There's No Place Like Home
(if the beach is not an option, that is.)

Vacation 2007 is officially over and the time has come to return to a life that no longer consists of lying on the beach with the sun on my face and sand between my toes while the ocean waves provide the perfect backdrop to hours of Alistair Begg Podcasts. *Sigh*

Our trip was nothing short of wonderful. By wonderful I mean I was an absolute, good for nothing slob the entire week. I slept late every day and only woke long enough to spray sunscreen on the children and drag us all to the beach. Once there, I would marinate in coconut oil and saltwater, listen to the iPod and/or read while the kids played in the surf or dug enormous holes to bury one another in. Incidentally, this turned out to be a fabulous solution to keeping up with them...It was with a bit of hesitation that I dug up Big Daddy (#3 Boy) after Squid (#2 Boy) buried him up to his neck and ran away with the shovel. I looked at his little head in the sand and felt the same sort of peace I used to feel before he could get out of his infant carseat. The days of putting a child somewhere and them actually staying are long behind me and I find I miss them. Badly. Enough to think of installing a sand pit in the back yard.

At the end of each day, we went to the condo, showered and made our way towards food. After our bellies were sufficiently full we would then retire to the couch where the Lost Marathon - Seasons One and Two was in full swing. You will all be proud to know that my four kids and I can now say 'Bad Robot' in perfect unison at the end of every episode. If you are not a Lostie, you have no idea what I just said to you. The Preacher has yet to see exactly why we are jazzed about this. I'm thinking any time you can get 4 kids to do anything in unison is an occasion for celebration.

There was also quite a bit of studying going on. I am trying to finish up my NT class in the next couple of weeks. Can life possibly get any better than having your Bible, Lexicon, and Double Diet Cokes while looking at the crystal blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico? The answer to that, my dear, would be a negative.

I should also mention my new and improved Tips for Traveling with Kids. I experimented a bit with activities that would benefit both of us, sort of a Quid Pro Quo - Suburban Edition. Here area couple that worked for me. You will not believe I gave you this advice for free.

Activity #1 - Before we left for vacation, I desperately needed a color touch up and haircut. Much to my disappointment, my hair girl could only cut me, but not do the color. SO - one of the games I played with Big Daddy was to give him a nickel for every gray hair he could find and pull out of head. I now owe him $42.75. And don't tell me all that stuff about pulling them out makes two grow back in its place. One of my many vocations is that of a hairdresser and I can say with scientific proof this myth is busted. However, the bald spots you develop may cause a different type of distress.

Activity #2 - Paid naps. Yes, you heard correctly. I offered $5 to the child who would go to sleep and nap the longest. Shake your head if you want, but it STINKIN' WORKED! What is more, the one I wanted to sleep the most, the little Princess, was out half the way down there...She won the cash by the way..:)) Unfortunately, I let her use it to buy a $1.75 shirt at Target which cost me $1000 in aggravation. I'll tell you later. I just don't have the energy right now.

No matter how hard getting ready for vacation may be, or how loud the yelling in the car, or how much gas it takes to get a Suburban to Florida, it is sooo worth it to see things like this little moment of tenderness:

Isn't it what vacation is all about??? :)

Well, that is all the wrap up I have time for right now....Gotta go try to get things somewhat ready for church in the a.m....I've missed you girls and can't wait to catch up with you!