Monday, July 24, 2006

4th of July

Our family celebrates the 4th of July! And what better way than sitting on our beach in Monterey, CA, soaking up some sun (or fog) and watching an AWESOME fireworks show right in front of you. We love it. And it is an event our children look forward to all year long. Our church gets together and marks off a large square of prime real estate early in the morning, (Christopher and our pastor, Nate, were down there before 7am) and everyone else comes when they can. I usually pull in with the kids around 11am. We eat picnic lunches, sit in folding chairs with our feet in the sand, and talk, play games, run after each others' kids and laugh heartily. We have some good discussions and sometimes even friendly debates. This year it was even more special since my family had been so consumed with the expected death of my grandmother. The lightheartedness and just plain fun were a tremendous stress-relief for myself.

But as you can imagine, spending a day at the beach doesn't just happen in our family. And since we are the family we are, I can't just have us go without making a full check-list of all the items needed to keep our family running smoothly while in the great outdoors for some 13 hours straight. So you can have some giggles at me, I have put the packing list from this year's trip below:

FOOD (ice chest)
Lunch meat, Juice boxes, Soda, Condiments (mustard, mayo), Mac Salad, Watermelon

FOOD (box)
Crackers, Cookies, Bread, Bananas, Water, Bars

Play pen, Tent, Ice chest & food box, Blankets/Towels, Personal bags (C,T,H,B,C,L), Table, Fence/yard, Porta-potty, Chairs (C&T +1Green), Umbrella, Sundry Bag, First Aid Kit, Stakes/Caution tape

3 garbage bags, Sunscreen, Camera Battery & flash card, Toilet paper, Duck bags, Head lamp, Flashlight, Walkie Talkies, Thermos of hot water, Plastic wear (plates, forks, cups), Paper Towel roll

5 big diapers/ 6 small diapers, Wipes (stocked), M’s clothing, SNS/cord/tape, Bottle, formula, Nuk

Shorts, t-shirt, Akubra, Book, Tevas, Bathing suit, Coffee thermos, Sunglasses

Sweatshirt, Jacket, Jeans, Socks, Tennies

Jeans, Long-sleeve shirt, Hooded Sweatshirt, Jacket, Panties, Socks, Tennies

Long-sleeve shirt, Jeans, Jacket, Hooded Sweatshirt, Socks, Panties, Tennies

Sweats, Long-sleeve shirt, Hooded sweat shirt, Underpants, Socks, Tennies, Jacket

Jeans, Long-sleeve onesie, Socks, Tennies, Jacket, Sweatshirt

Union Suit, Onesie, Blankie sleeper, Blanket

Now, after you have stopped laughing I will have you know that - we didn't have to walk three miles to a garbage can... dread using the public cesspool which ran out of toilet paper at noon... change wet clothing using a hybrid towel/blanket as a make-shift cover... hold a sleeping child for 2 hours for a much needed nap... take a small potty-training child to the porta-potties and stand in a ten-mile line while they wet themselves... get lost finding the First Aid tent for a small bandage... or run out of food (for us and the entire beach). I like to be prepared. I am already fine-tuning the packing list for next year's adventure!

We LOVE tradition *smile*

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