Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Vacation at the Beach

We just returned from a fabulous week in Ocean Isle, North Carolina with David's entire family. We do this every four years - rent a house on the beach and share a week together - and this time around there were 23 of us. Thankfully, the house had 8 bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as two refrigerators, two dishwashers, and at least 3 coffee makers, so we didn't lack for space even with all of us there.

Yikealo absolutely LOVED this vacation - the pools, the ocean, and most of all, the attention from 22 other people. I have a feeling that this will be a rough week for my little social butterfly now that he's stuck at home with just Mom! Yikealo was one of three new additions to our family since our last trip to Ocean Isle, and the other two were right down his alley: his 4-year old cousin and best buddy Quinn,

and Jarin, the husband of our niece Julie. Jarin loves little kids, and he spent so much time playing with the boys - throwing them into the pool, playing a Lightning McQueen driving game with them on the X-box, and swinging them up onto his shoulders. Julie was laughing about the fact that every time she walked into a room, she would immediately hear a chorus of "Hi Jules-Annie! Where's Jarin??"
One really interesting thing from the week is Yikealo's perception of his tan. He's definitely becoming more aware that he is darker-skinned than David and I, and has been asking all kinds of questions about it lately. He's asked several times when he will turn white like Mama...and we've talked a LOT about God's creation and His creativity - that no two people are alike, that God loves variety, and that we should be happy that God created us just as He did. Our heavenly Father made some people with light skin and some people with pretty brown skin, and either one is just perfect. We've compared the similarities and differences of the three of us: Daddy and Yikealo have black hair and brown eyes while Mama has brown hair and blue eyes, Daddy and Yikealo have plain skin while Mama has freckles, Mama's skin is light while Daddy's is medium and Yikealo's is darker, Daddy and Yikealo are boys while Mama is a girl, etc.) One thing that has really worked in our favor is that David's entire family is very dark complected, and there is not just a whole lot of difference between Mr. Y and his cousins. The following is a photo that we took last summer right after we returned from Ethiopia. It shows Yikealo's arm next to the arms of three of his new cousins, and Yikealo's arm is not the darkest in the picture.
Anyway, as Yikealo's skin continued to darken in the sun last week, he became very excited about how "white" his bottom was getting! I couldn't help but to laugh at that, because in fact, David's skin is actually darker right now than Yikealo's "natural" color. Don't get me wrong - I don't care in the slightest what shade of brown my son is. He could be as black as ebony and that would be absolutely fine with me. I've just been thankful as he's started to notice "differences" that we could point out so many similarities to him - that he doesn't need to feel singled out or unusual in the slightest, because he is a perfect creation of God! I can't wait for the day when we stop separating ourselves mentally from our brothers and sisters because of a silly thing like how much melanin we have in our skin...for the day when we finally recognize that there is only ONE race, because we all descended from Adam and Eve and then later from Noah and his family.

Okay, off my soapbox and on to some more family photos from the week! We spent Wednesday evening on the beach attempting to get some good pictures of the families, and for the most part we succeeded. It's just way too tempting for little boys to get filthy splashing in the water and digging in the sand, and they're really not interested in having their fun interrupted for boring old Mom and her camera. It doesn't  help when Daddy explains the ordeal this way, "Yikealo, 'family pictures' is a time when everybody gets dressed up so all the boys can get yelled at." Thanks a lot, dear!

Anyway, here is the whole lot of us:
Mom and Dad, who made it all possible:

Jim and Karen's family:

Mark and Julie's family:

James and Susan's family:

and the three of us:

Here is one of the grandkids:

Finally, a few goofy ones to finish this post! Yikealo fell in love with these horrible frog goggles and wore them constantly all week. He looked like a little alien creature with his water wings and goggles.

The little boys generally ate their meals outside on the picnic table, which worked great for the most part. Unfortunately, at times the desire to fling things over the deck railing was just too much for them. One evening at the beginning of the week, we looked outside to see a line of boys pressed up against the railing. Yikealo's shorts were around his ankles, and as we headed outside to start yelling, he turned around and proudly announced, "I went shinte on Uncle Jim's truck!" Needless to say, Uncle Jim got a lot of teasing for the remainder of the week, and the next morning, after a thorough washing, the truck was moved to the "safe" side of the house - far away from ornery little boys.

I must confess, however, that it wasn't just the little boys who were behaving badly! My dear husband and his younger brother James tend to become more hopelessly juvenile the longer they are together. Their older sister Karen described it this way: "I think that they regress a few years for each day that they're together, so by Friday, they were about eleven years old again!"
On Friday evening, they decided that they needed a "team look" for their euchre game...
and then they came up with the brilliant idea of trying to take "forced perspective" photos of David "holding" James...
Let's just say that there was a lot of rather hysterical laughter, considering that it was around 11:00 PM at that point.

All in all, it was a great week, with lots of family bonding, spiritual discussion, and quality time. We can't wait for the next OIB vacation in 2014!


  1. Absolutely LOVE the pictures of David and James! Where did those two come from, anyway? You got lots of great photos - glad you had a good time!

  2. I like the cute goggles...he he he.....
    love the perspective pic too- had me laughing. Totally something my husband would do.

    Abigail loved the fact that while we were studying science and came to the skin that - we all have brown skin....just some are darker brown. She liked the fact that we all share that together even really really really light brown daddy :)

    Funny quote- one time at camp a younger camper said to me- wow your daughter (back when we only had 1 child) has a really dark tan. I just replied thanks- and giggled on the inside :)