Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spring Break, 2011

Spring break covered about a week and a half at the Calkins' house this March. Chris, Heidi, Chase and McKenzie came down and we were fortunate to also have Kenz's good friend, Jenna along for the vacation. Added to the two of us and our three dogs, we had a full house. But wait! Besides this group, my sister, Sheryl, my niece, Allie and two of her best friends, Bethany and Katie, also arrived to visit. We were pretty careful with Paco and Chica making sure we got them in the pool and had swimming lessons so they knew to swim to the stairs in case of a pool emergency. We hadn't done the same with Luna, so McKenzie took on the role of dog trainer and helped Luna learn how to swim over to the stairs and hop out. Hopefully, she will never need to use these lessons but Kenzie "got 'er done." One day while the kids were here, we took our boat out to Pine Island and cruised around Jug Creek. Jenna and Chris both caught a small is Jenna's and note, Grandpa Calkins had to take him off the hook! He put one of the sharks in the boat where it swam around and Kenzie actually jumped up onto the side of the boat so the shark wouldn't bite her. A bit skittish, the girls were!! What does one do with five teenagers, a five year old, a couple, a sister and you and your husband...with only three beds in the house? Well, you borrow blow up beds from your neighbors and you park all five teenagers out on the lanai to sleep. The girls went with the flow, slept outside, and had an outdoor pajama party, laughing, talking and getting to know each other. The woman bending down over the pool is our pool lady, Cathy, who comes every Tuesday morning to check the chemicals and clean the pool. Notice: she didn't even disturb the girls who slept right through her working and walking around them. This appears to be the only photo I have of my niece, Allie, and I took none of my sister....not too sisterly, huh?
Here is part of my family: Chris, Heidi, McKenzie and Chase on our dock soaking up the sun and smiling for the camera!

I went to the beach one day with Heidi and the kids, and here, Kenzie and Jenna are burying Chase and making him into a "merman." Chase had his goggles on so no sand would blow into his eyes.

Jenna has the paddle and is kayaking with McKenzie riding shotgun here on Pine Island where we went for a small first day outdoor activity. Both Kenz and Jenna paddled around quite a bit that day and much sun was absorbed by all.

Much of spring break, 2011, revolved around outdoor activities. It had just snowed in Michigan prior to the kids coming down to Florida, so sunshine and warmth played a big part of what went on. Here, Chris, my son-in-law is throwing his son, Chase way high in the air...Chase is on a swim team and loves being in the water.
Poolside: Chase, Bethany, Katie, McKenzie and Jenna...missing from this photo is my niece, Allie. Five girls swimming in our pool along with Chase, our grandson.

Sadly, I don't have photos of all of the crabbing the family did down at the dock with Richard. They caught quite a mess of them and learned how to clean and cook them. We had a wonderful meal of crab cakes that Richard made...the best I have ever eaten and I made a delicious crab/chorizo pasta for dinner one night. Oh, and added to the huge group we had our neighbors, Deb and Brian over for dinner along with their daughter, Nikki. I made my famous bean soup the night before the whole group had to drive north to Georgia and Michigan and Deb and Brian came over and we added hamburgers to the mix. Brian had a whole sleeve of burgers and brought them over. I hear tell the beans provided enough gas to make it to Michigan and saved the kids a lot of money. We had a wonderful time...loved all the people in our home and especially loved seeing five teenagers get along so well together despite their differences. Oh, Bethany goes to an arts school and she sang for us one evening. Katie, who is a dancer, declined to dance...sad. Maybe next year.

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