Our Crazy Cat Story

While we were camping, something kind of crazy happened.

Remember when Josie’s cat, Cleo, went missing around the end of February? We posted her on Facebook, called shelters, etc., but she never turned up. She had a collar with our number on it, but nobody every called. So we just assumed she had been killed.

Anyways, I get a call from a random number while we were camping. They left a message saying they had found our cat. I assumed they mean Poppy, who was home. I called back, and it wasn’t Poppy- it was CLEO! 5 months later!! We couldn’t believe she was still alive, and that her collar was still intact with our number on it. But she was! So I called my friend Megan to see if she would go pick her up and keep her until we got back from vacation, and she said yes.

Later that evening I get this text from Megan:

She picked up Cleo….and Cleo started having KITTENS!!! IN HER CAR! BEFORE SHE EVEN GOT HER HOME!

Isn’t that completely wild?! She had 6 in all:

We were so grateful that Megan and her family weren’t mad, and didn’t mind watching them for us until we got back. They were actually thrilled to! 🙂 Megan’s high-school aged son even said that watching the kittens being born was the best thing that happened all summer, LOL!

The other twist to this story is that earlier this month one of my friends had posted that they would have kittens ready for new homes after we got back from vacation, and I had asked for one, since, at the time, we only had Poppy. So not only were we coming home to Cleo and her new kittens, we also were coming home to a new 9 week old kitten! The kids and I were excited about her, and had even named her already- Zany Lou, so we went ahead and got her, too.

So on Monday, we went from being owners of 1 cat, to being owners of NINE cats! LOL.

Meet Zany:

And here is Cleo, all settled in our barn with her kittens-she has been such a good momma cat!

Our house has felt a little like a cat farm this week, but it has been fun! And the kids are SO thrilled with the newborn kittens- they can’t wait for them to open their eyes!

Dale Hollow Trip

A couple of weeks ago we went on our annual Dale Hollow lake July camping trip. This year’s trip started off a little bit differently, because I ended up in the ER just a couple of nights before we left. The panic disorder I was diagnosed with earlier this year has now turned into something different- I have now been diagnosed with non-epileptic seizures. The day I went to the ER, I had three in one day, the most I had ever had in one day. They didn’t stop that day. We managed to pack and get up to the lake thanks to my parents, who took the kids with them, and Mama Judy, who came over to help me pack while Jake was finishing up work. We thought maybe the seizures would stop once we got up to the lake…but they didn’t. I continued to have several a day for the first few days of our trip until they eventually tapered off. I managed to have three completely seizure free days on the trip, which was a blessing.

Anyways, seizures aside, it was a good trip. This year the Roses got to come with us again, and the Grays also joined us for most of the week! This was their first camping trip, and we were so happy to have them. Most of my family was up there, too, of course.

We took the days- lots of sleeping late, slow, lazy mornings, and boating in the afternoons, followed by late dinners and staying up late to drink coffee and talk and laugh. The kids played hard every day. One nice thing is that we had a campsite by the water, and our kids were all big enough that we were able to send them down to the water together and just watch them swim and kayak from the campsite, instead of having to go down to the water or be in the water with them. There was lots of dock hopping and ice cream eating. We got most everyone up on the kneeboards. One night we all ate at Sulfur Creek for dinner. One day (after the Grays had left) we took the kiddos to jump off the cliffs. All the kids spent entirely way too much money at the dock shop, LOL.

Now for a picture dump, in no particular order at all.

Suffice it to say, none of us were ready to go home at the end of the trip, which is always, of course, the mark of a good trip.


June was a full, busy month. There were fun, happy moments, and some not-so-fun, not-so-happy moments, too, but I’m just going to focus on the fun here. 🙂

I read several good books.

There was lots of good food. Jake and I tried rolled ice cream on a date night one night while the kiddos were at VBS. And one day while Jack was at skate camp, I got my favorite coffee- a Cuban from Crema. Literally the best Cuban to be had.

The kiddos are in love with Shshr’s new puppy. One day we went to Nana’s (with Hannah in tow), and they gave her a bath. 🙂

Attempt one at summer hair dyeing: This way did NOT work, so I have no after pictures! Hair dyeing fail.

We love the swimming hole at the farm!

This app is waaaaayyyyy TOO MUCH FUN.

One day Jack got to go fishing with Pappy. They caught a TON, and a lot of really big ones!

Hair dyeing attempt #2. This way ALSO didn’t work……..

…..Which led to hair dyeing attempt #3…..this time with food coloring.

Success! Sort of. Slightly green hair. Didn’t last long, but they loved it anyways. 🙂

Father’s Day was the day the kids left for church camp, but we woke up and cooked a big brunch to celebrate. Josie made Jake muffins with eyeballs, which was a big joke between the two of them. 🙂

Later that day we went down to the creek at the farm. It is so peaceful down there.

That night we went to Mom and Dad’s to celebrate Father’s Day with Daddy. It was weird to be there without the kids! I went on a hike with Kinley. 🙂

On Wednesday while the kids were at camp, Jake and I went to Nashville for an appointment, and then had some time to kill before going to Hattie B’s for dinner, so we went over to Radnor Lake. These deer didn’t care a lick about getting close to us!

Part of Jake’s Father’s Day gift was tickets to a Nashville SC game. We both love going to the games, and it was a perfect weather night to be at a game. It was an awesome game to watch, too-Nashville won in extra time! We enjoy being in the city at night. It had been awhile since we’d done something like that at night.

I love this time of year when everything is blooming in our yard.

We did some projects on our camper-replacing some broken doors with curtains, and Jake made us a custom shoe cubby!

We love our farm, so much. It is so relaxing and peaceful.

One night Hannah spent the night, and she and Josie decided to paint one of her walls-they did such a good job, and had absolutely no help whatsoever!

Mee-Maw’s house is getting closer and closer to being finished. The kids are enjoying playing on the big piles of rocks that is currently in her driveway, LOL.

So there is June in pictures!

Church Camp

This year our kids went to church camp with some friends. They were supposed to go last year, but COVID. So, they were pumped that this year was getting to happen. This was Jack’s first church camp experience. This was Josie’s first camp experience like this one-she’s gone with our church before a couple of times, but it was on college campuses. This one was a lot more like the camps I grew up going to.

They had a BLAST. They are already talking about going back next year!

We dropped them off on Sunday (Father’s Day). They rode a big bus to camp.

They came back on Friday around lunch time. They didn’t stop talking until Josie crashed, LOL. She took a looong nap. Jack, however, seemed full of energy. He and Jake played a long board game. It took them a couple of days to fully recover, though. I caught them both taking a nap on Sunday, something that doesn’t ever happen voluntarily!

Josie’s 13th Birthday

I am super behind on blogging, but I wanted to go ahead and blog these things for memory’s sake. This blog is how I make my yearly family scrapbook!

The night before her birthday, we let her pick a restaurant to eat at-she picked the Greek restaurant in Springfield. Then we went to Walmart and she had a BLAST picking out candy and decorations for her party.

On Josie’s actual birthday, we started with our normal birthday tradition, and went to the Donut Palace to pick up donuts. I also took her by Dunkin to get a mocha :). She made me laugh, because she has been sleeping super late, but she got up early that day because she was so excited about being a teenager.

She really wanted to go swimming in our neighbor’s pool for her birthday. So that’s what we did!

Then I took her shopping for some make up. Because we told her a long time ago she could start wearing make up when she turned 13, and she had not forgotten!

While I was cooking her birthday dinner (spaghetti, of course), Jake took her to the farm for some driving lessons!

Nana and Shshr came to dinner. We had spaghetti with strawberry milkshakes for dessert (her choice). Shshr gave her an electric guitar for her birthday! She was SOOOOOO excited.

Later that week Grammy took her shopping for her birthday. They hit up all the bargain stores, and then for her birthday lunch she picked fries from Arby’s, and burgers from Krystal, LOL. Then they went to the park to eat. She’s spoiled rotten!

Finally Saturday came-the day she has been waiting for for a looong time-her friend party! She decided she wanted to have her whole class over to the farm for swimming at the swimming hole, and then grilling burgers. Instead of a cake, she wanted a candy charcuterie board. Almost her whole class got to come, and they had a blast! It was a great party, and made her super happy.

All in all, I’d say she had a FANTASTIC birthday! Happy 13th, Josie!