Saturday, August 30, 2008

Influence 'R Us

I realize that there are many families who have gone before me. Many have raised a daughter after having a house full of testosterone. It is so very common. I just don't know any up close and personal. Oh, I have several friends who have one son for instance, and then a daughter or two. And I have friends who have a few older sons and a younger daughter, but they also have an older daughter or two to help balance that out. Not here. Nope. We're exploring the joys of a daughter who idolizes her brothers. And it is a testament to God's nature more than the nurture she receives from her brothers that she prefers dolls to guns, and Care Bears and stuffed 'My Little Ponies' to Star Wars and lego war sets.

This morning the whole realization that she needs an older female example now and then came blasting, literally, through to me once again. Laura was rough housing with the boys. You know, the "let's have a good time and run through the house playing hide and seek and so on while we should be picking up and getting the house cleaned" thing. As a lull came in order for them to catch their breath, Laura was standing over Matthew, who was laying prone on the floor on his belly, waiting for him to get up so she could chase him. However, Matthew relaxed just a bit too much and it seems a little fluff was released. Okay, a not so little fluff was released. It echoed even. And then just a second or two later I heard the pitter patter of little feet retreating and a very sweet voice yelling "RUN FOR YOUR WIFE!!! RUN FOR YOUR WIFE!!!" And then a very quiet male 'excuse me' amidst the rolling laughter.

*sigh* Yes, she's being raised with teenage boys. Somehow I have to think God's preparing her for something. At least I hope so. After all, why let her knowledge of boys go to waste??? LOL

And so it goes.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Saying Goodbye to Summer

On the boardwalk in Wildwood

As I wrote the last post, I had this deep desire to revisit our days at the beach. It was such a peaceful time. Despite the whole bathroom situation. :) So here are some more pictures of our time at the beach. Can't you just smell the ocean?

Jonathan spent a lot of time searching for shells. Especially the elusive, unoccupied whelk. I believe this was one of his first...

And this was Matthew's first.

And Jonathan found more.

On the day that we headed down to Sunset Beach, we came home by way of the Cape May Lighthouse park. This is part of what is left of some military bunkers and so on. Initially the Seth, Mackenzie, Jarryd, Mikayla, Jonathan and Matthew were not expecting the spray.

But for this picture they knew it was coming and the girls knew it wouldn't get them wet.

Matthew really loved this beach.

Matthew, Uncle Scott and Jonathan explored the old military bunkers.

And the boys tried to dig trenches but the ocean kept ruining all of their hard work.

We spent some time in Cape May strolling the shops. Laura, Jonathan and Uncle Scott found a fountain.

And after we were done, Laura and Kenz found a place to rest back at Scott and Brenda's rental.

I had to include this photo. It is of Scott and Brenda's mirror as we crossed the access bridge over the sound approaching Stone Harbor. In it you can see our van, complete with clam shell on the top, and you can also see Brenda taking the photo. Cracked us up!

Back in Stone Harbor, the boys found one of the few Horseshoe crabs we found this year. They are big suckers. And I mean big! Very slow moving. Very scarce.

And finally, the boys after conquering another day at the beach. The sun is setting and we must all head back. Oh how I wish I were on that beach again. Just for a few more days!!!
At least we have next year.

Summer Sunshine

Remember this? "I'm walking on sunshine, woo - oh, I'm walking on sunshine, woo - oh, I'm walking on sunshine, woo - oh, and don't it feel good!!" Or how about John Denver singing "Sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy. Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry. Sunshine on the water looks so lovely... " Or even "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are grey. You'll never know dear, how much I love you. Please don't take my sunshine away." Ah yes. Sunshine. We have enjoyed its warm fingers and colorful joy much of the summer. After all, we haven't had much rain so the skies have been wonderfully blue and full of sunshine for awhile now. And then there was our wonderful trip back to the beach. But all good things must come to an end. Including our summer. And even though I'll miss it, we can remember the good times by strolling through some pictures.

I know it has been a long time since there have been new pictures and stories of the life and times of the troops, so I'll try to make it up to you. Here are a few of the things we did this summer besides the beach.

As usual, we had picnics on the deck at Mom and Dad's. Senta attends now and then, and seemed to enjoy the attention Jonathan lavishes on him. Senta's a wonderful dog. Very calm and quite well-behaved.

At picnics, it is common for Dad to allow the boys to light the stuff piled in the fire pit and make roast marshmallows or make s'mores. Matthew and Seth are our family fire makers. Maybe they enjoy it just a little too much!

Laura spent the summer wearing her patch for three or more hours a day and it seem to be helping. We won't go for a check up until the first week of October, but her 20/2100 eye seems to be seeing things better as we give her quick checks every now and then. I pray the Lord takes care of this as he's done with so many of her other issues.

Mom and Dad took the kids to a Museum where there were some wonderful outdoor things to explore as well. Here Poppy is doing his best to give them all a great ride - much to the surprise of his muscles! He pulled something doing this and sported a large bruise for weeks. He's such a good Grandpa. :)

These are the slides they had. You'll note that it was never an option to do the smaller slide, even for Laura. After going down the Jonathan...

And then Matthew...

And watching Poppy do it all by himself...

She braved the slide herself! Needless to say, she loved it.

Here's Jonathan making a run for it on his own, too. Note Laura walking back towards the ladder for another round on her own, carrying her sack as she goes!

Matthew decided to try 'surfing' the slide and did it quite easily. Until he saw the sign that said you couldn't do that. So back to the bum he went.

The boys also spent several mornings before the rest of the street woke up learning the physics involved in flying little airplanes. Here Matthew is coaching Jonathan in order to get the best 'lift' that he can get.

The happy pilots.

And Laura vying for attention as she was feeling left out with all of the pictures I was taking of the boys. Poor thing. Do you think she has a future in modeling? LOL

She's so grown up, isn't she? Where did my baby go???

As the school year starts up once again I will miss the sunshine. But I look forward to more adventures as we explore new avenues in our history, preschool with Laura and the joys of high school. And secretly, I really am glad we're back on some sort of schedule once again!!! Shhhhhh!!! Don't tell the boys. I think I'll let them figure that out for themselves.