Thursday, September 24, 2009

Matching Cousins

My cousin, Jessica came into town with her husband and daughter. We had fun playing volleyball, shopping, and chatting. My kids were crazy about her one year old daughter. They chased her everywhere!
Jessica and I bought our girls some matching shirts (why do females seem to have an obsession with the cuteness factor of "matching clothes"?) and pulled out the camera:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

West Coast Trip

Allow me to rewind an entire month and go back to the West Coast trip Steven and I enjoyed in August. We started out in San Francisco, California; then headed up to Astoria, Oregon; and finished off in Portland, Oregon. Some highlights of the trip were (I'm feeling so lame that I'm actually going to bullet point these):
  • having a picnic lunch at a beach overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge
  • sipping clam chowder at Fisherman's Wharf
  • walking miles all over the hills of San Francisco and eventually being rescued by cable cars
  • staying at a wonderful hotel in Astoria that actually used to be an old Cannery
  • the wonderful gift of a side by side couples hot stones massage (thanks Caroline & A.J.!)
  • acting like kids with childhood friends
  • seafood, seafood, and more seafood
  • tide pool hunting
  • antique shopping (Why must Oregon antiques be so much cheaper than Virginia ones!? I was trying to figure out ways to bring back large pieces of furniture!)
  • lattes, lattes, and more lattes
  • getting a ridiculously good deal on a posh Portland hotel

Saturday, September 12, 2009

More Beach Pictures

Some more photos from our family beach trip...

A tent and kiddie pool on the beach made a nice sun-free option for the little people while the mommies sunned themselves:

I ran for the camera as Carter showered hugs on one of his favorite people:

This is what happens when your 6 year old is kidnapped by his teenage aunt and uncle; at least his "gang sign" consists of the sign language version of "I love you". I love you, too, my little rapper:

Vacationed out:

Playing wave tag:

Josiah and Stephanie arrived at the end of the week to make a grand total of sixteen:

Now for a more typical Helms photo. Allow me to point out my two favorite things about this photo. First, you can see how nicely my new sister-in-law fits in with the crowd. Second, I love the way my nephew is looking up as if to say, "Why me, God?":

Josiah and the fabulous Stephanie:

Christine, Matt, and Carter:

Two of my favorite people:

Each of us played a different character from a different country for the Murder Mystery night. The burning question was "who done it?":

Midway through Murder Mystery night, we had a victim. A table knife is a depressing way to have to go:

So Dad, a.k.a Crick Watson from Australia, was dead. No doubt you can hardly handle the suspense of who the murderer turned out to be. But no fear, with our astute detective skills, we did wrap the case up in the course of three hours- over a delicious slice of cheesecake, no less. My own dear husband, Magnus P.I. from Dallas was the guilty party. So now, I suppose that means I am sleeping with the enemy.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Allow me to answer to spend a minute, answering just a sampling of the questions that a girl who's the oldest of seven grows up answering:
"Yes, I really do have three brothers and three sisters."
"No, my parent's aren't Catholic."
"Yes, we have enough to make up our own basketball team."
"No, that's not my son; that's my baby brother."
"Yes, my parent's know where babies come from."
"No, I don't hate babysitting."
"Yes, we do all have the same mother and father."
"No, I don't think my family is huge."
"Yes, my mom is superwoman; but my dad helps, too."
"No, dinners aren't chaotic."
"Yes, I love being part of a big family."

Friday, September 4, 2009

Hats, Glasses, & Cousins

Thursday, September 3, 2009

It's a Hard-knock Life

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Murder Mystery Night

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Giant Sandbox