Monday, July 25, 2016

Summer Vacation 2016

I think I might have to come to terms with the fact that I am not a summer blogger!! I never intend to take the summer off, but we just always have SO much going on! Our summer days and nights fill up so quickly, it's hard to find time to do anything else than what's on the calendar. This year we have even MORE things going on, plus we had both our desk top and chrome book die on us recently so finding time AND a computer to blog on just weren't a huge priority the last few weeks. I have several things I am looking forward to writing about (though we are still crazy busy right now so I can't promise that it'll happen super soon), but FIRST, I want to get down the memories and pictures from our recent vacation before the details start to slip! 
We met my dad, step mom and sister in Arkansas for vacation at the end of June. We went to a little podunk town of about 2,000 people and stayed at this cute little "resort" that had a beach entry lake, indoor and outdoor pools, a playground, restaurant and walking trails. There were boats and water activities to do, but of course the kiddos just loved playing in the sand and water the whole week! 
It was about a 9 hour drive (which the kids slept about 15 minutes of....) and we got there late Saturday afternoon. We got unpacked, settled in and had dinner. My dad and sister arrived late that night and my step mom came the next day! 
The place we stayed at was AWESOME! It was so perfect for us. It was almost like a little apartment. The two bedrooms and bathrooms were HUGE. It had a nice sized kitchen, dining and living area and a balcony that looked out to the pool and lake. I don't think I've ever really been to Arkansas except just passing through but it is beautiful there! 

This was literally the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on in my life. Ever.
 This is the room we stayed in. It fit all 6 of us easily! The girls got these cute little air mattresses for the trip and were SO excited about them. I should have gotten a picture of them. 

The view from the living room and/or balcony. It was so gorgeous there! 

Onto the fun!!
Most mornings the 6 of us + my sister would head down to the pool or beach and spend the majority of the morning down there before heading back home for lunch and naps. Man, everyone slept good for naps that week!! 
The kids just had a blast digging in the sand, swimming, trying to catch the little fish, playing with beach balls, frisbee, etc. We were pretty much in the sun for 3-4 hours for about 6 days straight I think! 

One morning my sister and I took some kayaks out and then my husband, sister and girls took out a canoe. The girls liked it ok, but weren't overly impressed with it, which I was surprised by! My sister and oldest had already jumped ship by the time they got close enough for a  photo op ;) 

One day during nap time, we left my dad up in the condo with the sleeping kids and the rest of us went down to the lake to do paddle boards and kayaks. 

The resort had some different activities. A lot of them were entertainment at night, but one afternoon there was a magician, so we took the kiddos to see that. 
We did some walks, when it wasn't too terribly hot...

If that is not the most intense cheese face you've ever seen....
Some mornings, since we were in the same room, the girls would sneak into our big comfy bed. We didn't hate it...
And sometimes, they needed a nap to recover from their nap. Didn't hate that, either...
One night, we went to see Finding Dory in 3D. It was the girls first 3D movie!
One night, we went on a boat ride that took us all around the lake we were staying on. You couldn't tell from the resort just how huge it was. It took us about an hour to get all the way around! Such beautiful scenery. The girls really enjoyed the boat. The littles....didn't. 
We played at the playgrounds a couple times, but it was mostly too hot and humid for that.
There were bubbles and chalk with Auntie...

I think we probably spent quite a bit more time at the lake than the pool, but when we did go to the pool, they all loved it. On the last day, my dad and I had the girls down there without the littles and my oldest daughter just became a fish. She's only just learning to swim without her life jacket and I'll say she is definitely crushing it! I was so proud of her! Daddy missed it, so he and my sister took the girls back down that night while I stayed up and packed and the littles slept. I got some photos and videos while grandmommy and I watched from the balcony! 

She was swimming about half the length of the pool by the end of the day! I think she could've gone even farther. She did this over and over and over. And she slept GOOD that night! (And yes that is a random kid hanging on my husband.)

Little Sis was pretty impressive herself! We did swim lessons the 3 weeks before vacation and she really did not want to put her face in the water. She finally did it on the last night of lessons for the testing, but didn't like it. By the last night of vacation she was jumping right in and letting her whole face and head go under! Also, screaming CANNONBALL before each jump ;) 

We had a rainy movie night with Baba one night...Home for the win!

I'm pretty sure the kids could have lived on this little beach. they just had the best time down there. We saw a few of the same families day after day so they had some little acquaintances with other kids going, too, which was fun! 
Daddy and Big Sis swam out to the dock one day. she had fun standing on top and jumping in!

My sister and I went kayaking and Little Sis hopped in for a short ride with me! 

My beautiful sister and precious little ones. These 3 are perfect proof of God's sovereignty. 
I keep finding more pictures on more SD cards, so I'm sure I'll find more after I hit publish, but that about wraps up our trip! It was such a fun time and always so good to spend time with family! We are looking forward to going back someday! 

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