Jun 28, 2011

Vacation highlights: food is love.

I just thought about grade school days when every year we would be required to write an essay on what we did with our summer vacation.  Did you used to do that too?

This vacation was truly "historic" in that while we are a close family and get together often, we've never done anything quite like this where we all took a week to be together as adults.  I like to say we had a chance to talk in complete sentences.  (We did have my youngest nephew along with us, but he was the only exception.) 

 The 14 of us had dinner together every night except the last one, when we were on our own.  Each family took a turn preparing the evening meal and doing the clean up. I volunteered to have our night early in the week so as to avoid the pressure of the competition!  My meal was  creamy chicken enchiladas (home made tortillas) with all the toppings.

Other meals prepared by my sibings included grilled Italian sausage sandwiches and all the fixings, Greek pitas,  grilled fresh shrimp & steak, taco salad, and Cincinnati chili.  There was always an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables, a variety of local wines, and yummy desserts.

While we had agreed we'd all be on our own for breakfasts and lunches, it seemed like there was always something someone was making to share or serving up leftovers.  A couple times we brought lunch to the beach.  One morning I was served breakfast in bed!  My favorite dessert was the brownies made in cupcake wrappers and stuffed with a miniature Reece's peanut butter cup.  

It all added up to 4 additional pounds by the end of the week...groan!

Jun 18, 2011

Re-entering the real world...

I couldn't possibly tell all that has gone on in the past month in one blog post.  Our vacation has come and gone and my grand-maternity leave will be over in just a few days!  I'm actually looking forward to getting back to life-as-normal, as good as it all has been.  I have so enjoyed the break and the traveling, the company, and the chance to do some things around the house.  Summer is finally here in northeast Ohio and that always makes me happy!  AND I've missed being in touch with so many of you in blogland and I'm looking forward to reconnecting with you!

Just before the Memorial Day weekend, we did hit a bump in the road around here.  For the third time in the past decade hubby became a statistic of our faltering economy and his job was eliminated.  I'll write more about that when we are on the other side of it.  For now, we would appreciate your prayers as we once again lean hard on our knowledge that God is our Provider.  We trust Him completely with our past, our present and our future.  In our human-ness, this is not an easy place to be, as many of you know from your own first hand experiences, but with God, all things are possible.  So we wait on Him.  He has never failed us.

I just loved ALL your comments on my last post!  The bathing suit issue seemed to strike a universal chord and thank you for letting me know I have plenty of "company"!  I want to report that I was actually surprised to see so many "modest" bathing suits at the beach.  I DID see lots of suits with "skirts" and another thing some of the ladies did was wear some kind of "sport shorts" over their suits.  There was only one incident where I wanted to throw a bocce ball at someone, and that was when the highly sculptered and very tanned blond beauty felt the need to play football with her beau right in front of our beach umbrellas, obstructing our view of the ocean and distracting our men with her ill-fitted bikini.  I won't tell you how I hoped a crab would bite her on the toe and send her away squealing.  HA!

Seriously, we had a wonderful time and the weather was perfect!  We had about a 1/2 day of rain at the beginning of the week, but every other day the temps were in the 90's and the sun was out!  We all knew this was a historical week:  All my siblings, (six of us) our spouses and our mom (and one of my nephews, the last of the minors) a good friend who is part of the family, and two dogs.  By pooling together we were able to rent a huge house just a very short walk from the beach.  There was plenty of room for privacy when needed, comfortable bedrooms with bathrooms, and all the necessary furnishings.  We even had a nice heated pool and a jacuzzi which got used every day!  

I'll post a few photos here and in the coming days I'll write about some specific things we did.  I hope you'll hang with me!  It's good to be BACK!

After two days of traveling, I got so excited when the GPS showed our path ended at the ocean!

We arrived at dusk, but of course we had to walk down to the beach!

Here is the huge house we rented.  See the single window in the middle on the top floor? That was our "love nest" as I named it.  It was on the 4th level, and ours was the only room up there so it was very private.

It was perfect and a lot of fun! We had our own bathroom too.

My two brothers and their wives playing bocce

Scandanavian hubby wisely stayed covered up a good bit of the time.

Brother-in-law Rodney who lives to fish, caught a sting-ray, ugh!

We were in Duck, NC, Outer Banks

I just love this photo of my mom

lots of relaxing...that's what it was all about!

me enjoying the morning's first coffee on one of the many balconies

private heated pool

my nephew preferred the pool to the ocean

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven..."
Ecclesiastes. 3:1 NIV