Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Harbor Island

We started our summer out strong, beginning with a week long family vacation to Harbor Island, SC. Harbor Island is located outside of Beaufort and it is a private gated community with a pool club and beach access. We had never even heard of Harbor Island before, but when we learned that it was quiet and not over crowded it seemed to be the ideal place to relax for a week.

We rented this cute yellow beach home in the photo above. It had a bedroom loft upstairs with three beds so it worked out perfectly as the three older kid's room and they had ample star and sunrise views each evening and morning.

There were many water holes located throughout the area and all types of wildlife. While we were there we saw many rabbits, various birds, raccoons and an alligator.

It was very scenic and the evening sunset could be seen beautifully from the deck of our house...

We spent a good bit of time hanging out at the pool area. The younger ones enjoyed the large baby swim area. And Ryan and Emma ventured into the bigger adult pool to swim.

We spent some time at our beach access as well which we quickly learned was a matter of good timing. The beach was a tidal pool area so during low tide you had to walk long distances to reach water but then during high tide, there literally was no beach because the water was slamming the front steps of several homes.

We packed a picnic lunch during the middle of the week and drove two miles down the road to Hunting Island State Park. We were able to walk around the Hunting Island Lighthouse, which is the only historic lighthouse still open to the public in S.C.

We enjoyed our picnic lunch near the beach and then spent the rest of the afternoon playing on the shore. The kids loved the big waves and looking for sea shells. It was a beautiful natural looking beach and we would enjoy visiting there again someday.

Michael got some fishing in whenever he had the chance. He was able to get the kids out a few times with him to do their own fishing. This picture of Michael and Emma was taken from our deck while they fished in the lagoon next to our house.

And of course I had to have my mini beach photo shoot before we left. These pictures weren't taken in the best of circumstances.

The air conditioner in our house had just quit working and the temperature in the house was climbing to over 90 degrees. Both Emma and Avery stubbed their toes and made them bleed on our walk to the beach area - how does that happen!?! And the kids were worn out, hot and tired at the end of a long day. So...that said. I tried not to press real hard as I took a few pictures.

Sweet baby Eden...
We had a very enjoyable week eating and cooking our own fresh seafood, visiting with my mom, playing with our kids, and cruising around in the golf cart that came with our rental. We'd love to do a week away again and might check out the neighboring Fripp Island next time.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Bug Party (aka Last Day of Second Grade)

Today was Ryan's last day of second grade...sigh...My little boy is going into third grade next year - YIKES!
The entire second grade class (all 200 of them) had an end of the year "bug party." I took Ryan to school this morning and joined a few other moms in the workroom to help set up for the party. After that, I went home and picked up the three girls and brought them over to the school.

Unfortunately, Emma was complaining because she wanted to eat their food and play their games and Avery was whining about how exhausted she was so we weren't able to stay and watch for very long.

They had various stations set up around the back of the school and were able to autograph a banner for next year's incoming second grade class, decorate autograph books, color with chalk, go on a bug hunt, play "Buzz, Buzz, Sting" (similar to "Duck, Duck, Goose"), create a spider web and munch on bug cookies, candy and sandwiches.

Ryan playing "Tic, Tac, Toe" with a classmate. Of course my son was the only one who insisted on wearing his safari hat from the zoo. What can you do!?! The tacky tourist is just dying to be released at every opportunity!

He had a great time and when he arrived home from his busy day he announced, "It was the best day ever!"

If only every school day could be the last day of school. Something to ponder. Not really.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Dance recital time!

Two weekends ago was Emma and Avery's dance recitals with Stepping Out. They each performed a ballet number and a tap number much like Emma's recital last year except that each of them performed in a separate recital time. So we were hanging out watching recitals from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. that day. Whew! It was a fun but exhausting day.

In the photo above is Avery in her "Somebody Loved Me" ballet costume hanging out with Ashley who was a student helper in her class. If you can't tell from the photo - Avery adores Ashley!

Avery's ballet group ready to go...

Here is Emma waiting backstage to perform her ballet number "Can't Help Falling in Love With You".

This is almost the complete group ready to go out on stage. They all did really well! At this point, Emma has already sat though 3 hours of Avery's recital!

Avery dolled up for her tap routine. The necklaces were not part of the costume but little gifts sent with notes for the girls.

Avery practicing her routine...Just kidding - she was probably skipping around like she isn't supposed to and about to wipe out one of the three thousand times she did waiting back there.

Notice all of the other girls patiently waiting still!?!

Emma in her "Sea Cruise" tap costume. This one was really cute.

The entire group of "cruise directors" waiting for their last performance.

At the end of each recital, they give out ribbons or trophies depending on how many years of dance you complete. Emma received her second year ribbon and Avery her first year. Emma decided she definitely wants to return to dance next year because for three years, they get a TROPHY! She is excited about that one!

The flowers nor the children are looking so hot at this point in the day. By this time we have left the second of two recitals at 5:00 and were getting ready to take the family out to dinner. They were feeling pretty wiped!

But nothing like the promise of a "last picture" to bring out the half smile in each of them!

Both girls did great and I was so proud of them. It is entertaining to watch them on stage - neither of them had a shred of stage fright this year.

First Holy Communion

On May 8th, Ryan celebrated his First Holy Communion.

Father Bob presenting the Holy Eucharist to Ryan for the first time...

They all did a great job and Ryan was so proud! The FHC class made the banner that Ryan is standing in front of.

The cool cat in front of the church after mass.

Of course we came home and attempted to take pictures. This was kind of an awkward angle I know but probably the best out of the bunch of our family.

My parents came into town to be there for the special occasion. Thank you - it meant a lot to Ryan!

We had a reception at our house later that afternoon. We invited some friends over and had a nice little crowd.

We served lemonade and lots of desserts!

Inside the house we had barbecue, coleslaw and low country boil - one of my favorites!

We rented a big jump house and originally thought we would have a lot more kids there. It ended up being just our kids and the kids from across the street - oh well!

Ryan and his special First Communion cake!