On September 16 my siblings and I went to the Litke’s, our former neighbors, for a sleepover. Because the weather was pleasant, the girls and I slept on mattresses in the Litke’s unfinished apartment above their garage. Besides an occasional car passing by, all you could hear was the chirping of crickets and, in the sky, all you could see was a brilliant full moon. This environment was very serene.
The next day, while in the middle of a Nerf battle, Abby and Katie’s prayers were answered. The Litke’s cat, Kallie, gave birth to her kittens in time for us to see them. By the time we had to leave, her babies had been cleaned and dried so we were able to hold them. The sweet kitties were barely the size of my hand. It was something else to see these little bundles of joy shortly after they entered this world.
To see more photos from this event, click here. Once in Flickr, click the arrow on your right to view the next picture. Thanks!
We were bored, as it sometimes is with children, so the neighborhood kids, my siblings, and I wandered down into the woods and decided to build a cabin. The idea was supposed to be a temporary solution but, when everyone came out the next day to play, they all wanted to continue building our cabin. So we did. Everyday after school whoever was available met up and worked until dark. Sometimes the crew included everybody but, for the most part, it was just my siblings and I.
We began by picking an area where a few trees formed a circle. I grabbed the rake and cleared the floor of our cabin-to-be from leaves and pine needles. The boys, with hatchets and machetes in hand, went a few feet away and chopped down small trees that they then de-branched. Once smooth, they gave the tree to me and I nailed it somewhere along the circle of trees as a roof beam. We were originally going to weave, layer, and pile branches to make our roof but this idea was later abandoned when it came to our attention that we could use our old trampoline tarp for the roof. The walls were originally going to be made of branches woven in between the material from our old deck, but we later moved to making them out of the materials of one of our old forts and a bunch of junk my mom found behind our fence along with a few items from our trash can. The original dirt floor will eventually be completely covered by the shingles that once protected our neighbor’s roof before they re-shingled it years ago (the shingles were on the floors of the “failing to be completed” houses in our village but they are being transferred into this project).
A few steps from our little cabin the we cleared an area to form a square and then fenced it in by suspending and nailing medium size trees, which had been de-branched and stripped of bark so they were smooth, to the trees surrounding the square area. This became our “pen” that we worked in and enjoyed a fire-less fire-pit. We hope that one day the fence surrounding the pen will become suitable so that we can pretend that we have farm animals enclosed there.
Our little cabin in the woods is not complete (we still need to complete the side walls and build up the back wall, along with finishing our pen, but with some work it will be wrapped up). The children of the neighborhood have very much enjoyed using their imagination to pretend that we live in a time where you had to build your own home and practicing their growing “survival skills”. The kids and I are very impressed that our little cabin hasn’t fallen apart yet and hope that it will be a fort of ours for many years to come wether we are using it for a base when we play air-soft or a home when we play family.
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Since I live in Greer, South Carolina the small sprinkling of snow we received Friday, January 20th was a BIG deal. Of course, it wasn’t much, and it didn’t last long, so we enjoyed it while it stayed.
Two days later it snowed again. What didn’t melt hardly covered the ground but that didn’t stop us from suiting up and going on an adventure.
That night the Lord gave us an actual snow fall that left one inch of fluffy powder on the ground. School was canceled and the kids spent the entire day outside. What fun!
I had a hard time deciding what to wear for Halloween. I tried on several costumes (pictured below).
I eventually decided to be Queen Sunflower (my role in a game I invented/a book I wrote) for Trailer Park Treating (a Halloween event at school) but promised Ansa to go Trick-or-Treating dressed as Anna.
Upon returning to the house my siblings and I counted our candy. It took a while but we were able to see who had the most. Haydn came in first with 229 pieces. I came in second with 205 and Ansa in third with 186. I had a great time and can not wait for next year.
We had had this playdate scheduled since before we left for our trip so, we were very happy it did not get canceled.
After jumping outside on our trampoline, we went inside to play Nature Royalty. Once dressed up we began to play on the stairs.
Of course, tumbling down the stairs wrapped in pillows and blankets does come with a price: you become so hot you long for a walk-in freezer. Since we do not have one of those, we made do with our own.
Due to being gone for two months, my siblings had a lot of play time to make up so hardly a day pasted by without our neighbors coming over. I’m glad they have friends to come home to.
This was a question asked by a reader for Josh to answer for Josh’s advice. Below is Josh’s answer.
“Well, it depends on how many the zoo keeper wants. Most petting zoos have three or four, so I would say about four.”
Thank you for asking for Josh’s advice. If you have any questions, or are in need for a suggestion, comment down below.
Yesterday Josh told me another line of advice that could be very useful. “Don’t punch a basketball that you just inflated.”
I began to write it down, and then paused. “Did you learn that the hard way?” I asked.
“Yes!” He said, smiling, and I burst out laughing.