My family came for a visit this week.  My brother wanted to take his kids to the beach, so we spent two days playing in the sand and waves of the Chesapeake Bay.


The weather was perfect.  Low humidity, blue skies, and temps in the 80’s.  It was perfection!

cousins on the bay

I can’t really even put into words what a joy it was to watch the kids play with their cousins.  There is something special about watching your children develop relationships with your siblings kids.  It’s something my heart longed for for years and to watch it unfold is something I am so grateful for.


These two are only 10 months apart and are such good buddies!  They just spent hours out on the water talking and floating.


But truthfully, all of them are close in age and they all have unique and individual bonds with each other.  It’s not like they only spend time with one cousin.  All week they kept flip flopping back and forth.  With 8 kids there was never a shortage of someone to play with.   FullSizeRender

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We topped off our day on the bay with a special crab feast in our backyard that evening.   I am not a fan of seafood and so we’ve never really cooked or served crabs here before.   It was a wonderfully memorable way to end the day. Even the kids that didn’t like the taste of them, enjoyed the experience.


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There was enough crabs for everyone to eat their fill and then some… The guys picked into the night and then my Mom made them crab cakes the next day with the leftovers.

We also celebrated two birthdays while we were together. 


Other than some sunburn from spending hours bobbing on the bay, it was an enjoyable memory filled visit for all!

Because our kids all left for one place or another on Father’s Day, we decided to celebrate the week after.  I had originally planned a low key afternoon followed by a family picnic at a park for the evening.  But, Saturday ended up being an incredibly LONG day…. 8 hours total of driving in the rain to pick up our campers and bring them home, plus a soggy basement to sop up once we got home…. Mom and Dad didn’t really feel up for much on Sunday.

We did our typical breakfast in bed on Sunday morning, followed by church.  Home for lunch and then Dad got a nice long nap on the couch.  We then took a long walk as a family and ended with a fire in the backyard.  It was a restful day of family time.  Which was just what Dad needed after a long week of work, followed by a long day of driving.


Our oldest son bought some kind of light up stick at camp, that he was so excited to share with the family.  You put it in the campfire (provided your not planning to cook on that fire)  and it will light colors up in the fire. 


Our youngest son LOVED it and the unprompted hug of thanks was so precious!


But, back to our Father’s Day celebration…..

I love this man. 


And I couldn’t ask for a better Dad for my kids.

He’s part cheerleader, instructor, jungle gym, and answer man.


His is the voice you hear loud and proud at gym meets, BJJ tournaments or soccer games.  He is the one who taught them to start fires, shoot guns, ride bikes, throw a football and use knives.  ALL of them… boys and girls.

He can break complex problems down into easy to understand applications. 

He loves the Lord and truly strives to be a man of integrity.  He loves his kids and puts his family first.  He loves his wife and truly I think one of the best ways a dad can love his kids is by loving their Momma well.  He has that mastered.


Happy, Happy Father’s Day Scott.  I couldn’t ask for a better man to raise this circus with. 

The same week our daughter went to gymnastics camp, our oldest son went to his first week away at camp with the Boy Scouts.  I have to say I am so impressed with the Boy Scouts.  Our son has learned so many valuable life skills through his years in Cub Scouts and his months as a Boy Scout.  And I am super thankful for the troop he is in.  There is a great group of guys there, both in his age group, and in the older guys.  The older guys really are wonderful leaders and truly help and take the younger guys under the wings.  It is encouraging to watch.
Boy Scout camp was the perfect environment for him.  A week in the woods, mountain biking everywhere they went, building fires, shooting archery and 22s, and earning two merit badges.  His troop leader was so kind and would email home pictures every day.  I can’t tell you how much it meant to this Momma to see a pic of her boy each day.
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One major accomplishment for our son that week was passing the swim test and earning the swimming merit badge.  This swim test was harder than any he had every taken.  He did not pass it on the first day.  In fact, he had to work most of the week on his swimming skills in order to pass it.  Scott and I leaped for joy when we got the email from his troop leader saying he had passed the swim test!
The merit badge took days and days of hard work and effort.  But, once he passed the swim test he was able to work on the rest of the requirements for his merit badge and he earned the merit badge by the end of the week.
During the evening thunderstorms, the boys all gathered in the cabin for safety.  Here they played chess, battleship, and even learned how to play poker.
At the end of the week, he told me he  missed me, especially my cooking, but he had a wonderful time and can’t wait to return next year.  I know he grew a lot through this experience (as did I).