08 October 2017

Spooky Shoot

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?

02 October 2017

Cute Kids Quotes - JMichael

Oh this one.  Kids.  I swear sometimes they are so darn adorable.  To our right here, is JMichael.  On most mornings, JMichael will come in to my bedroom and say, Mom, can I have your phone?  The deal is that he can play on it while I get ready for work.  So, on the morning of October 1st, JMichael came in to my room and he did NOT say, Mom, can I have your phone?

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

Josephine is Thirteen?

 This is not the fingers pose I usually take for the birthday posts.  I hope to add one, because we just didn't get that detail covered.  Josephine, just before we left Arkansas, had discovered that she could be a social creature.  The child who was always at home and reserved had blossomed into an extrovert with schedules and activities and a handful of tight friends.  The move really didn't change that.  Here in Maryland she has found a new set of buds and she is as busy as ever.

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 in front of Chelsea's garage.

30 September 2017

Splash - September 2017

September's splash was just the BallTeam and the beanfield next door.  I've been wanting to pose them differently.  I get to see their faces everyday, and in this pose it's kinda hard to see Samantha and Josephine, but, they volunteered when I suggested the hands to feet idea.  Each of them has such a different personality and each of them fit so well with each other.  Contrary to what I've occasionally been told by strangers at WalMart, we really do need five kids.  All of them and each of them makes us a BallTeam.

13 September 2017


Here at the Ball Team house, we have a secret talent - ear wax production.  We excel at it.  The gift comes naturally.  It is, however, annoying.  Rachel is demonstrating a common occurrence at our house - candelling your ears.  The principle behind it is simple - the flame on the "candle" (actually a hollow tube) creates a vacuum behind it and the heat of the flame softens the wax.  Once softened, the wax is sucked up into the vacuum now existing in the tube.  Rachel burned this candle all the way down, without singeing Charlie's hair, and it was full of wax.  Her ears are open and she has no more excuse not to hear her morning alarms.

06 September 2017

Back to School, 2017-2018

First day of school!!   YAY!  (It's been a long hard summer....)

This year we are in Maryland and we no longer have our traditional brick wall backdrop.  Only three are in school still, but, Rachel and Samantha are starting college here in Maryland.  I had to actually lighten these photos because we have to leave for school at seven in the morning!  Three kids in three schools, AND, in three different little towns, makes for an early morning.  Charlie and Joey have to be in class by seven thirty, but, JMichael catches a bus at the end of our driveway at eight thirty.  One crazy thing about Maryland schools - the kids now have lockers.  All three of the schools have lockers, even the elementary schools.  Another crazy thing about Maryland schools - very high tech.  Josephine was issued an iPad, which she keeps for the whole year.  All sixth and seventh graders get one.  The students even keep them over the summer!  Charlotte has a MacBook Air.  A sweet little laptop that she keeps until she graduates!  Whoa.  Homework is on Google Classroom and the ladies say they use them in every class, even PE.  

Charlotte is playing on the school's volleyball team and wants to play basketball in the winter and lacrosse in the spring.  She's a second soprano in the choir, which is super small, 8 girls.  No guys.  So every voice counts.  They will perform in the area and are already working on Christmas music.  Josephine applied and was accepted into the STEM Academy - about twenty-five students from each grade get in.  It's an advanced Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics curriculum.  She goes to the same class schedule as every other seventh grader, but, her math, science and technology classes are advanced and fast paced.  She will get to go on special field trips to the river and bay, plus "walking trips" to the college for experiments in their labs.  She's very excited and loves school so far.  JMichael?  Well, he's loving his new school, says his teacher is really nice and in the first two weeks of school he has two field trips.  Two, already?  These kids may live it he country, but, the schools use the proximity to the cities to their advantage.  Ahhh, Maryland.  Come see us!

31 August 2017

Splash - August 2017

This splash was taken at my brother, Eric's, house.  One thing I love about this photo is just how deceiving it is.  According to your eye right now, Rachel (in pink) is the tallest.  She is followed by her siblings in true birth order - Samantha (shades) is next, then Charlotte (on the right).  Josephine (far left) is just under Charlotte and JMichael (googles) is the shortest and the youngest.

The truth of the matter is, that Charlotte is the tallest.  Next is Samantha, then Rachel and Josephine about tied and JMichael, right on their heels.  Check back with us in a month or two.  I bet, as adults, it will end up like this:  (from tallest to shortest) JMichael, Charlotte, Josephine, Samantha, Rachel.