One of about 4 fish like this that she found and safely returned to the ocean.
Our beautiful sunrise.
After that we walked a little in the opposite direction. We found a tide pool, and I told her that often, you can find living things in the tide pools. So we looked. And she found this little cute guy. Whom of course, she had to safely return to the ocean as well.
After each fish she saved, she would put her little arms in the air in a victory pose and say, "YEAH!" It was adorable! And after all that fish saving, her hands smelled like she had handled giant sized fish. I guess all fish smell, no matter what size they are.
A picture of her releasing a fish back into the ocean.
A sunrise selfie of my little beach buddy and me.
A storm in the distance, and the beach virtually all to ourselves.
Except for some very friendly seagulls who were hoping we had food.
It was very quiet and peaceful, and the Youngest Princess was cold because of the breeze. So I unfolded a beach towel, and she curled up in my lap. We talked for a few minutes. She asked questions about my Mom and Dad. She was born after my Daddy died and she never knew him, and my Mom died when she was only two, so she does not really remember her. We talked about them for a little while. At one point I told her that my Daddy was a very quiet man, and she said, "Oh, so not like me at all!" I had to laugh. He would have loved her! Anyway, after a few minutes of talking, she got still and quiet, and eventually fell asleep. I thought of Karen Kingsbury's book, Let Me Hold You Longer, and the fact that she is quickly growing up and that this might be the last opportunity I have to hold her like this, so I soaked in every last second of it. And, while I was sitting there soaking it all in, an older lady walked up the beach alone. She walked over to us with a smile on her face. She said, "Would you mind if I just speak a blessing over you this morning?" I told her I wouldn't mind a bit. She stood and talked to me for a minute about how sweet it was to see me sitting there with my little one, and how I should enjoy it because they grow up so fast (was she reading my mind?!?) and then she told me to have a blessed day. I wished her the same, and she walked away, stopping to speak briefly with each person she met. I finally had to wake the Youngest Princess up, as much as I hated to, because I was afraid that storm was going to catch up to us. So we went back to the condo, and quietly slipped into bed with My Prince. She snuggled up to her Daddy then, and we all fell back asleep for a while.
After a quick nap, we all got up and got ready to go out to the beach for the day. We decided to go down the beach a little way where it wasn't quite so crowded. It was a little hike out there, but it was nice to have a little personal space.
The girls were working on a sandcastle, but the waves had other plans.
It would be beautiful and sunny one minute, and the next, a little shower would blow in. It was very windy, and the surf was pretty strong. Not good for much but relaxing and reading. The Young Prince did a little skim boarding, since we were further down and there were not as many people around.
The Youngest Princess remarked that since it was so windy, we could "chip surf" right there on the beach, and of course then we had to try it! We had to send a picture to my niece, who originally taught us how to chip surf. She thought it was awesome.
The rainy weather finally drove us back inside. We decided to get ready and go to dinner. This time, we picked a place where we had never been before. It ended up being my favorite place. As soon as we walked in the lady asked us how many were in our party. She asked us to wait a minute. A man walked up and told her there was a table available right then. He did not wait for her to seat us, as she was busy doing something else, he just told us to follow him. He cared that we were seated and seated quickly, and it showed in his actions. The food was delicious! The atmosphere was good. We will definitely go back there. If you want to know where it was, just ask me, I would be glad to tell you. I ordered fried clam strips and fried shrimp (and yes, I ate some for you D!). With new potatoes and fried okra.
We went to a couple of different stores to look for anklets, and we found several that we liked. We all got different ones, instead of the same ones like usual. The Young Prince found something for a friend, and the Oldest Princess found something that she had been looking for, and got it. So we had a profitable little shopping trip.
After we shopped, we went back to the condo. We played a few games, but we were all a little snippy with one another, and the game playing was not going so well. So we stopped. When it got dark enough to go crab hunting, we all went. The Oldest Princess included this time. We caught a bunch (I took a video, but no picture this time), and we had released them and made it back to the condo by ten o'clock due to the Oldest Princess's wishes.
I asked who would like to join me in the morning for my sunrise walk. And I had no takers. Looks like I would be by myself for our last morning.
Wednesday, July 27 -
I think heaven will be a lot like this ;-)!
Okay, not really! I know that heaven will be way more than we can ask or imagine better than this, but while here on earth, the beach is my happy place.
I got up, took my towel, my chair, and my book, and spent the morning peacefully reflecting, praying and reading. I got a little emotional thinking about the way things will soon be changing for our family. I'm not a big fan of change. I know it necessary for growth, and all that jazz, but I like my comfortable normal. I like the way things are now. Change brings uncertainties, and maybe that is what I don't like about it. Over the last few weeks, I have been struggling. I don't know if it is the change on the horizon that has me in a slump, or what. I know that satan has been at work. I have seen his hand. And honestly, I have struggled over several things. Little things, big things. Thoughts and fears that I know are planted by satan, because they are not truth from God's Word. So this morning while I sat, I allowed God to breathe peace and love and acceptance into my soul. It was a sweet time of fellowship with God for me. A time to just be still, and listen to His voice, that I have needed for a long time. I could still use your prayers, and our family could use your prayers as we fight on the front lines in a spiritual battle against unseen powers. It is real folks. And we appreciate your prayers.
While I sat, I watched several little crabs disappear into their holes and then come out and throw a little load of sand out, and then disappear back into their holes. It is cool to watch how they by instinct know how to build their little holes so they can sleep the day away and then come back out at night. Just to entertain myself, I named the ones I could see: Gerald, Uncle Joe, and Little Jimmy. I watched them until the guy with the tractor came out to "rake" the sand. He raked over all their work. But it wasn't long before Gerald and Uncle Joe reappeared. I never saw Little Jimmy again. I did however see a huge crab about 15 feet away. I got up so that I could get closer to get a picture of him for the kids. I tried to keep my eye on him as I got closer, but he disappeared. Then, I saw this in the sand:
It was definitely a large crab (the picture does not do it justice). But I was not sure if it was the one I had been watching or not, or if this one was alive or not. So I found a stick and gently poked it, while videoing with my phone, so if it was him, the kids could see how big he was, or if he ran up my leg, I could win America's Funniest Videos. He was alive, and he was so fast that all I got was what looks like a little crab running down to the water. So really this is all the evidence I have of my large crab sighting while on the beach by myself. And like I said, the picture really does not do it justice. You will just have to take my word for it.
Eventually the family joined me, and we decided that we liked going in during the lunch/afternoon hours and eating and resting and then coming back out to the beach for the evening. So we hung out for a couple of hours as a family, and then went in to get ready to go out for lunch.
One of our favorite restaurants had an all you can eat shrimp special, so we went there for lunch. The Oldest Princess ordered grilled shrimp instead of fried and it was very good, but so spicy that she couldn't eat it. We offered to order her something else, but she did not want us to.
We stopped in at a surf shop that the Young Prince wanted to walk into. On the way in, we saw this sign:
My Prince said that it was a good thing that we left our giraffe at home -Bahahaha!
When we got back to the condo, we all took an hour long nap, and then we hit the beach for our last afternoon. We stayed until the sunset. It was wonderful!
I asked the Young Prince to use his "go-go gadget arms" to take a beach selfie of all of us, so I would have at least one picture of all of us on the beach. When you give your 17 year old son, who tends to be a clown from time to time, your phone to take a family selfie, this is what you might find on your camera roll a few days later when you are looking for pictures to add to your blog:
But, we all were there, I promise. And these are the best family beach pictures I have to prove it. All photo credits go the Young Prince - budding photographer extraordinaire.
We were missing our niece, who usually goes to the beach with us if possible, and we sent this to her so that we could tell her that even if she was not with us physically, she was with us in spirit. If you know her, you will "get it". I wished that we had thought of this earlier and had included the lid in every picture/activity we did. We really did miss her and wish that she could have been with us.
The Young Prince and the Youngest Princess started working on a project about the time My Prince and I decided to take a sunset stroll down the beach. As we walked, we talked about our children and the things they are facing and how satan is attacking in different areas, and how we can work together as parents to help them get through these times. Again, if you would like to join us in prayer, we would greatly appreciate it.
A sunset selfie of My Prince and me. Unfortunately, you can not see the beautiful sunset behind us.
But, this is what it looked like.
We walked back down the beach to join the kids and pack everything up to go in. I hated to see our last day there come to an end, and life as we know it, with all the changes it is going to bring in the next few months continue. But continue it must, so we will forge on, and make the best of it.
The Young Prince and the Youngest Princess had finished their project when we returned.
We packed everything back up, and everyone helped to fill the hole back up and pack the sand down.
Then we went inside for dinner. My Prince went and picked up Subway for us.
When it got dark, we went crab hunting one more time. The Oldest Princess, again opted to stay inside. We talked with mom who had twin boys that were about 5 years old. They found a big crab and were screaming and carrying on, and the Young Prince went to help them catch it. Once it was caught, they were afraid of it. They only liked the little tiny ones. So they let us keep it. It was pretty cool to watch him. I am fascinated by their eyes! So cool how they are designed by God to live exactly where they live and how camouflaged they are. I did get a picture of our catch this time. This was just before we released them and went in for the night.
Until I blog again...