Thursday, September 15, 2016

Graveyard Walking

Several weeks ago, Jeff was studying Google Maps, like he does, and he saw an interesting area in Athens that he'd never noticed before. It turned out to be Oconee Hill Cemetery and we decided to drive over to check it out.

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves, but I'll give you a hint: It was awesome.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Granny's House

A couple of weeks ago, the kids and I loaded up Claire and drove south to see Granny. (Jeff had to stay home to get some work done and to take care of homework for his college classes.) It was an impromptu trip that was almost derailed by tropical storm/hurricane/whatever Hermine. I took a risk and drove down anyway, and I'm glad we did!

Granny's front porch swing!
We had a few visitors the first day, including Aunt Belinda (Steve was in Jacksonville caring for his mother) and Uncle Donnie, cousin Jessica and her children. Selah was so excited to get to see Donnie so she could tell him not to call her Sailor.
Lauryn batted her big brown eyes at Uncle Donnie and got her to color with him.
Playing at Granny's house is exhausting! After her bath, Lauryn climbed up into the rocking chair and passed out.

My kids always look forward to Jessica's kids coming over to spend some time with us. They all love to read and because of the storm they couldn't play outside anyway. This was in the afternoon, when the rain had mostly passed. We lost power for a few hours, but by this time it was back on. They played outside the next day - tag, hide and seek and exploring Granny's yard.

Kiley, Kaity, Abby, Joe - and Granny's foot.

Selah, Jarrett, and Lauryn coloring.
It's always fun "adventure sleeping" as Opie Taylor says! The girls fell asleep during the traditional viewing of Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!. Although how they could sleep through Alex, I don't know.

When the storm was gone, every Gill on the Hill was calling around checking on everyone, making sure all was well. We had several visitors including (great) Uncle Theron (Pig), Uncle David, and my cousin Eric.

On the way home ... driving past my great-uncles' sugar cane field.

Leaving Gill Hill.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sister Ballerinas

Though I love my own children and, frankly speaking, think they hit the genetic jackpot, I have to say that the combination of these two little ballerinas is just too much! I'm going to have to break out the thesaurus to find the words to do justice to how adorable these two little crumbsnatchers are.

Those buns! Squee!

Selah is taking ballet/tap combo this year and she loves her new tap shoes!

En pointe.

I think this picture sums up how gleeful Lauryn feels about her new ballet class:

Our beautiful little "Sailor" ...


And another silly picture of our Lolly to illustrate the following story:

At the end of each class, moms are always invited in to see the girls "jump the puddle" - a felt oval on the floor that they have to leap over. All the little girls line up and one by one leap gracefully (in theory) over the puddle to hug Mrs. Tammy and get a piece of candy. Lauryn's turn came and she stood poised, arms in a lovely second position, perfect tendu, waiting for the word from Mrs. Tammy to go. When she got the signal, Lauryn dropped her arms, tucked them against her sides and ran like a linebacker for the puddle.

Her enthusiasm was both sweet and hilarious at the same time.

Friday, September 09, 2016

On A Walk

First day of college!
Kaity attends a college class three days a week. Since it's only for about fifty minutes, the other kids and I just wait for her to finish. Most of the time we follow the same routine. For the first little while, we listen to the kids' memory work for the week - Latin, geography, history, math, English, timeline.

Then we escape the car and head out for a walk in downtown Athens.
If there's a wall, they're drawn like magnets to walk on it!

A doorway to a fairy house!

June bug - they're so pretty!
Shasta Daisy
Kathleen: I love daisies.
Joe: You told me.
Kathleen: They're so friendly. Don't you think daisies are the friendliest flower?

We do our best to notice what's all around us, and I identify all the plants I recognize, teaching the kids their names and a little about them. More often than not, I have no idea what they are, but I take pictures and hope to figure them out later. 

Gorgeous Hydrangea.
 I usually try to vary our path a little every time, but lately the kids' obsession has been with "The Garden". They love the pathways! They play tag, hide and seek, and they look for all kinds of cool little treasures.

Some treasures Lauryn brought me, one by one, the other day.
 Sometimes we make new friends. This little orange kitty ran right up today and just begged us to love on him.

Thursday, September 08, 2016


Now that we have new phones, one of the first things Kaity talked me into doing was getting an Instagram account. My take on the whole social media thing is that Twitter is for news, words, and links; Instagram is for pictures and pithy remarks #hashtagnofilter; and Facebook is for family and scrolling as quickly as possible past politics and drama.

And I know it's pretty much a pop culture joke that people "Instagram" every meal they eat, but honestly, I follow lots of chefs just so I can look at pictures of good food! You can find me at jenius1701.

Instagram ...
Making laundry detergent and watching Andy Griffith. Lovely Saturday afternoon.

Italian Pasta Salad. #barefootkitchen

Beauty in unexpected places. #barefootkitchen

Butterscotch Vanilla Bean Pudding with homemade whipped cream.

Blueberry. Mango. Kale. Spinach. Strawberry. Banana. OJ. Breakfast smoothie.

Sunday Style - Grey seersucker and red heels. Chunky bracelet.

Lovely dress, lovelier girl!

Girls' Night Out! Still not as cute as (Kim) in her ripped jeans.

"My blanket is in the wash and life no longer has any meaning." #toddlerlife


Time for a new globe, y'all. #backintheussr #homeschoolfail

Gave The Boy a haircut today. No more California surfer dude. #teamcap