Archive for October, 2010

Len Foote Hike Inn – Day 2

October 28, 2010

Saturday morning….

I’d been awake and waiting for others to start moving around.  At the first rustle and the glow of an i-phone showing over the edge of the top bunk – I knew it was time!  I get so excited about morning and especially this morning cuz we were going to hike again!

There’s a ritual at the Inn.  Just before sunrise, they walk by all the rooms gently beating on a drum.  It’s really a nice mellow sound.  This is to let everyone know that the “show” is about to begin and if you want a front row seat, then you better get moving …

And what seats we had!!

Nothing like morning faces for early morning pictures,

and a flash doesn’t help either 🙂

Lauren and I were reminiscing about her Senior trip to Maine and the morning we were up at 4am to hike to the top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park.   At 1532 feet, it’s the highest point along the N. Atlantic seaboard.

I love watching the transformation of all the beautiful mountains and…

…within minutes, the scenery changes.

Amazing….

So soul quenching….

We began to take guesses as to where the sun would first peek into this new day.

Right smack in the middle of those two mountains!

The colors were phenomenal!

The hues on the horizon changed so quickly…

The illumination spilled over into the valley….

Good morning, Dahlonega!

The experience of watching such an incredible sunrise is truly indescribable…

Watching the landscape and the ever changing shadows…

As the sunlight seeps into all the nooks and crannies….

Stretching her light to the heavens….

It was absolutely breathtaking…

 

And we were so grateful to be able to share this moment with one another.

When the sun was well on her way to her zenith, the breakfast bell rang!

Megan got creative in identifying her mug 🙂

After a breakfast of biscuits, garlic grits, scrambled eggs and sausage, we headed back to our room to get ready for the hike back to civilization.

First, we had to strip our linens and put them and our towels in the hamper on the porch.

Let me explain these canvas bags….I thought  it was a brilliant idea.

When we checked in, they handed each of us a canvas bag and inside was a set of sheets, bath towel, and washcloth.  It was great for use when we needed to go to the bathhouse and didn’t want to carry our whole back pack or fumble around trying to contain in our arms all the various items we would need to use.

And they got washed right along with the rest of the sheets and towels.

When all the housekeeping had been taken care of, it was time to get ourselves ready to head out.

Lolo had started to get a blister before our hike.

So I had gotten special band-aides for blisters.  These had a gel-like pouch on them which went over the blister.  The heat from the body helped it to form over the blister and kept it from anymore friction.

And just to be sure, we added some extra protection.

Time to hit the trail!

Another glorious day in the woods….

Even overnight, the trees seemed to have changed, a little bit brighter.

Lolo and I commented how different the trail seemed going the other way.

We talked about all the hiking we did together when the kids were small, laughing at some of our favorite memories.

Lolo and I ended up hiking together and we had the most wonderful conversations!

In the quiet and peacefulness of the woods, we shared our hearts without any disruption from people or cell phones.

It was a perfect day for hiking, the perfect place for quality time with my daughter, and the perfect moment to tell her how much I loved her…

Precious time together which happens less frequently as they grow older.

As we continued walking, I found myself slowing down to enjoy all the subtle sights…

The colors of the leaves were just too difficult to ignore!

All the creeks were filled with leaves, making the water hard to see.

Some of the leaves decided to hitch a ride 🙂

And just when I thought I could restrain myself from taking another picture….

I’d find another leaf…

And I just had to stop….

I never worried about losing my way.  The green blazes were everywhere

and so were the people who were headed up the mountain.  We met quite a few people who were going to hang out with the trees and the colored leaves.

And in way too short a time, we began to hear the voices from crowds of people and motorized vehicles.

Admittedly, we were tempted to turn around and quickly head back into the woods.

Our time on the way back out?  2.5 hours in 5 miles, slowed by a camera-happy, picture-snapping hiker.

See the shirts the girls are wearing??  You can only purchase them from the Len Foote Hike Inn!

So next time you see someone wearing a shirt from Len Foote, ask them how they enjoyed their hike!

…or where the Goodwill is where they shop 🙂

We were just a little ready for lunch by the time we reached the bottom and by the time we took off our packs, we were really hungry!  We decided to brave the crowds and head to Dahlonega to find something to eat.

Did I mention how hungry we were?

We enjoyed a quiet ride home as we chatted about our hike and the fun we had during the last two days.

Conclusion?  We’re going to do this more often.

Next hike?  The day after Thanksgiving!

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Len Foote Hike Inn- Day 1

October 26, 2010

A friend had told me about the Len Foot Hike Inn and I was intrigued.  It sounded like a great hike and my girls were old enough to handle the “moderate” rating of the hike.  I made reservations at the very beginning of April since they recommended 11 months in advance.

Finally, the day arrived and we were so excited!  Lolo helped Mae Mae get her hiking hairdo on…

Everything we needed for the next two days had to be carried in our backpacks.  I’ve since made notes about what I WON’T need the next time…

Before we started on the Len Foote hike, we thought we should see the waterfalls before Saturday came.  With all the gorgeous fall colors, we knew the “peepers” would be filling the Amicalola State Park.

We walked to the bottom of the stream…

And then walked up ALL the stairs…

Till we made it to the beautiful, very tall,  falls!

It’s hard to get perspective with a camera.  See Mae Mae and our friend at the bottom of the picture?

But we did our best to capture this incredible view.

The blue of the sky, the brilliance of the trees – it looked as though Someone had plugged in the day!

After we took all the pictures we wanted, we walked back down ALL those steps and drove over to the top of the falls.

The view was spectacular!

Finally we arrived at the parking lot for the Len Foote Hike Inn.  We visited the restroom, checked our backpacks, and loaded up for the 5 mile hike to the inn.

And we stepped into the quiet solitude of the woods…

After the first mile, tired of listening to our growling stomachs, we stopped for lunch!

Food never tastes as good as it does outside in the woods 🙂

We had a visitor who joined us for lunch…

a Hover Fly.

And to prove his namesake, he hovered so I could snap this photo of him!  It’s funny how he tucks his little legs up beside him and his wings are so fast, you can’t even see them!

The trail was marked with a lime green blaze.  The Appalachian Trail was blazed with blue.

We met some wonderful new friends along the way.  These ladies were from the Atlanta area and headed to the Inn also.  One of the gals had this hike on her “bucket” list and her two friends came for moral support.

The scenery changed constantly.  We loved the “tunnel” feel of this grove of Laurel and Rhododendrons.

Don’t be fooled by that smile on R’s face.  Look at Mae Mae’s face and harken the caution seen there!

The trees’ foliage was spectacular – reminded me so much of New England as we hiked through all these colors!

Noticed this pretty little flower along the pathway.  I believe it’s a Stiff Gentian.

I love being in the woods- exploring, wondering, thinking, listening to all the sounds, watching the way the light from the sun plays among the branches and leaves…

The Sassafras tree was everywhere with it’s funny shaped leaves – the ones that look like mittens are my favorite.

The mountain side undulated up and down as we hiked along, some hills steeper than others.

When the hills were a little more of an incline than we were used to, we stopped for a little rest 🙂

And then when we all were in a really great hiking rhythm, we hiked right into the Inn!

We’d made it!  5 miles of hiking in 2.5 hours!

There was an earned feeling of accomplishment 🙂

After we checked in, we headed to our bunk house.  One set of bunks in each room – we had adjoining rooms.

The accommodations were simple, clean, and a very welcome sight!

First things first after checking out our beds, the bathroom!

Real towels and hairdryers…but the best of all???  HOT SHOWERS!!

And…composting toilets.  The girls wanted me to tell you all that the pictures can’t begin to tell how it “felt” to sit on one of these toilets.  There was a constant cool draft that flowed through the big tube of the compost toilet.

After we took care of all the important tasks, we headed to the dining hall where we were told they had snacks waiting for us.

Corn bread and Sweet Potato Soup – it was wonderful!

What I really wanted was something to drink…

These were our cups the entire time we were at the Inn.

Oh, and another thing…no garbage cans anywhere at the Inn.  What you carried in to the Inn, you carried back out – even your garbage 🙂

We explored the Inn area before the Educational Tour at 5pm.

We learned that all the buildings were built on stilts so as not to disrupt the contour of the land and cause erosion.

And the view – worth every step along that path through the woods!

We took time to chat with some of the other guests who had arrived at the Inn.

Found this hanging in one of the trees…

The educational tour told us all about the formation of the Inn and how they are striving to be eco-friendly.

This is one of their worm bins and it was FULL of Red Worms – impressive!

Before dinner, R taught us all how to play horse shoes….

Such form…

…and finesse!

I like when my girls have an opportunity for a “first.”  Now they can say they’ve “tried” to play horseshoes 🙂

We were really excited when we finally heard the dinner bell ring at 6p.

An amazing meal was set before us – of course, was it so amazing because the cook was that good or because we were famished after our hike??  Umm, yes to both!

We had Black-eyed Peas, Collard Greens, biscuits, Caesar Salad, and Pork Loin with caramelized onions.

The meal was delicious!!!

This picture isn’t very good but I had to show you.

These 2 guys are playing the banjo and guitar and doing the kitchen dance.

Wanna know why?

Remember I said the Inn was eco-friendly?

After each meal, they weigh the scraps that are left on all the plates.

If there are 0 ounces, the kitchen staff does the kitchen dance!

Guess what?  We had 0 waste at our dinner meal 🙂

After dinner, we all went outside to watch the sunset.

While we were waiting, the girls decided to take a closer look at this formidable structure.

This structure took 2 years to be placed in just the right position.

During the Summer Equinox, the sun, as it rises, hits the circle at the top …

…and illuminates this room behind the structure.

There are large rocks placed on the ground around the structure to point out the directions.

Mae Mae is standing on the rock facing East…

…and Lolo is showing us the way to the Northeast!

Afterwards, we decided to check out the Community Room.

And a rousing game of Yahtzee broke out!  NOT!  We were all feeling the effects of hiking all day and we were ready for a hot shower….

And comfy beds!

Sleep well, my beautiful girls, for tomorrow we do the same!

Walking Stick

October 25, 2010

Before we began our hike to the Len Foote Inn, we needed to use the restroom.  And there, waiting in line on the fence, was a Walking Stick insect.

It was so still, making it easy to photograph.  This one was about  3″ – 4″ long.

Here’s some info on these fascinating bugs courtesy of Dave’s Garden –  http://davesgarden.com/

They eat foliage of deciduous trees and shrubs, especially oaks and hazelnuts.

This is the head and the 2 front legs are stretched in front…


Nymphs are green.
Adult males are brown and females are greenish-brown.
They are wingless.
They can regenerate lost legs.


Females drop eggs singly. Eggs overwinter among ground litter and hatch in spring, when nymphs push open domelike ends of the eggs. Nymphs crawl up woody vegetation at night to reach edible foliage.
Males are about 3″ long and females 3 3/4″ long.

I’m guessing by the coloration that this is a male Walking Stick…

Ever seen one of these before?  According to what I read, they’re not around much during the day!

Corn Maze!

October 22, 2010

As promised, we had a “fun night” after our day of working.  We all headed out to the Washington Farm Corn Maze.  It was a beautiful night, the weather was perfect and we were all ready to “play” after a hard day of work.

We donned out neon wrist bands and headed for the corn maze.

But first – the obligatory group pictures.

Made me laugh because after this picture was taken, Catherine said, “Wait!!  You know Mom’s going to blog this so we better do a serious picture too….

So here it is, although the previous picture is more indicative of the kids I know and love!

To start the maze,

there was a slide that dumped you down in the cornfield…

Toto is either being silly or she’s concealing the grimace from the pain of the these pvc pipes on your bum.

And here we were, right in the middle of 5 acres of corn.

“I think we should go……..this way!”

“Ummmm, not sure that’s the right way since we keep going in circles!”

I was assured of not getting lost from our group – I had all the snacks in the backpack!

Still wandering, but with a little more purpose 🙂

We finally made it out of the maze….after an hour.  And yes, we did ask for a little help at the beginning after circling the same spot several times.

Lolo works at the farm, has since she was 14.  She loves working here – even when there’s a bunch of freshman hanging out at her booth trying to flirt with her 🙂  It was comical to watch….

Alexandra couldn’t wait to try the “pillow.”  It’s a gigantic blow up that’s on the ground and you jump on it.

She loved it!

And of course we all had to try it.  I was laughing so hard I could hardly stand up!  My kids kept double jumping me – they thought it was hilarious…..and so did I 🙂

After 2.5 hours, we headed home – all of us a bit tuckered out from our day.

A good time was had by all…

Thanks kids for a fabulous day!!

A rose between two thorns??!

October Work Day with the Kids

October 21, 2010

I decided in August that we would start having “work weekends.”  One day a month we all would work together on different projects around the farm.  It’s worked really well and the best part – it’s fun when we all work together.

Our work day for October was Friday the 15th.  Our main focus – clean up and tidy up the farm!

All of us met at Kinderhof at 8am and we read off the work list.

For my kids, I’ve found they do better when there’s a list with all the jobs written out.  I broke up the farm into areas and the different tasks that had to be accomplished in each area.  The biggest benefit to this system?  Every time they asked me “what’s next?” I referred them to the clipboard!

Everyone chose a job that needed to be done in Kinderhof.

Megan volunteered to scoop mulch with the tractor.

Michael and his friend, J, raked the whole yard around the cabin and picked up pine cones for our fireplace – they make great fire starters!

Even Sawyer wanted to know what he could do to help!  Actually he was pleading with his mom (Tori) to get his ball back from Molly.  She’d stolen it from him and Sawyer was not happy.

After Kinderhof, we cleaned up the goat area and then moved to the front yard.  Tori cut up apples and we took a small break.

Catherine had come home from working night shift at the hospital and didn’t want to miss out on the fun.  Lauren had class in the morning but was home now.  Yes!  A bigger work force!

Catherine had the dubious task of trimming the front hedges of holly.

The rest of the crew started on the wood shed area.  They raked pine straw and moved cinder blocks and bricks to a different area.

All the pine straw went to the fire pit…

We had a fire going all day and the smell of campfire was wonderful!

Michael and J started taking nails out of recycled boards that I’ll use to build a picket fence.  Not a fun job at all but hey, some one had to do it!

Meanwhile, Lauren and Megan began hauling up the “yucky” wood from the wood shed area…

And we added it to the fire in the fire pit.

The two of them brought up a load of broken bricks and they found a guest who had hitched a ride!

It was just a baby so I picked it up so we could get some pictures.  Some of my kids wanted a closer look….

And others wanted to get as far away as possible!

After checking the internet, I think it was a Mole King Snake but I’m not certain.

With all the activity around the farm, the Guineas decided it was best to hang out with the meat chickens.

And, as happens every work day – a competition broke out…

This water barrel was broken and we were moving it.  Michael hopped over it so effortlessly and of course, my girls were not to be out done…

I must admit, his form was going to be a bit hard to beat.

Tori tried first….

…and tipped the barrel over and landed on top of it!

Megan tried next and almost made it….

…but she didn’t quite have the height and hit the back of her thighs on the rim of the barrel and boy, did that hurt!  She has some impressive bruises to prove her efforts 🙂

Squish had the right idea…

She cleared it with no problem 🙂

Okay, everyone back to work.

Meg and J worked in the garden weeding some of the squares.

Ali checked for eggs…

While the chickens checked out their new nesting boxes that J and Michael had hung.

At 3:45, we all met in the kitchen to peel apples for applesauce.  We told stories and laughed a lot and worked an hour longer than we were scheduled to work.

We processed a whole bushel of apples – many hands make light work!

All work stopped at 5p, showers were had, pizza eaten, and we left for an evening of fun and frolic at the Washington Farm Corn Maze, very pleased with all that had been accomplished during our work day.

Apple Picking at BJ Reece Orchard

October 19, 2010

Ever since my kids were little, I’ve taken them to “you pick” farms for the experience of knowing where their food comes from.  Apple picking has to be one of our favorites – I think it’s the time of year that’s really the appeal!

Lauren had Columbus Day off from school so the 4 of us set out to the mountains to go apple picking.  It was a gorgeous day and we all love the mountains.  Once we got to the orchard, we set our priorities in order and ate some of the fried apple pies and apple donuts.  These 2 faces tell just how yummy those treats were 🙂

Apples and apple products were everywhere!

Lauren had researched the different orchards before we decided on the BJ Reece Orchard.  Not all orchards will let you pick your own apples.

Picking is half the fun of going to the apple orchard…

And tasting the fruit of your labor 🙂

We picked Rome apples which I really like for applesauce.

It didn’t take us long at all to fill our 20 lb. bag.

The apples were so big!

The other apples that were ready to be picked were the Arkansas Black.  I use these for eating and for applesauce…

It was a little more work to get the bigger apples out of the tree.

But I had very willing volunteers to climb up into the tree to find the good apples.

We quickly filled our bags then headed back to the barn where we purchased more apples and cider to take home.

We love applesauce and it takes a lot of apples to make enough sauce for this family!

We were only a few miles from the Amicalola State Park when we left the orchard.  And because it was such a beautiful fall day, I thought the girls would enjoy the views from the top of the mountain.  We drove up to the lodge that sits on the ridge – incredible views of the Blue Ridge Mountains…

Inside the main lobby, there was a Ranger who was lecturing about owls.

This is a Great Horned Owl…

And this is a Barred Owl – they were fascinating…

And of course, the ledge outside was a great place for jumping shots!

Looks like she’s doing the Irish Jig 🙂

“Look Mom, I’m flying!”

“Woohoo!!  We love coming to the mountains!”

We all had a great time picking apples and enjoying fall in the mountains.  How incredibly grateful I am for the beauty that surrounds us and for the health to enjoy all the wonders of nature.

Metal Nesting Boxes

October 15, 2010

Now that the weather has turned a bit cooler, it’s time for projects here on the farm.  On Labor Day weekend, we started working on the chicken area.  There were several things that needed my attention – one being the number of nesting boxes that were available for the hens.  At last count, after I added the new hens, I had 50 hens in the hen house and 8 nesting boxes.  Not enough…   Books say you should have 1 box for every 5 hens.  And of course, those chickens have not read the same book and they decide that 10 should use the same box!

I’ve been looking for metal nesting boxes for a while.  I love the efficiency of them.

I found some and picked them up last weekend on the way back from the mountains.

Each of the units has 12 nesting boxes – a total of 24 new spaces for my hens.  I scrubbed down the boxes and primed them with paint.

Then I spent the majority of the day painting them with rustoleum paint.  And, if I’m going to paint, it might as well be with fun colors!

The next day, Michael and I hung one on the outside of the hen house and waited….

The hens eventually became curious enough to start jumping up on the railings.  And yesterday…

Ali found 2 eggs in the nesting boxes!

My kids say the colors remind them of McDonalds 🙂  So I’m thinking, Egg McMuffins for breakfast?

Quick! Get a Jar!

October 13, 2010

A few weeks ago I was walking with a couple of families on a Homestead Tour here at the farm.  We were headed to the orchard when this wonderful creature was spotted meandering across our driveway.  The families were aware of my love for critters of the insect world and pointed him out to me.  How beautiful and so big!!  I’d not seen one of these caterpillars before.  My guests waited patiently while I ran back to the house to grab a jar with a lid.

I carried this caterpillar around with me for the rest of the Homestead Tour.  He was more than ready to be set free when I finally had time to grab my camera.

He’s enormous!  I used my cell phone to give some sort of perspective.  My cell phone is 4″ long.

I love the creative look of this caterpillar but I have to admit, my favorite part was….

….his back end!  It looked like a lobster tail to me.

But those 2 little “fins” are actually legs.  Just look at those tiny little black feet!

A whole bunch of tiny feet and this caterpillar used them efficiently – he moved constantly.

I love the color of his spots – the creativity of insects, from color schemes to anatomical parts is so fascinating to me.

And those bright yellow “horns” – they look like little flames!

All that hair!  I’ll never complain about my bad hair days again 🙂

See those little white eggs attached to the caterpillar?  My guess is that a parasite wasp has laid a few eggs – hopefully not enough to kill this massive caterpillar.

Wanna know what this beautiful creature will turn into when he emerges from his cocoon?

An Imperial Moth!!  I figured it had to be a huge butterfly or moth from the size of this caterpillar.  Ever read the book, Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter?  It’s a fabulous book and because the author was a naturalist, he weaves a great  deal about all kinds of butterflies and moths into his story.  That’s how I remembered the larger moths from this area.

Here’s what an Imperial Moth looks like and a few facts about this incredible caterpillar….

The imperial moth caterpillar is a solitary feeder. It may occur on any of the many host trees, and is usually encountered most commonly in late summer and fall. These large larvae individually can consume a lot of foliage, but are seldom present in sufficient numbers to cause serious damage. Large, colorful, and armed with horns and spines, the caterpillar may look fierce and dangerous; however, it is harmless and does not “sting” or stab man.


Banding the New Hens

October 8, 2010

The longer I homestead, the more I realize how important it is to be a good steward of the resources I have available to me.  Last year, I kept track of the amount of chicken feed I was purchasing and the amount of eggs I was selling.

It was a rude awakening…I was losing a lot of money in the laying hen division.  As much as I enjoyed ALL my hens, some of them were past their prime and were consuming a lot of feed and not giving anything back in return.  I had to set my heart aside and look at this situation as an efficient steward and homesteader.

Here’s the plan I came up with and started implementing last season.  I bought different colored leg bands for the chickens.

Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of these little colored plastic rings – they were more expensive than I’d expected.

But I needed them to make the system work…

I purchased all female chicks this spring and raised them in the chicken tractor.

When it was time to move them to the hen house, we banded each hen with an orange leg band.

Once all the girls were banded…

It was time to transfer them from the chicken tractor to the hen house.

Chickens start laying eggs at 5 months of age and they lay the most eggs in the first 2 years of their life.

I needed a system that let me know how old my hens were.  You can imagine with this many how difficult it would be to remember which year the hens were added to the hen house.

By looking at the color of their leg band, I know how old the hen is and how productive she is being.

Last year, 2009, I used yellow bands and green bands.  (I had the green bands already but didn’t like them as well as the colored ones.)

My goal is to have enough eggs to sell to at least cover the cost of my feed.  It would be great to make a profit, which is very doable if you have all young hens who are laying.

Now that the new hens are in the hen house and at the age to start laying, I’m keeping track of how many eggs we collect each day.  I put in 24 new hens and there were 25 from last season and before.  Our egg output is still not where it should be but we’re on the right track.  I know I still have some old hens in the house who are eating more than laying.  Eventually they will be culled from the flock.

And how are the new hens doing?

Just fine!

They are the majority and slowly establishing their positions in the house.

They’re beginning to discover the nesting boxes – this is a good thing!

As you can see, not all are happy with this new arrangement….

It’s not always easy making new friends in the pecking order, especially when you’re near the bottom of the order.

But as a homesteader, I need to keep reminding myself that there is a purpose for every animal and plant on my farm.  Stewardship of resources is vital in order to keep the systems efficient.  It’s so easy to allow all of this to become a huge drain on our finances if I’m not careful about managing our hens.  Their reason for being a part of our homestead?

…eggs!

All Work and No Play Makes Jack…

October 6, 2010

I love to work.  This is no surprise to any of my family members.  I love being outside.  I love working on the farm.  And I love being with my kids.  My kids, however, aren’t as motivated to work on the farm as I am so we made a deal.  A Play Day for a Work Weekend.

Labor Day weekend was our first official work weekend.  We worked on our farm first, had Sunday off, and then worked at my friend’s farm on Monday.  Even though it was a work weekend, we really did have a lot of fun and got quite a bit accomplished….that’s another blog 🙂

My friend and I planned a whole day with the kids for our Play Day.  First we had to get our daily chores done and then we headed out to play.  We went to a local park and brought a picnic lunch, complete with favorites like Cheetoes, sub sandwiches, and Starbursts.

Aren’t they cute??  Michael’s friend, “J” had worked with us over Labor Day so she was able to enjoy the day with us.

After lunch, we took the cooler back to the truck and headed down to the lake.

Does anyone else notice a problem with this picture?  Michael offered, but you know how these farm girls can be!

What’s the fastest way to the bottom of a huge hill?  Why, rolling, of course!!

We brought the kayaks along – it was so beautiful on the lake!

Mostly we played in the water…

“J” actually agreed to let Michael and Squish bury her in the sand!  Makes me shiver just thinking about it!

No – he was not covered in sand 🙂

Squish said this was the first time she remembered building a sand castle.  Somehow I’ve been remiss in her education if this is true.

“J” brought a frisbee and we taught the kids how to throw one….

Mae Mae caught on rather quickly.

And of course, some of us were way better at it than others 🙂

Michael kept trying to catch the frisbee between his legs….

…and finally did it!

Cheers from the crowd!!!!!   … and a hug from someone special 🙂

Once we were all fairly comfortable throwing the frisbee, we decided to play Monkey in the Middle….

Do you see how enthusiastic Squish is about the game??  Can you find her?  Yeah – she’s working on her Dead Man’s float.

Just thought this was a cool picture…

Of course, if mom has the camera, then it’s time for the silly photo op.

These are all rather self-explanatory…

Next, my friend tried to teach the kids how to juggle….

Some were better at it than others.

Ever played with these sticks?  It was really cool – “J” knew how to flip that middle stick.

Sadly, after many hours having fun in the sun, we had to pack up and head home.

But don’t think the day ended here.  Oh no, we went home, did chores, made our own individual pizzas, and watched a movie.

I am proud to say that my friend and I thoroughly exhausted these kids and she and I outlasted them!  We had such a great day together and can’t wait for our next Play Day!

Next work weekend??  October 16 and 17th.  We have a much more enthusiastic team of workers this time around.  The anticipation of another Play Day is a great motivator  because you know,

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!