Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lake Murray

We rode out to Bomb Island to watch the purple martins roost on Saturday night.

Olivia feeding Tex a few boiled peanuts.  I'm surprised she was willing to share!

Once we anchored at Bomb Island, McIver said he was going to 'captain and look out for the purple martins.'

This was the first time in a while that Olivia hasn't had a friend go to the lake with her.  It was nice to see the kids getting along, entertaining each other and having fun together.

In the water with Dad.

Tex just couldn't stand it... he ran all around the boat following Will and the kids until Will finally agreed to let him get in the water.  The only hard part, which really isn't that hard anymore, is getting Tex back in the boat.  He's getting used to being pulled up by the scruff of his neck.

We enjoyed the beautiful sunset as we watched the purple martins come to the island.

It is amazing to watch all these birds fly to the island.  We wondered if the first ones to arrive get there early to get their favorite spot in the trees.

Olivia drove home while Mac relaxed with Dad.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Trip Down Memory Lane & New Neighbor

I started babysitting for the Ruffin boys way back when I was about 13 years old.  Actually, when I met them, they had just one little boy, Chase.  It wasn't long before they had two more sons, William and Ben.  I remember taking William to the hospital 18 years ago to meet his little brother, Ben.  Ben's 18th birthday was Saturday and that made me feel OLD!  Patti and the boys were in Columbia for her nephew's wedding and we were able to have a quick visit.  Chase and William handed out the Order of Service at our wedding.  They were old enough to wear tuxedos - and even had toy guns because they felt like James Bond.  (This was most definitely pre-9/11!)  Little Ben was the ring bearer and was m-a-d that he was forced to wear 'pretty clothes' - he was 5 years old.  He said he still remembers being embarrassed by his outfit that day!

After my visit with the Ruffins, I packed up to meet Will and the kids at the lake.  Saw this cute little bunny as I was backing out of the driveway.  He was a being a good little neighbor because he wasn't snacking on our vincas and black-eyed susans!  

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fathers Day Revisited

Olivia was so glad to see her daddy when he got home from work on Thursday.    Even thought she wasn't home for Fathers Day, she was thinking of him and had a few hand-made gifts for him from her pottery class at camp.  GranGran and GranDaddy were passing through town and offered to take us to dinner so Olivia wanted to give the gifts to Will when they could see, too.

A Clemson tiger paw... very fragile.

She also made a #1 DAD box for him to keep on his desk at work.

Quick picture with GranGran and GranDaddy before they headed to the lake for the night.

We knew there was a bird's nest in our newspaper box under our mailbox.  But, when we peeked in after we got home from dinner, we heard chirping.  McIver ran to get a flashlight and we saw the baby bird sticking his beak up and opening it waiting for his mama to bring him some food.  He was so tiny and fluffy and cute!  Can't really see him in there, but it's a very fine nest.

Friday, June 24, 2011

She's home!!!

Mac and I left at 6:09 this morning (not too late! but not at 6am like I promised her we would) to drive to Brevard to pick Olivia up from camp.  I didn't get any pictures of her at camp with all her buddies because it was POURING rain when we arrived.  The check-out process went much more smoothly than I anticipated - pick up Olivia and her 'carry-on' luggage, drive to covered area to pick up trunk and duffle bag, drive to the bottom field to pay camp store fee (my thrifty girl didn't spend a dime!), pick up the cabin photo and sign up for next summer (which we did!).

We made a quick stop by Dolly's Ice Cream Bar because that's just what you do, despite the fact that it wasn't even 10:00 yet.  Ran into Olivia's friend and cabin-mate and her family and snapped one quick picture.  (They're so sweet to put up with me!)

(This sweet smile didn't last long; about five minutes later, his ice cream fell off the cone.  Bummer!)

State Museum

With just a few more days before Olivia came home, I asked McIver what he'd like to do that Olivia might not like to do.  (Last year we went to the zoo; SO glad he didn't ask for that since our high temps last week were in the low 100s.)  Anyway, he asked to take a friend to the State Museum.  I didn't get many pictures because the special exhibit this time was Animal Grossology and it was interesting enough that I was checking out the exhibit rather than taking pictures.

McIver trying to guess what gross thing is inside the box.  

Monday, June 20, 2011

Fathers' Day 2011/ Camp Gravatt Pick-Up

Other than picking McIver up from Camp Gravatt, Will had a pretty uneventful Fathers Day.

McIver was only a little bit glad to see us.  He had a great time at camp and told me he wished "it was still Monday so he could still go to camp."  The first 30 minutes of our car ride home was just McIver's stream of consciousness talking about anything and everything at camp.  He assured me that he took three showers - whether or not he used shampoo and soap is up for debate.  He admitted that there were two nights that he forgot to brush his teeth, but said he brushed them twice the next morning.  He was responsible for packing up his trunk and it seems that the only thing missing is his bath towel and maybe a pair of shorts.  Not bad for a seven year old!

Saying good-bye to his Cabin 1 friends (who we will probably run into around town soon!)

He just HAD to show us the dining hall where he told us about being a 'cruiser,' one of the kids who brings the food to the tables.  He said the food was great and he ate everything.

Zombie Night was his favorite.

We stopped by the house to pick up Tex and spend the afternoon/night at the lake.  McIver was pretty wiped out and spent the day doing whatever he wanted which involved a great deal of television and some time next door talking the neighbors' ears off about Pokemon cards.  At one point, he decided he wanted to know exactly how many cards he has.

Grand total: 598 cards

We found the Pawleys Porch truck at the Lake Murray Marina and had a delicious hamburger for lunch.  (Can't wait to take the Stricklins there when they visit next month!!)  I took him for a spin on the inner tube and then we settled in to watch Rory win the US Open and the Gamecocks pull out a win over Texas A&M.

Friday, June 17, 2011

2nd Letter from Olivia

"Dear Mom,
So far I have eaten every single meal.
My first 4 activities are games, horseback, dance and climbing.  I have not played Blink (a card game we sent for quiet/rest period) with anyone yet.  Oh yeah I pasted (passed?) the swim test so I get to go on the water slide.
June 13, 2011
Love you 
- Olivia
PS:  I am going to do the water slide at 5:15 today."

Oh, it does my heart good to know that she's been having so much fun.  Here are a few pictures I've been able to see of her from the Rockbrook site.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

First letter from Olivia!!!

Dear Mom,
I am having the greatest time so far.  For lunch I didn't have peanut butter I had a biscut and sausage.  Lindsey and Rhiana are really nice to me. (up - sending me to the top of the notecard :) The people in my side of the cabin are really funny and nice.  There names are Olivia (really!?), Kit, Sarah Jane and Kate.
your daughter,


On the town in Augusta

After dropping McIver off at camp in Aiken, I drove 20 more minutes to spend the night with Ashley in Augusta.  We played with Helen for a little while.  She is a CHARACTER!!  She's such a little chatterbox - repeats everything she hears and recites her favorite books.

Then Ashley and I had a fun night out at Bistro 491 and Takosushi.  Yum!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Camp Gravatt Drop-Off

McIver was SO EXCITED about going to Camp Gravatt yesterday.  Once we passed through the gates and found a place to park, McIver wanted to have his picture taken with the Camp Gravatt sign.

We made a special stop by the lake on the way home from Rockbrook to pick up McIver's fishing rod.

After checking in, getting his tent assignment and putting money in his canteen account, McIver headed off with one of his counselors to his cabin.  (And didn't look back once to see whether or not I was following him.)

I drove the car over to the cabin so that we could unload the trunk and just had to take a picture of "the blob."  McIver couldn't wait to take his swim test so he could hit the blob.  I was glad to find out that there weren't age restrictions.  If there had been, I would NOT have been the one to break that news to him!

All set up in his bunk (with a mouth full of gum).  We were told to pack a blanket and sleeping bag, but I'm not convinced that he'll need either.  It was so stinkin' hot in that cabin!

This is one of the 'tent cabins' that most of the campers stay in.  McIver's cabin seemed to be newer, though.  I'm thinking the tent cabin might be better, though, because if a breeze were to come through, these kids will be able to enjoy it.  Seriously, though, that is rustic!

Happy Campers!  This little guy was on McIver's baseball team.  We weren't sure if they would be in the same cabin but were so glad to find out that they are.  There are also several other boys from Columbia in his cabin (the son of one of my tennis teammates, too).  They go to all different schools (and are rising 1st and 2nd graders) and have played on different sports teams together.  They were a really cute bunch of kids and all looked like they were ready to have a great time at camp.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Rockrook Camp Drop-Off

We woke up early enough on Sunday morning to leave the house by 6am.  Olivia and Kit wanted to get to camp 'first thing.'  The drive up was relatively easy and uneventful.  One we unloaded the trunks and got the girls checked in, we stopped by the mail slots to see if they had mailing waiting.

Olivia had two letters - one from Cacoo and one from Aunt Jane.  She decided to wait until the normal mail time - after lunch - to open her mail.  I'm glad she'll have something to do to keep her busy during her first rest period (when she wrote the "I hate camp" letter last year).

Kit had a letter waiting on her, too.

Olivia had fun getting her bed made and her bunk all set up.  She loves those zebra print sheets that she picked out (and paid for!) all on her own.

We were shocked to find out that their cabin-mates are from Houston.  Lupe's, anyone!?  The girl in the middle is their counselor.  She was amazing!   Lyndsey is outgoing and easy to talk to (for both the mamas and the girls!).

McIver was a trooper all day!  He went with the flow all day long (starting at 5:40am).  He noticed this tree and its roots on our walk back to the car and he wanted to have his picture taken with it.  He was sure that a snake would live under those roots.  That shoe box that he's holding is full of Pokemon cards that kept him occupied while I helped get the girls settled.

Now, it's his turn to get to go to camp!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Lake with the Pritchetts

Finally!  After almost two years living just over an hour way, we had a visit with the Pritchetts in Columbia.  Will took Mark to play golf while Ashley and I took the kids to the pool.  Sweet Helen loved having Olivia's undivided attention and going back and forth from the big pool to the baby pool.  I loved the chance to visit with Ashley and just hang out.

After lunch, we took the kids out to the lake for the afternoon.  The dads met us out there after golf.  Helen loved floating around in the lake.  We took a little boat cruise.  Does Will look relaxed, or what!?

Helen Randall loved sitting up front with me.

Not so much a fan of driving the boat, though.

She had a big day.  Poor thing, she hung in there as best she could, but managed to stay awake for dinner before completely crashing for the night.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend - part 3

McIver wanted to feed the fish in the lake so we packed him a ziploc bag full of bread from various packages we had brought for the weekend so he could do a little experiment.  He's convinced he saw a large-mouth bass (which he called a "big mouth bass") and just knew it would like the rye bread.  It only took McIver, Andrew and Julia about 5 minutes to unload all the bread.

It didn't take long for Olivia and Maggie to get in the pool.

On their way from the pool/beach area over to the rock slide (after reminding me to bring my camera this time!).  I loved tagging along behind them and watching them talk with their hands even though I couldn't hear what they were saying.

I managed to get this shot of Olivia on the first part of the rock slide.

Then I hustled down to the very bottom so I could try to get a shot of her coming down the second part.

After feeding the fish, he decided he wanted to try to catch one.

McIver was all about this bridge and trail.  He thought he knew where it went, but...

...he was turned away.  Bummer!

Once the guys finished with golf, Will met us at the rock slide.  McIver tried it again and liked it this time.

Then we headed over to the Wildcat pool.  It was just us for a little while, then slowly, almost everyone joined us.

Love my Ash - and so glad that she and her family are coming to Columbia tomorrow!!