Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Perfect summer night

Our perfect summer night consisted of playing in the sprinkler, riding bikes through the sprinkler, and a rousing game of kickball with a neighbor girl. the girls made up their own rules most of the time too. Oh, and lots of popsicles!!

Macy did inform us at one point that Kaylin was sticking her finger up Macy's bottom. I have no desire to find out what that was about.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Not Me Monday

At the zoo yesterday, my flip flop did not break, causing me to walk from the exit to the car with only one shoe on. In the car, I did not put on my daughter's flip flop for the drive home.

And speaking of my daughter's shoes, I do not deeply fear that her feet are slowing down in shoe size, and that she will end up with my feet size and Bobby's height.

On Friday, I did not forget to put gas in the car after leaving the grocery store. I did not pull into my parents driveway and see "O mpg till empty" on the dashboard. I did not have my dad follow me to the gas station.

I did not put the girls to sleep in their clothes every day last week, to save time in the morning before putting them on the bus.

And they did not have pudding for breakfast three days last week because I did not go to the grocery store after vacation.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Family pictures from da beach

I realized tonight that I haven't put any of our family pictures on my blog! I put some on Facebook, but not all of my 20 readers are as, um, obsessed with Facebook as others. Here are some of my favorites of the 360 pictures that my wonderful sister-in-law Julie took one night while at the beach.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Final beach ramblings...

We arrived home LATE Monday night. The ride home was difficult; everyone was cranky and just wanted to get home. We went home a different way, just for kicks and grins. We stopped by the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC to see that beautiful estate, but it was closed. I was disappointed. We drove through the beautiful Smoky Mountains, and you can tell I was tired because I took not a single picture of the beautiful mountains with fog settling in.

We traveled about 2800 miles, through 8 states, and slept in 4 different states.

Had the girls been high school seniors, we would have just gone on the perfect college tour for them. We drove by all the following major universities, in addition to countless smaller ones and community colleges.

University of Tennessee in Knoxville
Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL
University of Missouri in Columbia
University of Louisville in Louisville
University of Kentucky in Lexington
College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA
North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC
Duke University in Durham
University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill
Wake Forest University in Winston Salem

I have no idea why people smoke, and never will. It is the most disgusting thing to me, and that point was brought home to me this week when the girls would bend down to pick up a seashell, and instead pick up a cigarette butt. Seriously? You are on a gorgeous beach, watching the waves roll in, why on earth would you feel the need to leave your cigarette butt on the beach? Just gross. And Kaylin would say, "Look, someone was cigaretting."

I developed some sort of sun-allergy and broke out with a rash all over my arms, my neck, and my bottom lip swelled up. Strange.

I fell in love with North Carolina! I could move there in a heartbeat. Illinois and Indiana...not so much.

Macy is quite the environmentalist. Someone left a Subway wrapper on the sand that started blowing into the water, and she fished it out because "It will kill the fish!"

I read 4 books. And drove not a single mile the entire trip.

Now, it is back to reality.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


We spent all day Saturday at the beach. It was finally HOT, of course, for our last day. The water, however, was ICE COLD. We'd have to get hot before we could stand to get in.

Rod and Julie picked up some good ol' North Carolina barbeque for lunch, and we watched the dolphins again. They were a little later than yesterday.

Josh and Macy spent hours with the boagie board in the water with the waves sweeping them away. Kaylin didn't care for it as much. Of course, I took nine hundred pictures of them. Here's a few:

I loved watching the osprey's (i think that is what they were) skim the edge of the water looking for fish. i love this picture with the wave breaking and the bird flying through it.

Family group picture before we left the beach for the last time

That night Rod and Julie watched the kids, and Bobby and I went out for dinner. I tried soft shell crab, a local favorite. Can't say I cared for it, but it was fun to try.

We all went to Kill Devils for custard, and ooooooohhhhhh was it good. The kids had to be pratically hosed down from the melting mess of ice cream.

Another splendid perfect day!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


We actually had to get up early Friday morning--before 9 am! Bobby, Macy, Julie, Brandon, Alyssa and I went kayaking in the Roanoke Sound. Rod (who has his own kayak) stayed home with Kaylin and Josh. This kayak trip was through the local state park, was led by a park ranger, and was FREE. It was a neat trip. The park ranger told us about the history of the Outer Banks, the history of the state park, and about the wildlife around the area. Bobby kayaked with Macy, I went with my nephew Brandon, and my sister-in-law Julie went with Brandon's girlfriend Alyssa.

We went back to the condo for lunch, and from our deck we watched about 10 or 15 dolphins play in the water directly in front of the water. We thought we saw something the day before, but weren't sure. It was about the same time, so we think they come every day at that time.

In the afternoon we went back to the state park, which had a neat beach area on the sound side. The kids were out about 200 yards with the water just up to their waist, and could have kept going! The whole sound was never any deeper than 3 or 4 feet. Perfect place for the kids to play! We spent the afternoon splashing, playing in the sand and snorkeling.

Rod took out his kayak, and took Josh and Kaylin on kayak rides, since they didn't get to go on the big kayak trip. Kaylin told me later it was the "bestest part" of the trip!

Perfect day.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wednesday and Thursday

One of my favorite pictures from earlier in the week when we were ALL--adults and kids--working on a huge sand castle and moat.

Little cloudy and chilly on Wednesday, so we ventured over to Roanake Island for the aquarium. It was free to us, since we are members of the KC Zoo and they have a repriocal agreement with other zoo's. It was small and very crowded, but nice nonetheless. They had sharks at this aquarium, which Macy very excited. The girls also liked the alligators. Here's the girls at the entrance.

Riding an alligator and growling...

Waiting for a stingray to get close enough to touch...

Touching a starfish "gently with two fingers"...

Digging for shark teeth at the exit. Each child found a shark tooth, with the help of the dad's.

Next we went to the Lost Colony on Roanoke Island. You may remember that story from history--117 explorers were the first to land in the New World in about 1585, and they all died. No one knows what happened to them. (An aside: Virginia Dare was the first child born in the New World from this group, and our street is named Virginia Dare Trail!) There isn't much left from this colony, but where they landed and lived has been turned into a national park. Here's an earthen fort left over from their time. There were signs all over to please not climb on the fragile earth.

Walking on the nature trail...

Looking at the Roanoke Sound, at the spot where more than likely the ship arrived with the explorers. Sand was wonderfully soft here.

Climbing a tree...

After our history lesson for the day, we headed back. It was finally warm enough to get in the water, and the girls and Bobby had a water gun fight. Charlie's Angels!

The girls in their fort...

Each side in their own fort, shooting across the sand...

Blowing bubbles on the deck...thanks, Uncle Rod!

She felt like she needed a life jacket for some reason...wore it for about three minutes, then took it off. I love this picture, and the funny thing is, I couldn't see what i was taking a picture of!

Girls in the water...

Burying Kaylin in the sand...

Me and my brother, Rod

We saw this crab scurrying along the beach one night on our walk. Cute little guy; ran along with the kids for a while.

That was our Wednesday and Thursday...aquarium, history lesson, and plenty of beach time playing in the water and building sand castles.

Right now I am downloading 360 pictures from our family photo shoot tonight that my sister-in-law Julie did for us. It was fun!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Lighthouses and Sand Dunes

Busy day today...not much time spent at the beach, because it wasn't terribly warm and the wind was blowing pretty hard.

We first went to a lighthouse.

Girls were pretty impressed with the amount of stairs up to the top, and were disappointed we couldn't walk to the top.

Next stop was the Wright Brothers National Memorial, a memorial to the first four successful flights Orville and Wilbur Wright had. Here's proof that I was on this trip...

Next we went to the Jockey Ridge State Park, which is just absolutely beautiful. It's just a ton of sand dunes, and beautiful, beautiful sand. We spent some time there in the afternoon (forgot my camera :( ) But went back at night for a sunset viewing--this time with my camera! Here's some of my favorite shots from tonight.

One of the things the girls loved the most at the park was running down the steepest hill they could find, at top speed. The sand cushions the fall, and makes running easier. Check out the following progression of pics of the girls and Bobby:

They're hanging on... (check out Macy's face)

Kaylin is going down... (check out Macy's face)

Kaylin's down, Bobby is trying to correct himself before falling

And he's fine, Kaylin is up and laughing

This park is just stunning. Tonight was so pretty with the sun setting behind the dunes. Of course, after two trips to the park and the amount of walking and climbing and running, we are sore!

I'm hopeful tomorrow is warmer. The girls haven't spent much time in the water!