Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Bit More Christmas & The Sweetest Puppy

One last favorite gift (of the many favorites he received this year!) ... night vision binoculars that REALLY work from GranGran and GranDaddy.

Olivia holding Buster ... the sweet addition to my friend Kim's family.

Our neighbors got a trampoline for Christmas!

Uncle Sammy's Farm

After the Winter Games, we headed over to Will's Uncle Sammy's farm.  We had heard for years how wonderful it is, but this was our first chance to go.  We unloaded the cars and then had a tour of the farm.

The outdoor kitchen has a HUGE grill ... perfect for cooking a pig.

We loaded up in the Rhino/golf carts to go see all of the land.  We spotted two deer, lots of animal tracks, the deer stands and the swamp.  Will asked Sammy to take our picture.  (This is the first photographic evidence that I existed during the Christmas holiday - but isn't that how it is for the mamas?!)

As promised, more pictures with the grands.  The porch at the farm has a huge fireplace with plenty of wood to keep it going and rocking chairs to enjoy.  GranGran and GranDaddy stopped by on their way home from the Winter Games for a quick visit.  GranGran finished knitting a scarf for Olivia rocking in front of the fireplace while we were on our tour.

Saying good-bye to GranDaddy before he heads back to the beach.

One last picture with Will and McIver.

McIver caught a fish!!  Will said it was about a 5-lb. crappy.  It was all McIver could do to wait for Will and Sammy to get back from the barn to take it off the hook.  I certainly would not have been any help!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle Legos

McIver COULD NOT WAIT to get started on the Hogwarts Castle Lego set.  He studied the box the whole way home from Macon and got right to work when we got home.

First, he got organized.  When I asked if I could help, he told me no.

He ran in to get me when he completed each step.  He worked for three hours straight with only food and potty breaks.

Getting there...

First thing Christmas Eve morning, he headed back to the 'lego room.'


And, a shot from the other side.

He's so proud that he did the whole, entire thing without one ounce of help!

Winter Games 2011

Will's mom's mom's side of the family gets together each day-after-Christmas for the Winter Games in Effingham.  This was our second year to be able to go (Will was on call last year), and once again, we had perfect weather and a wonderful time.  Olivia took a friend with us ... I think Mattie's mom thought I was kidding when I told her there would be chicken-chasing!

There were all kinds of fun activities for the children (of which there were MANY!).  The first was Tug-of-War.

McIver got in on the action, too.  

They also have a corn shucker with giant bags of dried corn just waiting for the children to run through the grinder (or whatever it's called!).  (That building in the background is an old train depot that was moved to the property years ago.  They throw open the doors and set up the food tables inside.  And, there's a giant fireplace at one end to keep it nice and cozy inside.)

Will showed Olivia and Mattie how to shoot skeet.

Told you ... there's chicken-chasing!  And, after that ... pig-chasing!  None of my city children were all that interested in actually catching up to the animals, thank goodness.

Tex was in Heaven all day ... so many smells, so little time.

McIver thought this old truck was pretty cool.

McIver in the haystack tunnels in the top of the barn ... where the rat-killing occurs.  (If they actually do that, we have never been a part of it.  I'm not sure if they're kidding or not when they mention that there will be 'rat-killing and bring your own stick' on the invitation.)

One of the best parts of the day is easily the giant old trees with swings, a zip line, slides and ropes all over them.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Eve 2011

Olivia wearing the necklace that Mamoo gave her.  She was so excited to wear it and show Mamoo, but was equally happy to take it off when we got home 'because it's so special, I don't want anything to happen to it.'

On our way into Mamoo's church for the Christmas Eve service.

A few pictures with Mamoo after the service.

Leaving cookies and milk for Santa, cheese for Santa Mouse and a few carrots for Santa's reindeer.

Sprinkling a mixture of oatmeal and glitter to get Santa's reindeer to stop at our house.

Olivia's turn - she made sure it was spread ALL OVER the yard so they couldn't miss it!

Saying our Good-Byes in Macon

I made Grandma Janet a Shutterfly calendar for Christmas and realized that I don't take enough pictures of Olivia and McIver with their grands.  So, I made sure to remedy that this visit (and on our next visit with Will's parents, for that matter).

(If you look by Nanoo's elbow, you can also see Marley and Tex saying good-bye.)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas in Macon

Olivia and Cacoo just before we headed out to dinner.

Yummy dinner at Margaritas in Macon.

Quick picture before opening gifts.

McIver loving on Pop.

The Harry Potter/Hogwarts Castle lego set made for one happy boy.  It was all we could do to keep him from opening it and getting started right then and there.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Santa Sunday

After church on Sunday, we met the cousins, aunts and uncles for Santa Sunday at the Dunes Club.  Everything was wonderful ... egg nog, beautiful decorations everywhere, a balloon artist/face painter, delicious food and great company, including Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Thanks to GranGran for taking a picture of our family.

Olivia and McIver waiting to have a picture with all the cousins.

All six grands with Santa and Mrs. Claus ... and no tears!

Olivia and McIver with Santa ... McIver asked for a spy watch, Olivia asked for a karaoke machine.

It took some doing, but we managed to get everyone on the sofa for a photo with GranGran.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas in Macon

We started our visit to Macon with a trip to Cacoo's ChicFilA to see the Santa Cow.  Cacoo has some serious connections now that she works at ChicFilA!

We had lunch on Thursday with Grandma Myrtle and Grandma Janet at the Bears Den near the Mercer campus.  I had never been there before, but it was delicious .. meat-and-three kind of place.  I went with the vegetarian plate (in my case, 'vegetarian' does not equal healthy!) ... squash casserole, friend green tomatoes, collard greens and macaroni and cheese.  

After lunch, we went to Grandma Myrtle's new home.  She loves living by the lake and the kids had a ball exploring around her complex.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Nance's with the Spann Family

Saturday afternoon, we met up with Will's brothers and their families to see the new creekhouse that is being built.  It was getting dark so I wasn't able to take any pictures, but it's going to be beautiful!  I'm sure we'll make lots of family memories there.  Afterwards, we headed to Nance's Creekfront Restaurant for dinner.  Turns out that we had a table for 24!  Ginny is one of four Spanns and each of those families was represented.  It was a great time, relatively relaxed even though we had 7 children, with delicious oysters.  (I realize it's easy for me to say it was 'relatively relaxed' since my children are old enough to order their own food and go to the bathroom by themselves.  The abundance of iPads, iPhones and iTouches helped as well.)  Anyway, here's our crew ...

Wonder Works in Myrtle Beach

GranGran treated us to a trip to Wonder Works on Saturday morning when we were in Myrtle Beach while Will and GranDaddy played golf.  We weren't sure what to expect, but it was a GREAT time.  Olivia and McIver were the perfect age for all of the activities.  I'm sure we'll be going back ... just not during peak tourist season!

We started off in the Hurricane Chamber ...

86 mph winds ... and that's only a Category 1 wind-strength.

McIver beat out Olivia in the mind-game ... he was so relaxed he moved the ball to her end first.  Don't ask me how it worked, but it pretty much made his day that he beat his big sister at something.
We all took turns laying (lying?) on a bed of nails.

They had a WAY COOL ropes course that was built above the fourth floor.  The kids were tethered to the bars along the top and were able to go through as many 'challenges' as they could.  That alone would get McIver back there.