Friday, July 23, 2010

Vive Le Tour

So, sometimes I do things just because I think it will be a good blog post.

Some background info. This is about the Tour de France. We were living in Dallas during Lance Armstrong's run. We are sports fans and we would follow it. Maybe have the replay on at night while reading the paper. After Lance retired the first time, we would forget about it, but remember sometime in the last week and again, have it on to see who ended up winning. Forward to 2008. Andy was born on June 10th, so that means at the beginning of July he enter his super cranky baby phase. In the evenings there were hours of crying which mean we spend hours walking and bouncing and nursing and rocking until he finally went to sleep. Thank God for the tour. We caught it at the beginning for the first time and had it on during the walking and bouncing and nursing and rocking and somehow it made it bearable. Instead of completely dreading the "witching hour" it was our excuse to watch the tour.

I think Carlos Sastre won that year, but I could be wrong. For the longest time, I didn't really get it. I liked watching it for the scenery and the exciting finishes (watching Mark Cavendish getting ready to bring in another one now). I did try to figure out what was going on and would read about it on the internet, but this year is the first year I think I really understood why this were happening. It has been very exciting. We had it on in the afternoon and James was entranced by the bike race. And of course he wanted to have a bike race. So then I had an idea.

Here is coverage of the first annual Tour de La France held at La France Elementary School this morning. Of course, this was like the hottest day of July, but it is suppose to be the most epic race ever. Any ride on toy was allowed:

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Here is Andy trying one out. I have never scene a superman cap on a rider in the real tour. I have seen them on the spectators, so I allowed it:

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Mattie liked to push instead of ride:

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Here are James and John warming up:

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We had encourageing/heckling messages on the course:

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GC hopeful Henry had the biggest bike (16 inch tires!)

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Mattie and Andy both had their eyes on the white jersey, oh, I mean ribbon:

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We had several races (stages). Sometimes they all went in the same direction, sometimes not:

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We had 2 popsicle breaks between stages:

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Poor Becky was a trooper! She made it through the whole race.

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Juliet was so smart and brought a spray bottle to keep cool!

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They were racing for ribbon: yellow, white, green, and poka dot. The poka dot was in the most demand. These ribbons were tied to the bikes:

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See you next year!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Ms. Kip Fan Club

If the name Ms. Kip sounds familar, it is because you read it on this post about gymnastics. It turns out that Ms. Kip teaches swim lessons...all you need is a pool. Um, check! However, because I waited until our pool was not green, I couldn't get in until this past week. The lessons went for 4 days, but we didn't watch or take pictures until the last day.

Here is Ms. Kip instructing James and John:

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They usually took turns as Ms. Kip would work with one:

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and then the other:

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James did really well. He learned to swim a little bit underwater and then flip over onto his back.

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Ms. Kip had all these things to help them do things. One thing she did in order to get them to go underwater is she would ask them "do you want to eat ice cream or read a book?" James picked read a book. (?) Here is his transformer book:

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and here he is reading the book:

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If you were good, at the end you got the jump in!

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Here are some videos of James swimming:

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Blueberry Pickin'

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I can't believe this is my first blog post about blueberry picking. We have gone as a family for the past couple of years, and in fact, it was something that Mark and I did before kids. I don't know if we would have started this on our own, but our good friend, Kendra, her grandparents had a pick your own blueberry farm called DeZavala Vineyards. It is between Dallas, Houston, and Austin. Once a year, she would have a blueberry picking weekend where she invited her friends to pick blueberries. If you went, you not only got blueberries, but you got to stay for a yummy lunch, and had some relaxing porch time. It was awesome. We usually ended up with 2 gallon freezer bags of blueberries, sometimes blackberries and raspberries, and these would last for about a year. After moving to SC, we wanted to go, but wasn't sure where. Well, one night we were watching Good Eats with Alton Brown and he was picking blueberries at Happy Berry Farm in Six Mile, SC. That has been our berry farm of choice ever since.

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James was really excited. He remembered picking (and eating) last year. Andy was just happy to be walking this year.

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Weather was good. We got there a little after 9:30. A lot of times it is really crowded. Like tour bus parking only crowded, but look how pretty it is!

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Oh, and there is a bear:

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After getting baskets and our picking assigments, we were off:

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James did great! Although, he only had four berries for the longest time.

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Andy did really well. He stayed a picked at one spot for like 5 minutes. James was a little destressed that Andy got a lot of green ones, but what can you do.

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Turns out, Andy was a bucket dumper. The boys had to start over a few times.

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It didn't take long before Andy lost interest and found a stick:

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Andy and I headed back to the house, but I took this picture of Mark still picking.

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Another bear picture. At least I am in this one!

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A picture of our haul. We ended up with a little over 3 pounds. That is good with our 2 kids!

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Monday, July 5, 2010

My life as a refugee

Some of you may know this, some of you may not, but there has been an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. This has been hard to deal with for several reasons. One reason is that growing up, Pensacola was where we went for vacations. There was awhile there during elementary school thru middle school, I think we went every year. We met lots of family there and always had a great time. In college and later, we would hear news of hurricanes hitting the area and one actually destroyed the condo we would stay in. News of oil washing up on the beach makes me very sad. It also caused a big problem because we had actually booked a place to stay for the end of June that was big enough for my family, my sister's family, and my parents. Unfortuately, we were about 3 weeks too late. A few weeks ago we canceled our reservations and scrambled to find a new play to go. We decided on Edisto.

Here are the kids on the way to the beach the first day:
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They were very excited. Here is a picture of the placed we stayed:

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It was very big. When you have to book at the last minute like we did, well, you either get a really expensive place, or a place that isn't as nice. Guess which one we picked. ;) More pictures of the kids on the beach. Man, that first day is great, isn't it?

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Oh, there is baby AC again. Just sitting in her chair.

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James found a shell! Last year, in St. Simons, there were no shells. Edisto, of course, has tons. No sharks teeth though.

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Andy had a great time, although, snack time still was his favorite!

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In non-beach time, C taught James how to play Wii! Not really, but James liked to pretend he was playing...and then die, or crash, or whatever

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We took another little hike and my mom got the kids matching shirts. The front says "Five out Five" and their number. James and Andy are #2 and #4.

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The back says "refugees from the oil spill"
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The hike was half of mile, flat, and stroller and boot brace friendly:

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There was lots of running:

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And some melting down:

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We had dinner at The Old Post Office. I got the Pecan Crusted Veal. YUM!

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On a rainy day, we went to the local serpentarium. I expected a tourist trap, but it was actually pretty neat. AND they have a AAA discount!

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I kept wondering how Beth would feel about all these snakes!

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We were really close to the crocadiles! Or is that an Alligator? I should have paid more attention!

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To be honest, the kids liked the gift shop the best.

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It was a great vacation!