Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas - Finally!

Christmas finally arrived! We had a really nice, peaceful 2 days with friends and family.

Christmas Eve we headed out to the family service at Mike & Libbys church. It was really nice, lots of music, kids and a short sermon. 1/2 way through the service, they showed a picture of Joseph with the baby Jesus. Billy piped up right away "That's God with his Daddy, isnt it? I know all about God. He was born and then he died, but that's ok because he came back to life and now he lives in our hearts". There you have it. No need for any further church school, we are outa here:) We went back to their house and ate tons of appetisers, open little presents and just caught up. Kay and Betsy made cookies for Santa and the boys played Xbox 360.
Christmas Eve night Jim Fellows graced us with his homemade lasgana. It is SO good that the kids each ate 2 huge servings. Jim couldnt believe it. We opened more presents and "won" the best tacky religous gift contest. We found him a "Jesus Shaves" mug. Jesus has a full beard and when you fill the mug with a hot drink, his beard disappears and it changes from saying Jesus Saves to Jesus Shaves. Too too funny.

We wrote Santa a note and Jimmy had a final panic attack. He still didnt know what he wanted from Santa. In desparation, he listed Smack Down vs Raw PSP game. Unfortunately Santa was already on the way, so his request was a little late.

Christmas was a narrowly averted disaster. After Jimmy woke at 4:30am I was worried we were in for a LONG day... He did manage to get back to sleep by 6:30am and we all woke MUCH less crabby at 8:30. The kids opened presents and read their note from Santa. Billy even "fainted" 1/2 way through the morning as he was so excited about all his gifts (see his birthday blog for the reference). Santa brought Jimmy a karoke, Kay a Barbie laptop and Billy a Hot Wheels set. PERFECT! Tom's mom (Grandma Kay) came over for a late brunch and hung out with us for the better part of the day. She and Kay made more cookies and it was nice to have her all to ourselves!
That afternoon, we headed out to our friend Michelle and Petes for their annual Christmas party. Pete has a big family and Michelle's sisters family was there as well, so lots of kids, food and football. Jimmy hung with the "seniors" watching football all afternoon (his term, not ours). Kay & Billy worked with the other kids to make a haunted house in the basement. It was crazy fun and we (Tom and I) had our annual mug of Tom and Jerry.

We got home about 8pm, only to find that the kids still had 1 more present! We had set up a scavenger hunt for each of them to find their "last" present. It was a gas. Jimmy & Kay got new bikes and Billy got a backyard snowboard. What a day!

The rest of mid winter break has been; sledding, skating, playdates, friends over for dinner, swimming at the club, and basically trying to wear ourselves out. In fact, today, we all slept until 9:30. LOVING IT!
Here's to ALL of you - we wish you a wonderful 2011 - peace, prosperity, ease, grace, love, forgiveness, spirituality, adventure, joy and most of all FUN!!
Love to all of you!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

I'm too excited to sleep!!

Well, suffice it to say, we had a great time, but we aren't a "theme park" family. Read on for more info:)

We raced around the house on Saturday getting packed and trying to keep the kids from asking 8 thousand questions about Disney. We managed to get to the airport just in time to wait in line (4 separate lines to be clear) and immediately board the plane. The flight uneventful and got some good "catch up" time with Angela on the flight (including a few cocktails:)) Orlando was drizzly and cool when we landed, but no matter! We had arrived!

Sunday was up early (for us 9am) and off to our 1st theme park - Magic Kingdom. Again, perfect weather... mid 60's, overcast and cool. The park was too crowded for us, but probably very lightly attended from Disney standards. The highlights? the "train" roller coaster, the Laugh Floor (interactive comedy cartoon with Mac & Cheese as the Siamese cartoon hosts - how'd they do that?!), the 3D movie that included smells, water and mice running under your seat, the BIG parade and seeing the castle lit up at night. We road as many rides as we could (given height limitations and long wait time frustrations) and I even convinced Jimmy to go on Its a Small World with Billy. He complained the whole time but at the end did relinquish with "this is a waste of time, but it is a catchy tune".

Monday was Animal Kingdom and not our best day as a family or our proudest day as parents. The kids were overstimulated and tired of crowds and lines. We had a few major melt downs and voices were raised. Its too bad because Animal Kingdom is gorgeous! There is tons of green space, animal, bird and plant "hikes" and regional food from all over the world. In hindsight, we should have gone here 1st... oh well, live and learn! Highlight of this day included: another 3D movie, safari ride, bird scavenger "hunt", a Jungle Jingle parade, a dinosaur excavation and a HUGE ropes play area that the kids ran wild in for an hour (and gave us a much needed break). Half way through the day, Jimmy asked "do we HAVE to go to a theme park tomorrow?" we don't....

And so...Tuesday was our "day off" on vacation. We slept in, ate late, caught a trolley, road through Orlando, ate at a Chinese buffet for lunch and found a great little spot (Fun Spot) that had rides Kay & Bill's size with only 1 entrance/exit. Why is is important you ask? because they were able to ride as many rides as they wanted without Mom & Dad hovering and without having to wait in line! We also did a little pool time (finally got into the lower 70's and sunny - perfect pool weather when you are 9, 7 & 6, but then again, any weather is good pool weather for our kids). We ended the night with their all time favorite event, a Pirate Dinner. It was an interactive dinner on a ship where pirates took over and the kids had to "save" the princesses. There were magicians, acrobats, sword fighting, guns, singing, cheering, bad guys, good guys and fireworks. What's not to love?! They are still talking about how much fun that was. Definitely a recommendation if you go to Orlando (to add on to the above, while it seems we aren't a theme park family, I guess we ARE an interactive dinner theater family. Who knew?!)

Wednesday we were back at it at Sea World. Much more our speed but I think our day off helped. We saw an amazing dolphin show, rode on a "splash" ride, hung out in the "kids park" and rode kiddie rides for hours and even saw the REAL Santa Claus waiting in line behind us on the Polar Express. Really, he had silver white hair, small glasses, candy canes in every pocket and a red polo shirt. He was waiting in line on vacation like the rest of us. We figured he needed a quick get away before his big night out. Plus, what a better place to see who's being naughty or nice but at a theme park! We also stayed for the ice skating show (interesting watching an outdoor ice skating show in Orlando in December) and made the most of our time.

Thursday, we took advantage of the 2nd day free clause on our Sea World tickets and went back for 2 hours to: see the sea lion show and feed the dolphins, sea lions and sharks. (oh, and to ride more kiddie rides). We then high tailed it back to the hotel for more pool time. Our flight was off at 7:45pm and we were exhausted.

Other items of interest:

It was awesome to travel with friends - the kids had built in distractions, we could divide and conquer on rides and attractions, plus you get a much needed break and change in conversation. I think we had the right balance of together and alone time as well as park vs down time. But, you might want to ask the Millers:) We have a water park weekend planned with them in January, so if they don't cancel, we'll know it was a success.

My parents gave each of the kids a bit of cash for the trip as their Xmas presents. That was awesome! Jimmy had a very cute and accurate characature made, Kay bought a cool pink Shamu hat & Tinker Bell rings and Billy got a Pirate sword and "surprise" Disney souvenir (remember how Billy likes surprises, well, there is a new collection of "surprise" souvenirs at Disney. You pick a box, open it and then can pick/trade up to 2 more times by choosing other "doors' that have prizes behind them - it was the PERFECT thing for him). THANKS Grandma and Grandpa, they loved the thought and had so much fun picking out their souvenirs!

The word of the trip was obstreperous - It basically means rude, loud, aggressive, orger-ish and a bully. Jimmy learned it in his 3rd grade class and when anyone acted up, they got reprimanded for being obstreperous (from everyone, even the kids!). Too funny.

So, I slightly take back my above remark about not being a theme park family. Kay is ALL about theme parks. She was the kid on every ride, arms in the air, eyes wide open and ready to go. Jimmy is a big talker until he gets to the start of the ride, then he chickens out. Billy has no interest. He'd rather go from learning "station" to learning "station" to learn about nature and get his "stamp" on his card. I suspect none of the above comes as a surprise to anyone:)

So, we are back, happy to have had a fun, active vacation, but ready to cross theme parks off our "bucket list". On to the next adventure!!! (hopefully it'll include an interactive dinner theater experience!)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Toys for Tots and What to do for Winter Break

Jimmy and the other scouts from troop 306 collected toys during November and were chosen to appear on our local news KARE 11 to drop off the toys.

The boys were all served piping hot hot chocolate and it was full of sugar causing even the most strident scout to loose his mind and run around like well crazed scouts! On a more serious note this program has been helping kids for a long time and during this holiday season it is in giving that we receive.

Jimmy, his cousin Ben and his friend Simon were all bundled up for the event.
The morning of the 18Th began winter break and for our kids that means two weeks with no school YIKES! So we had a family meeting and Tracy and I told the kids that we were going to Disneyland! So for the next few days we will be visiting sunny Florida and we will update the blog upon our return! In the meantime enjoy the Holiday's. Below is the video response from the kids.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Billy is 6!!!

So, amongst the biggest storm in 10 years and the 5th biggest storm to ever hit Minneapolis, Billy turned 6. We got 18+"'s of snow and it was white out blizzard conditions. But, we live in MN and we are hardy folk. We had a birthday party planned for Chuck E Cheese and dang it, we were going to make it!

Billy woke up and begged to open 2 presents (after declaring..."oh my goodness, look at all that snow!"), He judiciously picked the 2 largest and with the help of Kay, had them open in 2 minutes flat. His next exclamation? "I think I'm going to faint...I only opened 2 presents and I already got everything I wanted for my birthday. I think I'm going to faint." (the esteemed gifts? legos and a new leapster)

We then proceeded to dig a path out of driveway and headed off (at 20 mph in a white out) for Chuck E Cheese. Billy's firends were all troupers and all but 1 of them were able to make it. I have to admit, it was the most relaxing Chuck E Cheese experience I've ever had. 3 of the 5 birthday parties canceled that day and we had the place to ourselves. Billy played games, was sung to, ate pizza, talked to Chuck E, blew out his candles and opened his presents. He even did the tour of tickets and discovered the secret trick. Instead of jumping around like a maniac, its much more effective to hold your hand out out, palm down and grab tickets as they flew "up". The guys at Chuck E Cheese had never seen that technique before and it scored Billy a record 1000 points. That's my little engineer ( see video below)

The other favorite "game" was actually a simulated amusement park ride. You lay on the seat and the screen "virtually" takes you on a roller coaster. He and Rochen road that 10x's, using up all their tokens ( see video below).

Back home, after all the excitement, we opened more presents (more legos, a sleeping bag and a sorry game) and Billy spent the next 8 hours putting together this legos. Kay made him a beautiful cake & cupcakes and we all sang to him again.

Then, at dinner, we all went around the table and said what we like best about Billy...

Daddy - "oh my goodness"
Mommy - his hugs!
Jimmy - that when he quits, he doesnt really quit, he always comes back to play again
Kay - that he plays pretend with me
Nikki - all the hugs and love!

There are many many more things we love about Billy: he's curious, friendly, funny, serious, smart, gentle, loves animals, loves being at home and is our peacemaker. We are so so thankful that his birth parents chose us to be his forever family and are grateful for all the loving care he received from his foster family and adoption caregivers. They have all played a part in shaping the Billy we love.
We love you Billy!
(Billy's 1st comment when he woke up the next morning? "For my 7th birthday, I'm going to.....")

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Lambeau Field or our trip to Mecca

To the true Packer fan not much more needs to be said besides, Lambeau.

To those of you whom have not had the opportunity to go to a Packers game and experience Lambeau, well all I can say is do NOT pass up the chance.

It was a cold December Day at Lambeau field when we arrived into the sea of humanity tailgating in the adjoining parking lots, front yards, patio's and basically any space big enough to place a smokey Joe and fire it up. It was a balmy 7 degrees that not so sunny Sunday morning as Pete, Laura, Tracy and I put on all the clothes we had and opened the truck doors to begin our tailgating adventure.

Tailgating is something that is learned or taught by those relatives whom have experienced the event passed down form the previous generation, that is to say in Wisconsin it is a rite of passage where in Minnesota I am sorry to say it has become a lost art. One cannot tailgate and then go into a dome, it goes against all reason but that is a different platform.

The hoard of people began playing games, tossing the football and cheering on those who tried to out due the others (like the young lady who walked by in a yellow bikini, yes a bikini in 7 degree weather, I did say we were at Lambeau?!) Pete cooked some great Hungarian brats which were the perfect spicy food for this weather along with a couple of frozen beers and it was GAME TIME!

Sitting in the bleachers is somewhat like being at a carnival where a football game spontaneously breaks out. Beer vendors know their customers by name and like a good bartender know exactly what they want.. in fact, at one point, the beer vendor walked down our aisle and gave the two guys setting next to us each a free beer and said "thanks for coming today". Tell me, at what other stadium would that happen? As I said, we were at Lambeau Field.
The Packers were playing the 49ers and at the beginning it appeared the 9ers were going to have an easy game of it, they were up 6 nothing midway through the first quarter but the ghost of Lombardi came blowing in like the wind (literally) as the Packers missed a 25 yard field goal. No matter, that wind had more effect on the boys from the coast and by halftime the Pack was leading by 10. The throwback uniforms were ugly as was the play calling by the refs, at least that's what the free beer drinking guy next to us said as he spent the entire third quarter trying to unroll a gold colored aluminum foil fire blanket (really) and when he finally got in unrolled he turned to his buddy and said " help me up, I have to go shopping", ah Lambeau!
We had a blast with Pete and Laura along with the rest of the Packer fans and cheered for the home team as they won the game. We walked out of the hoard, us to head home, most of the rest to continue tailgating, singing Go Packers and other related songs designed to ignore the weather and consume more beer. The crowd was remarkably good natured and supportive of those who chose to cheer for the opponent and as we were walking back to the car a couple in 49er apparel walked by, and a Packer fan, handed each of them a beer and said " Here you probably need this it must be hard to be you today".

I must admit being from Minnesota and a Vikings fan I did cheer for the Pack that day however, unlike the rest of Wisconsin, I did not at any time refer to the Packers as 'we'! Below is Jimmy's take on Connie Gumper and football:
Go Pack!!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Happy Belated Thanksgiving

With Billy dropping teeth like the Vikings Wide receivers and Kay's Gotcha Day we almost forgot Thanksgiving.

We loaded up the family truckster sans Nikki and Timmy and headed off to Tammy and Jeff's in Grand Haven, Michigan for Thanksgiving, meeting up with Grandma and Grandpa Hickey. Tracy and I picked the real Loudamericans up at school and left directly for Michigan. We had snacks, PSP's, I-pods, DVD, VCR's and Simon Blink and the Forbidden Forrest... virtually guaranteeing that would would have no real conversation the entire way! The only thing missing was the porta potty. (we did utilize our pee-ing skills learned in India and Billy/Kay did the side of the road stop in mid Wisconsin at one point).

The kids are great travelers (as those of you who follow this circus know) and we were able to make quite a dent into the journey until we stopped for dinner, of course at the Chinese Buffet in Mauston. We ran into the first glitch when Kay announced we could not listen to Simon Blink at night because she got scared. The 2nd glitch...we passed through Chicago without the usual traffic issues and reached the Skyway, which would take us to Indiana. The Skyway cuts directly around the lake and therefore there are no places to stop, like for instance a hotel. We pressed on (it was now almost mid-night) we were in the steel mills of Gary and I was starting to understand what Kay was referring to in terms of being scared at night. Up a head was it a hotel no... it was a Casino! "They had to have a room!", wrong!!!... only slots, noises, grumpy people. On we drove onto the deep dark night I could almost see Paradise by the dash board lights, I was getting tired, the kids were starting to complain that they were tired (duh, it WAS 1 am) and we finally found an oasis in Portage Indiana. The kids were amazed that they were still awake and it was 1:45 in the morning and to be honest we were too!
The good news about driving 11.5 hours of a 14 hour trip is the next day you do not have that far. Everyone slept in and we were on the road again around 11:00 our time, 12 noon Michigan time. At the point the blogs start to overlap as we met Grandma and Grandpa at Wendy's for Kay's gotcha day blog, the full story is two blogs back. Jumping over the blog about Billy and his missing teeth, we reached Tammy and Jeff's mid- afternoon and settled in for the long weekend.

Thanksgiving day was awesome. We watched football, the girls played dress up/make up and we had the meal prepared for us at the country club and it was grand! The food was great, the company and conversation better and the parents and cousins had a blast all around. The kids took a swim at the hotel where Grandma and Grandpa were staying and Jimmy was heard to say 'I think I may go to bed a tad bit earlier tonight".

The rest of the weekend was spent in a blur of food, football, a non-stop play date, catching up on everyone's lives and finally ... the grand finale ... Grandma & Grandpa's 46Th wedding anniversary. Without them...none of this could have happened:)
Here's to family, food, football, Thanksgiving and an All American tradition:)
Love and peace to all!
ps; We almost forgot that Grandma brought some new outfits for Jimmy , Kay and Billy:
Billy was a little preoccupied to try his on:

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Billy Looses a tooth and then another one

Yes Bill has finally made the transition into the infamous 'I Lost a Tooth Club' and he went into it tugging with all his might.

I may have mentioned in an earlier post (around the time Jimmy lost his first tooth) but... I find it crazy that kids are so into having a hole in their mouth that drips blood and everyone sees this and say's " Way to go you lost a tooth!" I mean, the kid did not 'lose' a tooth, they know exactly where it is. It is firmly in the child's hand in what is commonly known as " the death grip" until Mom or Dad get a plastic sandwich size bag in which the tooth is then placed. Then the young child (who is usually not at the age where he or she can write) enlists the help of an older sibling (whom, out of nowhere, is on a first name basis with the tooth fairy) who helps write a note and (here's where the magic comes in...) knows exactly what to say to ensure the greatest payoff for the tooth. Lost tooth, not... ATM yes!
As an interesting aside, Billy is our 1st child that has shark teeth. Yep, he is experiencing the shark teeth phenominon, his new teeth grew in before he lost his old teeth, creating 2 rows of teeth on his bottom gum. Weird.

Billy spent a great deal of time whilst we were in route to Thanksgiving with one hand firmly on the tooth and the other clutching his blanket over his head so we could not see his method for removal. Several hours of pulling (and chatting, encouragement, advice and reliving horror stories of lost teeth by his siblings) left Bill tired so he had a small nap. He was back at it again the next day with this cousins and this time he was rewarded with a tooth!

The very next day he announced that he had yet another loose tooth and upon inspection by the tooth authorities (namely Jimmy and Kay) it was pronounced indeed true and the tugging began in earnest (again). Knowing that Thanksgiving may be impeded with a loose tooth, panic set in.

Now, neither Tracy nor I were around when the following incident was reported by a reliable jail house snitch. It is reported that brother Jimmy (whom insists he was trying to help), somehow, got is right elbow caught in Billy's mouth in the exact same spot as the previously mentioned loose tooth. This caused said tooth to let go of it's grip on Bill's gum and tumble out into Jimmy's hand to which he replied " here ya go Bill, good job!" I ask you, what are older brothers for if not assistance in losing teeth!?!

A video says a thousand words!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Gotcha Day Kay!

The middle child laid claim to our hearts 7 years ago and we are blessed everyday to have Kay as our daughter. She is growing up way to fast and continues to find creative ways to express herself.

In the past year Kay has learned to read, addition and subtraction and has become obsessed with cooking shows, three of these are normal aspects of a 6-7 year old but cooking shows? She does not watch just any cooking show, not our Kay, she watches Southern cooking shows, lard, butter and cream, "now that is what I am talking about", Kay October 2010.

This year we began celebrating Kay's special day while en route to Tammy and Jeff's for Thanksgiving, more on that later. Now for those of you who know Kay know about her somewhat trying issue when making a decision and the decision between cake and cupcakes for the Gotcha Day party was no exception. The discussion began somewhere around Madison and continued into the evening. Kay awoke somewhere around Portage, Indiana with a decision no nearer in sight. Time was running out, Kay was getting nervous and finally around South Haven, Michigan she blurted out " Mommy, I want a cake !" and then "do they have a dairy queen?". Having settled on the cake issue we were able to reach Grand Haven and meet Grandma and Grandpa Hickey for lunch. We offered Kay the lunch choice and having exhausted her indecision making, right off the bat she proclaimed " I want Wendy's", really, well Wendy's it was.

That evening we had cake and raised a toast to our Kay. She is continuing to touch our hearts with her strong personality and determination. She is a joy and when she smiles she lights up the room. Kay we love you and we give thanks for you choosing us, and we are blessed that you are here! and...lets not forget all the people that made it possible for Kay to be in our family. Her birthday mommy & daddy, her foster parents (& foster grandma!) and all the social workers & doctors. We are so thankful to you and wish you all the peace and happiness that you can endure:)

Monday, November 22, 2010

hodge podge

We have been way too busy the last few weeks so this is going to be a bit of hodge podge blog update...

11/11 saw the 1st snow of the season and the most snow before Thanksgiving in MPLS in 19 years. I had an Indian coworker who was here for 6 months (since April) and he was getting really disappointed that he hadnt experienced snow as he had never seen it before in his life. He was scheduled to fly back to India 11/12. Well, he got his wish. 12-18" of it. The kids woke up and were thrilled! Immediately they donned their winter clothes and off they went to sled, make snow men, snow angels and help daddy shovel. The only down side of this venture - wet snow clothes. Especially since our dryer wasnt working...urhhh

We quickly recovered and headed into another busy week of work, school and activities. In fact, almost everything we are signed up for happened this week, here's run down...
Girl Scouts
Boy Scouts
Piano Jimmy
Piano Kay
Basketball Jimmy
Baasketball Billy
Gymnastics Kay
Gymnastics Billy
Art Billy
Art Kay
Lego class Jimmy
Work happy hour to celebrate the launch of my big project
Timberwolves game Tom and I
Timberwolves game Jimmy (went to the same game but separately with a friend. We spent the 1st half looking through the crowd for him. Then we saw him, an overly enthusiastic 9 year old with a wolf claw jumping up and down



Tom had 2 charity meetings, 1 with United Way and 1 with Corner House (trying to figure out what type of non-profit work he wants to pursue)

Sue came to town!
Whew, I am exhausted just thinking about it!!!

Oh...and that was all in 4 days, Mon-Thurs... Friday Tom and I headed to Chicago for a long weekend with Angela, Wade and Rica (German foreign exchange student). It was AMAZING!
Friday night was a Brazilian meat fest
Saturday was 7+ hours of walking through ALL of Chicago with sunny skies and no clouds. We saw the Hancock tour and tower, the silver bean and Millenium park, the Art Institute, Navy Pier and walked up and down Rush, State and Michigan Ave. We also had Greek food (YUM!) and saw Billy Elliot the musical. If you havent seen it, GO! (and bring kleenex)

Sunday was a big breakfast, shopping and a ride home in drizzly gloomy November weather. We managed to get home in time to make Sue a big thank you dinner and dropped her off at the airport Monday morning (she's headed to Costa Rica to see Julie for an undetermined amount of time - oh...the life....)
So, now, what's up this week? 2 days of school & work and then off to my sisters in Michigan to meet up with my family for Thanksgiving.
We are SO blessed and thankful for all that we have; family, friends, love, health, energy, a sense of adventure, a sense of humor, good culinary skills:) and each other.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Game On !

Sunday mornings on Fox TV my friend has a talk show called Game On and it airs at 10:30 here in Minneapolis. This week Pat Williams, of the Vikings, is the featured guest and one of Jimmy and Ben's favorite players. I was able to get passes to watch the show as it was being taped and took Jimmy and Ben.

The boys got their picture with Pat and were able to talk football with him as well. Jimmy and Ben were in awe and could not believe their own eyes. The boys could not sit still and kept saying" this is the best day of my life", over and over again.

The vikings have a great player and person in Mr. Williams as he patiently signed one thing after another for the boys, Footballs, Vikings Jersey's, decals, magnets, foam finger, pendants and finally Jimmy's viking pillow case! Jimmy woke up the next morning and said "Hey Dad" last night I slept on Pat Williams signature isn't that cool! I calmly asked him if he wanted to watch the movie Rudy to which he gave me a weird look and turned on his PSP.

Thanks to Rod and the crew of Game on for making the day a high light for these two raising football stars.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Deer Opener

This year the dear opener was a little different from past years as we had to pack bug spray and sun screen along with orange camo shorts. It is not normal to be in the deer stand with Coppertone #45 on, I mean this is Minnesota where we should have a couple of inches of snow on the ground and everyone complaining about how cold is to hunt. Never in my life have I had to go in because it was to hot to sit in the stand, global warming or the Herschel Walker trade? You decided.

The group included Mike and his son Jack, Wade, Jeff and Tom. We arrived in camp early Friday morning and were greeted with a mess inside the 606. The bus has not been used in over 5 years and after several hours cleaning and gallons of bleach it was back to is original form. We set up stands, chopped wood, although I do not know why, and got the deer camp back in order.That Friday night we had our traditional center cut pork chop dinner and I have to say the chops were out of this world.We hit the sack and all dreamed about aggressive mice chewing through our sleeping bags, or least the rest of them did I slept like a baby.

Opening day 5:00 am found us sitting at the dining tables watching the percolator and waiting for the morning cup of Joe. That done gear checked and appropriately put on it was off to seek our good fortune, or at least a deer. The woods were quite, the birds starting chirping. the squirrels rooting around and the deer staying as far away as deeringly possible.

We had one deer hit and tracked the animal of about a mile however it was just nicked and not doing to present us with success. The group had a late breakfast and it was back out to the woods, the old saying :never shot a deer in camp" seemed to motivate us. That afternoon/evening was the windiest hunt I have been on. Sitting or should I say swaying in the tree stand I was wondering if I get a chance to shot how am I going to take this damn wind swaying the tree into consideration when shooting? Unfortunately we did not have to worry about that.
Dinner on Saturday was semi smoked Salmon, a recipe that cannot be shared outside of deer camp, along with several great stories. The group had a blast and recapped the day and of course previous hunts were as in fishing the deer get bigger each year and the distance of the shot does so as well. Daylight savings was upon us so another early night.

Sunday we drove the property and kicked up one deer however now one had a shot. we packed up cam as we all had pressing obligations back in the real world and we vowed to reconvene in 365 days time to battle all over again.