Thursday, July 31, 2008

Oh is it hot......

We braved the heat this morning and headed over to Charles Towne Landing, the historic landmark where English settlers landed in 1670. I hadn't visited the park since they did a huge renovation in 2006 and I was pleasantly surprised at how nice it was. I do have to say though that today was perhaps not the best day to go as it was a blistering 95 degrees in the shade.

The visitor's center was the coolest place on the grounds. It had a nice exhibit detailing the settlement of the English colony as well as a virtual archaeological dig. The kids could "Dig" up artifacts with their hands.

It took us two hours to walk through the park and I feel certain we didn't see half of the place. We did get to see the replica of the 17th century ship that brought the settlers to America (still under construction), a garden and house built to represent the way that the early settlers lived, the indentured servants quarters and a set of stocks (which seemed to be the highlight of our visit).

(Can I leave him here?)

They also had a nice animal habitat although the animals seemed as hot as we were and kept to themselves in the shadiest part of the pen so we could barely see the Puma or Black Bear.

The grounds were immaculate and there were plenty of shady spots, like this beautiful angel oak tree.
After leaving there we had planned on eating a picnic lunch on The Battery downtown but since we were all so hot, we munched on sandwiches in the air conditioned car on our way over to the waterfront park to play in the fountains. Even I didn't mind getting splashed a bit after standing outside in the heat for all that time.

The fountains are really just huge jets of water that spray out from columns that circle around a huge center jet. So when I saw this sign, I had a nice laugh. Really, who would have thought?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Who's that girl?

Haley and her two friends had a little fun with Harrison tonight. He may one day regret that he was such a willing subject.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Do you remember shopping for school supplies when you were a little kid? Perusing the aisles filled with wide-ruled notebooks, two-pocket folders, No. 2 pencils, and crayons?

My favorite thing as a kid was buying a brand new box of crayons. I remember the rush of excitement I felt as I opened the box and examined the pointy tips of those crayons all perfectly sharp and aligned according to color. And the smell of the wax rivaled that of fresh baked chocolate cake any day. The older I got, the bigger the box got. Oh and joy of joys when I finally graduated to the box of 64 colors with a built-in crayon sharpener. To a child's eyes, those crayons represented endless possibilities.

Even as an adult, I love crayons. I am still partial to the reds and pinks although the names have changed. Wild strawberry. Pink Flamingo. Razzle Dazzle Rose. Cotton Candy. Jazzberry Jam.

Today we were leaving Target and I happened to see a box of 120 crayons! No way was I passing that up even though we have way more crayons in our art closet than you could ever possibly need. When I got home, I waited until all the kids were gone out of the room and I opened up that glorious box of crayons. I was mildly disappointed because rather than one giant box of 120 crayons there were three. But I pulled those boxes out and lined them up next to each other and opened the tops. I still felt the rush of joy I had in my youth. Those tips were still perfectly pointed and aligned. And the colors made me, well, happy. The price of joy - $5. Now, where did I put those coloring books?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fishing for fun

On Sunday we went over to my brother-in-law's house for his birthday. He has a nice pond behind his house so he always has fishing rods ready for the kids to use. They spent the better part of the day fishing.

Here's David teaching Harrison the fine art of reeling in the line. He apparently learned that lesson well as the only thing he caught was a lot of air from the constant casting.

Here's Holden with his "Mom stop taking pictures" expression

Haley wasn't catching a whole lot, except for the tree next to the dock.

David caught something - Haley's hair.

Here are all the kids at the end of the day after lots of fishing and swimming (in the pool, not the pond).

Sunday, July 20, 2008

This is what happens when you tell your children to just go do something.

Isn't it odd that in their minds doing something means putting on 14 pair of underwear and running around the house?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Now Why Didn't I think of that......

Last weekend I went up to Pawley's Island to see a good friend of mine who is down visiting from VA. We are so much alike, including the fact that our boys were born exactly a month apart (her 8 year old is one month older and her 5 year old is one month younger). I just wish she lived closer. But we do get to see each other at least once a year.

Anyhow, we went shopping and I came across the most ingenious product called the Switch Flops. The whole concept is that you buy one pair of base flip-flops (either flat or wedge) and just switch out the straps. The straps are held in place with Velcro and come in 3 sizes to correspond to your shoe size.

The straps come in dozens of styles and colors so you could easily find one to suit your taste. They are relatively easy to change out although at first I tried to get them lined up exactly and just about drove myself nuts (let's just say I have issues, okay?). Finally I realized that they were not going to be in perfect alignment and that is okay because once they are on your foot, you don't notice that.

So say one day you feel funky, then you may want to try the swirled Chloe strap. If you are feeling hip and daring, you might slip on the black and white O’Malley with the skull and cross bone button. Personally I like the orange and brown striped Maggie.

It's such a simple concept, it makes you say, "Now why didn't I think of that". Of course I did say that and while I was trying on a pair, two ladies came over and said the same thing.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Law of the Garbage Truck

I subscribe to a lot of blogs because I get inspiration from them. One of the blogs I subscribe to is The Stuff I Live For written by a very talented gal named Elexis. She has some of the cutest projects as well as some great blog entries. The other day, she posted something that really hit home to me. I believe it was sent to her so she passed it along and I am glad that she did.

Here's what she posted. I hope it hits home with you, like it did for me.

One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport . We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his breaks, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean he was really friendly.

So I asked, 'Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!' This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call 'The Law of the Garbage Truck.'

He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of fear and disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and some times they'll dump it on you. Don't take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't let their garbage pile up on you and become an ugly, odorous weight on your life that you'll then spread to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.

Successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day! Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so…'Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don't.'

Make an excuse for them and let it go.

Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it!

By the way, I just have to say that wasn't a NY taxi driver. :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Summer is cruising on by

Wow, it's hard to believe that the kids start school in a month. Despite all of my moaning and complaining about having them home for the whole summer, it does seem that the time flew right on by.

Swim team took up a large part of our first month. And while it was a big pain to have practice everyday and meets 2 nights a week, I do think it was a good experience for the kids. Haley still seems to be interested in swimming again next year. Last week she was at the pool with my parents and the pool manager told Haley he was watching her swim and she had a very nice stroke. He suggested that she might look into being a lifeguard when she gets a little older. That certainly had to make her feel good.

Every year I put together a mental list of things I would like to do with the children during the summer. And as in years past, the summer is getting away from us without having done half of those things.

This year the kids have had two long visits with my parents. They always do a lot of fun things when they go for a visit. It's nice that my parents are still able to take them and do fun things with them. I know it's something the kids will remember when they grow up. I still remember spending time with my grandmother when I was a child. Those memories can never be replaced.

So far this summer, we have gone on long bike rides, visited the library several times, gone to the waterpark, beach and pool, and visited the Aquarium. We have spent lazy days at home watching movies and reading books. We saw fireworks on the Island. We have had homemade popsicles and Key Lime pie. We have enjoyed corn on the cob, juicy watermelon and steaks on the grill.

I still want to take them downtown to the fountains and Battery Park, to Brookgreen Gardens, on a picture taking tour of our town and on a picnic in the Old Village park. I want to take them to visit a working farm to pick tomatoes and show them how to can them. I would like to make cards for the children at the Children's Hospital. I want to take them to spend a couple of days with my grandmother (their great-grandmother).

Time is slipping away so I need to get busy planning. Before I know it, we'll be packing bookbags gearing up for school. And that will be a sad day because it means that my children are getting older and closer to the day when they are no longer home for the summer.

Friday, July 11, 2008

When it rains it pours

Yesterday was our last swim meet. My parents had not been able to make it to one all season so they drove up late yesterday afternoon to watch the kids swim. It had been raining off and on all afternoon but it looked as if the weather was going to clear a bit.

David ran over to the pool around 5 and set up some chairs for us. At our pool if you don't come early and claim a spot, you are forced to sit in the back and all you can see are the other parents heads. Unfortunately shortly after he set up the chairs, it started raining again.

Thankfully the rain didn't last long so, at 6:00 we headed to the pool, loaded down with garbage bags for the chair seats, towels to sit on, dinner and snacks. We got there and it was unbelievably humid. I was wishing that I had brought my swimsuit. We sat down and ate our sandwiches and were chatting with some of the other parents when it started raining again.

My father who is the only one to think ahead, brought two umbrellas. He sat under his huge golf umbrella and the rest of us ran to stand under the shelter. David had suggested we go to the car but thinking that I could predict the weather, I decided that it was going to blow on over and we should just stand under the shelter. Not such a good idea.

Fifteen minutes later it was still raining and the mesh covering the shelter was saturated with water and began to drip. Heavily. At this point I opened the small umbrella my dad had loaned me and David and I huddle together under it. My mom and Harrison stood under his Diego umbrella. As the raining continued to drip down our backs, David looked at me and said "Either we need a bigger umbrella or we need to lose some weight". My mom and Harrison were having the same problem.

By this time, Haley and Holden, who were already wet from swimming practice laps, were cold and wanted to go home.

A friend of ours had his wife (who was at home, lucky her) check the weather and when she said there were more storms coming, we decided to call it quits, even if the coaches did not.

I sent David to get the car while I rounded up the chairs. My mom huddle with Harrison under the umbrella and my dad helped carry the chairs out toward the car. Holden decided to go after David. Unfortunately David did not know this and started driving as Holden was chasing the car beating on the side to get him to stop.

I tried using a garbage bag but at that point I was soaking wet so it didn't help. As we are getting ready to leave the pool, we had to wade though several inches of water to even get out to the car.

By the time we got home we were all wet, cold and ready to be indoors. My dad jokingly said he had come to see the kids swim not swim himself. I think we all felt the same way.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Birthday parties

When my kids were young, it was fun to have themed birthday parties. But as they got older the parties became more expensive and much more of a headache to plan and execute. So at our house birthday parties have become an option. We allow the kids to decide if they want to have a party or get a big present. Last year, Harrison got to go to Tweetsie Railroad for his birthday because we had moved right before his birthday and he didn't know anyone. And it was sort of a mini vacation for the family after not having taken one while we were selling the house and moving. Holden chose and Ipod and had a friend over to spend the night and go to the amusement park. Haley got to go to New York as a special treat for her 12th birthday.

So the other night I was talking to my mom on the phone about Harrison's birthday, which is coming up in August. I was telling her I thought he might like to have a pirate party with his friends from school. Since Harrison was sitting right next to me (and I thought listening to my conversation), I asked him what he wanted to do for his party (thinking he would go along with the whole pirate party/jump castle idea). He didn't hesitate for a moment when he said "I want to go to Disney World".

So perhaps I need to rethink the whole birthday party/big present idea. It seems to be getting a little out of control. By the time he's 12, he'll think he needs to go on a trip to Australia.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day
I hope that everyone is having a safe and fun holiday. We went to the beach this morning but had to leave after a few hours because Harrison had an earache. Earlier in the week he had a fever and runny nose, then he developed a cough. We got home, I gave him a little Tylenol and after an hour of resting he felt much better. We are still contemplating heading over to the beach for the fireworks show. We are however under a severe thunderstorm warning so we might wait a little bit before deciding. I would hate to get caught in a storm.

On a funny (or not so funny) note, Haley asked us today if we though Hungary (as in the country) celebrated 4th of July. Her friend Kasey is there on a mission trip so I guess she was thinking that Kasey was missing all the fun here and wasn't thinking about why we (meaning Americans) celebrate Independence Day. I hope that I can mark that down as another duh huh moment for the child rather than the failure of our educational system.

4th Of July countdown banner

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Friends of yours?

Sometimes things happen to us that aren't all that particularly funny but they happen at just the right moment and they make you laugh out loud. Sometimes so hard, that you cry.

Well, the other day I got some pictures back from an online developer that I use. I swear by this developer. They have the best quality prints, the quickest service and they are very inexpensive. Since I found them, I do not use anyone else to develop my prints. They offer special promotions that are out of this world, and you can earn prints by referring friends (so be sure to use my name if you sign up).

Anyhow the other day I got some prints back and was flipping through them. I wait and print my pictures out when I am ready to scrapbook them so these were all from 2006 (yes, i know that's pitiful). They were of the normal stuff like:

Holden blowing out the candles on his cake

Harrison and me picking apples

The kids with Woody at Disney

Holden and Harrison at Thanksgiving

An Indian man and woman with their child.
Huh? Do I know these people?

So mixed in with my photos was this photo of an unknown family. Coming across this unexpectedly was slightly funny. But then, Holden asked me what I was giggling about and I showed him the picture and asked were these friends of his and he fell over laughing. Which made it even funnier. So then he ran and asked Haley if these were friends of hers and he thought that was even funnier so he started laughing harder. And by the time we finished laughing, I had tears running down my cheeks.

So little does this family know that their nice picture, which never made it to their home, brought lots of enjoyment to my home.

But I am still wondering, are these friends of yours?