30 October 2017
I wanted an autumnal background for the October Splash and the next town north of where we live has a a farmer's market. You can see from all the colors of mums and the pumpkins that fall is in full swing. The Ball Team is here, on a bench on the sidewalk, letting the background work its seasonal magic while they smile. I really get from this photo that they might actually love each other. Beauty everywhere.
14 October 2017
You know how you share traditions with your kids? Year after year, you honor the traditions you loved as a child by passing them on to your children, then repeating year after year, after year? Well, at some point in our house we became busy, or distracted, or something, because I brought home pumpkins this year and said, okay everyone, let's carve pumpkins. This is how I learned that JMichael has never carved a pumpkin. He's nine! Rachel and Samantha remember doing it a few times and Charlotte and Josephine could only remember doing it once. How does this happen? In my meager defense, the big ladies did say they remember painting pumpkins and drawing on them. Maybe I just didn't think they could carve....maybe?
Well, no painting this year - this year, we carve! Samantha opted for a pattern of a cat in silhouette. Rachel carved an R & E, with a heart.
JMichael was not a fan of the scooping the innards part of carving, but, he got it done, with some help from Rae and Charlie.
Charlotte did her initials.
And Josephine did hers, too. While they were carving, JMichael was complaining about the sticky innards. We decided that traditions were important and Samantha told him, just scoop it out, and enjoy it. You're gonna carve that pumpkin and smile for Mom in pictures. You are gonna scoop it and you're gonna like it. Now get after it. These kids crack me up.
The Saturday of Halloween there was another event in Chestertown. Three, actually, but we only participated in two. First there was a Harry Potter Festival. There were people walking around dressed in their Hogwarts uniforms and qudditch brooms for sale. There was even a lady walking around with a toilet seat around her neck. I'm not sure what that was about, but, the other Harry Potter types seemed to think it was great.
The other event was just for JMichael. I told him I would take him to see something he liked, but, it would be a surprise. As we walked down toward the river, he could see where we going - a Ferrari Show. Right on the riverfront there was a roped off area with about two dozen Ferraris. JMichael was thrilled. We had to look at each one and he was even more excited when he got to some of them drive around. They revved their engines and showed off a little for the fans. He decided this red one was his favorite. The owners were very gracious and let him look inside and opened the trunks to show him the engines.
Also at the riverfront was the Downrigging. A downrigging is a colonial term for the gathering of ships to winterize and repair them. In 2017, the downrigging is way to showcase the restored ships and discuss their importance in local history. We couldn't board any of them, but, we got to see them in all their colonial glory. Pretty spectacular.
At lastly, we have Rachel. She had to work on Halloween, so she dressed up. What is she? (A bunch of her customers got it, but, some had no idea....)
12 October 2017
So he got a pinata. I filled it with his favorite candies and we used a lacrosse stick to beat it until it spilled all over the backyard.
Evan is Rachel's boyfriend of two years and he moved out here with us in June. He's working at a local restaurant, creating dishes for the owners to maybe put on the menu and he cooks for us at home, too. His car broke down this past summer while they were visiting in AR, and once we he gets back on the road, I believe the plan is to get back to school and finish his degree.
Happy Birthday, Evan!
One more pic of Evan - thanks to Rachel's snapchat....
08 October 2017
So there's an old farmhouse down the road from our place that is in a of a little TLC, to say the least. It's on a big farm and the land is producing, but, the house is abandoned. We all trespassed to get these shots, but, hey, it's October, and the spooky scene was right there. I wanted to get closer to the house, but some, who will remain nameless, would not go any closer. Plus, I just love the way the geese were co-operating, too.
Another shot, same spooky abandoned farmhouse - this time at the windmill. We had a few of these shots and were about to head out when I saw the geese about to fly overhead. I said, quick, again and smile - then BAM, five beauties, a creepy windmill and smiling geese. You can't really see the geese smiling, but, you know they are.
I didn't use these for the splash but, I do want to keep them and remember the creepy house and trespassing and the geese. Dag, what won't I make these kids do for a picture?
05 October 2017
02 October 2017
Instead, this formerly sweet young man said to his wonderful mother, Mom, guess what? I'm your only kid now.
I had just woken up but, I was seriously confused. Had everyone else moved out in the night? What day was it?
JMichael sensed my fuzziness and he continued - Since today is Josephine's birthday, I'm your only kid now. Everyone else is a teenager.
He's right. His sisters are now 13, 14, 18 and 19. He's still the little man of the house. He's still everyone's playmate. He's still the sweet soul that makes sure we all have a smile.
Secondary take home message - I'm getting old. Ugh. But what a great way to deliver bad news!
This photo was taken on his first day at Galena, fourth grade, nine years old.
01 October 2017
For her thirteenth birthday, I took her and two friends to play minigolf, then lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings, then back to our house where more friends joined in for a sleepover. We did her family celebration with walking tacos and a cookie cake.
Josephine may be the youngest of the ladies, but, she is never left out. She is bright, curious and thoughtful. I want her to stay little, but, I'm so excited to see what she will become. We love you, Joey. Welcome to your teenager years.
Aurora and Josephine
Josephine with numbers balloons instead of a fingers pose, and then in front of Chelsea's garage.