*Finally Posted – another LONG overdue picture post from Summer 2012*
Tracker School done with, a long drive to the Canadian border to take Linda home and a quick visit in Maryland to see the extended family completed – I was back in Tennessee at the Farm. The kids were pretty excited to see me twice in one summer. River was eagerly awaiting my return, had a packed on a pound or two and was missing some fur from the bugs and other dogs chewing on her.. but still in one piece. I spent about 8-10 days at the farm. It was very hot and the kids in school, but still enjoyable.
The 5 youngest kids had GROWN. No longer little kids even. But in my mind they probably will be for at least another 10 years… Jason had gotten TALL. As in taller then me, about as tall as Jackie for the summer of 2012. Jason also put on muscle from wrestling and is looking quite fine. Joey grew too and was looking charming as ever. Ms. Janna, my beautiful sister was about as tall as me and is growing up quicker than my mind knows what to do with. Jerry is still his cute eccentric self, just taller (there is a theme here..) and more grown up. Jax – the youngest is neck in neck for height with the rest of them and is quite handsome. I had a good time listening to their adventures, we read books (they read to me most of the time) and talked about school.
The whole family (along with the older boy’s girlfriend’s and my friend Lorien more often then not) went to Citico Creek, out on the boat on the lake and other cooler activities around Eastern Tennessee. Dad still has the big green van – “Green Machine” I believe is what the kids call it (and the older boys, and their friends, etc) that we use. In usual Miller fashion we pile into (dogs included). Packed to the hilt with chairs, coolers, beer, water and dogs..so many dogs… I think all the dogs came to Citico Creek. 5 of them I believe.
The air conditioning (or fans) no longer really works in the Green Machine, the insides looks like its been through a war or two and the whole thing rattles as if its about to shake apart on the back country mountain roads… But it serves it purpose. Lorien – brave soul that she is – chooses to accompany me on my family adventures and is often roped into work along with the play. The boys like to cautiously (they never quite step over the line as I have threatened their very lives) tease Lorien about her phobia of fish and joke about putting minos in her water bottle. The dogs stomp around in the creek looking for fish, frogs and anything else they can chase down. The Huskies often run off and someone is sent to bring them back. Jackie tends to be loud and someone usually ends up crying (or everyone) before the day at the Creek is done. It’s hectic, sometimes insane and often way to loud for my tastes, but I enjoy the time spent with my family. And I still managed to get some nice pictures!
Janna proudly declaring that River likes her best! River at this point in the drive to the creek, is just trying not to get squashed by the other dogs, sat on by the kids or stepped on by the older boys…
Jesse in all his tan and lean muscled up glory – is modeling what is known as ‘his look’. No shirt, an almost smile and perfectly messed up hair.
In the above picture, we have Jeremy (closest), Jesse, Jason in the middle, El – Jeremy’s wonderful girlfriend petting her Husky Aspen whom you can barely see, Janna standing and Stormy – Jeremy’s dog hidden in the background fishing.
River is pretty hearty and fords across the creek, but she likes to get up out of the water and claim a lap or a chair for herself.
The Citico Creek is a wonderful place that has many campsites, even a horse campground ‘Young Branch’ and trails throughout the woods. My family has been going for years and goes often just for the day as well as camping, with or without the horses.
Way out there – you can see some of the kids jumping off of what they call ‘Big Rock’. A huge boulder that sits just under the surface (or sticks out during low water season) in a fairly deep area of the creek (6-9ft depend on the year). The kids dive, jump, cannon ball and such. I often go and stay till they leave and sit next to the running water (its pretty clear) and just think. Such a great spot.
Janna in her colorful bathing suit (she is a much better girl than I ever was!) looking very strong and pretty. She is 13 here, and growing like a weed.
Lorien took this picture for us – Janna is so tall! I’ve a feeling she will be taller than me before all is said and done. I’m a little red here form the sun (big surprise) and have my 50+ sunshirt on even though its 95F degrees out.
Stormy – Jeremy’s dog. Dad calls her the ‘East Tennessee Spotted Moron’. She is a Blue Heeler and god knows what mutt. She is very aloof, smart and be difficult around dogs she doesn’t know..so basically a perfect fit with Jeremy.
The Van ride back to the farm in the ‘Green Machine’. Jeremy drove (rather well considering we got dumped on by a Thunderstorm and the windshield wipers basically don’t work..), Jackie, El and Jesse claimed the front bench seat, Lorien and the kids along with the dogs were scattered about in the back. All in all, was a pretty good day. The camera didn’t get wet and all the dogs made it back!
Jackie and I a little sun burnt – Jesse took the picture.
My last day before heading out I managed to get some pictures of me with the 3 older boys! You can see just how darn big they are all next to little me. I may be a little biased, but my little brothers are great looking men♥.
I believe Joey took these pictures of the 4 of us – I set the camera up and told him how to work the automatic focus. I think he did a pretty good job! Jeremy is goofing around in the first pic, and Jesse cracking up in the second..so between the two everyone gets an idea of what the Millers look like in 2012… Oldest to youngest – (you don’t need to know my age if you already don’t) Jackie is 22, Jeremy 20 and Jesse had just turned 16 in these pics.
As you can see..I clearly got the short genes. Jeremy is the tallest in the family, but Jason might just catch up. Looks like Jesse will be at least Jackie & Dad’s height. The rest of the kids will probably be at least an inch or two taller than me… Sigh. I Love these big idiots so much.