If you missed my first three segments about our summer vacation, then you can read about them here:
"This is no longer a vacation. It's a quest. It's a quest for fun. I'm gonna have fun and you're gonna have fun. We're all gonna have so much f*cking fun we'll need plastic surgeory to remove our godamn smiles. You'll be whistling 'Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah' out of you're *ssholes!"
As one of my favorite characters Clark W. Griswold states above, a vacation is often an impossible quest -- full of challenges and setbacks along the way. You may endure some rough waves, but you must press on~!
Here's what has been going on in my world lately (or why I'm too exhausted to write a witty, thoughtful post):
Last week I hosted an event at my home that included fifteen kids and thirteen adults!!! Yes, there was a total of 28 people in my house at one time.... YIKES! Now I know a little bit what the Duggars feel like, let me tell you! Although the social venture was a success, the numbers were overwhelming. It was very loud at several points where I could hardly hear others speak from the noise. Still I was glad to pull off a nice time for everyone involved. I have learned quite a few tricks from hosting in the past. Some of my best secrets are putting all the kid's drinks outside, having a trash can in every room, using plastic ware and most importantly, being flexible!
Soon after the house was full of 28 people, it became empty again. Then we had Kirk's sister Karen, her husband Mike and their two children over for the weekend. This crazy crew was taking a mini-family vacation and celebrating Mike's birthday with us in Pensacola.
We left the details of the trip up to them. I simply cooked and provided a place to stay. So they suggested we visit the beach, barbecue, play volleyball. (Karen sprained her fingers and I nearly popped a blood vessel.... Are we getting old or what?!) We ate a ton. We drank a lot. But it was all in good fun -- that continuous 'quest for fun'!
(Kirk's sister and their family visited us over the weekend for a mini-vacation)
Vivian had a glorious time playing with her two cousins -- Cody and Kristen. Vivian and Cody are just six months apart. Kristen is older by eight years to them both. So she has the pleasure of bossing them around (or trying to anyway -- Vivian doesn't stand for that too long though! ;-)
Immediately Kristen began dressing up the kids and putting on shows for them. Every afternoon when Viv awoke from her nap, she'd say, "See Kristen!" meaning that she couldn't wait to play with her again. I knew it would be tough when they left town. So I asked Kirk's sister if Kristen could spend the week with us and play longer. Since Kristen is out of school and stuck in a boring camp that she's attended for several years now (her words, not mine), Karen agreed.
So now I have an addition to my "quest for fun" -- "Aunt Mandy's Camp" for Kristen, age 11. She is almost a teenager and her sarcasm proves it. Will I regret this or will this be a week filled with even more great stories to tell? We shall see!
(Cousins Kristen and Vivian -- the two divas in the house!)
Let the fun begin! "Aunt Mandy's Camp" started today with a trip to the bowling alley, lunch at McDonald's and a visit to the library. We have on our agenda later this week -- pottery painting, jump and slide playtime, swimming and a visit to the pier.
For starters today, Viv had two meltdowns. Kristen told Vivian repeatedly to "stop kicking her chair" and to "move over so she can have a turn". Hahaha - So that's what having a sister is like? Why did I always want one? (just kidding. sort of.)
No seriously, so far, they're behaving themselves. So far, it's been all things that I can handle. I only worry about being worn out by the end of each day.
In between their craziness, Kristen wants to play non-stop games or help me bake. I've gotten her hooked on Scattegories so far and she's determined to beat me; though she hasn't yet. We have also played a few rounds of Clue too. Today she chose two books at the library which I hope will help her wind down in the evenings to prepare for bed.
I've got my work cut out for me this week! But I'm looking forward to it too. I love Kristen almost like she's my own and I've been a part of her life since she was three (when Kirk and I first began dating).
We drive Kristen back home on Thursday or Friday of this week; then we'll spend the Fourth of July weekend with other relatives.
Meanwhile, I'm trying to keep up with my own reading and exercise routine. Before I wake the children up, I've been getting on my treadmill to run in addition to completing a scultping workout. (Kind of like my own physical bootcamp before I start my mental bootcamp of the day!)
By nighttime, I'm happily putting my head on the pillow. No insomnia this week!!! But the quest for fun is a good cause. I hope to see Kristen happy this week and sad to be leaving "Aunt Mandy's Camp" by the time the week is done. Either that, or I'm sending her to army bootcamp or juvenile detention! ;-)
I'll be sure to post more pictures and update with any interesting tales when I can. Hopefully in a few days!
In the mean time, have a wonderful week! Go out and do something fun! Show kindness to your family and try something new. Enjoy these summer days!