Sunday, August 17, 2014

*8* is great!

Just as it is hard to believe that the baby is 6, it is unbelievable that Jackson is turning 8 today.  This past year has been such a neat year for him.  He has really matured in ways I never expected. 

In addition to being a great little paddle boarder, he has gotten really good at skateboarding.  he doesn’t have the greatest balance, but he works hard {and leaves more than his share of skin on the pavement} until he improves.  He just got a new custom board that he is hoping to learn lots of tricks on!

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He got it as an early bday present while we were in SC, and he loves it a lot!  Hopefully he can learn some tricks without too much damage!

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Jackson has such a fun sense of humor that has come out in the last year.  In the past he has been very literal and all of a sudden he is making jokes and they are funny!  We love seeing that in our boy.

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Last night we were eating ice cream and Allen and the boys were finished just as I was about half way done.  I was marveling at them not having ice cream headaches when he looked at his dad and said, “She’s not one with the cream.”  That kind of funny.

He has also become very responsible.  He is great at making his bed, taking out the trash, letting out the dog and is even starting to fold his own laundry in addition to putting it away.  These are things that we have worked with him on all along, but he is becoming so responsible in his own right too.

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He is such a big big brother.  He bosses his brother around like a pro, but most of the time he is just trying to get Miller to stay in line.  He is also such a big brother in that he has really grown to love pestering his brother.

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He adores dogs.  Our dog Hank isn’t as peppy as Chele’s puppy Maggie, but he still talks to him and tries to get him to play.  He named her “Snugglebunches”!

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We are so happy that even though Jackson gave up any public displays of affection a long time ago, he is still very affectionate.  He loves to snuggle, hug and just generally be close to us.  It makes him not being able to hold my hand in public a little less painful!  He has gotten so big that I often have to remind him that he hurts me when he attacks/hugs me

Jackson is still in love with all kinds of creatures.  He is forever bringing home crabs, lizards, fish, octopuses {octopi?) and lots of other creatures.  I think he will always be looking for critters to observe and play with.

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He also loves reading.  It makes me so proud that he will sit down and read a book.  Not really sit and read a book for a while, but he sits and reads the whole book.  Front to back.  I can’t wait to get to a town with a library.  I love buying him books, but I can go broke doing that very quickly!

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Jackson also has these opinions that are all his own.  As much as I would like to dress him cute, he insists on wearing nylon sports clothes every day.  I tried hiding them and then he just wore his school gym shorts.  He really likes them.  I’ve come to realize that he doesn’t get to choose his own clothes on a daily basis because of the uniform, so I have to let it go and let him do his own thing.  I have relented but also told him I won’t complain now about it if he doesn’t complain when I tell him he needs to wear something nice.  We’ll see how that goes!

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Jackson has grown so much in the last year.  he drinks about half a gallon of milk a day and you can tell.  He has always been tall, but now he is just BIG.  Sometimes I look at him and think “He’s not going to be able to fit in a twin sized bed when we get back to the U.S.!”P6052127P6052130

Jackson has so many wonderful characteristics and it is hard to put them all down here, but I know that the coming year we will get to know this amazing boy even better and we can not wait to see what he is going to show us!

Happy Birthday Bug!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

SC Coast

When a sweet friend of Michele’s offered to let us use her beach house while we were visiting SC, I wasn’t immediately sure we should go.  After a little thought we decided that it would be good for the boys to experience east coast beaches.  After all our time in the Bahamas is finite.

The boys were thrilled to go to Fripp Island and we had a really good time.  We were sad that Allen didn’t get to go on this trip with us.

Get ready for photo overload!

I love the marshes we went through on the way in.

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OK I do not have a picture of this but… here is the story!

We got in mid afternoon and after we unloaded the car we went for a walk on the beach.  The part of the beach we entered on was very narrow and within about 90 seconds of setting foot on the beach of SC we saw a SHARK!  It was swimming right along the edge of the water.  The same edge of the water we were walking along.  We’ve lived in the Bahamas for 4 years but we see our first shark in SC.  Go figure!

It didn’t stop these boys from heading straight into the water.  We didn’t exactly have a consensus because mama and Aunt Chele did not want to go in that water.  You can’t even see around you!  Yes I am spoiled!

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But still it was about a 3 foot long shark. Right there!

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The boys were really interested with all the boys who were skim boarding.  Jackson talked to a boy on the beach who let him use his board.

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It took him a bit to get his balance.  He said, “I thought I would be good at it because I am good at skateboarding and paddle boarding.  This is hard.”

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They quickly talked me into buying them one.  

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Jackson took about 15 minutes of trying and trying again before he had it down pat!NIK_8082

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Miller has quite an unusual technique—kind of a cartwheel/squat combo.

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No matter what their technique they look a million times better than me because I’d be on my face the first time and then never get up again!

Jackson and Miller loved spending lots of time with their Aunt Chele.

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And her puppy, Maggie too!

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We got to explore the island a bit.NIK_7854NIK_7898

They aren’t used to actual waves (small waves) and had a blast playing in them.  They have no idea about undertow and strong currents, so I had to stay out there with them most of the time…{shudder}NIK_7963

While on the beach we could always see the shrimp boats and pelicans close by.NIK_8011

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Jackson really wanted this magnet.  He didn’t care if it was appropriate or not!

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On our last day the weather was absolutely gorgeous!   When it is low tide the beach is so wide.  By high tide there is no beach in some places!

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A beach boy’s gotta do what a beach boy’s gotta do!

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So now to the exciting part.  The wildlife!  As soon as we got to the island {we saw a shark} we began seeing deer.  They were quite prolific.

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The last night we were on the beach and Miller dropped his peach in the sand so Chele threw it up near the dunes.  It didn’t take long for these guys to get that juicy treat!

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Our nature boy loved every second of it!

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There was also an alligator in the pond right behind our house.  The house had a little sea wall to keep the gator off their property.  We saw him quite a bit while we spent time on the deck and porch.

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He was close.  One evening the boys were playing soccer out on the deck when the inevitable happened.  Their soccer ball got kicked over the side of the deck.  The gator wasted no time capturing his “prey”!

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Bye Bye soccer ball!NIK_8049NIK_8050NIK_8051

The next day Michele was walking her dog and the fool saw the ball on the edge of the pond.  So she thought it would be a good idea to get the ball out with a net.

Amazingly she didn’t end up a gator snack!  The ball wasn’t popped but it did smell!

All too soon it was time to head back through the marshes and head back to the Upstate.

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It was such a nice trip.  IMG_3505