My baby daddy

This one made him a father first.  (And she might or might not look just a little bit like him.)
He has been a wonderful daddy since the day she came into our lives.  He's kind and patient, holds them gently, makes them laugh, plays pretend better than Bill Cosby, tucks them in and tells impromptu bedtime stories.

This year we celebrated Father's Day by taking him (and us!) out for ice cream at Collins Lake.
The boys checked out the big fish that have been caught at the lake so far this summer.
Then I tried to get a picture of Jono with all the kids.
They love to torture me.
And this is the best one.
Thanks for being a fantabuloso dad, Jono!
We love you!


The bearded mime

This might be the most disturbing combination I've seen come out of our dress up box.
The white mime mask by itself kinda freaks me out.
But add a bushy beard.
And a cowboy belt.
That's scary.
You can reference this post in October when you are looking for a costume idea.


Splatter Paint Birthday Party

Living at a camp definitely has its advantages.
Like when it's your birthday and you want to have a splatter paint hullapalooza and there's a room all set up for that very thing. With black lights even. And upturned barrels for paint to go on top and drumsticks to beat them with so paint goes everywhere!

We also had squirt bottles and paint brushes to make sure everyone was adequately splattered.

Here's the birthday girl in all her splatter glory.

and the crew...

A dip in the lake helped to get a little of the extra paint off.

Fun times.

For more info about the camp where we live, click HERE.


Meanwhile back at the lake

The fish are back now that the water has warmed up!
Note:  the safest way for a young, not fully coordinated person to look at fish while leaning over the edge of a deck is to lie flat with only your head over the water.
It takes a Georgia man to catch a fish like that.

This was Abby's contribution.


The Fourth Child

Jono and I are not huge planners.
I would say we are more "go with the flow" people.
Spontaneous-ness happens more often than not.

That's pretty much how all our babies happened.
There was no trying to pick the perfect birthday month.
No research done to determine the perfect amount of spacing between siblings.

We had Blessing #1, then #2, then #3.
 (and it is a blessing to have such easy pregnancies. I know what a struggle some people have to go through.) but after baby #3 we thought our family might be complete. 
Thought about it too long.
Hello, #4.

There's a quote by Mark Twain that I love.
"To get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with."

Dylan is our fourth child.
That makes us a good size family.  Larger that average America but smaller than Sister-Wives.
Unexpected.  Unplanned.  A surprise.
Surprised by joy.
Dylan makes me laugh.  The pictures are proof.
And the miracle is not only does he make me laugh, he makes #1, #2 and #3 laugh.  Joy is multiplied because I get to see four smiling faces.  Hear four gorgeous giggles.  And I don't have to worry about writing all down because between all of us, somebody is bound to remember it and retell it at a later date for us all to laugh about again!
Joy multiplied.

Thank you, God, for all of our surprises!


High-tailin' it into summer

The last day of school was the day that never ends.
Celebration after celebration.
We started in the Mouse House (aka pre-school).
Took pictures with everyone's teachers.
We love these people!
Class awards were handed out.
I'm so proud of my rock star kiddos!
And LOTS of fun and games!
Somehow, boys crashing the manicure station is a last day of school thing.
Oranges on the head will be the next big thing.
Bring on SUMMER!


End of the season

Abby finished up softball on Saturday.
She had a blast playing with the girls and they all learned so much.
She said her favorite part was pitching.

One game the little brothers and their friends ditched the softball game so they could watch the big boys practice.  How cute is that?!  One day they'll be out there with some younger admirers watching them.

Joe's team was pretty strong this season.  Three or four of them will be moving up to minor league next year, Joe included.  So, to get them ready, the boys got to try out pitching and hitting off of the boys pitching (instead of the coaches).  Joe said that was his favorite part.

My favorite part is seeing them have fun.
And yelling from the stands.
I probably am way too vocal but I come by it honestly.  My mom was always the loudest one in the bleachers and my dad had a knack for getting ejected.  He was harder to hear from the parking lot.  (Sisters, testify.)  Abby said she would be extremely embarrassed if I ever got thrown out of one of her games.  Guess I better watch it.


Blue Bellies

With all these animal posts you'd thing we live at a zoo!

Blue belly lizards are literally everywhere around our house.  They like to hide in the wood pile and around the chicken shed and sun themselves on the rocks.  We have a lot of rocks.

The boys love to chase them although they only catch one out of maybe fifty.
This is the blue-est blue belly we've ever seen.

Mr. Lizard was loved well to the end of his days.
Meaning the end of this day.


They grow up so fast

Ahh, internet.  You finally let me upload these pics.

The hens we have now we got when they were already "teenagers".  We all know babies are much cuter that teenagers!  This is also very true for chickens.

Take a look at our babies growing...

a couple days old

one week old

D thinks they are easier to catch with his baseball glove.

three weeks old

Today they are six weeks old!
(picture to come later)

They can now fly up to the first shelf in the greenhouse.  Found that out the morning I went out to check on them and they had eaten the tops off of everything at that height!  Oh, the things I'm learning.  We have been keeping them in the greenhouse because (1) it's warmer and they can't stay in our house and (2) they can't be with the big hens yet--they don't eat the same thing and we don't want the hens getting too rough with them.  However, if I'm going to be able to keep anything in the greenhouse they are going to have to be relocated pretty soon. 
Learning, learning.


The Milk Goat Project

Meet the newest members of the homestead...

We have recently acquired a couple goats, one of which we get to milk. 
I'll let you guess which one.
Yes, the milk is good.  It tastes very much like whole cow's milk.
Yes, we drink it.  And use it in our cereal.
We made ice cream with it last week and it was a definite success.  Yogurt and cheese is on the agenda.  If I can only find the time.  Maybe when school gets out things will slow down a bit.  (a mother can dream, can't she?)

The new girls are barred rock hens, same as our chicks.  They are already laying (eggs) and since the chicks won't be laying until September or so this ups our daily egg count to 4!  Yea for fresh eggs!  I take some spinach from the garden, saute it in a little butter, and throw it in with the scrambled eggs.  Breakfast of champions.
Now that's eating local!