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Down on the farm

October 6th, 2013 by daniel

We have some very generous friends.  Their family owns roughly 80 acres in Woodland, GA, and they invited us down to the farm for the weekend.  It worked out well, as the girls were out of school from Thursday through Tuesday.  I took Thursday afternoon and Friday off and we drove down for some fun.

So there was standard vacation style stuff.  Running and playing for the girls; shopping at the Cotton Pickin’ Festival for mom.  And there were a few things that are typically more acceptable in the farm setting that aren’t an everyday occurrence.  Like camping out with the girls, fishing, Gator rides (the vehicle, not the animal), trampolines, weapons practice and wild animal safaris.

What’s that you say?  Weapons and wild animals?  Would you like me to elaborate?

The wild animal safari park is located in Pine Mountain, GA.  Here you are, in the middle of South GA and there is a park that lets your drive through and feed wild animals, including zebras and giraffes.  Sadly, the giraffes were feeling anti-social when we came through, so we only saw them from a distance.  But we got up close with a lot of other animals.  Check out some of the photos here.

The weapons piece is truly unique to the farm.  Because they own 80 acres and its in the middle of thick woods, you can fire off weapons.  So we did.  Here’s a few videos. (sadly, I didn’t have the video camera out when Shannon was shooting.  But take my word: she is a much better shot than I am, handgun and rifle).

First up is Eden taking aim with a bow and arrow.  She did pretty well.  My friend (in the video) Kristan’s youngest daughter has her own bow, which is what Eden is using in the video.  She seemed to enjoy herself.

This next video is Eden shooting a .22 rifle.  This rifle is one that we picked up after my grandfather passed away.  As it turns out, this particular rifle belonged to my mom.  So Eden got a chance to shoot her Mimi’s rifle.  She took a couple shots and said it was fun.

This last one daddy shooting.  Another friend, Brent, brought his sniper rifle and some exploding targets.  We were about 200 yards away.  I don’t think I need to explain any more.

Bathroom Renovation

September 28th, 2013 by daniel

Our half-bath had not been updated since the house was built in 1979.  Needless to say, it did not look very good, especially in comparison to the more updated den and kitchen.  So I decided to make the powder room my next DIY project.

For the most part, it was pretty easy, just took a little bit of time because of the tile work.  There was a little bit of everything: plumbing, cabinet install, demolition (Eden’s favorite part), carpentry and tile work.  Eden helped when she could (mostly demo and plumbing).  Overall, I think it turned out pretty well and was not as difficult as I originally anticipated.

Below are the before and after photos followed by a link to the full gallery.

Beforebathroom 022


Here’s the link to the full gallery.


September 28th, 2013 by daniel

Quite a bit has happened since I last posted.

Most importantly, Eden is now officially in kindergarten!  She loves school and even enjoys riding the bus.  Her favorite class in school is art, which is not a shocker given how creative she can be.  She has made lots of friends and is having a blast.

Here’s a picture of her first day and at the bust stop with her friend Cannon (fake smile and all).

bathroom 001


bathroom 003

Catch up

June 24th, 2013 by daniel

It seems like we’ve had a lot of interesting going’s on since my last update.  Here’s the highlights.


We had a fun Easter.  The girls had loads of fun hunting eggs and getting candy in their baskets.  Here’s some pictures to enjoy.


In early May, we had some excitement one weekend.  There was some high winds on Friday and a lot of rain Saturday and Sunday.  Early Saturday morning, around 7:30, we heard what we thought was one of the girls knocking something over.  But it sounded a little too loud for that.  I looked out our bathroom window and saw the giant oak tree in our backyard had been uprooted.  Fortunately, it fell into our neighbors yard and didn’t damage anything other than a poorly made bench. The fun doesn’t end there.

Sunday morning, around 2:30 AM, we were awakened by the sound of the giant oak tree in the front yard falling.  This one fell across the street, so we had to call the fire department to cut it up.  They came out and ran chainsaws at 2:30 in the morning.  Needless to say, it was quite a weekend.  Here’s some pictures of the downed trees.


May also brought Eden’s ballet recital.  The months of lessons finally paid off.  Here’s some pictures of her and her teacher.

The Graduate

Eden’s graduation from preschool was near the end of May.  She is officially done with preschool and will be starting kindergarten in the fall.  I can’t believe she is growing up so fast.  Here’s some pictures of her graduation.

Camp Out

Our church sponsored a father-child camp out on the baseball fields.  Eden and I went camping and did some fishing in the pond behind the church.  Eden caught her first two fish.  Daddy caught none.  She had loads of fun.  Here’s the pictures.

Swim Team

June brought with it Eden’s first shot at swim team.  She loved going to practices every morning.  She started out swimming just freestyle, but as the year went on she added the backstroke to her repertoire.  Given that its her first year, her stroke isn’t perfect and she’s not winning races.  But she finished second in her first backstroke and she has improved her times each week.  I haven’t edited these, but here are some pictures and some videos of Eden swimming.

More Trees

Lastly, June brought with it some serious tornadoes in East Cobb.  Granted, these storms were no where near what the folks in Oklahoma experienced, but they were pretty bad.  Shannon and I were with the girls on the road when the storms hit and it was not a fun experience.  We couldn’t get to our house because of tress downed across several roads.  We ended up ducking into Target to wait out the storm.

Our neighborhood was spared any significant damage.  My dads neighborhood was not as lucky.  Quite a few houses had trees on our through the roof.  Debris was all over the place.  Loads of trees down all over the neighborhood.  My dads house did have a tree that was resting on the roof, but compared to his neighbors, he was incredibly lucky.  His damage was relatively minor.  Here’s a few photo’s of the damage at his house.


Here’s a few random photos that I took around Memorial Day.  I haven’t edited these, so there are probably several duplicates.  Enjoy.

Amelia Turns 2!

March 22nd, 2013 by daniel

What kind of dad would I be if I forgot to mention that Amelia turned 2 recently?  We had an Elmo themed birthday party and she had loads of fun.  Shannon went all out, as usual, incorporating the theme into the decorations and the food.

Here’s some pictures from the party.  Below is a video of everyone singing Happy Birthday to Amelia.  Enjoy!


Touch a Truck

March 22nd, 2013 by daniel

Each year, Kennesaw (and I imagine other cites and owns) have an event called Touch a Truck.  It is designed to allow kids (and lets be honest – parents as well) to check out the various equipment used by the municipalities.  They have fire trucks, police cars, school buses, heavy tractors, etc.  It’s a really neat opportunity for the kids to get an up close and personal view of the vehicles they see on the road all the time.  I know our girls loved it.

Eden’s favorite was the firetruck.  She liked the hoses and helmets.  She was also a fan of the State Trooper helicopter.  Here’s some pictures and below is a video of Eden trying out the horn on the school bus tow truck.


I’m a slacker…but you know this

March 22nd, 2013 by daniel

AS usual, it has been entirely too long between posts, so I am going to attempt to use the next few posts to catch you up on a lot of stuff that has happened since my last post.  Here we go.

One of the biggest things that has happened is Amelia transitioned from the crib to a big girl bed.  We have a crib that converts in to a toddler bed (and a twin bed if we had all the correct hardware).  Its the same one we used for Eden.  We figured that Amelia had gotten big enough to no longer need the crib.

So far, she’s been pretty good about staying in bed once we put her down at nap and in the evenings (since she can get out now).  There have been a couple of times where she came downstairs after bed, but she has taken to it pretty easily.  Eden was the same way.  Next, we’ll have to get rid of the pacifier.

Anyway, here are some pictures of he trying out the new bed.  More posts to come!

Got it set up

Time to hop in!

Make the climb!

Big sister joins in the fun

Good times!


We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo…

July 8th, 2012 by daniel

The Georgia public library system has a neat deal set up with Zoo Atlanta.  If you check out the Zoo Atlanta DVD, when you return it you get 4 free passes to the zoo.  We decided to take advantage of this deal and we took the girls to the zoo this past Friday.  We went with our friends, the Philabaums.

From the moment we arrived, all Eden asked about was the pandas.  She had a one track mind.  To keep her from losing interest in all the other animals, we decided to take the longest possible route to the pandas.  I figured that if we saw them first, she wouldn’t care about anything else.  Plus, the pandas are right next to the playground, the train and the carousel.  I knew we’d never make it past there if that was first on the list.

What I didn’t anticipate was the frequency with which Eden would inquire about the pandas.  When are we going to see the pandas?  Are the pandas next?  After the tiger, can we go see the pandas?  It was a never ending refrain.

Other than the constant panda questions and the heat, we had a pretty good time.  Especially considering we spent less than $20.

Here’s some pictures of us at the zoo.  Enjoy!


June 16th, 2012 by daniel

Got some good video of the girls enjoying the swings this morning.

Memorial Day Weekend

May 27th, 2012 by daniel

Leading in to this Memorial Day weekend, we decided that it was time to do some serious landscaping in the backyard.  A few years ago, we had the backyard completely gutted and rebuilt.  We decided at that point, that we would keep the backyard in good shape and not let it become an eyesore like it was before.

We’ve done a decent job, having planted some nice grass, trees and bushes, but for the most part we’ve been pretty lazy about getting the rest of the yard looking nice.  With the long weekend coming up, we knew that this would be a good time to get a lot accomplished in the backyard.

My dad and Todd came over Friday morning (while I was at work) and planted the gardenias and cleaned up the grass edge line.  I got home around lunch and Todd and I planted knockout roses.  At that point, since we had accomplished way more than we anticipated, we agreed that we would come back on Saturday and plant azaleas and hydrangeas by the deck.

(Todd didn’t make it back Saturday, but my friend Kristian did.  He came over and helped plant at my house after I agreed to go to his house in the afternoon to plant trees.)

Saturday, we knocked out the azaleas and hydrangeas, planted a Camilla bush.

All in all, we got a ton accomplished and the yard looks MUCH better.  I lost about 10 pounds just by sweating for 7 straight hours.  But it was totally worth it.  Here’s a photo album with the before and after pictures.  Enjoy!

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