Friday, June 29, 2012

Pillow Play

The couch pillows in our living room take quite a beating, but somehow they're the perfect plaything to my kids.  Whether their pretend play has turned those pillows into a pool, a car or just a fun place to jump, there's much fun to be had!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Who Needs Toys?

A bowl of cheerios, a big spoon & a bottle of vitamins provide plenty of fun.  No need for real toys!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Outtakes from the Beach

With a family the size of ours, & as many little ones as we have, our photo sessions usually have more "bloopers" than keepers.  Here are few, for your amusement.

Justin always has to test our chosen spot once he gets the camera set up, which results in some awkward looking photos of him by himself...
or perhaps with another test subject.
Most of us are doing all right in this one, but check out Jake & Mallory.
This is more typical for our kids than perfectly posed smiles.
Bored, annoyed & held captive
But the outtakes also capture some sweet shots here & there, like this one!
And this, which is one of my faves from this year
The boys' shirts were removed for popsicle eating, & somehow we ended up at belly bumping.
And a couple more of Jake, who always provides more than his fair share of less-than-perfect pictures.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Beach Days

Get ready, folks; here comes our week at the beach!

This view through the window was the closest we got to the beach on our first full day.  The storms were too strong to go out at all, & the forecast threatened to keep us inside all week.
So that first day was spent with many distractions, like movie watching...
craft time...
& iPad games.  The grown-up girls occupied ourselves with our annual Phase 10 game.  It's a really good excuse to push off the kid duty to the guys.
Then on Monday, the skies cleared & God blessed us with a beautiful beach day!  These boys had their game faces on.
Ready, set, dig!
The right side of this house was our home for the week.  With eight adults & six kids, we filled it up!  The large tent in front of the house was supposed to be for a wedding our neighbors had scheduled for Sunday, the day with the terrible storms.  Luck was not on their side for that one, & they ended up finding an indoor space elsewhere.
One of many trips down to the water to fill buckets
Mimi & her girls
Sweet Beau's big, toothy grin
Girls' Night! We enjoyed good food, great conversation & a rather entertaining trip to the local Wal-Mart.
Uncle Ryan did a lot of fishing...
and Aunt Amy managed to catch one with her bare hands!  She wins way more "cool mom" points than I ever will.
What one kid tries...
the others will soon want in on.
Mal & Ella playing queen of the mountain
Beautiful Ella
Jake daring a wave to come & get him
Beau testing the water
He quickly decided that he absolutely loved it!  It was actually hard to keep him from diving right in.  He was in heaven!
Popsicles are a must at the beach
Jake & Mal taking an evening stroll
Even on vacation, you sometimes just need a good cry.  Talking it out with a cousin works wonders.
Much better!
Cute girls with cute braids...& some minor wardrobe malfunctions
A pretty smile from Miss Belle
Reading time with Mimi under the spiral staircase, which is always more fun than sitting on the couch
Getting three wiggly boys on the alligator at once is quite the feat!
Aunt Rachel & Beau were best buddies all week & got lots of cuddle time together.
J wrestling the alligator
Uncle Mark & Uncle Ryan worked hard on a sand castle with all of the kids.
Silly girl
J decided to become a mountain man & grow a beard while we were there.  In this pic, he looks more like a crazy man.
Once the frame-worthy pics were done, he had a little fun & sported a sweet 'stache for the last two days.  Creeper!  Seriously, what mother would let her children hang out with this guy?
Beau & Daddy bracing for a wave
So much fun!
After wondering how much time we'd actually get to spend enjoying the beach between rain storms, we ended up with an absolutely gorgeous week.  It was a little cooler than usual because of the storms we got at night, so that made our days even nicer!  We're so thankful that we get this time every year to relax & enjoy our family.  Thank you, Mimi & Pops, for a fabulous trip!
That's all for this year!