Thursday, September 29, 2011

Being a Co-Angler in the FLW BFL

All feels right with the world today.  A dried leaf blows across the road sounding like puppy's feet hopping across the pavement.  There is a chill in the air, almost moist.  The trees are still green.  They will be turning soon to the browns, reds, oranges and yellows that symbolize fall.

A feeling of tranquility waved over me as I stood outside, the sun just starting to peak over the roofs of the houses in town.  Tomorrow I will be traveling.  I will be on another of life's grand adventures. 

I can picture bass on the end of my line.  The strike, the hook set, then the battle to bring them to the boat. 

Last night I started preparations for this weekend.  I gathered all my camping and fishing gear and brought it to the house so that tonight I can organize my tackle into 1 bag and change my line on my rods.  If I forgot anything, this will give me an extra day to remember.  Already, I remembered a bag in one of my hatches of the boat that hods all of my new lures.  I might not use any of them but I want to have it along in case I decide, once I get there, that one of the lures needs to go into my bag.

The timing of this tournament will fit my strengths well.  The bass should be in transition from their summer haunts on their way to the shallower waters of the coves and creeks.  If we get on to them on the main cove points it will be a blast.  Bass after bass will be moving onto the points to feed before traveling on back into the coves to continue feeding.

Being a co-angler I don't have to locate the bass.  My boater is probably out there right now doing that.  Part of the fun of being a co-angler is not knowing where or what style of fishing you are going to be doing.  You may learn a totally different technique than you have ever tried.  I have a feeling that will be the case in this tournament.  This is a new lake for me, in a different region of the country than I am used to fishing. 

At some point I would like to take over the front of the boat.  For now, I don't have the time I need to scout the waters.  The guys in the BFL's are good.  If your not prepared you are more than likely just setting fire to your entry fees.

I have looked at lake maps, at fishing reports, at the weather forecast.  I have looked at the previous years BFL tournaments at Grand Lake.  It takes a lot of weight to win it, around 13 pounds per day.  It will take about 8 - 10 pounds to move on to the 2nd day and get in the money. 

The competition and camaraderie are why I fish these.  Fishing pulses through my veins.  The void of sports as I get older has lured me into the competition of these. 

There is a lot of luck in bass tournaments, but luck is not the key component.  You have to be good.  The more edges you have the more likely you will succeed.  Good line and good equipment is a must along with sharp strong hooks.

The biggest advantage I gained was getting quality rods.  I had always thought that I could catch fish on anything, until I got a quality graphite rod.  I got power and feel out of my rods.  I could feel the slightest of bites and was amazed at how many bites I must have missed with my other rods.  I'm talking 6 to 1.  If I hook all of those I have my limit and a cull, if they are keepers.  Most of my rods aren't that much more expensive than the rods I was buying before.  I have picked several used rods up for 40.00 to 60.00.

Line is equally important.  Some lines have substantially more feel than others do to the stretch of the line.  I rarely use mono-filament any longer.  Each line has a purpose though, even mono-filament, and matched with rod and reel it can make a huge difference.

The bait used is important too.  More important than the bait is your confidence in it.  If your good at catching bass on certain baits, that will be your bread and butter.  Get good with several so you can build your arsenal and react to what the bass want.  Try different things with your baits.  Customize them to make them yours.  Find the best way to fish that bait.  People will try to imitate you and may catch fish on them, but you will do better because you know you are doing it right.

Time on the water will make you better.  The more you live with the fish, the more you think like a fish.  The more you think like a fish, the more you will catch.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Homeless No Mo!

We got a call from the couple moving out of the house we will be renting.  They told us that they called the gas, electric, water, cable, and internet companies to have everything transferred to their new house on Monday.  They said we can call the companies to have them transferred to our name.

We are finally getting our house.  Homeless no more!  I will be able to piddle in the garage with my fishing tackle and tools.  I'll be able to have access to all of my belongings.  The boys can sleep in separate beds.  We get our King size bed back.  I can start selling on ecrater again.

I am excited. 

My brother and sister-in-law have been very generous sharing their house with us and I will be forever grateful to have such a wonderful family.  I am happy for them to get their house back.  My two older nephews have been displaced from their room since March.  Our things are scattered in their room so it is hard for them to get to their things. 

We have bonded through the process of living together.  It was good for me to be part of a big (huge) family.  Hopefully I have learned to be a better person from living there.

Tonight I will start getting ready for my tournament.  I like to get prepared early.  I will go pick up my camping and fishing gear.  Then I will figure out what tackle to take and get it into one bag.  There are two poles that need new line.  Then I will tie on the lures I will start with at Grand Lake. 

I wish I had my worm making equipment so I could make some of my drop shot worms for the tournament.  I had given Mizike my entire stash of homemade worms this summer, thinking that I would get a chance to make some more once I got into our new place.

It looks like there is a Bass Pro in Tulsa so I can pick up some roboworms on my way to the lake if I need to.  I took the whole day off Friday.  The drive will be 5-6 hours, so I will have time to goof around and still get to check in on time.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Turning Point

Healthy bass I caught at Clark County Lake camping trip
Friday after work I booked my flight and hotel to Las Vegas for an October trip.  Then I looked up hotels for the Grand Lake BFL.  The hotels were either higher priced than I wanted to pay or too far away from the tournament.  I have decided instead to camp.  This weekend I crawled over all of our belongings that are being stored in order to find my small 2 man tent.  I can set it up and take it down quickly by myself.  The cost savings for 2 nights will be huge.

I am excited about camping at Grand Lake.  I looked at a burn ban map of Oklahoma and it is not in the burn ban.  I can finally camp with a fire. 

I am most excited about fishing a BFL tournament again. It is the last one of the year and I will not be able to make the regional's.  I will get some good experience on a good lake.  Next season starts pretty early in the Okie league as well so I will have that to look forward too.

Saturday we watched my niece and nephews play tackle football.  They played good.  My second oldest nephew played quarterback and did a good job passing and avoiding being tackled.  The 4th-5th grade team won as well as the 6th grade team.  It seems that there is going to be a good string of teams coming up in Kiowa's future.

The rest of Saturday was spent enjoying great college football and spending time outside enjoying this nice weather.

Sunday we went to Church.  Afterwards we had planned on going golfing.  I thought it would be a fun outdoor activity that we could do as a family.  The kids could walk with us while we golfed.  My Sister-in-law informed us that they don't allow children on the course at Anthony.  I was looking up Medicine Lodge to see the rules there and saw that the course was closed for a Peace Treaty.  Alva's course was a little more costly than I wanted to pay so we stayed home.

We could have done some free outdoor activities.  I will have to remember for the future that we have tennis courts, horseshoe pits, and not too far away is a Frisbee golf course.  We could have went fishing too.  Instead we were lazy and read or napped all day.  After being on the road every weekend it was nice to relax.

Last night we ran.  We put in a good, hour long session.  My endurance is starting to pick up finally.  I turn my MP3 player on and run until I can't breathe any longer.

I didn't run much last week due to a sinus infection that was dragging me down.  I'm feeling a ton better now after being on medicine for a week.

I still have a long ways to go with running.  I only made 1 3/4 miles last night before I had to stop to walk.  I look forward to the day I can run for 4-5 miles non-stop again.  I also have a long ways to go on my weight loss.  I am starting to tell a difference in my mid section and face.  I have lost 12 pounds so far and would like to lose another 28 to get me down to 200 pounds. 

We heard last night that the couple moving out of the house we are moving into are still planning on being out by the end of this week.   

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Time to Move?

This weekend we heard that there may be another house coming up for rent.  We drove to look at it.  It is a nice roomy house with a unattached garage.  It is nice.  There is a lot of work to do to it.  The garage doores are on the ground.  The garage is filled with garbage.  The yard is overgrown with shrubbery.  It is also on the highway and doesn't look like it lets much light in.  It does have an empty lot next to it.  The house we have been waiting on is more ideal for us.  The location, size, garage, roominess and modernness are all appealing. 

It felt sort of like Todd was pushing us to take the new option.  I see his point, we have been invading his home for months now, Christina and the boys for 6 months now and me going on 3.  That's a half a year longer than we intended to stay when we got here.

Christina and I talked about it for some time.  We really want to move into the house we had planned on.  We were discussing options since we feel we have depended on the Reeves too long.  We could try to get an apartment in Medicine Lodge, Anthony, or Harper to rent to us on a month to month basis.  We could take the new rental.  We could move into a motel room.  The other option that we chose to do was to talk to the couple that are moving out of the other house to see if we could get a realistic deadline.  That would help us decide what to do.

We went to the new house they are working on and visited with them.  They have quite a bit of work left to do but said that they would put in a toilet this week so they at least have a toilet, then they will move some things over and stay there while they finish the house.  They estimated us being able to move in a week and a half.

I offered the use of the shower and Christina offered to let them store whatever they needed until they got their new house completed.

It looks like we may be in our new house in a week now.  If we are not I am afraid we are going to have to take a different route.  I'm thinking of checking the local motel for a weekly rate until we get moved in.

We have drained our savings living here now.  We went from spending 300.00 a month on our budget to 1400.00 a month.  That has wiped out our savings pretty quick.  We have been leaving town almost every weekend, usually for a 3 hour or longer trip each way.  We have also been spending a lot more than we are used to on groceries.  Partially due to taxes and higher grocery prices and partially due to feeding 14 people.  We are saving money by not paying rent, but even with that we are spending 400.00 more than I have budgeted each month.

This weekend we are staying home.  We will get to watch McKenna, Anton, and Keaton play football on Saturday.  I don't know what we will do the rest of the weekend.  At least we will not be spending as much money as we would traveling.

The following weekend is the Okie BFL tournament at Grand Lake.  I will be camping so I don't have to get a motel room for 86.00 pre-tax per night.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

First Shoes Then Fishing Lures

Leo figured out how to tie his shoe today on his own.  He has been trying to learn the last couple weeks.  I told him if he learned how to tie his shoe I will teach him how to tie on a fishing lure.  Looks like he will be learning some fishing knots soon.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Canton Lake Oklahoma MiCamping Trip

Friday evening came quickly as I had only worked 28 hours last week.  Ouch, that will hurt in October.

I took off a little early from work to pack up before G-Diddy showed up.  We were just finishing packing when he called and said he was around the corner.  Shortly after that we were driving to Canton Lake for our weekend fishing trip.

Mizike had gotten to the lake a long time before we arrived and had his campsite set up.  We started working on G-Diddy’s tent first.  The poles were not held together by bungee and some of the metal ends had fallen off.  It took a lot of work but we got it figured out.

By the time we started on my tent it was well past dark.  My tent went up quickly with everybody helping.  Then it was on to blow up the air mattresses.  Unfortunately, my pump was dead and never did take a charge.  I was the only one with a pump so we had to blow the beds up by hand.

Mizike and I were sharking (hand on the forehead that means it time to do a shot) each other and drinking quite a bit of Captain Morgan. 

At some point, after I was well inebriated, I was getting something in the boat.  I don’t remember anything after that.  Mizike filled me in the next day.  Apparently I was grabbing something out of the boat and fell backwards hitting my head on the pavement.  My head was bleeding, but I still wanted to go fishing.  I ended up getting back to the tent where my wife bandaged and my head to stop the bleeding.  She said that when I got the tent I was talking about Communists, how they were all around us, and going to get us.

The next morning I woke up on the floor of the tent, curled in a ball.  It was cold.  I got up before looking at the time.  It was before 6:00 AM.  The sun wasn’t out yet.  I fished off the bank in the dark for about an hour.  As soon as the sun was up I had donuts, brownies, and nutty bars on the table for everyone to eat.  Then I started to get a little louder so everyone would wake up.  That’s when I found out what had happened the night before.  I must have had a concussion the way I was talking after the fall and not being able to remember anything.

We didn’t have enough life jackets so Mizike and I drove over to a store by the dam to find one.  We snuck in some biscuits and gravy while we were there.  The whole time I had my bandage on with bloody gauze sticking out the back.  I was getting some strange looks.  We got back and had the boat in the water by around 9:00 AM.  The lake was down about 12 - 15 feet and most of the boat ramps were unusable.  We tried 2 before we found one that was barely usable at the dam.  The trailer tires would drop off the ramp but were were able to pull the boat out anyway.

The most usable ramp is in Canadian Camp Ground.  It seems to have been built for these low water conditions.

We started out trolling the dam.  G-Diddy caught one, then Leo.  It was pretty slow for trolling so we decided to drift jig heads with plastic chartreuse grubs and a worm over a drop that went from 17 foot to 3 foot in about a 100-yard stretch.

Leo kicked our butts.  He was catching about 5 to the rest of our 1.  His pole was about to get stolen.  He would offer to let Mizike reel the next one in and as Mizike would grab the pole Leo would be bouncing begging for his pole back.  Leo had a nice sized walleye up to the boat.  I tried to sling it over the windshield but the walleye shook off, right before I got him to the boat.  I ended up catching a smaller walleye shortly after that.  It wasn’t a keeper like Leo’s would have been.

It got warm and the wind was blowing hard by 1:00 so we went back to camp to get a bite to eat and some rest before going back out around 5:30.  We only fished a couple hours the next time out and had no luck.

Once we were back at the camp we got our feast ready for the evening.  We had 4 pounds of crab legs, 2 pounds of shrimp, 2 pounds of muscles, 2 packs of New Orleans Style Brats and a bunch of Corn on the cob all boiled up in a crab pot. 

We ate a ton.  Everybody was about done when we added 2 more pounds of crab legs and more corn on the cob to the pot.  Leo about ate the 2 pounds of crab himself and more corn.  He said he was miserable from eating so much and was ready for bed.

The next morning we didn’t get up quite as early.  We went out on the boat and tried drifting then trolling but couldn’t find the fish.  The wind had switched for the 3rd time in 2 days and started to blow out of the West.  By the time we got our lines in and boat started there were already huge swells between the loading ramp and us.

At the loading ramp, I noticed a board was loose as Mizike was backing it into the water.  The bolt had come out.  I had G-Diddy hold the boat against the wind at the courtesy ramp while I went and tied the board on with braided fishing line.  It worked for the time being and we were able to get the boat loaded.

We went back to camp and tore it down.  We were on our way home a little before 1:00.

Monday after lunch I started feeling really crappy and exhausted.  My neck was hurting, the side of my head was hurting, the back of my head was hurting, and I felt nauseous and dizzy.  I finally made an appointment to see the doctor since I had fallen and hit my head.  I didn’t know if there was some swelling going on inside my skull.

They didn’t hesitate to have a CT scan done.  The results came back good.  Just a little bruising around the area I hit my head.  I did however have extreme Sinusitis.  That was the reason I was feeling so miserable.  I wish we would have known that before I had a CT scan done.  Now I will be out around 1500.00 for Sinusitis. 

I’m on several different pills now to get better.  

My Walleye and My Bandage
Several Ramps Ended at the Water Line.  Mizike was testing this one when he about slipped on the moss.

Leo and Gavin learning washers

Gavin playing washers in front of the tent

The days keepers (Mostly Leo's)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Neighbor Problems Kiowa Kansas

DAY 1:
Yesterday, September 13, 2011, we had gone to get the boat trailer inspected at Medicine Lodge.  I had Christina call her sister to see if it would be possible to get her neighbor’s number so that we could call to see if we could park the boat in their driveway until this weekend.  We have a lot of things in the garage where we have been keeping the boat.  Until we move into our house that is the only place for us to have access to our things.  This week I was hoping to wash the boat and clean it out before this weekend.  I didn’t want to move everything in and out of the garage every time I moved the boat.

Christina called to ask her sister.  Her sister said no, that now was not a good time to ask.  We left it at that.

When I got home Cherish was distraught.  I heard that she had just found out that her neighbor that is not living in the vacant house beside them is going to cut down the tree that is growing on the border of both of their yards.  It is a large tree that produces a lot of shade for the yard.

Then I found out that they were trying to buy some land from this neighbor.  The fence that goes around the house is not on their land.  They had an agreement with the father to use the land.  The father has passed and his children have inherited the house and the land.

The reason for the tree being removed is for a new 10-foot tall fence being put up along the actual land line all the way into the front yard.  The land line is only a couple feet from the house and would require the air conditioner to have to be moved.  On top of that there is only about 15 foot from the back of the house that is their land.  There could be very little back yard for Todd and Cherish’s 9 children to play in.

None of this was discussed with Todd or Cherish before this day, and the people coming to cut down all the larger trees were already starting to cut on the other end of the yard.

Cherish made an offer to buy the small portion of land so that they could keep their air conditioning, shade and a reasonable back yard.  The neighbor said that she would think about it.

DAY 2:

Today, September 14, 2011, the neighbor stopped by the house while I was home for lunch.  She asked if Todd was home.  I told her that they had left town to take Peyton to the hospital for his fractured leg.  She asked that I have them call her when they get back because she had made a decision.  She went on to say that she had thought about it all night and decided she can’t just start selling off parts and pieces of her families land to random people.  Then went on to say that they had a difficult enough time getting possession of the house and had to agree to make all kinds of improvements in order to get the house.

It was everything I could do not to spit chew all over her.  There is a lot of land around the vacant house in the first place and no use for the land that they plan to take back from Todd and Cherish. 

I asked Christina today if Todd and Cherish knew the size of the land when they bought the house.  She said they did.  Part of me is outraged at the insensitivity of this nasty woman.  The other part of me tries to reason that it is her land. 

The tree however is not hers.  It is on the property line and is half on her land and half in Todd and Cherish’s.  I feel that there may be a big battle over that tree.  It is the only shade for Todd and Cherish and will increase energy consumption if it is cut down.  It is in the way of the new fence for the ruthless neighbor. 

DAY 3:

September 15, 2011, I am home with the younger children while Todd and Cherish are in Wichita with Peyton.  Peyton ended up having surgery for his fractured leg.  I hear the chain saw start up around 8:00 in the morning. 

By 9:00, the insensitive, heartless neighbor called.  She asked if Todd or Cherish were home.  I let her know that Peyton had to have surgery and they would be home that afternoon.  She then said that she was going to go ahead and cut down the tree that she had told the Reeve’s that she would not cut down.  I asked her politely to wait until the Reeve’s got home from surgery, as I didn’t want to bother them during this trying time.

Her response was, “It really doesn’t matter, the tree is on my property, and they don’t have a say in it anyway.”  She went on to try to make herself sound better, but the more she spoke the more distaste I had for her.  She said that the tree trimmers said that the tree didn’t provide any shade for the Reeve’s anyway.  I quickly corrected her as the tree hung more than half way over the yard.  She then said that the tree’s roots were growing into the shed foundation.  She sounded so pitiful when she said it, like she just came up with it.  There is a closer, larger tree on the other side of the shed.  That one’s roots aren’t growing into the foundation of the shed or the patio?  She is leaving that tree.

She ended the conversation with, “I just hope they don’t hate me.”  I wanted to tell her that even her own family dislikes her, and now I hate her, and will make sure many, many others will hate her.  That would have been useless to say.  She thinks she is royalty and everybody needs to bow down to her.  She is shallow.  I am sure it would have hurt her, but she would consider me unworthy to be giving her insults.  This seems to me to be another case of horrible parenting.  Any good name her father had built in this town is dying with her.

As soon as I got off the phone with her I was trying to think of what to do to save the tree.  I tried calling my wife who did not answer.  Right away, the tree cutter moved from the tree he was working on, to the tree in Todd and Cherish’s yard.  I broke down and called Todd and Cherish in the middle of surgery.  They called one of the law enforcement officers to come over to see if he could stop the cutting until they got back to town.  He didn’t think he could do anything so he suggested calling the City.  The city was no help in the matter either.  Nobody could stop the cutting of the tree.

I had just read a book, As The Crow Flies.  In the book there is lady that was 2nd generation in the money.  Her father had built up his legacy, then, she came along.  In the book she was ruthless, manipulative, and downright evil.  As I was reading I was happy it was a fictional book and people like that don’t really exist.

This neighbor is the exact same woman that was in that book.   

Now there is the air conditioner that the neighbor said she would allow to stay.  She has already lied on everything else.  She has known what she was going to do all along and has not given any consideration to Todd and Cherish.  She proved that point by waiting until they were out of town for their son’s surgery to cut down the tree.

Last night, my wife and I were running at the track.  She quit running and said she can’t stop thinking about what a horrible person the neighbor is.  My wife wants retaliation.  I jokingly told her to try to wish bad things on her.  I then said I hope a tree falls over and crushes her legs, and then when she is in surgery we can point and laugh at her.  How just would that be?  We laughed about it for a while, but couldn’t get the thought of how horrible this woman is, out of our heads. 

Nothing will cure my hatred for what she has already done and how she treats people.  She needs a lot of prayers, for her to become a better person.  I really do hope that she can change.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Evil Brewing in Kiowa Kansas

Why are people so inconsiderate?  What happened to the good ole days when people did things because it was the right thing to do?

If I do one thing right with raising my boys, I hope it is to teach them to do the right thing. 

A couple years after I had gotten out of college, Christina and I were living in a rental house.  The landlord had not paid his fees to the city for renting the house.  The city in turn put a 30 day evacuation notice on our door.  Of course we called them to find out why.  They explained to us that the landlord had not paid his dues and said that we would be evicted if they were not paid.  They also advised us to not pay the rent until the dues were paid in case we were going to be evicted.

The landlord showed up later and demanded his rent so he could pay his dues.  I let him know what the city had told us.  The next day we woke up to a 3 day eviction notice on the door from him.

That was enough for me.  He had already been into the house several times while we had not been there.  Once the bathroom candles had been lit and the tub dirtied,  he had brought a woman into our house while we were out of town for the weekend.  I could not put it past him to come into the house to take our things for not paying the rent.  I called into work that day and rented a storage unit and a rental trailer.  We moved everything out of our house that day.

That night we were homeless with no family close to stay with.  Instead of getting a motel room and spending a ton of money while we were waiting to find another place we decided to camp at the lake.

A couple weeks went by and we had not found a place.  One of the guys at work heard that we were living at the lake and offered to sell us his 28 foot motorhome for $1300.00.  When I got to his house to look, I found the motorhome was trashed.  It had been used for partying and had beer spilled all over the walls and floors.  There was meat in the unrunning refrigerator that had been there for years.  He had told me the AC unit had not worked and he could not get the motorhome to start.  I told him I would buy it if I could get it to start.  I spent a day working on it and got it to start.  The next week was spent cleaning it.

Finally, we got it to the lake to live out of.  The first day I crawled on the roof and had the air conditioner fixed right away.  It was a perfect little home for that summer.  We lived in it for a couple more months while we were waiting on a pet friendly apartment to open up.  We had a great dane and it was hard to find a place to live with him.

We finally got our place to live and we really didn't want to move from the lake.  The motorhome went to storage.  Not long after that I heard that my job at Hewlett Packard was going to end due to HP moving out of the area. 

I was able to transfer positions to Ohio.  My Grandmother expressed interest in buying the motorhome.  At the time it was not too old and only had 40,000 miles on it.  I knew I could sell it for 4 to 5 times the amount I bought it for after cleaning and fixing it up.  My mother reminded me that it was for family and insisted that I sell it to her reasonably.  I sold it for 1800.00, which was the cost of it plus what I had put into it fixing it up.

That's the type of life lesson I want to teach my boys.  Luckily for me, I had sold it for that amount because it still needed more work than I thought it needed.  Grandma wouldn't have let me hear the end of it if she paid more and it still needed that much work.

I won't go into detail yet about why I feel people are so inconsiderate.  I feel the situation that occurred yesterday and today has not been fully resolved.  What is transpiring to happen is not good and could be the evilest act I have ever heard of towards one's neighbor.  However it turns out, I will be adding it to the blog.  What I heard today made me sick to my stomach.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Crazy Kansas Boat Tagging Part II

Kansas received the letter from Ohio stating that they do not title trailers under 4000 pounds.  They still required the trailer to be inspected, which still requires a title for the trailer from Ohio.

We called around to several different law enforcement agencies to see if they would inspect it.  Each time the response was the same.  They had to have the title.  Christina called Topeka again to see what needed to be done.  They said they would send a request to the sheriff's office in Medicine Lodge stating that we cannot get a title from Ohio and that they should do a VIN check for us.

Today at 9:30 was the only time they could do it for the next 2 weeks so I took off work this morning and dug the boat out of the garage at the house we haven't gotten yet.  The garage keeps getting more and more stuff piled in it while we are waiting for the tenants to get their house finished so we can move in.

We got the VIN checked without any problems and took the inspection paperwork to the courthouse to be sent off to the state so that my tags will not be suspended next week.

Hopefully that will be the end to the drama of getting tags and licenses in Kansas.  Now I have the boat and motor to register.  I have to drive to Pratt to have that done.  The titles for those are in my possession.

Last night we went to see my nephew Peyton play Junior Varsity football.  In the third quarter he was tackled while returning a punt.  In the midst of the tackle his ankle or leg was fractured.  He is laying on the couch in discomfort now as the pain relievers don't seem to be helping much.  I hope that it heals quickly and doesn't cause any problems for him in the future.

This weekend Mizike, G-Diddy, myself and our families will be going to Canton for a camping/fishing trip.  We are hoping to catch some walleye while we are there.  Mizike and G-Diddy were close friends of mine in college.  We have met a few times since, but this will be the first time we have all met for a camping trip.  It will be a blast!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Another Busy Weekend - with some fishing

Anton with the Big Bass of the Day

The weekend started out early as I had to take off a half hour early to head to the high school football game at Kinsley, KS, 2 hours away.  I picked up Christina on the way and we made it to the game as Kiowa was down 0-12.  Our presence was felt and soon after we arrived everything went right.  Kiowa ended up winning 34 - 12.

After the game we drove 3.5 hours to Gaylord, KS to my wife's parents to spend the weekend.  Saturday morning came quick and early and we made our way to the Smith Center airstrip for a pancake feed and air show.  The pancakes were delicious and came with giant sausage patties.  The kids age 8-16 were taken on plane rides for free.  There were around 30 different planes that flew in for the occasion.
Santana got to ride in the airplane with the open cockpit.  The other nieces and nephews rode in the green and white plane behind it.

The kids got to clime in the Medical Helicopter to check it out.

Gavin in front of one of the many planes we got to walk around and check out.

Gavin's Wings

Leo Outside the Medical Airplane

All the kids in line for Snow Cones.  There were 7 small and 7 medium snow cones for the lot of us.

The airshow was really fun.  The pilot was fun to watch and very informative on what he was doing.  It's pretty amazing how much you can do in a plane.

That afternoon Cindy decided to take the older kids to a pond to fish.  I couldn't pass up on that opportunity when she asked if I wanted to go.  There were lots of fish to be caught.  My nephew Anton caught the first and biggest.  He said he had 9 total.  I probably had the most with around 15.  Santana and Peyton each had a bluegill.  It was a blast to get out to a pond and catch bass that will bite on anything.

Peyton looked for turtles and walked the whole way around the pond.  Santana fished for quite a while before she ended up chasing frogs.  She was touching the fish and putting her own worms on the hook.  Not bad for an 8th grade girl.

We ended up keeping 5 of the bass for supper.  This was the 2nd time I've eaten bass and it tasted really good.
Average size bass for the pond

Santana's Spunky Gill.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labor Day Weekend in Kiowa

 Friday evening started out with me getting off work a little late.  Instead of taking a short lunch break I had hit a couple garage sales in town to see what kind of deals I could find.  There was several deals to be had including the purchase of a full size trampoline for 15.00. 

After work we went to unload the Explorer at the garage of the new house.  We got back to eat supper before Peyton's football game and found out the game started at 7 and not at 7:30 as we had been told.  We ate quick and got to the game a little after 7.  The Chieftains were scoring their 2nd touchdown as we showed up.  It was a great game and my freshman nephew Peyton got in on defense with 5 minutes remaining.  In that time I saw him make 3 tackles, 2 for a loss as well as a sack. 
 Saturday morning we got up early to go garage sale shopping again as there were about 7 garage sales in town for the busy weekend.  We filled up the Explorer again and finished shopping in time to get to our sand volleyball tournament.  Our team was Todd, Cherish, Christina, myself, and our neighbors across the street.  We ended up winning all 4 of our games and winning the tournament.  I had a couple awesome blocks at the net against 2 of the best spikers.
 Sunday I woke up sore from volleyball.  My shoulder and quads were aching.  We went to church then lazed around for a while.  Later in the day we drove to Alva, OK to do some grocery shopping.

Monday we woke up to run the 5K.  There were nearly 300 entrants.  Christina and I finished 152nd and 153rd.  Christina finished 30 seconds behind 2nd place in her division.  I think she could have easily shaved 5 minutes off her time. 

 The Reeves clan swept up on trophies.  Most of them were finishing as we were passing our 2nd mile.  Even the 6 year old, number 135 in the picture below.
 After the 5K we walked to the park for a ham and bean feed.  We ate, had some homemade ice cream, and walked around the park enjoying the activities for several hours.  The kids rode rides at the small carnival they had set up between the park and the ball field.  They also got to dig through a hay pile to find money.  After the park we went back home and relaxed the remainder of the evening after eating way too much taco chili. 


Friday, September 2, 2011

Getting Ready for Kiowa's Big Weekend

Last Friday I decided to try to go a week without smoking, chewing, drinking soda, or alcohol and at the same time drink water and run.  It's a week later and I have failed to have total control of myself for even that short of period.  I did make it without smoking a cigarette, or drinking soda or alcohol.  I drank lots of water.  There was only 1 night that we ran in the last week.

There were quite a few times I craved a soda, only a couple times I really thought I needed a cigarette and probably wouldn't have drank any alcohol anyway last week.  I told myself it was for only 1 week so I was able to hold off my cravings.

With running, I should have been out every evening.  I enjoy running but it is hard to get out of the house sometimes when there are 11 kids and we are leaving our 2 for Todd and Cherish to watch.  Even if they are already in bed.  They like to crawl out of bed a lot before they go to sleep.  I was also consumed in the book As The Crow Fly's.  It was too good to put down and once the kids were in bed I was reading until it was too late to go run.  The good news is that I have been able to drop 12 pounds since moving back to Kiowa.  I strongly believe that some of that came from preparing to run the 5K.

This weekend is a big weekend in Kiowa.  Saturday we will be in a sand volleyball tournament.  Sunday, I'm not sure what is planned and on Monday we will be in the 5K.  There is something happening all weekend so we will stay busy.

It shouldn't be too much longer before we get our house.  We keep hearing that they will be moving out this weekend.  Hopefully we will be in by Sunday or Monday but it will probably take longer.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Off to Kindergarten

Leo's First Day of Kindergarten
"Are you going to school today?"  I said, as I shook Leo's leg to wake him.  He climbed out of bed right away without fully waking.  He grabbed his backpack and threw it on his back and grabbed the 2 plastic sacks that held his swimming things and Kleenex tissues.  "You have to change and brush your teeth and hair first" Christina said. 

He changed into his outfit for the day then started to put his backpack on again.  "Not yet" I said.  We could tell he was anxious to start his first day of Kindergarten. 

After a bowl of Cheerio's for breakfast he went back down to brush his teeth and hair.  Peyton and Santana were getting ready to drive off to school.  With this being Peyton's first day to drive on his own, we went to see them off.  Peyton was in his football jersey and Santana in her cheerleader uniform.  They used to be so small.

Breanna, Teagon and Leo eating Cereal before school.

The kids were all getting ancy to get to school.  We took some pictures and walked them to school a little early.  Leo and I made our way to the Kindergarten classroom.  Christina and Gavin had fallen behind.  I thought Leo would remember where Teagon had class last year but he walked right by the room until we reached 4th, 5th and 6th grade hall.  We turned back and got directions and soon found the Kindergarten classroom with Mrs. Rooks standing there.

Dayton watches on as Anton, McKenna, Keaton, Leo, Breanna, and Teagon posed for a picture before the first day of school Sept 1, 2011
Walking by the Hospital on the way to School.

Leo at his first day of Kindergarten with Mrs. Rooks

Leo found his locker area and hung his backpack and swimming gear up.  Then he found his desk.  He recognized his friend Bryson sitting next to him.  He sat down at the spot at the table that had his name, took out his box of school items and started playing with the scissors.

"Remember what you learn so you can tell me all about your first day when I get home", I said.  Then Christina and I wished him luck and left him sitting there ready to start his first day of school.