We’ve been blessed to go from no vacation plans for this summer to two trips a week apart. Try as we might, apparently no amount of shade and sunscreen can stop the kids’ steady transformations into brown beach babies.

I carry a baggie of Chick-fil-a coupons in my purse. Seeing it on the way here inspired an idea: “First one to spot a dolphin gets a surprise!” It took three days to find a dolphin, but only two for my 8-year-old daughter and her daddy to see a young manatee, which apparently is much more rare. A man who’s lived here 15 years said it’s only the second one he’s seen.

Beach Days




We’re reveling in the lazy days: no plans, no schedule, no bedtime, no weapons.







The Chick-fil-a prize breakfast happened this morning attended by our manatee spotter; first two (simultaneous) dolphin spotters; and me, the host and first stingray spotter (at least I earned my place). I’m a big fan of random contests and surprises.


Our youngest turns seven later this week. Seven! She held up a pink striped cotton dress yesterday and declared, “I’m wearing this for my birthday and we can eat at Moe’s.” We’ve already hidden a card and a candle shaped like the number 7; this morning we checked out cakes at Sam’s. There’s a cake/cupcake combo with wrapped pieces of bubble gum on top that the other kids think she’ll like.

Unusual, but kid-friendly!


Business as Usual

Thanks to technology and little human ingenuity, I’ve video Skyped into my Classical Conversations tutor training the last three days. I’m thankful to complete it with the Georgia tutors without traveling to do it later, and I’m equally thankful to no longer miss three hours of family time here each afternoon.

Yesterday my bunch had walked a mile and half away towards the shops and boardwalk by the time I finished. Admittedly, I felt a little sorry for myself as I trudged down to the beach alone with my book bag. And then I thought: I’m lying under an umbrella on the beach, alone, with a bag full of books.

The pity party came to an abrupt end. 

Today while I video Skyped a small shark swam between our 17-year-old son and my husband, who was carrying our youngest daughter. What are the chances of that? Now my little gal is afraid of the water. {Hopefully that will change soon.} I’m not too sure that I wouldn’t feel the same. After all, I high-tailed it to shore after the stingray passed me.


Each night’s sunset plays out a little differently; we watch as the orange orb appears to sizzle and sink beneath the water. It happens so quickly: another sleepy day slipping away and a reminder to stop and give thanks for each blessed day.


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