Friday, January 23, 2015

June Beach Trip!!

We have taken the camper
to the mountains
to the lake
to the inland part of a beach.
But never

So as usual,
we pulled the camper into the driveway the week before we left.
Gave it a good wipe down
and started loading

Daddy usually has a little work to do on it.
Mr. T helped him this time,
complete with his hard hat!

We loaded up and headed down as soon as we picked up Rico from his Air Force camp.
We were all so excited!!
I was GIDDY!

Especially because my bestie and her crew were joining us!
She had a friend who has a camper and they brought it down to join us at the beach!!

The littles were so thankful for a new victim.

Right outside of this beautiful campground was this beautiful building...
Its rather hard to read, 
but it says:
Wine Market!

It was super cute and I was good and never went and bought wine!
They had tastings too, but I somehow managed to miss those.

 Naturally, we spent plenty of time on the beach,
Mr. T tries SOOOOO hard to hang with the big kids,
SOOOO hard.

Mommy and Lex made matching sand butterflies.

Downtime in the camper...
watching a movie.

And falling asleep...

Since we had friends with us,
we rearranged sleeping quarters..
the littles got to sleep on the table.

We took 2 cars out, because daddy had to come home for a day or so during our stay.  Mommy and the littles rode in the truck, while daddy and the big boys rode in the suburban while towing the camper.

The littles were PASSED out
and it is pretty short drive home.

We did decide to come on home a day early,
there was a hurricane forecasted to come pretty close to where we were staying.
The wind was starting to whip up pretty good and we were on the top of a little hill
with very little wind break,
so our little camper was swaying a little more than we were comfortable with in said wind...
so we all voted to come home a little early.
We left at about 6pm the night before we were schedule to leave at 11am,
so not a major blow (har har) to our vacation.

We have been to a couple of campgrounds at this point,
this is the only beach location we have been to
and it was beautiful!
We loved it!

It was the Holiday Trav-L-Park in Emerald Isle, NC.

I wish I would have taken more pictures.
We had such a good time!
They are VERY family friendly.
They had beautiful green grass!
Decent sized spots.
Nice clean bathrooms.
Nice laundry facilities.
It was quiet!!

They had a movie night (or two),
complete with drinks and popcorn for purchase for a small fee.

A DJ came in and pumped music onto the beach on Saturday.
And it was GOOD music!
Including real "beach music" (that I grew up listening to!!)

We are definitely ready to go back this coming summer!!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

June 2014 - All the Rest

So daddy went back to work for 2 days...
then took off to go camping with the boys at a scout camp.

They forgot something,
so I had to bring it to them.
They look like they are ready to have fun!

Later in the month we hosted our priest for dinner.
This priest, 
also happened to be a fraternity brother of my husband's!
We were BLOWN away when we found out.
It was so neat to have him over.
I only wish we would have done it sooner
more often,
he has been moved to a different, larger parish now.

(I am not quite sure what he is telling them about,
but it has to be boy stuff, 
because they are all quite interested!!)

We had Rico take a picture of us with my phone...

Then I took this one.
We miss Father Pat.

We spent lots of time at the pool...

(And Jackson's bud came back to hang with us)

Passed out littles 
and two funny guys!

Where is Rico?  Do you ask?

Well Rico had an amazing,
once in a lifetime opportunity over the summer.
He got to participate in a camp that was hosted
at our local Air Force Base.

The kids spent the first half of the day in the classroom,
learning the basics of flight,
then in the afternoons,
they got to go on base
and participate in some amazing experiences.

(So we gave his seat in the car away while he was gone one day.)

After we kept Jackson's bud for a day, 
he went and hung out over as his friend's house for the day.

(yes, this is how they spent the day together...dressed like this,
see, it is possible for State fans and Carolina fans to be friends!)

After we dropped Rico off for his Air Force experience,
and Jackson off for his friend experience...
the littles and I headed deeper into the country for a birthday party.

So far into the country,
that we wound up behind one of these FOR.EVER!

We went to a Frozen themed party.
It was so cute!!!

It was an adorable party!

And wore my littles out!

The last day of the Air Force experience,
we got to see:

 the kids shoot off the rockets they had built,

pictures from the parachute simulator,

accept his completion certificate,

While we were sitting waiting,
daddy taught Tony Cruz how to play 
rock, paper, scissors.

He caught on pretty quickly!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

June 2014 - The Haircut!!!

the white elephant in the room,
in the house,
in our house...
is my youngest's hair.

He is a boy...
with long curly hair...

That was about weekly getting called a girl...
even though I totally dress him like a boy!
And he acts like a boy...

But it is a big source of disagreement between 
my husband and I.

I love the length,
love the curls...
but yes,
he is a boy.

So my husband kinda put his foot down
when he left for summer school 
insisted that if *I* wanted say in his hair cut....
his hair needed to be cut
when he returned,
otherwise, he was taking him...


so I waited until the 11th hour
and literally got it cut the DAY he returned! 

Here is the before:

And this is the after:
(the 2 weeks after!)

(if you look really closely at the next picture,
you might be able to catch a glimpse of the TOO short hair on my baby!!)

This is the kids dog piling daddy when they saw him
for the first time in 2 weeks.

This is a really sleepy kid who stayed up WAY too late
the night before when my bestie kept the kids
so the hubs and I could go out on
an overnight date!

I love my bestie!
She's the bestie-est!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

June 2014 - Week 2: The Norm

After we got home from going:
over the woods
and through the woods...
to grandmother's house...
My guys had apparently not spent enough time 
sleeping on top of each other,
so 3 of the 4 piled into Rico's bed to sleep...
along with all of their pillows and
my daughter's menagerie of stuffed toys!

I am so thankful and always will be,
that my kids like each other
and like spending time with each other.
I pray that this lasts forever.
I pray that they will always be friends
always like spending time together!

As I have mentioned before, 
the kids and I have been delivering Meals on Wheels
for a little while.
Some of the individuals we deliver to really enjoyed seeing my crew
when we deliver.

Rico went into a house and put the tray full of 2 meals
down on the counter.
He saw that a light on top of the oven,
and decided to check the cooking top to see if it was hot.
Unfortunately, it was...
he put his whole hand straight down on the eye.

Poor guy came running to me with terror in his eyes,
but not saying anything.
Then tears started welling up...
I asked what happened and he told me.
We asked for some ice
and the poor older lady in the house
I calmed Rico down and sent him to the car.
Then had to calm her down.
She was so upset that he had hurt himself
in her house...
I hugged her and assured her that he would be just fine.
But she was so upset,
I hugged her and had to calm her down too.

We had 1 more meal to deliver,
delivered it,
got a bag of ice from that last house,
then headed back to the Meals on Wheels office.

I asked our team leader to call the family
and tell the lady, again, that Rico was going to be ok.

We went on our way,
Rico has swimming lessons that afternoon,
but had to sit out.

(the next month when we went back to deliver meals, we made sure the sweet older lady saw that Rico was as good as new!)

The next day we had planned to visit a small local waterpark
with our homeschool group.

We happened to also meet a few friends from our scout group, 
including Jackson's best bud!

He hung out with us instead of heading out with his family
when they were ready to leave...
I attempted to get a picture of these two nuts on the lazy river...

Then I gave up...

I did try again later, and this is as close as I got to having them
at me!

They had a ball.
(Yes, the littles were with us too)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

June 2014 - Week 1 (Part 2): Chaos and Fun!!

So the first part of our week was nice and calm.
Nothing exciting.

The second half...
that got a tad bit more interesting...

Thursday evening I had been communicating,
via text,
 with our tenants,
about random things,
nothing really important.

Then I get a phone call,
I figured they were just tired of texting.
The voice on the other end of the phone
was a little panicked.

There was a problem...
a "water coming through the downstairs ceiling"
kind of problem.


I was already planning to head in the direction of the house,
Raleigh area,
the next day to pick up my mom for a trip to my grandmother's.

I had intended on cleaning up a little before we left,
and taking my time in getting to Raleigh.

But due to the minor waterfall in the house up there,
I decided to head up there,
meet the plumber and be a
good home owner/landlord.

So...everything kicked into high gear...
my "take my time to get to Raleigh by early mid-afternoon"
was kicked into high gear when I learned the plumber would
be there before lunch!

This was on my "to do" list:

This is what the playroom looked like.
I didn't want to leave it looking like this,
mainly because I didn't want to come HOME to it!

it had to wait.

So while I am running around packing,
 for the weekend,
for 5 people...
to leave the house in about 30 minutes time...

my 8 year old comes to me and says:
"um, mom, I put something in the outlet in my room...
and it made this really loud popping sound...
and smoke came out"

UM, WHAT??!!??

So I stopped what I was doing,
walked up to his room
and this is what I see.

Absolute shock,

My sweet 8 year old second child...
who KNOWS better...
picked up something little
off of his floor...
and for whatever reason...
unknown to me
(or him)
thought it would be a good idea to 


Praise the LORD!
That he did not injure himself!

But why,
would you do that?
What were you thinking?

His response...
"well the last time I did it,
nothing happened"


just what I needed,
right when I needed it.

 So not deciding not to deal with it right then...
I flipped the breaker and turned the power off to that room.
(I have now been told that it wasn't a necessary step,
but I don't care, I felt better...
made me feel like it was reducing the chances
of the house burning down while we were gone.)

We hightailed it to Raleigh,
I met my folks at a restaurant
literally had my mom meet me in the parking lot to swap keys.

Left the kids with her,
jumped in her car
and took off to house.

I arrived right after the plumber.
he only had to put a few "minor" holes in the ceiling...
then in a wall upstairs...
to find and quickly
correct the problem.

I contacted the drywall guy and left a happy girl.

I get to my folk's house
and was greeted by my dad asking...
"how old are the tires on your car?"

Um, I don't know...
I know - we need new ones soon,
but they just aren't in the budget right now
and aren't really a priority.

He changes my mind for me,
and off we go to the tire shop.

I picked these out first,
complete with the rims...
but the hubs said no.

Finally found a reasonable set...
and apparently I needed tires worse than I realized.

(Left: old, Right: new)

While we were waiting on the tires,
we decided to walk over to the Harris Teeter 
(my favorite grocery store)
in the same parking lot.

The just happened to have a sale on wine...
so this is what I walked out with.

(Happy Girl!!)

 Phew...after all of that excitement...
we FINALLY loaded up and headed to my grandmother's house.
This is where all 4 of the kid slept.
The 2 littles were on the little bed in the middle.
I thought this was a cute picture.

The next day,
we decided to try out a little park about 20 minutes away,
that my grandmother had told us about.
She lives in a very small town in South Carolina...
well outside of a very small town,
and honestly,
I didn't know anything about the little town,
or what it had,
because we hardly ever leave her property!

We hit the local small town grocery store
to grab some popsicles to eat at the park.

And getting 4 kids to decide on ONE pack of popsicles
is dad-gum near impossible!

And it was quite entertaining for 2 of the customers
that happened to be walking down the freezer aisle
the same time we were there.

The took a shine to the Mr. T...
talked with him and laughed with him.

Then went on about their business.

About 30 seconds later, they came back around the corner...
and told me that they would like to buy him the popsicles HE wanted.
How sweet!!!
I said ok,
and the scary part...
he followed right behind them...
without looking back to make sure I was coming...

He was a happy boy.
I asked if I could take their picture
and send it to their daddy.

So back in the car we got,
and on down the road we went...
to this "little park".

It was 

We all loved it!

Every once in a while,
they would take a popsicle break.
And since his desire for a "blue" popsicle was 
the WHOLE reason he got those popsicles...
This guy got ALL of the blue ones!

And enjoyed...

Every Lick!

And turned into a Smurf...
from the inside...

(Luckily it did eventually wipe off.)

And since we were out in the country...
what better way to drink your wine...
than out of a mini mason jar?!?!

This is roughing it...
mini mason jar of wine (which I AM a fan of)
styrofoam plate (which I am NOT a fan of),
good country cooking (which I AM a fan of),
and an awesome fire
(for roasting marshmallows on!)

As if they hadn't had enough excitement and exercise for one day...
the big boys decided to hit the pond.

The next morning,
they were up bright and early,
to do a little fishing....
and that is exactly what they caught...
a little fish!

After another busy day,
the littles passed out pretty early.
When I went to check on them,
this is what I saw,
I think I was "supposed" to sleep in that bed too.

Monday morning, 
we loaded up,
said our good-byes and headed a little further south 
to meet some cousins that had flown all the way from
Washington state to visit!
I was so excited.
I hadn't seen them literally in 20 years or so
and thankfully for Facebook,
we are all connected!

We had such a good visit with them!

Here are all of the second cousins (is that right?)
that were together - this is not ALL of them though!
They are all my grandmother's great-grandchildren.

Here are all of the cousins that were able to get together.
Half are from Washington.

Super sweet girl cousin hugs!!!

we could only stay for a little while and visit.
I wanted to stay
and almost did...
but had to get my mom home,
so she could go do something called 
So we vowed to not let it be 20 years before we could visit again!
(So thankful for Facebook!)

On the way home, this beautiful rainbow crossed our path.
It brought me so much peace!