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Full House

Full House

My home has never been fuller than it has been this summer. In June, two of my daughters, Kerri and Amie, and their six children combined, plus one of Jessie’s, came for a visit. Yes, all at the same time!

I encouraged them to stay here rather than waste money on a hotel. There was a total of eleven people – seven of them adult size – under the roof of a one thousand, forty-five square foot house.

I could have benefited from triple decker bunk beds, more square footage, and less sand, but that wasn’t an option. Instead, we pulled out the sofa bed, doubled up in the beds and the one blow up mattress on the floor, with the big ones with the little ones, and everyone slept peacefully.

Meal time was another magic trick. With the youngest being eight and the oldest eighteen, they could prepare their own plates as long as everyone didn’t end up in the kitchen at the same time. By the time the first shift finished eating, the second shift was ready to sit down. I won’t say it worked smoothly, but no one starved.

Getting everyone bathed after our daily trips to the beach took some imagination with one full bath and one half bath between eleven people – all girls except for H. What can you do with a half bath but use the toilet and brush your teeth?

A day at the beach!

Luckily, we had the option of an outside shower in the back yard. That’s all though, a basic shower. No enclosure. No fancy soap holder. No towel rack. We made do and held up a towel for the little girls and washed sand off bodies and out of hair while the big girls stood in line outside the bathroom door for their turns. No one went to bed dirty, but there was still sand in the sheets. It goes with living so close to the gulf.

Beach Day!


I had a few weeks rest after that crew left and then in July, my daughter, Jessie, and her husband and four children came for a visit, at the same time Andrew was home for a few days.

The oldest turned eight while they were here. She wanted to make her own cake and we let her! Yum-yum! Happy Birthday Cadence! The youngest is ten months and not walking yet.

Happy Birthday Cadence!

Sleeping arrangements were easier this time. Davey and Jessie got the Philadelphia room with Pierson in the Pack and Play. Andrew slept on the sofa and gave his room up to Cadence and Ethan with Sydney sleeping on her fold-out cot next to them.

We never made it to the beach with this crew so sandy bodies didn’t pose a shower issue. We did the Armament Museum, Big Kahunas, the Science Center, and fed turtles at the park.

Playing Star Wars Monopoly

Feeding the turtles

There were only three less people in this bunch and I found that small people can be tucked away much easier than adult size, but they do need more supervision and attention. Especially, during the second Big Kahuna trip of the summer. Good thing H and I bought ourselves season passes!

After they left, Andrew was here for a couple more days before leaving to work a band camp for two weeks. There was no line at the bathroom door, meals were eaten sitting down at the table, and the sofa was not used for sleeping purposes.

Although it has been a hectic summer, this is what I learned.

  1. Teenage girls are not that hard to talk to and they gladly help out with younger siblings and cousins – well, not always gladly, but they did it.
  2. When Jessie is fifty and I’m almost dead, we’ll visit!
  3. Andrew now eats peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and mustard on his hot dog – two things I’ve never seen him eat before.

Andrew feeding Pierson at Big Kahunas

My daughter, Terri, and her family won’t be visiting this summer. After reading about this circus, she may decide it was worth it!



Home Improvement – How Hard Can It Be?

Home Improvement – How Hard Can It Be?

In my mind I can see it completed. There is fresh paint color gleaming on the living room walls. The new outside French door that replaces a window leading to the recently added on deck lets in sunlight. Next to the deck is the outside shower pad we enclosed with partial privacy walls that cover everything excluding your feet and ankles. There is even a fire pit and a lighted water fountain showcased near the deck.

The front entrance of the house has been enclosed and ceramic tiled with a portico and new front door that actually faces the front of the house now. The sad back door has been replaced with another French door to bring even more light into the kitchen and the entrance walkway to it has been covered with gray slate.

A new utility shed has replaced the pile of junk accumulated in the side yard. The junk was finally carted to the curb. The shed holds the lawn mower, ladder, and  have-to-keep items that were spilling out of the workroom onto the carport. The roof has been extended to house H’s truck and my car can now safely sit under the carport. The sparse lawn has been transformed with luscious green grass and the flowerbed in front is now a beautiful rose garden. The driveway has been refinished and widened. That broken sprinkler head has even been replaced.

AND the storage unit has been cleared of all the junk and now holds all the furniture that H doesn’t want to get rid of, but we have no room in the house for it. Andrew can actually walk around in his room without danger of  tripping over yet another box of have-to-keep’s. There is more than just a path to his bed!

The last ceiling fan has been installed and old lighting in the bathrooms and bedrooms have been replaced. The backsplash is up in the kitchen, the last few blinds installed in the back of the house and the inside doors have finally gotten their coat of paint. Every trace of flat pink paint has been covered! Closet doors are up and working in all the bedrooms and my hall closet/turned desk and bookshelves is bright with a layer of paint the color of Andrew’s room with the desktop installed and the shelves have been loaded with books and décor. Looks pretty good to us and boy are we tired!


Relaxation at its best!

Relaxation at its best!

The key words there were – “In my mind I can see it completed.”

When I can get H to sit down and watch home improvement shows on the weekends with me he actually can focus on the things we really need to do around here and will agree to some of my suggestions. How many of you think they make it look a lot easier than it really is? We had all that work done in about 30 minutes Saturday – in our minds! Lol! Now if it was only that simple. This is the realism of what we have left to do. Oooh, its a lot when I go back and read. Now if I could quit adding to this list and get to work!


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