Part 2 is up on the new, colorful Searching Savannah! Head over there for more of our adventures.
Click HERE.… Yeah, there. It’ll work! I promise!
I’ve been patient. I’ve been kind. But you’re just not colorful enough for me!
Yes, I’ll admit. I’m jealous of those Bloggers over at Blogspot. Maybe I was too hasty. I left too soon. I wanted something different. But the grass wasn’t greener on the other side.
I need color. I need zing!
So, I’m moving back.
Don’t hate me.
Just follow me!
Come on. Please????
I haven’t quite moved in yet, but the walls are painted and I’m looking forward to unpacking some boxes.
See you there!
After days of stress and anxiety, by Thursday I decided we needed to get out of town. Bill wasn’t working Friday so it would be a great three day weekend before the 4th of July to get away.
I got on the computer and started looking at all the Georgia State Parks. We bought an annual pass so we could visit them, exploring our new home here in Georgia. I was looking for someplace north of us. Maybe cooler, maybe less humid.
We decided to drive up to Tugaloo State Park, about two hundred forty miles north of us near the Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee border.
Thursday night we dug through all the camping stuff that we still have. We’ve lugged this stuff around for years hoping to use it again. Over time we got rid of the old tent and the sleeping bags, but most of the things were here. Except the camp stove. When did we get rid of the camp stove?
We packed all we had into the Explorer Thursday night and, bright and early, Bill went to WalMart, list in hand, to buy the food and batteries and bug spray we would need, along with a camp stove.
We hit the road around nine, I guess, heading out of Pooler, Mary content in the back seat with all the neccessities; MP3 player, CD player, portable DVD player, not to mention a bag of Barbies and the perfect camping outfits picked just for the occassion. The Explorer was packed to the ceiling, we brought everything we could think of for those ‘what if’ moments. What if it rains? Extra towels. What if it actually gets chilly? Light jackets.
Let’s see. What did we forget?
Rake. Kind of useful in preparing to set up a tent.
Tarp. Usually put under the tent so all those pointy little rocks don’t a) poke holes in tent floor, b) poke holes in bare feet that are walking on the tent floor.
Screen room. Figured our first camping trip in 12 or more years we could do with out.
The drive was a nice one. No traffic to speak of. Not too many carreer idiots of the road got in our way. We were only on the interstate for about an hour and then headed off onto I-17, a nice two lane that runs all through Georgia and Florida, probaby more states. Don’t know. Didn’t look.
We made a couple little stops. We stopped at McDonalds for breakfast and they graciously contributed to our camp supplies with a few ketchup packets. We forgot to bring ketchup for the hot dog feast we were planning. Hey, simple meals. Haven’t camped in a while, k? Stopped at WalMart somewhere along the route in search of water shoes for Mary. We were planning on being in the lake. Fish and whatever else could be in it made Mary adamant about having new watershoes. She out grew her other ones. Okay, no problem. Bill grabbed a thing of mustard. Forgot that, too.
We got to the State Park around two, stopping at the convenience store near the entrance to pick up some more ice for the cooler and a little bit of firewood. Off we went to check in.
We made reservations on the internet and had the printed reservation with us. Had no problem getting in. We were hoping to find a good spot. There were only two sites left according to the website the night before, but we figured most of the campers for the weekend wouldn’t be getting there until later in the day.
We found the coolest site! It wasn’t ideal, certainly not like California camping. I don’t think I’ll ever find anything that compares, but it was a good site. We ended up having to actually set the tent up in the drive of the site, adjacent to the fire ring and the picnic table, but it worked out fine. We had no one behind us, one group of guys next to us that were fishing most of the time and the lake was in front of us.
The path down to the lake was steep and just short of the shore. Too steep to get all the way down there. But it was a great view!
That’s Mary up in the campsite while I was down the path taking pictures of the view…
The view from the campsite. Mary was resting after setting up the tent.
You can’t tell from the picture, but it was HOT! and so HUMID! We were hoping for more pleasant temperatures, but we were pretty much out of luck.
I do really!
I love to scrapbook, but for quite some time I just haven’t been able to do much of it. Not because I don’t have the time. Plenty of that. Not because I don’t have pictures or supplies. I have way too much of both of those. I just haven’t been able to get my head into it.
I have Dayna’s birthday album just about completed. There is still some journaling to be done. Her 18th is a difficult one. It was a very hard day. But I won’t dwell on that, in my head or in the album, but instead I want to write her a letter to her, letting her know just how much we love her and how proud of her we have always been.
Last night I pulled out Mary’s birthday album stuff and started working on her 3rd.
She’ll be 12 this year, so I have a bit of catching up to do.
It’s been so long since I’ve had my creative mind working that it’s really difficult to get going on pages. Just the sheer number of photos I have for this birthday left me staring blindly at the table after I spread them all out. I looked for pictures I could crop, my handy-dandy template at the ready to put several pictures on the page, but I couldn’t find any that I could take the paper trimmer to! A bit off of one and a bit off of another was all I could accomplish.
I finally decided that this birthday would also have to be multi-paged, as the first and second birthdays are. That’s okay. The early birthdays are so fun and full of excitement, I want to scrap every picture!
I feel like a beginning scrapper again, though. I have the theme; Blues Clues, but for other design elements, I just have no idea where I’m going to go. So, I’ll keep them very simple until the mojo comes back. If it does. Simple is good.
On this birthday she was involved in every aspect of the celebration! She even got to decorate her own cake. She helped Dad make meatballs for her birthday spaghetti dinner, and was quite the little hostess for her party guests.
So, there’s laundry that needs to be done, dishes that need to be washed and floors that need to be cleaned, but for now I’m going to revisit my little three year old and her Blue’s Clue’s birthday!
Mary was both excited and sad about her last day of fifth grade.
As we drove away from school Friday afternoon she realized she was no longer in Mr. Proto’s class. Even though the kids annoyed her quite often during the year, she loved Mr. Proto’s class. He teased her often and she liked that. Better than getting in trouble! She never did, though. She just witnessed it a lot!
The gifted class was meeting Friday for the last time to watch the movie version of a book they’d read. They had a little time to ham it up for the camera for Mary, though.
Mary was the only one in her school uniform. Guess we missed that memo.
Before we left we caught up with the other two 5th grade teachers and Ms. Shiver, the gifted class teacher.
Ms. Pevey was Mary’s math teacher during the year.
We caught up with Mr. Cooper in the lunch room, complete with gloves on his hands. No hair net, though. He was serving lunch.
Finally, we got a picture with Ms. Shiver. She posed graciously even though we interrupted her lunch!
We headed home to pick up Breanna and then off to WalMart where we picked up some shorts and tops for the summer. Mary really is in need of summer clothes. I know she doesn’t want to keep wearing that uniform!
Sunday morning, really…really………reeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllyyyyy early, Mary and I took Breanna and her father to the airport. Breanna headed to Ohio to spend the summer with her Grandma, Aunts, Uncles and cousins. I know she’ll have a great time and I know it’s the best thing for her, but Mary is going to miss her. Even with all the problems in that house, Breanna and Mary still had a good time together. As we waited for Breanna’s dad to come back from seeing her off at the gate, Mary came to tears a couple of times.
We were looking forward to a trip to the beach this week, but I think we’ll put that off or find another beach to go to. Miley Cyrus is in town to film a movie on Tybee. I hear from the newscasts that it’s getting to be a madhouse down there. Mary isn’t that into Miley any more that she wants to go see if she can catch a glimpse of the star. Thank God. Don’t think I’d go for that anyway.
It’s been pretty quiet around here this week. Mary’s stayed up late and slept in, enjoying her first week of summer vacation. I’ve enjoyed not having the daily taxi schedule. And Bill is getting used to driving himself to work. lol
No need to worry about the rip tides here!
Mary and the rest of the 5th graders had beach day at school! They had sand and sun, but no water, except for the bottled water that flowed freely on a hot day.
Mary brought the beach umbrella and they staked out their spot and that’s where they spent the morning. When I got there they were just lining up for lunch. The teachers grilled hamburgers and hotdogs. There were kids camped out all over, in every shady spot they could find, enjoying their lunch.
Around one o’clock everyone went to the gym for awards. Mary was so happy! She got an award for High Honor Roll with Distinction for the whole year, an award for her reading acheivements, and several others that I don’t remember off the top of my head.
I brought Mary, Breanna and Tracy home with me. They were allowed to leave early. I couldn’t see them staying 2 1/2 more hours in that sun and heat. They had fun, but they were ready for some good old a/c. Deanna, another friend from Mary’s class, was a bit upset that we were all leaving and tried her best to guilt them into staying, but it didn’t work.
Today is technically a full day of school, but they are not taking attendance and I’m sure that most everyone will be staying home. I know Tracy and Breanna will be sleeping in this morning. Mary, however, has something going on in the gifted class and doesn’t want to miss it. I’ll pick her up at lunch time, though.
She’s had such a great year. It started out in a wheelchair after her foot surgery and ended with such accomplishment! I’m so proud of her. She had many struggles throughout the year and she did great.
All the pictures from the day are over at Mom’s Camera if you’d like to take a peek!
The end of the school year is in sight and the last two days won’t be filled with any academics. Mary is very happy about this!
Today the whole 5th grade class is having Beach Day! At school. No Beach. But I don’t think they care.
Mary packed up the beach umbrella, her cooler and all she may need for a day outside. I’m heading out there at noon, camera in hand, to take pictures of the fun.
Yesterday after school Mary decided it was time to clean house. Well, the backpack. She and Breanna had a grand time going through all the paper Mary has accumulated throughout the year.
She busts me up!
Last night we headed over to the middle school for Mary’s last band concert of the year. Her band teacher, the music teacher and the band director of the middle school organized a great event! Fifth grade band students from elementary schools all over the county got together and played as a group.
The kids left school and headed over to the middle school yesterday around 2:30 to meet with all the other kids to rehearse. Mary was so excited in the morning, gathering her regular stuff for school along with her music stand and a snack for the long rehearsal.
Bill and I, along with Breanna, headed over to the middle school about five thirty, trying our best to get there inbetween the torrential downpours that were coming through sporatically. We didn’t get too wet.
As we walked through the hall, following the sound of the clarinets, we came upon a circle of kids getting tuned up for the performance.
There was Mary in the thick of it. I didn’t recognize many of the kids. Later Mary said that only four of her class’ clarinet players showed up.
It wasn’t too long before all the band members began showing up, finding their seats and getting ready to play.
Mary was ingrossed in conversation with Mr. Chandler as she came in. He is the chorus/music teacher and helps out with the band a lot.
Breanna and Bill were cheesin’ it up for the camera.
As the kids were getting settled in their seats, I snuck over and snapped one of Mary. She actually grinned for me! I know she was wondering if I was going to make a spectacle of myself wandering around taking pictures.
I tried to behave.
The middle school band director welcomed us and let us know how he had enjoyed working with all the kids during the day.
I snuck up to the top of the bleachers to get a picture of the band from above! There are a lot of 5th graders there!
When the last song ended and the applause started dying down, I, once again, snapped a picture of Mary. I think she had a really good time and got a small taste of what is to come in her band career.
She was ready to go home, though.