Monday, August 27, 2007

O's 1st homework assignment

“What I Did This Summer”
(dictated to mom this afternoon)

We went to GranGran’s house in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. And we played at the beach and the pool. And, we went to Greenville, South Carolina to see Emma and Sam and Julia and their baby sisters. And we went swimming at the pool all together and there was a hot tub and a pool outside and one inside. But we mostly stayed in the pool inside. And then we went back to Myrtle Beach. And, we babysitted Amelia (a cousin) and then we had a party at the Mims’ house. And JuliAnna and Amelia and Lia were there … and me and McIver.

Olivia's 1st Day of Kindergarten

Olivia was really, really excited about Kindergarten when she went to bed last night - she was up later than she should have been b/c she was 'just so excited.' We met her teacher last Friday - Mrs. Hoyos. She seems really nice yet firm. We have heard that she's into science and spends a lot of time in the Kolter Garden with the Master Gardener. Olivia is thrilled with her new pair of garden gloves that she keeps in her back pack.

Everyone was excited this morning when we woke up. The closer we got to school, though, the more nervous Olivia became. She squeezed my hand tighter and tighter the closer we got to the classroom. Once we were inside, she was excited to dole out the school supplies to their appropriate cubbies. She hesistated when it was time for the moms and dads to leave and finally told me she was 'just a little nervous.' Mrs. Hoyos caught my eye and made her way towards Olivia. Rather than have Mrs. Hoyos single her out, though, Olivia headed back to her seat.

McIver and I went to the Boo-Hoo Breakfast for moms and dads. By the time we walked back by the classroom, Mrs. Hoyos had Olivia's full attention and she seemed to be doing just fine.

When we picked her up from school this afternoon, Olivia would NOT stop talking about her day. There wasn't even time for me to ask questions - it was so fun Mama, and we ate lunch in the cafeteria, and we had a rest time and I think I fell asleep for a powernap (a term she learned from GranDaddy!), and Shannon and I stayed near each other all day, and I played with Lauren (a friend from school last year who is in a different Kinder class) on the playground, and one boy got in trouble A LOT, and you can go through the line in the cafeteria if you have a lunch card, and 'we learned china today,' and we have a little bit of homework for show and tell, and one girl lost a tooth today, and on and on.

Mac insisted on sharing the spotlight with Olivia. I'm hoping we won't have to battle his wearing the superman cape and hard hat to school every day!

By this time we were in the classroom and the nerves had set in.

All was well after a trip to TCBY after school. I'm sure this one trip has already become a 1st day of school tradition for our family.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Lupe Tortilla with the Stricklins

The Stricklins joined us for dinner at Lupe Tortilla on Friday night. I think Gay and I were as excited to see each other as the kids were. The kids loved playing in the sandbox while the grown-ups caught up at a nearby table.

Thanks to Sam, there just may be a new sign at Lupe's - No Shirt, No Pants, No Service!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

That's What GranDaddies are For!

GranDaddy was kind enough to babysit so that I could go out for sushi with Gray, Chase and Hatton. He never let on his plan for the evening, but I was pretty sure it involved ice cream at the Marble Slab. They loaded into the car and pulled out of the driveway just as I left with Gray to meet the other girls at Sugami. Ginny was at book club.

Gray dropped me off about 9:15 and I noticed that their car wasn't back yet. I wondered where they were, of course, but didn't want to call Jimmy and have him think that I didn't trust him. Then I noticed that he had left his cell phone at home. I checked in with Will who told me not to worry.

By the time Ginny got home about 9:45, I will admit that I was starting to worry a little bit. Surely it didn't take 2+ hours to get ice cream - the Marble Slab is not far away and it wasn't THAT crowded at the beach this late in August. Ginny and I started planning our route to look for them. We decided we would start to worry if they weren't home by 10:30.

At exactly 10:30, we heard the beep-beep of the garage door and McIver tip-toeing into the kitchen. "Is anyone here? Is anyone awake?" Then giggles from Olivia. When they found Ginny and me in the sunroom, the ran in and were ALL excited to tell us what they had done. Jimmy must have coached them, though, b/c they wouldn't tell us WHERE they had been. After much discussion about rides, roller coasters and ice cream, we found out that he had taken them to the Family Kingdon Amusement Park - and they had a BALL!! Then, they stopped for ice cream on the way home (at 9:30PM).

And, that's what GranDaddies are for! (I just wish I had been a fly on the wall to see it all and take pictures!)

Greenville Visit

After our stop in Columbia, we made our way to Greenville. Olivia and McIver were super excited about the hotel - the pools, the fish, breakfast in their PJs, and the fact that all rules seemed to go out the window. Why is it OK to jump on beds and have pillow fights at the hotel but not at home? Mom was just too worn down by then to fight them on it!

We met the Nixon, Burns & Waters families at the Gower pool for pizza and swimming. Marina brought Julia as soon as they got back from a week of vacation. We loved the chance to see everyone - and get out some of the pent up energy from the long car ride.

We made our way to the Nixons house on Monday morning to play and hang out like old times. Then enjoyed a quick (and a bit stressful for me) lunch at McAlisters. (I was very disappointed to learn that Meadors had closed!) After lunch, we met Marina, Julia, T & Mary Caroline at Monkey Joes for some bouncing fun. We also went back to the hotel to swim in the indoor pool. Olivia was thrilled not to have to put on sunscreen.

Steph, Kait, Tiffany & Anderson met us for dinner at Corona that night. Tiffany thought it was pretty funny that we came all the way from TX to eat mexican food, but it felt good to be enjoying familiar favorites.

Marina, Julia, T & Mary Caroline joined us for breakfast at the hotel. The kids loved eating in their jammies! We hated to say good-bye but after another quick visit with the Nixons we made our way back to Columbia for another visit with Mamoo and then back to Myrtle Beach.

Visit in Columbia with Mamoo

We had a great, great visit in Columbia with Mamoo. She was so glad to see Olivia and McIver. Our visits are always too short, but we hope to get back her way soon!

Olivia at the Driving Range with GranDaddy

Jimmy took Olivia to work on her golf swing at the Dunes Club a few times. She really enjoyed the one-on-one time with GranDaddy. He said she's got a pretty good swing. Will was thrilled to see the pictures and hear Olivia's excitement about playing with clubs that were just her size.

Fun with Cousins

We loved seeing Amelia again and meeting JuliAnna while we were in Myrtle Beach. Of course, we took LOTS of pictures of the cousins together. Here are just a few...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Broadway at the Beach

I took Olivia and McIver to Broadway at the Beach this morning to ride the rides from the old Pavilion. They loved it! We had may of the rides to ourselves b/c we got there early and it was just so darn hot. We enjoyed lunch at Margaritaville and then saw the movie Underdog. As soon as we got home we headed to Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede which was great fun. Olivia and McIver were completely enthralled by the preview act - a juggler who juggled rings, swords (Mac's fave!), tennis racquets and then balanced golf clubs and balls on his chin for the finale. The actual dinner show was a hoot - we were on the 'south' side so we cheered for the folks in gray. The show even kept McIver in his seat - pig and ostrich races, an aerial ballerina, wagon races, audience participation, and more - it was great! After a quick dip in the pool, the kids are sacked out!

Myrtle Beach Pelicans Game

Chase and Michael Banks invited Olivia and me to join them for a Myrtle Beach Pelicans game last night. The kids were more interested in the Dippin Dots than the game, but it was a fun night.

Olivia's Lemonade Stand

Olivia and I set up a lemonade stand on Wednesday. We passed by one on the golf course the day before so she thought that would be fun (aside from the 100 degree heat!). We got all set up and had just one customer (2 if you count GranDaddy!) in over an hour. She got a hard lesson in entrepreneurship and location, location, location! We might try again later during our visit - but with advance emails to the neighbors!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Myrtle Beach - August 2007

We had two good flights to get to Myrtle Beach last week, despite the battery on the DVD player dying midway through Peter Pan on the 1st flight. The kids used their $5 bills that Mamoo sent to buy themselves a cinnamon roll and bottle of juice at the airport. They felt really grown-up using their own money.

This past weekend was the SOB (Sons - and daughters - Of the Beach) Weekend - all of the kids that Will grew up with in Myrtle Beach came home for the weekend. Friends came in from Charlotte, Virginia, DC and Columbia. The Mims hosted everyone - and I do mean EVERYONE - at their house on Friday night. It was a casual get-together with three generations. You really had to watch your step walking around because of all the babies and kids running around. McIver ate about 6 cupcakes for dinner that night - nothing else. We were so glad to finally meet JuliAnna and be able to spend more time with Amelia - the newest Merritt cousins.

We spent Saturday on the beach and at the pool. Olivia is now a pro boogie boarder, thanks to instruction from her godmother Jane, GranDaddy and Uncle Robert. McIver likes to build drip castles and play in the tidal pools with his boogie board, but he's not a fan of the yukky water. The good news is that he does now appreciate what goggles are for.

The Gravelys hosted a great party at their beautiful home on Saturday night for the grown-ups. It was a great evening and so nice to be able to catch up with everyone.

Here's a link to my Shutterfly pictures that I've taken so far. Enjoy!