After returning Estrella Amiga to her life in the sea, we left St. George and cruised on over (if indeed the Bagabus can cruise) to St. Joseph’s State Park. We arrived in time to set up and run down to the beach to catch the sunset.
It was lovely…
and potentially romantic for this old married couple…
except for the seven kids hollering “Eeeeeeewwwwww!!!”
You get used to the eeeeeeewwwwws after seven kids.
What?! Isn’t this how everyone dresses at the beach?
This was a very windy beach, which had an interesting effect on the shells and sand.
They’re like thousands of alien space pods emerging from the sand to take over the snowbird bodies in Florida with plans to be spread via their host bodies over the entire continent come spring and the northern migration of the snowbirds.
Speaking of Bean, keep your eyes open for some of her pictures in future posts. She’s becoming quite the photographer.
Here’s another nifty little trick the wind plays on the St. Joseph peninsula.
The wind and water change the beach every day, revealing all sorts of interesting discoveries.
We admit we’re probably more fascinated with dead crustaceans than your average joe, and you probably would have been perfectly happy without the dead crab picture.
Are these pictures better?
Stephen and his shadows.
The synchronized sand kicking team.
The next morning we went beach-combing bright and cold. That’s like bright and early, but about 30 degrees colder. We weren’t the first ones at the beach.
It’s the first time we saw cloven-toed ungulate tracks at the beach! That’s fancy talk for two-toed hooved animals.
Shelling at St. Joseph’s didn’t compare to St. George, and it was c-o-o-o-l-d, so we headed back with a few treasures.
When the weather warmed from c-o-o-o-l-d to just cold, we hit the beach again.
What the parental units really liked about the St. Joseph beach was this flag…
and this sign. Why? Because it was the sign and the flag, not the papa and the mama saying “Don’t go in the water or you’ll die and be in big trouble, Mister!”
We were hoping for the purple “Dangerous Marine Life” flag, but no such luck.
Once again we had the whole beach to ourselves.
We wizened parents insisted our children wear water shoes and sandals to protect their feet from the razor-sharp shell shards.
Yes, these razor-sharp shell shards.
They all took their shoes off up the beach and walked across the shards to get to the construction zone.
Let the building begin!
“I have my own room!”
This is part castle gallery, part reminder of the names of The Travel Bags children, which very few people keep straight.
Hannah “Daisy” Marie
Marissa “Nee Nee Bird” Renee
Is it just me or is Marissa’s top tower sticking its tongue out at us?
Elisabeth “Bean” Grace
Emily ”Ems” Rose
Elijah “The Boy” Stephen
Rebecca “Boo Boo Bear” Anne
“Why don’t you braid this child’s hair?” I ask myself.
“We do,” Self reminds me. “She unbraids it almost immediately.”
“Then why don’t you cut it short?” I demand.
“She likes it long,” Self replies.
“So what!” I holler. “You’re the parent. Demand short hair or braids!”
“That’s not the hill we want to die on,” Self shrugs, “and long hair makes her smile, and her smirky little smile makes us smile so…there you go. Of course, since her hair blocks her face in almost every picture, we may never get to see that smile.”
Oh, there it is.
Eliana “Ellie-Bear” Charis
Here’s a great new song that will never make it onto any Stephen Bautista albums.
I have a boo-boo on my head, on my head.
I have a boo-boo on my head!
A boo-boo sticker and a Mommy kiss made it all better.
No more boo-boo on my head, on my head.
It’s catchy. Kinda gets stuck in your head.
It was windy and cold, but check out the beautiful clouds. Just glorious!
It’s time to toss around the ol’ pig-skin.
Okay, so it’s a Nerf-skin, not a pig-skin.
Rebecca has assumed her typical beach pose. She doesn’t understand the potential hazards of digging in the middle of a football field, but Eliana does. She’s totally out of there. One “boo-boo sticker” on her head is enough.
This is Elijah’s patented tackle move called “Wrap your entire self around Daddy and trip him with your wiry little eight-year-old legs.”
It’s pretty effective.
Little Becca prefers tickle football over tackle football.
The world is chock full of beauty for those willing to take the time to see.
Look at the intricate detail of this broken old sand dollar.
Do you see the beauty in this “weed” submitting to the wind’s persistent force?
This, to me, is beautiful—it speaks of family and slowing down and togetherness in Creation.
And of course, there are God’s nightly masterpieces. This is how we began our visit to St. Joseph’s, and this is how we concluded it.
No two sunsets are ever the same; each split-second is different from the next.
I’ll spare you the 8 trillion variations on this particular sunset, but I couldn’t decide which of these I liked best, so you get them both.
She loves sunsets.
So do they.
I want rocket shoes like Emily has.
Have we ever introduced you to our stalkers, The Shadow Bags? They’re kinda creepy and hard to shake.
We leave you with this sound advice:
Don’t stare directly at the sun.
We mean it!
We claimed this beach for The Travel Bags and headed home.
Oh, what a sad picture this is. This is the result of a many-faceted mishap and a sandy, malfunctioning camera. But it’s just a camera, not a child, so it’s all good.
It’s all good.