Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Brag Note from Mac's Teacher

According to McIver's first grade teachers, he 'has a lot to say' but needs to work on knowing when it's okay for him to speak and when he needs to wait and let other children have their turn.  This note came home last week from his second grade teacher.  Forward progress is a good thing!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Doughnuts with Dad (and a Shout-Out!)

Dad was off last Friday so he offered to take Olivia and McIver to school.  Of course, they stopped by the new Krispy Kreme on the way.  It's so unusual for him to be home in the morning, much less able to drive them to school, that we had to document with a picture.  He was able to walk them into the school and even met McIver's teacher.  (Apparently, Olivia didn't need him to go all the way to her classroom.)

Shout Out to our dear friend, Gay!  She's starting school today as a lead teacher and I'm so excited for and proud of her.  She's been working hard to earn her teacher certification and land a job in a new field and she did it.  Love you, Gay ... go get 'em today!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

And this is why we love the lake...

Will took McIver out fishing Sunday night in the back part of our cove.  I stopped cleaning and straightening the house long enough to go out and try to get a picture of them.  They were too far away and the sun was going down.  I couldn't help just sitting on the deck and enjoying this view.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

McIver's 1st Day of 2nd Grade

Even though McIver didn't exactly 'jump up' out of bed on the first day of school, he was happy when he did finally wake up.  He ate his breakfast and chatted about what his class must be like with nine (9!) boys and only five girls.  He got dressed, packed his snack and reading log for the summer in his backpack and happily posed for a few pictures.

(He was most definitely NOT posing for this picture!)

Since Dad was home, Mom made it into a first day of school picture.

He's in Mrs. McElveen's class.  She is the long-term sub for Mrs. Daniel who is out on maternity leave and will be back after Christmas.  Mrs. McElveen has two boys of her own which may explain the plethora of boys in her classroom.

McIver failed to return Mrs. SuSu's (his first grade teacher) copy of The Cat in the Hat last Spring so he was anxious to get it back to her today.  She welcomed him into her classroom and gave him a GIANT hug and a HUGE smile.  The day he found out who his teacher would be for 2nd grade, he told me he was excited, but that he would miss being a Marvelous Mallard.

How cute are his teachers!?  After school today (and after patiently waiting for Olivia to finish telling me all about how great her first day was), McIver told me that his teacher 'has the biggest smile at Heathwood!'  That's Mrs. McElveen on the right.  Mrs. Campbell is the associate teacher and will be with the Spectacular Starfish all year long.  When I mentioned to Mrs. McElveen the NINE boys in her class, she raised her eyebrows and said she had heard they were 'all pretty spunky, too.'  She assured me that she would be pretty tough on them all the first few weeks of school until they earn the right to some chatting in class.

McIver turned in his supply check and summer reading log (almost 1200 pages!), found his desk and got to work.

We're looking forward to a great second grade year.  It's a little bittersweet, though, because Olivia started second grade when we moved back to Columbia.  It's hard to believe that McIver is that old now!

Olivia's 1st Day of 4th Grade

Olivia had a great first day of school.  The teacher postcard came last week so she had a chance to get excited about being in Mr. Shirley's class and find out some of the friends who would be in there with her.

I played tennis Tuesday night and wasn't home to get everyone settled in for bed the night before the first day.  I was not at all surprised to see that Olivia had picked out her clothes for the big day and laid them out on the sofa in her room.

Will was actually at home this morning so we were able to snap a picture with Dad on the first day of school.  I thought that this was the first time he's been part of the first day of school photo shoot, but thanks to my trusty little blog (!), I was able to go back and see that the last time Will was in one of these pictures was Olivia's first day of first grade.  (She looks so little then!)

My sweet girl is almost as tall as I am!

Olivia with one of her teachers, Mr. Shirley.  Mrs. King is her associate teacher but she was busy with carline so I didn't get a picture of her.

There are so many sweet girls in Olivia's class ... lots of friends whose class she has never been in.

Fourth grade is going to be a great year.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Lake with Friends

At the very last minute, we invited two families to meet us at the lake for an afternoon/evening of jet skiing, fishing, boat-riding and floating.  They brought their children so we had a full house - four boys, three girls and three sets of parents.   The mamas, Katherine, Kim and I, play tennis together.  Kim and Katherine's sons were on the same baseball team last spring and McIver and Katherine's son are in the same class at school this year.  That's a convoluted way of saying some thought was put into who we invited (also serving as a lesson for Olivia who is entering a grade where I have heard girl-drama becomes an issue).

Little Ellie was in one of the classes that I subbed in a lot last year.  She's such a cutie ... and an adrenaline junkie.  She wanted the jetski to go faster and faster!

Who's having fun!?!?

Getting four boys to pose for a picture is IMPOSSIBLE!

Another attempt at a boys only picture ... on our way to see the purple martins.

My guy - can't believe he's going into second grade.

My sweet girl was a trooper.  We just flat out didn't have room for her to invite a friend her age to play with.  She spent her time with a riding 1st grader and an almost two year old little girl.  And, she loved it!  They thought Olivia hung the moon, which she was perfectly OK with, and she gave the parents a chance to take a deep breath and actually relax.

Yea!  The mamas managed to make it into a picture.  Doesn't happen often and may not be the best picture ever (see: windblown hair and no makeup), but we were having a blast and making memories!

We woke up to sunny skies and hit the dock for some fishing.

I didn't know that McIver knew how to take a fish off the hook.

Olivia took advantage of the opportunity to 'drive' the jetski.  (I usually won't let her sit in front of me because I can't really see around her.)

The Osbornes had to pack up and head to Aiken for their son's birthday celebration with family.  But, the Draffins were able to hang out into the afternoon.  We rode over to the Rusty Anchor to get lunch.  McIver and Walker took turns driving the boat.  (That would be Will's finger pointing McIver to go AROUND the buoy!)

Olivia and Ellie

Finally, a picture of Tex ... just because.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Let them eat cake!

McIver went to Macon with Nanoo and Pop for a few nights after our beach trip.  Olivia took full advantage of having the house to herself by inviting a friend over to spend the night.  They had the run of the house, including the kitchen.

Nanoo sent home a mini cake decorating kit with us so the girls gave it a whirl.  Decorating was the best part, of course!

Olivia is quite the baker/decorator, except for when she gets super silly and starts using her fingers to ice the cake.

The girls with their creations.

Believe it or not, she has actually eaten it over the course of the last few days.

Snug as a bug in a rug ... with lots of stuffed animal friends.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

St. Simons 2011

Last Day at the Beach:

Everyone else was still taking it easy so I got dressed and packed up a cooler, my book and a chair and headed to my new favorite spot on St. Simons ... the veeeeeery end of East Beach.  There are only a few parking spots so there's plenty of beach to go around.  It's also pretty rocky so there aren't too many families with young children down at this end, especially at high tide when it's too rocky to play.  I pretty much had it all to myself.

Then, Will and the kids came to find me.  Like I said, it was too rocky to play where I was so we moved down to the 6th street beach access closer to the house.    The waves were great for boogie boarding.

And building drip castles with huge bunkers around it to keep the tide from knocking it down.

Pop and Cacoo came to join us for a while.

Then, per our typical afternoon, once we were done on the beach, we hit the pool for a little while.  Catherine's sweet puppy, Sam, loves to swim almost as much as Tex.

Then, after dinner, Olivia decorated the basement room so that we could surprise Cacoo and Pop with a little birthday celebration (late for Cacoo and early for Pop).

Tex was sad that his time in St. Simons had to come to an end ... but I think he's glad not to have to share the attention of three other dogs, too.

Monday, August 8, 2011

St. Simons 2011

Day:  I can't even remember because it has been so relaxing and wonderful!

Will started his days with coffee and the Vegas, Baby! puzzle.  Believe it or not, I didn't, it was actually finished by the end of the week.  (Well, all except for one piece that may or may not have ended up stuck to Marley's drool.)

Here's Olivia working on the 'kid puzzle' with some help from Marley.  

We spent Thursday at Summer Waves on Jekyll Island.  The kids had been looking forward to taking Will there ever since we went to the beach without him last year.  

McIver loved having Will dump him out of the inner tube in the "Frantic Atlantic" wave pool.

We had dinner at one of Pop's favorite places ... Frederica House, then took the dogs (some of them!) to the beach.  Olivia and McIver humored me with one more shot.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

St. Simons 2011

Day Four: Our very own Shark Week

We met our captain, Jaybird, at one of the small docks near the marina on St. Simons Tuesday morning.  First, we headed out to catch some bait fish.

Olivia didn't actually drive the boat but she probably could have done a fine job.

No one else jumped at the chance to reel in the first bite, so I did.  Unfortunately, mine was the first one to get away.  According to Jaybird, my shark was probably the biggest (maybe based on the fact that it put up the biggest fight, I don't really know)... 7 1/2 feet long and 200 pounds.  We'll never know so that's my story and I'm sticking to it!  (Plus, this is the only picture we have of me during the entire shark fishing expedition so I had to post it!)

Will and McIver reeled in the next two sharks at the same time.  It was quite busy on the boat for a little while.

Jaybird estimated that Will's shark was almost 5 feet long and weighted about 90 pounds.

Jaybird was busy helping McIver with his catch while Will fought his shark.

Pop got in on the action with Mac so that Jaybird could get Will's shark close enough to the boat for a picture.

Those are some proud fishermen!

Olivia finally got the courage to put on the 'butt guard' to reel in her own shark.  (McIver loved having an excuse to say 'butt.')  Olivia actually had a bit of bad luck to begin with (her first two attempts got away) before she caught the biggest shark of the day.

Check this guy (or girl) out! Jaybird's guess was that this one measured 5 feet, 100+ pounds.  He was flailing all around and banging into the side of the boat so we didn't get any closer than this ... and this was plenty close!

My sweet boy loved our fishing trip.

Olivia was WIPED OUT from the heat of the middle of the day and she was a bit disappointed that our last three bites got away.

McIver had had just about enough of shark fishing ... good thing we were headed back to the dock.

Wait!  Jaybird asked the kids to empty the bait tank ... that perked them up a little bit.

Love this shot of Pop, Will and Mac.