Monday, March 23, 2009

Shooting Clay Pigeons

The sun was actually Shining AND Warm (55) on Saturday--at least for most of the day so we decided to take advantage of it and head out to the woods for some much needed outdoor time. We were also excited to have some fun playing with Jeff's new "toy".

Kaylee had a great time shooting the "real thing" for the first time. She did great! She's not quite ready to tackle the clay pigeons yet but she had a blast with the 22.

When I told her we were going to shoot clay pigeons--she wasn't quite sure what to think. I'm quite positive she was picturing little dove shaped clay birds.

I wonder how many times I had to put those dang ear plugs back in the kids ears.

Maya, the weenie-dog decided to get all freaked out and all she did the whole time was hide under the truck and shake like a leaf. We were pretty surprised by that because she has never done that before. Jeff has taken her out hunting quite a few times before so why she would all of a sudden get gun-shy is a mystery to us.

Addy and Andrew had fun climbing around on the big hill right next to us. They jumped the water rivulets from all of the melting snow and "attended" (pretended) stories and batman scenerios.
They were pretty excited to get to shoot the 22 as well. It's fun to see them actually be able to hit stuff. (Even if it was only a great big dirt mound)

For about the first 30 shots--Dan couldn't hit the broad side of a barn
but then.......the earth turned--or something because he rarely missed after that.
I guess he just had to get in the rhythm.

Jeff has always been a pretty good shot. Maybe not as good as dad, but definitely hitting more than he misses.

For my part--let's just say I didn't embarrass myself but there's definitely room for improvement.
Dan had brought his muzzel-loader. I know my dad used to have one but I don't actually remember shooting it so it was a novel experience pouring in the powder, ramming in the patch and the ball and all of that black smoke that comes after you shoot the big sucker. It was pretty fun. I was surprised that the kick was not as strong as I thought it would be.
Since today it is snowing again, I'm doubly glad that we were able to make it out Saturday. The weather was decent, the kids behaved pretty well, we got to shoot stuff up and give each other crap all day long! What a great day!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Flashback Friday--Frigid Freaks

I haven't done a flashback Friday in a while so I thought I'd post a real quick one today.

This picture was taken on the shores Lake Ontario. Jeff and I moved up there in January right after graduating from college. We were coming from Arkansas which is pretty mild most of the time. We drove up to New York in the Ryder from Hell--that trip itself is definitely a full post all by itself--one that I'll save for later. We arrived in a bitter cold, windy snowstorm but we were still full of excitement and hope. We just knew everything would work out great. Life itself, is but a big adventure, right? One of the first things that we did was drive up to the lake. Neither one of us had ever been to any of the "great lakes" so we were excited to have a "first." I don't think we were prepared for the absolute shock of feeling that frigid wind ripping in off the lake---all coming down from the Canadian tundra. (at least that's what it felt like) The shore itself extended about 50-100 feet further into the lake than usual because of all the ice along the edge of the lake. It was really awesome looking in its own bleak way. I pretty sure that the first words we both said after getting back into the car and blasting the heater was a tandem, "What the freak did we get ourselves into."

I have been thinking about that little memory a bit right now. I think it comes to mind because I have personally been so bloody cold lately. It seems as if it won't ever warm up. I tend to spend large amounts of time in my bed---that's the warmest-coziest place in the house right now. I also am of course thinking about the thought of having 4 children to deal with and raise and that same thought keeps returning to my mind. "What the freak did we get ourselves into."

Thursday, March 12, 2009


As many of you know Jeff and I are fans of the Love-n-Logic parenting school of thought. We have taken a 6-week class on this 3 out of the last 4 years. (We must either be slow learners or incredibly stubborn.)

Actually, we find that the more we repeat the class, the more ingrained into our heads it gets and the more it just naturally rolls off the tongues. I think by about our 8 or 9th time we might actually be pretty good parents. :)

Anyway, here are a few "pearls" that we have learned.

So much about parenting is about "control"--who has it. The parent? or the child?
"Control is a curious thing. The more we give away, the more we gain. Parents who attempt to take all the control from their children end up losing the control they sought to begin with. These parents invite their children to fight to get control back. In the battle for control, we should never take any more than we absolutely must have; we must always cut our kids in on the action. When we do that, we put them in control on our terms. We must give our children the control we don't need to keep the control we do."

The secret to establishing control is to concentrate on fighting battles that we know we can win. ie. We may not be able to control whether our child is crying or not but we can control where he/she does the crying. We may not be able to control the disrespectful words that pop out of the childs mouth, but we can make sure she doesn't use them in our presence--we send her away until she can speak reasonably with us. We may not be able to control when the child does his chores, but we can make sure he does them before he eats his next meal.

Winnable war is waged through choices, not demands. Choices allow us to give away the control we don't need and gain the control we do. With choices kids have no demands to react against, and the control we need is established.

Here are the "Rules for Giving Choices"
1. Always be sure to select choices that you as a parent like. Never provide one you like and one you don't, because the child will usually select the one you don't like.
2. Never give a choice unless you are willing to allow the child to experience the consequences of that choice.
3. Never give choices when the child is in danger.
4. Never give choices unless you are willing to make the choice in the event the child doesn't.
5. your delivery is important. Try to start your sentence with one of the following:
"you're welcome to ________ or __________."
"Feel free to __________ or ___________."
"Would you rather _________ or _________?"
"What would be best for you-- _________ or _________?"

So there you have it. One of my favorite pearls of wisdom from Jim Fay and Foster Cline. It has saved my parental bacon more times than I can count. I just need to remember to use it more often.

Happy Parenting!

Friday, March 6, 2009


We have been battling the viruses lately--the computer version. We had a nasty little spyware that would pop-up constantly telling us that we had 38 horrendous viruses and trojans and worms and such on the computer. Then it would tell us to download the antispyware software--for a fee of course--and they would fix all our problems. Looking it up on the internet we realized that it was a rogue scam. It took me almost 2 full days trying this and that to get the freaking thing off my computer. I tried Verizon tech support and (this just goes to show that it is totally WHO you talk to) the first guy I talked to was clueless and sent me to "premium tech support." They wanted to charge me extra even though I'm already paying for the internet security suite. I hung up incredibly frustrated and tried some more things myself. Two days later I called them back and the guy I talked to then was great. He helped me fix some things and then brought in the big guns for the stuff he couldn't fix. They have a way nowadays to "share your screen". Where they actually have control over your computer--not just being able to look at it but actually manipulate it. --Come to think of it, That might be a little scary if I had anything on here that I was worried about someone looking at. At that point I just hung up the phone and he took over installing different programs, cleaning up the viruses and stuff, deleting bad programs etc. etc. You can see on your screen everything he is doing. It was pretty cool. They could even reboot your computer remotely when they needed to. Anyway...Three hours later, my computer is pronounced "clean" and I am a much happier blogger.

Monday, March 2, 2009


I was just checking the computer for a minute--I swear

The next thing I know, Addy is telling me that Andrew has all of the eggs out and is throwing them on the floor-----the RAW eggs. I ran up to find cracked eggs all over the floor.

The pictures were taken after they had already started wiping it up (all around). You can imagine my thoughts though, upon walking in to see piles of cracked eggs (about 6 or 7) all over the floor.

...This is doubly sad because I had just mopped the floors a few days ago--and anyone that really knows me knows that I hate mopping floors. I was hoping to not have to do that again for a while.

He doesn't look very remorseful does he?
Moral to the story: Just let the dog in!