Thursday, March 31, 2011

Olivia's Biography Report: QE1

Olivia had her 3rd grade biography report earlier this week.  She studied Queen Elizabeth 1 and took her study very seriously.  She decided to serve 'tea' to her classmates while she gave her report.  Since she wasn't sure everyone would like tea, she asked if she could bring in lemonade instead to go along with her lemon-glazed scones.  (I'm not sure that QE1 actually served scones - she certainly wouldn't have made them herself - but Olivia was excited so we went with it.)

Zesting the lemon.

Mixing the dough.

Giving her report to the class.  She had notecards and a 'fast facts' info sheet displayed on the smart board.  The dress was Cacoo's when she did a biography report on Princess Diana when she was in 3rd grade (Cacoo, not Diana).

To Olivia's credit - she practiced her report for me a few times yesterday while the scones were baking.  When I suggested that she might try telling QE's story in chronological order rather than jumping all over the place, she ran to get some new notecards and rewrote her entire report.  So proud of my girl!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Unpacking at Lake Murray

When Will's parents started renting out the lake house, Mamoo and Papa packed up all of their personal items and have kept them in their attic.  Now that the renters have moved all of their belongings out, we have moved some boxes out of Mamoo's attic and back up to the lake.  Last weekend was the first chance we've had to get up to the lake to get them unpacked and see what we've got.  Here are a few of our finds...

This awesome guacamole and chip platter complete with the recipe.

A Hamilton Beach "Drinkmaster."

The Dazey Sharpit knife sharpener.

A percolator (which we have NO idea how to use).

Olivia invited two friends to spend the night with us since McIver was busy at the 1st grade camp out at school (in the POURING rain!).  You can see from the wallpaper, that the appliances pictured above go right along with the decor of the house.

Some Greco-Roman glasses (I LOVE these!).

They even packed up some cleaning and baking supplies.

I wonder if I could sell some of these items to the set design crew for Mad Men!?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Celebrating RIBBIT at Chuck E. Cheese

As per my promise, McIver was able to invite a friend to join us for dinner at Chuck E. Cheese Friday night to celebrate him earning RIBBIT.  They played for a little while at our house after school, then we headed right into afternoon traffic to get to Chuck E. Cheese.

It's safe to say that everyone had a great time!

I couldn't very well make Olivia go by herself, so she invited a friend, too.  Thankfully, it didn't occur to McIver that he wasn't invited to join Olivia for her RIBBIT celebration at the salon.

McIver told anyone who would listen that he had earned RIBBIT and we were there to celebrate.

Mac found someone to play a game for him which got him lots of extra tickets.  He ended up with almost 250 tickets, twice what anyone else had, so he 'bought' prizes to share with everyone. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Celebrating RIBBIT with Dad

Will had last Friday off from work so he offered to take the kids to breakfast to celebrate McIver earning RIBBIT last week.  The kids thought it was great to just get out of bed, get dressed and head out to a restaurant.  Olivia wasn't so sure she would like The Original Pancake House, but how could you go wrong with 15 different pancake choices!?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Soccer season has begun!

Olivia's soccer season has begun!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

McIver celebrating RIBBIT

McIver FINALLY earned RIBBIT yesterday!!  He called me from the Lower School office and told me it was time to plan our celebratory trip to Chuck E. Cheese.  When I asked him why, he reported that he had "answered every RIBBIT question (addition facts up to 9) and didn't even miss a single one."  For whatver reason, he had been nervous to go to the principal's office to try for RIBBIT.  I've quizzed him all school year and he has done so many pages of addition problems that I can't even count them.  I ran into his teacher last week and asked her what the deal was.  She assured me that he was ready, but she wasn't going to force him to go until he was ready.  Yesterday, he took the initiative and told her he was ready to go for it.

We went to CEC quite often in Houston because it was relatively convenient.  But, we have not been once since moving to Columbia because it is just too far away so that seemed like a good incentive.  McIver has invited a friend to come home from school with us on Friday and we'll head out there for an early dinner.

Pictures to follow!

Brownie Trip to Great Wolf Lodge

Olivia's Brownie troop went to the Great Wolf Lodge, a hotel with a giant indoor water park, just outside of Charlotte for an overnight trip last weekend.  (McIver STILL doesn't know that's where we went; he just thinks we went to a hotel that may or may not have an indoor pool.)  There were 17 Brownies and 17 moms on the trip and we had a blast.  Olivia and 7 other 3rd graders had so much fun racing around and riding the giant slides.  The Howling Tornado (which they described as a 'toilet flushing') was the overwhelming favorite.

In the wave pool.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lincoln Logs

We had a no TV rule in effect last week, so McIver occupied himself with Lincoln Logs.  He was quite pleased with his creation, as evidenced by his willingness to strike a pose...

and another.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


McIver is having a pretty good time playing baseball this Spring.  His team is 3-0 so that helps!  They've won their games by a pretty wide margin thanks to some really good second graders.  Last night's score was 17-7.  McIver got 2 hits and scored 2 runs (after having his entire bench and everyone in the stands yelling at him to go back and touch home plate!).  Needless to say, he was pretty pleased with himself.  We just need to work on dug-out etiquette, namely, keeping your hands to yourself.

McIver likes getting geared up to play catcher...

... but he's not super good at stopping the ball.  

This shot actually makes it look like he's trying to stop the pitch, but he usually leans out of the way and lets the umpire take care of getting the ball back to the pitcher.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Celebrating RIBBIT

Each student in the Lower School has to earn RIBBIT by demonstrating that they know their math facts in front of the LS principal.  In an effort to motivate McIver who has to know his addition facts, I promised him a trip to Chuck E. Cheese when he earns RIBBIT.  Even though he knows the facts very well, he gets tongue-tied when it comes to answering the problems out loud.  Olivia earned RIBBIT on Thursday by answering multiplication problems.  She had been practicing out loud with me and playing games both on the computer and on her iTouch.  She was SO proud of herself and called me from school to give me the good news.  After she told me she got RIBBIT, she immediately said, "So what do I get!?"  

We had not come up with an incentive for her yet, so she took some time to think about it and decided that a 'mom and me' day with a friend was what she wanted.  So, she had a friend spend the night Friday night and I took them to get 'princess pedicures' on Saturday morning, followed by lunch at Hooligan's.

Emma Lea is in Olivia's class and had earned RIBBIT the same day, so it was a fun reward for both of them.  They even took their American Girl dolls along for the ride.

Waiting for their appointment time.  Good thing they both had their iTouches to kill the few minutes they had to wait.

The massage chairs (and the remote control) were a big hit.

It didn't take long for them to decide that O Magazine wasn't for them.  Olivia tried to look at a Glamour magazine but I snatched it out of her hands before she could ask me what some of the headlines meant!

Drying their nails under the ultraviolet lights.

Showing off their pedicures.  They chose the same base color but each got a different flower on the big toes.

Lunch afterwards at Hooligans.  Emma Lea's mom met us there so it was a fun last-minute lunch date for all of us.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Dinner with Mamoo, GranDaddy & Uncle Bobby

GranDaddy came to town last Thursday night to spend some time with Mamoo.  Will took the kids to meet them for dinner at Bonefish Grill.  I think they have a special booth there reserved for Mamoo ... it's her FAVorite place!  Jimmy's brother Bobby was also in town and joined them for dinner.  I visited for a few minutes (and took a few pictures) before meeting my 2.5 tennis team ("Sets in the City") for dinner across the dining room.

Not sure where my flash was for this picture of the kids with Uncle Bobby.

Good shot of Will, Jimmy and Mamoo.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Surprise Visit from Nanoo

Nanoo came for a quick surprise visit last week.  (Really, she needed to pick up the tiki hut she bought for the beach but it was as good an excuse as any!)  She was with me when I picked McIver up at carpool - his eyes just about bugged out of his head when he saw her!  Then, we went back out to school to pick up Olivia from Brownies.  It took a good minute for Nanoo's presence to register, but then she was so excited!

Olivia loved showing off her cake to Nanoo.

McIver let Nanoo help him study his spelling words.

Dinner at Cantina 76 - Nanoo's favorite!

McIver gives Cantina 76 two thumbs up!

Saturday, March 5, 2011


We take our Girl Scout cookies very seriously around here!  Since Olivia and McIver each purchased their own boxes, Olivia wanted to make sure noone ate her cookies by writing her name on her packages.

McIver was a little more willing to share his cookies than Olivia was.

At the Brownie meeting last week, the girls learned about cake decorating.  Olivia was very proud of hers, but not too proud to eat it all up!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Big Canoe - Winter Break

Saturday morning mani/pedis while the dads played golf.

Olivia & Maggie were not happy about going to the playground - they had planned to stay in their PJs all day long but we made them get dressed.  Such mean moms!  Anyway, they recovered and ended up having a good time.  We climbed the giant hill across the street from the playground and headed to the lake.

McIver LOVED climbing the hill and then running and rolling back down.

We found a giant stick so everyone did the limbo.

Never mind the bar set-up, check out all of the sprinkles we had to make a 'love train' for Valentine's day.  Will's godparents gave us a train-shaped cake pan a few years ago for Christmas.  It makes nine different 'cars' so each child was able to decorate her (or his) own train with frosting, icing, M&Ms and sprinkles galore.

Cake decorating is serious business.
Almost finished...

McIver got in on the action, too.

Fun with icing.

McIver channeled Hugh Hefner and ate his dessert in his bathrobe.

I'd say the love train was a big hit (and kept everyone occupied for a good little while in the afternoon).

Will challenged the dads to have one of their big toenails painted.  The dad who has the most polish left when we get together at the end of the school year wins bragging rights.  Olivia & Maggie thought the idea was just hilarious and were beyond eager to get to the daddy pedis.

Fun times...