Friday, April 15, 2016

March 2016 Part 2

A month with many family visits. 

First came Grandfather Frank and a.Eliza.

We went to Mr. Turnage's birthday party on a Saturday evening.  Alexe, a.Eliza, and g.Frank left around 9, and the kids and I stayed another hour.  When I went to round the kids up, Caspian ran back to the kitchen to retrieve this massive cracker/cheese/pepperoni stack he had made and stashed earlier.

With everyone piled into the kitchen playing cards and enjoying a fire, I headed out to the back pasture to clean up some of the islands of overgrowth that are left.  g.Frank joined me, and I put a chainsaw in his hands and enjoyed seeing him drop a few trees.

I think both kids enjoyed being tucked in each night by a.Eliza.

Base Camp update: Everything is moving along quite nicely, on schedule for classes to start June 1.  We've been setting up the classroom, and these training tables were a hassle to get, but look great.  

Nanny and Penny both gave birth to twins.

Bike riding is still the rage around here.

Alexe's hoop house experiment is going well.  She is currently selling freshly harvested spinach at the store, and you've never seen a young lady more proud of herself. I'm proud of her too.

Brewery!  It's handy being just a few blocks from the house.

Easter morning.  I took a little shopping trip while Alexe was at work and g.Sharon was in town to keep the kids.  It's not easy finding outfits for a little princess that don't try to make her look like she's 16.  Couldn't resist the matching hat. She may be growing like a weed, but...

Caspian in his new slacks and bow tie. (The bow tie has fish on it.)

My girl.  Coming up on 11 years, or 64 if you ask Alexe.

Chilling with their grandmother.

The girls went to the Ole Miss Museum to see an exhibit on quilting.  Caspian and I saw a trail head and started marching through the woods. We ended up, after some wandering, at Rowan Oak, Faulkner's house.

Caspian was very chatty with me, and everyone else we passed on the walk.  

When we got to the house grounds, he turned into a little Ferdinand.

We finished out the evening with bowling, a treat from Nonni.

And some time later, we were home, and gardens were getting planted.  My how time is flying.

March 2016, Part 1

The weeks have been busy, so we're jumping from weekend to weekend.  Another lovely Spring Sunday, with Alexe playing in her garden, the kids and I headed up into the woods to build an all-natural tree-fort.

The three hardest polls to put up.

A little break from some home-ER work.  This young man was using his new pruning saw, (thank you u.c.Nick,) and managed to slash across the back of his hand.  It was traumatic and bloody, but once he calmed down and we took the tourniquet off after carrying him down from the woods, it cleaned up nicely and we applied a super-glue repair.  (A technique learned after taking the kids in for stitches in the past, and watching a doctor simply apply glue.)  

The patient took a half hour break, and then rejoined us in the woods to finish up the fort. 

Lower deck complete.

It's kind of cute.  We may add a second level at some point.

Again in honor of Dr. Seuss, some green eggs and ham.

Caspian postponing bed time with adorable block formations.

Base Camp Coding Academy is moving right along.  I had a Saturday meeting with an impressive gentleman working on expanding STEM offerings in the ROTC programs across the South East region.  He brought along his kids, and these four roared around the upstairs of the BTC while Ben and I tried to have a video conference with the West coast in my office.

With spring comes open doors.

Saint Patrick's day.  

"Helping" me as we prepped an apartment between tenants.

Reading on the lawn on a sunny afternoon.

Nanny, ready to burst.

The brewery moved their tasting room to the larger side of their facility.  Over 300 folks were here on a Friday night. I don't think this town has seen a crowd of that size for many years.

Our favorite part of the brewery: the family-friendly atmosphere.

February 2016 Part 3

Sunday morning, literally first light, the kids were dressed and gearing up to ride their new bikes.

Some time later, Annaliese drawing on the bottom of my foot, Caspian reading us both a story.

Alexe made it home safely, and life returned to normal.  Alexe's solo jet-setting is wrapped up for the time being. Caspian and I went on a walk while Alexe and Annaliese went to work at the BTC.

Annaliese's poster for the Doctor Seuss week at school.  Many parents throughout the week, (including Alexe and me,) went to the school and read to students.

A walk with my jet setting wife on a Wednesday evening.  Our little town is really popping lately. Mother Nature's additions don't hurt.

The Come as you Aren't local fundraiser happened.  I popped in to goodwill to get us costumes.  We went as retirees who enjoy golfing.

Annaliese trying on parts of her mother's costume.

Playing school on the weekend.

A mostly picked up, organized, and far more open and spacious workshop.

For all the animals that live on the farm, at some point Caspian will pick you up and find you fascinating.  

February 2016, Part 2

I turned 35 on the 18th of February.  As a present to myself I shut off my phone, loaded up the tractor, and headed down to a spot that we plan on submerging in water later this summer after we build a large dam. The current pond will be swallowed by the new one.

Alexe was at work, the kids at school.  My other kids kept me company.

I had a blast.  

A few large trees left to remove, but the valley is much cleaner now.

I came up to the house at the end of the day to be greeted by my amazing family, and a delicious spread.  

And then Alexe jetted off to DC for a weekend of wedding dress shopping with a.Eliza.  The kids and I did a little hotel prepping, or rather, they played outside while I knocked a few things out.

We went to the brewery that evening to listen to the band and see friends.  The kids' dancing may have been a bit wild, and a couple heads may have collided.  

Followed by a family movie, sans Alexe.  Not as good, but still pretty great.

The next morning the kids checked to see if their savings could support a bicycle purchase.  Annaliese just made it; Caspian, who will do anything for a quarter, had $50 more than he needed.

There were no bicycles for sale in Water Valley, so we went to Batesville, and found no stores carrying bicycles in February except for the Wally World.  We sacrificed our principles and went in to peruse the selection. 

Many bicycles were tested in the isles, (several times we were reprimanded for this,) and though there were bicycles with branding that the kids took to at first, when they started price comparing, they both went with the identical mini-mountain bike for under $50.  (How do they make a bicycle with 6 gears, hand brakes, kick stands, shock absorbers, etc., ship them across the globe, pay for the massive retail outlet, and still sell them for less than $50?  Something is very wrong about this.)

They each counted out their money and paid for their bikes.  

And we headed home with two proud little kids.  

They spent a time riding their new bikes up and down the driveway. I wandered into the woods and started lighting brush piles on fire.  

Coming back to check on the quiet kids, I found them with a jar full of bugs.

They joined me in the woods a little later, where we found the latest fox den.

They kept disappearing for long adventures in the woods, and then coming back to check on me.  Hearing them chatter to each other as they wandered off in a new direction tickled all the buttons that made us want to raise our kids on a farm.