September 17, 2014

Some days in September

Things have been busy around here. School starting, Livie here for a visit, Gilbert's ear tube surgery, and now Lily is sick with some virus thing and has been home for the past two days. We went to the doctor this morning and surprisingly, the doctor said maybe I should keep her out of school. Doctors never say that. She had a mild fever yesterday, but mostly, just headache and joint pain. We just have to wait and see if it goes away before the doctor orders a ton of tests. Bleh. 

But it is fall and so beautiful. Puffy clouds, brooding skies, spotty sunshine, and thick blanket weather. Happy sigh!

First day girls

Love them! They are good friends. About 82.5% of the time.

Livie and Tori came to see them off

All the first day kids. Except for Mr. Pajama-boy, who was not sent to school. I feel good about him staying home. He turned five two weeks before school started and we debated most of the summer whether we should send him or not. But this feels right. And he was completely okay with the girls getting on the bus and him staying home. He seemed delighted actually. The whole house to himself. Or at least, himself and Elsie, who is generally perfectly happy to participate in Gilbert's schemes. No bossy older sisters!

Tori is the last of the Vaughans and this is her last year. Which means the last first day of school in 31 years for Mom and Dad. 

Gilbert after the kids left. Painting with a bookbag.

A bible bag Justin made for Cody 

Justin helping Gilbert pogo

Taking a walk. Orianna had just told Lily who was carrying the notebook and pen "Write down about the purple flower." Lily diligently wrote for 30 seconds and decided to give the notebook and pen to Elsie and run ahead. 

Letting Elsie be the secretary. 

A flock of birds

The purple flower


Sunday afternoon walk with the Barkley kids

Late summer fields

Country roads

And I liked this one too.

I just was reading in the Smithsonian about bird flocks moving like this--all in one accord, none of them hitting each other. It is called mummuration, at least in starlings. 

The binoculars we accidentally stole from Papa and Grandma Dawna are a terribly important part of most things. 

Spotty sunshine

A boy and his shadow

Trying to make his shadow funny

Justin and David took a car full of kids for a ride in Cody's station wagon

Evening light

September 8, 2014

Pig Roast happenings

Looking at these pictures, it seems like it was a very quiet pig roast. And in a way it was. But it was also a lovely pig roast. I am not sure if it was the rain on Sunday, happenings on Saturday, or just the general make up of the group, but it was a cozy pig roast. Everyone seemed to be pretty comfortable and happy with everyone else. I spent most of the weekend wanting to pat people on the head and tell them I liked them. 

Which I didn't do. That may have made the weekend a little less comfortable and much more awkward. 

But it was nice. 

And of course, the bestest part of all, Livie flew home for a surprise. She rang my doorbell early Friday morning and for a moment it didn't register that it was a surprise, since Livie should always be close enough to stop by and ring the doorbell. But it was a surprise and we were all thrilled to bits. Of course, I didn't actually get any pictures of that, since I was too busy being surprised. 

Tori, the kids, and I all worked together Friday morning to make apple hand pies. 

Friday afternoon, a neighboring farmer had a barn fire. He lost his entire barn, some feed, and quite a few cows. Friday evening, Cody took some of the guys over to help all the neighbors move the surviving cows to the various farms that offered to milk them until the barn is rebuilt. 

Pretty heartbreaking.

Hanging out

Attempting to make the garage festive with one string of lights and a few paper lanterns. The garage politely allowed itself to be festooned, but resisted looking festive. We had fun anyway. 

The kids made a few signs for the pig roast. People walked around saying "Pig rost!" throughout the weekend. 

Justin and Shawn doing potatoes for French fries.

French fries were a new thing this pig roast. They were a success.

Living room talk 

After lunch on Saturday, Ashley and I took the kids on a walk to the corral to see the cows.

Turning leaves

Gilbert in Uncle Cody's hat

Milling around at the corral

Hoyt and Rilla Jane

Skidsteer kids

An enthusiastic skid steer non-operator. 

Touching the soft part of the thistle

Because Ashley is so cool, there was face painting.  Gilbert was Bat-man.

Orianna, a butterfly

Lily was an Indian princess

Vampire Lincoln chasing princess Elsie

The kids had their own volleyball net

Sitting around waiting for the ice cream to make

Being serenaded by Shawn while we talked under the trees. It was a gorgeous afternoon. 

I love this picture!

Rilla, making good use of her Monkey Bar Buddy shorts. (Or at least I think that is what they are called.)
I love this upside down girl!



The kids. Very busy doing kid things. 

Chris and Hoyt

Egg cartons and dirt

Gilbert hugging Hoyt

Andrea taking care of 11 kids at once. She is a pro!

Overall-ed batman and dirt

Amanda and Hoyt

The next 11 pictures are not mine! Most are Heidi Pikcilingis'. She takes good pictures. 

Very artsy

Split Rock

The done pig

This is Abby Gordon's picture, on the way to Split Rock

Lily bean at Split Rock

An exhausting round of volleyball

There was a bag of dum dums. The kids pretty much had lollipops in their mouth the entire weekend. 

This totally doesn't belong here, but this is how it loaded. 

Split Rock people coming home

Ice cream

Moving to a new location to talk. We like talking. 


A blurry nighttime volleyball picture

After meeting, under the tree picture. Aren't they all nice? 

I like these people

Hoyt had quite the hairdo in the wind

Stefan got a push on the tire swing

Elsie and me

Rilla Jane. Swinging into the trees

These two Lily and the frog pictures are from Heidi too. I love them!

The cool kids

Rachel and David

Elliott and Gavin, the Aussie

Lovely Laura. 

Living room talk

This is a picture of three grown men doing dot-to-dot puzzles. 

Livie and Laura brought the same dot-to-dot puzzle book, so people were doing them all weekend. 

Sunday afternoon, Cody got his Caddy out to exercise it. Or just to burn a tire off, not sure which....

In the next minute, there was a lot of needless smoke. 
Boys really don't grow up.

Then Mark had to try driving. 

Look how terribly pleased Cody is about people driving and riding in his Cadillac. 

And then, the not so triumphant return of the Caddy, ending in a deep mud puddle. 

Which meant the guys could all get out and peer around the engine while getting their feet wet for a bit. 

Nothing seemed to fix it right off, so they pushed in out of the puddle to continue their poking and prodding. 

Jacob is a single-minded kid and was only happy if he was somehow interacting with a vehicle. Quite the guy! 


Daddies, kids, and ice cream making. This batch of ice cream,  (there were two batches, one Saturday, one Sunday.) the guys made vanilla, chocolate, and pineapple. The chocolate was gone first, but everyone raved about the pineapple. It was so good. 

Game tables in the garage

Ipad kids

Gavin and Owen reading books and eating popcorn. What better way to spend a rainy, rainy Sunday afternoon? 

Progressive Rummy

More talking

A game to the death--monopoly with Marty and Cody

The ticket to ride table

Hoyt and Ashley

A soggy volleyball game

A gorgeous sky

The school bus ride (Cody's school bus that Jake brought down from the hill) up to the bonfire

Mark climbed out the top hatch and sat on the bus. Because he is cool like that. 

I am really not good at bonfire pictures.

Betty and Elsie

Mark and the bus

We sang songs, national anthems of the three countries represented, some hymns, and some general everyone-knows-that songs. 

Sarah and Marty

Stefan and Gilbert. That Stefan. He's an alright kind of guy. 

Orianna giving Uncle Cody a neck ache. Except he said she wasn't. 

Laura and Gilbert talking while Elsie watches the bonfire.

Alex and Stefan singlehandedly watched most of the kids

Monday morning and the girls are playing the iPad again!


Betty and Elsie are good pals

The farewell committee

Beautiful sky!

Clover, Lincoln, and Mom

Kids wading in the "soda cooler"