Friday, September 16, 2016
Thanks to our attempts to hang out with the Litke kids, our former neighbors, my siblings and I were able to go over to their house 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 coordination 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 palm. It was something else to see 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 South Carolina, the small sprinkling of snow we received on Friday, January 20 was a BIG deal. Of course, the snowfall wasn’t much, and it didn’t last long, but we enjoyed it all the same. That is, while it stayed.
Two days later it snowed again. What didn’t melt hardly covered the ground but that didn’t stop my siblings, neighbors, and I from suiting up and going on an adventure.
That night the Lord gave us an actual snowfall 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. After a lot of dressing up and much consideration, I decided to be Queen Sunflower (my role in a game I invented/ book I wrote) for Trailer Park Treating (an event at school), but I promised Ansa that I would go Trick-or-Treating dressed as Anna from Disney’s Frozen. Below are pictures of this year’s costumes:
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.
Saturday, August 8, 2015
This playdate had been on the several girls’ radars since before my family and I left on our two-month trip out west, so we were very happy our hangout with the Litke girls 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 for. Upon returning home, hardly a day passed that did not include our neighbors coming over. It’s almost as if our home is a magnet which is activated when we step inside. 😂 😂 I’m glad we have friends who are happy to see us.
Recently I went to a birthday party for my former neighbor, Katie. Amongst many activities was a pinata. After it opened up, Katie began to wear the cupcake shaped cardboard on her head despite the fact that she could not keep it above her eyes. I had pity on the child and offered to turn it into a hat for her. Amazed that such a proposition was possible, she agreed and I went home with a new project on my hands. After many hours of tedious work, I finally finished and could not be more pleased with the results. Below are some pictures of the gift I was tempted not to give:
Our basement once contained a makeshift village that my siblings, neighbors, and I built. We each had our own home which we constructed out of whatever we found under the house, such as netting, fencing, and planting supplies. Everyone really enjoyed it and loved keeping their homes neat and tidy, as long as I was there to do it for them. 😂 😂
One day Dad came down and found that he did not like how everything was all over the place to section off little rooms, so he had us take it all down and put it neatly away. We were entirely desolate but did as we were told.
Today the basement is known as “The Thomas Clubhouse” and is a place where we go to hang out when it is raining or too hot/cold outside. A couple times, when we have been down there, someone will ask me if they can make their own room. I am happy they remember the village that once was, but tell them no.