first hoorah

nothing says summer like a bobble dancer in a grass plastic skirt attached to your dashboard! yeah, i know they are tacky. that's what makes this tradition so fabulous and memorable! our new hula doll arrived just in time to welcome in the summer. jenny springs, our original girl, suffered a nasty fall in my studio, breaking her in half.  living on a dirt road our hula dancer has wild dance moves and glue would never suffice. the replacement, jimmy springs, has one mean stare. he is a newer version of kelly's bobby mcgee.  i plan to unstick him monday and turn him a tad to the right. his glare is kinda freaking me out... like a painting when the eyes follow you. 
our first hoorah was a quick trip to charleston with daddy.
he was working and we tagged along. 
we visited the citadel. the girls had never seen the campus.
 there's not a final decision, but this college is in the top three picks for my boy.

we dined out... overlooking the battery. 
my sister's recommendation, which was great!
we dined in... trader joe's sushi.

it is so nice that my big kids are old enough to watch the little one.  especially when your room over looks the pool. however they did loose all electronic devices for arguing. 

we spent a day at the beach. mary claire is the queen of accessories! and she loves-loves her new bag from ms. smoak, thank you!
 she cracks me up. she had a hawaiian lei, but i made her leave it behind. a little too over the top. so she improvised with a beach flower.
 my girls commented on how crowded the beach was. 
this summer  they might need to visit a 'really' crowded beach. everything's relative ;)
 the boogied in the surf for over 4 hours!

as is everyone, i am thrilled summer is here! our summer will be a little, no a lot different than summers past.  bennett is taking a class at school to lighten his load, which is a blessing. but seriously throws a wrench into vacation planning.  our official vacation is planned at the end of the summer. to... who knows where? my plan is to look online a week before and then decide ;)

one more

one more canada post before i upload the pictures that caused a neighbor to call 911. 

the official-official beginning of summer arrives tomorrow... because school will be out! woo-hoo! adjusting to my summer work schedule is never fun. i switch over to working third shift... which makes me mean for a few days ;)

our get-away was just what we needed! honey and papa gene took the kids to the mountains and they were in no hurry to come home. the green river had just been stocked and anna katherine was bitten by the fly fishing bug. who wouldn't after catching that many trout! a gigantic hug to these grandparents for taking care of the kids!

our conference and hotel was in niagara, new york. 
pretty neat that niagara, canada was a 5 minute walk from our hotel. the canadian side was beautiful,  way prettier than the u.s. side. but frightening (to me) after dark. not scary as in new york city gangs after dark, scary as in the middle east after dark. it was  so different than anything i have ever seen. i quizzed the u.s. border agent about this and he informed us that one of the largest terrorist cells is located in quebec, canada. gulp. so no more nighttime visits across the border. not that terrorists only strike at dark... just because i am a scardy cat and people jump from the bushes after dark;)

but isn't it lovely when the lights are on!
time with my sweet guy reminds me that empty nest might not be as devastating as i have it made out to be. little trips make us miss our kids (after the first few days, sorry kids) but we always-always have the best time together. 

we flew up with another couple from our town. they are easy and laid back travelers, just like we are. so it was effortless to mesh our plans together. our husbands both are big history buffs wanted to tour old fort niagara

bound and determined to not repeat our near miss experience a few days before, we arrived at the airport almost two hours early! only to find out that all planes in atlanta had been halted because the president was in the air (???) that's what the delta attendants said and that's what put us home at 3:00 in the morning! 

the airport time strangely flew by. the guys had fun walking around talking to people, singing to the subways ladies ~  laying the the southern accent on mighty thick! 
(the ladies were planning the next trip.) 

memorial day

{happy memorial day} 
a day we pause and pay tribute to all of the people who have done so much for our country.

it's also the official beginning of summer: the lake, the beach, flip flops, boat rides and late nights...  we made a last minute decision to head to the lake. a quick trip, because the big kids are in the thick of exams and our weekend had been a little on the boring side... except for a visit from the police! more on that later!

holy cow... canada geese at lake wateree, they followed us!
"mom, i hope you are joking. "  ;)

 this one is serious about her fishing!

we ended our day with a fancy dinner at a really nice restaurant... cause that's how we roll ;)

my what a long tongue you have

we're in the thick of end of the year activities. 
i think i've said  that ;)
yesterday we accompanied the third graders and almost all of the other parents to the zoo!

our stare is home to an amazing zoo. 
mary claire's favorites 'of the day'
the meerkats
my favorites of the day, the giraffes. 
they were a hoot with their long, wiry tongues, begging for a slice of lettuce!

happy memorial day weekend!
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