Last week I went up to see my family and take pictures of my two new baby nieces.

As you can see, they weren’t altogether completely thrilled about it.


So we kept trying….


and trying…..


to get those babies Abigail and Jayne happy with the idea of being twisted and turned in all sorts of weird positions.  The mommies took turns nursing their wee ones while the other was being photographed.  It was a zoo and oh so much fun!  The kiddos all ran around my parents yard and played on the blow up slide as we attempted this monumental task.


Ella and “Madzilla” loved it 

{no I didn’t make up her nick name, her loving father did}

and Handsome was a brave boy to jump right in the COLD ?refreshing? waters.  He smiled and I asked

“was it fun?”


“Do you want to do it again?”


I think he had a blast shooting down the slide, but it was fa-reez-ing.  We had all gone swimming earlier that day at my neighbors house for Sprite’s birthday and he plain out simply has no fear of water, which is a very good thing and a very bad thing.

Yes, Jordan was a very happy happy boy, with water to play in and a face full of Doritos!

and watching my nephew D.J. and my Bug was a little slice of heaven.  I don’t know what they were talking about, but it sure looked interesting.


This is my mom’s dog Glacia.  She is a fiercely loyal partner and is treated as well or better than my father.  *I am kidding of course* but I think she believes she is a third member of the marriage.   My father doesn’t object, he loves her just the same.

My most favorite welcome by far was from my nephew Jackson.  He thrust out his finger, pointed at me and said, “HI NAE NAE” in a sort of growl voice.   (luckily I had my camera already aimed at him)  I couldn’t have been happier and I wanted to eat him up.  What a cute second generation of family we are being blessed with!


Yes indeed, it was a crazy perfect day, and I had to snap a pic as Madzilla and Abigail were both crying.  I am so proud of my sister in law Emmy for learning to laugh in the face of danger!  In my opinion you  an either laugh or cry, and I’d rather laugh.

and after all was said and done, we got some pretty cute shots of these kiddos.


We tried the first position but it looked pretty funny…maybe that’s why it looks like 

Abigail is laughing at us…but after a bit we started getting lucky.  You see, I am no pro.  I just keep taking pictures until something works.





{I loved Abigail’s darling sneeze face!}


{and I loved how Jackson was trying to make Jayne laugh when she just wasn’t feelin’ it AND their adorable mommy I call sis}

Yes, overall I would say we pulled off a miracle between juggling eleven kids on the water slide and having two photo shoots.  



but of course we had some helping hands

Like my dad chasing Handsome around and around and up and down

 and Whitney snuggling them when they were cold

daddy playing the pen game

and Na Na getting dinner ready

Oh yes, we had a grand ol’ time


and this would be the reason they call her Madzilla.  She is everywhere all the time and boy, if this chick doesn’t get what she wants she will let you know.  She is laughing one minute and mad the next.  I think she has a great future in show business and she reminds me a bit of myself when I look into her face.  I have pictures of me looking a lot like her.  Also she loves to be tickled, and is always up for adventure like her auntie!

I love how Bug found a way to control D.J.

The ear works every time!






Not sure what Dave is doing here other than he is graduating with his Masters in Business degree TODAY!! Maybe he is practicing on soaring through the clouds because he feels like he is on cloud nine. (I would too!!) Congrats Dave!  I am so proud of all your hard work!

When I was going through school, all the teachers would say to him on the first day of class, 

“Gourley…? Oh no, you are Janae’s brother?!”

He had an immediate mark on his forehead that said

{trouble maker}

To overcome that, and do it so well is an admirable accomplishment!


Yes, Bug has a feather in her hair, all of my girls do.  It is the latest and greatest around these parts!  My dad let me know the other day that all of the fashion divas or majorly ticking off all of the fly fisherman because the feather comes off of a special bird that is bred for fly fisherman’s bait.

Fly fishing vs. fashion, this could get scary.  


and there is no way in this world I feel bad for posting this picture.  I sent him a picture of me making this face and he put it on his facebook profile *six months ago and it’s still there*!!  That is SO typical of my dad.  He never yelled, never grounded, just found ways to get us back and humiliate us as kids.  

even better? 

In short

My Hero.

Some of you may remember that picture of Bug at the soccer field where she is standing on her neck?! Ya, this picture reminded me of that one and I had to laugh….again.

and we all had a good laugh when one of my kids found this Pound Puppy in the forest somewhere.  It was no doubt Camille’s, and it was also no doubt that the brothers took it to sail down the creek.

After our BBQ dinner, Handsome came up to me and said, “Look mama, there is tractor and I can not touch it.”  I was so proud of him for knowing my dad’s tractor could be dangerous.  My dad looked at him with a grin and said, “Sure you can!”

So he gave all the kids rides in the bucket of the tractor for the rest of the night as the sun set in the sky.  

Yes, you might be a red neck if you give tractor rides for entertainment.

My dad didn’t drive anywhere for safety reasons, but going up and down in the bucket was large amounts of fun for all.  The adults sat and laughed at their face expressions the whole time.


Even my crazy mother joined in the fun!  You see the stock I come from..? 

It’s no wonder I am crazy!

What do you love to spend time doing in the summer with your family?  Do you live close to them or are you too far away and have to fly to see them on occasion?