Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fun in the Sun

We just got back from a wonderful family vacation. We met with 3 other families down at the Outer Banks, NC. Four families, 5 kids and a pretty nice house. We were a short walk from the beach and had a nice pool at the house. The kids swam like fish! The morning usually started off over a cup of coffee and the kids begging to head to the beach. As Daddy and I drug our feet and fought to wake up, the kids would eat breakfast and swimsuit up. As we all know summer is wonderful and enjoyable, except the part of applying sunblock. A half hour later, sunblock applied, snacks and juice/water packed and it's off to the beach. There's four of us in our family, everyone had their arms full! We would either stake out a nice part of the beach and the other families would join us or we would meet up with someone who had made it out the door ahead of us.

As Daddy took the time to put up our umbrella the kids would race to the water's edge. I must admit that having older kids at the beach is much nicer than it was a few years ago. We had them wear a life vest when they got near or in the water. They would float over the swells and pop back up if a wave got them. Is it bad to say that the look on their faces when a wave hit them and rolled them was priceless. Don't worry, it's not as bad as it sounds, I got smashed once too. Plus, most of the time they popped back up, grinned and choked out "I'm okay." When they were tired of the water they would swim in and play in the sand. Since they were doing so good on their own Daddy and I didn't have to come in with them. They would ride the waves in, keep their life vests on and play. I loved them when they were babies but older and more independent definitely has it's advantages!

After a few hours everyone would get hungry and we'd head back to the house. As soon as lunch was over the kids wanted to jump right into the pool. We only made the mistake of no rest one day. That night was full of melt downs, that didn't happen again! The other days the kids would rest, snack then right back into the water they would go. They got to show Daddy their wonderful swimming skills. Man he was impressed how far they have come since last year. We had to practically pry their little bodies out of the water (if that's possible) to get them out for dinner. The first night we actually let them eat by the pool.

All the kids did very well together. They ranged in ages from 9 months to 7 years old. The girl and the boy shared the bunk room with another little girl, age 3. They all did great but a little too social. They stayed up till all hours and were awake at the crack of dawn. Thank goodness the room came equipped with a DVD player and the kids didn't feel the need to wake us up when they got up. The girl had a 2yr. old admirer that showed up about half way through the week. He followed her around the house exclaiming that she was his. He grabbed her hand and took her all the places he wanted to go. He also ran in and out of the water just as she did, placing his feet just like hers. It was the girl's first summer romance (she just liked having someone do exactly what she wanted him to.)

The 3 year old was a little girl and she and the boy got along wonderfully. The boy actually stood up to his sister and went along with the 3 year old girl instead, a shocker for me!

I can't wait to do it again next year and see how much everyone has changed. I'll cross my fingers and say my prayers that the kids and parents do as well every year as they did this year.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Treasure Hunt

This past weekend our family went down to my parents house. Daddy planned a great treasure hunt for the kids. They had no idea what was about to happen. In order to place all the clues, Grandma and Nonna took the kids to a neighbors house where there just happened to be a pirate ship. After about an hour they came back. The first clue was left in the water under the pier. It was in an empty wine bottle that had "washed up on shore." The girl saw it first and flipped out. She was sure it was left there by a pirate. I tried to convince her it was just a washed up bottle but she was more than excited! She pulled the bottle out, got Daddy to open the cork and pulled out a letter from the pirates and the first clue. The boy was excited about the idea but he was much more excited about the wine bottle that he could submerge in the pool on the porch.

The girl took the clue to the grown-ups on the porch and began reading it aloud. They were a bit tricky but she jumped from one clue to the next. Often she set off in the wrong direction to be set straight by having everyone help out. The boy became much more interested when she began to find gold deblumes with the clues.

Both kids were so excited they ran from spot to spot until they came to the final map. The map, also created by Daddy, had an 'X' to mark the spot of the treasure. After about 10 mins. they found the X in the ground. They were very nervous but continued to dig until they found the treasure box. They about jumped out of their skin when they opened and found gold and jewels.

After declaring that they were rich for the rest of their lives and sharing some jewels with their grandparents the kids began to hide the treasure box from anyone. They began to voice their concerns about the pirates returning and coming after them for digging up the box. The girl even went for a nap and swore she heard footsteps outside her window (second floor).

I think they've realized that the gold isn't real but....they still aren't sure how all the clues got to where they were and how the treasure got there. They still kinda want to believe it was pirates so, pirates it was!