Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Lake Day With Friends

Back in March, Adam and I began setting aside weekends on our calendar to go to the lake this summer with friends and family.  It felt a little premature to be thinking months in advance, but we knew we wanted to try and get our D-group to the lake for at least one day this summer, and trying to coordinate the schedules of six families with twenty-three kids, is quite a feat, but we DID IT!  Only missed one of the Mommas, so I'd say getting 34 out of 35 people to the lake is a pretty good ratio!

The night before we all met to caravan to Lake Ouachita, Adam and another one of the men took all five of our boys to campout so they could get the three boats prepped and ready and all at the same dock location to make loading and coordination easy on everyone.  That was huge and a major factor in making the day pleasurable and easy for us all.  The boys had a great time sleeping in the Air Stream and hanging out with friends.  (Not too shabby of a campsite huh?!)
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We made good time on the drive down so we were on the water by mid morning.  This was really the first year that our D-group could venture out and make this kind of a trip since our kids are mostly older and are comfortable swimming now. We do have a few babies in the group but one stayed home with a family member and the rest of us took turns holding sweet Lizzie girl.
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There was tubing fun...and lazy day floatin' going on.
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Wake boarding, knee boarding and skiing was had by all who were interested. There were some spills but there were also some awesome skills displayed out there too!  There was encouragement of one another and perseverance that the kids showed as they gave it their best efforts as they tried something new.
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We really do have a great group of kiddos who are respectful and kind...and can I just say cute, too?!
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There was hand holding and jumping off the top of the barge together...then there was hand holding and jumping off before your friend did and the affect was actually pulling said friend off the top of the party barge when she wasn't prepared which caused a moment of crying and sadness at the fact that "my friend pushed me off the top!"  And then there was the immediate purple bruising of the leg that caught the side of the barge on the way down, poor sweet Sophie, Ava Jane felt terrible about this one (insert the monkey with his hands over his face!) But other then that I don't think there were any injuries that day, which is pretty amazing!
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Being with friends really is my love language and making fun memories is one of my favorite things to do, so truly, it was a pretty awesome day with its perfectly sunny, blue skies (with a little bit of cloud cover to shade the afternoon sun).  We could NOT have ordered a more perfect lake day!
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There was a moment late in the afternoon when all the little girls piled onto the tube and wanted to be pulled around VERY, VERY, SLOWLY.  It was so slow in fact that several of the boys tried to grab ahold of the tube and hold onto the back of the tube dragging in the water.  Next, one of the kids grabbed the rope, then another...and one thing led to another and we had all the children and a Daddy either holding onto the rope or riding on the tube at an extremely slow pace, going in circles in the cove.  Us momma's couldn't have the kids enjoying all the fun so we took over the tube and made a few circles ourselves, some of us with and some without life vests on.
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There were some sweet moments and then there were a few chaotic moments too, like when all 21 kids all piled onto the party barge with the hard top and we literally had to scream to get their attention.  Thankfully we have children that mostly listened to our rules for the lake and generally speaking kept the jumping off to two at a time and feet first because we do have a few dare devils in the club who wanted to DIVE.HEAD.FIRST into the lake.  Un-huh...we were NOT going to have a neck or spinal injury on my watch, so that activity got nipped in the bud right from the get go.
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I've been blessed with some of the most precious people to do life with.  I can't imagine it any other way.  I was so glad to get to bring some of my most beloved peeps to one of my most happy places to be!  
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After cleaning up the boats and changing into dry clothes, a few of us managed to scarf down some Mexican food then hit the road home.  We were a subtle group of 22!  It was a great ending to a pretty repeatable day!
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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Beach Trip 2018 - Part 3

This year I decided to find a local photographer to come and take family pictures for us while we were at the beach. The past few vacations I have taken all the pictures and usually end up in a total flop sweat and can't really enjoy the process as much since I am the one trying to get good pics of all the cousins and family groupings; a whole group shot and of course I always want a decent one of my little family without sweat pouring down my face. There is something to be said for not having to stage everyone myself, get the tripod just right, hit the button and run into place. Thankfully Shore Shooter Beach Photography came through big time! They were super easy to book and Brandon was wonderful to work with!
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I'm so grateful Bill and Donna had the desire to try and do this trip regularly, it really is a lot of fun to be together all in one place for an extended period of time.
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These sweet cousins, oh how I love them!
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The oldest cousin (Peyton) holding the youngest cousin (Eliana).
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Ava Jane is getting so very big (she will start Kindergarten in the fall).  I cannot believe how much of a little girl she seems to be in this one.
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My sweet family, oh how I love each of these people with all my heart.
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So long Gulf Shores, you were really, really nice.  We look forward to our next trip to the beach!
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Lake Day With Friends

Back in March, Adam and I began setting aside weekends on our calendar to go to the lake this summer with friends and family.  It felt a lit...