Monday, November 18, 2013

Visitors Day at J.F.A.

Last Monday was Veteran's Day, and I had originally scheduled us to have the day off.  The kids were pretty excited.  ACA was out too, but it was teacher in-service so Clancy had to work.  When the kids found out Reagan was spending the day with us, they actually asked to have school so Reagan could be a homeschooler for the day!  In fact, they all but begged.  Go figure!  Even funnier - she was all for it!  So Jones Family Academy had a guest student for the day.

We asked Reagan to lead the pledge since she was our guest.  (And no - we don't do homeschool in our PJs but it was a special day!)
We did Bible, Language Arts and Math.  I made copies for Reagan so she could work along with us.
Brack working on his reading comprehension.
After lunch, we met my brother, David, and his kids, and a friend, Braden, at my parent's house.  (My parents literally live around the corner from us.  We love it!)  David works for the state and was off for the day so he brought the kids to do a little hunting and horseback riding.
My nephew, Ford, got in a little practice with his bow before going to my house to try his luck at bagging "Big 7", the buck we've been tracking with the game camera for about a year in our lower back pasture.
A boy and his gun!

Copeland, and his friend, Braden, got in a little target practice from Mimi's deck.  (No animals were harmed during the shooting of these targets.  Only Mimi's lawn chair...)
Meanwhile the girls and I took a ride in the Mule (IN a mule, not ON a mule!) around the pond.  We found a pretty, shady spot for this great picture.
Plenty o' room to swing a rope...

The cowboys practiced their rope swangin' skills by lassoing a jack.  Let's just say they shouldn't quit their day jobs!
The girls explored the barn and acted like the silly girls they are!
Seven kids is a lot, so luckily, I had a guest teacher for the day - my "baby" brother, David.

Reagan probably has a little more experience with horses than the rest of the kids.  She and her dad, (my other brother, Jon) ride pretty often.  She helped to get Chewy ready for saddling.  Poor, poor, Chewy.  If he had known what he was in for that day, he would have probably flat out refused!

As you can probably imagine, all the kids wanted to go first, so we guessed numbers.  Brack got to go first.  The rest waited (somewhat) patiently on the fence.

David had already exercised Chewy, so he stayed close but let the kids do the work.

Cowboy Cope!

Jewell lovin' on Chewy...

Anne Welch giggled the whole time!
Reagan prepares to ride.
After a while, David needed to split some wood, so I took the kids back to my house to play.  (Actually, I bet he holed up in the house and watched TV, but I cant prove anything.)

Brack hates it when I make him and Jewell pick up pine cones, but somehow, he managed to rake enough pine straw (with a broken rake, at that!) to fill a shade bed.  I'll keep this in mind, Little Buddy.
Brack, Reagan and Annie used the straw to form a maze of rooms.  I must admit, it's still there!

Jewell, Cope and Braden spent time in the treehouse, lifting up buckets of pine straw and spreading it on the floor of the treehouse only to kick it out and do it again.  Kids!

The kids had a great time being outdoors and more importantly, being together.  Brack and Jewell regularly (and affectionately) refer to the group as "The Cousins".  Here's a few pictures of them several years ago when I used to have them all spend the night during Spring Break week.  We called it "Camp Cousins". 

Here's the sign Jewell made to welcome everyone.  I'm so glad I took a picture of it!  It makes me tear up just looking at it.  They were so cute.  As you can guess, there's never a dull moment!
They would play outside until we would force them to come in to eat.  They'd decorate their own pizzas and then after dinner, they'd all pile up in sleeping bags in the playroom and watch movies until I made them go to bed.  They'd be up early the next morning outside exploring with Gerald until I called them in for breakfast.  I haven't done it in a couple of years.  They're getting older and going in so many directions.  But I think I'll try it again soon.
Remember the Cosby Show episode where Rudy's goldfish died and they had the funeral in the bathroom?  Well, this particular morning, while playing in the woods, they found a dead mole.  As Gerald threw it across the fence, they authored the original song, "Moe the mole..."  It is now a classic and the Camp Cousins anthem.  I still hear them singing it whenever they are out adventuring!
They always have a wonderful time together.  I'm so glad that we all live so close together and that they want to spend time together!  I'm not so sure that David will give up another holiday to supervise seven kids on a horse, but you never know.  Subs and guest teachers are paid pretty well at J.F.A.! 
I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!
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I wouldn't want you to miss one crazy thing...


  1. Awe!! These are great!! Those old pictures are making me cry!! Stop growing up...all of you!!