Hello New Jersey! We landed last Saturday and essentially hit the ground running. By the time we got off the plane, gathered our luggage (and cat), got to Josh's car, and sat in 2 hours worth of shore traffic to get to Josh's parent's house, we were exhausted. Luckily it was nap time, so after some quick pbj sandwiches, we all went to sleep for a little bit. We also went to bed early that night.
Sunday morning though, we got up at our "usual" time (no room for jetlag here - keeping on schedule seems to help the kiddos out quite a bit). After breakfast and what's it, we went to my old church, up closer to where my mom lives. And since we were "in the area" we had lunch, naps (the kids napped anyway), dinner, and LOTS of outside running around time at my mom's. It was so great. All 3 of my sisters were there, as was my stepdad and my one sister's boyfriend. We all had a great time. And, unfortunately, all the pictures from this visit are on my mom's camera, so I can't share any of them with you.
Monday we did some summer clothes shopping (living in Alaska, we didn't really have much of that sort of thing) and some food shopping. Josh showed the kids around Grammy and Papa's garden, where they picked lots of fresh veggies for us to have with dinner.
Tuesday, we drove down to LBI to see Josh's parents. They rented a house down there for the week, so by the time we got in on Saturday, they were already long gone, so we went down to see them, as well as Josh's sister and her hubby and son. It was so much fun getting all of the boys together (FINALLY).
Her son is a year younger than Deacon, but almost the exact same size, so, needless to say, they all had a blast. My sister, Katherine (aka Tia, to the boys) came with us, so that was fun too. We got there in time for lunch and naps (short ones this time). After naps everyone headed to the ocean. Everyone, that is, except for me and Josh's mom since Finn was still napping and I wanted him to sleep. Of course, by the time Finn finally woke up, 1 1/2 hours later, and we made it to the ocean, everyone else was packing up to head down to the little bay beach.
Don't ask why both of them are sticking their tongues out while they play. I have no idea.
I also don't know how the big kids were when they saw the ocean, but Finn was thrilled. I put him down on the sand when we reached where everyone else had set up, mostly because he's HEAVY, and he made an immediate beeline for the water. And coldness be darned, he went right in and continued to walk in the water until it reached about his knees. Then he let me hold on to him and sit him down as the waves rolled back, and stand him up as the waves came at him. It was hilarious too, every time a wave came and splashed against him, he would roar back at the water. But after a few minutes everyone was ready to leave, and Finn's lips were blue and he was shaking, so we bundled him up in a towel and paraded down to the bay, where the water was calmer, warmer, and much more fun for the kids.
Then it was dinner, some play time and then home. A good day.
Wednesday we tried to just stay home and relax a little, and recouperate from the "non-stopping-ness of our first few days in state. Wednesday and Thursday we (and by "we" I pretty much mean Josh) set up a little blow-up pool for the kids to play in. And by "the kids" I mean all 4 of them.
Thursday we also did some food shopping in the morning, and had my father, stepmother and brother over for dinner. We ordered some pizza and had a really nice time just hanging out and visiting with them. Again, no pictures, my bad.
Friday and Saturday were low key days again, with Friday being ridiculously hot so we took the boys to the mall. And Saturday Josh's parents came home from LBI, much to the boys' delight. In fact, Zeke decided he wanted to pray at dinner that night and said, "Thank you that Grandma and Papa could come visit us today." I guess he doesn't quite get that we are the ones visiting.
Which brings us to yesterday. Yesterday we went down to my father and Karen's house in Brick. Again, we got there in time for lunch and naps. Well, before the bigger boys had lunch they went with my dad, my cousin, Josh and another cousin's daughter, in the boat to go check on the crab hotels they had placed in the water earlier. Yep, their first boat ride. Josh said Deacon sort of hung back by him and was just chill, mostly out of shyness rather than fear, but that Zeke and Zoe were up on the front of the boat, holding on, enjoying the ride and the wind blowing around their faces.
After naps they swam in the little pool for bit, swam in the lagoon behind the house for a little bit, and had a GREAT time with all the water and all the toys and things there. After a huge, delicious dinner, we got back on the road, headed home, and promptly put our tired boys in bed.
Now we're hanging out, relaxing again, so I thought I'd take this time to let you all know we made it safely and we're already finding plenty of things to do to keep ourselves busy. And I promise to write about our flights and how all that went soon.