Sunday, December 9, 2012

My lil' elves

I hear that it is supposedly Christmastime, but with my family in shorts and tshirts all weekend, it seems a bit "off". I realize we're very close to the Florida border, but c'mon, we're still Georgia and Georgia can get COLD!

Despite our little, and hopefully short-lived, warm front, we have been able to get our Christmas on. The house is decorated, lights are on outside, Pandora's Christmas station runs 24/7 on our tv, and we've spent some significant time with Santa and his lady.

Our favorite pottery studio Color Me Happy hosted a fundraiser for Morningstar that we were so excited to be a part of. The kids got to paint, have cookies and milk, and most importantly, have some serious discussions with one important man...
Every time there was a lull in photos with other children, these four would find their way back into their laps.Then they just pulled up chairs to sit and chat. Kinda wish we could have them over to hang out, but I guess it's a busy time with toy making, reindeer training, list checking, etc.
We followed up Santa's visit with a little tree hunting. I asked Tiny Miss to find us the "Perfectest Tree Around" and she spotted it quick, though, in the end, we did opt for one a smidge taller against her discretion.
This is the most amazing oak tree I've ever seen...and there's more than our fair share of these in coastal Georgia...but this one takes the cake.  We found out from the farm owners that it dates back earlier than the Revolutionary War (to save you the Wikipedia time, that's prior to 1775!). 
I couldn't believe The Duo actually posed for a picture. I think it was followed by a wrestling slam, but hey, I'll take what I can get!
 Even the shop got a Christmas makeover from Big Sis (aka the Santa Intern). HO! HO! HO!

Monday, November 26, 2012

The old becomes new...

We spent Thanksgiving at the NashVegas farm. We enjoyed some great food and even greater family time. We sat on the porch of an old fixed up house drinking sweet tea, talking for hours with aunts, uncles and cousins, and waving to cars driving by. It was every bit as Southern as it sounds.

One of my favorite parts of the farm is the acres upon acres behind Mama Dot's house. There is so much to explore back there and I love driving the Kubota around in search of cows and gators and beautiful barn wood. And there's an old Army Jeep, a truck from many generations ago, and every rusted piece of farm equipment imaginable.

I gave the kids almost 3 days notice that I wanted them at 4:00 on a certain day dressed for pictures. I knew pulling them away from tractor riding and horse roping would not be easy so the more heads up they got, the better.

We trekked out to my favorite spot and managed to get a few photos without anyone needing a tetanus shot. :)
I wish I had backed up to show the goodness of this Jeep that Wild Man thinks he's driving. Definite vintage at its finest!
It was downright chilly with the sun going down.
Big Sis and Wild Man are farm buddies. The boys stay together all day doing their farm work, but when it comes to nighttime and sharing a room, these two can't be separated.
Neither can these two goofballs. While the other two go straight to sleep, these hoodlums are jumping on the bed and singing songs and wrestling. A perfect match.
The trees have grown in and around this old truck. Wish I'd backed up to show it in its fullness too.
I used Big Sis as my "preview" model to make sure lighting was good before I roped in the other kids. This became my favorite shot...and there were 188 of them total!
I just want to eat up these handsome boys...when they're not fighting...or whining...or smelling like cows...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Still 3.

So I waited til the Duo was about 3 1/2 to acknowledge their 3ness. I have REALLY enjoyed this year of their life watching them come into their own yet always sticking close together.
I've loved having them with me all day everyday, just the three of us. 

The epitome of them.
I would prefer Tiny Miss to remain this size forever.
...aaaaand we're over it...
His eyes got us from day one...and still do.
I'm hoping they'll stay 3 for a few more years. Anything to prolong those teenage years...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Down at the Farm.

To honor our forefather's vacation day, we decided to go be one with nature and remember those days of 1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean blue and farm green.

Or something like that.

To Nashville we went. We got to hang out with this guy. His name is Shorty.
 And he's about 8 feet tall. Hence the name.
Shorty was none too thrilled that these mini horses were ruling the roost while he was stuck running laps around the pasture by himself.
Wild Man hit cowboy mode as soon as he saddled up Star.
 I don't think Buster stopped smiling the whole time he was on Blaze.
Even Big Sis took a ride, which is so not her style - she'd rather be reading a book - but mini horses just have a way with kids. They create fun. And endless smiles. I even wanted a ride; however, the weight limit on the biggest horse was 100 lbs. Thanks for making me feel like a fatty. I'll go run some laps with Shorty now.
Later, we headed to a local Cane Maze to go get lost in a field of large, cane. 
But the best part was the zip line - one for kids and one for adults.
The big kids never hesitated and jumped right on, zipping down the hill.
Us adults, however, hesitated and hyperventilated and sat on our haunches about 5 minutes before taking off.
 It maxed out at about 3 feet above ground. Risk takers we are.
This boy made sure all the chickens were well fed. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. All at once.
Tiny Miss made sure we were well aware that she was hot, tired and hungry. Oh and starving to death. And sweating her brains out. And needing air conditioning STAT! Poor poor pitiful thing.
Back at the homefront, or farmfront (?), Buster and I went about collecting cotton for his teacher's birthday present. It's like busting open an oyster. Except instead of a pearl, it's the fabric of our lives. You're welcome for that horrendous use of punnery...and grammar. 
Snowing cotton on the field that never ends.
While Buster was scouting cotton, Big Sis was picking peanuts. Little farm hands they are!
A couple of hours later and the boiled peanuts were ready. I never liked these growing up, but have been won over since. This batch is my helping. Get your paws off!
Wild Man and I jumped in the Kubota and tried to chase the sunset across many acres of beautiful fields. We stopped and watched the sun set while the cows roamed. It was a most glorious date with my main squeeze. 

We finished off the weekend roasting up some marshmellows and eating our weight in chocolate icing and graham crackers.
Maybe that's why I missed the weight limit for those mini horses.

Dang S'mores.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Back to the Motherland

Word on the street was that my Buffalo nephews were coming to our state, so we began making plans to see how we could make a trip to see them (as our only time to see them is usually Christmas). And they would be attending their first ever UGA game. So we planned to head to Athens, stay with the Husb's aunt & uncle and then do some tailgating with the fam...when lo and behold, 5 free football tickets dropped down from heaven into our laps leaving us only needing to purchase one. SOLD! So now all 6 cousins would get to watch their first ever UGA game together!

We arrived after 10pm in Athens to spend the night. Aunt Mandy & Uncle Danny had rooms ready for everyone, cupcakes baked to decorate the next morning and bags of snacks and drinks to take with us tailgating. Talk about a warm welcome!

The next morning, Uncle Danny had all 4 kids down at the lake fishing before 8am!
We wanted to head out by 9am and the boys didn't want to lose out on any of the big catches to be had.
After pulling tearful boys away from their fishing hole, we loaded up and drove about a mile to The Parking Lot. This is the same parking lot I grew up going to every Saturday in the fall for the first 18 (more or less) years of my life. The same Lot I brought my college roomies & boyfriends to every Saturday in the fall that I was a student at UGA. The same crew is still there, though a little grayer up top, trading stories about football and grandkids.
We started out with me taking the boys to one side of the stadium and the Husb taking the girls to the other side. The boys and I quickly realized we were going to melt and/or pass out like the people around us if we didn't get to the other side.
Husb texted and said he had shade and available seats and we made our move. When he showed up with $27 worth of Powerade and water, I knew we'd survive.
Well, not all of us. 
After picking up all those that dropped like flies from the heat, we headed back to the ATL so we could smush some more cute cheeks. Case in point: Nephew #3. Cuteness overload.
 My boys never left the sides of their big cousins. Clearly they're of great maturity.
And the girls club had many a dance routine and song written within their first hour together.
All of my nephews and 1 niece under one roof and it's not even Christmas!! A gift. Wish we could hang out all the time.
This dude taught my mom (his grandmother) the Dougie followed by a dance off. I would post the video, but I want to keep my million dollar inheritance so I'll just hold on to it. One of the most classic moments in Gillis history.
I'm not gonna lie. I've totally been practicing. This boy just thinks he has rhythm but his aunt is about to take him AND his grandma down in Christmas Dance Off 2012.