Friday, September 22, 2017

Day Off School

Wednesday was a teacher workday, so we decided to swim/sun/eat/shop our way down the panhandle.

To make things better, we have two new-to-us vehicles, and I chose to drive Rick's because mine was full of merchandise for the shop. Due to finances, this had to be a low budget trip.

First stop was Taco Bell. Everyone got one item off the cheap menu.

A while later, everyone got one thing from the Dollar Tree for snack and we  drove on to find a good place to eat the snacks. We ran across Eden Gardens State Park.

 Part of the purpose of the trip was to find merchandise for our flea market shop, we we stopped at three Goodwill stores and a thrift shop. Sometimes Goodwill can be really expensive. We stopped at one that was a Home Decor store and things were $20-$60!! 

We planned to go to the beach, and we chose Henderson Beach State Park Beach.

 From Henderson Beach, I called the closest Cracker Barrel and ordered one meal with three sides. My kids know we have to share if we are going to eat somewhere like Cracker Barrel. Unfortunately I left my phone at the state park and didn't realize it until we got to Cracker Barrel. We went back and it was right where I left it.

We took the food to Destin Commons play area to eat. Then I let the kids wander around for 30 minutes on their own. They decided these stores cost too much and they liked Dollar Tree better.

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After another stop, we ended up at Dave and Busters which is a large and expensive video arcade, but I had points on my card from going with the adult children the Saturday night before. And Wednesday turned out to be half price day.
My points, my rules, and I said whatever we did, we all had to do it together. They didn't mind. In fact this day everyone was getting along great. Sometimes the twins shut Jasmine out and are pretty hateful to her, but today they all did great together. I think they are also starting to understand that as they earn trust, they earn privileges (like this day out) but that she has more privileges because she is four years older. And really she never takes advantage of any of them other than staying up later.

Jasmine and I also have a lot of history before the twins arrived. I've her her since birth and have taken her through at least ten surgeries. Those times were hard, but they were also bonding experiences as she realized she could totally trust me to look out for her.

They are already talking about the fun they are going to have on their next Wednesday off of school together.

Here are a few pictures from last Saturday night.

There were 12 of us in all, but we never got everyone in the same photo. Jessica had to work, so we all went to the restaurant where she works, but we were 8 minutes too late, we went to TGIF and she got there right as we were getting ready to leave .
 Unfortunately, Adam and Tara are not together anymore. It's been very off and on, and with Adam moving away for active reserves, things totally feel apart.
 Adam knocked his water cup over and into his pants. Not to be out done, Ty not only knocked his soda over toward me and my phone and camera, but the glass hit the pepper shaker and broke very dramatically.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Labor Day

We had great weather for Labor Day despite earlier forecasts that indicated we might have rain.

Tyler had to work, and Adam decided not to come even though he was in town because he brought a bunch of buddies with him and they didn't want to hang out. I'm okay with that. He and Tara are not together right now, but she probably would have come anyway, but had to work.

So we had Kayla, Kaleb, Jasmine, Rick,  Hunter, Jessica, River and Winter, Jessica's friend Delisa, and the four Millers. That was a perfect number for a fun day.

The twins love to kayak

They decided to share a kayak since someone had the other one

Winter hates to be ignored, and she had a lot of people to hold her at the bay

I couldn't catch her smile. I think the camera in my face confuses her.

River loves to swim. One of her other grandmothers has a pool, so all water is "pool." She will hand Jessica her swimsuit and say pool quite often now.

Aunt Kayla brings River back to shore because her parents were out kayaking

River loves corn, and the Millers brought corn on the cob

We had grilled chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs

Delisa admitted she'd never been on the jet ski. She's been to the bay with us lots of times, so I was surprised to hear that.

Winter naps in Joy's lap

Joy takes the jet ski out for a final run of the day

Right now it looks as though we could be in Irma's path, but we are hoping it turns out to sea and dies. Anyone get hit by Harvey? Or have fires in the area?

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

At the Beach

Taking the girls to the beach is quite a challenge. It seems like we spent more time dragging their stuff from the van to the beach and then back to the van. We didn't really stay very long at the beach. One reason is that Winter has thyroid issues so we have to be very careful not to let her overheat. We have to keep her pretty much out of the sun. So she always had an umbrella over her or the top of her floaty. And we didn't stay more than an hour.

River decided to bring the umbrella I bought her at the zoo last year. I actually used it to keep the sun off of Winter.

The blue thing by her foot is part of the tent which never got set up. Jessica wasn't sure how it went up.

She may be a swimmer.

We probably have another month of beach weather at least. Hope to get their this weekend with the kids.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Quick Tips Reference List

On my parenting blog, I have what I call Quick Tips. These are 200 word practical articles written by experts in their subject. Or authors who have written on the subject. Tomorrow I will be featuring an author who lost her sight at age 31, and if that wasn't enough, her youngest son was murdered when he was only 19. Other authors have shared about fitness, budget, children, reading and so on. They are short and very quick to read as they are written in bullet points. The kind of thing you might clip and stick on your refrigerator if we were back in magazine days.

Sister Day
Make a Difference in the Life of a Child
Preparing a Child's Heart for Easter
Showing Kindness Every Day
Fresh Starts
Keeping Your Mind Strong

Saturday, August 26, 2017

What Color are Your Eyes

I'm doing a test to see who is really reading. So I am repeating a post from 2014, but updating it for my family. If you are reading this, please comment.

I have two blue eyed children. And I have blue eyes. Mine are a bit grayish so I'd guess toward gunmetal blue. But I'm not sure. None of us exactly match any of them.

Rick's eyes are hazel.

I have five brown eyed children. They are pretty much between chocolate and nut brown.

Green eyes are pretty rare, so it's funny that almost all the romance books have a green eyed protagonist in them.

Since writing this, I have two blue eyed grand daughters. In fact, they have very noticeably blue eyes. Winter's were more grayish when she was born but have turned blue. Both of their parents are blue eyed.

So what color are your eyes?