can see from her hair how windy it was that night!)

Lydia love bugs.  Just today I was getting ready to vacuum and she brought me a june bug on her fingers saying "beetle, beetle," in the cutest little way.  She also screams in delight whenever there's a fly around.  :)

As you can tell, I was loving the light and all the opportunities for silhouetting! :)

This was the view from the top of the look-out deck that was set up at the end of the trail.  (That is what Caleb is on in the picture above this one.)  As you can see, the trail was forever long, so Mama and a few others went back to the car before we did.

Caleb reading some stuff about the soundside and the animals that dwell in it or nearby.

Lydia messing with her eye.

There's that smile of hers again! :) The "scrunch-face"

Josiah and Lydia playing.

Lydia coming up the steps.

There were two levels on the look-out and Lydia enjoyed going up and down them all the time.

Lydia leaves me speechless!  Oh, she's so adorable! :)
(In case you were wondering, this picture doesn't need to be rotated...she was laying down.)

As we sat up there on the look-out we waited for the sun to set, and it gradually started sinking down the sky.

Every now and then I'd go back and take another picture.

And then it was gone, after one of the most fantastic sunsets at the beach this year! :)

Once the sun set, we rushed back to the parking lot (and bathrooms!), but before we could leave Daddy wanted me to get a picture of a gosling. So he gently picked one up, I took a picture, and then the gosling was set free.

Aren't they adorable? :)

Once back in the car, we headed home.  Once back at the house, we quickly organized a crab-hunting expedition.  Soon everyone (minus Mama, Lydia, and Hannah) was on the beach with flashlights, nets for catching crabs, and  buckets.  After catching around 30 crabs and letting them go, we went back inside and lay on the couch as Daddy read a book to us.  (Daddy had found a book by Bill Crosby on Parenting so he read snippets here and there.)

Soon we had to go to bed, to wake up in the morning on time.

Since I don't have any pictures from Sunday I'll give you an overview of what we did:

  • After breakfast we scoured the house, cleaning up, packing, piling things, etc. to get ready to leave.

  • While we made piles Daddy took piles out to the van and loaded our supplies up for us.

  • When everything was done, everyone went to the bathroom one last time and then hopped in the car.

  • Before I got in the car, I went down the beach - one last time - to touch the water and feel the sand.

  • Once everyone and everything was in the car, we pulled away and everyone watched as our house and the ocean faded from view.  It really was sad.  :(

Oh well, life must go on! :)  We survived the departure, and the trek home, to celebrate Mother's Day at the Pasta House in Mechanicsville.  We made it just in time (okay, a little late) and soon we were eating.  After eating we went home, unpacked everything, and then we ended up doing lots of stuff outside.  Everything was ripe and ready to be picked when we got back, so we had to get it off the plant before they rotted.  So, we ended up with tons of strawberries and pea pods the day we got back from the beach! :)

Anyways, that closes the chapter of our 2010 beach vacation!

Before I completely close out this post I must mention Mr. Jon.  He stayed at the house and kept all the animals fed and happy, so we could go on vacation.  No one could tell, when we got home, that anyone had been there all week!  Thanks Mr. Jon! :) aka "d-oww-eee"


Now, I only have 1 more day of beach postings!  (Remember...I skipped a day.)  I also have some pictures of flowers that we planted, but I'll probably put those on my photography blog, and I need to do a post on the chicken coop Mr. Jon built for us.      
  Tomorrow Grandpa and Grandma are coming down to watch over my siblings on Friday and Saturday while we're gone at the HEAV Homeschool Convention.  My Aunt Stacey, and cousins, Kaitlyn, Sarah, and Rachel, are also coming in town on Thursday, but we won't see them until Sunday when we're having a cookout at Na-naw and Paw-paw's.  Aunt Stacey and family won't leave until Tuesday, so we'll probably be doing stuff with them. 

Okay, I need to go! :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Contest

An unidentified member of our familiy made this "football" today:

(No, Caleb didn't make it!)

Okay, here's the contest.
1.  You have to guess what the football is made out of.
2.  Leave me a comment at the bottom of this post (click on "0 comments"), or email me, with your guess! 
3.  You have until 12:00 Noon on Monday, June 14th to cast your vote.  (Only one per person, please! :)

And the prize will be...your name and picture (if I have one of you) on our blog. :)  [I don't know what else of mine I could give that anyone would want... :-]   I know that doesn't inspire you to vote, but I just thought a contest would be fun! :)

I will give away the answer to the football's make-up sometime after June 14th, and the person who wins will get their name and picture, on our blog.  (If you don't want a picture, let me know.  :)  If everyone guesses what the football is correctly...I'm never doing a contest again.  Okay, just kidding. =)  I'll put the names in a hat and draw out one person and that will be the winner.

Now hurry up and give me your guesses! :)
(I'm excited already! :)


Today we're canning cherries.  Yesterday was raspberry day, so today is cherry day! :)

For those of you who have never canned, it involves a bunch of work but at the end, there's lots (well, sometimes) of yummy food, freshly preserved for our family! :)

Before you can you have to clean everything...jars, lids, and bands.  So, (since we're doing 3 batches of jam) we stuck all the stuff in the dishwasher.  :)

It's hard to see what everything is, but the top rack held most of the bands, along with some jars and a few lids.

The jars and bands.

This is the bottom level where most of the jars and lids were piled.


Lids and silverware from breakfast! :)

Lexi washed and pitted one bucket of cherries for us, and Seth is currently doing another.

And since I'm on the subject, here is a quick picture of the jams we made yesterday:

On the left is raspberry  jam and on the right is low-sugar raspberry jam.  Altogether there are 5 half-pints and 5 pints of yummy jam! :)

Okay, I need to go help Mama get a batch of jam ready! :)

Delighting in Jesus,

P.S. - It is such a beautiful day outside, isn't it? :)  

 "O Lord, how manifold are your works!  In wisdom You have made them all, the earth is full of Your possessions-"
Psalm 104:24