Monday, January 30, 2012

A Time for Thanks

One of the many things I was thankful for this past November was a visit from my favorite non-genetically closest brother and his Don Quixote mustache.  After I picked him up at the airport, we headed to Jacksonville Beach so that he could get a true taste of the joys of Florida living.
Nicely dressed with new shoes - probably not beach friendly attire, but fancy shoes can be sacrificed for beach fun.
Watching the waves break on the sand and drinking margaritas sharing sibling secrets is a fantastic pass time, but after a trip to my new favorite local eatery - Chowder Ted's, Uncle JoeJoes needed a triplet hug or three.
As with most of America, the third Thursday of November is a big day for cooking around the Newhouse home.  This was my first Thanksgiving to run the show all on my own.  Well, almost on my own, I had lots of help from Joseph, Faith, and of course, my biggest helper Ryan.
No turkey day would be complete without sports.  In Jacksonville, James believes that basketball is the prevailing sport of the day.
While waiting for the oil to boil, Daddy gave rides around the backyard.  We do love our big backyard, but we certainly have no idea what to do with all of the weeds we are growing.
Michael masters the rock wall.  He has gotten so fast at climbing all sorts of things, the rock wall, the back of the couch, the interior of the refrigerator, etc.
Ryan rocks his Spiderman socks while resting in the coveted cradle of the swing.  There are many things in our home that are claimed by one brother to the chagrin of the other two.  James claims the swing, Ryan claims the guitars (but he is always willing to share unlike the other two), and Michael claims everything else but most specifically the animals, the Toy Story toys, and the phone/iPad.
Uncle Joseph demonstrates basketballs can be all sorts of fun.  Aunt Faith handles ball retrieval.
The ceremonial lowering of the bird with appreciative onlookers.
Aunt Faith takes on the task of teaching Ryan how to peddle.  I'm not sure if she felt successful at the time, but all three of the boys know the mechanics of peddling now.  We had a wonderful meal together with lots of food, laughter, and fun followed by some football for Daddy.
On Black Friday, we decided to make it Beach Friday.  Since we've been in Jacksonville, we've been to Jacksonville Beach & Atlantic Beach for leisurely strolls in the surf, American Beach (which is the first African American beach in the area) which resulted in a pretty vicious sunburn for Mom (always put sunscreen on the kids, but forgot to have anyone get my back), and on Beach Friday, we went to Little Talbot Island.  We had a picnic lunch away from the sand, then headed out to play in the sand.  On our way, Uncle Joseph spotted this tortoise.  There is a similar tortoise in the Jacksonville Zoo Florida section.  The boys were definitely impressed with this wild life.
The whole family stops to admire the turtle on the way to the beach.  Aunt Faith totes the sand toys and the single towel I was foresightful enough to bring.
Uncle Joseph oversees the beachcombers.  We picked up lots of fancy shells.  Note poor Uncle Joseph's new shoes still looking new.
Ryan knows his shells.  He likes to examine things very closely.  He enjoys building things but relishes smashing things to bits even more.  I think there might have been a couple of sandcastles that fell to his smashing blows.
When we arrived, the tide was out, and the beach was virtually empty.  There were a few fishermen standing in the surf (I keep telling my dad he should come here and fish).
My sweet family.  Semi-dry.  I only wish we could have had the remaining four members to pose for this picture, maybe next year.
Oh no, triplets heading toward the water.  Quick, distract them!
Whew, Aunt Faith pulls out the sand toys.  Let the shoveling and sand tossing begin.
I think this pose looks like a V for victory poster in the making.  Notice who is not getting their hands dirty.
The photographer makes an appearance.  Since our camera went kaput, I took all of these pictures with my phone.  They turned out pretty well, I think.
Team Newhouse tackles the sand and emerges triumphant.
Success!  Finally a romp in the water.  I keep thinking I'll be able to keep the kids out of the water when we go to the beach.  Foolish mom.
Uncle Joseph - Master of All He Surveys.  Finally the shoes were removed for their own protection.
Fun in the surf.  Aunt Faith is regretting that she didn't wear her swimsuit.  Poor thing kept asking to put it on, and I told her not to bother, I guess this one time, she was right.
Michael doing a water dance.  Notice his mother didn't even manage to spare the shoes.  Despite the lack of proper planning, we had a great time.

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