It’s hard to believe summer is winding down, kids are going back to school, and the season of pumpkin spice lattes, chicken stews, freshly picked apples, and corn mazes is upon us.
In the midst of this busy season, I’m focusing on remembering to savor the little moments and to make memories with the people I love.
Because in life, our relationships are everything.
This month I’m linking up with Emily Freeman at Chatting at the Sky, sharing what I learned in August. While we enjoyed a full month of relationship-building and memory-making with lots of friends, it was a family vacation that scored the feature in this month’s “what I learned” post.
While we didn’t get much rest on this vacation, it was a memory-maker for sure! So here it goes…the 6 things I learned in August:
1. It is possible to survive (and even enjoy!) a week in a tiny cabin with two grandparents, two mommas, and five kids ages 5 and under (5, 4, almost 3, 2, and 11 months).
I’m not exactly sure what we were thinking when my sister and I agreed to a trip to the lake with my parents with that many littles, but not only did we survive, we had a great time! Tons of memories were made amongst the multiple trips to the playground, swimming pool, out on the lake in the little johnboat, and playing at the lake’s edge.
2. With that many littles, you have to repeat safety instructions. A lot.
Since the water was right outside our front porch, the kids spent quite a bit of time splashing around and we spent lots of our words each day saying things like:
- Put your shoes on. You might cut yourself on glass or a fishing hook.
- Stay away from the swans (they’re mean!).
- Yes, you can feed the ducks. Just don’t throw bread AT them.
- Don’t stand behind someone throwing out a fishing line.
- Yes, you can ride in the boat (again). Just put on your lifejacket first.
3. You can catch a fish with no bait on your hook. True story.
Both big kids enjoyed one-on-one time with their Poppy out in the boat fishing and they both came back with fish to show off their mad fishing skills. My nephew Brecken (4) even caught a fish with just his hook.
While Salem did use bait for her fish, she obviously isn’t sure yet that fishing will be her past time of choice.
Lesson 3b: Don’t try to teach four kids ages 5 and under how to fish from the bank all at the same time. There may or may not be weeping and gnashing of teeth after all four fishing rods get tangled one right after another.
Just sayin’…this picture captured a brief moment of time (like 2.3 seconds) where 3 out of the 4 kids were sitting on the bank quietly while waiting their turn with Poppy, the fishing teacher.
4. Feeding ducks might be the cheapest form of entertainment we will ever find.
We spent 5 full days at the lake and somehow the kids never tired of feeding the ducks. This type of all-but-free entertainment makes me seriously reconsider any entertainment that requires cold hard cash!
5. Carl’s Ice Cream is still the best ice cream ever.
On the National Register of Historic Places, Carl’s Ice Cream in Fredericksburg, VA was established in 1947 and is still the best ice cream on the planet. I grew up less than 30 minutes away and took numerous trips to the iconic ice cream shoppe as a teenager. At 15, my driving test even included parallel parking across the street.
Each cone is a little twist of sugary frozen heaven. I might be obsessed.
So I was thrilled when a traffic jam on our way home resulted in a detour right past my favorite place. It was a fabulous end to our family vacation. My mom and sister and I even snapped a pic to commemorate the occasion.
6. Your most favorite part of the trip might be the trip home.
My sister and I got 5 solid hours of sisterly talk time in the van on the way home while the girls (5, almost 3, and 11 months) slept in the back seat. This might or might not have been my favorite part of the trip…