31 December 2018

Splash - December 2018

The December 2018 splash found us at my brother Eric's house for a Christmas picture, which, honestly, was taken at Thanksgiving while digesting our huge dinner and festooning Eric and Abbey's house with Christmas spirit.  They are five of my most cherished presents.  Merry Christmas to me.  Or, as we say at the BallTeam house, Mrree Khimush....

30 November 2018

Splash - November 2018

November in Maryland is not predictable.  This year we had snow in late September and on the day we all head out to take the November Splash, it's a balmy 65 degrees with a beautiful blue sky.  But do you know what is predicable?  The fact that these five completely different souls come together each month and smile for me.  It's honestly one of my favorite family traditions and these photos are priceless to me.  This splash was just the five of them, in the tall tall grass of our yard on a mild fall day.  I love them.

31 October 2018

Splash - October 2018

We live in a cornfield.  Truly.  We are surrounded by crops and farming.  It's very beautiful.  Every season brings its own colors and patterns and even in the cold of winter there is something comforting in the visual simplicity of a farm.  In the fall, the corn and beans turn brown and ready to harvest.  Before the combine could take this field down, I stuck my kids out there to become - the children of the corn.  They are the Ball Team of the Corn.

Halloween 2018

....not my favorite holiday.  We did get a few pictures, though.

See, all candy is bad for you.  Eat an apple.

Josephine as Theodore.  Her friends are Simon and Alvin.  This getup got them about a half a pillowcase of candy.


JMichael went to his school's trunk or treat with teachers as a devil who hangs out with wicked clown monsters.  This is his art teacher dressed as Pennywise.  Disturbing.  JMichael also wore this outfit to school, minus the mask.  He also has been sleeping in it, again, minus the mask.

A few gems from past years - this one about 2016.  JMichael is a vampire soccer player; Charlotte is a rabid cat; Samantha is a victim of domestic violence; and Josephine is a scarecrow.

This one is circa 2013, or so.  JMichael as a teenage mutant ninja turtle; Josephine the ladybug; Rachel the convict; LaUra (Samantha's buddy from down the street and our sixth child) a zebra; Samantha the drummer and Charlotte the vampire queen.

2018 - Samantha the Corn Monster.

Oh the cuteness - 2009 - so adorable.


And finally, this gem from North Carolina - 2004 - Samantha, Charlotte and Rachel painted their pumpkins.  Sweet faces.

12 October 2018

Fish Whistle

Samantha takes a fine selfie, huh?  This photo is in the dark of the deck, because we - James and I - were being treated to supper out.  James and Samantha picked me up from work, stopped by McDonald's and Samantha got supper for the little ladies and JMichael; we delivered it, then she took us out to eat.  We went to the Fish Whistle, a local bar and seafood place, and we had a fantastic dinner.  Good food, great company and cheesecake.

The tradition comes from the principle of the First Check.  Samantha has been working for a while now, but, the rule is that when you get a new job, you take the family out to eat.  Samantha just decided tonight is the night and it was a wonderful surprise.

08 October 2018

Oh deer.....

This is what happens when a deer decides to cross the road directly in your path.  These animals are wild.  They roam in herds.  They just jump out in the road.  In my lifetime, I've hit four deer.  I don't know where they are now.  Some did enough damage to my car that I'm sure they had to be injured or killed.  This time it was Rachel's turn to take out one of the locals.  She's fine but her car was in the shop for over two weeks - $1,500 in damages.  Lessons learned - drive with high beams at night whenever possible and always be looking for deer!

02 October 2018

PersonalBlocks - JB Items

Mom and I have always enjoyed a good craft.  I thought we might try to make some money at it, so I approached a local shop owner about carrying us in her store.  And you know what?  She said yes.  So here we are - JB Items, also known on Etsy as PersonalBlocks. 


These are a few of our offerings.  In our first month, we broke even (on rent to the generous shop keep), paid for supplies and bought a tank of gas.  Not quite killing it, but, it's a good start!
What do y'all think?