Summer 2013 – Part 2 – Our Lives

 

This summer seemed to step up the level of activities our kids enjoyed. We are really very lucky to be able to give our kids a) choices of activities and b) multiple activities to do over the summer. By the end of June I would have placed money on the fact that the favorite camp of the summer was going to be Stewart's Little Mermaid camp where she learned and performed a big chunk of the play in the span of a week or Camp Grammy and Poppy where they all spend a week in Columbus at a place I affectionately refer as the 'spoiling machine.' The latter consists of golf, ice cream, movies, ice cream, shopping ice cream, swimming, ice cream…you get the drill… But along came the ASC Greenway camps (the Adventure Seekers camp for Will and Stewart and the Little Critters camp for Charlie) where after a week the kids all deemed these the “BEST CAMPS EVER!” We loved them because the price was right, the experiences were priceless and best of all, most of it was spent outdoors in or near the woods.

Cindy and the kids enjoyed a quick trip to The Outer Banks (OBX) with her family. With such close proximity to our beach vacation in HHI and a new role at work, I hung back at Fort Sutton. What it really was best for was total and complete boredom. They had a great time with the highlights being bunk beds, shrimp boils and ice cream anytime the words were spoken. Pretty cool seeing pictures of Cindy's Mom and Dad laughing together.

There are some other events that happened this summer but it all went by so fast – a true blur. An Adventure Guides camping trip at Knight's Stadium where after a double header we got to camp out in the outfield, cookouts with friends, movies, sleepovers, soccer camps and did I mention rain and wacky weather? Maybe the wettest summer I can remember here in the Charlotte/Fort Mill area. Easily the coolest August I've ever spent in the area. My air conditioner-less car thanks the weather gods for this.

I probably sound like a broken record and there are certainly days where my words and demeanor on the outside do not reflect what I feel on the inside, but I am so very grateful for being able to provide my kids experiences and summers like this one. I realize that so many kids and families are not this fortunate and because of this I want to work harder to continue to build great experiences for my children but also ensure I am providing them with context on how good we have it and how not everyone is as fortunate. For them to see this and want to work to share their time helping those less fortunate is a goal I want to work harder to achieve in future summers. Not sure what and how to do this just yet – any ideas?

I sit here writing this 2nd post on all the great things that happened on my kids summer vacations realizing today is their first day of school (at least it is for the olders). Here's to another year of learning and excitement for going to school. One last area where I am thankful is for the fact that my kids have genuine excitement to be going back to school. In my opinion, schools are doing something pretty good when kids are excited to return after a pretty decent summer of activities and fun. Bring on the soccer (actually already well in flight), music lessons, Faith Formation, Tae Kwon Do, Chess Club, Curriculum Nights, Field Trips, etc…We. Are. Ready.

Click here for a slideshow of Stewart's Little Mermaid Camp

Click here for a slideshow of the OBX trip

Click here for a slideshow of the DuMont's Baptism celebration

Click here for a random set of pics from July

 

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June 2013: HHI Vacation (and a whole bunch of other stuff since April!)

   

Here I am to tell you about this great summer vacation we went on in June shortly after school ended and it is only days before school starts back. Where does the time go? In addition to our fun vacation activities, there were some pretty cool things that happened before heading off to our traditional vacation in Sea Pines.

Mom, Dad, Tim and I went to the Masters in Augusta – maybe the first time that I have spent time with just my Mom, Dad and brother since before college! It was a near perfect day (and not just because we were in Augusta at the Masters) and something I hope we can do more often.

Stewart celebrated her First Holy Communion. I learned I wasn’t AT ALL ready to see her walk down a church aisle in a white gown.

Stewart played in her first ever musical recital (guitar) – I was amazed at her complete lack of nervousness. So cool under pressure or a complete lack of care that she should be worried. Either way another sign of what I believe makes her so full of awesome.

Will and Stewart both had end of grade award days and came away with great awards and some near flawless report cards to boot! These kids learn so much more, so much earlier than I did growing up. Bear with me while I brag on my kids a bit more…Will is showing so many natural leadership qualities at school – he has such a passion for learning and others in his class seem to draw to him for help.

As a family we celebrated Mom’s Day over brunch at the Fish Market (highly recommend this restaurant) with Cindy and her mom (Nanny) and her dad and Earth Day at the Greenway. Both fun and cool days.

Our time in Hilton Head each year is always so much fun for us. Mom (Grammy) and Dad (Poppy) always come with us which makes vacation even easier with an extra set of eyes. We all seem to enjoy being in HHI at Sea Pines equally. This year I enjoyed watching Charlie get more confident on a two-wheel bike (he especially liked the flatness of HHI and wide sidewalks) and learning how to swim on his own (he just decided it was time to swim on his own when only weeks back he was terrified of it!), seeing my Mom on a bike (I think she enjoys HHI and Sea Pines the most which makes me happy – Mom/Dad: if you guys are reading this you should totally move there!), seeing Cindy sit, just sit in a beach chair and read her book (this woman I married does so little sitting and relaxing – for all she does for our family she should do this so much more!), watching my Dad get his cooking on when it was time for our Low Country Boil and having special 1×1 time with each of my kids (they have no idea how much I enjoy spending time with them individually). Sea Pines makes it so easy to relax. I love being able to bike everywhere and would love all of the shaded areas. We did all of the traditions, the Low Country Boil, the magician who pulls money out of a lemon in South Beach, Greg Russell in Harbortown, hot tub time in the ‘Mickey Mouse’ pool and even found a few new traditions to keep up on our next trip like eating at A Low Country Backyard (restaurant we highly recommend for their pimiento cheese and banana pudding) and homemade dessert night (this year it was blueberry cobbler). As a family we are very fortunate to be able to go to great places like HHI each year and we try hard to never take it for granted.

Below you will find links to slideshows of the various events that took place between Easter and the HHI vacation. In my next entry you will get caught up on our lives between the HHI vacation and the start of the next school year.

Click here for a slideshow of Mom, Dad, Tim and me at the Masters

Click here for a slideshow of Earth Day

Click here for a slideshow of Mom’s special day

Click here for a slideshow of Stewart’s First Holy Communion

Click here for a slideshow of some end of school activities

Click here for a slideshow of our trip to Hilton Head