Sunday, March 23, 2014

We almost doubled the size of the congregation that we worshiped with for evening services tonight. We are on day two of our beach vacation in “Florida’s Best Kept Secret” and it was a gorgeous day from top to bottom after the storm passed through during the morning worship service. I’m sure there is some kind of scientific explanation as to why a day seems so crisp after a storm passes through, which parallels in comparison many times to the physiological storms some of us endure. It just always seems like the sky is so vibrant after a storm. Even if there is debris or destruction, where rebuilding is necessary, the sky and nature herself always seems to set an example for us to follow.

So, as it was today. The blue and white marbled sky above felt light and complimented the main attraction - the water. It was so clear that the shades of depth shown through even at a distance and I could hardly take my eyes off it rolling up up to the sugar white sands for which the gulf beaches are known. We met with the church at Navarre church of Christ this morning and tonight, and our family brought the number to 14 this evening. It’s fun to go to little congregations and good for the kids to see and experience since we are use to about 1k at home.

So, we arrived very late Friday night and went straight to bed and spent the entirety of Saturday at the beach or at the pool. It was foggy and cold at first, and the water has stayed frigid, but the fog burned off and we had a cool day. We had no respect for the clock (except for bed since it was church-night, but they were all well ready) and no reason to do anything. I brought all of our food so that we would not have to go to the grocery store first thing, which is a huge aggravation to me for vacations. I didn’t care if Hg had to sit with bread in her lap the whole way or if Vic had to set with his must-have cereal between his feet, I was not going to go grocery shopping until at least the third day. So, we were able to spend a weightless day at the beach. Vic and the boys dug a huge hole, then the boys and I used the sand to make a sandcastle in front of the hole.
He was very excited to find a spongebob towel at the condo.
 The boys and I dug disappearing canals and lesser holes. Hg hunted for shells and sandollars, and watched for ocean life , and Abbey …. I picture Abbey one day participating in those Polar Bear water competitions, where the participants take on challenges of jumping in and out or swimming or something in blisteringly frigid waters. I’m not really familiar with whatever it entails, but my point is that Abbey is going to do what Abbey came to do and that was get in the waves, it didn’t matter what the temperature was. So, she rolled around at the break of the waves, literally rolled up and down and around on the sand in the water. When she took a shower, she had sand coming out of hidden crevices, so much so that I just knew she would clog the drain. Vic caught a sizable fish with the net. I don’t know if we have ever been anywhere outside that he doesn’t catch something
somehow. A few years ago, he caught a crab that made him pay for sticking his hand where it was not welcome. So, if we can’t figure out the poles in the storage closet, we may just send Vic out for hand-fishing.

In other ocean life news, when we got up to get ready for church there were dolphins just off the shore, about 30 or 40 yards off. Well within the distance that a person would swim off shore. A man was taking pictures standing on the beach, and it was almost like a couple of them were doing tricks for him. It was like they were purposefully hanging out right there for him to take pictures. It was amazing, I’ve never seen anything like it.

Rain is threatening again, but I am set. We found DVD’s of Carol Burnett, Mary Tyler Moore, and Giligan’s Island at the condo and I brought Princess Bride, so I am almost hopeful that we have one good day of rain. We may try our hand at fishing tomorrow if the weather is fine, or we may try the zoo. We found poles at the condo, so we may look them over to see if we can figure it out, then fish off the national shoreline somewhere.

Eli is doing wonderfully. He has been laughing a lot, and mainly enjoying doing things with his daddy. He keeps a very close check on where he is. Eli was hesitant and apprehensive at the beach because the water was so cold, but Abbey, my entertainer, lured him to the edge so she could have an audience and he had a lot of fun that first day. Any chemo patient, no matter the color of his or her skin, has to be careful about sun exposure, so Eli stayed pretty covered up and lotioned up. We are all pretty fair coming off of winter, but I cover the kids with sunscreen when we will be in it full-out for many hours. I even put some on myself this time although it was the leftover of whatever I had done for whichever kid. For example, if after I coated Caleb I still had

some on my hands, I would rub it on me. Then I would put fresh in my hand for the next kid, then whatever was left, I put on me, and so on. So, I only have sporadic red swatches here and there. But, I feel terrible that I have let Abbey’s ears get completely blistered, like they are swollen even. I usually don’t do the girl’s ears b/c of their hair. Then as we were leaving to go down, at the last minute, they each decided to wear a hat, like a ball cap, so their ears poked out and I had already moved on mentally from the sunscreening and did not think about it. So, they each have horrible ears, then Abbey went out again today, but with lotion, and still just got fried. Hers are really terrible, I just hate it so much, but it will not slow her down. Vic lathers himself in sunscreen (because we would hate for his olive skin to tan), always has, which is why, if he keeps his head shorn and beard short, he looks about 8

 years younger than me, although we are the same age. By the time everyone has sunscreen on, I am just ready to be done and out the door, which is why I do the leftover because it is more time efficient, but I do have an area on one arm that is burned, then part of my right back shoulder, and a strip on my chest. Oh, well, am I half sunburned or am I half not sunburned? Depends on how you look at it.
Our sandcastle

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