Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fall Break: Mamoo's Birthday

Mamoo turned 92 last Monday.  Since we didn't have school, we were able to stop by for a visit without being rushed to get home and do homework or get to bed.  

The kids each made Mamoo a special birthday card.  I had to convince them both to put a little more effort into their cards, and they were both rewarded with genuine appreciation from Mamoo.  She asked all kinds of questions about their cards (who was in the picture, who thought out what to say, etc.) so Olivia and McIver both knew that their extra effort was appreciated.  

McIver took some of his new toys over to show Mamoo.  The weather was great so we sat out on her porch for a good part of the visit.

After our visit with Mamoo, we got haircuts for the kids, then went home to make some scarecrows for our front porch.

The fact that Olivia had outgrown her Hannah Montana t-shirt was tempered by the fact that she could use the shirt on her scarecrow.

McIver with his scarecrow.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

McIver's Birthday at School

This is what McIver was doing when I walked into his class to celebrate his birthday.  Big surprise!

He was super excited to share a cookie cake with the Marvelous Mallards.

Each Marvelous Mallard sits in the Birthday Chair while the class sings Happy Birthday.  McIver didn't mind being the center of attention at all!

Fall Break: Eliza's Baptism

We were about 45 minutes early (EARLY!) to church the morning of Eliza's baptism so I took Olivia and McIver to the playground to kill some time.  We found the sweetest, fluffiest, friendliest kitty.  He (she?) followed the children around the playground - we just couldn't help loving on him.  Later, when we were in the church nursery, they told us that he has sneaked into the church a time or two.

I've said it before, but Olivia just couldn't have been sweeter with Eliza.  She was so excited to help get her dressed before the service started.  She also sat right next to GranGran, who was holding Eliza, during church to help in whatever way she could.

Kelli and Ginny put together a beautiful luncheon at the Creek House after the baptism.  The house was overflowing with people in the best way.  The weather was great so the door to the porch was open and we had a gorgeous view of the creek.  I didn't get any pictures of the spread or the beautiful flowers but can assure you that it was wonderful.

After some of the crowd thinned out, we tried to get a picture of the six grands.  It wasn't easy, and this is one of the better pictures.  Between my camera, Uncle Lane's, Ginny and Kelli's camera, we probably have 100 pictures of this group.  Eliza had been sound asleep in my arms and was not at all happy with being transferred to Olivia's.  Olivia was the most calm through the whole ordeal, though.  

Things got really quiet after the photo shoot.  I found the girls upstairs enjoying some downtime and watching a Barbie movie together. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall Break: Mac's Birthday Dinner

Eliza doesn't look too happy, but McIver was so excited to get to hold her again.  She's such a sweet little girl.  I loved every second that I spent holding her, too!

GranGran treated McIver to the best birthday cupcakes ever.

Silly girls with messy faces.

Fall Break: Brookgreen Gardens

We had a great day at the Fall Festival at Brookgreen Gardens.  The weather could not have been better.

Everyone selected a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch and painted it.

Face painting is always a hit.  McIver chose a skull and crossbones and a bat.

Olivia chose a bat.

Amelia was very proud of her ghost.

Jumping from the giant piles of hay was super fun!

Once we had our fill of the festival area, we took the shuttle over to the zoo.  Olivia was so sweet walking around with Amelia.  They never left each other's side.  

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fall Break: Saturday

It didn't take McIver long to remember that Saturday was his birthday. We had a super-fun and super-busy day.
The day started with GranGran's pancakes.

Olivia went shopping with me while GranDaddy and McIver got started crabbing on the dock.  It's hard to believe that this was their first time.  By the time Olivia and I got to the dock, they had quite a few crabs in the bucket.  Olivia was a bit hesitant (read: freaked out!) by the crabs initially, but she eventually warmed up and started pulling in the strings.
Checking out their catch.
McIver was ALL ABOUT watching GranDaddy prepare the crabs for picking.  He was especially proud to hold the crab claw.  It took quite a bit of convincing to get him to understand that I was not going to let him take the claw back to school to show his teachers.
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fall Break at The Creek House

We had early dismissal at school on Friday.  After a quick stop by our house to pack up the car, the children and I hit the road for Murrells Inlet to spend the weekend with GranGran and GranDaddy.  Will didn't come because he had already committed to being one of the team captains for a golf tournament in Columbia.  Anyway, we were so glad to be able to make the trip this particular weekend because Eliza was baptized on Sunday.
Olivia could not wait to hold Baby Eliza.
McIver had a turn, too.
We also celebrated Olivia, McIver and GranGran's birthdays.  
McIver loves to climb the columns in the creek house.  I'm sure it won't be long before he teaches the younger cousins how to do it, too.

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Julia Comes to Town!

Julia, one of Olivia's Greenville friends, was in Columbia last week for a school field trip.  Her mom, Marina, worked it out so that they could stop by our house for a quick visit.  We were so glad to see them!

Julia gave Olivia a poster full of pictures from the Miley concert last November.

The girls had a quick snack, played in Olivia's room and decorated our front step with spider webs.

All four of us.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Olivia's Writing Workshop

Olivia had a unique opportunity at school last week.  Her class had a writing workshop with Brian P. Cleary, a visiting author who spent two days at the school.   His books and poetry introduce and explain parts of speech to young readers in a really funny and engaging way.  We bought two of his books (which he also signed) and they're just really good, silly reads.

During the writing workshop in Olivia's class, he gave students a word and then asked them to write about the word using their senses.  I loved what Olivia wrote about her word:  JOY

1. Joy sounds like my cousins playing tag on the golf course.
2.  Joy tastes like a pizza cooked with extra cheese.
3.  Joy feels like my mom giving me a hug at night before she goes to sleep.
4.  Joy looks like my wonderful dog playing soccer with me before dinner.
5.  Joy smells like my mom's chicken pie right out of the oven.

(Maybe I love it so much because I get such good reviews!)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dinner with the Isemans

The Isemans invited us over for dinner last weekend.  Since Will is a pro at fondue now, we offered to bring the dessert.  Morgan and Mary Frances had never had fondue before, but it didn't take them long to get the hang of it!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Columbia's Animal Mission

Rather than ask her friends to bring gifts to her birthday, Olivia asked them to bring puppy food to donate to the animal shelter.  We were finally able to find a time to go last week.  Of course, we also wanted to meet the benefactors of Olivia's good deed.

After a quick walk through the dog pens, we headed into the cat rooms.  We were not allowed to pet the dogs, but the woman at the desk encouraged us to interact with the cats.  It didn't take much convincing.  once we walked in a room, they just started to swarm.  There are 6-8 cats in each room at a time so that they can get acquainted.  Olivia found a friend right away.

Since we stopped by on our way home from school, our carpool buddy was able to join us.  He was a fan of the cats, too.

We also went into the cat playroom.  There were lots of interesting things for the cats to play with, climb on and windows to stare out of.

And, we managed to leave all the animals at the shelter with the promise that we will come back to love on them every once in a while.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

PEAK Outdoors

McIver is part of the PEAK Outdoors Adventure Club which meets most Tuesdays after school.  So far, they have been canoeing in the pond at school and in the Congaree River.  McIver told me he 'doesn't just like it; I LOVE it!!'  And, he does.  But, I think this week's adventure on the Alpine Tower at school was his favorite activity to date.  Olivia and I were hanging out at school and decided to venture over to the ropes course to see if we could catch him in action.  I'm glad he was already on the tower when we got there.  I might have been more nervous if I had had to watch him get in the harness and get started.

Instead, he was already on his way up...

He had all the lingo down already - "I need some more rope; give me some slack, please."  Here he is maneuvering over to the swinging log.

On his way down - so glad they had on helmets.  He almost knocked himself out on that log.

After taking a quick break to give others a turn, McIver went up a different way - all the way to the very top.  He made it to the top three times and loved the view.  From what I could gather listening to the upper school students who were helping, McIver was one of the more adept climbers in the group (which was not a huge shock to me!!).

Taking a break on his way down from the top.

Just a shot of the entire tower to give some perspective on just how tall it is.  I had a hard time getting the whole thing in one picture.  Note how high the swinging log is from the ground.  

PEAK stands for Pursuit of Environmental Adventure and Knowledge.   As students grow, they have camping trips both on and off-campus, hiking, biking and more.   McIver may have just found his niche at school.  He already can't wait for the Adventure Swing next week!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Celebrating Dad's birthday with his favorite ice cream from Baskin-Robins:
mint chocolate chip.