Saturday, July 4, 2015

Friday, July 3, 2015

Father's Day Weekend.

After we went to the beach with Mom and arrived back home on Friday we threw everything in the washing machine and re-packed to go to the lake on Saturday morning. We haven't spent a ton of time at the lake in the past few years (Eddie and I used to live there during the summer it seemed like!), but we typically go for Father's Day weekend.

When you nap at 10AM you know you're TIRED.

It was the PERFECT lake weekend. It was BREEZY and that made sitting on the dock cool and there were no gnats! Friends, in South Georgia, that is a miracle. A Father's Day miracle! It was wonderful!

Happy Belated Father's Day to all the men!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

June Books.

I've read 21 books this year, but that puts me WAY behind in my goal of 75 by the end of the year. I need to pick things up in a BIG way. The boys and I have been reading like crazy together, but my own reading has stunk. we go!

Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary

The boys are on a big Ramona kick. They think she is hysterical. Even Will LOVES these books. This one was about Ramona's first year at school. James is on the fence about kindergarten this year and I think this book helped. Even though Ramona would be almost 70 years old now, kindergarten hasn't changed *that* much and James liked it. She is such a character! Unlike Pippi Longstocking, though, I don't mind reading about the shenanigans that she gets in because she usually doesn't mean to be bad. (Pippi was hard for me for some reason.) We've picked up two more Ramona books from the library. We'll probably also venture into Henry Huggins (the boy character that Beverly Cleary wrote in response to boys not having any books about them in the library) soon.

Jurassic World: Special Edition Junior Novelization by David Lewman

James has begged to see Jurassic World so this was his consolation prize. (The language is not bad - I've seen it twice and I think I counted seven words in my second showing. It IS scary, though, and James would have nightmares. I just don't want to do that to him.) He has two of the Lego sets and we've watched the original so he was pumped about this book. (Hello, I'm Lauren and I'm a Jurassic Park NUT. Hi, Lauren!) The book was great! It follows the movie to. a. tee. It left out a few parts that weren't appropriate for young readers (Owen makes a joke about Claire joining him in his bungalow and another part where Gray asks Zach about their parents getting divorced.). I enjoyed reading it to the boys and they both liked it. James liked it a lot more than Will and could really follow the dialogue (it's hard to understand some of those big dinosaur/science words when you're 3!). It would be great for a pre-teen who liked the movie. Well done!

Marineland by Cheryl Messinger

I read this in a day at the beach a few weeks ago. It was a super quick read, but had some great information. I grew up going to Marineland. We went with both sets of parents to St. Augustine growing up numerous times and I know we went to Marineland a handful of times during those trips. That would've been in the early 90s. The park started in the 1930s so it was old by the time that I knew it. The book follows the history of the early days of the park and doesn't touch as much on the later history, which I felt was a little bit of a shame, but that's just because that's when I knew it. There are TONS of pictures of what the park looked like when it was first built. It's owned by the Georgia Aquarium now, but it has a GREAT history. Marineland was the first place of its kind and was really the gateway for parks like Seaworld. Built as a movie studio, it has been featured in lots and lots and LOTS of movies. The original owners really didn't know anything about sea animals, they just started collecting them and learning about them and they were almost always successful. This was definitely worth my time!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Bucket List Update.

I mentioned yesterday that we've marked off a lot of the BIG stuff on our bucket list but have lots of little things left to do. I went through a few nights ago and marked off what we had done in May and thought I'd share it. Lots and lots of it will not get marked off this summer because there's just not time. I have always stretched our summer bucket lists through Labor Day, so even though James starts school August 4th and Will and I go back two weeks later, we'll keep on with the little things. We've had lots of adventures already this summer!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The First Few Weeks of Summer.

I thought that I had TONS of random pictures of the first few weeks of summer, but somehow I don't. I DO still have a handful of posts coming to catch-up, but today is just pictures that wouldn't fit in anywhere else. Our summer timeline has looked like this:

Lake Oconee
James' fishing and animal camp
a week of swimming lessons (culminating with the bug for 3/4 of us)
a week of VBS
a week at the beach
a weekend at Lake Blackshear
an overnight trip to Pine Mountain
back home for a few days for recovery (but James has had strep so that's been fun)

July looks mostly like that. Just lots of running around and traveling and doing VERY fun things. We've actually knocked a lot of the BIG things off of our bucket list, but not the small things because we haven't been home enough!

James had his camp the week of Memorial Day. He LOVED it. Came home grouchy every day (which I expect from Kindergarten the first few weeks), but he LOVED it. These pictures wound up on their website so photo credit goes to Kelly Scott, but I was SO happy to see some of them!

Feeling animal pelts and trying to determine what animal it is.

James is on the far left looking down. They were petting one of the mules here.

In the back on the rope pulling the bucket up.

Hay ride time! Right corner, checking out his name tag.

Fishing was his favorite, but he didn't catch anything. James is a MASTER fisherman and was irritated that others caught something when he did not. That was a big piece of humble pie, I think. He thinks he's the best at fishing. He definitely has more patience for it than anyone I've ever met! He is straight across the pond in the gray shirt and white hat.

Will asked about a Halloween costume recently that he had seen in a picture. He wore this when he was 8 months old and was the most precious, PRECIOUS dragon ever. James was a knight and they were beyond cute. Will even won a costume contest in this. He saw it in the garage the other day and needed to try it on.

And here he was in 2012.

James has taken a few AR tests so far this summer and I hope to take him back for a few more on Thursday. His personal goal is 100 points by the end of the summer, which is a bit lofty. He has 4.8 so far.

James has an invisibility cloak. Did you know? See that floating remote control? He's actually holding it, but you can't see him.

Sofa naps have been a large part of our summer when we've been home. I think we're nearing the end of nap time at our house. I made James nap this year because that made it easier to get WILL to nap, but he didn't really need it. Now when neither of them nap bedtime is SO. MUCH. EASIER. but it is hard to remind myself of that at 2pm when they're cranky and I want some QUIET.

John Michael is James' best friend and his Nemo swim party was so much fun! Most of these kids pictured here have parents that grew up together. Full circle!

This little one has enjoyed changing clothes 800 times a day this summer. I seem to remember James doing the same thing when he was three.

We've only gone to one TNT camp this summer, but it was a fabulous way to spend some money. The boys went and I FLEW home and did not sit down until they came back home. I got the entire house cleaned and myself showered so that we could head out to James' allergy appointment and then I could host book club that night. It was Pajama Day at camp and they loved it and had so much fun!

So there are the random tidbits so far! More adventures ahead! Can't wait to share!

Monday, June 29, 2015

St. Augustine and Palm Coast

Two weeks ago we had plans to hit the road with Cacky (and without Eddie - he was staying home to work and pay for our trip!) to Palm Coast. This will be the boys' only trip to the beach this summer so we had to make the most of it. {Our summer is seriously jam-packed with all kinds of fun. We almost always go to the beach twice, but not this time. We *may* go once more after school starts.} On Monday morning my car went into the shop as soon as it opened. I had been having some problems with it. When it idled for a bit it would start getting shaky and smelled bad. They've tried to discover the source a few different times and couldn't. It happened again on Friday after 5pm (of course!) so into the shop it went on Monday. Unfortunately, by 11AM they hadn't come up with a good reason for the problems so Eddie suggested we make other plans. Mom has kept Sonny's car so that she could have a car with carseats (which was what he always wanted and I discouraged it) so we took that. We hit the road a little later than planned and we were in a much smaller car but we were off!

After we arrived we went to the pool. Pizza was on the menu for night one at the beach. We almost always have Tony's once while we're there and this was our night. We swam, went in and ordered, and I went and picked it up so we could eat at the condo.

Day Two was spent by the ocean. We packed a picnic and drove down to the public beach at Marineland. Mom's beach has rocks in front of it so it's hard for little boys to play and run. It's awesome for sitting and reading, but not so much if you're 3 and 5. We arrived around 10 and left around 2 and had a fun time. I'm going to be honest here and say that I had my panic flag flying on this day. Between all of the shark attacks and the FLESH EATING BACTERIA posts on Facebook, I was skerred about the water. Will, however, was NOT. He would've been pulled out to sea if it was up to him. Crazy. We built sandcastles, walked up and down the beach, and CACKY got in the ocean with the boys while I watched.

Yes, his swim shirt is on backwards. Welcome to life with Will.

Pinterest FAIL. Apparently baby powder, when mixed with WET sand, creates a paste and does not get the sand off. #publicserviceannouncement

On our third day we went to Marineland. We had never taken the boys to Marineland and the last time Eddie and I went was in 2004. was different! There isn't much to see on the general admission ticket (2 turtles, a few sharks, and lots of dolphins), but you can add in a behind-the-seas tour AND you can add on lots of interactions with the dolphins. We wanted to start small. We'll probably swim with the dolphins in years to come. We've heard it's fantastic because it's not crowded and you can take your time! The dolphins could CLEARLY see us through the tank and would swim by and look at us. We saw one splash a man over the side. And from the top of the tank we could see them swimming with their heads out of the water looking around. I bought the book Marineland which is about this park. It was a good, quick read that I highly recommend if you grew up going to Marineland.

Marineland was fun, but HOT. My recommendation? Go in the spring or fall (or even winter!) when it is not blazing outside. It. was. so. hot.

We left Marineland and had lunch at South Beach Grill which is a favorite for its view.

We left from the restaurant and headed to Palm Coast to Target for some shopping and then came back to the pool later.

The next day we headed BACK out for morning entertainment. We started with lunch at the Conch House in one of the birds' nests. It was so breezy that it was VERY pleasant. We enjoyed watching what we *think* was a shark swimming through the marina. The waitress disagreed, but I am pretty certain I was right. After lunch we walked through the marina and saw a sea turtle. Later we rode the carousel and played on the playground before taking extra long naps at the condo.

{Conch House has baby alligators every year when it's warm out. They've redone their habitat and it looks great. We always like to go look at them. They go back to The Alligator Farm at the end of the season, I think. #gottagetnewbabies #bigalligatorbigproblem}

On Friday we had lunch at J.T.'s after we were all packed up to head home. It was a fun, busy week at the beach. Maybe next time we'll actually go to the beach more than we did this time. :) HA!