Monday, September 9, 2013

Andros Family Beach Trip 2013

Our annual Andros Family Beach trip to the Oregon Coast started a day early this year.  Ben's mom's family had a family reunion in Portland, OR the day before we could check into our beach house.  Since Portland is right on the way, we decided to stop in for the reunion.  The last time we went to this annually held reunion was 8 years ago, when Chloe was 8 months old.

We folded down one seat and took another seat all the way out so we could fit all our stuff in.  We are always stuffed to the brim for our beach trip- bringing all of our food up, a week's worth of clothes and all of our beach toys and gear sure add up!  At least this year we could see out the back window!  Next year we will have one more kid and won't have the luxury of folding down another seat.

The Widdison Family
They had a banner and a super cute, hand painted family tree hung up on a fence.

The family tree had every descendant of Preston and Gaynel Widdison.  You can see me and Ben and our kids on the far, far right towards the top in red/brown leaves.  There is even a blank leaf for baby girl!  What a cute family tree.

The reunion was a potluck picnic lunch, a few games and lots of visiting.  There was lots of grass and a baseball field right by the picnic tables, so the kids had plenty to do for the afternoon.  Ben brought up some balls from home, and even hauled up a bucket full of frogs that he and Mitch caught from a nearby pond at our house.  Those frogs were the life of the party and made for hours of entertainment.

Right before we left, we gathered all of the sets of twins in attendance.  There are quite a few sets of twins in the Widdison line- it was fun to get a picture of all of them, especially since one set is our direct cousins (Henry and John, front row on the right), another set is Ben's cousins' little babies, who live in Auburn as well (the sweet little babes being held on the top right- Quintessa and Juliet), and Ben's youngest brother Marcus who was a twin in utero (far left, top row).  The other two sets of twins are Ben's mom's cousins (the two adults): Paul and Carrie Widdison and Carrie's identical twin boys in yellow- Ace and Calvin.  WE LOVE TWINS!

After the reunion, the Andros crew headed up to Woodburn, OR (about a 30 min drive) to hit the Woodburn Outlet stores for an evening of shopping.

On our way, we stopped at the Portland Temple, hoping to let the kids walk around the temple grounds for a few minutes.  Unfortunately, the temple and the temple grounds were closed, so the best we got was a quick picture from our car outside the gates.

Uncle Nick tagged along with us for most of the shopping night.  He proved to be good entertainment for the kids, as they endured a few hours of non-fun shopping.

They did find a few things to keep themselves occupied with...

We all stayed in the same hotel in Woodburn on Saturday night.  On Sunday morning, we found a nearby chapel and attended Sacrament meeting together.

All the grandkids with Nana and Papa, in their Sunday best before church!

Group photo of everyone after church!

After church we changed clothes, packed up and loaded the cars and headed on to the beach!  The kids were super excited about getting to the beach house!

We went to another new place this year.  With our growing number of people each each, it's getting trickier to find a house, in our budgets, that will fit everyone (24 of us this year).  Megan found us a fantastic beach house in Waldport, OR.  It was quite the drive- one of the longest drives we've had to get to the beach- but it was an amazing beach and the house was awesome.

It's so hard to limit myself on beach pictures because I take hundreds over the course of the week.

The big girls followed suit of last year's practice and were obsessed with body boarding again.

The new thing this year was having ALL the kids wanting to use the body boards.  Our family only has 3 and it just wasn't enough for 4 kids who wanted to use them all at the same time.  We will definitely be looking into getting more for next year.

The 3 Musketeers, ready to hit the waves!

I found some super cute little ice cream cone beach toys at Ikea earlier this summer.  They were a hit with most of the kids.

Baby Victoria was such a sweetheart all week.  She loved eating sand!

Uncle Dave and Uncle KC were the men with shovels and sandcastles this year.  Having water holes to play in can keep the kids entertained for hours.

The beach is a GREAT time for the moms (and Papa) to sit.  And do more sitting.  I love sitting in a beach chair with my toes in the sand, watching my kids happily play for hours.  There's really nothing like it.

Monday night, Nana did her annual FHE lesson.  This year it was on Families and the importance of them.

We held it out on the back deck, where there is plenty of seating for all of us.  The kids were very interactive during the lesson.

Ben's parents had a saying growing up, that we've adopted into our own family as well.  Nana taught it to all the grandkids that night (although I'm pretty sure all the families use it).  She would ask "What's the most important thing?"  And everyone answers back "FAMILY!"

After the lesson, the kids each got to pick out as many little decorative pictures as they wanted, to take home and put in their bedrooms.  They were super cute.  Some of them said "I Am A Child Of God", "Jesus Wants Me For a Sunbeam", "I Stand All Amazed", "I Hope They Call Me on A Mission", "Hold to the Rod", and so on.

Inside the house there was a little craft table with drawers filled paper, stickers, crayons, etc.  Evie and the twins (and the big girls) loved coloring there all week.

One night, after all the kids were in bed, things got a little crazy in the house.  Hot wax was brought out and those who were brave enough got their nose waxed.  Ben was first to volunteer.  Dr. Nick was happy to help him.

Ben, waiting for the wax to dry before he pulled the stick out.  OUCH! 

A few others participated as well.  I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.

Ben's parents brought up Ben's birthday gift to the beach so they could watch him open it. 

A new drill- this boy is in heaven!

For the first 4 or 5 days, my ankles were having a hard, hard time.  They started swelling after just an hour or so of being awake and by the end of the evening, they were quite the site for looking at.  This picture was taken mid-afternoon one day and by evening they were much, much worse.  I usually have swollen ankles off and on during the last month or so of my pregnancies.  Not fun and not pretty, at all.  I was not excited about being seen in public! :)

One of the BEST features about the house was the entire back yard was a big sand dune.  From inside the house in the family room, we could watch the kids play in the sand without fear of anyone being near the water.  The kids spent hours out there entertaining themselves without having to walk down to the beach each time.  Just beyond the big sand dune and weeds was a short walk to the beach, so it was never a hassle to go down to the water either.  It was so nice.

The twins were so excited to wear the little beach suits my mom gave them for their birthday last year. 

One day I was a bit chilly and wore my jacket down to the ocean.  When the wind started up, I decided to zip up my jacket to try and stay warm.  This is NOT a maternity jacket (obviously), and I looked ridiculous, but it helped me keep warm.  Leah saw me in it and came over to tell me, "Mom, your big tummy is hanging out." 

Nana and Papa

We had lots of gorgeous, sunny days.  These are my two favorite set of twins! 

KC was the master sandcastle builder this year.  He even had themes and everything.  He and Preston are posing here with his rendition of "The Parthenon" in Greece.

The kids love to be buried in the sand!

We went to the tide pools one morning, just a few miles from our house.

The kids loved it there!

Afterwards we found a local fish and chip place to eat lunch.

One afternoon, Papa helped all the kids make their own soap.  It was a hit!

They turned out super cute.

One morning all the adults took the kids crabbing on the bay.  I stayed home, knowing I wouldn't be much good as a driver this year (Ben is the crab-pot puller), so Nick took my place in the boat.

Snack time!

Ben and KC cooked the crab later that evening and those who can stand the taste and smell of crab enjoyed some later.e

Nick, the coolest uncle!

The adults took lots of turns body boarding, as usual

Chloe is getting better and better each year.  It's quite impressive!

The two pregnant ladies- yes, yes- I'm CONSIDERABLY larger than Megan.  She is a tiny pregnant person and I am a BIG pregnant person.  (What can you do?) I was 34 weeks and she was 29 weeks.

Just a few steps from our beach house was the bay where everyone went crabbing earlier in the week.  One morning, we all went down to "fish" for crabs with a fishing pole.  The dads helped the kids catch quite a few crabs.  I'm so glad my kids have such a fun and adventurous dad.  He really is amazing.

Stella caught one!

Ben and KC cooked some of the crab they caught with the kids and let them all try it.  They were all very excited to eat it.

Aunt Rhiannon brought Chloe and Stella some super cute headbands that she made.  What a fun aunt!  

Aunt Bethany never ceases to amaze me!  She plays with and entertains all the kid constantly.  She is amazing!!  

Lexi loved body boarding on her back with her.

More sand!

This is how the adult "kids" have fun- pulling each other on a body board into the waves.  And giggling like school girls.

It was funnier and funnier each time.

We had our annual bonfire on the beach the last night.  We usually have to hike down to the beach to do it, but this year we were able to do it right in our own back yard!  Then after the kids were in bed, the adults were able to come back out and visit around the campfire.

Pictures in the sand

Such a fantastic year at the beach- an amazing, amazing beach, a fantastic beach house, way too much delicious food and treats, unbeatable company and good weather.  Looking forward to 2014...


Holly said...

I always love reading about your beach trips, so fun!

Jami Little said...

I LOVE this tradition! We might just have to start a small fmily trip to get things going. I'll have to chat to you sometime about your favorite places so far :)