A few years ago we bought each of the kids a big plastic shovel, so now every year they work on big sand castles with huge moats pretty much every day.
It's always a team effort, but some of the kids clearly fancy themselves more as future engineers than others. Charlie (below, left) is one of those. Charlie enjoys, um, giving direction. And he appreciates it when it's joyfully received and applied.
Anna Kate and Ali are pretty willing participants. They're mostly just happy to be together, and they were VERY motivated by the thought of building a castle from which Amelia would potentially enjoy "ruling."
Jake and Jack were GREAT diggers.
This was days before Hurricane Arthur came through, so the waves were just average. But that didn't stop everyone from pulling out their body boards and riding them. Grayson's always first in the water.
Nathaniel really prefers to just jump the waves or dive under them -- to go "boardless" -- but on the first day, he used his board a little.
But let me tell you. When I'm looking around a crowded pool, beach or ocean for three brown-headed boys, I can pick mine out in a flash. WORTH IT.
Grant is always the oldest of the cousins at the beach, and this year we were so excited because he was featured in an article about Lou Gehrig that appeared on espn.com on July 4.
Did you know scarves were all the rage at the beach this year? Me neither. (No idea what that's about.) But I'll tell you that there were a lot of turquoise rashguards out there and only three bile-green ones.
Jake was sort of a newbie to the body-surfing thing this year ... he had a body board last year, but he never mastered it. This year, he totally tore it up.
Since the boys were having so much fun in the ocean, Amelia had asked me to take her in. She LOVED it. She squealed and laughed every time a wave hit her toes, so I asked Grayson to hold her so I could get some pictures of her.
Now is where I have to ask you to indulge me, because ohmyword.
I mean, COME. ON.
I don't specifically REMEMBER her 16th birthday, but clearly it's already occurred.
By the way, there may not be a single, solitary shot of her on the blog during Beach 2014 Coverage in which she is not wearing her Elsa sunglasses. Because girlfriend would not be separated from her sunglasses at any cost.