Sunday, August 29, 2010

Summer Break Closure

Skyler's last week of summer vacation was a bit of a bummer for both of us.  It always seems like it all went too fast and you wish you could start over.  So on our last official free day of summer break (the very next day which was the real last day of summer break - we spent roofing as a family -- sorry but I love that stuff!!) we went paddle boating on Lake George at Loud Thunder Forest Preserve with our friends Ali and Fran for the "Summer Sendoff."  We have started a tradition of either canoeing or paddleboating at least once a summer at Lake George and it is always a good time.  We had lots of laughs from a life jacket "for the little one" (the guy apparently thought Skyler was about 3 years old by the size of the life jackets he kept trying to make her wear) to "yeah, but there are only 2 people in our paddle boat..." guess you had to be there for that one... what a great way to spend one of our final days of summer together.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Water Skiing

Skyler and I were so lucky to get to water ski last night.  I won a lesson with the Backwater Gamblers and they taught both Skyler and I how to ski.  A special thanks to Beth and Randy for their kind instruction and patience -- we couldn't have done so well without all your help!!

You can see that Skyler seemed to be a little more relaxed than I was.  Apparently a fear of water makes water a little less "relaxing" but despite my fears I had a great time and am so glad I did this!!  Since we didn't realize that they would be so willing to teach all of us -- Paul was wearing jeans so didn't get a chance to ski -- but he was the official photographer for the whole deal (and moral support for me)  :)  This was a great family experience that won't soon be forgotten!!  Skyler asked Paul if we could buy a boat...
Here is Skyler just hangin' out -- not hard at all for this little hard body who knows no fear   :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

More Outdoor Fun

This week I tried to get my camera out more than I usually do -- so I have at least a few pictures of some of the things we did this week.  First up is a picture of Skyler getting her hair cut FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME (at least by an actual beautician --- I have always cut her hair in the past)  She was pretty excited to get to sit in the beauty shop chair...thanks Kayla!!  (Sorry - I was gonna get a "posed" picture but after the one and only shot my batteries this is all I got)  Pretty crazy that a 10-year-old had never been to the salon -- but that is just how we do things around here.

Skyler had fun last weekend at the Milan Spraygrounds!!
Next are some pictures of us with our friends Fran and Ali at the The XStream Cleanup which we volunteered to help out with.  This is organized by The Living Lands and Waters which was founded by our own local Chad Pregracke - whom many of you know.  We like to involve Skyler in events that show her that you can have fun while still helping out in your community/keeping the environment clean
A group shot with the whole pile of trash
Skyler and her pal Fran before gettin' our hands dirty
Gettin trash in our bags...
After our hot day in the timber Saturday gettin ready for deer season and after mowing yards Sunday morning, we had a great time Sunday afternoon fishing again as a family.  Skyler caught a TON of bluegill!!  Paul got several large bass and I didn't catch much of anything at all -- but had a great time doin' it.  I got to put lots of worms on hooks and take lots of fish off -- so it still seemed like I caught some.  The picture with Skyler in the water is when she offered to jump in and unhook dad's lure which had gotten tangled with this stump...since she loves gettin' wet she was more than happy to help dad out.  After that her and I swam around for a bit before getting back to fishing.  I liked this picture of Skyler workin' on her lure.
A fun picture of us danglin' our feet in the water.
Skyler took this picture of Paul with one of his big bass.

I didn't get any pictures of many things I probably should have this week but since it has been so hot -- we were all a sweaty mess during most of our activities - so probably better left unphotographed...I think I will try to keep my camera out again more in the future -- it is fun for capturing memories...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Normally when we go fishin -- we catch fish...however, on Saturday when we went to Joe's...
Skyler went and caught a snapping was interesting cleaning this guy to try and cook up some turtle meat...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Mom/Daughter Day

All summer I have been planning on taking Skyler to Six Flags - Great America just north of Chicago.  Yesterday we finally had a free day to do just that!  We had an awesome time driving there and back (total of 7 hours of driving) and had an even better time spending the entire day running around the park and riding rides.  We were gone from about 6:30 in the morning and got back home at almost 11 at night (whew!!)  A frend of mine recommended that I get what is called a Flash Pass (thanks Tammy) and I TOTALLY recommend it if anyone decides to go!  It is a gadget you purchase for the day that lets you reserve your spot on a ride just like if you were to reserve a seat at a restaurant.  Until our reservation is ready -- we can do other things (wait in other lines, get lunch, etc.)  As soon as our reservation is ready -- our little gadget buzzes and we can make our way over to the reserved ride -- walk right past hundreds of angry waiters in line (scarey!) -- and get right on the ride!!  Skyler and I had a cartoonist draw our picture (I have always wanted to have that done).  What a fun day -- maybe I will even scrap this...maybe.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Honoring a Beautiful Buck

One of my friends called me Saturday night to say her and her husband were flipping through the Bow & Arrow Hunting magazine in HyVee when the following conversation ensued:
Husband:  "Boy, this sure looks like Ginger" 
Wife:  "That's because it IS Ginger!" 
She bought the last 2 copies of the magazine so that we could see it!! 

This 4-page article is kind of the closing chapter honoring the beautiful buck that I was fortunate enough to harvest last fall.  I know bucks like this come by once in a lifetime so I am not delusional thinking that this year will be a repeat -- however, every deer is incredibly special to me -- so reading through this article just got me even more pumped up to get this archery season started.  Paul and I have been doing a countdown for several months now and have again spent countless hours preparing for these upcoming months that are so special to us.  There is just nothing like bow hunting -- so for now I will fulfill my desire to hunt by walking back out to practice shooting the deer target in our back yard again.
Other than the Milan HyVee which is sold out, the October issue of Bow & Arrow Hunting magazine should be available wherever hunting magazines are sold.