Ocean City 2014~~Day 5

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.  IMG_5779 See?  And the food was old school too.  The most important part was that we had fun!  IMG_5780 When we got back, Lindsey and Ava were enjoying some time on their deck.IMG_5785 Ava was saying, “What?? You went out to breakfast without me??”  ;)IMG_5788 And Ethan was having his lollipop for breakfast.IMG_5789 That morning we headed out for some mini golf!IMG_5791 IMG_5792 Lindsey and Ava came too!  Her Sam had headed back home to get back to work.IMG_5793 IMG_5796 Here was our scorekeeper and photographer!IMG_5799 IMG_5800 IMG_5806 IMG_5816 IMG_5817 IMG_5818 Don’t you just wonder what is being said in this picture??IMG_5820 IMG_5821 And here is our winner!!IMG_5823 IMG_5824 After mini-golf we headed down to the boardwalk.  There are these cool sand sculptures down there.IMG_5825 IMG_5826 IMG_5827 IMG_5829 IMG_5833 IMG_5834 IMG_5835 IMG_5836 We love Dumser’s and Quietstorm.IMG_5837 This guy got off his bike and started following me down the boardwalk.IMG_5840 IMG_5841 IMG_5842 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.IMG_5843 While I was waiting in line, Elvis walked by.  ;)IMG_5844 Family size Thrasher’s!IMG_5845 IMG_5846 IMG_5847 IMG_5848 IMG_5850 More Candy Kitchen goodies!IMG_5859 That afternoon, we headed back down to the beach.IMG_5860 IMG_5865 IMG_5868 IMG_5872 IMG_5881 IMG_5882 IMG_5885 IMG_5886 IMG_5887 IMG_5894 IMG_5923 IMG_5903 IMG_5904 IMG_5924 IMG_5928 IMG_5931 IMG_5933 Such pretty girls.  :)IMG_5942 IMG_5949 IMG_5951 Hi Ethan ;)IMG_5952 IMG_5953 IMG_5958 IMG_5962 This is what a day of mini golf, the boardwalk, and the beach do to a five yr old.  :)IMG_5967 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!IMG_5968 These grinders are the bomb.IMG_5970 Fun times!IMG_5972 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.  :)IMG_5974 He’s out!  We could hardly get him to eat his supper.IMG_5975Such a fun day!

Ocean City 2014~~Day 4

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.  IMG_5659 Lyvie was fiddling with her new camera she had gotten for her birthday.IMG_5660 Gracie’s shells…..IMG_5662 IMG_5663She said this was her most special one given to her by her Grandpa.  ;)IMG_5665 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.IMG_5666 The boys still in their pj’s!IMG_5669 IMG_5670 More jumping rope!IMG_5672 Jack was trying to step in here.  :)IMG_5673 Woah Gracie!IMG_5675 IMG_5677 Yazi watching us from the deck as we started our trek to Candy Kitchen!IMG_5678 IMG_5679 IMG_5681 Woohoo!  We made it!  This is one of our favorite spots!IMG_5683 IMG_5684 So much to choose from!IMG_5685 IMG_5686 IMG_5687 IMG_5688 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!  IMG_5689 We eventually made our way down to the beach.IMG_5692 Another gorgeous day.IMG_5693 IMG_5695 IMG_5696 IMG_5699 IMG_5701 More boogie boarding fun!IMG_5702 The waves were pretty big this afternoon.IMG_5704 That’s Darrell, Sam, Ethan and Hudson out there.IMG_5705 IMG_5709 IMG_5714 IMG_5715 IMG_5717 IMG_5718 IMG_5721 IMG_5724Look at this weird fish Emma (I think) found while they were looking for shells.  We had never seen anything like it.IMG_5727And here is Lindsey once again absorbed in a book!  Love it!IMG_5730Everyone was taking a lollipop and water break.IMG_5732IMG_5733IMG_5734Pretty 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.IMG_5736Sweet LyvieIMG_5742My now taller than me son.IMG_5744LoveIMG_5749I love this picture.  Just look at all the faces.  Not sure what Yaya and Sam were exchanging here.  IMG_5751There we go…..this was the Yaya sleepover on the beach…….IMG_5752………….which meant date night for us!!  Woohoo!IMG_5753Yaya recommended a local Mexican place and it was soooo good!!IMG_5754After 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……..IMG_5759There were endless piers that looked just like this.  It was quite impressive.IMG_5761A few restaurants right on the water….IMG_5763We had a lot of fun checking out the boats and watching some that had just gotten back from a chartered fishing trip.IMG_5765And, seriously, I think these people might need just one more fishing pole.  IMG_5770And 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.IMG_5774

Ocean City 2014~~Day 3

Tuesday, we all headed over to Assateague Island in search of some ponies.  IMG_5519 We found some!  I was so happy we did!IMG_5523 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.  ;)IMG_5525 The beach on Assateague.IMG_5527 IMG_5529 Cousins!IMG_5532 Our fam.  Boy, do I love this bunch!IMG_5533 Some more ponies in the distance.IMG_5537 On the way back, a few of us stopped at Chic-fil-a for lunch!IMG_5544 Yum!IMG_5545 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!IMG_5546 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.IMG_5547That afternoon, we were back on the beach!……..IMG_5548building sandcastles………IMG_5551and looking for waves to ride………..here is Ethan and Grandpa.IMG_5553Another beautiful day with puffy clouds.IMG_5554IMG_5555Sam and the girls are heading in……..IMG_5557Not sure what this is all about….:)IMG_5558Yaya’s got Ava Gayle!IMG_5559Mom and her camera.  Need I say more?  I do love this picture of her though.IMG_5560One of these days we saw the dolphins going by but I didn’t get a picture.  Dad and Ethan look so far out.IMG_5563My Dad is riding a wave on his boogie board and Weston is clinging to Sam.  IMG_5564He 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.IMG_5565Blowing bubbles!IMG_5570Shelly and Emma spent the longest time searching for shells.IMG_5572Dad and Sam were water logged.  :)  Being out there in the water is tiring!IMG_5573IMG_5576Gracie made a tent for herself.IMG_5579IMG_5581Here are the diehards.  Gracie, Lyvie and Hudson.IMG_5583IMG_5586That 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.  IMG_5591Horse theme! Which was perfect because we had just been to Assateague that day.IMG_5594It 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!
IMG_5595Cutie Quinn!IMG_5596Grandie and the girlsIMG_5597Here is our daily “sunset from the deck” picture.  ;)
IMG_5599Then Sam ran across the street to get some pictures of the sunset without the wires.IMG_5600So pretty.IMG_5601Hanging out on the deck!IMG_5602After supper, we went out for a walk in the alley.  IMG_5606Then 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.  ;)IMG_5616Sisters!  We had both pulled our hair back the same way so we had to get a picture.  Lol.  I will use any excuse.  :)IMG_5617Opening gifts!IMG_5622Big sister helping her read her cards.IMG_5623Sitting on Daddy’s lap.  :)IMG_5624She 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.IMG_5625She is cracking up about having to open a diaper.IMG_5627IMG_5628IMG_5629IMG_5630Not sure what Weston is telling her here.  :)IMG_5631They are all laughing at the funny card from Grandie and Grandpa.IMG_5632Trying out her new camera we got her!  She loved it!  Jack is posing so nicely.IMG_5639Our beautiful Lyvia Ann.IMG_5644Happy 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.IMG_5645And I loved celebrating your birthday in Ocean City!  How special!IMG_5646Yaya provided the party favors for all the kids……..IMG_5649Chic-fil-a cows!!  :)IMG_5652Here they are with all their cows!  Ava got one too!  Love Yaya’s face in the background.IMG_5654After Lyvie’s party, Ethan headed off with Yaya to have a movie night with her and Grandie and Grandpa.  So fun!IMG_5655Another wonderful day enjoying family and celebrating our Lyvie!

Ocean City 2014~~Day 2

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.IMG_5405 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!IMG_5409 Grandpa getting Ava snuggles!IMG_5411 It was another beautiful day on the beach!IMG_5414 IMG_5417 Grandie’s turn to get Ava snuggles.IMG_5418 Notice Dunk has a shirt on!  He got burned big time the first day, poor guy!IMG_5419 Ava’s toes hitting the sand for the first time.  ;)IMG_5423IMG_5428 IMG_5429 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!IMG_5431 IMG_5432 IMG_5433 Die hard coffee drinkers!  Oh, and cheez-its!  Gotta have cheez-its on the beach!IMG_5436 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.IMG_5439 It was still alive.IMG_5444 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!IMG_5445 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!IMG_5446 The blonde guy was the tour guide.  He was giving us instructions.IMG_5447 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.IMG_5451 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…………..IMG_5452……………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!!IMG_5453 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!IMG_5456 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.IMG_5457 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.  IMG_5459 One last circling around…..IMG_5462 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.  IMG_5463 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!IMG_5467 Sam, Grace, and Ethan.IMG_5468 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.)IMG_5469 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.IMG_5470 Little Miss Ava!IMG_5473 IMG_5474 Dunk made his famous beans!IMG_5477 And Shelly cooked us up some mean burgers!  Yum!IMG_5480 Look at this craziness!  Isn’t it great?!IMG_5481 IMG_5482 Chowing down!IMG_5484 Oh poor Dunk.  He was suffering bad.IMG_5493 Yaya was getting some Quinn snuggles.IMG_5494 And Grandpa was getting Ava snuggles.IMG_5495 And the boys were wrestling of course.IMG_5496 Sam and Lindsey served ice cream sundaes for dessert!  A big hit!IMG_5497 The boys lined up first.IMG_5498 IMG_5500 IMG_5502 IMG_5503 IMG_5508 IMG_5509 IMG_5510 IMG_5512 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!IMG_5514

Ocean City 2014~~Day 1

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.  IMG_5294 And the other Uncle Sam is getting some Weston snuggles.  ;)IMG_5295 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!!!!!!!!!IMG_5298 Grandie-pants, Ava and Weston!IMG_5300 It didn’t take us long to make our way down to the beach.  Jackson and Weston are playing paddle ball.IMG_5301 The crew (some of the crew, actually)IMG_5302 IMG_5303 IMG_5308 IMG_5310 Ethan and Quinn are such pals.  I love it!IMG_5311 The girls love to be buried in the sand by their Daddy and brother!IMG_5315 Such fun!IMG_5320 IMG_5321 IMG_5324 Here is Sam trying out Ethan’s skim board.IMG_5326 IMG_5327 IMG_5328 Waiting for a big wave!IMG_5331 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.  :)IMG_5335 Jackson……..IMG_5337 Love his faces!IMG_5338 IMG_5339 IMG_5340 The guys waiting for a big one!IMG_5341 We found a good playpen for Quinn.IMG_5342 Ethan was doing his best to keep Quinn happy.IMG_5344 Love this picIMG_5346 IMG_5348 These two are two peas in a pod.  IMG_5352 IMG_5353 IMG_5355 IMG_5357 After the beach, we rinsed the sand off us and headed across the street to the pool.  It’s a beautiful pool.IMG_5358 Lyvie is getting a ride on Yaya.IMG_5361 IMG_5362 Quinn and DunkIMG_5366 Yaya and the girls!IMG_5368 Quinn was loving it!IMG_5374 Uncle Sam was about ready to launch Weston!IMG_5378 After the pool, we all came back and got showered and in pj’s!  Vacations at the beach are the best!

Ethan holding Ava…..IMG_5380 :)IMG_5381 We love the sunsets from our deck.IMG_5383 Lou and SamIMG_5384 This picture cracks me up!  Grace and Sam are twins.IMG_5387 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.IMG_5388 Gracie and Ava :)IMG_5389 IMG_5390 IMG_5391 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.IMG_5392 Where did my little Ethan go??IMG_5394 Look how guilty Dunk looks!  He was late for dinner so he had to eat by himself.  ;)IMG_5395 I brought a pumpkin for Yaya and some candy corn for a little taste of fall in our beach house.IMG_5396 That would be Ethan’s hand digging in.IMG_5399 Yazi and LyvieIMG_5402 Look Ma no hands!IMG_5403And that is the end of our first day in OCMD!  What a fun day!!

Ocean City 2014~~The Arrival!

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.IMG_5288 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.  ;)IMG_5289 Weston was so excited to be on the top bunk!IMG_5290 IMG_5292Ocean City Picture Overload is on its way………..

Dinner with Amanda and Porch Pretties

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!IMG_5259 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!IMG_5263 I took these pictures just before we left for Ocean City.  My ferns were ginormous this summer!  IMG_5267 And here is the one lonely pumpkin we grew successfully in our garden this year.  One is better than none, I guess!IMG_5273 IMG_5275 IMG_5276 IMG_5278 IMG_5281Next up…..OCEAN CITY!!!!!

Labor Day Conference

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.  IMG_5215 It was a challenge, but they got it done!IMG_5217 Little Miss Ava came to our camper for a visit.  :)IMG_5218 IMG_5220 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!IMG_5223 IMG_5230 IMG_5232 Sam and Jarry manned the grill on Monday evening for our cookout.IMG_5244 And the kids played spiderball til the bitter end!IMG_5246It was, as always, a fun weekend!

End of August Musings

Here is our end of August…..Lindsey and Ava came over for a walk with me.  Fun times!IMG_5204 I love this picture of Ava looking up at Lindsey.IMG_5206 Gracie is following in her big brother’s footsteps and becoming quite the reader!IMG_5208 Sweet Lyvie!  She is taking a selfie, but it reminded me of Mimi C, because she calls selfies~~”facies”.  She makes us laugh!IMG_5210 Sunflowers from our gardenIMG_5214And 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!IMG_0053