Friday, July 13, 2012

A Lesson in Generosity

Maddie came back from the beach with a fever. Boo! I would've preferred just the sand that we accidentally dragged into the house but Maddie brought home so much more. So, we had a sick day at home the Monday after vacation. As we were sitting at the table eating our morning snack, I read this blog post at Lil Light O'Mine and decided it was an awesome idea!

I contemplated taking action at that moment...we did have a free day and all. But with a day off of work and being confined to the house, I could play catch up on those chores that were neglected while we were at the beach.

But, then I looked at Maddie and asked her if she wanted to make cookies to give away and she said, "YES!"

So, I didn't think about it another second. We jumped in the car, gathered the few supplies we needed from the store, and then got home and got to baking!

She loves making things with lots and lots of SUGAR!!

At first I wasn't sure what shapes we should make. I went to the store looking for a cookie cutter to give me inspiration but I found nada! Apparently baking cookies in the middle of the summer (and a heat wave) isn't on everyone's to-do list. As I thought about the cookie cutters I have at home, it hit me. July 4th was in two days, so we should make stars. Lots and lots of stars!

We decorated the cookies in red, white, and blue icing. Maddie wanted to give icing cookies a try which was new for us. Usually when we bake cookies together, this is the point in the process where she ditches me for a different activity. But she hung in there like a champ!

We put the cookies in clear goodie bags with white tissue paper 
and tied it close with some blue and red ribbon.

We hung a flag on each bag that said, 
"Some Stars to add a little twinkle to your holiday. From: The Mancini's"

Then my plan got squirely. I wanted to hang out at the mailboxes and give the cookies out as my neighbors came home from work. Dan and I had plans to go the Braves game, so that evening was out.

My plan was then to hand them out on Tuesday after we ate dinner, but a lighting and thunder storm rolled in just as we finished up eating. 

We tried to hand some out late Wednesday morning before we left to go to Dan's parents for lunch, but it was too early to be ringing the neighbor's doorbell on a holiday. 

I was feeling quite sad. We were completely striking out when it came to actually handing out the cookies. Shouldn't that be the easy part?? If our family ended up eating the cookies, it seemed like the lesson of generosity was going to be lost.

When we got home in the early evening on Wednesday, I was sure none of our neighbors would be home. However, the security guard who patrols our neighborhood was stuck in his car. Not a fun holiday activity! So, I discussed a new plan with Maddie, we grabbed a bag of cookies, and found the security guard.

He was so surprised and grateful for the cookies. His reaction made Maddie look at me and say, "Lets go get the rest of the cookies and give them all away." Sweet!

As we walked around the neighborhood, we actually found people out and about and we were able to give away all of our cookies. When someone would park in their driveway, Maddie would start running and telling me to hurry up so we could give them cookies. So fun!

Our mantra was, "Why are we giving away cookies? Because it surprises people, makes them smile, and makes them happy!"

Which in the process made us smile and happy... Yes, it is better to give then receive. Woo-hoo!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Family Vaca 2012 - Enjoying the Waves

Some people take a sand tool and attack the waves...

Other people, like to dance and relax in the waves...

Two different people, two different ways to the enjoy the beach...both fabulous!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Family Vaca 2012 - Boogie Boarding

This was the year of the boogie board. We borrowed two boards from our friends last year and Luke wanted nothing to do with them. Boo! Since the waves were so fabulous this year, Dan got a boogie board to ride the waves and Luke was hooked. 

Of course, sometimes you need your dad to tow you back in when you get to deep and the waves are over your head! Thanks for the ride, Dad!

The BIG surprise was when this little one decided to join in... 

Maddie really hasn't enjoyed the ocean and being in the water. She hates getting her face wet and it's hard to enjoy the water when you can't go out very far without a wave knocking you over. However, Tropical Storm Debby left a nice sandbar that ran down a good stretch of the beach. This allowed Maddie to get comfortable with going out further and getting use to the sand under her feet...all without the waves. Woo-hoo! She loves to do everything her brother does and her experience with the sandbar gave her the confidence to give boogie boarding a whirl.

Such a cutie-pa-tootie! It was so fun to watch both of the Mancini children enjoying the waves this year. Thank you Tropical Storm Debby for making that possible ;)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Family Vaca 2012 - To the beach!

On Tuesday morning, we were finally able to pack everyone up and head to the beach. Woo-hoo! 

For my birthday, I asked for some beach gear and a cart to make hulling it around super easy. I love creating environments and having a fabulous environment when sitting on the beach is a MUST!  

There were still some pesky storm clouds swirling around the beach. I'm including the picture of Maddie not because it's a great pic of her but it does show the clouds that would roll in. It would look like it was going to storm but it would sprinkle for two minutes and then move on out. Phew!

A red flag of warning was still waving on the beach which meant the current was still very strong. The waves would coming crashing into the beach...

and you would get knocked down... 

which then had you scrambling to get back up on your feet. 

Or, the ocean would have the audacity to get your face wet. 
Maddie thought this was seriously uncool!

Since it was a bit of a workout to be in the water, there was a lot of playing in the sand!

It was a fun day and I'm SO glad we had at least one sunny day with Dan's parents at the beach.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Family Vaca 2012 - Tropical Storm Debby

Well, we started our summer family vacation by meeting Tropical Storm Debby at the beach. What timing! I took the picture below when I was out for a run on Sunday.

Those of you familiar with the Gulf know it usually doesn't look like that at ALL. The tide was so high the waves meet you at the bottom of the beach access stairs. I also saw guys carrying boards to go surfing. Definitely not something you usually see on 30A!

Dan's parents came too and spent four nights with us. So fun! Thankfully, they came armed with lots of games and an iPad which kept Luke and Maddie entertained.

I brought a 1000 piece puzzle and that kept us adults entertainment as we waited to see which path Debby would take.

(This is the top half we completed!)

I was grateful that the eye of the storm didn't pass over us! There was a lot of rain on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday morning but we never had any real scary weather. So thankful. The clouds continued to swirl on Monday afternoon but it never stormed. We spent the afternoon at the pool where I proved that even with tropical storm clouds filling the sky, you can still get a sunburn. Ouch!