Friday, June 02, 2023

Goodbye to the Beach Pictures

We have a tradition of taking a family picture at the end of every beach trip. It began 10 years ago when we first took our kids to Wrightsville Beach in NC (though I'm sure that (a) there is a family picture of us at the beach from before then and (b) that we've missed snagging a few family pictures since then). It would take me too long to hunt all of them up right now (and my list of things to do today is already a mile long), but here's a link to that fateful trip in 2013 (the one that started it all):

Thursday, June 01, 2023

Junior Rangers sashes

Last year Miriam and I made a sash for Benjamin to keep his Junior Ranger badges on (as a present for his 10th birthday). He's still wildly obsessed with the idea of becoming a National Park Ranger and his enthusiasm is rubbing off on Zoë and Alexander, who requested sashes of their own. Knowing that we'll be hitting a number of national parks this summer (beyond the ones we visited at the beach), Miriam (and I) decided that we should finally make sashes for Zoë and Alexander.

So I ironed the fabric, traced the pattern (which was just Benjamin's sash), and cut out the fabric.

Miriam embroidered a gorilla for Zoë and an owl for Alexander and sewed everything together. 

She did a much better job heading up the sewing part of the project than I did last year (when I did the bulk of the sewing and all she did was the embroidery). The sashes turned out super cute and Miriam had a couple of very satisfied customers.

Here she is getting ready to embroider Alexander's owl this morning:

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

The Timucuan Preserve (a guest post by Benjamin)

May 26:

On the way back to  Georgia we stopped at a place called The Timucuan Preserve. 

It is on an island in the middle of the Saint John River. [Mom edit: The drive was surprisingly beautiful. We were on a winding dirt road for a good 10–15 minutes. The canopy of trees above us, draped with Spanish moss was divine.]

Fort Matanzas (a guest post by Benjamin)

 May 24:

14 miles away from the Castillo de San Marcos there is a tiny fort  called Fort Matanzas. Its perimeter is only 200 feet and its sides are only 50 feet long; it is shaped like a very short L.

It was made two years after the British laid siege to Saint Augustine because the Spanish had been resupplied via the Matanzas River so they needed to protect the inlet. The solution...

Fort matanzas!  

Castillo de San Marcos (a guest post by Benjamin)

May 24:

A couple days ago we were in Florida visiting a fort called the Castillo de San Marcos. The oldest masonry fort in the US is so cool! They built it in a star shape so that they could catch their enemies in a crossfire, which basically means that you are getting shot at from three sides.

That is terrifying! 

Caldecott's Grave and Our Lady of La Leche (a guest post by Miriam)

May 21, 2023:

On Sunday morning all of us were supposed to go to the older part of Saint Augustine, but that didn’t work out very well. Because of the stomach bug that we got right before we left for Florida, we all took turns being sick, and today was Rachel’s turn. We were planning on making our way to the ferry at Fort Matanzas today, but we decided that maybe that wouldn’t be the greatest idea, considering Rachel was feeling nauseous the entire day, and going on a boat, with nausea, not a good combination. So instead we spent the morning and afternoon in downtown Saint Augustine (and the surrounding area).


Pirate-y Stuff (a guest post by Zoë)

May 22 (a day no one was sick):

We went to Florida for a week. In that time, Miriam made a bonnet [knit head kerchief], that on the way there [to the Pirate and Treasure Museum], she said she felt like a pirate in the bonnet. 

Later, we made up the nickname Smee-me. Like a pirate. 

Smee-me [was wearing] pirate clothes* when we called her Smee-me, and she hated it!!!! Like, literally! She said, I quote, “I said I felt like a pirate! I don’t anymore!”

*What I mean is that she was wearing a striped shirt and black pants. Pirate clothes. See???

Anyway, we got to go to the pirate museum at Florida, AND got to fire a REAL cannon! I mean, who even lets KIDS fire cannons? The coolest thing I did though, was fire a cannon! It was CRAZY! It wasn’t a real cannon, [but it was still pretty cool. We put a lighting stick to the touch hole and held it there until *BOOM!* Phoebe was scared of it]. My favorite part of the pirate museum was probably firing a cannon. It was awesome!

Some stories

Today's word count: only 464. But I entered this evening almost too exhausted to think and was having trouble putting thoughts together. So around 1:30 I went downstairs to get the sheets out of the dryer, only to discover that while I put the sheets into the dyer, I never turned the dryer on!

Why were the sheets in the dryer? Because I washed them, obviously. That's a good thing to do somewhat regularly (or so I hear), but we had a special reason for washing them today.

You see, Phoebe joined us in bed at some point in the night, as she usually does, and she was a little difficult to settle. And she kept squirming and sniffing. And I didn't think anything of it, really, beyond, "Why is she so sniffly?! She can't have a cold. We just got over the stomach flu!"

But, like, whatever. Kids pick up germs everywhere. If we had to have the sniffles, we'd get through that, too. If only she'd settle down and sleep!

Finally (after much nursing and squirming and sniffing), she fell asleep. 

And when I woke up in the morning I realized that she had not had the sniffles. Oh, no. She was suffering from a bloody nose. There was blood all over my pillow, all over the bed, all over her, all 

So the sheets had to be washed. 

But at least she doesn't have a cold, right?

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Watch a storm roll in with me

For some reason or another, I was alone with the kids at the beach late Sunday afternoon/early Sunday evening (May 21). Miriam will be writing about what we did on Sunday downtown. But when we got back...I took the kids to the beach. 

Perhaps Grandpa was napping.

Perhaps Daddy was making dinner.

Whatever the case, Mommy was at the beach with the kids. Even Rachel had tagged along (though only to sit on the beach since Sunday was her sick day and she didn't feel like playing much).

Zoë's 8th birthday (a guest post by Rachel)

Two more of us fell to this week’s mysterious plague today: Mom and Grandpa. Because 2 of the adults were down for the count, Zoë had a pretty low-key birthday. In the morning we just hung out at the beach (Grandpa was still feeling alive at this point so he came with us).