Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lake Murray with the Mashburns

The Mashburns, our neighbors, and their niece and nephew, came up to the lake for the afternoon on Saturday.  Olivia and McIver were SO excited to show everyone around and tell them all about the fun we were going to have.  It didn't take long to get the fun started.

All the boys were excited to ride the tube behind the jet ski.

Olivia wasn't so thrilled that they had to go a little slower since this was Kate's first time.  I bet they'll be ready for doughnuts the next time!

The boys were hilarious - check out McIver and Jack posing.

Kate and Olivia - it really was a sunny day.  I hate that the pictures don't show it.

Popsicles on the boat - does it really get any better than this?!

We had hoped that everyone could spend the night, but they had to get back to town for a reception Saturday night.  So, we made the best of it - and tried not to rub it in when we talked with the Mashburns later that night.  We all showered and dressed and then went out for another cruise.  Will decided we should head over to the marina and check out the action.  We docked and saw that the bar area was packed with people watching the college world series - and hoping for a Gamecock win.  Since we had Tex with us, we decided to place an order which was later delivered to the boat.  The kids loved that service and thought eating on the boat was great.  I'm sure they'll be begging to do that again!

A Milestone

I just noticed that my last post about Olivia's homecoming from camp was the 700th post.  I love blogging and posting pictures and stories about our family.  I'm not sure who all checks in with us, but I hope you are enjoying it, too.  The main reason I started this blog was so that family and friends who were far away could keep up with what we were doing while we lived in Texas.  Now, though, I blog because it's a way for me to 'scrapbook' for Olivia and McIver.  I know that someday they'll get a kick out of reading what they were up to 'back in the day.'

Saturday, June 26, 2010

She's Home!!!

McIver and I got up at the crack of dawn to drive to Brevard to pick Olivia up for camp.  They said to be there anytime between 9 and 12, but I wanted to get there as close to 9 as possible.  They were very organized with the whole pick-up process which I really appreciated.  I just wish we had been able to walk around the camp a little bit to show McIver around.

Olivia was waiting with her counselor and cabin mates on 'the hill.'  She was one tired little girl!

Then we drove down to pick up her trunk.  This counselor was on the other side of their cabin.

Olivia wanted to say good-bye to 'her horse' Oliver.  I was not prepared to walk across a horse pasture in flip flops, but it made her happy, so that's what we did.

Oliver was being passive-aggressive - he did not want to say good-bye.

Campers walked through a tunnel under the highway to get from the mountain-side of the camp to the pastures down below.

Of course, McIver had to go through the tunnel.

Apparently, no trip to Brevard is complete without a trip to Dolly's Dairy Bar.  They have tons of different ice cream flavors, including 22 named for different camps in the area that bring campers for a treat each summer.

So glad to see Daddy!

And Tex.

Since Olivia had been eating (or not, as the case may be) camp food for the last week and a half, we let her choose where to go to celebrate her homecoming.  She chose Forest Lake and we all enjoyed a great dinner and heard all about camp.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Zoo with McIver

I promised McIver that we could go to the Zoo while Olivia was away at camp.  She is not a fan of the heat or the smell and assured me that she would not be upset to miss out on that.  I kept thinking that one day the forecast would call for any temperature below 95 degrees, but it did not.  So, we had to go on Wednesday - our last possible chance because we were picking Olivia up from camp on Thursday.  McIver was in heaven - he didn't mind the heat one bit and loved being able to direct where we went and how long we stayed there.  (Although, I will confess that I made him linger longer than he wanted in the reptile house ... a first for me!)

Feeding the Lorikeets - it didn't take long for the birds to flock to McIver.

Don't worry, he washed his hands before we left the bird house.

Feeding the giraffe

The bear was enjoying his pool when we first arrived.  I wanted to jump in with him!

Nothing like Dippin Dots to cool off on a hot day!

Oh, no wonder we were so hot and could barely breathe.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Undercover Visit to Myrtle Beach - Day 3

Ginny and Jimmy are a 'host family' for a group of college guys who are part of Campus Crusade for Christ at their church.  They invited their guys and two other host families for an afternoon boat ride on the waterway.  McIver was SO excited to get to help GranDaddy on the boat in the afternoon before everyone arrived.  

Here's McIver up on the bridge.

Of course, McIver loved hanging out with the college girls who were all so cute.

He really liked Helen.

A little political commentary on the waterway.

We had to wait for the swing bridge to open for us.

McIver in the co-captain chair.

Undercover Visit to Myrtle Beach - Day 2

There's a great kitchen shop in Myrtle Beach called Kitchen Kapers.  Ginny had been to a cooking class (really, it sounds like it was more of a demonstration) not too long ago and had the class schedule.  Turns out that they were having a kids' cooking class on Saturday morning.  McIver was interested so I signed him up.

They made cookies for dad.  McIver was just using up the last of the icing when I arrived to pick him up.

He was so proud of his creations that he shared them with the family at dinner Saturday night.

Of course, we made another trip to the beach.  He had good luck this time - found a tiny crab.

Feeding the bluebirds.

JuliAnna and Amelia liked watching the worms wiggle in the bowl.

We told them to sit on the steps and be really still and quiet so the bluebirds wouldn't be afraid to come eat.  They were so cute waiting and watching.

McIver ate a double-cheeseburger for supper.  It was pretty amazing.

For dessert, in addition to the cookies, we made banana pops.  Amelia liked hers!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Undercover Visit to Myrtle Beach

McIver and I hit the road last Friday for a long weekend visit in Myrtle Beach.  We're not telling Olivia - everyone in Myrtle Beach who saw us is asked to erase the memory and never speak of it.  I'd hate for Olivia to feel like she misses out on anything fun while she's at camp.  Really, the only thing I think she'd be upset about is the fact that we were able to meet this bundle of joy...

McIver was so excited to hold Eliza Claire Merritt (2 wks).

When we first arrived, GranGran and GranDaddy were unpacking their latest shipment of meal worms for their bluebirds.  The last time we were part of this process, it was quite a mess.  This time went much more smoothly.

It's so fun to sit on the patio and watch the bluebirds.  The babies are almost as big as their mama, and are perfectly capable of feeding themselves.  But, you can see from this picture that they're more than happy to let dad do the work for them if he's around.

We also played on the beach.  McIver loved finding periwinkles and watching them dig their way back into the sand.

We had to cut our beach time short because we heard some thunder rumbling.  Thought we could go to the pool and just wait it out, but then the rain started.  Robert and I were on the golf card with Amelia and McIver.  As we pulled into the backyard, McIver hopped out to see if the back door was open, but he slipped and fell and hurt his shin pretty badly.  Then, just as Robert and I were running over to check on Mac, we heard THE LOUDEST clap of thunder that I've ever heard.  Poor Amelia was on the golf cart all by herself and was scared to death.  It took some doing, but we finally managed to get everyone inside and calmed down.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Camp Update

McIver and I have been in Myrtle Beach for the last few days.  We've had a great time at the pool and on the beach.  We've played with all the cousins and met Eliza Claire Merritt, the newest cousin (pictures to come).  But, best of all (for me at least), I was here when GranGran and GranDaddy received a happy letter from our camper:

Dear Gran Gran and GranDaddy,
I am having a great time at camp.  The people  on my side of the cabin are me, Elley and Kit.  It is raining here.  How are the bluebirds?  Can you send me a picture of them.

(She didn't even sign her letter to me!)

I also just checked the camp website for the latest pictures and found this one...

Dressed in their 'whities' for chapel.

Friday, June 18, 2010

McIver's Catch at the Lake

McIver was ALL ABOUT fishing again on Wednesday while we were at the lake.  Unfortunately for him, Will had to go to work and I wasn't about to bait the hook, much less take a fish off the hook if he managed to catch one.  Since it was still too hot to do much of anything, McIver and I went to see Karate Kid and then go shopping for some things we need to have at the lake.

Anyway, Will got to the lake later in the afternoon and barely had time to change clothes before McIver was on the dock with all of his fishing gear.  Even though it was late in the day, it was still too hot to be sitting on the dock, so we all ended up in the water.  Will rigged the fishing rod in the pontoon boat, just in case.  You see where this is going, right!?

About 15 minutes later (plenty of time that I had forgotten all about the fishing), we were still hanging out in the water when we heard a strange scraping noise.  Something had gotten McIver's hook and was just about to pull the rod off the boat and into the water.  Will got out of the water faster than I've ever seen and caught the rod before it either broke or was dragged into the water.  After fighting the fish for a while, he finally got a glimpse and said I might want to go get my camera.

I don't think Mac could have reeled it in on his own.

He was huge ...  Will said maybe 25 lbs.

Mac and his catch of the day.

And, finally, another sunset cruise.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Update on Olivia at Camp - Part 2

So, I just got off the phone with Olivia's counselor.  Things have, in fact, improved since Day 1.  Apparently, Olivia was more than a little disappointed not to be in ALL the same activities with Kit.   We had discussed the fact that might happen, but I guess Olivia didn't really believe me.  Anyway, Olivia has made some other friends and is enjoying her activities.  They have been to Dolly's, a local ice cream shop.  Olivia tried Golden Grahams - and liked them (wonder if that's all she's eating?).  Apparently, they had a big storm roll through during yesterday's Rest Period so the counselors started acting really silly and Olivia couldn't quit laughing.  They also have a special 'meet your pen pal' event planned for tomorrow so that will be good, too.

As soon as I got off the phone with Nicole - I checked the website, pretty sure they'd have pictures from the trip to Dolly's.  Sure enough...

Considering the smiles on everyone else's face, I figured Olivia would be smiling, too.  (She's the one in the purple raincoat looking like she's dancing.)

And, I was right - there's the smile!


Update on Olivia at Camp

Saw this picture on the camp photo gallery yesterday.  Looks like Olivia's having fun - she's smiling, she's with a group, etc.

Then I heard from my mom that she received a note from Olivia's counselor (she accidentally sent the note to one of our 'in case of emergency' addresses rather then our home address).  Anyway, the note said that Olivia was adjusting well and that she's very creative - she had organized a cabin-wide whoopie  cushion war.  She also reported that Olivia had signed up for gymnastics, photography, horseback riding and sports.  So, things were sounding good.

I received our first letter from Olivia in yesterday's mail, though.  And, I quote:

Dear Mommy and only Mommy.  I hate camp I want you to pick me up as soon as possible.  No letters or anything.  Just come pick me up.  As soon as you get this letter Because I hate camp hate it so bad I'm crying.  Day 1 hate camp hate camp hate camp hate camp

It broke my heart to hear that she was so sad when I thought she was having such a great time with the water slide, shaving cream fight, etc.  It almost (almost!) made me want to get in the car and drive straight up there to pick her up which is exactly what you're NOT supposed to do.  Anyway, for my peace of mind, I have a call in to the counselor to make sure that things have improved since 'Day 1' for my first time camper.

To be continued...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lake Murray

We didn't have plans early this week so we decided to pack up and head to the lake.  McIver's godfather Jeddie gave him a fishing rod for his birthday last fall and we were finally able to break it out and put it to work.  McIver had a blast fishing with his dad - and I was happy to sit back, take pictures and check the camp website for new pictures of Olivia.  (Warning - this post is heavy on the pictures.)

There had been a rainstorm (complete with hail) right when we got to the lake.  The water was eerily calm by the time Will and McIver got down to the dock.

His first catch with the new rod.  It turned out that the fish let go before McIver reeled it all the way in, but that did not dampen McIver's delight.

Will caught a pretty big one and showed McIver how to take it off the hook.

After dinner, we went out for a little sunset cruise.  We only saw two other boats on the lake so we pretty much had the whole thing to ourselves.  Tex is a big fan of the pontoon boat.

This is what I get when I ask him to look AT the camera.  Gotta love that sweet face and those big eyes!  (You can't really tell from the picture, but he's a snaggle-tooth again.  He lost his other front tooth last time we were at the lake.)

I love my boy!

A boy and his dog - heading toward Bomb Island, McIver's favorite place on the lake.

Will let McIver take the wheel - he got us all the way back to our cove, then let Will take over the docking of the boat.