7.01.2015

(Not-So) Wordless Wednesday - Beach Retrospective

We have been blessed to make a beach trip every summer except the summer of 2007 (explained below).  I love looking back to see what my kiddos looked like during each trip.  Well, I like it...and at the same time I don't like it.  It makes me want to bawl, actually.




2005:







2006:
Noah was still in diapers...and was apparently feeling a little camera-shy! Elisabeth was still into running around naked! (In case you can't tell, I just drew her "bikini" in with our photo editing software!) 6 weeks prior to this picture, Noah had his second open-heart surgery...his little chest and belly are still so swollen in this picture they look like they're going to pop!





(2007: The two weeks that we were supposed to be down at the time share exactly coincided with the 2 weeks that we were supposed to be in China meeting Daniel...we decided to go meet our precious baby boy instead of going to the beach!)




2008:

About 6 weeks before this picture, Noah had his pacemaker inserted...you can still see the bottom of his scar is more red (fresh) than the upper portion, and you can see the circular bulge in his abdomen where the pacemaker is located. 






2009:








2010:

Lily Kay had only been home four months at this time...but quickly decided she liked this beach trip!






2011:







2012:





2013:








2014:
E-11, N-10, D-9, LK-8, G-2



2015:


I *almost* forgot to get this pic of all the kiddos together on the beach...thankfully we got it the very last night, although fully clothed!







6.29.2015

Beach Trip - 2015


We have been on our annual beach trip this past week.


View from our 2nd floor balcony


We have been making this trip to this resort (to the exact same condo) for years and years now...thanks to my parents' timeshare.

This was Elisabeth and Noah's 9th time, Daniel's 8th time, LK's 6th time, Gabriel's 4th time (he was just 4 months old the first time he went!), and Abigail's first time.  Gabriel is now 3 years old, which is how old Elisabeth was the first time she went!


One thing that was different this year (and hopefully this is a new annual tradition) is that ALL of my side of the family was there:



Both my parents, my brother Jeff and his family...and the eight of us.


We had a BALL!  The kiddos are so sad for this trip to be over.  We had three different units, and when we were in our rooms, the kiddos and adults were everywhere visiting (and having slumber parties) back and forth.

Mom and dad had owned one unit for two weeks, but they now own three units for one week.  Got that?  So while we only were there for one week, it was a great week.

This was a glorious vacation.


Sunrise one morning

Sunrise another morning
I got to prop my feet up (figuratively and literally), and really enjoy this trip this time...


Hanging out on the balcony - This is where you could find me early every morning before anyone else woke up...and every afternoon during rest-time.
...because Jas was there the whole time, and I wasn't in charge of six children all by myself.  AND, Laolao and Papa treated all of us to supper every night, so no cooking for me!


It was while we were at the beach last June that we got the call that a first mom had chosen us to parent her child (the sex was unknown at that point!).  Just eight days after we got home from the beach she was born!

And now....





....that precious girl is so very close to being one year old!




We got to spend Father's Day together at the beach:



I was proud of my dad.  He's not one for vacations in general...and the beach specifically.  I don't know if he owns a pair of flip flops, and he'd rather be on a tractor or golf course than in the sand.  But he did great!

G helping Papa grill the BBQ chicken one night.



G Posing with two of his favorite things - Papa and alligator - the one night we all went out to eat supper.









One day we made a little trip over to Silver Springs.  Jeff and I apparently went there about 40 years ago, but we don't remember.  My dad also went there about 50-55 years ago.

Not near as many features are open as there used to be, but The Famous Glass Bottom Boats are still there:




Gabriel, 3y.o., Davis, 7y.o.  (or "Dabis" as G calls him)
Waiting patiently for our turn on one of the boats











The glass bottom boat was very interesting:








But instead of looking through the glass on the bottom of the boat...G spent a great deal of time looking out the windows...for alligators!  (What else?)


And - WOOHOO - he did get to see two alligators during this boat trip.  (Jeff spotted both of them.  His great eyes have had years of training while hunting!)






And one afternoon, all 14 of us went bowling!  This became an annual tradition several years ago, and we all look forward to it!


A and LaoLao sat out...and sat together

But Abigail didn't always sit very lady-like for LaoLao

Abigail playing peek-a-boo with Aunt Mandi






But most of the time, we were just hanging out at the condo...beaching it.  (There were "issues" with the pool for most of the week (don't ask)).

It didn't take long to figure out that we have another beach bum on our hands.


She loved playing in the sand!  After she crawled straight out into the waves on our first outing, I though she wouldn't be happy unless she was in the water...but she turned out to be very content playing in the sand for a long time!


I kept this white hat on her when we were on the beach, to minimize the sand that got in her hair, and it actually worked really well!





Papa and Davis on the hunt

Elisabeth, 12y.o., Reese, 9y.o.


Sissy did have some trouble sleeping.  And sometimes ended up in bed with us, which is a big no-no here at our house.  

It IS sweet to see this face first thing in the morning
But - thankfully - she seems to have forgotten.  What happens at the beach, stays at the beach.



I redid A's hair into a couple different protective styles while at the beach.



Between the protective styles and the white hat, her hair held up great.


And she knew she looked really cute!



What a wonderful time we had this year.




And what wonderful memories we made.




We are so very blessed and thankful that we get to go to the beach every summer.




And after all was said and done...we had a very quiet ride home....









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