Monday, June 8, 2015

Flashback to Easter Sunday

We came back from our spring break Edisto camping trip on Saturday and then got to enjoy Easter at home on Sunday. Matt and Ashlee came to church with us and then we had a big lunch at John and Barbara's house. I managed to get some pictures (although not necessarily decent ones) of all the kids in their Sunday best--the struggle is real when it comes to posed pictures and my children.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Shelby's bowling field trip

I have a tough time keeping up with the general hustle and bustle of our everyday life on this blog and when I looked at the photo card on my camera, I realized there were some key moments I missed documenting during the past couple months. I'm going to try and catch up over the next couple days.

I took a day off of work at the beginning of May to help chaperon Shelby's class field trip and to spend some quality time with my girl. When you are a full-time working mom, days like this are a really big deal.

This is Shelby's sweet friend and classmate, who insisted on sitting beside her on the bus. I think the bus ride may have been Shelby's favorite part of the field trip. 

It took Shelby a long time to warm up to bowling--the bowling alley experience is a bit of a sensory overload. But by the end of her first game, she started to enjoy it and had trouble waiting for her turn. Here is Shelby bowling with help from her sweet teacher, Ms. Milor:

After bowling, we had lunch at the park and Trip was able to join us. 

I am continually impressed by the amazing people that work with Shelby and her classmates at school. What a phenomenal team of teachers and therapists--I am so glad that Shelby is at this school and it was a joy to hang out with them for a day. 

Elkmont Firefly Camping Weekend

This was our second time traveling to the Elkmont Campground in Great Smoky Mountains National Park to see the synchronous fireflies. This year, we went with four other families who are dear friends of ours and it was a blast. The synchronous fireflies did not disappoint. I found this video on YouTube in case you are wondering what these fireflies are all about;

Shelby's birthday was Friday and she loves camping, so we told her that this was her birthday party. My parents gave her an ENO hammock for her birthday and she spent a great deal of the weekend in her "birfday hammock" swinging and relaxing and napping by the river. 

Our campsites were riverside which was heaven for both children and adults. I loved the communal feel of this weekend. People spilled from one campsite to another and parents fed and took care of each other's children. 

The kids had an amazing tolerance for icy cold water and were in the river exploring and tubing from 8 a.m. till 8 p.m.--stopping every now and then to eat. My favorite part of the weekend was sitting by the river relaxing and laughing with friends while watching the kids float past on their tubes. 

Many thanks to my friend Jessica for providing photographic evidence of my presence at this glorious weekend of fun: 

Sweet Landen was the littlest kid at the campsite and he did his best to keep up with all the big kids. 

Group photos can be challenging--enter the selfie stick that the Grahams brought. Here is the selfie stick in action:

I think it is very safe to say that a good time was had by all! What a wonderful start to our summer--1 week till summer break! 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Who is Andy?

Shelby has an invisible friend named Andy........we think he lives inside John's banjo.

When we were living with John and Barbara last summer, Shelby's favorite place in their house was on the glider on their porch. The motion of swinging, rocking, or gliding is really calming for her. John spends a lot of time on the porch playing his banjo, so this porch banjo gliding time became something that Shelby and John did together.

Now that we live in our own house further up the mountain, Shelby still loves to hang with her Bop while he plays the banjo. At some point, she started requesting to hear the banjo when visiting John and Barb. And then at some point they noticed that Shelby would say "Want to talk to Andy" when the banjo was nearby. She leans into the banjo head and will whisper "Annndyyyy.....hey Andy". I'm not sure what is up with this. Shelby has a wicked sense of humor and loves to entertain others, so it really could be a big joke. However, she doesn't really giggle when the banjo is around, so who knows.

Bottom line: I love it that Shelby and John share banjo time together. John plays for Shelby while she listens, he very patiently lets her strum it while he plays, and he even stops playing so she can converse with Andy.....

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Spring Break Edisto Camping

I love Edisto Island and the many childhood memories I have there--I spent two weeks there each summer with my dad's side of the family during my formative years. For spring break, our family experienced Edisto in a completely different, but equally great way. Growing up, I never even tapped the surface of what Edisto had to offer because I was too busy playing in the ocean. The state park is great--tons of handicap accessible biking and hiking trails through the forest, across the marshes, and to the ocean. Spanish Moss dangles from the branches of Live Oaks which provide shade and privacy for the camping spots on the marsh at the Live Oak Campground. I lucked out in getting a four-night camping reservation for Spring Break and the trip was wonderful---the temperature was perfect, the biking was great, we had a little bit of beach time, and it was fun being with my parents and using their "new" Shasta trailer. Now Trip and I really want a pop-up camper so we can do more trips like this.

No trip to Edisto is complete without some cousin time. Edson lives in Charleston and came to hang out with us on his day off. Here he is helping H fly a kite. 

Did I mention that Harding took this dragon kite over from another kid on the beach? Oops....

Speaking of cousins--Harding and Shelby got some cousin time in too because Riley came with us. She collected tons of oyster shells, but she also found her first fossilized shark's tooth by herself and an intact conch shell (which she and Harding reluctantly returned to the ocean). 

Drip castle fun. The water was COLD but that did not stop the kiddos. 
One of the many bike trails we explored.

Mommy Son bike trip to the water. 

Our friend Graham brought baby Clarkson over to Edisto to visit us on Good Friday when daycare was closed. What a treat to get to snuggle this sweet angel!
We were full of visitors--the Easter Bunny came early and brought the kids treats on paper plates. Classy, huh? 

Camper Cuteness
I woke up early one morning and went to see the sunrise by myself. The sun really puts on a show in the morning at Edisto.