Friday, June 27, 2008

Mississippii/Louisiana Trip

Taking time to smell the flowers

We just returned from our week-long trip (1330 miles). Here are a bunch of pics to show the fun we had.
We started by visiting some good friends (my doula and family) in Bowdon, GA. They are building a house on 20-something acres of land, so are currently living in a self-proclaimed 'tent-village'. The new house is being built using reclaimed and scrap materials. They are using green methods such as a composting toilet (outhouse pic), greywater filtration ponds, organic farming, solar power-eventually (it's all really great). Esther enjoyed being outside and playing with the chickens.

After a visit and prayer with more friends in Bowdon, we drove all night to Mississippi.

We arrived in Picayune at some hour of the morning and visited Ben's grandmother after a few hours of rest. The next stop was Folsom, LA where we stayed with Ben's aunt. Ben's cousin's daughter is two months younger than E, so they had a good time playing together. The most fun was the slip and slide (Ben and I had just as much or more fun than the kids).

We then stayed a couple of days in Gulfport, MS to visit Ben's other grandparents and aunt. We also got to go to the beach. It was overcast, so we didn't put E in her bathing suit-big mistake. She ran right into the ocean, clothes and all. We had to stop her from getting completely soaked. She had never been to the beach, but of course loved it!

We had a great trip. E got a cold and shared it with those we visited - sorry. She was a bit cranky, which made the trip a bit less relaxing for us. Everyone enjoyed seeing how Esther is growing and she liked sharing all her knowledge about the world. (: Home is always so sweet!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Papa's Day and such

Sittin' on top of the world

Unfortunately, Ben had to work on Father's day. We made up for it by making him quite a feast for dinner. Since E and I aren't much of meat-eaters, it isn't cooked very often. But for Ben's special day we made him cube steak (from the cow he bought - but that's another story), mashed potatoes, lima beans, and corn. I real country dinner. I figure anytime he gets meat, he's happy. Then we made him traditional chocolate chip cookies. He hates when I try to make them healthy or add nuts. He wants them plain and simple. Esther enjoyed 'helping' me bake them and especially eating them. This was a real treat since she doesn't eat sugar often and shouldn't eat cookies with butter (dairy sensitivity).
Oh, Cookie, how I love thee!

She painted Papa a picture, which is hanging on the fridge now.

In other news, we've had a busy week getting ready for our trip. We leave tomorrow for a week of traveling to visit friends and family (Bowdon, GA; Picayune, MS; Bush, LA; Gulfport, MS; and back again). We google-mapped it, and it will be just over 1,100 by the end. Whew!

We bought a Kelty backpack carrier for Esther of eBay and also received a great new activity center. She LOVES playing in the box, coloring on it, and watching the cats sleep in it.
And lastly, here is a picture of a plant hanger I crocheted during naptime this week. Our sister-in-law gave us this beautiful plant and it needed a home up high. The pattern went a little wonky, but I think it turned out okay.

We're out of here for a week. Many pictures and stories to come...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Blueberry Festival and Baby Colt

Well, the Blueberry Festival in Alma was somewhat of a bust, but the weekend overall was good. We knew Alma was small and that it would be a local, small-town festival, but it was REALLY small-town. There were very few handmade crafts and most everything had a confederate flag on it. We managed to get Esther a Blueberry Festival t-shirt and stuffed blueberry, which she loves. It was also another great opportunity for her to wear the berry dress we made.
We bought a few pints of blueberries, then headed to Valdosta to see our new nephew. Baby Colt is a few weeks old and is the sweetest thing. He was born a month early, but is a tough little guy and is doing great! Esther loved checking up on him and visiting with Uncle Boo Boo and Aunt Courtney. She enjoyed walking around the farm and 'mooing' at the cows.

And, we've started having some success in poddy training. I just couldn't resist posting this pic.

Lastly, I uploaded a video of Esther dancing at the Packway Handle Band show I mentioned last post. We couldn't get a shot of her from the front because she would run over to dance with us. It it is fun none the less.
She's been very demanding this week about having music (munic, as she would say) on at all times. Then she'll stand in her chair or on the couch and dance around. It's quite funny!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Packway Handle Band at Ashford Manor

Packway Handle Band - traditional bluegrass

Cora (Our friend from the Botanical Garden), Ben, Esther, and I went to hear some bluegrass Monday night. Packway Handle Band is one of our favorite local bands. They played at a local Bed and Breakfast that was just beautiful. We danced the night away. Esther was not content to sit on our blanket. She had to be right in front of the stage (or trying to climb up on stage - a groupie already)!
Dancing with Papa - her favorite!

Twirl Girl

Our girl's got some moves!

Dancin' with Mama
We had so much fun. We're glad that Esther has our same love for music and the need to shake her groove thang!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

What a week it has been!

Indeed! But we got through it and there are many blessings.
Last weekend, Ben and I stole away for an adult-only weekend at Asheville Music Jamboree. It was beautiful venue and we really enjoyed the time we were there. (Here's one of the few pics we got while there).
On Saturday around 5pm we were laying down for a quick rest to gear up for the night's festivities when I received an URGENT text message from my brother. We didn't have any phone service deep in the woods, so my heart jumped. It read, "URGENT. Mom broke her leg. Dad freaking out. Come home now!" Needless to say, we packed up with superman speed and got out to the trolley to take us to our car. I was lucky to get a ATV to take me down to the road, then I ran down the road until I found a nice man who was able to take me to a phone (he lived on the property). I called home and got the story...Mom, Esther and Dad were at the playground. Mom stepped off a piece of equipment wrong and sprained her ankle and broke the other leg in two places. Luckily, my brother and sister-in-law were able to come rescue Esther. Dad is wonderful (love you), but taking care of wee ones isn't his gift. I later listened to his 8 phone messages and heard his terror!
So we made it home in a few hours and all was well. Mom has a high pain tolerance and a wonderful attitude. She had surgery on Wednesday and got a plate, 6 screws, and a pin to give her a new bionic leg. She is getting around pretty well in the wheelchair and has lots of support from family and friends. I spent the last week with her until she kicked me out and told me she could do it herself. (: Here's a drawing E and I made for 'Mammi' on our driveway.
Part 2 of the saga: Last Sunday, we were blessed with our nephew (Ben's brother's son) a month early. Though there was a little fright at first, Colt Wesley Fleming and Mama Courtney are home and doing great! Ben and Esther went down for a few days last week to visit while I stayed with Mom. Esther entertained everyone and is still talking about baby Colt.
Now we are back to "normal" here in Athens. Both back to work and E back to her toys, sandbox, and her own bed. Esther and I were able to go to the new Athens Farmers Market yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it. We got some baby carrots and garlic (courtesy of Becky and Boo), a loaf of Luna Sourdough, and some soap for new Mama Courtney (courtesy of Ansley's Songbird Soaps - thanks!). We are gearing up to go to the Blueberry Festival in Alma, GA this weekend. We'll be swinging back through Valdosta to see Colt and then a quick stop in Albany to see my Uncle. We've got the traveling dust this summer, so more pics and stories to come!