Last year Baylor QB Nick Florence broke the Baylor single season passing record, finishing with more passing yards and a better QB rating than Heisman winner Johnny Manziel. (Oh yeah, the previous Baylor record holder in that department was RG3. :-)
Nick's an active member of our church who has forsaken the NFL in favor of pursuing another path. Currently my son, Daniel, is participating in the 1st (presumably) annual Nick Florence Football Camp. The camp is held at Baylor's soon-to-be-replaced practice field, in the shadow of the venerable Floyd Casey Stadium. Here are a few shots which include Daniel about to bring in a pass, Nick showing Daniel proper QB posture, and Nick posing with Daniel.
The garden this year, so far, is better than ever. Thanks in part to the chicken moat I installed a few weeks ago. See those chickens? Those are the bantams (minis). They live in a run that goes around the entire garden. The idea is they keep out weeds and bugs. Also, we've got the boys on a 7 to 7:30 a.m. weeding schedule, every week day. Been working great!
Here's a bonus photo of our new mini peach tree. We also have two pear trees, a plum tree, and a fig tree. None of them have given us fruit yet, since we only started planting them about a year ago.
Back in my high school days I used to love some burritos with chili and cheese. And can't leave out the tots! For kicks Brandi and I made some last night. ;-)
I was messing around with a shoot-through umbrella and a wireless trigger. Thankfully the kids are always willing models.
Brandi taught Daniel how to make tortillas. Nice! Nathan's already our oven fry maker (and egg cook for that matter), and now we have a resident tortilla guy.
Actually, this first photo is from last night. Nathan has learned how to make oven fries, and he whips 'em up at will now. Brandi's done a good job of teaching the kids some kitchen skills. There are entire meals they know how to make on their own. It won't be long until they're waiting on Brandi and me 24/7. ;-)
We buy raw milk from a farm a few miles up the road from us. To get a good deal we buy it in 5 gallon buckets and then transfer it to 1 gallon containers. This morning was a milk morning.
The kids' trampoline mat finally arrived (the original got torn to shreds after 6 or 7 years of use) and I installed it this morning. Back to bouncing, kids!
Nathan (13) and Daniel (11) are starting an egg business. They bought 25 laying hen chicks a couple of weeks ago (delivered via the Post Office) and the little gals will be ready to lay in April. They're really excited about "having a job," and they'll be even more excited once they start to see cash in their hands. They've already had to shell out $60 or so to get the hens. Got to spend money to make money!
That little flock brings our farm poultry count up toward 70 birds. Seems to me we are deep in this thing now and there's no turning back. :-) Many of our birds free range around the property. Free ranging birds are nice for pest control and essential for the most nutritious eggs, but if your'e a control freak or have grumpy neighbors you might not want to try it ... unless you have something like 20 acres of property. Chickens like to roam.
I took Daniel with me to help assist me at a wedding shoot last weekend north of Austin.
This was quite a distinct wedding. It took place in a historic theater and immediately after the ceremony everyone watched an old school black and white movie. Daniel did great helping me position a flash during the movie, to bounce some light off the walls in order to get a decent pic of people watching the film.
Daniel also stuffed himself with candy, popcorn, and sodas. Good thing because after the movie came the reception ... and during the reception he started shooting like crazy. He wasn't shy about it either! He's taking this photography thing seriously. :-)
I just killed a skunk. In our barn. With my shotgun.
Yet another rite of passage for this city slicker turned country bumpkin.
We spent some time at the neighborhood park this afternoon. We love it because there's never anyone there. :-)
More on Flickr.
I spent a lot of time in high school and college shooting artsy photographs. Later in life, I turned into the ruthless photographic mercenary that I am now. I guess the way to ruin a good hobby is to start making money from it.
This morning, at about 6:45 or so, I stepped outside to see what the weather was like. Dawn was coming up fast, but there was still a dark haze over the Farm. The ambiance was accentuated by a thick fog that was quickly dissipating.
I grabbed my cameras and snapped a few photos. It took me back to high school. These are unedited, out of the box.
(Oh, actually, the photo of the oak tree was shot about an hour later, after the sun was coming up.)
I shot this last night. Nothing formal, just messing around with lights, trying to figure stuff out.
This is from last night. Nathan assisted me on a photo shoot for the first time, holding my remote flash. He did great! ;-)
Just a couple of days ago ...
I've gotten an itch lately to make yummy food. A couple of weeks ago I made Asian lettuce wraps, last week I made specialty grilled burgers, and just a few days ago I thought I'd try my hand at salmon.
Keep in mind I don't know squat about cooking. I know how to scramble eggs and that's about it. Brandi, on the other hand, is an amazing cook, so she's been my mentor throughout this process.
About the salmon, the recipe was easy. It involved olive oil, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, lemon juice ... I think that's it. The wild-caught salmon fillet was procured at our local mega grocery store. The finished product was dee-lish.
Without further ado, here are a few photos.
In the marinade
Out of the oven
Ready to be consumed
Every 6 months or so we ask our neighbor to shred our field with his tractor. The weeds had gotten pretty bad this time, so the post-shredded field doesn't look as nice as it could, but the low grass prompted me to explore a wee bit.
The newly shredded field. What could lurk out there, besides a billion grasshoppers?
Hmm ... that brush looks interesting. I have seen rabbits there before. . . .
Upon close inspection ... wild grapes!
I'm not sure what wild grapes are used for. My understanding is they're not sweet, but can be used in some recipes. Brandi's shown interest in them in the past. We've heard of using them on your garden fence as a wind block, and I think we'll pursue that idea at some point in the future. These grapes were overly ripe. In other words, they were juicy and bursting. I didn't dare eat one, but I decided to see if my chickens took a shine to them. They did!
Seems like I'm always being surprised out here. :-)
Joshua Martin Guel was born on June 15! He came in at a healthy 8 pounds. :-)
Every day he's getting more and more aware, and he's fit into our family perfectly. Abigail is "little mama" -- she loves holding him, caring for him, and helping Brandi with all the Joshua-related tasks. Evangeline is "little mama wannabe." She's getting there! The boys adore him too.
For the third time in a row, Brandi was able to deliver naturally (i.e., sans meds) and now she's done three vaginal deliveries in a row. Quite a feat since our first two babies were c-sections. We used a certified midwife (those gals actually train doctors how to deliver babies) and delivered at Providence Hospital in Waco. Interference from nurses, etc., was kept to a minimum, and, thankfully, we never had to see a doctor, since the midwife delivered the baby and there were no complications. After Joshua was born -- thanks to a detailed birth plan and the support of our midwife -- Brandi was able to have Joshua immediately, nurse him, and be with him for a solid hour before he was weighed and clothed by the nurses. It was an awesome experience.
The hospital was wonderful, and even gave us a complementary "Celebration Steak Dinner" in honor of our little boy.
Here's one of my favorite shots of Joshua so far. More to come!
We hung out with some friends last night and went to a private pond to do some fishing. Out of all the kids, Daniel was the only one who had ever caught a fish in his life. By the end of the evening we had a (small) cooler full of fish, and each kid had caught at least one -- even Eve!
Out at the pond.
Isn't she gorgeous?
Daniel's second fish ever!
Nathan's first fish! Too bad the photo is fuzzy ... oh well.
Abby's first fish!
Daniel caught the biggest fish of the night.
Yours truly helping Eve with her first fish. A bass!
Ignore the dorky look on my face.
Loading 'em up.