Seven Quick Takes Friday

It's Friday!

Family vacations CAN be fun. Even when you cram lots of people in one house. It helps to have the distraction of a pool, a beach, lots of games and lots of cousins. For the grown-ups I suggest a few cocktails, can't hurt right? Cheap wine makes great sangria, and Bud Light with lime is a pretty good beach drink. And sisters really are the best when it comes to laying it on the line and whining.... who me??

Thanks to the Pioneer Woman for her awesome recipe for Jalapeno poppers. They truly are amazing. I have to say, I also love her wisdom. Let's just say I learned this lesson the hard way. We enjoyed them immensely. Until my sister scrolled through my pictures and said, "Who would take a picture of the poppers?" (She doesn't blog...)

Today's big debates? Where to take the family picture-- this is always a discussion for this family. Too many photographers in the bunch. Everyone has the perfect idea. Funny, despite all the fussing that comes before we still manage to take a pretty good picture. The second debate? Shrimp or pizza for dinner... we don't even entertain taking this huge brood to a restaurant to eat!

Today's beach find? "Ouchless" jelly fish! They can be used to decorate sand castles, chuck at your brother or introduce yourself to pretty girls on the beach --this only works if you are 4 1/2 and are cuter than a button like my nephew Aidan.

BTW, it works.

My son Ryan re-discovered reading Harry Potter this week. I have to say I am happy about that-- so much so that I let him stay in and read instead of guilting him into going to the beach "because we drove all this way and spent all this money". A lifelong love of reading is much more valuable than getting pelted in the back with an "ouchless" jellyfish by your brother.

This week made me realize how I miss my college friends. None of them read here, so it is not a shameless plug for some lovin'. I just realized that Rhett and I have spent most of the week telling stories of various beach escapades we survived with the Loy-yo-yo crew. I need a fix. Nothing can compare to day-long tournaments of UNO on a rainy beach day, or trying to explain to your kids why "Uncle" Frank is swinging his bathing suit around in the surf (let me just say that he was thankfully and mostly UNDER water at the time).

Finally, surf lessons + 6'4" frame+ ouchless bandaids = weird tan lines
Now, hop on over to Jen for some more 7 Quick Takes!

Day 5 at the beach

Today was another surf day...from 47 to3 everyone was surfing.

I love the look of sheer joy on my honey's face --nothing is sweeter

Things I have come to appreciate these days...
  • Spray sunscreen. This was invented for the mothers of pre-teen boys who DO NOT want their mothers touching them. Guarantees sunburn-free boys who have more time to spend at the beach and get tired.
  • Solo suntan lotion. I love that I am almost to the point where I do not have to "lube up" anyone but myself-- minus a little spray here and there. This morning I had flashbacks to applying lotion to myself and 4 kids-- don't know how Kate Gosselin does it alone.
  • the miracle of "peek-a-boo" when trying to calm a crying 5 month old -- and the look of surprise everytime I reappear. I rarely get that look of admiration from my own children.
  • beach chairs can make amazing babysitters when needed. Necessity is the mother of invention!

I love the fact that this family can embrace nature...

from baby blue crabs....
to starfish...

to tidal pools...
to...what the hell is this creature???

Rainy day

AH, life at the the beach. You wake up in the morning and see grey skies....what do you do? There are 9 children in the house...

So, you decide, let's go to the beach any way. A little rain can't hurt!

When you take 9 children to the beach and leave some people home-- this is what they get to do on a rainy day...

take a well deserved nap...

read a good book

or, read that nasty summer reading that you have been avoiding...


Day 4 at the Beach

Today is day four of our family vacation. Eighteen people in one house. It is a house amazingly filled with happy sounds-- giggles, farts, screetches, numerous sound effects and robot voices. I am constantly amazed at the ability of the average boy to mimic their favorite sound.

So far it has been a fun filled week. Full of ice cold watermelon after a day at the beach..

Starfish hunting....

and then covering your cousin in starfish...

Rocking a baby to sleep to the sound of the beach wind and waves...

Learning to surf from your aunt and uncle that are really just 12 year old boys trapped in an adult's body...

And FINALLY being relaxed enough that you are willing to post a picture of yourself (in a bathing suit) on the beach-- lost in a good book.