31 October 2019

Splash - October 2019

Some splash photos take a few scenery changes or staging of some description.  I spend time every month coming up with ideas and scouting locations.  Then, once we have an idea, we get together and try to make the ideas come to life.  Sometimes this happens easily and this Splash was one of those - a pregnant subject and a field of pumpkins....voila!  Happy fall ya'll!

30 September 2019

Splash - September 2019

The September splash was taken at the Salisbury Zoo.  I don't know what it is about zoos - our BallTeam loves strolling around and visiting the animals.  They talk to them, call them, imitate them and generally just enjoy each other's company while seeing the wild things.  Salisbury has a great size zoo - it has some cool animals like, flamingos, crocodiles, bears, monkeys, bison and lots o'llamas!

31 August 2019

Splash - August 2019

We had a crazy busy summer - three moves and lots of running around.  New schools, new jobs, new places....still thick as thieves.  This splash was taken in front of Mom's new house in Salisbury.  The Ball Team is living in two different houses - but, still a Team. 

12 August 2019

Cloud thought bubble

Is this an amazing cloud formation, or what?  It's like a giant thought bubble in the sky.  What is God thinking?  I shudder to wonder.

31 July 2019

Splash - July 2019

The July Splash is at Mom's new house!  Mom sold her house in Elkton (it was only on Zillow for seven hours!) and bought a smaller, but, big enough, house in Salisbury.  She's about an hour from our house in Easton and about twenty minutes from Eric and Abbey in Mardela Springs.  She's back in Salisbury Ward and so she fell in to her old group of friends.  She's rebuilding the deck, updating the appliances and plumbing.  She had most of us painting, ripping up carpet, unpacking the pods and unboxing the boxes.  She has a great big workshop in the back of her garage and three bedrooms.  She loves it and she is making it her own.

27 July 2019

Samantha is Twenty ... ?!?!!!

The first order of business for Samantha's twentieth birthday was all about Grandmom.  Her pods were delivered and she called on the family and Salisbury Ward to start the unloading at nine in the morning.  From what I hear (cause I slept late...) Salisbury Ward was there in force and the whole project was finished by nine thirty.  Whoa.  Thank you!!

The next order of business was relaxing and celebrating.  Samantha is twenty - that's two decades old.  She is smart, pretty, and kind.  She has a very strict definition of the foods and snacks she likes, but, she's always on the hunt for her next favorite.  She just got her hair dyed - something she's been wanting for a while - now she's really a blonde.  She and Rachel and Matt are living in Fruitland, paying their way, making their path, bored one minute and busy the next.  

Samantha is always up for staying in.  She's a pro with Netflix and while she does like to be out and about - she is still a simple girl - nature documentaries on Netflix and working out at home are two of her biggest ways to spend her day off.

Samantha has her learner's permit for driving, but, not her license yet.  She's a good driver and now that she's working she is saving for a car of her own.  One day she will meet a young man she can't live without.  Meanwhile, every movie, every date, every outing, I ask - are we dating this boy?  And always, it's no, Mom.  We are just friends.  I will let you know when we start dating.

You better....Happy Birthday Sam-ba-lam.

We had a bit of a crowd that afternoon, evening to hang out - here we have Abbey, Mom and Eric.
And here we have Dan (Samantha's work bud), Rachel, Charlotte, Josephine, JMichael, Gavin and Emily.  This pool, by the way, is an exercise pool.  It was 95 degrees!
We had supper - but, you gotta catch 'em if you want to eat 'em!  Matt and Jimmie were trying to steam crabs - can you blame the poor things for trying to run?  Everyone grab some tongs - they're getting away!
BEFORE

and AFTER!  Steph (at seven o'clock), Jimmy (at one o'clock) with Samantha (two o'clock) and James (at three o'clock).

Stephanie and Abbey - sharing a moment on the dance floor.

Samantha's birthday "cake"....

See?  A watermelon works great as a birthday cake!

I included this picture because  Ginny and Sadie, standing behind me, had never been to a Samantha's birthday bash, and were just astonished that we would use a watermelon as a birthday cake.  Welcome to Samantha's world, friends!

04 July 2019

The Fourth, 2019

 The Fourth of July is my favorite holiday - no candy, no dressing up (costumes or dresses) - just history and celebrating.  With fireworks.  That's my kind of holiday.  This year the Fourth was on a Thursday, so I had off Thursday and Friday (thank you Coon & Cole).  On Wednesday night, we drove from Easton to Chestertown to get Markel, then we went to Rehobeth Beach to meet up with Chase and watch fireworks on the beach with his family.
Josephine and Chase, July 3, 2019 
James, JMichael and me - trying to get comfortable on the sand.

Charlotte and Markel sat up on the boardwalk on a bench - Charlotte is not comfortable with the getting up and down on the sand.  We enjoyed the show - very nice.  Crowds were pretty big so we sat on the beach for a while then still sat in traffic til after midnight.  We had Thrashers.  A great evening - Happy Birthday America!

30 June 2019

Splash - June 2019

 The June splash was taken at Rachel, Samantha, and Matt's new house - in Fruitland, Maryland.  Rachel's boss owns the house and she splits the rent with Matt and Samantha.  Rachel is an independent soul and while she enjoyed living with Eric and Abbey (she was in their spare room about five months), she needed a space of her own.  The addition of Matt and Samantha make this house affordable and cozy.  They have plenty of hand-me-down furniture and it's set up just like a first house of a bunch of twenty-somethings should be - gathering areas and places to lounge.  It's small, tidy and the floors slant in every direction.  It's perfect.  This is Samantha's first home away from home.  She was always our daughter - the homebody - who said she would never move out.  Now, though, with her big sister as a roommate, she's more confident that she will be okay.  And she will.  They all will.  It's a good move and I'm proud of them for making their way in the world.  They all have jobs, plans, and confidence.  They are on their way.


In the back yard they have an oversized picnic table.  They invited us down for hot dogs and burgers on the grill and we enjoyed the beautiful June evening.  They have a great back yard.

A goofy picture to scare the neighbors.

23 June 2019

Pool hopping

 The strange part about only having three kids at home is that outings can be more frequent - sorry big ladies, but, sometimes you ARE the outing, so, it all works out.  The little ladies and JMichael are home all day every day, so on the weekends I like to take them out with me and do something fun to get out together.  Pools are a winner - our favorite so far is in Saint Michaels.  Big, clean, and not too crowded.
 One shot each of the pool beauties.  Tanning is essential - gotta be smart about it.



Charlotte's public service announcement - stay hydrated people!

21 June 2019

Josephine and the OBX

Josephine has a friend, and our next door neighbor in Kennedyville, Chelsea.  Chelsea has been on the blog before, in the company of Josephine, always.  Chelsea has two older sisters, but, they both live out on their own, so Chelsea is spending her days as an only child.  She loves to come over to our place, full of noise and activity, only to retreat back to her more clam household of three, plus a dog.  Chelsea's parents have agreed for the last two years that Josephine could go with them on their family vacation - always to OBX.  Josephine is a beach girl and she really enjoyed herself this year.  Restaurants, boogie boarding and thrift shopping - what a great vacation.  Thank you Bender Family for letting Josephine vacation with you.

The Wright Brothers Memorial - taking off!

They also went to a few Delmarva Shorebirds games in Salisbury.

11 June 2019

Josephine's Promotion

Josephine has finished the eighth grade - and they had a Promotion Ceremony.  Josephine loves school.  She has to work at some subjects - like Spanish - and not at others - like Math, English, Science.  She really is in her element in school.  I think it gives her confidence and we praise her achievement constantly.  Straight As in all STEM and AP classes!  WooHoo!  This picture is most of her closest buds from eighth grade - Bella is not in this one, but, we do have Chelsea, Aurora, Delaney and Josephine.  A great group of friends and she will carry them with her to her next adventure - high school!?!


08 June 2019

Car Trouble

Cars are supposed to start when you turn the key.  They should run perfectly and do it all again tomorrow.  Right?  It's so rough when the car gets a mind of its own and just stops on the highway.
We went back and forth on having the car towed to the local GMC dealership and analyzed and towed to Auto Zone to get tested and I took Ubers to work and home for over a week.  
You may notice James has a few costume changes in these pictures.  Once we knew what was wrong, James knew he could fix it - the dealership wanted $1400.  We got the part at Auto Zone for $189 and three days later - James had it fixed and on the road.

The problem I found, is that cars are not built to be repaired.  The innards of the vehicle are all encased in plastic covers and the spaces are so small.  You need specially designed tools and tons of patience.  I'm sure at the dealership, they have all the specialty items that make the job more do-able.  In our driveway, though, with James and his bad back and arthritis, in the gravel and the heat - it was a chore.  I took my turn under the car and futzed with the serpentine belt until I wanted to hang myself with it.  Ugh.  But, in the end, James won.  The car is on the road and all is well.  Thank you  Babe.  Well done.

31 May 2019

Splash - May 2019

This splash was taken over Easter weekend, at Mom's house in Elkton.  This is one of the few times I have even descended the hill in her backyard - it drops off pretty sharply into a little creek.  The spring grass makes a good backdrop for this month, though - and the spring weather is just too pretty to be inside.  My five May flowers.  May, 2019

Moving in May - again.

Charlotte and Josephine cleaning after the move.
Mom and I finished off the kitchen.  I didn't take many pictures; it was just work.

I had been looking for a new job for a few months.  Well, more like a year, probably.  It's frustrating when you know you aren't a fit where you are, but, you have to find another fit while doing the job you have.  I went on a dozen interviews - I knew I nailed some of them.  That's another frustrating feeling - thinking you can do the job, liking the people you meet, knowing you will be a good fit; then, though, you don't get the job.  Well, now I know why - I didn't get those other jobs because the one I DID land just rocks.  I'm grateful that the others rejected me.  I'm with Coon & Cole, LLC now and this is where I belong.

My new office is about an hour away from our old house.  We are still on the Eastern Shore, just more south now and in a considerably larger town.  The ladies love that there's a Chick-fil-A and a Target within ten minutes.  I like having a Michael's and a variety of grocery stores.  

Moving is work, though.  Mom was an angel - very helpful in every stage.  Packing, purging, cleaning, unpacking....on the day of the move, we had Eric and Abbey, with Jimmy, Kerry, and Jason - more from Abbey's family - plus Robbie, Samantha's friend and Matt, too -  just giving up a Saturday.  So wonderful.

I know Josephine misses her friends; Charlotte misses her job and I miss our big yard and corn field neighbors.  We are in Easton now, and we have neighbors and a little airport across the way.  A big difference.  But, I love my job, the schools offer more and the doctors are all here.

With this move, too, Samantha left us.  She's now in Fruitland (south of Salisbury), living with Rachel and Matt.  She's working full time and adulting just fine, even though she would rather be ten and a homebody again.

30 April 2019

Splash - April 2019

The blooms in Maryland in April are amazing.  The earth has truly spring to life and the weather is breezy and sweet.  This tree, which I made four out of five climb, is majestically situated next to the Dollar General in town.  It really is remarkable how the blossoms just drape down and dance in the wind.  In person, the tree reads much more pink than this photo shows - so springy.  And those extra large blossoms in the tree?  The not so pink ones?  And that red one leaning on the trunk?  Yes, they bloom too.  All year long.

21 April 2019

Easter, 2019

Easter this year was all about the weather.  Dag it's been a cold winter with enough snow for five winters.  But no longer - it's breezy and warm and sweet outside.  So for Easter, at Ma's house - we ate outside and we played outside.  Warning - lots o pictures....

We start with colorful food.  Cool eggs, huh?  Delicious, too.


the crowd gathers to eat in the kitchen, but, we took all the plates outside and ate on the deck.


After eating, we had an egg hunt.  Mom had "hidden" a certain number of eggs and boxes in the yard, so each "kid" could find a certain number of eggs.  At the end, they found everything "egg-cept" for one.  Ma later found that egg - a purple one - while mowing the grass.  After eating some candy - cause you just have to, right? - M had the "kids" line up for games - everyone was such a good sport.  No prizes for the winners, just fresh air and lots of laughs.

Like this laugh.  Samantha asked me not to post this one - I'm doing it anyway.  This is my prize for the day - watching my kids all have fun playing Grandmom's silly games.

The whole lot - Standing is Farmer James with Grand[Ma].  Then we have Rhett (Samantha's friend), Markel, Samantha, Charlotte, JMichael and Josephine, then Rachel and Matt.  I took the picture.

It was a fun day - Family, deviled eggs, candy and games - what could be better?  Thanks Ma for a fun Easter and hosting my crowd.

19 April 2019

Josephine and her Eighth Grade Formal

I have to say that I am not a fan of formal affairs for fourteen year olds.  Some of Josephine's eighth grade friends wore dresses that cost hundreds of dollars and had hair and nail appointments, with dinner dates for an eighth grade dance.  It's a little extra if you ask me.  But, I did agree that she should go - just on a budget.  She found this dress for $42 - borrowed Samantha's shoes and had Samantha do make up and Charlotte do her hair.  Now that's how you do it.  She said there was a playlist for music and she danced with her friends.  She's pictured here with Chelsea - hamming it up for a big night out.

09 April 2019

Josephine's hand

This is what happens when you have a bright kid with a little too much free time in class and a access to a sharpie.  But isn't it cool?  Josephine's hand art, April 2019

08 April 2019

JMichael is Student of the Month

I am not a homeroom mom.  I do the occasional project for the teachers and James and I go to conferences with teachers, but, I am not a room mom.  Thanks to all the other women who have helped in my kids' classrooms over the years - not my scene.  Having said that, if my daughter or son is getting an award at an assembly, well, then, we are there.  Except for this one.  JMichael brought home a letter saying he was getting an award - he didn't know what for - and the assembly was at nine the next morning.  I can't make it, I apologize, and this sweet young man, says, no problem, you can take a picture of me when I get home.  So, I did.  Then we called Domino's and ordered his free small pizza he was given.  "Student of the Month"  That was out of the whole school - not a big school, but, there are at least two classes of each grade - kindergarten through fifth.

Plus - his fifth grade picture.  Dag, he's adorable

31 March 2019

Splash - March 2019

The March splash is at our house.  The weather was not cooperating and Charlotte, as you might could figure out from her expression, was not feeling good; she's super nauseous.  I made the scrabble tiles wall hanging from a post I saw and the goods from Mom for Christmas.  The hardest part was hanging it straight.  An indoor day, not to our liking, but, it is what it is.  In like a lion and out like a lamb, right?  March Splash, 2019

21 March 2019

Samantha's Wisdom

Samantha had to get her wisdom teeth extracted.  Three of them.  That in and of itself is a lot, but, she also had three other teeth that had to come out so she was having six extractions today.  I captured this moment of Charlotte and Samantha in the waiting room reading a magazine together.  These two can fight, so I'm happy to see these - not so rare - moments of real sisterhood and friendship with them.

So they gas her up.  And she's out for the count.  She was glad to get this done because they were hurting her, so she's not scared at all

On the way home she was scared she was going to do something dumb, but, instead she was numb.  She kept asking us if her face was still there, cause it's just fuzzy.....

She's a little swollen in this picture, and she was very good about icing her jaw.  She was on liquids for a while, with no straws.  She's an excellent dental patient.

She always did love her vegetables....

One story about this experience that Samantha doesn't remember is that Josephine needed a birthday gift for her friend, so while we were up in the big city, we went to Ulta Beauty supply to get the gift.  Samantha loves Ulta, but, was too stoned to know what was happening.  I found the gift, while Charlotte walked Samantha through the store, asking her not to touch stuff.  Samantha kept saying, I love this place; thank you for bringing me her; can I take this home?

I quickly got what I came for, and while I checked out, I received my Ulta birthday gift - since it was my birthday month.  It was some anti wrinkle cream (little slap in the face, huh, Ulta?).  Charlotte heroically herded Samantha back to the car without incident, and I handed Samantha the bag and told her she could keep my birthday gift.  She was elated.

About two days later, she comes to me with the Ulta bag, cream still inside, and says, Mom, this was in my room.  I have no idea who it belongs to or why I have it.  Poor kid - she had no memory of the trip at all.  I guess that's much better than having to feel the pain of six extractions!