Saturday, August 18, 2012

Six Months!

Today, our sweet little Oliver turns six months old.  It seems, at the same time, so long ago and so recently that he was born.  Our excitement at his arrival and joy in having his as part of our family has not ebbed one bit.  He knows how to sit up and can travel across the kitchen in his rocket ship.  We are working on helping him learn to crawl, and several teeth are threatening to poke through.  Ollie loves to feel Daddy's stubbly face and watch television with his big bro.  He still has drunk only breast milk, and except for three occasions has only been nursed.  Mommy is having a little anxiety about introducing "outside" food to his diet, because the nursing has forged a great bond between Mommy and Baby, and Mommy is very proud of being able to grow a child all by her own body, but he has been ready for food for some time.  We will most likely let him begin to try a few things soon.

Happy six-month birthday to our little Oliver John Asher!

Six months ago, at this time, it was a very different scene!

You can see that he has been eating the sign.

Ollie really loves his family.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bus Stop

The boys both love being outside for our walk to the bus stop. It's a great way to start the day!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

First Day Of Third Grade

School has begun!  We were excited because G got a great teacher, and he was excited because he wasn't allowed to wear his new shoes until the first day of school.  Here are some photos of the big day:

Looking cool for the first day

The parade up the driveway - and a backpack with great reflectivity!

Check out those sweet kicks.

The goodbyes

G and his new bus driver, Ms. Suzy

G and his new teacher

We have the tradition of going out to breakfast on the first day of school at Douceur de France.  We both had omelettes, and as usual, breakfast was delicious.

After a terrific First Day breakfast

G had a great day at school.  He was recognized twice for good behavior, and he didn't have any homework.  Today he said that his table is in the lead with points for good behavior.  We hope this is an indication of the year ahead, because we are looking forward to a wonderful year in third grade!

A Last Minute Get-Away

We have lots of traditions in our family, but one of our newer ones is the last-minute weekend trip before school starts.  The past couple of years, we've gone to Savannah, but this year, we chose Callaway Gardens.  We had stopped at the Country Store there once after a long day of hiking, but we didn't really know what this Gardens place is.  We are so glad that we gave it a try, because we had the best time there.  We hiked, biked, swam, and did all kinds of things.  Bun, Papa, and Wowo joined us for the day on Saturday, but we stayed until Sunday afternoon.

Our first stop was the butterfly house.  There were displays of cocoons that you can watch as they hatch, and many butterflies inside the small but beautiful conservatory.

Posing for the camera

A "flutter-by"

Brothers in the garden

The beautiful grounds outside the butterfly house

Next, we went to the beach.  We went on Aqua Island, which is an inflatable obstacle course in the lake, for several hours.  We were exhausted and some of us were sunburnt, but we laughed so hard and had so much fun.

Wowo and Bun helped G to build this jacuzzi for himself.

Ollie playing with my sunglasses in our little pop-up tent

We all went to dinner at a charming place called Bon Vivant Cafe, and then we took G back to the hotel so he could swim for a while before bed.

The next morning, Ollie and I went for a hike along the bike path into the Gardens - his first time in the carrier! - while M and G went to the hotel pool.

Me and Ols in the bird watching area outside our room

He had the same reaction to the baby carrier as G used to.

He touched the bottom in the deep end 101 times in a row!

G lovingly playing with his brother before we headed out for more adventures

Outside our room

We checked out of the hotel and headed over to the Gardens for another fun day before we drove home to get ready for school.  The first thing on our agenda was renting bikes for me and G.  We rode across the Gardens and met Matty and Ollie at Rockin' Robin's pizza shop.  We had some pizza and chocolate shakes while we watched the Olympic gold medal men's water polo match.

Much of the bike trail is beautifully wooded.

I tried to convince G that we were in the reflection because the writing in the mirror is the right way, but he wasn't buying it.
The little bike rider as we rounded Robin Lake

The next event was the Treetop Adventure, which is a ropes course.  After an initial lesson and test by the instructor, M and G were turned loose upon the course.  They had to learn how to hook up their carabiners in a very specific way, how to hook up and ride their zip line trolley, how to brake, and where to stash their gloves.  We were amazed at how quickly G became proficient.

G learning how to zip line

The guys loaded up with their equipment

While Ollie and I were waiting, we saw this tour group walking a vulture.  Yes, you can even walk a vulture at Callaway Gardens!

I had to really zoom in to get a photo!

An employee named Jessica handed Ollie one of her carabiners to play with and was making him laugh.  He just started wrinkling his nose on Saturday, and it's so cute!

After a great course experience

The last thing we did was head to the beach to see if G's jacuzzi was still there (it wasn't).  While we were there, we took the opportunity to play a good game of giant checkers.  When we got close to the end of the game, we decided to call it over and head home.

We used our hands and our feet to move the pieces.

We packed a lot into those 29 hours, but we didn't feel rushed at all, and we truly enjoyed ourselves.  It was the perfect way to wind up the summer, and we can't wait to visit again.

Monday, August 13, 2012


I am the absolute worst artist, yet I repeatedly go out for painting nights.  I don't know why, except that this time the painting was perfect for the nursery.  I customized it so that the colors and leaves matched those on the nursery wall, and the pattern on the owl's chest went with the carpet.

Tub Time

Our younger boy is sitting up so well that he can use the "big boy" side of his tub!  Here he is with his only bath toys, a set of three hard plastic boats that he got as a party favor from Lily Brocious.

A Great Friend

On 4 August, we lost the Kelly family dog, Boxer.  He was a great friend for many years and all of Gabriel's years, and we are so grateful for his companionship.

First Slide

We took Ols for his first trip down a slide on 2 August at Jump For Joey.  The slide was not very slick, so it wasn't exactly a thrill ride, but he seemed interested if not excited.  We tried a different slide next, but it wasn't much faster and we didn't get much of a reaction.  At least we know he isn't afraid of slides!

Movie Buff

We have taken Ollie to two movies, both in the past month.  The first was Ice Age:  Continental Drift on 30 July with Lisa, Christopher, and Lily.  The other was Diary of a Wimpy Kid:  Dog Days on 6 August with Danielle, Lily, and Quincy, and a whole bunch of their friends.  He did great in both movies, and it is great to know that we have more entertainment options.  

A Party For Spinjitsu Master G

We have had G's birthday parties at the gymnastics place for the last three years, so we decided to go back to the old-fashioned at-home birthday party this year.  Since the kids just want to run around and play, we invited a bunch of G's closest friends and turned them loose.  The Brociouses were kind enough to lend us their awesome water slide, and Bun and Papa brought over a pool, so they spent most of the time outside.  It took us a while to realize that we had the air plugs for the pool, so that didn't get put up until most of the kids had left, but a few of them got to use it.  We think that the simple party worked great this year, because everyone seemed to have a blast.

Afterwards, a few friends stayed over for game night, which went late into the night.  It was a long, fun day.  Here are some photos:

This happy birthday boy had a Ninjago theme for his party.

Bumblebee Bakery did a perfect job with the cake!

G and his best bud, Christopher.

This is the water slide we borrowed.

This Lego set was a hit with all the kids.