Sunday, August 30, 2015


The week was almost behind us.  It was 6PM and everyone was to meet at our place at 7PM.

 The couple with the most 'points' would win two one-hundred dollar bills.

 I was not expecting anyone to fully complete the list but we had some die hard scavenger hunters out there and I was prepared to pay up if they all were winners.

Here is what I knew:

I knew that Jack and Jess had completed every task on the list and collected every single item.  This would make them winners.

 I also knew that Lindsey and her family were one task short of completing the list, which, if she were to do that one last thing (ask a stranger to fly their kite) it would make them a winner as well.  The winning video for the Hayes family arrived just minutes before the deadline:

If prizes were awarded for creativity and enthusiasm, Jess and Jack would have won, hands down.

The 'stuff' that was collected was placed on the table and a tally was taken.

The winners:  Jack and Jessica

....And The Hayes Family

Rissi is missing, but you can see her in the winning kite flying video above.

Athena and Jake were two items short of a tie for first place, so they went home with an honorable mention and a hundred dollar bill.

The others, Jason and Allison and Stacy, Vin and Grey, also received honorable mentions for their efforts in the hunt.

Jack displaying his blue ribbon proudly
Jessica and Jack's 'collections'

It was a fun week and a vacation that will go down as one of my favorites!

Family laughed together and learned more about one another.  Couples were drawn closer.

Here are all of us, our last night together after OC Scavenger Hunt 2015:

Side Note:
Missing were my middle son, Justin who stayed home with Gracie and my two precious grandsons Jake and Jasper.  Hopefully they will be there with us next year to share in the fun!

Dear Diary,  
I have spent an entire week with Justin.  Mom and Dad have left me to go on vacation. I am not happy about this and will never speak to them again but will forgive them if they bring me back a toy and a treat.  Gracie.

Thursday, August 27, 2015


The stakes were high.  Everyone was working towards taking home the 'Winner's' ribbon and cash prize at the end of the scavenger hunt!  

Video's and photographs poured in. 

 Some couples remained silent while we wondered if they had given up, but nobody knew for sure.  

Who would come in first. second.  third. fourth. fifth place. 

 Tension was mounting.

A photo with a pirate.   

A photo reading a book in the library.

 A photo with a cartoon character.  

A photo of names drawn in the sand. 

 Contestants were hard at work!

Time out for a couple of family photo sessions.

My side of the family

Rissi and Summer

Gary's side of the family

And then, a seafood dinner buffet.

A card game topped off the day.  I thought for sure I was off to a good start when my first hand turned out to be black jack, but I came to find out that's not how you play poker.  

*shrugging my shoulders*  

Once I got the hang of it I started collecting chips like crazy.  It was actually pretty fun.   I guess I was winning.   It was  getting late and the only ones left in the game were Jason (Gary's son) and myself so we decided to split the pot and call it a day.  I guess I'm not such a bad poker player after all.

Stay tuned for part four of Life's A Beach...  and find out who will take home the Winning prize in OC Scavenger Hunt 2015!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


The morning brought a gorgeous sunrise and though I'd been to the ocean many times before this, I was in total awe.  In less than five minutes I watched the sun first brighten the oceans horizon, and then glide up-up-up till it was in full view.  The sun rose completely in less than five minutes!

 I had never before took the time to watch the full process and this display of God's awesome work would prompt me to pull myself out of bed each morning at 6:10AM to witness it again and again and again.

 There's something about watching the sun rise over the sea that reminds you that this earth's creation was perfectly and meticulously thought out by an awesome God.  

The older I get, the less I enjoy the hot sand on my feet and the intense sun beating down on me as I walk to the water.

  And so... first stop was just steps from our building to rent an umbrella and beach chair.  These people actually plant the umbrella into the sand (whatever spot you choose) and take the chair there for you too.  At 5PM they will go and collect it.  I am so thankful to be able to afford such a luxury.  

Watching the little ones, thrilled with the ocean waves and enjoying playtime in the sand, is reason enough to brave the heat and make the desert journey through the sand to the promised land of fun in the sun!

My perfect day at the beach consists of a cold bottle of water, a good beachy book, sunglasses, and of course the shade of my rented beach umbrella.

My high hopes of basking in the perfectness of the clashing ocean waves and feeling the peace of just relaxing there as I read my book is short-lived when I have to pee.   If I were still young, I would not mind that walk back and forth through the sand to find a bathroom.  Heck, if I were still young I would not have to pee so often.  

Gary and his family are adventurous and like to play in the ocean.  The angrier the sea, the more fun they have.  Me and mine go in knee deep and run for the shore when we see a big wave.  I'm guessing that has something to do with our upbringing or maybe we are just a bunch of wimps.

Jack and Jess decided that they would rock the scavenger hunt and complete every single task on the list.  That way they would be sure and win.  When I saw Jess and Jack in the distance interacting with a stranger, I knew they meant business.

Later that night we all met up on the boardwalk.  There were goals to be met and even the little ones were being 'used' to check tasks off of the list.  But first, some firm words of advice:  **Never talk to strangers when mommy or daddy are not around!**

Videos and photo's started coming to us on our phones and the term 'LOL' soon became our theme for this years vacation because that is what we did! 

Stay tuned for Part Three.... 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Everyone needs a vacation.  And so, we headed east to Ocean City, Maryland.

Rewind:  In January when snow is pelting against the window and the temperatures are well below freezing, I start Googling and dreaming of a sunny beach with beautiful, warm sunrises that kiss roaring ocean waves just beyond a private luxurious balcony.  The grayer the winter grows, the more motivated I become and before you know it I am acting on my dream and planning summer vacation.  This year I rented four condo's for six couples (counting us) and three kiddies (all children and grandchildren).  

Gary and I find that we really like having our own private place so I found the perfect one for us, light and airy with a huge balcony.   We arrived on Saturday, two days before the rest.  Shopping, eating, and more shopping was in order.  

Then on Monday the family started to trickle in.  By evening all had arrived safe and sound.  And then...  we handed out the weeks agenda. 

Laughter, planning, and confident comments such as "We can do this!" followed as we handed out the planned agenda for the week.

A Scavenger hunt would begin.  Some couples would be drawn closer as they worked together to win the grand prize at the end of the week, introverts would be brought out of their comfort zones, and children... yes, children would be exploited **GASP!!**

I introduce to you the Scavenger Hunt List for 2015:

Note:  Thank you to my friend Sharon for the idea for the title of this series of blog posts...  I like it!

Stay Tuned for More...

Thursday, August 6, 2015


Repeating my Facebook status for today:

So. My doctor's appointment for post-op was set for today at 5:15. Not fond of that late of appointment in Hagerstown... but ya gotta do what ya gotta do. So yesterday they call me and ask me if I can come in at 4:00 instead. Sure. We rearrange our lives to drive the hour and fifteen minutes to be there an hour and fifteen minutes earlier only to walk into an office filled with approximately twenty five waiting patients. ??? "We are running behind" the receptionist tells me. Like. 1 1/2 to 2 hours behind? And I was asked to come in over an hour early because..... ?? I fill out and return my paper work, walk away, then walk out the door... never to return again. Who needs it! Dear God, please keep me healthy so I do not have to frequent doctor's offices = This, my daily prayer

That is all.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Summer Dayzzzzzz

Summer seems to be bolting through our lives at a speed that is hard to keep up with.  So many appointments, day trips, and so much planned and checked off the list.


My biopsy came back okay, and for that I am so very thankful!  God answered my nagging prayers to Him and set my mind at peace.  He is awesome!

We are getting ready now for our annual beach vacation with all the kiddies and grand-kiddies.  I hate leaving Gracie for the week, but Justin (my son) will be here with her so she will be in good hands.  I am looking forward to relaxing and enjoying time with family in vacation atmosphere.

Things are slowed at the office and so I am re-grouping, organizing, and planning my marketing strategies for September.  Sometimes it's nice to have time to breath in - breath out.

Thanks so much to everyone for their kind thoughts and prayers.  I truly appreciate each and every one.

To all of my four legged furrends out there:  it's flea and tick season.  My advice is for you to hide under the bed and never come out.  Except maybe for chicken.  And steak.   And cookies.  And an occasional pee or poop.  No lousy chemicals that make you sneeze.  No humiliating picking off of fleas and rummaging through your fur to find them.  No baths or mom saying Ewwwww there's another one!  No worries.  P.S.  Watch the tail.  If your tail is not a stub like mine is, it could easily be viewed from where your mom stands and safety is but an illusion.  Tuck that tail between your legs buddy! There's nothing worse that being pulled out from beneath the bed and plopped into a wet, sudsy bath.  Peace out.  Gracie.