Sunday, September 21, 2008

Clemmer family vacation '08

I love creating traditions and memories with my family. In fact, our whole family loves it. And our yearly vacation is one of the best traditions we've started building so far. Everything from wanting to go to the same location every year (Ocean City, NJ) to doing the same things (hitting the boardwalk for the arcade & funnel cake; Kate & I having a girl-afternoon watching the movie "Emma" together; going to the Cape May zoo). There's just something very significant in building a family identity, and traditions are a big part of that.

We had an absolutely WONDERFUL time and we were so sad to leave our little family cocoon and come back to reality. It's such a bonding time for us. Here's the highlights: The kids were content to play and color together. We listened to the entire, unabridged version of "Prince Caspian" on audio book together (that's 4 solid hours, people, of listening - WITH NO SCREEN in front of them!!), as well as 'The Boxcar Children' (another couple of hours). Granted, we did it in 1-2 hour segments, but still... We visited the boardwalk and had fun on the beach. The guys watched the big Eagles game together on Monday night football, complete with 'party food', while Kate and I watched a movie called "Ballet Shoes" together. Every night Lukey would ask to go see "the monkeys on the boardwalk" - one of the mini golf places has mechanical gorillas in a helicopter that move and "sing" to different oldies, such as "Under the Boardwalk" and "The Monkees" song. We also got in lots of 'educational/school time' (in addition to all the literature time we racked up!) - we visited the Naval Air Station Wildwood museum, the Ocean City Historical museum, learned about the ship that ran aground in OC called the Sindia (still buried there somewhere) and learned some about hermit crabs as well as seeing the guy fishing next to us catch a small shark ("don't worry's not the kind that can actually EAT you..."). Todd also learned about the danger of catching crabs bare-handed...but that's another post altogether.

One moment that stuck out to me was a conversation we had w/Kate. The kids had been playing on the beach with 2 little girls who only happened to live about 1/2 an hour from where we do. At one point, Kate came over and asked Todd if he could tell Bryce that he shouldn't ask everyone if they are Christians. Todd asked her what happened, and she replied "Nothing. But we're just there playing and he says 'Are you guys Christians?' He always does that." While being able to identify with her uncomfortableness with her brother's straightforwardness, he simply said, "No, Kate. I'm not going to tell him to stop. I've prayed for years for that kind of boldness to talk to people about God." While he was very gentle in his reply to her, I think she was really impacted by the thought, and we were encouraged by Bryce's sincere heart.

On a not-so-touching side of things, I fell off the bottom step coming out of CVS, getting medicine for my sickees (2 of the kids got colds while we were away, and now another has it) and more suntan lotion (we only had 2 really warm, sunny days and 3 of us (not me...) managed to get burned in that short amount of time!!) and twisted my ankle, not to mention felt like a real dufus. God is always watching out for me - keeping me humble, that is!!

Well, I hope to post lots more pics, but I just spent 2 hrs trying to upload several to Facebook, so I'm too tired to do many now, but I'll leave you with a few of my favs. More thoughts to share over the next few days...

"America's Greatest Family Resort"...we agree!!

OK, are they identical or what?!?!

In an army helicopter actually used in vietnam (I think)

Being 'terrorized' at the Cape May Zoo

My family - just being together. :o)


ainsley said...

Glad you had such a wonderful vacay. I love and miss Ocean City, NJ so much. Cape May used to be a place we visited, too. At least I can live it vicariously through you... looking forward to seeing more pics!

Laura said...

I'm glad you had a good time... I wish it could have been longer for you... hows a month sound.

And your new pic (the one of just you) is gorgeous!!

Jimmy DeWan said...

thats the biggest smile on Todd I have seen since i have known you guys. Love and miss you.

Christelle Joy said...

sounds like lots of fun! i love the bear picture. kate looks really cute!