3 Months Since the Move: Snakes, Pumpkins, and Smiling

baby snake

Baby snakes have been hatching around our house. *Shudder*

The other day we went outside, and Joshua said, “Hey! Mom! Look a snake!”

That is not what you want to hear first thing in the morning.

But then I saw it.

“Is that a worm?”

“No! Look how it moves!” Joshua insisted.

“Yeah, yeah, you’re right, but that has to be a baby snake.”
By that time, all the brothers had arrived. Caleb grabbed a tennis racket, and well….poor baby snake. But you see, when you don’t know what kind of snake it is, you have to kill it. Better the snake than your children.

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Caleb the snake slayer

Okay, one baby snake, killed quickly. I didn’t worry too much more about it….

brown snake

Until a week later, when I found a slightly bigger one.

In my life time I have spared almost zero seconds of thoughts on snakes, snake species, or what to do about them. I left them alone. They left me alone. We were good.

I was out in the backyard with barefoot John David. John David is ALWAYS barefoot, when I spotted this thing in my grass. I might have freaked out (in my head) a little bit.

As I mentioned before I don’t have a lick of knowledge about snakes. Therefore, I decided it was best to assume this one was deadly, a poisonous Copperhead for sure.

I closely examined this animal, which seemed to be frozen in place, and then I whisked JD out of that grass and into the house where I proceeded to quickly google copperheads. I found a few pics of infant copperheads that looked very similar to this. So I decided that this one must die, just to be safe. My kids play back there all the time.

“I MUST SAVE THE CHILDREN!!!!” I thought wildly. It’s time to be a hero!!!  This is my moment!!! I looked frantically for a weapon.

Alan has hidden all of the shovels from our children because they like to use them to dig holes, so I had to settle for a puny fireplace shovel. I made JD stay on the porch while I bravely headed out with my pathetic weapon choice.

This was so hard for me! Aside from the occasional spider, I’ve never killed anything in my life!! But I knew that if it were a copperhead, I could not let it live, so I took that shovel and beat that tiny defenseless snake against a rock. In my mind, I was like Joan of Arc or something.

It was traumatizing for both me and the snake, but at least I did live, while I am both proud and sad to tell you, tiny snake did not.

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The harmless, tiny, docile brown snake: eats worms and such

I came back in and Google-searched a little harder. Next time I need to know what I’m dealing with. Apparently, snakes are a common occurrence here.

I was both relieved and guilty-feeling to learn that this was actually just a harmless little brown snake, extremely common in the Atlanta area.  Also, it’s a protected species in Georgia. Ummm….oops….yeah…okay…protected unless the killer thinks it is poisonous and then I can assure you the killer makes no apologies.

This site was masterful at explaining how to tell the difference. By the way, in Australia, there is a snake species also called a brown snake that is deadly. So know your snakes according to where you live!!!

Here’s the site you should check out, in case this happens to you! Juvenile Copperhead Vs. Brown snake

See, you CAN learn important things on the internet!

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Thankfully, there are also many advantages to moving here. First and foremost, we get to be there for family events. Remember that wedding where I couldn’t decide what to wear? Here are a few pictures.

By the way, when I went to get dressed that day, my hips were so swollen I couldn’t wear any of my regular dresses. Arthritis is a terrible disease.

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Here’s my handsome little man, wearing the same outfit his daddy wore at his age, smocked by his great-grandmother.

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Our favorite family of all red-heads

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Alan, reunited with his college friends

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I found this bench at a yard sale for $10!!! I was so excited, I bought TWO of them!

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The kids have all been taking turns being sick. I held him in my arms as he slept and enjoyed it so thoroughly.

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We had an “all night party” with Caleb, the night before his EEG. See, he was supposed to be sleep deprived. We only managed to keep them awake until 12am. They all had a contest to see who could stay up the latest. I lost.

The EEG results were normal, and Caleb is now coming off of Keppra gradually!!!  This is very exciting for our family. However, we are still watching him closely, as he may have more seizures as he coming off of the medication. In which case, he’ll have to go right back on Keppra. Seizures are not good for your brain, so this matters.

 

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The boys are making more and more friends all the time. How adorable are they, playing with this family of three boys, exactly their ages?

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Since it is fall, we’ve been collecting pumpkins. Caleb likes to draw faces on the pumpkins and gourds.

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I think I’m going to go ahead and create our thankful tree this week. After all, it is fall already, and there is something about a constant reminder to be thankful that I need in my life. Don’t you?

We’ve been back in the South for over three months now, and after 7 years of living away, it’s an adjustment! At first, I was bogged down in the signing up for this, signing up for that, finding doctors, finding a grocery store, and using my GPS just to find my way home. During that time, it was hard to even smile. 

And by the way, Southerners, I am convinced, smile way more than other people do. I like that about us, but at first I did not appreciate it. It got on my nerves, bigly. (hehe)

My thoughts went like this, “Ugh, we got four boys dressed and loaded in the van, made three wrong turns to get here, and now everyone expects us to look happy. What kind of sick joke is this?”

Moving is hard, y’all!!  We don’t know which streets are parallel and which ones curve. When you have four kids talking to you, it’s super easy to miss a turn.

And the heat! Oh, man was it hot!

Thankfully, fall is finally here. I need to spend today digging through bins for toddler pants.

I’ve met so many new people, and I’m starting to get everyone’s name right on the first try. Plus, I have just enough comfort level now that I’m starting to smile again.

Moving truly takes a year to fully settle in. We’re 1/4 of the way there.

Today we are thankful. Thankful for fall, for Google who tells us when to worry and when to not worry about a snake, thankful for adorable children, and thankful for a Father in Heaven who made us and loves us.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.  Psalm 28:7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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22 comments

  • Nana

    April who is scared to kill bugs herself killed a snake. Amazed and proud of you! Y’all need to keep your grass as short as possible. I love Caleb’s gourd faces! I hope everyone is well now.

  • Nana

    So amazing that you killed that snake! I am proud of you! Be careful though and make sure y’all keep your grass cut as short as possible. I love Caleb’s gourd faces!

  • McMom

    Well, that settles it. You must dress as Wonder Woman for Halloween. I am SO impressed. I hope I could do the same in that situation. Surely with all those boys around your house, your snake killing days will be short-lived. But a mama’s gotta do, what a mama’s gotta do!

    Glad to hear you are starting to feel more settled. Bigly – lol. Somebody get that man a thesaurus.

  • Having lived in New England my whole life I always find it a bit disconcerting when we hit the south and are met everywhere with smiles and happy greetings. Even the people who work at McDonalds are so super friendly that I’m already placing my order while they’re still saying hello! I like it; but I am in no way used to it.
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  • Jen

    Snakes and I do not co-exist well. Like EVER. Even the ones that are supposed to be friendly cause me to break out in hives!
    Jen recently posted…Take A Picture It Will Last LongerMy Profile

  • I am one who was raised to appreciate snakes on the farm as they kept vermin, particularly mice and rats under control. With my conditioning of my own kids they have the same appreciation. My wife however is a completely different opinion which goes back to her childhood days in Southern India when the boys used to put live deadly poisonous snakes on the end of sticks and chase the girls including Lynne around. She is still traumatized by all that.

    I have a garden out back that has several harmless garter snakes each summer which has me overjoyed. I leave a small woodpile in the corner for them to use as “their home” and even leave a water dish for them to have a drink. My wife stays completely away from the back garden and leaves the responsibility to me, which I totally get.

    I can understand your panic and fear April. So much of it is the unknown. I think I missed my calling in life as I should have been a naturalist as I often am explaining creatures such as snakes. There are about 6 species of snakes in my area of Canada including one poisonous specie called the Massasauga Rattlesnake (which is highly protected).. They are very timid and the only way they will strike is if you step right on them. The warning rattle they give out is very distinct buzzing type noise which I have heard while hiking. I “freeze” when I hear it, trying to locate where the sound is coming from. Just don’t want to step on it. Then when I figure out where it is giving out it’s warning, I give it a wide berth.. 🙂
    https://www.ontario.ca/page/massasauga-rattlesnake

    Thanks for sharing. So glad you are meeting lots of new people! 🙂

    • The back garden, oh my. I appreciate the ones that eat mice too, so long as they don’t look like a species that could kill my children. I did feel a little bad for the poor little brown snake, and at least now I do know how to tell them apart. That garden sounds like a nightmare. Shudder. 😉

      • Sincerely sorry if this gave you the shivers April. I commend you for doing the research as knowledge is power. Hopefully it will take away some anxiety about the snakes in your area. I do understand the fear. Even though snakes are not an issue with me, I do have a problem with bears. With my running I do a lot of training in forests that happen to be frequented by bears (plural). It would be like running through tall grass where you know there are snakes lurking in there. And it is not easy. I run with a bear bell and pray a lot.

        I appreciate you a lot April. Hope you have a tremendous week! 2 Timothy 1:7

  • Baby snakes??? That scares me a little and I’m not terrified by snakes but baby snakes could creep up on me. It’s crazy how much the snakes blend in with nature. You are one brave woman April!

  • I have way too many scary snake stories!
    Ok, that family of three boys and yours? Seven boys? A gorgeous thing!
    Also, SUCH great news about Caleb!!
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  • I don’t do snakes. I woulda ran lol! 😂

  • I’m with you on the snakes. If they come near us, they’re goners. That said, we have a lot near us since we live next to a farm. Glad to know your little one’s EEG came back normal, and best of luck to you on weaning him off his medication.
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