Wednesday, July 17, 2013

vacation in (mostly) Instagrams

Last week we took a vacation to Hammock Beach, Florida - about a half an hour south of St. Augustine.  The hubs had a conference for work so he was gone for classes in the morning.
As exhausted as I've  been with moving and having sick kids - one right after the other, I decided to have the perspective that this trip is a gift - that was a huge part of enjoying the trip. Especially as I was scrambling to get everyone packed for our long weekend. 
wrote last week about reading on vacation. I requested this book from the Library and it was the most perfect book to take to the beach. The chapters are short and the meditations are beautiful. Definitely a book I want to buy for myself and a few of my friends. 

I took this photo at a gas station in Savannah, GA
Eli is wearing Katie-Abigail's hat 

We've arrived!! 
Katie-Abigail was still getting over a virus and was feeling a little bit uncooperative

Heading to the beach

Reflections of the sky on the wet beach

Beth was completely in love with the beach - I think she could live on the beach! She was so cheerful.

My family

Emma found this cool compression of lots of tiny shells - don't exactly know what it's called. There were whole mountains of them!

All Josiah wanted to do was draw on the beach

Katie-Abigail's shell
Instagram video from our first day at the beach
Waiting for our room to be ready

Still waiting
The boys fell asleep while we were waiting

Emma's shells 

The view from our room!! My favorite thing about staying at the beach - the balcony overlooking the ocean.

Our room was great. It had a kitchen AND a washer/dryer LOVED it!

watching the storm roll in...

It stormed every single day we were in Florida, usually in the late afternoon. They were some pretty big thunderstorms!! We sat out on our balcony and watched the rain. One day Daniel went exploring. One day the power went out!

Waiting for the storm to pass, playing Apples to Apples with my girls.

After the storm - we found a little place to eat dinner off the beach. 
We had the most amazing cheesecake there!

After the storm had cleared and after dinner we went to the beach - it was perfect there were only a few people on the beach, the sun was low. The light was beautiful. I picked up my DSLR and realized that I had forgotten to bring my camera's battery charger and my camera was completely out of battery!! All I had for the entire trip was my iPhone, so I took some videos and tried to spend more time in the moment instead of capturing it. I'm really sad that I didn't get any DSLR images but glad that at least I had a good cell phone camera with me. 
Good morning ocean!

Good morning Eli :)

Good morning!

We spent the morning at the pool. Here we are in the mirrored elevator heading to the beach after lunch.  

This is when we all got our sunburns. Morning and evening are the best times to go to the beach,  when the sun is low in the sky. The afternoon is a terrible time to go to the beach. It's more crowded and despite covering my kids head-to-toe in sunblock we still all got sunburns. Nothing too terrible just enough to make us uncomfortable for a day or two. I'm glad Eli was taking a nap back in our room with Daddy.

Emma was so proud of this little shell that she found.
We covered Emma's feet in sand and decorated it in shells

This was how my hair looked pretty much all weekend - yikes!
Someone told us these are called Sand Fleas - Beth thought it was awesome that I could catch them. They'd burrow down in the sand and shells.
I loved seeing all the shells. Mostly we just found bits and pieces of pretty colored shells. 

This is one that I found on our last day at the beach. My friends on Facebook & Instagram told me it's a tiny little sea urchin. I think it is very cool - I have never seen anything like it.

The last morning on the beach

Heading back home - Josiah fell asleep almost as soon as we were in the car.

Headed up to St. Augustine on our way home to get some Rita's Italian Ice & Custard. We so miss living near one of these!  

Monday, July 8, 2013

vacation reading

We're going on vacation soon - the hubs has a conference and we're tagging along. The other day I was writing to my dad about our trip when I realized I want to read on this vacation. I want to sit in the back seat of our van with my kids and read out loud to them, like my dad did when we were on long car trips. I want to read to them in the hotel while the hubs is in his classes. But I also want to read for myself. While the kids are playing with the hubs in the pool, read while I sit on the beach with my "baby" while he takes his naps, wouldn't it be good to have a book in my bag, to pull out and, for once, enjoy some reading time? Vacations should include reading. 

I have no idea what I'll take with me - but I thought I'd share a few books that would be good to take along on vacation.

Books to read to the kids:
The Tale of Despereaux by KateDiCamillo - I read this to my kids a couple years before they turned it into a movie. The book is way better than the movie and a fantastic book to read aloud. It's about a brave mouse and a princess. The language is beautiful and the story is terrific.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott - this is a classic. It took me a couple of tries before I got through to the end of it, but it's a terrific book. The following books, Little Men & Jo's Boys are also really good.

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgeson Burnett - this is one of my favorites of the classics by Frances Hodgeson Burnett. It's a well-known story but it's even better than any of the movies. A great read, full of magic and imagination.

The Wise Woman (also called The Lost Princess), Princess and the Goblin, Princess and Curdie, The Light Princess The Day Boy and the Night Girl all by Georgie McDonald - which you can get for the kindle app on your mobile device for about 99 cents each or even for free. I enjoyed reading these when I was in Middle School. Some of these stories are short stories, Fairytales written by one of my favorite authors from my childhood. My favorite is the Princess and the Goblin.

The Ordinary Princess - my mom read this to my sisters and me when we were little. We sat around the dining room table after breakfast and read the whole story, strait through till lunch time. It's a great short book, very sweet.

The Hobbit  by J.R.R. Tolkein - the Hobbit was originally written as more of a children's story than The Lord of the Rings trilogy. My dad read it to my family many times as I was growing up. I hope to read this to my kids this year.

The Percy Jackson & The Olympians series - my kids love everything by Rick Riordan. They also enjoyed the Red Pyramid series.

Books to read to yourself:

I loved reading this book last year. One of my favorites. 
It's especially good for a raised-in-church girl like me.

I read this two years ago, when I was waiting for Eli to come. 
It's very poetic but very powerful about the power of gratitude.

Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
Completely ruined me for everything else. 
A great narrative with lovely little ideas tucked into the stories

I read this a few years ago - one of the best of these types of "radical for God" books! 

Faithful Women & Their Extroardinary God by Noel Piper - Noel's writing style is totally different from her husband John Piper. In a very matter-of-fact style Noel Piper shares some amazing stories of ordinary women who were faithful to God's call on their lives and how God used them to do some extraordinary things.

Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis - I read this one as a teenager. It's one of my favorite C.S. Lewis stories ever. I love it even more than the uber-popular Chronicles of Narnia. It's based on a Greek myth and it's very engaging. I think it would be appropriate for an older child/teen as well

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert  - I was so sad when I finished reading this book! While I didn't love the ending it was a nice, light read.

Persuasion by Jane Austen - this is my favorite of the books by Jane Austen. I love how sad it is and it's the perfect book to read when you're in a funk and can't stand reading another book where everything is going well for everyone. You can even download a free version of it. 

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins - I started reading this series last winter. While some people let their older children read this I haven't. I did enjoy the series though. I read each book in a day or two. I didn't love the last book, but the others were so good. 

The Help - by Kathryn Stockett - I picked it up one day when I was just looking for a break for a minute and couldn't put it down! Such a well-written, engaging story.  

The last time we went on vacation I started reading Twilight out of sheer boredom and got completely hooked. I only read the first three books because I wanted to see what happened in the movie when it came out - I'm glad I did, it was my favorite of the Twilight movies. This time I'd love to have something a little bit better to read.

For other books I'd highly recommend (especially children's literature) read my post on books to read over summer break.

I'm hoping to load Kisses from Katie onto my Kindle app on my phone and I requested a couple books from my Library, but I desperately need some help adding books to my reading list, especially for myself. What books would you bring on vacation? I could use some recommendations!! 

None of the links in this post are affiliate links - I just linked them for your convenience. 


So I was looking through my photos and found this entire series that I partially published via Instagram but I thought it deserved a full post all on it's own. The title of this is "Time Out" because these two hooligans were driving each other crazy and I sat them down in chairs in the corners to calm down - they kept making each other laugh so I placed their chairs close enough to each other to be in the same frame and stood back - iPhone camera in hand. This was totally undirected, because my kids are just driving me crazy hilarious like that.


There are lots more - but here is the collage I posted on Instagram:

Time out

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