Sunday, March 30, 2008

Cherub Choir

McIver sang with the Cherub Choir again this morning in St. Bede's Chapel. He was one of only 2 kids who sang all of the words ("Ring the news, Christ has risen. Alleluia!"). He was particularly animated today and mimicked Mrs. Courtney's hand motions the whole time. Apparently, the song was stuck in his head b/c he spent most of today wandering around singing the words under his breath. Now that I can really hear him singing, though, I realize that he's just repeating the first line over and over.

Dinner Conversation

In an attempt to get Olivia and McIver to stay at the table longer with us, I made up a game for us to play. I wrote out a bunch of random questions on slips of paper and put them in a bowl. We take turns drawing a question and then each of us answers the question.

Question: If you had $100, what would you do?
Olivia: I'd give it to church.
McIver: I'd buy a rabbit . . . and a cage.

Question: If you were stuck on a desert island, what 3 things would you want with you?
Olivia: Water, food and snacks. (A girl after her mother's heart!)
McIver: Well, I'll need a rope so you can climb a hill so you don't get hurt. And food and snacks to make my pirate recipe.

Question: What kind of birthday party would you want if your birthday is next week?
Olivia: Oh, that's easy! Hannah Montana!
McIver: SpiderMan.

We went through most of the questions tonight so I'm going to have to get busy thinking up new questions tomorrow. Of course, some of the questions will be good for every day . . . What nice thing did you do for someone today? What nice thing did someone do for you today? If you have any suggestions, let me know!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Dinner with the Stricklins

WAY too much time had passed since we'd been able to see the Stricklins so we headed down to Pearland last night to catch Abby's softball game and then grab a bite to eat. As usual, we had a great time (in spite of the fact that one of our children was grouchy for most of the night).

I found these SpiderMan sweat bands in Target's $1 section yesterday and couldn't resist. McIver wore them most of the afternoon (since he had worn one of O's headbands yesterday afternoon, this was certainly the more preferable of the two options!).

He was even kind enough to share them with Sam. Then they started filling empty Gatorade bottles with red sand - they had a ball.
Abby had time for a quick picture between innings.
After the game, we went to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner. It was packed with post-softball game teams and avid basket ball viewers. We managed to get a table pretty quickly though and our waitress rocked - she knew just what we needed to keep the kids happy - food, fast.
Mark my words: We will NEVER put another quarter into a machine in an effort to try to win a $2 squishy light-up ball! "Winning" these balls last night caused more strife and tears than it should have. I bet we spent about $15 in quarters - and Olivia's has already popped. Argh! I will say, though, that the cheers from our table when the balls were won equalled the cheers when a team scored on the big screens.
After dinner Gay & I sent the Dad's to the playground behind Jake's while we enjoyed a few minutes to catch up. Why don't more restaurants have playgrounds!? It definitely is a good thing.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Easter Sunday

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!

Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia!
who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!

But the pains which he endured, Alleluia!
our salvation have procured, Alleluia!
now above the sky he's King, Alleluia!
where the angels ever sing. Alleluia!

Olivia & McIver with GranGran & GranDaddy before church

A few more Spring Break pictures

McIver was eager to help GranDaddy and Daddy put together the grill that we 'gave' Jimmy for Christmas. We had steaks later that night and they were de-lish! (By the way, this picture was taken about 5 minutes after I saw a fox come onto the patio just about 4 feet from where I was sitting. She drank water from the plant saucer looked me in the eye and then trotted off toward the front yard. She came back a few minutes later, ignoring the noises coming from McIver dragging a table across the patio, and ran back across the golf course.)

Will and Jimmy took the kids to the driving range. McIver needs clubs more his size, but he still had a good time.
According to Will, Olivia is still showing promise.
Olivia loved playing with JuliAnna & Amelia.
Robert & Amelia, Jay & JuliAnna, Will with Olivia & McIver

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

More Easter Egg Hunt

We were so glad to see Olivia's godmother, Jane, in Myrtle Beach over Easter weekend.

After lunch and the egg hunt, we sneaked down to the beach for a little while. The weather was perfect and the sand felt good in our toes. Olivia found a cool shell. McIver found a dead crab.
Will met us at the club for lunch after his (very early) round of golf. McIver was glad to see his dad to show him his find - the dead crab.
GranGran tried hard to be impressed with the dead crab.
In case you're wondering, the dead crab made it all the way back to Houston in a ziploc bag sealed with duct tape in my pocketbook. We weren't sure he'd make it through security, but apparently a dead crustacean does not cause any sort of security concern. The crab has been named "Crabby" and has made the rounds at school in McIver's magnifying cup. He's starting to smell, so I think we're going to lose him soon (meaning, I'll toss him in the trash when McIver's not looking!).

More Spring Break Fun

Once when we called to check in on the kids, they were at Brookgreen Gardens with GranGran, Aunt Kelli and Amelia. A good time was had by all! Olivia liked the baby horses the best. McIver's favorite was the goats.

The Dunes Club Easter Egg Hunt was lots of fun. Our kids found plenty of eggs - and consumed their weight in candy (before lunch).
Here are 2 mamas with 2 precious girls! Olivia loved playing 'big sister' to Amelia all week long.
All that was left of McIver after the candy consumption...
Amelia surprised everyone, I think, by not being the least bit fazed by the Easter Bunny. Olivia knew it was just 'a person dressed in a costume' but McIver would have NONE of it - until lunch when the Bunny came around with a basket full of goodies.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Spring Break Fun

We flew out of Houston last Saturday and met GranDaddy and Mamoo at the Columbia airport.  They took Olivia and McIver to lunch at McAlisters (a Columbia favorite) and then GranDaddy took the kids to Myrtle Beach.  GranGran was taking care of Amelia while her parents enjoyed a long weekend in West Virginia.  Olivia and McIver were SUPER excited to see Amelia and to help babysit.

Will and I hit the road for Augusta to see Ashley & Mark.  We were delighted to hear the good news that they are expecting Baby Pritchett in September.  We loved being able to spend time with them in Augusta - dinner at TakoSushi on Saturday, golf for the guys on Sunday/church, a movie and shopping for Ash & me.  We had a brief visit with Susan & Lenson, Ashley's parents.  We had not seen them since Ashley's wedding - they have not changed a bit!

Will and I left Augusta on Monday morning to get back to Columbia for a few days.  Will and Tupp played golf.  We had dinner with Tupp & Elizabeth at Mr. Friendly's - a new favorite!  Spent Tuesday visiting with Mamoo and just riding around Columbia.  I was able to take a tour of SCOA's offices in Columbia.  It was VERY impressive - the building is 125,000 square feet and sees 800 patients per day.  They have on-site chemotherapy and radiation.  We enjoyed a delicious dinner with the MDs from the group and their spouses on Wednesday night.  

On Thursday morning, we went to Charleston so that Will could interview with MUSC.  Before Dr. Underwood picked us up, though, we did squeeze in a (too) brief visit with Jeddie and Willis, 2 friends from Sewanee.  They put on a hard sell for us to move to Charleston, but we'll have to wait and see...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Rodeo Carnival: Post #2

A fun ride on the 'kiddie' ferris wheel - they were plenty high, I thought. I can't imagine how high the regular ferris wheel must go. Glad that wasn't an option today!

This was actually our 2nd attempt at the fishing game. Normally, I would not waste money on this sort of game, but this was a 'play til you win' game. You might be able to tell from the picture - Olivia and Mae had already won and were (somewhat) patiently waiting for McIver to (finally) win. This is what Olivia looks like when she's hot, tired and OVER the carnival! Just in case you wondered.
She did hang tough just long enough for us to go to the livestock arena so McIver could pet the rabbits. Earlier in this morning, he was trying to convince me that he needed and could take care of a rabbit.

Me: McIver, who in the world would take care of the bunny while we're out of town next week?

McIver: (rolling his eyes) But, Mommy, did you know that we can take the bunny on the airplane?

Rodeo Carnival: Post #1

Went to the Rodeo Carnival this afternoon with our friends Mae and Lana. Mae was in Olivia's preschool classes so it's always funto get together since they don't see each other very much.

I was glad that I watched the weather this morning and knew that it would be H-O-T - like 86 degrees worth of hot - and I thought this was SPRING Break. Apparently, Houston gets about 6 days of spring, then we head straight into summer.

Anyway, the kids loved riding the train from one of the medical center parking garages down to Reliant Center where the Rodeo/Carnival/Livestock show is held. Our first stop was to say hello to some sheep. They would later be used for Mutton Busting - some sort of race where children ride on the sheep. We never got to see it, but I bet it's pretty funny.

The kids LOVED the slide. It's amazing to me that they're old enough to do these rides by themselves.
Mae opted out of this ride the first time around. This was the one ride that made my heart skip a beat once I saw it in motion. By then, though, it was too late, and both Olivia and McIver were laughing their heads off and having a great time.
Lana and I especially liked the rides when all 3 children could ride in the same car. The pirate ride was one of them - ahoy matey!
We took a much-needed break for ice cream and fresh-squeezed lemonade.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

More Hannah Montana - AND Billy Ray Cyrus

Billy Ray Cyrus took the stage for a surprise song (or 2) while Hannah changed into Miley (or vice versa). Of course, we knew he'd be there, but we had no idea he would actually sing. To top it off, he sang "I Want My Mullet Back" AND (as if that wasn't good enough!) "Achy Breaky Heart!" I know - I made fun of that song with all the rest of us back when it first came out, but it was just so much fun to hear it again in this setting. And, he was dear and thanked us all (the 4 of us and 73,000+ of our closest friends) for loving and supporting his daughter. If you haven't heard of these songs, please check them out - they are hilarious!
I Want My Mullet Back
Achy Breaky Heart
(I think this was easier to hear b/c he didn't actually have the mullet back!)

Here are the girls, clearly wondering where in the world Hannah/Miley is and what is taking her so long to change clothes and put on/off a wig.
This would be me, thoroughly enjoying myself. It doesn't matter which song it was b/c I loved them both!
And, so did Gay!
It was definitely a special day we will all remember forever.
And, many, many thanks to Don Stricklin for taking care of McIver ALL day long. Will was out of town so it was up to Don and he rose to the challenge of entertaining 2 very busy boys for more than 8 hours in a row. He wins the prize!!! Thanks, Don!

More Hannah Montana

Showing off my aforementioned Hannah Montana tattoo. Seriously, I saw some curious looks - surely people didn't think a grown person would have an actual Hannah Montana tattoo!?

We had great seats for the Rodeo and the girls were actually pretty interested in it. We could see the cage (for lack of a better word) where the cowboys were held before they were released. It was pretty exciting once you knew what to watch out for. Only problem was that Gay & I didn't realize just how much rodeo there would be before the concert started. So, we got to our seats about 3:40. Rodeo action started at 3:45. Hannah started a little bit after 6. It was a long wait, but like I said, the girls were into it so it wasn't too bad. We also were on the side of the stage where Hannah's dressing rooms were so we could see her enter and exit them each time she changed clothes or changed from Hannah to Miley and back. THAT was pretty exciting!
Hannah Rocked the Show - some parts were very Disney-esque, but it was a great time!
Olivia wasn't so into the dancing, but she belted out every word she knew!
Abby was singing AND dancing!

We Rocked Out the Hannah Montana concert!

Like I mentioned in a previous post, we had a BLAST at the Hannah Montana concert on Sunday. Gay was given 4 tickets to the hottest show in town and we were lucky enough to be invited to tag along for the ride. Many, many thanks to Jim Miller for the tickets - and for totally making the day of 2 6 year old girls (plus their 30-something Mamas!). Olivia and I have been listening to Hannah Montana since Christmas trying to learn all the words so we'd be ready for the concert. We even spent Friday night with the Stricklins practicing. These girls don't even know how lucky they are - they practiced singing into a microphone that came with a video game. Gay & I showed them how we did it 'back in the day' when we grabbed 2 hairbrushes and started singing into them. The girls looked at us like we'd lost our minds - but you gotta do what you gotta do!

Here we are waiting to ride the train from church to the Rodeo. Needless to say we were NOT the only people with that brilliant idea. We were, however, the only ones applying Hannah Montana band-aid tattoos (pics of the later).

After a prelunch treat of icecream and then our 'rodeo picnic' we were on a mission to find tshirts and souvenirs. Last year, they sold out of tshirts before the concert even started so we were prepared. Abby decided to forgo the tshirt for the HM Memory Book and a set of back-stage passes. Olivia stuck with her plan for a tshirt and has worn it every day since. For the record, the rodeo folks figured it out this year and we noticed that there were PLENTY of tshirts to be found. They were not going to lose money on that cash cow this year - $30 for a tshirt, $60 for a hoodie, it was crazy! But, since our tickets were free, we felt like we could splurge.
The obligatory picture of children and a rodeo boot. We have this same picture with various poses/children/rodeo outfits from each year that we've been to the rodeo.
If you're going to enjoy 2+ hours of rodeo action (seriously - bareback Bronco riding, saddle bronco riding, bull riding, calf roping, team calf-roping, FFA calf scramble and 2 rounds of chuck wagon racing!), you'd better have sustenance. For me and Gay, that meant beer. For the girls, that meant whatever they asked for - we started with cotton candy, then on to a pretzel, popcorn and as many trips to the bathroom as they wished.
Gay & I really had just as much fun as the girls, but we decided against spending all that money on the souvenirs. We'll just blog about it for memory's sake.

We are loving the time change...

... but only when it suits us to stay up later playing in the backyard than Mom usually allows.

We didn't get home yesterday 'afternoon' until almost 6:30. Since it still felt like afternoon, and looked like it, the kids played in the backyard until they were so hungry they started nibbling on their fingers. It wasn't easy to get them to come inside, but I convinced them that it was necessary or else they (and I!) would be BEARS this morning when we were still having to wake up to the darkness.

Here is the obstacle course they created.

Will finally was able to get home at a decent hour - and because of the time change, he and the kids were able to enjoy some QT in the backyard. They even took Murphy for a walk. And, yes, Olivia is STILL wearing her Hannah Montana tshirt from Sunday's concert (and, no, she has not taken it off long enough for me to wash it yet!).

Playing ball in the backyard with Dad - we just need to work on aim.

McIver's got a pretty good arm. It won't be long before O has perfected her cartwheel!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Hannah Montana Concert

Coming soon, our recap of the Hannah Montana concert last night at the Rodeo...

Rest assured that a good time was had by all four of us (Olivia, Abigail, Gay & me). Olivia will not soon forget her first concert ever . . . Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana - The Best of Both Worlds Tour. I am certainly in the running for Mom of the Year - or at least Mom of the Moment!

Gay took her camera so I could leave my big heavy one at home. We've got lots of pictures to share, but it will take a day or so to go through them all. I know you're on pins and needles!