Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Last Pics of Vacation and Catching Up

First of all, I hope everyone in Irene's path is okay and up and running. Thank you to those who inquired about our well being... we are all fine, present and accounted for. Irene was basically and windy, rainy day here, and since then the weather has been gorgeous.

We've been home since August 21st, but I've been totally negligent of blogging!

While in Massachusetts, my mom took us to where she works, and we got a mini tour. The highlight was the Rec room. We had so much fun! It was a real novelty for us. A couple of the guys that my mom works with heard the grandkids were coming in and donated a TON of tokens to play the arcade games. Thank you so much for a great memory!

We had a safe trip home, and Monday started up with the usual routines. I also had some tomatoes from the garden to contend with. Benjamin and Dale are attending a Baptist history class at a nearby church Monday evenings, so I've switched our grocery and menu planning days to Tuesday.

We spent a few days decluttering and organizing for the new school term. The books are set up, ready to go. I have a few things to print up yet, but we'll be starting on September 6th. That is the latest we've ever started, but well worth the delay in my opinion! I wonder if I can credit all the hours boogie boarding and body surfing in the ocean as PE class?

I'm getting back into my exercise routines. I've joined the local gym so I can get some consistent strength training in. I'm doing circuit type workouts 3 times a week for strength training, with a 20 minute cardio interval at the end. The other days are just cardio. I've discovered a new love... the elliptical machine! What a fantastic work out, and so easy on the joints!

Our pool is still up, but not for long. The twins have a friend staying here for a few days and begged to use the pool. I told them enjoy it. Next week we are taking it down. The over night temperatures are dipping down into the 40's. Time to call it a day and move into Fall.

I've been trying to finish up culottes for Jerusha and I this week, and will be moving onto bathrobes for the kids. They picked out the fleece earlier this summer, but who wants to sew warm, fuzzy, fleece when it is 95 out? Now that it is cooling off and children get up and curl up in thick blankets in the living in the mornings because SOMEBODY refuses to shut windows (ahem) then you know it is time to get moving on those bathrobes. :P

I almost finished Elizabeth's socks. I was about 75% done, then for kicks and grins told her to try them on. Much to her, and my, dismay, she couldn't get it on over her heel. Where the fancy textured stitching starts on the leg tightened it up too much. In the end I frogged them out entirely and started over. I know now how to adapt the pattern so it will work. I'm almost to the gusset increases, about 5 inches up from the toes. I restarted them last Thursday, and hoping to get them done within the next few weeks.

My Seaweed Cardi has been picked up again, and all I have left is the seaming. I looked up the YouTube video on crocheting the seam, and it looks great! I'm definitely going to employ that method in this cardigan!

Because of all the sock drama, the Bella Blouse has been on hold. It may be for a while, I'm sorry to say. I have some Christmas knitting to get started on.

We are enjoying our last few days of Summer Break. All too soon they will be over!

Have a blessed day everyone!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Off to Massachusetts!

We say good-bye to Maine today. I cannot believe how fast this past week went! Lots of fun and good memories. Even the rainy days were fun, and gave all my little sunburnt crew a break.

Yesterday was our last beach day. We only put in 4 hours as most everyone had a fresh burn from Wednesday's longer outting. The surf wasn't so rough, and made it easier for boogie boarding and littles playing at the shoreline.

After we got back to the house, we did some cleaning up, and I hosed down everything and everyone, including the stroller, which was, after a week at the beach, caked in sand.

Grandma had a delicious pork roast and veggie casserole dinner for us last night. It tasted soooo good, and was a first rate supper for our last night.

While that was cooking, I took Benjamin and Elizabeth down to Nubble Lighthouse. They handn't been yet, and I had promised earlier in the week to take them.

I think everything on my "Maine Vacation Bucket List" was accomplished this trip! Let's see:

Lots of beach time: CHECK
Eat some Maine Lobster: CHECK
Visit the children's Museum: CHECK
Take the older's to climb the rocks at the Lighthouse: CHECK
Get Taffy: CHECK
Ice cream at Brown's: CHECK
Spend an afternoon at Short Sands: CHECK

Okay, the only thing we never got to because of tide and time limitations was flying the kites. However, they will keep for a more opportune time... perhaps in the fall?

A HUGE thank you goes to Grandma and Grandpa for putting up with us all and feeding the masses, and the wonderful hospitality. I hope it doesn't take too long to get the house back in order after we leave. :/

This is the Queen Bee signing off from the wicked awesome coast of Maine.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Clouds, Sprinkle, Sunshine... Take Yer Pick!

Yesterday was a VERY rainy day here in Maine. We went to the Children's Museum in Dover, N.H. The younger kids seemed to have a really good time! The older ones... not so much, I'm afraid. But, considering they get to enjoy some serious boogie-boarding that the littles can't do, I wasn't too worried. Most of the activities were geared towards 10 and under. And it was wicked crowded, which made getting involved harder. However, we managed to spend a few hours there, despite the fact, that after about 30 minutes, the older 4 and Grandpa bugged out to the van to eat lunch. At least they were nice enough to leave us some! I would definitely go again, but during school hours so it wouldn't be so crowded.

Today was clouded with intermittened light sprinkles and then some sunshine. Then some clouds. Then some light sprinkles.

You get the idea.

We went to Short Sands, where there is a playground for the kids, and much easier parking. Have you ever tried parallel parking a 15 passenger van? Thankfully, I haven't had to do that thanks to Grandpa's Shuttle Service.

We went down with the intention of flying kites, and playing on the playground. However, the tide was coming in, and after a quick discussion, the older ones walked back to the house with Grandpa and returned with swimsuits and lunch. I hand't even thought about a picnic... just figured a quick dip and then we would be on our way back to the house. Grandma is much nicer, and more organized than I am! So, we ended up staying at the beach and playground for a long time. Grandma and Grandpa went back to the house, and I took the kids for some window shopping.

When we got back to the house, and cleaned up, I was asked by some of the kids what was for supper.

"Ice Cream," I told them.

They didn't believe me until we all piled into the van, and made the short trip to Brown's Ice Cream.

This little ice cream shop has been there FOREVER. I remember thinking when I was a kid that it was the BEST ice cream on the face of the earth. So, since it was around dinner time, and I noticed the place wasn't very busy when we drove home from Short Sands, we decided it was a good time to visit. We had great ice cream, and I can now cross that off my "bucket list" for this vacation. Unfortunately, Brown's is going out of business soon. They are retiring. Boo! How dare they?

Tomorrow and Thursday are supposed to be in the 80's and sunny. I don't have to tell you what we'll be up to.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cloudy Day Tea Party and Rock Exploring

We woke up to very overcast skies, and cooler temperatures today, so we didn't venture down to the beach at all.

Most of the day was spent in playing Wii, Five Crowns, and Uno. I got in some knitting time, and promptly splintered one of my wooden interchangeable needles. Boo hiss! I can still use it, but it has greatly decreased my speed. I will have to order replacements. Maybe they will get back home before I do! I do have another knitting project besides the Bella Blouse with me. Elizabeth's socks are also in my knitting bag, for such a time as this. When I can't stand using the splintered needle anymore, I'll switch to her socks. Not that I have much time for knitting! By the time the day is over, and everyone is in bed, I'm too tired to do much more than collapse. I haven't even been reading in the evenings, like I originally planned.

Today Grandma set up a tea party for Jerusha, who kindly invited all us gals to attend, but NOT the boys. Grandma made chocolate cupcakes, with vanilla frosting and pink sprinkles. Jerusha helped get everything ready. Towards the end of our tea time, the boys snuck out the lower level patio door and tried to snoop in on us. Grandma and I tried to get pictures of them standing there pouting in our direction, but as soon as they saw the cameras, they ran away!

After a while, Esther and Isaac were getting rather restless, so I took them for a walk to Nubble Lighthouse. Esther had fun climbing the rocks and exploring around, a favorite pass time of the visiting tourists. Many hours were spent by my brother and I doing the same, growing up.

Esther took a boatload of pictures of the deep crevices between some of the rocks and whatever caught her fancy. I will spare all of that now! This post is picture-heavy as it is. She had some fun, suffice it to say!

Around the corner is the famous Brown's Ice Cream. I made of the mistake of telling Esther about it, and she proceed to beg, bargain, and bribe me to stop by with her right then. I told her I planned on taking everyone, Grandma and Grandpa included, during the week when it wouldn't be so crowded.

Isaac fell asleep on the walk home, and took about an hour's worth of nap on the lower patio and I worked on some knitting. It was very pleasant, despite the cloudy, drizzly day. We were protected overhead by the deck, and it was still a wonderful luxury to enjoy the ocean view, and the smell of the salty air, and watch the surf.

Tomorrow is supposed to be rainy, so I think I might take everyone to the Children's Science Center in New Hampshire, which actually isn't very far from here. I have a membership to the one in our own little town, and it is reciprocal the one I found online. Yay for cheap fun!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Just Another Day At the Beach

I hope everyone realized that most of the pictures in this, and upcoming posts are mostly for Dale's benefit, since he isn't here. We are using Skype to talk each night too, so the kids (and Mama!) get to chat for a bit each day with him.

Grandma and Grandpa have a small lawn that is lush and green. This is a nice change from our dry, mostly brown lawn at home! The kids were showing off their handstands and wanted me to get some pics. It took several tries to catch the proper pose!

Here is Isaac modelling the proper beach footwear: Flip flops. NOT sneakers. You know who I am talking to.

Oh, and pinwheels are always great fun too!

Most of the fun at the beach is getting soaked in the ocean, then promptly making a sand castle. Water + Sand = Another Trip in the Ocean to Clean Up.

Esther amused herself while warming up after one of her many boogie-board episodes by trying to dig to China.

Elizabeth's contribution to the expedition was akin to that of a government worker's.

From all "us'ns" up nawth to you all... have a blessed evening!


Guess where we are right now?

I'll give you a hint.

Maybe you need another hint. Perhaps a little more obvious?

Okay, you get it now.

Yesterday was our road trip up to Maine. My dad, bless his heart, drove all the way out to New York Wednesday, then turned and burned to travel back with us Thursday.

The trip went very well! There really isn't much to say about the actual driving part except it was blissfully uneventful, and the kids behaved very well, and made it that much easier. Isaac was getting restless towards the end, but I expected that to happen.

We pulled into Grandma's and Grandpa's house around 5 p.m., got the van unpacked and I called Dale to let him know we were in, safe in sound.

So, what is the first thing you do after arriving on the coast of Maine?

Go to the beach of course!

Grandma, the kids and I changed and ventured down to the beach. Thankfully, there were several 15 Passenger Van friendly parking spots available, since it was late in the day, so I didn't have to do any fancy parallel parking in that big beast.

We spent a couple hours playing, boogie boarding, and moving our stuff back a billion times as the tide was coming in. A great taste of the week to come! And yeah, dummy Mom forgot to bring the camera down to the beach. I'll be sure to bring it today.

Needless to say, by the time we got back, cleaned up, had supper, we were all very tired, and ready for bed. Especially Isaac, who had gotten up much, much earlier than usual, and didn't sleep a wink during the whole trip, if you can believe that!

Grandpa is our Taxi service right now. It is a gorgeous, perfect day for sun and surf. Grandma and the older four were dropped off a little while ago, then the littles and I will be dropped off when we are ready. Isaac is still asleep, predictably. I was up a little before 7, and tried to go back to sleep. But who can sleep with the seagulls cawing outside and the sun shining so nicely?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Still here! For the moment anyway....

This is just sort of an update type of post.

We have been putting up veggies from the garden... squash and green beans. We have tomatoes coming in that should be ripened enough soon to can stewed tomatoes. We have also been blueberry picking and freezing them. Yummmmmmy!

The exciting news around the Beehive right now is that we are taking a trip to Maine. Everyone is very, very excited! Well, except Dale. The poor guy has to stay home and work, as it is pretty busy right now. I told him I would bring him a present. :)

This all started because I realized that I had scheduled school to start on the 15th of this month. Not a problem, but I was still feeling unmotivated, and burnt out from last term. The one time I felt like this before and went ahead and started school anyway was a BIG mistake. I decided that I would never start school again until I was mentally ready for the challenge.

I was talking to Dale about it and half jokingly said something about needing some fresh, ocean air to clear out my cobwebs and re-energize me. One thing lead to another, details and logistics worked out, and now we leave Thursday! All the kids and I are off to Grandma and Grandpa's house on the coast.

This week is going to be busy with preparations, so most likely the next post will be from Maine. I plan on blogging everyday with pictures so Dale can see what his family is up to. ;)

I haven't decided if this is a "running away" tactic, or a wise move before the intense school year starts. It doesn't matter, now, does it? Either way, we are off, and we are very excited to have the opportunity to do so!

Next stop: MAINE!