We made it back from our vacation at Lake Oconee last Thursday. We didn't want to leave, but we did anyway. We had a busy weekend ahead and had to get back.
Here are some more photos from the lake:
Getting ready for a waverunner ride.
Papa likes to shoot small children. Many water wars were waged over the week. (Check out that serious alliteration!)
I just thought Avery's hair was too good to pass up getting a picture of. Sneaky Papa lurks in the background.
Pool outside, pool inside.
Shannon won, in case you're wondering.
Thanks to the Davidsons we now have one bike that's big enough for the older kids to ride safely. I encouraged Amelia to get on and ride it since there was such a nice flat driveway there. She hasn't been too gung ho about it since her fall back in the summer. After watching her ride for a minute I figured out why she fell. Instead of braking she would put her feet down when she felt like she was going too fast, creating a wobble that was impossible to recover, especially on the little bike she was on this summer. So I encouraged (forced) her to ride until she had the hang of braking the right way.
She was so appreciative of my efforts she was overcome with tears of gratitude. Or anger and frustration. It's hard to tell. In the end she learned to do it the right way and really was proud of herself. Now we just need to spring for a bike that's her size so she and Shannon can ride together.
Shannon enjoyed some tubing behind the waverunner.
Mimi and Amelia
Armed and dangerous. After all, getting wet really stinks when you're...already wet.
Avery wasn't too sure about going through the waterfall, so he got a helping hand. This is after.
Getting ready to do some fishing.
This is right before Avery hooked me in the leg with a lure. It was only a flesh wound.
My mom and dad came to spend the last day with us. Dad and James practiced their archery.
We got back home last Thursday afternoon and had dinner at Rebecca's with the gang. Friday James headed to Macon for an outdoor expo where we had a booth for camp set up. This ran Friday through Sunday. Saturday he and some summer camp staff ran an archery clinic at Strong Rock School in Locust Grove, near my mom and dad's house. Shannon, Avery, Elizabeth and a I stayed the weekend in McDonough with my folks because I had a wedding to attend on Saturday. We saw James and the summer staffers who were helping him with the events when they headed back to mom and dad's to spend the night. Amelia spent the weekend with Mimi and Papa in South Carolina where they went to visit Aunt Sherry and Uncle Denny (James' mom's sister).
So, it was a full weekend. My cousin Adam and new cousin-in-law Jessica were married on Saturday. I regret not bringing the camera. Adam has finished Air Force training and he and Jessica will head to England where he'll be stationed. The wedding was nice, and it was fun to hang out with family, eat good food, hold my niece Reagan, and dance the Cha Cha Slide and Conga.
Speaking of weddings, James' mom had pictures of the wedding they attended the day before they left Texas to come visit us, and I stole them from her. This is Jason, James' brother, and his bride Nelissa.
James' folks, Jason, Nelissa, and her girls Ebony and Olivia. The wedding was small but very nice, and had it not been in Waco, TX we'd have dragged the whole crew over to be a part. Best wishes, Jason and Nelissa!
Sunday we headed back to Cleveland and met Mimi and Papa with Amelia back at home. Mimi shared her photos of the weekend with me, so here are some of the highlights of Amelia's weekend with them.
Uncle Denny's sailboat.
Picnicking with second cousin London at the Sailing Club.
Harper, London's sister, is a few days older than Avery. They will be joined by a little brother in a few months. The girls enjoy some ice cream.
Below deck on the sailboat.
They also got to meet another second cousin while in S.C. This is Nolan, son of Aunt Sherry and Uncle Denny's youngest daughter, Christy.
Uncle Denny with Nolan. What is it about holding a sleeping baby that puts a guy right to sleep? I've got several pictures of James holding each of our kids as babies snoozing himself. When Amelia was a newborn my dad was dozing while holding her and she let out one of those amazing how-the-heck-does-a-sound-that-big-from-a-baby-so-little gas passes, that he jumped from being so ruthlessly startled and nearly threw her. One of the dangers of sleeping men holding sleeping babies...
James' folks stayed with us through Thursday, and we very much enjoyed their visit. The guys went fishing between James' visits to the office to get some work done, and Mimi and the kids and I partied at playgroup on Tuesday and INK on Wednesday.
Here are a few playgroup pictures from Tuesday at the Windmill pool.
All the swimming ones kind of run together, don't they? It really is our favorite summer activity.
A.J. Hicks at his first playgroup without his brother Elliott. Both Elliott and Amelia's friend Ruth started kindergarten the week before.
Nicole B. and one of her sweet baby girls.
Staci H. and the other one. I'll be darned if I can remember which one was in which lap!
Wednesday we went to INK, the interactive children's museum, in Gainesville. It was fun to take Mimi with us. The Jennings girls and one lone Davidson who isn't in school yet met us there.
In the grocery store at INK.
Elizabeth making an ambitious plan to conquer the slide.
When you sign in at INK you get a real ATM card to use at the real ATM machine, which spits out unreal cash. One day when we were the only ones in there Shannon pretty much emptied it.
"You never count your money, while you're sitting at the table..."
Shannon brought some awesome glasses with him.
Anne decided to get her shopping done at INK so she wouldn't have to go later.
Paper or plastic?
"My, this is a busy grocery store today. Don't you think so, Meg?"
Anne has plunged into the world of homeschooling this year with her daughters Meg (Amelia's age) and Alex Anne, 3rd grade. I love that I now have a partner in crime to field trip and compare notes with. We're figuring it out (and making it up) as we go along.
I made the comment to James the other day that Amelia's dressing up passion seems to be waning. She took dress up clothes to the lake house on vacation but we never saw them once. Not too many months ago the first thing she would have done upon arrival is put on something fancy.
It's good to know the princess is still in there.
Avery, the royal puppy. (Or "stinky puppy," as he called himself after I realized he needed to make a trip to the changing table.)
A demonstration of how easy it is to get a good picture of the four kids with Mimi.
I took 10, this was the best we could do. A little cooperation next time, please.
Mimi and Papa left early Thursday morning, and we were sad to see them go. That night we hosted dinner and Amelia's post birthday birthday party. I had about decided to do nothing more than we had already done a few weeks ago, but her reply to that was, "NOOOOOOOO!!!" She really did want to celebrate with friends, so we celebrated with the usual Thursday night crowd. Her cake of choice was the same as last year, a Bsrbie cake. Friends were nice to bring her very belated birthday gifts.
We baked the cake on Wednesday and I decorated it on Thursday.
Everyone wanted to help. Especially with the clean up.
I got busy doing something for a few minutes and turned back around to see this. What a helper.
Here she is, Sixth Birthday Barbie.
She still smells like icing, even after a good bath.
Cutting a person replica is awkward. The picture of me putting the knife to her throat turned out too blurry. Oh well!
Yes! Mermaid Barbie, one of the Official Birthday List items.
She got lots of fun things and had a fun post birthday birthday party.
Did I mention that we also started school on Thursday? People kept asking me when we were starting first grade and I kept saying, "I don't know." Ah, the beauty of being free from the oppression of the school schedule. Get in your 180 days any way you like. (I bear some ill will toward the school schedule. Not school itself, just its schedule.) I keep threatening to outline my thoughts on homeschooling in a separate post. Maybe one day I will. Anyway, Thursday the 13th was our first day of school, unless you want to count our day at INK on the 12th as the official first day. Schools take field trips to INK, who's to say you can't take a field trip on the very first day of school? I had some books on order for our first grade year but they hadn't arrived yet, so we just got some stuff out of the cabinet and picked up where we left off in May. Some of them came today, so I've got some perusing to do before putting them into use. I also picked back up with Shannon's reading lessons. We started over at Lesson 12 of Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. I'm hoping to get reading knocked out of the way before starting Kindergarten with him next year. I considered working on it over the summer with him, then thought, "Why?" Summers are too important to be wasted on learning. :) (Plus, I need the break myself!)
The next few pictures I took because Elizabeth was cracking us up the other night with her new friend.
She dragged him all over the floor traveling in her classic rear end scoot style.
He also got several hugs.
Thursday night after the party A.J. spent the night with us. My boys are forever begging for playdates and sleepovers. We missed Elliott though, darn that school schedule.
I enjoy watching little boys at play. They are very serious about doing their boy stuff. Like drilling holes in the wall with sticks. (I mean drills, of course. They were making the right noise to be drills.)
We have an uprooted tree in front of the house. Eventually there will be nothing left of it.
Boys are good for finishing off uprooted trees.
Well, the Thursday I just wrote about was now a week ago. It's taken me forever to get this blog post finished. James pointed out that if I didn't make them so long it wouldn't take so long to get them finished. I argued that if they didn't take me so long to finish they wouldn't be so long. I just keep taking pictures to add. I've actually got some now, I'm just choosing to end this one now!
But not before you hear the title of Shannon's latest song. While Amelia was in SC he took over her job of making up songs and singing them in the car. I was just happy that he wanted to sing, as it's been something he hasn't cared much for in the past. So he sings a long made up song, the lyrics of which I can't remember now as they were a bit scattered and unrelated in nature, but he assured me I could hear it again anytime I wanted, just ask for the name of it. "What's the name?," I ask. "It's actually got two names," he said. "'I Won't Ever Get Cut by a Chainsaw Ever,' but you can also call it, "I Won't Get Killed By a Bullet If Someone Tries To Shoot Me." Whew, a mother need not worry anymore.
Adios, amigos. I am off to bed, as 6:00 will come before I want it to. So far so good with the getting up early to ride and feed horses thing. It's worth it to be up with the chickens. I love the way my day begins! Another post to come sometime in the near future, before two weeks have passed again. Hopefully.