Thursday the 18th! On Thursday morning, Sam and I got up and went out to breakfast together. We were going to try one of Yaya’s favorite places but we had seen this place and wanted to try it. Yaya will never ever let us live that down, but that’s ok, we will try her place next time. This place was seriously old school. See? And the food was old school too. The most important part was that we had fun! When we got back, Lindsey and Ava were enjoying some time on their deck. Ava was saying, “What?? You went out to breakfast without me??” And Ethan was having his lollipop for breakfast. That morning we headed out for some mini golf! Lindsey and Ava came too! Her Sam had headed back home to get back to work. Here was our scorekeeper and photographer! Don’t you just wonder what is being said in this picture?? And here is our winner!! After mini-golf we headed down to the boardwalk. There are these cool sand sculptures down there. We love Dumser’s and Quietstorm. This guy got off his bike and started following me down the boardwalk. We love us some Thrasher’s French Fries! I couldn’t wait for Sam to try them, but when I got to it, the line was soooo long. But I was not going to miss out, so I waited in line for them and Sam and the kids met me after I got them. While I was waiting in line, Elvis walked by. Family size Thrasher’s! More Candy Kitchen goodies! That afternoon, we headed back down to the beach. Such pretty girls. Hi Ethan This is what a day of mini golf, the boardwalk, and the beach do to a five yr old. We got some Cream of Crab soup and Anthony’s Grinders for dinner that night. Here is Sam trying the Cream of Crab. It is delicious! These grinders are the bomb. Fun times! When we went by the sand sculptures earlier that day on the boardwalk, there was a guy there handing out tracks. So, Sam was checking out some of the verses. If I remember correctly, this guy we met was from our home state. Small world. He’s out! We could hardly get him to eat his supper.Such a fun day!
Wednesday, September 17th! Phew, another busy, fun-filled day! During our morning coffee on the deck, Grace pulled out her shells she had collected thus far to admire and show us. Lyvie was fiddling with her new camera she had gotten for her birthday. Gracie’s shells….. She said this was her most special one given to her by her Grandpa. Speaking of Grandpa……he had to get a little jumping rope in before he headed out. We were so sad to see him go, but duty called. And we were so thankful for the few days we had with him. The boys still in their pj’s! More jumping rope! Jack was trying to step in here. Woah Gracie! Yazi watching us from the deck as we started our trek to Candy Kitchen! Woohoo! We made it! This is one of our favorite spots! So much to choose from! Here we are with all our goods. I even won some free fudge while we were in there! Something came out on one of our receipts and they said, You won! We eventually made our way down to the beach. Another gorgeous day. More boogie boarding fun! The waves were pretty big this afternoon. That’s Darrell, Sam, Ethan and Hudson out there. Look at this weird fish Emma (I think) found while they were looking for shells. We had never seen anything like it.And here is Lindsey once again absorbed in a book! Love it!Everyone was taking a lollipop and water break.Pretty sure this must have been the day we all got beached. The waves are pretty big and no one is in the water in any of these pictures. Look at everyone turned checking out the wave. They don’t look huge in the picture, but trust me, some of them were pretty big. It was more the rip current that they were worried about I think though.Sweet LyvieMy now taller than me son.LoveI love this picture. Just look at all the faces. Not sure what Yaya and Sam were exchanging here. There we go…..this was the Yaya sleepover on the beach…….………….which meant date night for us!! Woohoo!Yaya recommended a local Mexican place and it was soooo good!!After dinner, we drove to Sunset Marina and walked around while we sipped our McDonald’s coffee. That’s our favorite cheap coffee. We call it our “ashtray coffee”. It tastes like an ashtray smells. I know you’re gonna think we are really weird now, but that’s ok. Neither of us are smokers, but we love it. Weird, I know. Anyway, back to Sunset Marina……..where the sun was setting……..There were endless piers that looked just like this. It was quite impressive.A few restaurants right on the water….We had a lot of fun checking out the boats and watching some that had just gotten back from a chartered fishing trip.And, seriously, I think these people might need just one more fishing pole. And just as I was posting this picture below, I noticed the little bright light in the top left corner. What is that???? I never noticed it before.
Tuesday, we all headed over to Assateague Island in search of some ponies. We found some! I was so happy we did! Here we are on the side of the road gawking. And of course, when our huge caravan of vehicles pulled over, everyone behind us did too. The beach on Assateague. Cousins! Our fam. Boy, do I love this bunch! Some more ponies in the distance. On the way back, a few of us stopped at Chic-fil-a for lunch! Yum! Apparently everyone was super hungry, because no one stopped to smile for the camera! Yaya, you are cracking me up here! I still haven’t got that yummy salad you got, but someday I want to try it! So thankful we have a Chic-fil-a near us now! Sam and I stopped at walmart after Chic-fil-a to get a few last minute things for Lyvia’s birthday. He had to try a few masks on the way by. He was just dying to get one to take back to the beach house to scare all the kids. But, he didn’t.That afternoon, we were back on the beach!……..building sandcastles………and looking for waves to ride………..here is Ethan and Grandpa.Another beautiful day with puffy clouds.Sam and the girls are heading in……..Not sure what this is all about….:)Yaya’s got Ava Gayle!Mom and her camera. Need I say more? I do love this picture of her though.One of these days we saw the dolphins going by but I didn’t get a picture. Dad and Ethan look so far out.My Dad is riding a wave on his boogie board and Weston is clinging to Sam. He was so scared. Which I am actually thankful for. The rip current was actually very dangerous one of the days we were here and they made us all get out. The lifeguards were all on edge because someone lost their life while we were on the beach. It was quite a ways down thankfully, so we did not witness anything, but it put everyone on edge and they were taking extra precautions.Blowing bubbles!Shelly and Emma spent the longest time searching for shells.Dad and Sam were water logged. Being out there in the water is tiring!Gracie made a tent for herself.Here are the diehards. Gracie, Lyvie and Hudson.That evening we celebrated our Little Lyvie Girl! She turned 9!! I like the way it looks like the dolphin is pulling the “Happy Birthday” sign. Horse theme! Which was perfect because we had just been to Assateague that day.It was actually Mom’s night to do dinner, so that made it easy for me! We had tacos for dinner and I got an ice cream cake for dessert. Yum!
Cutie Quinn!Grandie and the girlsHere is our daily “sunset from the deck” picture.
Then Sam ran across the street to get some pictures of the sunset without the wires.So pretty.Hanging out on the deck!After supper, we went out for a walk in the alley. Then we came back in to open presents and have ice cream cake. The wrapping here is hilarious. Weston wrapped his gift in his pj shirt. And Darrell and Shelly wrapped their gift for Lyvie in a diaper. Sisters! We had both pulled our hair back the same way so we had to get a picture. Lol. I will use any excuse. Opening gifts!Big sister helping her read her cards.Sitting on Daddy’s lap. She had picked out these sand dollars many yrs ago when she was here in Ocean City with my Mom. Yaya saved them for just the right time to give them to her.She is cracking up about having to open a diaper.Not sure what Weston is telling her here. They are all laughing at the funny card from Grandie and Grandpa.Trying out her new camera we got her! She loved it! Jack is posing so nicely.Our beautiful Lyvia Ann.Happy Birthday, sweet Lyvie! We love you so much! You are an extraordinary girl with a servant’s heart. You love to be a help whenever you can. You are sensitive and caring. And you have an amazing way with the animals. You know just how to care for them and take such good care of them. I love watching you grow up and learn new things.And I loved celebrating your birthday in Ocean City! How special!Yaya provided the party favors for all the kids……..Chic-fil-a cows!! Here they are with all their cows! Ava got one too! Love Yaya’s face in the background.After Lyvie’s party, Ethan headed off with Yaya to have a movie night with her and Grandie and Grandpa. So fun!Another wonderful day enjoying family and celebrating our Lyvie!
Here we are Day 2! (Monday morning) We were having breakfast on the deck. Lindsey and Ava were out on their deck too. It was so fun to be right next door to each other and have attached decks. Grandpa arrived!!!! He left right after church on Sunday and flew down, but then had to drive quite aways in traffic to get here. It wasn’t pleasant, but we were so glad he could join us for a few days! Grandpa getting Ava snuggles! It was another beautiful day on the beach! Grandie’s turn to get Ava snuggles. Notice Dunk has a shirt on! He got burned big time the first day, poor guy! Ava’s toes hitting the sand for the first time. I was going to say, “another beach day, another burial” and that just did not sound right. So I said it anyway. lol. The kids love to get buried in the sand…….well, at least my kids do. If you look closely at Hudson’s face in these pics…he does not look too happy about it! Die hard coffee drinkers! Oh, and cheez-its! Gotta have cheez-its on the beach! I can’t remember if Sam or my Dad found this horseshoe crab, but everyone got to check it out before Dad put it back in the water. It was still alive. Later that afternoon, some of the crazy ones in our group thought it would be a good idea to go jet-skiing. So, here we are getting our lesson. Before this we had to take a written test. Talk about stress! I thought this was a vacation! Haha! I was kinda nervous. Ok, a lot nervous. And I really only agreed to do this because Sam really wanted to. I was trying to be a good wife. But I was a shaking in my
boots bare feet nervous! The blonde guy was the tour guide. He was giving us instructions. I had Weston and Lyvie with me because we figured I would be less reckless than Sam, who took the two older ones. And Darrell had Hudson with him. So, when I first looked at this picture, I thought ok, there we go! And then I realized the third jet ski was our tour guide and…………..……………I was still way back here (pic below)……! I was so afraid to hit the gas! It was super wobbly and they only gave us one time around that area close to shore to get the feel of it, then we were full throttle out in the middle of the water! No where near shore and with other boats passing us. I was a nervous nellie I tell you. One of the things that made me so nervous was that the guy told us that you CANNOT talk to each other once we got going. First of all, you couldn’t really hear each other and if you did try to talk to each other you would end up running into each other in the process. He assured us these were not bumper boats nor were they to be used as bumper boats. So, I’m thinking if I have a problem, I have no way of waving them down or getting help. That scared me. Plus I was afraid if I took off too fast or something I would lose one of the kids off the back. All these things go through a Mama’s head! Or at least this Mama’s head!! So, now, here we go! I finally caught up….at least for the time being. Straight out in front with that white sand is Assateague Island. We could see Assateague Island the whole time and we even got to see ponies while we were out there “having our fun”. It really was beautiful! I have to say, it wasn’t until right near the end of our hour, did I finally get the hang of it and was feeling at ease making turns and knowing when to accelerate and when to let off the throttle. Don’t get me wrong, I did my best to have fun and go fast, etc and we did do those things, but inside I was a nervous wreck! However, I was glad I tried it, I have to say.
But now let me just tell you how this adventure ended, because you know, we can’t just have a normal adventure where everything goes smoothly. So, there we are–the four jet skis in the middle of the picture below. See the boat to the left of us? Yeah, that’s a police boat. Ahem. About halfway back (I think we traveled 6 miles round trip (3 miles out and 3 miles back with about 45 minutes or so to “play” in this wide open area near Assateague)), I noticed our tour guide talking to this police. But I just figured they were friends and were chatting about something. Umm. No. So, here we come back into “port” with our police escort and of course, we can’t talk to each other so I have no idea what is going on, but apparently, the tour guide told Sam what had happened at some point. Maybe while they were circling around waiting for me to catch up, I don’t know. One last circling around….. Mom and Dad were taking these pictures for us. And I couldn’t get the darn thing to go slower, because there is no brake, you just take your hand off the throttle and you are supposed to slow down (at least this is what I am remembering, I could be wrong). The guy is yelling to me slow down! Slow down! I was heading right for him. He didn’t want me to beach the thing, he just wanted me to come in slowly so he could grab the jet ski. Well, I beached it, but it wasn’t too too bad, I don’t think. I didn’t really care, I was just happy to be on solid sand again. I was so afraid one of us had done something wrong but I had no idea what it could be! The whole way back I was thinking of everything and anything! Sam, Grace, and Ethan. Well, come to find out, our tour guide had taken us through a mosquito bed. Yes, you read right, a mosquito bed! Apparently that is illegal. What?? I thought we wanted less mosquitos. And the police didn’t actually see us go through the mosquito bed, someone (who apparently loves mosquitos) took a picture of us and sent it to the police! Wow, some people have too much time on their hands! So, this poor tour guide got a ticket for taking us through a mosquito bed! A mosquito bed!! We were his last tour for the whole season. I felt terrible. I mean it wasn’t my fault, I didn’t even know we went through the mosquito bed, I was just following the leader, the leader, the leader. Oh sorry, I got carried away….anyway, we felt so bad, after we had already tipped him, we went back to the car for more money and gave him extra, because we felt so bad. It was an experience we won’t soon forget! (And I’m sorry if there are any mosquito lovers reading this.) When we got back from our crazy jet skiing adventure, Grandpa took some of the grandkids back down to the beach while we got showered and dinner going. Little Miss Ava! Dunk made his famous beans! And Shelly cooked us up some mean burgers! Yum! Look at this craziness! Isn’t it great?! Chowing down! Oh poor Dunk. He was suffering bad. Yaya was getting some Quinn snuggles. And Grandpa was getting Ava snuggles. And the boys were wrestling of course. Sam and Lindsey served ice cream sundaes for dessert! A big hit! The boys lined up first. And to keep with our tradition from home…..the night before Lyvia’s party, I put up our “Happy Birthday” sign with the dolphin balloon we had gotten her for her birthday. Her birthday was not til the 27th, but we decided it would be fun to celebrate her birthday on the beach! And boy were we right! More on that to come!
As you will see from these pictures of our first day in Ocean City~~we had a great time!!
Here we are enjoying our first morning of “coffee on the deck”. And Uncle Sam is getting some Ava snuggles. I love this picture. Sam and I both love the newborn stage and we miss that so much now that our kids are older. And the other Uncle Sam is getting some Weston snuggles. Yaya waited forever for this day to come! And here she is with some of her great-nieces and nephews in Ocean City!!!!!!!!!!! On the deck!!!!!!!!! Grandie-pants, Ava and Weston! It didn’t take us long to make our way down to the beach. Jackson and Weston are playing paddle ball. The crew (some of the crew, actually) Ethan and Quinn are such pals. I love it! The girls love to be buried in the sand by their Daddy and brother! Such fun! Here is Sam trying out Ethan’s skim board. Waiting for a big wave! The skim board didn’t last long. The lifeguard told us we weren’t allowed to use it. What?? Too dangerous he said. Really?? Alrighty then. We obeyed. Jackson…….. Love his faces! The guys waiting for a big one! We found a good playpen for Quinn. Ethan was doing his best to keep Quinn happy. Love this pic These two are two peas in a pod. After the beach, we rinsed the sand off us and headed across the street to the pool. It’s a beautiful pool. Lyvie is getting a ride on Yaya. Quinn and Dunk Yaya and the girls! Quinn was loving it! Uncle Sam was about ready to launch Weston! After the pool, we all came back and got showered and in pj’s! Vacations at the beach are the best!
Ethan holding Ava….. We love the sunsets from our deck. Lou and Sam This picture cracks me up! Grace and Sam are twins. We hosted dinner this night. We had chicken enchiladas, corn and cornbread. Brownies for dessert. We were all hungry after a full day of beach and swimming. Gracie and Ava It cracks me up that Lindsey can sit there and read a book. I could never do that! There was a movie playing, talking going on…..I would be way too distracted to read. I can’t even focus when it’s quiet! I’m always thinking about what I should be doing rather than sitting and reading. Where did my little Ethan go?? Look how guilty Dunk looks! He was late for dinner so he had to eat by himself. I brought a pumpkin for Yaya and some candy corn for a little taste of fall in our beach house. That would be Ethan’s hand digging in. Yazi and Lyvie Look Ma no hands!And that is the end of our first day in OCMD! What a fun day!!
In September, we took a trip to Ocean City! Here we are the first night getting settled into our beds. The kids were so excited! The boys had a room and the girls had a room. This picture cracks me up. We were being super loud and then we realized Darrell was sleeping on the other side of that wall! Apparently (and thankfully), he didn’t hear a thing! It’s really too bad no one looks excited in this picture. Weston was so excited to be on the top bunk! Ocean City Picture Overload is on its way………..
First though….I experimented with some loofah. I made these cucumber melon bars of soap and while it was still soft, I stuck a piece of a loofah sponge in each bar. They were a big hit! We had Amanda for dinner one night before she left for PNG. It was fun to get to visit with her one last time before she headed out. She is doing great and we are so proud of her! I took these pictures just before we left for Ocean City. My ferns were ginormous this summer! And here is the one lonely pumpkin we grew successfully in our garden this year. One is better than none, I guess! Next up…..OCEAN CITY!!!!!
Friday night before Labor Day Conference started, Sam’s friend, Dan, arrived to camp next to us with his kids. Unfortunately it was dark when he arrived and they had to set up his tent in the dark. It was a challenge, but they got it done! Little Miss Ava came to our camper for a visit. Oh, these volleyball games were a riot. I spared you of the many pictures I took, but here are a few. You really had to be there…let’s just say it was very entertaining! Sam and Jarry manned the grill on Monday evening for our cookout. And the kids played spiderball til the bitter end!It was, as always, a fun weekend!
Here is our end of August…..Lindsey and Ava came over for a walk with me. Fun times! I love this picture of Ava looking up at Lindsey. Gracie is following in her big brother’s footsteps and becoming quite the reader! Sweet Lyvie! She is taking a selfie, but it reminded me of Mimi C, because she calls selfies~~”facies”. She makes us laugh! Sunflowers from our gardenAnd I know I already posted this but just to keep things in order…..here is the first documented picture of Ethan taller than me! He has continued to grow these last six months and is way past me now. He is also creeping up on Sam. He has about a 1/2 an inch to go!