Sunday, September 27, 2009

Beach Vacation

We have been talking about going to the beach for 2 years now, and we finally made it! The boys had never been to a beach and this was one of the things we really watned to do. I don't think it would have been possible before now, but their ability to handle new things (and a van borrowed from some friends) have made it a pretty good trip so far. We spent most of Thursday driving and finally arrived on Friday afternoon. We did make a stop at a dinosaur museum, so that slowed progress, but everyone had a good time and it certainly burned off some energy running from one dinosaur to the next. We're staying at Laguna Beach at a Christian Retreat Center. We have a cottage - bedroom, living room/kitchen combo and bath. A pool right outside our door and a place to do laundry - all for about $55 a night. We just walk across the street and down a short path to the beach. What a deal! The weather has been great. We had a little rain last night, but otherwise dry and sunny. The sand is white, the waves are perfect and there is hardly anyone else on the beach. There is a motorcycle event of some kind this weekend, so there have been hundreds of them on the road making driving anywhere very slow, but the boys have enjoyed looking at all of them.

We have spent hours in the morning and late afternoon at the beach playing in the water, looking for shells, letting little fish nibble on our legs and looking for hermit crabs. The boys have all had a wonderful time. They weren't too sure about the waves at first, but very quickly found that they love them. The salt water was a surprise. I think Andrew has swallowed gallons of it. Maicol is looking for a shark tooth, but has had to settle for one purchased at the dollar store unless we find one in the next 2 days. Juan Pablo wants to bring home the hermit crabs but I think we've convinced him to leave them here so they won't die. Andrew is fearless in the water (and therefore scares me). He can't get enough of playing in the waves. It has been a good trip so far and we now think that it might be possible to do this again! The real test will be going home - a long trip with the goal at the end being back to the usual (work, school, chores, etc). For Dan and I that's a good thing (routine and sleeping in our own bed), but for them I don't think it's as appealing as a trip to the beach. :)

We have picked up lots of shells. Andrew will pick up anything and put it in his bucket. Juan Pablo isn't that interested in shells, but loves collecting the hermit crabs and chasing the birds on the beach. Maicol is looking for a shark tooth, but is content with interesting shells. I remember as kids we would go to state parks on summer camping trips and collect rocks. There is an entry in my baby book about bringing back "pockets full of rocks" from somewhere. I think we are going to be bringing back buckets full of shells.

Here are a few pictures of our trip thus far. I need to get some more of them at the beach and will add them later.


Of course we stopped at McDonld's on the way. Where else can you get a quick, cheap meal and let the kids play?!
At Dinosaur World.

Andrew being swallowed by a dinosaur.

Juan Pablo being swallowed by a dinosaur.

Maicol being swallowed by a dinosaur. You'll be glad to know we were able to save them all. :)

Watching the hermit crabs.

Playing in the ocean with Dad.

A hermit crab.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Another Anniversary

Our two year anniversary has come and gone. We went from a family of four to a family of seven two years ago (really eight now because we have a wonderful daughter-in-law now too). We've all gotten older and boy do some of us really feel like it! :) Maicol has grown physically, but he is still afraid to believe that his Mom loves him and isn't going to go anywhere or do anything bad to him. He wants to so badly, but it's so hard for him. Juan Pablo I think finally believes that he is here to stay and it's ok to relax and love this new Mom, but he really, really wants to have his own way and do his own thing. This can make for some difficult moments for him (and the rest of us). Andrew is growing so much in every way. He has learned to love his new Mom, but I think he is still having some "terrible two/three" behaviors. And just this past week I think he has finally decided to stay dry at night, so no more diapers! They are all doing well academically. We have learned we didn't know as much about parenting older adopted children as we thought we did and that while we can still jump on a trampoline, we shouldn't do it too much at a time!

The boys have started going to a couple of classes on Mondays with other home-schooled kids. Andrew is going to 3 hours of preschool and the other two are taking a PE class and a writing/literature class. Last week was their first time and it went pretty well. At least well enough that they haven't refused to go back. Dan takes them and so he gets a break and they get to have someone else for a teacher and get to meet some other kids.

We celebrated our two year anniversary by going to Steak n Shake for half price milkshakes, to a park to walk on the trail (and play in the water) and then to KFC for $2 meals. We're big spenders! After the initial (typical) whining from Maicol about how it wouldn't be any fun we all had a great time.

Dan finished their treehouse last weekend. It had been in the works for the past few weeks, but we were able to finish it last Sunday. It really is a treehouse. It is anchored by three trees and has a ladder to climb up and a slide to go down. He also built a wooden climbing wall. We're still working on getting a very long, very heavy pole for a "fireman's pole". There is even a hammock underneath for the Dad! They have had fun so far playing there and I think it will provide fun for many years. We had talked about this with them for a long time and we're glad to finally have it done.

We have had many fires in the firepit. Roasted many, many hotdogs and marshmallows. Dan and I have spent many evenings out there after the boys are in bed - enjoying the great weather and a chance to talk. Our firewood is split and stacked for the winter. The trampoline has been repaired and is being used daily. I have started going to MOPS. I am the oldest mom, but I have enjoyed it so far. We celebrated out 27th wedding anniversary. On September 10th Maicol, Juan Pablo and Andrew became Bakers and on September 11th I became a Baker.

October 7 will be my last day at my part-time job. I will still be working basically full-time, but will only be working 24 hours one week and 32 the next and that cycle will just keep repeating. We have known for a long time it would be good for me to be home more, and so I have finally decided to stop worrying and just do it.

Here are a few pictures. Enjoy.


"Charlie's Angels"?

Juan Pablo - they like to "do" their hair.

Andrew with his "'do".

He fell asleep like this - how do they do it?