Scary Monsters with Glasses

The boy I married on October 6th became a papa on August 17th and never looked back. Happy Father's Day to my best friend-- my partner in crime.

I love to watch you with our girls. From the kitchen, I grin to hear shrieks and giggles while you read about Phoney and Grandma Ben. I watch them chase after you in the morning and pile onto you at night, and while I know the days to come will have good of their own and more time to spend with you, I love you as a father of little girls. I'd be lost without you fathering by my side, and that's the truth.



Our Reasons for Homeschooling Are Not So Petty

...but, surely, an added bonus is teaching our children how to proofread.

I just received this response from the school district's liaison via e-mail:


Just a quick not to let you know that we did receive your letter of intent for 2011-2012 and your 4th quarter reports with year-end summaries on Milderd and Abnika. Once they have been reeviewed, we will mail your official letter.

I ca'nt Wayt!!!!!


Just What Exactly?

It's 10:30, and my Heart just pulled in the driveway. I'll give myself two minutes for this post.

Never mind. Tonight the air hangs heavy, and my hands hang heavy, too, so in lieu of an opening post for the latest batch of snapshots, I give you a poem by William Carlos Williams that inexplicably came to mind. Adam Manwaring, wherever-in-the-world he is, would be pleased that I can't separate this poem from his deadpan delivery of it.


so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white


She's bald, scrawny, and pale, so how does she pull off cute so perfectly?

Quarter reports, year-end summaries, and my letter of intent were due to be mailed to the powers that be yesterday, and I was surly and hunched over the computer for much of the day. When I came into the sunroom to retrieve a schoolbook, I overheard Annika soliloquizing about the ripped plastic on John's makeshift window.

I'd picked up blue flippers and goggles at a rummage sale last fall. She chose the perfect day to unearth them.

The day only got better.


I walked into the bathroom to see this. Goggles again! Flippers! I am convinced they were worth every last nickel of the dollar I spent on them, and then some.

We only have a dozen hens. Half of them are currently broody, and I've avoided candling the eggs for a couple of weeks now, as it seemed like every day, a new hen succumbed to peer pressure and hunkered down to hatch some eggs. We even have a double-decker set of broody hens! One sits on top of the other, who sits on top of the eggs. I need to do something about this.

Anyway, a few days ago, I candled them and discovered that we have hens sitting on over 50 fertilized eggs, though I don't have hopes (maybe some fears) of that many hatching. This morning the first one tapped through. See its legs?

And this afternoon, we had a ball of fluff to coo over. Here's to 50-odd more! (Not really. I hope not. Our dilapidated coop can't handle that many.)

Oh, and at bedtime, I took the girls to the crick again. It's hot, I tell you!

My Moe

Her bangs will reach her nose soon. Any (follow this link!) day now!

Were I but Free, I'd Take a Flight

The girls have flown kites without me. They've flown kites without a deep blue sky and in fields unsprinkled with buttercups and wild pinks.

This time was different, and I remembered my camera.

Piper flew for a bit and flopped for a bit longer.

They flew in tandem.

They soared solo.

They flew from the comfort of a "nest."

They flew with a short leash

and with a long tail.

They left with a holler and a whoop.

With a tidy winding string.

With the end of a good thing.

I was ten again with a turn in the nest, and Millie approved.


I was kneading bread on the table and saw this. The obliging girl kept gnawing while I fetched the camera. Teething?

In case you're wondering, she'd had her pre-church bath a mere 12 hours before.

But then Millie made this for breakfast.

The Crick of My Youth

(I am a hillbilly. Creek becomes crick.)

Hot, hot, hot. We heard that freak flash floods had changed the geography of the horse pasture crick, so we meandered down.

All Pit Stops Must Include Kittens. That's got to be somewhere in the Parenting Rule Book.

Abandon the Kittens

Pit stop's over! Let's go to the crick!

The horse pasture was so muddy that I kept sinking up to my ankles. Then my flip-flop broke. It would have been much more fun if Millie could have carried me, too.

Sorry, but I'm sick of being on the computer. We arrived at the crick, we splashed and swam, Annie fell and split the back of her head open, it stopped bleeding, we kept splashing, Annie crawled from that point on, Luci refrained from all activities save rock-gnawing, Joel arrived as we were about to find the new swimming hole, he took us there (but not to the pot plants he'd also discovered on his exploration earlier that day (what?!!!), he had his fingers tugged off by too many little girls, and Millie practiced swimming.

The End.
(Aren't you glad?)

One Guess Only, Please

As of June 1st, guess who's three?

Here's a hint.

When Faces Called Flowers Float Out of the Ground

I offer no excuse for the following excess* save this. I was upstairs, about to put Pip to bed, when I tripped over the enormous hair clip that even looks ridiculous on my (slightly) larger head. My mistake lay in slipping it behind her ear and immediately becoming stricken with her cuteness. I did eventually tuck her in, but not before herding her outside and chatting about chickens.

In case you ever have one, this is the way to take pictures of a little Pip on her third birthday, right before a nap. Let her watch the chickens, laugh at them, and talk about them, all while an enormous flower swallows her head.

*There were even more (believe it), which I deleted after loading because I'm probably the only one who'd want more than ten redundant snaps of a birthday Bloom.