Monday, October 5, 2015

My Dream Vacation - Day 5

Thursday morning was my morning to make breakfast. Even though I didn't have help from Michael that didn't mean I did all the work. Since Michael was gone I thought it would be a super fun treat to have Ella sleep in that big King size bed with me. She was over the moon! It was so fun to wake up and snuggle her. So she ended up being my helper in the kitchen. Of course it wasn't like breakfast was hard. Since it was our last day we had planned on something that wouldn't use up a bunch of dishes so we had cinnamon know the Pillsbury kind! Ella loved getting to put them in the pan for me! 

Ga-Ga & Bill enjoying their morning beverages!

We didn't really let the kids watch much TV at all, but since it was the last day and it was a bit rainy we let them veg out on the couches and watch cartoons. Besides it was time for us to start packing up everything! 

I think Pa took this picture of the kids from the stairs. You can see how we moved the furniture around.

Pa got a kick out of all us ladies working in the kitchen!

While the boys played Lego's on the landing area the girls were having fun in The Kuch kids' bedroom. This was the only picture I have of that room. It had a bunk bed and then a twin bed with a trundle. 

On Tuesday night after we had all gotten back from our visit to Ocean Shores, Pa had surprises for all of us. All the bigger boys got water squirters to use in the pool. The girls got these cute reusable sticker books, the adult guys got chocolate bars, Christina got this cute wine bottle holder, Stephie got Christmas salt and pepper shakers and I got a platter that matches a dish set I have at home. Zeke got his surprise earlier in the trip when Ga-Ga and Pa first showed up at the house they had this cool truck for him. 

Of course he spent hours playing with it! 

On top of the sticker book Ella also got a special surprise. Ga-Ga found her a locket with her name. She was so upset because the store didn't have lockets with Anna or Addison's names on them or she would of course gotten them each a locket too! Ella is in love with it. She loves the original Annie movie so she thinks it's cool that she has a locket like Annie. Of course she's a bit rough with things so the original chain it came on was broken within a day. Thankfully Ga-Ga had brought some other jewelry so she put it on one of her chains...that's why the locket is silver and the chain is gold.

When it was time to leave we thought it would be fun to take pictures by the sign for the house!

 Bill, Christina, Caleb, Anna and Addison! 

Me and my kiddos! 

Ga-Ga & Pa! 

We should have taken a picture of Ryan and Stephie by their house sign, but I didn't think of that!!! 

Because we had to wait until the ceramic store opened at 11am we ended up getting to enjoy the house until practically the final minute...since check out is at 11am. We sure took advantage of all our time there! Because Michael had to leave a day early he ended up taking Ga-Ga & Pa's SUV and then Pa drove my van with Ga-Ga and all 5 of us in it.

The first stop was the ceramic shop! Uncle Ry and Aunt Stephie had to pick up their masterpieces as well. This isn't a very good picture, but she was so proud of her fairy! 

Because Pa was driving Ga-Ga was in the passenger seat...that meant that I got to sit in the way back next to Ella and Owen. While I was sitting there Owen got so excited! He had blown his first bubble with gum! I can't tell you how excited I was for him! And to be able to be right next to him when he did it. The happiness in his eyes was so amazing! He spent pretty much the whole way home practicing and practicing. 

I even texted Michael a picture so he could see. Owen thinks it's super cool that he can do something that Daddy can't! 

On our drive home we ended up stopping at the kids favorite place to eat...The Black Bear Diner. They seriously love this place more than MCD's. By this point Zeke man was TIRED! Of course Pa loved every minute of it. 

Ga-Ga & Pa were actually going to take Ella and Zeke home and keep them for two days because Michael and I had a surprise for the two older boys. She was so excited to show Daddy her fairy that Ga-Ga & Pa waited until after 5pm to leave. 

Didn't her fairy turn out so great!!! 

Ella was really sad and didn't want to go...she missed me when I was in Indianapolis and then the beach trip was crazy and then having to go to Ga-Ga & Pa's and miss me again. I felt so sad that she had to go, but thankfully she cheered up a bit when it was time to go. I think I need to plan another fun Mommy/Daugher outing for us soon! 

My dream vacation turned out so great!!! I loved every minute of it and I can't wait to go back to Seabrook again. Thank you Mom, Dad, Ryan, Steph and Bill & Christina for making this trip possible!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

My Dream Vacation - Day 4

Our last full day at the house we didn't really have anything special planned...we just knew we wanted to hang out and relax. 

We took the kids back to the park since they loved it so much! 

Doesn't look too comfy Pa!!! 

We walked back to The Stump to check it out again. Zeke wasn't really in a good mood the first time we visited so it was nice to get a picture of him enjoying himself this time. 


Later on we took our kids down the trail to the beach.

On the walk we saw all these cute fairy houses that people had built in the forest. 

It was so much fun hearing the kids use their imagination...."look mom there's Tinkerbell's house"! The next time we come back we are definitely going to have to built a fairy house of our own. 

The beach was amazing!!! So glassy! 

Michael and I could not tell if the water was going out or coming in. It was WAY out there already, but then the waves would go out even further. Then after a few minutes they would come in SO far. It was really awesome! 

After the boys asked for me to roll up their pants I figured I should do the same and just have some fun with them. 

I hate that feeling of the sand being washed out from under my feet! We sang the "Wise Man Built His House Upon The Rock" song quite a bit on this trip! 

When the water would come in it would only be a few inches deep, but it made it look like we were standing so far out!!!

I did talk to the boys about how it only takes a couple of inches of fast moving water to put you on your butt so I showed them the stance they should have so they'd be better prepared for the waves. 

We also talked about how you never put your back to the ocean. 

The foam was the only real gross part. I have no idea what it is, but it sure made me itchy! 

I love how the ocean is always changing! 

The sound is so soothing! 

It's size and the magnitude of it's power! 

I love getting to bask in the glory of God's Creation! 

If my feet weren't frozen and my legs weren't so itchy I could have stayed out there for hours! 

These two boys sure had fun playing in the water with Mommy! 

Daddy spent most of the time further inland with Ella and Zeke while they were flying the kite. 

I love pictures of seagulls! 

We took a different route back to the house. 

We had to climb up a bunch of stairs. I was so proud of Zeke....he's normally such a lazy boy when it comes to walking, but this time he walked the entire way down to the beach and back except for when it was time to cross the busy road....Daddy carried him for that part. 

Later on that night we had spaghetti for dinner and then we took the kids to the pool again. When we were first planning this trip we were going to check in on Saturday and then leave on Wednesday...that was the little snag I talked about in my MOMcon post. We ended up having to shift the beach trip by a day so instead of just taking off Monday - Wednesday everyone needed to take off Thursday as well. all the craziness I didn't actually mention this to Michael. And as it turned out they weren't letting anyone take more vacation because too many people were out already. So Michael had to go home on Wednesday night instead of getting to stay until Thursday. I was totally bummed and upset at myself for this oversight, but he was fine with it and I did have plenty of people to help me with the kids so it all worked out in the end. 

After Michael left we played more games and let the kids watch Peter Pan in the game room and then Stephie, Ryan, Ga-Ga and I watched the season premier of Survivor. I haven't watched Survivor in years, but this season actually looks fun! 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

My Dream Vacation - Day 3

This was the day we decided to venture into Ocean Shores. The weather was absolutely gorgeous! When planning this trip knowing that it was going to be late September I didn't even pray that the weather be nice. I mean...beggers can't be choosers, right! The gorgeous blue sky was the icing on the cake though! 

The first place we stopped was the beach there in Ocean Shores. We got the kids kite out so they could fly it around and of course we brought all sorts of sand toys. 

I had fun scraping my name out of sand! 

Michael of course set out to build an awesome sand castle kingdom. 

It's a bit bright isn't it Owen? 

The nice thing about our kite is it's just a little one...the kids all were able to handle it. They did let go a couple times, but it just ends up falling down so it's not a big deal. 

Bill and Christina have a nice kite they got from Costco....the handle is super nice and made winding the string up so easy! 

It was WAY up there! 

Zeke LOVED the kite! 

It was so fun watching him run around the beach with it. 

Our crew was spread out all over the place. 

I thought it would be fun to do a selfie with each of my kiddos and my man! 

When we drove onto the beach Owen had seen these big sand mountains. He just couldn't stand it he had to go conquer them. So Christina and I took all the kids except Zeke over to check them out. 

Big brothers! 

Run up the mountain and...

jump off the mountain! 

We knew we would be out and about for lunch so we packed food and had a picnic on the beach with The Kuch's. 

My parents and Ryan & Steph were off on adventures of their own. We were planning on meeting them later in the day. 

Shortly after lunch Michael finished his sandcastle kingdom and like always he let the kids destroy it! 

This is...

the best...

thing ever...

in their...


An hour worth of work destroyed in about 10.5 seconds! 

After the beach I dropped Michael and the older boys off at the go-kart place. Michael was going to take them on the go-karts and then walk across the street to play mini golf. Since I had already done something special with Ella the day before I didn't want to spend money on that for her...I felt like it was a good Daddy/bigger boys bonding time as well. Zeke is just too little for that stuff yet! Christina had read about this free interpretive center on the south side of Ocean Shores so that's where we headed. 

When we got there we saw guys working  on the building and they ended up not being open, but the guy was so nice he said we could come in anyways. This place was so cool! They totally get kids! They completely understand that kids need to touch and feel everything. There were rocks and feathers and whale bones and just tons of fun stuff to look at and see. The only things they couldn't touch were the taxidermy animals. The kids were fascinated by them though so they didn't mind that they couldn't touch them. The also did have animal pelts hanging on the walls so they were able to feel the animals fur and see the differences between the animals.    

Zeke was so excited that he came running over to me and I had to go see the owl he found. I didn't even see it until he pointed it out, but I'm sure that's because it was more at his eye level! 

Hard to starboard!!! 

The guy that let us in is the head of the board of directors for the center. He explained how they get their animals...they have permits to get them when they die...its not like they are going out and hunting them. We were there for probably an hour and it ended up being way more fun that I had imagined. They are doing some upgrades so it will be fun to come check it out again the next time we visit. 

We still had a little time before we were meeting everyone in town so we drove over to this spit area so we could check out the ocean. 

Ella thought this rock that was like a slide was pretty cool! 

The beach was just breathtaking. When we were at Ocean Shores earlier the tide was out so far it made it hard to play the "run from the waves" game. Thankfully the tide was in during this time so we had so much fun running from the waves. I was holding Zeke and his whole body would tense up and he was giggling so hard. Great fun!!!

That's when we got the call that everyone was already in town and they were waiting for us. We had planned to take the kids for ice cream during this trip and it just so happened that on Tuesday it was National Ice Cream Cone Day so it worked out perfectly!!! 

Murphy's is an ice cream shop right in the heart of Ocean Shores. I don't think we've ever come without getting ice cream from there. The kids were all talking at a mile a minute telling us which flavor they wanted. Aunt Stephie had them line up so she could take their pictures. 

Stephie also took a picture of all of us enjoying our treats! She then won the Auntie of the year award by letting each kiddo pick a piece of candy! The most popular thing was the Ring Pops! 

The kids just had to show me their colored tongues! 

Hey you silly photo bomber Owen!!! 

Later that night we had Teriyaki Chicken Sliders for dinner. Pa took the kids over to the pool so they could swim. I think that's when we played Banana Grams. Normally that's a very fast pace game, but we were having terrible luck so it was SO slow! Still one of the things on my to do list had been to play games so it was fun to get to do just that! In all by the end of the trip we played Sophia's Tea Party Game, Kid's Sequence, Phase 10, Bunco, Banana Grams and Yahtzee.