Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Beach

Our lives have been in a little transitions lately, so I have not taken the time to write many blog posts. You see, we are transitioning from a laid back summer routine (full of lots of fun) to the more scheduled routine of school. And while I LOVE the flexibility and spontaneity of summer, it's always good to return to the structure of the school year.

So, before I get too far into the school year, I must finish telling you about our summer. Our most recent trip to the beach was a wonderful time for us. We met my hubby's family at Surfside Beach, South Carolina (near Myrtle Beach) for a week of togetherness. We rented a large house with a pool one block from the beach. All twenty-two of us gathered for family fun, and we're glad we did.

Right away, we gathered on the beach at evening for some family photo opportunities. You can check out how it turned out by clicking here and here and here and here and here and here. (Hey, if that's a lot of "heres" so you could just click on over to my photography blog and read and scroll until you've seen them all)
We also had our Christmas in August celebration, and were excited by how much fun that was. You may recall that everyone was to buy a gift for the person whose name they drew. The only rule was that the gift could cost no more than $1 to buy. It's amazing how much fun it was to bargain shop and use coupons to accomplish this task.

Here's the run down on the gifts we bought:

To our nephew, our son gave a battery operated boat...perfect for playing in the pool or bath tub.

Our daughter gave one of the nieces a Barbie doll.

My hubby gave his brother-in-law 4 micro-fiber cloths for washing his vehicles.

I gave my sis-in-law a recipe package which included 3 cookbooks, index cards, pens and fingernail polish.

All of the items we gave were paid for with ECB's at CVS. When you sign up for a CVS card and purchase select items, CVS gives you Extra Care Bucks that can be used like cash at your next visit. I had accumulated enough of these for us to get our gifts and spend no money out of pocket.
Want to know more about playing the "CVS game"? Check out this tutorial at moneysavingmom. I highly recommend this program at CVS as a very effective way to save a LOT of money! While you are at it, check out all the other ideas for saving money on

The gifts we received at the Christmas in August celebration were great, too!

Our daughter got a diary complete with a lock and key. She was THRILLED!

Our son got a child-sized basketball with the Florida Gators logo on it. He was THRILLED!

Joel got an autographed poster of Tim Tebow. He was THRILLED!

I got goodies for a pedicure, a manicure set and a pretty toothpick holder (its a pineapple, which I love....a great southern icon which symbolizes hospitality). I was THRILLED!

Everyone had fun giving their gifts and telling how they had purchased them for $1 or less. It's amazing what you can did when you get creative!

We also celebrated our daughter's birthday while we were at the beach.

She turned seven even though I didn't want her to. I made a sand bucket cake since we were at the beach, and she opened gifts from grandparents, aunts, uncle, and cousins.

Nana and Papa and two other families pitched in to take her to "Build-A-Bear."

She's been wanting to go for a long time and knew exactly what she wanted to get. It was fun to see her having so much fun.

I think this is the longest blog post in recorded history. Thanks for sticking around long enough to read it.


new mom in law said...

Though I saw these on FACEBOOK, I was still glad you updated your BLOG...Oh, and I love following you on Twitter or whatever it is!!!

Tonja said...

Loved all the pictures! Looks like happy times for all!

Jennifer said...

i found your blog by way of Mer's........very cool about all that Gator stuff! Woo Hoo Go Gators!

Jenn said...

Sounds like a fabulous family vacation. I still love C. hair - so adorable.

I need to check out the CVS savings - what a great idea.