Sunday, July 9, 2006

Vacation Ideas

It's Sunday morning and we have just spent the first night in our very own beds in over seven days.  We returned from our trip to the beach in southern North Carolina yesterday.  All week I thought about blogging, but when there was "down time" I didn't have the gumption to get out my husbands laptop and add to my blog.  So my blog got a vacation as well as I!


We took our trip with my sister and her family.  I am very close to my neices and nephew, so I loved having them all to myself for an entire week.  The oldest two are away at college, with Hunter (my nephew) studying abroad this fall.  So time with them is precious.  We had lots of fun on the beach, in the water, playing mini-golf and just hanging out.  Time goes by so quickly and it's hard to believe that these two were just children yesterday!


BUT I digress, I wanted to pass along some tips I discovered while travelling this week.  Here they are:


1.  When you pack, remember you have to UN-pack too.  Now that we're home, I feel as though it will take DAYS to get my house back in order!


2.  Found treasures are the best souvenir's.  I'm in the posession of a lovely box of shells, a fallen bird's nest, a cat tail (the plant, not the animal), a pinecone, and some great rocks.


3.  Use a boredom box.  When things were winding down around our beach house in the late afternoon and evening my boys needed something to do.  The first two days it was frustrating because those of us over 18 just wanted to relax.  The three under 12, my sons and my neice, wanted something to DO.  I took a quick trip to the local Wal*Mart and spent about $10 on some little things to play or create.  VOILA a Boredom Box!  I put these little items into an old shoe box and put it on the coffe table.  The children were entertained during the down times for the rest of the week.  Our box contained: grooved popsicle sticks used to build boxes and other items, pipe cleaners, markers, sketch paper, two little handheld games ($1 each), playing cards, and dice.


4.  Get creative.  Another thing we did to keep the children entertained was make some games.  I put 12-15 white seashells into a box with one black seashell.  In this two-player game each player is allowed to take 1, 2 or 3 pieces on his turn.  The person who ends up with the black seashell is the looser.  This idea was taken from a game played on PBS's Cyber Chase.  I had also read in an old Family Fun Magazine about taking playing cards and cutting slits into the cards so that they could be used to make a house of cards by sliding cards into the slits.  We did this with a cheap box of cards purchased at the grocery store.  The boys and my husband made a couple ring toss games with the popsicle sticks and the pipe cleaners.


5.  Keep learning.  My neices and I loved collecting shells on the beach.  We were curious about what we were gathering, so I picked up a little book at the grocery store about the shells in the area.  We had a lot of fun sorting and identifying these shells, Baby's Ears are my favorites.  Try to find a picture of these.  They're adorable.


6.  Egg cartons make great sorting boxes.  I came home with a loaded egg carton full of shells, my neices had three between the two of them.  Later I'll write about the other items I've sorted and stored in egg cartons.


I think those are the best tips from the trip.  It was a wonderful time.  Although I'm glad to be home, I miss waking to the sound of the waves hitting the shore.  There is nothing like the sound of the ocean for me.  God's awesome power and His organization are so evident to me just by watching the ocean!  My roller coaster ride this week was on the back of those terrific waves.  I love to be out past the breakers jumping over the waves and having them place me soundly on the ground after lifting me high in the air.  There's no man-made ride quite so thrilling.


Enjoy the ride!

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