Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tex Loves his Lovies

Every single time we open the door to Tex's 'room' when we get home, he brings out a toy with him.  Lately, though, he has taken to bringing out two toys.  And, walking around with both of them in his mouth for a really long time.

Still walking around with them...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

McIver's 1st Overnight Camping Trip (*Updated)

McIver was invited to Hugh's7th birthday party last night.  The plan was to meet at the Birthday Boy's house at 4pm yesterday afternoon and then ride to Cook's Mountain for a cook-out and camping.  McIver had been looking forward to his first camping trip for several weeks - he packed a bag with binoculars, a change of clothes and his walkie talkies.  I went over the rules with him, most importanly, being a first-time listener.  Dads were invited to go, but Will left yesterday for a review course all next week in Los Angeles.  Hugh's dad, Tupp (McIver's godfather), and the dad of another friend from school who was also McIver's t-ball coach last year, were all there to supervise, along with Hugh's grandfather.  I knew McIver was in good hands and didn't worry one bit about him.

Here are the campers on their way to Cooks Mountain

Until ... just as I got in bed at 10:30, I got a call from Tupp.  McIver was throwing up. I asked Tupp to be sure he wasn't putting on a show to get attention, so he promised to call me back in a little while.  When he called back about 20 minutes later, Tupp assured me this was the real deal.  Cooks Mountain is a good half-hour away and I have never been there.  So, Hugh's mom ended up loading McIver into her car and bringing him home at midnight.  He went right to sleep and I woke him up at 10am.  He's been taking it easy and seems to be on the mend.

(For the record, I saw McIver's t-ball coach at a school get-together the other night.  He made a point of telling me how well-behaved McIver was at the camp-out.  And, I can assure you, he knows what mischief McIver is capable of having been his coach!)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Quick Cousin Visit at the Lake

Will's brother Robert and his family spent last weekend at the lake while we were out of town.  We were so glad they were still there as we drove back into town.  We stopped by for a quick visit.

I was happy to hold sweet Eliza (10 weeks) while they packed up the car.

Amelia with Olivia and Eliza

A photo shoot with Amelia (she's SO funny!):




Grove Park Inn - Sunday

We packed up and left the Grove Park Inn pretty early on Sunday (at least it felt early compared to the rest of our week last week!).  We had told the kids we wanted to stop for a few quick hikes on our way home.  We ran into a little bit of rain (or 'mist' as Will kept telling the kids) on the way and I started to wonder if we were really going to be able to have our little outdoor adventure.

But, we pressed on ... and the sun finally came out.  First stop:  Looking Glass Falls in Pisgah National Forest.

Olivia wasn't interested in taking the steps to the bottom of the fall, so Will took our picture about half-way down.

On our way into Pisgah, we passed right by Dolly's Dairy Bar - the same Dolly's that Olivia went to at Rockbrook.  This pretty much counted as breakfast for the children because they did not eat what Will managed to carry back from the conference breakfast.  

After the ice cream stop, we made one more stop at Hooker Falls in Dupont State Forest.  It was a short hike - maybe 10 minutes, only because McIver was distracted by all of the little side trails and skipping rocks.  Olivia wanted to try to pose so it looks like she's holding up the falls.

Like I said, McIver loved all the side trails and just being able to wander at his own pace.

On the way back to the car.

This did my heart good.  I so wanted to slow down to join their conversation and see what they were discussing.  But, I'm smart enough to know that may have ruined the moment.  So, I just stopped and took their picture, then waited for them to catch up to me.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Grove Park Inn - Saturday

The hotel was far too big (and the conference breakfast waaayyyy too far away) for Will to bring us breakfast, so we ordered room service for Saturday morning.  Will and I felt sure the kids would love the excitement of having the room service table wheeled right into the room.  Too bad they were both still sound asleep!  They still weren't all that excited even after they woke up.  We thought it was a nice spread.

We had lunch (and an ice cream sundae bar) with the conference on one of the balconies looking out over Ashville.  It was a beautiful setting.  Once McIver realized there were steps all the way down, he took off.  I managed to catch a few shots of him with Ashville in the background.

Olivia and McIver were very interested in the spa that they kept hearing about.  They couldn't understand why in the world you have to be 18 years old in order to go to the spa.  "It's just not fair!"  So, I walked them down to see what all the fuss was about.  We found a very cool fountain just across from the entrance to the spa.  I explained that the sound of water is supposed to be very relaxing and calming for the folks who were paying (a VERY lot of money) to be there.  So, they immediately started seeing how loudly they could be quiet.  "Is THIS too loud mom?"

There was also a cool fountain outside the spa.

We climbed up ALL the stairs and snapped one last picture before heading back to the pool.

Will and I tagged along with a group from Greenville to The Corner Kitchen in Biltmore Village.  We had a great grown-up night out and left the children with a babysitter from the hotel.  They kids loved her from the moment she stepped in the room and had a great time with her.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

McIver's 1st day of 1st grade

McIver was pretty excited to start 1st grade.  There wasn't nearly as much build-up, though, as he had for kindergarten.  No new student orientation or home visit from his teacher.  But, he was glad to get the postcard last week with his class assignment.  We had seen Mrs. SuSu at The Pig over the summer, so he knew exactly who she was and he was EXCITED!

It turns out that Mrs. Hancock, McIver's associate teacher, owns Tex's sister.  McIver was thrilled to already have an 'in' with her and took her into the hallway this morning to confirm what I had told him.  He also told me he was 'pretty sure I found the thinking chair' out there.  Mrs. Hancock assured him that he won't have to spend much time there.  Little does she know...

McIver's first homework assignment is a "Me Bag."  He's supposed to choose three (and ONLY 3!) items that fit into the bag and bring them to school to share with the class.  Since he has lost a lot of teeth lately, he wrote this note to the ToothFairy:
Please bring my teeth back.

Olivia's 1st day of 3rd grade

It's so hard to believe that we're starting our second year in Columbia.  This is the second round of 1st Day of School pictures we have taken on our front steps.  

Tex was over the photo shoot by this point.

My attempt at not embarrassing Olivia by taking too many pictures.  She was so glad to be at a table with her good friend Maggie and two other friends from her 2nd grade class.  I think I restrained myself pretty well - I didn't even ask them to pose for me.

Today was a little bittersweet for me.  My absolute favorite teacher has always been Mary Louise Dukes, my 3rd grade teacher.  She was THE BEST - her granddaughter, Angie, and I were friends from both church and school.  Mrs. Dukes let us go to school with her for in-service to help set up her room, decorate her bulletin boards and get her classroom organized.   I learned today that Mrs. Dukes died and it has broken my heart.  She has been on my mind so much lately with Olivia starting 3rd grade.  I have such high hopes for Olivia this year and pray that she loves third grade as much as I did.  God has a new angel in Heaven tonight and I'm sure she's up there watching over all of the children who are starting school this week.

Grove Park Inn - Friday

Will went to a few of the conference sessions on Friday morning and played golf in the afternoon so the children and I just took it easy.  We had a lazy morning in the hotel room and then went into town to a little bakery we saw on our way in to get some breakfast.  Afterwards, we met the hotel shuttle for a ride to the indoor pool.

McIver made himself at home on the front porch waiting for the shuttle.

The indoor pool was great - we had it all to ourselves for a good little while.  Then some older women came in to swim laps and made the children (and me) feel a little self-conscious about the loud laughing and having fun.  Apparently, swimming laps is serious business!

We had lunch at the outdoor pool, then got ready for a ride to Claxton Farms just outside of Ashville.  The event was organized by the SC OBGYN Society and was very kid-friendly.  They had frisbees, footballs, animals, tractors and good food.  The kids also had complete and total access to a soft drinks and took total advantage.  

Here's Olivia with Kaitlyn (the 4 year old in the middle) and another friend.  Kait is the daughter of a friend from Greenville.  She did not mind at all being the center of attention for 2 almost 9 year olds.

McIver immediately joined the big kids in the field playing football.  He was really hot and sweaty by the time the fire pit was ready for s'mores.

Will and I had so much fun catching up with old friends.  

Tiffany was in Will's residency class.  We did not throw the football one single time, but somehow managed to have it for a picture.

Anderson, Tiffany's husband, is a great friend.  They have a two year old little boy who was at home in Greenville for the weekend.  They also got a sneak peek into their life in four years thanks to McIver and his antics.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Grove Park Inn

The SC OBGYN Society meeting was held at The Grove Park Inn in Ashville, NC last weekend.  After almost a week at the beach, the children and I drove from St. Simons to Columbia on Thursday morning.  We unpacked, repacked and waited for Will to get home so we could head to the mountains together.  The kids were troopers - they spent seven hours in the car on Thursday!

The lobby of the Grove Park Inn was beautiful.  Olivia and McIver couldn't believe the size of the fireplace!  The hotel staff told us that they don't light the fire until the outside temperature drops to 50 degrees.  It's a good thing - it was hot and steamy in the lobby, even with the doors open and no fire.

McIver was intrigued by all of the sayings written/etched into the stones around the fireplace.  He kept asking for us to read them, but some were philosophies that were a little above his (and my!) head.

Once we checked in and got settled, we took the shuttle to the hotel's outdoor pool.  Olivia and McIver swam for just a little while to get out some of that pent up energy from being in the car most of the day.  Then, we found a restaurant in the hotel to grab a quick bite to eat.  Turned out that dinner wasn't too quick so we ended up just going to bed after dinner.  Olivia knew that she was NOT going to be sleeping with McIver after her experience at the Francis Marion, so she was thrilled when she saw that Will had ordered a roll-away for her.  We all got a good night's sleep and were ready for a fun day on Friday.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

St. Simons - Wednesday

We went down to the Village with Pop on Wednesday morning.  Olivia and McIver didn't really remember what it was like.  McIver was most interested in the shell shop where he found some 'treasure coins.'

They also played in the bubbles.  Every child who walks through the village is drawn to that bowl of bubble juice.  I'm pretty sure I have this exact picture from when Olivia was 4 and McIver was 2.

Olivia barely humored me to take this picture, but I got it.  

The lighthouse ... I couldn't convince the kids to climb to the top with me so we'll have that on our list for next time.

Of course, McIver struck up a conversation with a little boy fishing.  He told us he had caught at bull shark earlier that morning.  He even let McIver try to reel something in.

The only way to get McIver off the pier was to promise ice cream at ZuZu's.  The last time we were in St. Simons, we rode bikes to the Village and stopped at this same shop for ice cream.  When we walked out, Grandma Myrtle and Bob just happened to be pulling up.  We had no idea they were there, but had a good visit with them.  (I think that was before I started blogging, so I don't have any pictures handy.)


Didn't realize it, but the kids had a photo shoot in Nanoo & Pop's bathroom.  Apparently, they were impressed with the huge bathtub.

Interesting pose.

Cacoo tried to teach the kids how to find sand dollars.  We decided the tide was probably too high, though.

So, we came up with a game of "Sand Beach Golf" with a golf ball that we found in Nanoo's bag of beach toys.

For some reason, McIver was really interested in getting ALL the sand off his body before sitting down for a picnic.

Thursday morning:  Waking Cacoo up to say good-bye.