Since we took our first only-our-family vacation two years ago, we decided that we were going to try to do that again soon. However, the Handy Man still is not working (but he IS back in school!) and we did not think a vacation was in the cards for us for quite some time. One of the many things the Lord has been teaching me over the last few years is that I have lived with a poverty mind-set for my whole adult life. Even when the Handy Man was making decent money, we seldom did anything fun….it was always drudgery and “paying the bills”….and forget being generous!
Well, since our Heavenly Father began this journey of unemployment with and for us, He has taught us so very much about generosity. He has also taught me that poverty is a mind-set. I can live like I am poor, with a poor-me attitude and a spirit of selfish hoarding–and that includes the inability to accept good and generous gifts from both God and others–OR I can choose to live with open palms, accepting what He has for me while not holding it too tightly so I can pass it along to others. This season has been humbling–but God has so taken care of our needs, and yes, even our wants, that I am convinced that sometimes we are just supposed to enjoy what He gives. Ultimately, we are to enjoy HIM-and we must never be so enamored with what He gives us that we forget that it is ultimately Him we will be with for eternity and that we are to enjoy even now. That said, it has been amazing to watch and experience what good things the Lord has given us.
One of those good things was a three-day jaunt to Saint Simon’s Island. Back at the beginning of July, Lil’ Adventurer asked me if we were ever going to go back to the “real beach” to dig in the sand and “make real sandcastles”? I told him that if God gave us the money, we would go to the beach for a few days. Well, God gave us the money, and I found a great condo near the beach on the island for the money with which we had been gifted. We left Tuesday afternoon, spent all day Wednesday and Thursday at the beach, and came home Friday.
The weather forecast was for rain the whole time we were there, but while it rained at night, the days were glorious! We spent two days at the beach and even snuck in an
educational fieldtrip outing to Fort Frederica. We build sand castles, captured hermit crabs, caught jelly fish, saw a dolphin up close, and even swam with sharks. (Okay, so the sharks were sand sharks about 18″ long—but they caused me to do the fastest 100 yard dash you have ever seen a rotund lady run!) The boys dug in the sand to their hearts’ content, and the older girls got more sun than they bargained for. Star Child and Gladys Mae both declined to re-apply the sunblock as often as I offered, and both ended up with blisters–Star Child had a very red, blistered face, and Gladys Mae had blisters all over her shoulders. Both suffered for several days, covered in aloe and burn cream. Lesson learned?
We had a grand time. It was a short reprieve between the Handy Man’s semesters and it came right before our school year marathon began. It was a perfect slice of three days, and I am so grateful that the Lord provided it for us. I will admit, though, that it was very strange to go on vacation with only five children. We really missed Dee, but she was at college experiencing Welcome Week. Perhaps some day she will forgive us.
Here are some of our moments:
Yes, here we are…so thrilled to be here at Fort Frederica….
Lil’ Adventurer and Curious George dress up like British soldiers at Fort Frederica:
Little Princess checks off the items on her scavenger hunt:
Star Child was given her choice of which sibling with whom she had to share her queen size bed. I’m thinking she did not make the wisest choice:
But this one might not have been any better:
The Handy Man on life-jacket duty. Curious George only wanted to take that thing off –and put it back on–about a dozen times an hour. Notice how deep that water is–he wasn’t taking ANY chances!
Star Child–too much sun? No–not until the blisters appear!
Little Princess named him–and the other half dozen she collected. She wanted to keep them. I was the bad guy. The hermit crabs can thank me later.
Little Princess–backstroke, life-jacket style.
The backstory on this series is that the family next to us was feeding the
annoying seagulls. This was intriguing to Lil’ Adventurer, so he asked me if HE could feed the seagulls. I obligingly found some PB&J crusts, and thus began his career as “He Who Dances With Seagulls”:
In between life-jacket changes, this child wanted to eat. This time around he asked for the “black cookies, Mama”. It was vacation. Don’t judge.
We visited the pier before heading out on our last day. Star Child and Gladys Mae were in a great deal of pain by this time.
The Handy Man slouched…I didn’t…so I look freakishly tall and he looks like a munchkin. But, hey, it’s a family photo, and who cares, anyway?
Ha-finally captured Gladys Mae on camera! She was harder to get than Star Child, which is saying a LOT. What is it about teen-age girls and their avoidance of parents with cameras? Guess where we stopped to eat on our way home?