Monday, September 28, 2009


I subbed at Heathwood today and as I was leaving the Director of the ECLC offered me the job!!! So, I'll start work tomorrow as an associate preschool teacher. I can't wait to be back in the classroom with the little ones. The good news for me is that most of the start-of-school kinks have already been worked out. There shouldn't be too much crying at this time of the year! Olivia and McIver are excited for me to be on campus with them and I'm looking forward to doing something productive with my time!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

McIver's 1st Soccer Goal

The soccer fields were wet and muddy on Saturday morning, but the kids didn't mind one bit. Olivia bundled up in my rain coat to watch McIver's game.

McIver scored the first goal of his career. The reaction afterwards was priceless!
McIver was so totally pumped about his goal that the coaches had a hard time reigning him in for the rest of the game. He was all over the place and just so excited that he couldn't focus.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Dinner with Mamoo, GranGran & GranDaddy

GranGran & GranDaddy are going to spend the night with Olivia and McIver while Will and I are in Charleston for part of the weekend. GranDaddy came to town early to play golf and go to the USC v. Ole Miss game on Thursday. GranGran arrived this afternoon and showed us all of her hard work in sewing a bedskirt for our guest bedroom.

We took advantage of having them in town and went to dinner together on Friday night. Olivia grabbed the camera and took some great photos of our dinner party.

Daddy & Mamoo

Daddy, McIver & Mamoo

One of the waiters managed to get a great shot of all of us - 4 generations of Merritts

McIver bought 3 new Bakugans yesterday and bent our waitress's ear telling her ALL about them. She was a total trooper and spent way more time than necessary listening to the ins and outs of Bakugan.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Not Getting My Hopes Up

But... I have an interview this afternoon for a teaching associate position at Heathwood. The Director of the ECLC (Early Childhood Learning Center) called last night to see if I would be interested in interviewing. They have two Nursery School classes - one 5-day, one 3-day. They thought that both classes would be able to share an associate teacher, but it turns out that they want to hire an associate in the 3-day Nursery School class. It would be so much fun to get back into the classroom to play and the schedule sounds perfect for keeping busy and still having time to go to the grocery store by myself. I'm not the only person interviewing and I only have 2 years of experience (more if you count my own children, but I don't think they do!) so I'm not getting my hopes up. I'll keep you posted!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Olivia's 1st soccer game

Olivia was bummed that her soccer team had a bye last week and didn't get to play so she was looking forward to the game on Saturday. They didn't play until 1:30 Saturday afternoon so the skies had time to clear and it was pretty hot. Olivia played hard once she figured out what she was supposed to do. Will and her coach were on the sidelines with the girls giving them tips and tricks. The final score was 0-0, but they all seemed to have a good time and no one seemed the least bit concerned that they never scored. We have several players who really know what they'er doing so they were fun to watch. I'm learning more about the game and am so glad that she had fun.
Olivia's team
McIver and one of his teammates after their big game on Saturday morning. The Lightning Cats won 4-1!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, Will!

Happy Birthday to Will!!

We snapped some quick pictures after church before we headed to a birthday lunch.
(PS: I know McIver needs a haircut. That's on our list for this week!)

Olivia's 8th Birthday Party - A Sleepover

Olivia's first mass-sleepover started with lots of screaming, squealing and giggling on Friday night at 5pm. The girls went straight up to Olivia's room and tried on all of Cacoo's old dance costumes. Once they found a suitable outfit, they danced around her room, ran around the house and never really settled down. The decibel level was quite high until late in the night.

Posing for a picture was an exercise in futility - they were just having so much fun and being so silly that they could barely contain themselves.
Olivia was very happy with her Hannah Montana ice cream cake.
The girls finally started winding down about 9pm. They decided to get dressed for bed and lay out their sleeping bags on the floor in Olivia's room. After an hour or more of turning the lights on and off, giggling, listening to more music and telling stories, I finally heard someone say, "Would you please just go to sleep?" a few times. I decided to take my book in and read until they quieted down enough to fall asleep. It took about 5 minutes for everyone to completely pass out!

Morning came early on Saturday. Will had to get up early to make rounds and go to a meeting at his office so I was on my own. I first heard the girls rustling a little bit after 6am, but they didn't really get up (or need me to get up!) until 7am. We had Sister Shuberts rolls and fruit for breakfast which was a hit. They watched some of the Hannah Montana movie, dressed up some more and made slap bracelets before parents starting coming to retrieve them at 9:30.

Even though Olivia said she had a great time, it will be a while before she's allowed to invite THAT many girls over to spend the night again!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Olivia's 8th Birthday Dinner

Olivia decided that she wanted a cheeseburger for her birthday dinner. Since we had just signed on the dotted line and joined Forest Lake the day before, we suggested dinner in the Grill Room. Olivia was excited about going and opening her gifts there while we waited for our dinner.

A new soccer ball from Grandma Janet was very exciting - Olivia can't wait to play in her first soccer game tomorrow!
Holding up her Hannah Montana t-shirt (at this point, she still doesn't know what her 'big gift' is this year).
McIver loved our table. We were right by the window overlooking the putting green. A 'big kid' was practicing so McIver spent most of the evening staring out the window. We kept telling him that he needed to stay in his seat. Finally, he just moved his seat over to the window and said: How's this? You said I had to be in my seat and now I am! (Looking over his shoulder at us with a sly little grin on his face, much like the one in the picture.)
Olivia opening her 'big gift' - an invitation to join her friend Julia at the Miley Cyrus concert in Columbia the Saturday after Thanksgiving. She's SO excited. We've already downloaded three new songs for her to learn before the concert.
Blowing out the candle on her chocolate cake.
We're looking forward to a final celebration tonight - Olivia has invited four friends from school to spend the night. We're having pizza, ice cream cake, watching the Hannah Montana movie (thanks, Aunt Jane!), she's planning to wear her new Hannah Montana PJs (thanks, GranGran and GranDaddy!) and maybe do a few crafts in between.

Go Heathwood!

Olivia and McIver were SO excited to wear their Heathwood cheerleader uniform and football jersey to school today. They're allowed to wear them on Fridays when we have football games.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Olivia's 8th Birthday

HAPPY 8th BIRTHDAY, Olivia!!

I surprised Olivia by decorating her room and bed with birthday balloons, banners and streamers. She actually scared me to death by shouting out "Boo" when I thought she was asleep. But, she thought the decorations were a pretty cool way to start off the day.
As usual, a birthday candle and cupcake for breakfast.
Opening her first gift of the day: A Hannah Montana thermos from McIver. As you can see, it was a BIG HIT!

Birthday Cupcakes at School
Olivia's birthday was an early dismissal day at school so I took cupcakes to her class at 11:30. Olivia's was the first birthday of the school year so she didn't know that Mrs. Tart, her teacher who is VERY pregnant, would call her to the front of the class so they could sing Happy Birthday. Clearly, Olivia wasn't too thrilled, although she did crack a smile when Mrs. Tart started doing the "It's Your Birthday" dance.
Couldn't resist snapping a picture of Olivia and her friend reading during DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) time.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Labor Day in Big Canoe with the YaYas - Dawn's pictures

Dawn just shared a few of her pictures from our weekend in Big Canoe. Thought I'd share them, too, especially the ones of sweet Helen Randall.

Pritchett Family on the Boat Ride - you might be able to see how much HRP looks like her Daddy

HRP didn't mind the cold water in the pool at all

So hard to believe that the first Petite YaYa is a senior in high school!

Proof that Will was with us on the trip. He also helped manage the fishing part of our afternoon boat ride.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Labor Day in Big Canoe with the YaYas - Boat Ride

Pop rented a pontoon boat for us on Sunday. The kids all loved putting (and I DO mean 'putting') around the lake on two separate boat rides. The boat ran on two batteries to keep the noise level down, but it also kept the speed level down, too. No one really minded. Everyone took a turn at the wheel, fed the geese and tried to catch a fish.

Julia at the wheel.

McIver kept wanting the boat to go faster.

Olivia had a great time feeding the geese. She thought it was hilarious when Fielding let them grab left-over quesadilla straight from his hands.

All the kids piled on the back of the boat to watch the geese swimming after us. If it had been a race, the geese just may have won.

Olivia loves her Pop!

McIver's 1st Soccer Game

The Lightning Cats had their first game this morning. McIver didn't exactly pop out of bed when I reminded him about the game, but he was excited. Another boy from his class at school joined the team this morning, so that was welcome news. I don't know much about soccer so I didn't even know the right things to cheer for the kids. I also learned that "McIver" is a mouth-full when you're trying to cheer him on. "Mac" just might stick now that he's on the playing field!

McIver and a teammate warming up before the game.

He actually played pretty well - stayed in motion on the field, for the most part.

Although, he did spend some time near the goal just waiting to block a kick. We need to work on his throwing skills - he was able to throw the ball in from the sidelines a few times, but we had never even done that before so that needs some practice.
Even when he wasn't on the field, he stayed interested in the game. He wouldn't even look at me to snap a picture.
The final score was 2-1 in favor of the other team. McIver seems to think that his team won and I'm not going to burst that bubble. Bottom line is that he had a great time and is looking forward to next week's practice and game.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Soccer Team(s)

It's official . . . I am a soccer mom!

We knew soccer was big here, so I signed McIver up earlier this summer and asked that he be put on a team with other kids from his school. I didn't know of a particular coach to request until it was too late, I think. Turns out that there is one little boy from his class so he has one familiar face, not that that would be a problem for him. His team is the Lightning Cats and they have three coaches who are excited to be there and really friendly.

Olivia joined a team full of 2nd grade girls from her school. She met several of the girls at the popsicle party last month but most of them are in different classes at school. That hasn't seemed to phase Olivia one bit. She ran right over to the practice field on Tuesday and didn't look back once. Her coach is the dad of one of the teammates. Will might even be able to help out at some of the practices because of his new schedule.

Practices are at the exact same time which meant that it was a little hairy getting everyone where they needed to go for the first practice. We didn't even know who to look for to find McIver's team. Thankfully, I had the head coach's number so he directed us to them. It turned out that Olivia's team practices right across the driveway from McIver's team, so it will actually be relatively easy now that we know where to go.

Right before practice - soccer shorts: check; ball: check; water bottle: check; cleats and shin guards: check. Game on!
Olivia didn't complain once about the heat (can't say the same for her mama!). She had a great time running around and going through the drills. She was pleased that her coach "didn't teach me anything that Daddy didn't already tell me! He just said we need to practice with our family this week before the game on Saturday."
McIver had a fine time at practice. He followed the coaches' instructions and had a great time.

Labor Day in Big Canoe with the YaYas - Rock Slide

Olivia and McIver had been SO excited about the rock slide at Big Canoe. I don't think McIver really remembered the last time that he did the rock slide - he wasn't a big fan. But, this time was a hit. The guys had taken the kids to the pool Saturday morning and been through all of the activities. Olivia and McIver were glad that Dawn was willing to go down the rock slide with them. She was allowed to wait for them in the little pool at the bottom of each slide. That water was COLD - there would have been NO WAY to convince me to go down that slide because the water was just too cold. I was more than happy to keep up with Julia and Andrew and take pictures.

Preparing for the first run.

This picture doesn't do justice to the size of the smile on Olivia's face!

The second part of the slide is actually steeper than the first, but not as long. McIver felt like a big kid doing it by himself.

When we got home, everyone was more than excited to warm up in the hot tub, especially when they were treated to one or two popsicles every time they got in.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Labor Day in Big Canoe with the YaYas

I cannot begin to tell you how much fun we had in Big Canoe with Mom, Tom, Cacoo, Fielding, the YaYas and the Petite YaYas (all 6 of them!). We had gotten pretty good about spending Memorial Day weekend together in the mountains. But then Olivia had to go and start school which didn't let out until after Memorial Day and made it harder for us to get there from Houston. So, this was our first get-together where we were ALL together in over two years. We (and by 'we' I mean Ashley and Sarah) added two petites (children of YaYas), Helen Randall and James.

I was having so much fun that I didn't really take a lot of pictures, but I will post the ones that I did manage to take while we were at the lake, pool and riding in the boat.

Olivia snapped this shot of Dawn and me.

McIver managed to get in on the volleyball game on the beach. It didn't take him long to realize he may have been in over his head. The other players were very kind to him and taught him a few of the rules, how to hold his hands, etc. It was harder to teach him not to dodge the ball, though.

Dawn got quite a workout taking the kids out in the canoe and paddle boat.

Sadie stayed at the house for James to take his morning nap, so Julia came to the pool/lake with us. She had a blast splashing in the lake and riding in the paddle boat with us.