Monday, May 31, 2010

Big Canoe with the YaYas

The YaYas met for our annual Memorial Day weekend in Big Canoe again this year.  I can't even remember how many times we've gotten together in Big Canoe, but we ALWAYS have a blast.  This year was no exception.   We all met at the house on Friday afternoon before heading to dinner at Fuego's at the bottom of the mountain.

I love these girls - Dawn, Sadie and Ashley.

Andrew and Julia were bosom buddies during dinner.  Olivia ate up being able to sit near Helen Randall and helping Ashley feed and entertain her.

My monkey boy just HAD to climb the light pole again before we went back to the house.

Happy children eating breakfast on the porch.

Andrew and McIver played so well together this year.  Last year, and during our ski trip, they were kind of 'at' each other most of the time.  It was clear that the boys had both heard an earful from their mothers about how to be friendly to each other.  They spent HOURS playing together, and eating their weight in popsicles, in the hot tub.  They also had a great time playing together on the beach.

The guys played golf on Saturday morning and then took over  parenting duties so that the YaYas could drive to Macon to surprise Catherine at her graduation.  (Pictures of our trip to Macon will be in another post.)  Of course, we also had great food and lots of time to visit and catch up.  The children all did really well, despite the break in their normal schedules and being in a house full of noise.  I'm sick that I didn't get a picture of all the children together, but it goes to show just how much fun we were having.

Friday, May 28, 2010

McIver's End of Year Program

McIver's school held its first End Of Year Program on Wednesday.  They were careful to call it a program, NOT a 'graduation,' and I'm so glad.  I've always thought preschool 'graduations' with caps and gowns were a little much.  But that's just me.

Anyway, here's McIver with his teacher waiting to process into the outdoor chapel at school.

Up on the altar, each class lined up, and sang a few songs.  They listened to a poem that the three lead kindergarten teachers had written to commemorate the year.  They talked about knowing our children, their students, and that was the point that I teared up a little bit.

McIver with his teacher, Mrs. Butler

McIver hasn't had to easiest year, but I really do feel like his teachers didn't let his (sometimes completely impulsive and unnerving) behavior distract them from the job at hand.  He remembers the year as one of great fun and lots of learning.  He almost cried on the way home from school when he realized he would not be seeing these teachers anymore. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Olivia's Class Party

Olivia's 2nd grade class had a sort of field day to celebrate the end of school.  Kids took their bikes to school to ride around campus.  They also took the canoes out onto the pond.  My class was having Water Day on our playground which is near the pond so I kept an eye out for someone to pass my camera to.  She did a great job of getting some pictures of Olivia for me.

Are they cute, or what!?
(Leah, on the left, was also on Olivia's soccer team.)

Canoeing is harder work than they thought.  Olivia said they got caught up in a tree near the edge of the pond.

Back on terra firma.

And, I couldn't resist snapping of picture of my boy on his way back from the outdoor chapel.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Olivia was very busy earlier tonight.

Birthday Party Fun

Went to a great birthday party on Saturday afternoon (after the morning-o-sports-activities).  Let's just say that Olivia and McIver were exhausted Saturday night!

It was really McIver's friend's party, but Olivia is friends with his big sister so she was lucky to get to crash the party.

Getting by with a little help from his friends.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Final T-Ball Game

Once Olivia's soccer game ended, we high-tailed it over to the baseball fields.  Today was also the championship game so the fields were packed with players and fans, loud music and tons of food.  Apparently, our players were more focused on the first game than the second.

McIver was sitting on the bench with another boy when we walked up.  Turns out he was in a little bit of a time-out because he wasn't listening to his coach.  (In McIver's defence, I later found out that another player was hounding him and kept throwing his water bottle over the dugout fence and he was just more concerned with his new water bottle than with the game.)

He did end up going out into the field.  But, he wasn't really interested in the game - as evidenced by the fact that his back was to the batter for most of the time.

Will joined McIver in the dugout to try to keep him focused.  Two games in a row really is asking a lot of kids this age.

In t-ball, players get 5 pitches from the coach and then, if they don't hit the ball, they get to use the tee.  McIver has only hit off the tee one time all season.  He had another great hit today and smiled big for me from first base.

After retrieving his water bottle for the umpteenth time, he discovered that he could use the lid as a little cup.

Finally, trophy time!

What a sweet picture of my boys!

Final Soccer Game

Olivia's last soccer game was this morning at 9am.  McIver also had a double-header this morning (9 and 10:30am) so Will and I had to divide and conquer.  

Team huddle at the start of the game.  Last week's game was a blow-out - we won by 8 goals.  But, we knew this weeks' game was going to be tough because our opponents have played together for several seasons.  Our team is officially called the Starlings, but since none of the girls liked that name, we just cheered for Purple all season.

Olivia has really taken to soccer.  She scored her first goal this season and scored two more goals last week.  She is thrilled to be signed up for soccer camp at school later this summer.

We've come a long way since the beginning of the season.  Now, the girls on the sidelines actually pay attention to the game and cheer for their teammates.

Post-game party at LuLu's Hot Dogs.  After lunch, the coach said a few words and presented every player with her trophy.

Before & After - Chair

Well, I don't actually have a picture of 'before' but here's the after picture of a chair that we just had recovered for the guest bedroom.

Grandma Janet and Papa had had this chair for as long as I can remember.  It used to be a velour-ish material in a bright orange color and was so worn down that the arms were threadbare.  Now, it is quite presentable and I'm so glad that our guest room is shaping up to really be welcoming for anyone who comes to visit.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Dance Recital

Olivia and Kate after Kate's dance recital last Tuesday night.  She danced to Bop to the Top from High School Musical and, from where I was sitting, looked like she was having a blast on stage.

We didn't know it, but we also got to see a friend from Olivia's soccer team and class at school.

I asked Olivia if she missed dance after watching her friends have so much fun in the recital.   She replied that dance 'just isn't for me.  I like soccer better.'

McIver & Oreo

My class at school has a pet guinea pig named Oreo.  McIver is always desperate to help take care of him.  My lead teacher was cleaning out Oreo's cage earlier this week so she let McIver transfer him from his mini-cage back to his big cage.

Mrs. Till promised McIver that he can feed Oreo a carrot next week when he comes to school with me for an in-service day.

I've got my fingers and toes crossed that this little bit of contact with Oreo will keep McIver from asking to have a guinea pig of his very own.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mothers Day 2010

Happy Belated Mothers' Day to all of our mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers!
I hope you had as wonderful a day as I did.  

We started out going to church and then had lunch at Za's pizza.  The children showered me with gifts when we got home.  Olivia had made tons of Mothers Day cards, a bookmark and painted a picture for me.  She wrapped them up in the sparkliest thing she could find in her room... a dress-up shawl.  McIver was so excited about the tile that he made at school that he made me open it on Friday.  Then he re-wrapped it so that I could open it again on Sunday.

I spent most of the afternoon on the deck reading.  (I've read a really lot lately so I can't remember if I was reading The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, or Sarah's Key - both were FANtastic!)  Olivia and McIver entertained themselves and beat the heat with the hose in the backyard.

Even though the temp reached almost 90 that day, the water from the hose was still freezing cold.

They piled all of the umbrellas together and covered them with rain ponchos to see if their 'tent' could keep out the water.

Will prepared a delicious meal for me - we roasted asparagus and had sea bass and scallops with Will's famous mango salsa.

Will also surprised me with a new pocketbook for Mothers Day.  He had it shipped to his office, but was not in the office when it arrived so I had to wait until Tuesday to open it.  I love it (and am so glad the he took the hint so well)!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Golf Buddies

McIver has been going to the Junior Golf Clinic on Tuesday afternoons from 4 - 5:30.  He looks forward to going each week, but loves it even more when Will takes him out to hit around a little bit.  Olivia spent the night out last Friday so Will suggested taking McIver to hit some balls.  (It's the only time McIver doesn't mind tucking in his shirt.)

When he taps the ball too gently, McIver says he needs to 'add a little more oomph!'

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Computer Issues

Just reporting that we're having computer trouble so I haven't been able to post lately.  Once I find time to spend an hour or more on the phone with AT&T, I'm sure we'll be back up and running...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Preparing for Mothers' Day

Olivia and McIver spent a lot of time working on signing all of our Mothers' Day cards.  I am so happy that they've been able to really know so many of their great-grandmothers.  We also send cards to their godmothers who have been such faithful parts of our family.  Of course, there are the YaYas - their Fairy Godmothers, who deserve to be celebrated, too!

Friday, May 7, 2010


For McIver's birthday back in October, GranGran and GranDaddy gave him a butterfly habitat.  It included a certificate to send off for some live caterpillars that we could watch grow, turn into chrysalids and then become Painted Lady butterflies.  I wasn't sure how well it would work (or how long the butterflies would live) if we ordered them in the fall so we waited until spring.

The caterpillars arrived two weeks ago.

We watched them eat this peanut-butter looking food and grow to many times their original size.

Then they turned into chrysalids.

We removed them from the jar ...

... and pinned them inside the habitat.

Then we waited almost 2 weeks for them to turn into butterflies.

Finally, one morning this week, McIver checked the habitat and saw that the first butterfly had emerged.

There he is in the back corner of the habitat.  We had some fresh flowers so we followed the instructions and put some sugar water on the flowers so they would have something to eat.

Olivia was in charge of making sure they wouldn't escape into the house while we were at school.

Mac was in charge of holding the sugar water.  I'm pretty sure we were late to school that day because we were taking such good care of the butterflies.

Thursday was a big day!  All of the butterflies had  emerged and had time to strengthen their wings.  They were flying all around the habitat so we decided it was time to let them go.  (Or, maybe the kids just wanted to procrastinate from doing their homework.)

McIver lent them a hand.

All in all, it was a fun experience.  Olivia and McIver loved watching every stage of the butterflies' development from tiny caterpillar to full-grown butterfly.  And, I thank you for your time if you managed to read through this entire post!