It's my dad's birthday!
I'm a true daddy's girl (though I could argue that I'm a mama's girl too) and I'm lucky to have a great dad who is not only supportive, helpful and encouraging but also smart, witty and loads of fun. Hey Dad...
Butler? Cincinnati? (Sorry, inside joke.)
We had to celebrate his birthday a bit early this year (minus one sister) and right now he and my mom are enjoying the selection of gift cards we bestowed on him earlier this month.
I've been collecting the following photos to use in a blog post and today seemed appropriate to feature them. So here I go...
You see, my dad is a farmer.
Throughout my childhood, my dad got up every morning and headed out to the barn (either at our house or my grandparents) to take care of the hogs he raised in partnership with my grandpa and uncle. This was a seven-day-a-week, 365-day-a year job. On Christmas day, he'd go out to feed between us opening our presents very early in the morning, going to church and sitting down as a family for Christmas lunch.
Now, we were fortunate to have Grandpa and Uncle Sam on the farm with us. This meant that we could take a family vacation every summer - usually to one of the great state parks in Kentucky. But the hogs were a huge commitment in terms of time and effort, but they were also a reason that my parents could afford to send four daughters to college and still feed themselves!
When my dad had to make a decision on whether to upgrade his hog barns - barns like any other buildings need to be maintained and improved as the years progress - or quit raising hogs, he chose the latter. (I think at least two of the four girls were "on our own" by then.) On a side note: Want to see why it's important to keep hog barns up and running? Check out Heather's recent post at 3 Kids and Lots of Pigs.
Boy, this is a long-winded way to show you what he's been up to since he has some free time on his hands! (He still raises corn and soybeans and feeds out a few head of cattle, so he's still plenty busy but it's more seasonal now.) He's converted one of the hog barns into a wood shop and has taught himself (through lots of books, videos and trial and error) how to do some amazing woodworking.
Here's just a small sample of some of the wonderful things he's created for my mom, my sisters and others!
The photo below actually has three pieces that he built...the box, candle holder and coffee table!
He made me this gorgeous stationary box for Christmas this year...it sits on my desk at work now.
Don't forget the wonderful barns he made for my nephews too...
Once he cut his teeth on boxes, plant stands and coffeetables, he decided he wanted to build a log cabin.
You heard me right, a log cabin! He had the help of a neighbor who also happens to be a master builder.
He also enlisted Uncle Sam (on the roof) to help.
It turned out beautiful, complete with a loft for the little boys to spend the night in when they get a bit older. We've already had several bonfires at the cabin. I predict it will become a family gathering place in this summer.
Look...he does windows (don't tell Mom)!
I told you about the woodshop in the converted hog barn earlier, remember? It's also a FAVORITE place for my nephews to hang with Papaw. Especially when there's a pile of sawdust just waiting to be picked up!
(Oh Dad, one more thing...if you looking for a new project I'd love a side table! Love ya!)