Monday, March 31, 2014

Thumper's Rule

During wrestling season we attended a match at a small high school.  Adam was helping coach and was down on the mat with the team when they had the flag presented.  The kids and I were up in the stand in the visitors section with a few other moms on the team.  The cheerleaders presented the flag, and one of the cheerleaders was noticeably larger than the others.  I didn't think much about it.  A girl with a nice voice sang the national anthem.   All was going great, right up until the girl singing took a small pause to take a breath and a little voice carried over the gym saying "Why is that cheerleader so fat?"
Yes that was Brock.  The entire wrestling team was busting up.  The moms were holding back laughter in the stands.  I couldn't believe that he picked the precise moment that everyone would hear him to ask that question.  When I tried to tell him it was not appropriate to say that, he just asked me "Why Mom, it's true".
Sadly, this is not the first time this kind of thing has happened.  Last summer we were waiting for a seat at a restaurant and a lady came outside who was quite large.  Brock looked right up at her and said, "Wow, You're fat."  My mom happened to be right there and got right after him.  Adam and I just pretended like we didn't know who he was. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Jump Rope Club

Ady has been participating in Jump Rope Club at her elementary school.  We've been pretty glad that she decided to, even though at first she didn't have interest.  She has improved her skills a lot and even though she started out only being able to jump 1 or 2 times, she has now gotten up to the high teens.  Her club performed at the High School Basketball game.  Even though the basketball wasn't really interesting to watch (the score was like 50-10 at half time) the half-time show was awesome. Of course Brock wanted us to sit all the way on the top row so we did. Here is a brief showing.  Ady is on the front row, 4 from the left(just to the left of her instructor).

Monday, March 3, 2014

While we are at it...

Last week Ady learned about swear words starting with A.  This week she learned about swear words starting with S.  The kids have been interested in pirates since going to Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean ride and since we watched Captain Blood(aka Cousin Carson who had the lead in his Jr High School Play).  So we watched Pirates of the Caribbean with the kids.  We warned them there might be a scary part, but they were sure they could handle it.  We sat down to watch and once in a while the kids would ask if this was the scary part, but we assured them it wasn't.  Then when the part came where the crew of the Black Pearl turns into skeletons in the moonlight, we told them this was scary.  The kids cuddled in closer and held hands tighter, and then after they showed the skeletons for a little bit, Brock announced that this was NOT scary.  Ady didn't think it was scary either.  Funny that these things aren't scary, but they are both too scared to go ask for a drink refill at a restaurant.   
Back to the reason for this post.  Sometimes it is hard to get the kids not to talk during the movies.  We are still working on it.  So at one point in the movie Captain Jack Sparrow says that he is not leaving without his ship.  To which Ady repeated:  " He says he is not leaving without his shit".  Uhhh....Ady he said ship.  

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ace Store

Yesterday Ady and I were driving by the Ace Hardware Store in Morgan.  Ady looked at it and told me that she thought that Ace(pronounced a-s-s)store is where her Dad was going to be working because his office key said Ace(again pronounced a-s-s).  I was laughing pretty hard.  Ady has been doing so good at reading and improved so much this school year that she hardly ever makes a mistake.  I was caught a little off guard.  I then felt obligated to inform Ady of the correct way to pronounce Ace, and that the Ace store makes keys for all types of places. Of course then she wanted to know what ass I told her all about it.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Valentines Day

Ady has been a bit enamored with Valentines Day.  She wanted to make her box early in the week.  I did have to prod her to look at pinterest, and hear her complain the whole time about looking at other's boxes and not hers.  But we did come up with a princess castle idea from it.  I helped her make a covering of white paper with a door, and Grandma Haddock helped make a couple tower spires to put on the top.  Ady decorated it the rest of the way herself, she had a book of princess stickers and decorations, she even drew some windows and made it look like the princesses were looking out, she also cut out hearts and put them on.
Adam picked up some valentines for her class and Ady put them all together and put her name on all herself. The morning of Valentines she was right up and out of bed, she put all the Valentines in her bag, and even got a special one for her teacher that she had made the day before at the Library Story Hour.  It was a heartbug on a stick.  She also told me that morning that she thought about writing a poem next year for her valentines.  "Roses are red, Violets are blue, and you are so sweet! How do you like it Mom?  I just made it up myself"  I told her it was great!  She ran out the door to get in the carpool for school.(which is very rare to see more than a slow walk, she has informed us that is the way Jesus made her--to walk slow)
She had also been telling us all week long that she really wants a rose for Valentines Day.  The MHS has a fundraiser for the choir and they give a rose, a chocolate and a song to your child.  I signed up to give Ady a rose.  Perfect, right?
All was going well until Ady got home.  She showed me her box with valentines from her class. Then I asked if she got a rose.  She said no.  I said why not.  She then got hysteric talking about how they said Ady, but they said another last name and she didn't think it was her.  After I told her that indeed she should have been called, she was devastated.  She was crying and wanting a rose so bad, and she didn't know to go when they called a mispronounced last name.  Then Brock was jumping on the couch calling "Ady's a baby!" and that did not help.   I emailed the choir director and he wrote back and said they were sorry for the mistake, but the soonest they could get her a rose would be Tuesday.  I tried explaining that mistakes are made and getting a rose on Tuesday would be okay, but Ady just couldn't seem to wait because "today is Valentines Day and I always wanted a rose on Valentines Day."  Next I asked what she would do with it, she said "I would look at it, I just want to look at it and smell it"  This girl is in serious love with flowers.  So after a while of consoling, we got under control, even though she was still devastated.
We were going to meet Adam in SLC, so I called him and we arranged for him to save the day and pick her up a flower.  He had to go to 3 stores to find a place that still had some.  We met in SLC and went to dinner, Adam asked Ady about her day.  She didn't even bring up the rose.  I couldn't believe it.  Not even a word of complaint to him.  Either I am really good at consoling or Ady doesn't care to complain to Dad who has figured out the secret to not having your kids complain to you.  If it is the second reason I guess I need to pay attention to how that happens!
Well, after dinner Adam got the kids Valentines out.  He first off gave Brock a rose and gave Ady a Captain America play figure.  They quickly figured out that Dad was teasing and they changed their gifts and were very good the whole ride to Grandmas house where we stayed for the weekend.  Needless to say, Ady was thrilled with her rose.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Minuscule Happenings

Here are the kids in their Halloween Costumes.  All appropriate for the different personality flavors.  We did the Morgan Business Trick-or-Treat after helping my mom get thru the initial hundreds of kids trying to get a t-shirt at her business.  Brock was done after our third stop--getting a slurpee; Ady was done shortly after that too.  We met some of our neighbors that night as we went around to the neighborhood too-good reason to go out trick-or-treating in a new(old) hometown.  

 We've also been trying to "home improve" and make things our own.  We are excited to have a place that is our own that we can hang a picture up and not report it to the landlord. We are also self-improving as we figure out how to do it ourselves, when we have time...  We did get the wallpaper down in the kids room and painted the upstairs.  The kids were just in the way trying to help take down wallpaper, and while Adam thought it was nice to be working together, I hope we never paint again.  We are glad my parents did a lot of things to improve the house so we don't have to.  One thing is for sure, we won't be building any shelves anytime soon.  We currently have a whole closet just for legos!
 We attended the BYU vs Utah State basketball game at the energy solutions arena.  It's the third year we've gone with Adam's Dad(who cheers for BYU while we root for USU), and this year our brother-in-law, Sam joined us.  BYU won again.  Good thing we weren't this bad of luck when we attended USU, it wouldn't have been nearly as fun to attend the games.   Maybe next year!  Go Aggies!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

2013 Disney Vacation

In October, after all the busyness of the Clearwater summer season, we finally drove away and 3 days later we were in Utah.  We moved into our house (by the way, we bought a house in Morgan, Utah--it is my parents old house and we are very happy that we won't be moving out in the spring and will be coming back to the same house after the next summer in Minnesota).  I finally talked Adam into using our sky miles rather than driving to California after having just driven to Utah, so we headed off on vacation to meet up with most of Adam's family this time.  We decided not to tell the kids where we were going.  We did a pretty good job of not telling the kids, and most everyone else did too.  A couple close calls, but I don't think they picked up on anything.
Here is the video of how the surprise went.  I guess we thought they would react a little more, but at least they were happy.   At least until we actually went to Disneyland Brock was happy, then he decided after just one ride that he wanted to go back to the hotel.  I guess we should get a less appealing motel next time, because the whole time all Brock wanted to do was go home or back to the hotel to play legos and swim in the pool.  He even liked some rides and would say so, but when asked if he wanted to go again he would just say no.  I hope it is just a phase he gets over since this family is pretty keen on Disney trips.

Ady, on the other hand, made our vacation planning and saving for feel much more worth it.  She loved going on rides, waving at all the characters in the parades, and wearing her Rapunzel dress pretty much everyday so that she could be called a Princess wherever she went.  We went to a Character Breakfast with the Princesses. "It was always my dream to meet a real princess" she says.   Here are a few pictures from our trip:
Character meets:  Brock was pretty shy, but he was mostly shy of the pretty girls.  Ady just loved meeting all her favorite Movie Stars!
 Grandma's Wild Ride was with Ady, not Toad.
Here is Grandpa with all the grandkids on Jungle Cruise.

 We had Breakfast with the Princesses.  We are glad we did, it was one of Ady's favorite things and Brock was pretty funny too with so many pretty princesses.  And the food was pretty good too.

 Ady was selected to Jedi Training with her cousin Tyson.  She did awesome fighting Darth Maul!

 The new Cars Town was awesome and the new Cars ride was probably our favorite (along with toy story mania), too bad it had such long lines, we only went a couple times.   The other rides are fun too.  Even Mater and Lighting McQueen made special appearances.

 This is Adam and me right before sunset at the California Adventure Park.   We are really glad that we could go with family and that they even let us go on some rides without the kids.
Brock did love the Iron Man Exhibit.  He was pretty serious about trying on Iron Man's suit and shooting with his hands.  Did I mention he wore his Iron Man Costume pretty much the whole time.  We couldn't pry the kids Costumes off them.  Oh well, we were on vacation doing what we want, right?

Ady loved the parades and seeing all the characters, good thing Aunt Whitney was there to wave and be excited with her and Oakley since Adam and I, well, let's just say that we don't mind watching college kids in costumes wave at us, we just really like the rides more.

 Here's Brock in his usual face!  He probably had just told us for the hundredth time he wanted to go back to the hotel!  I really hope next time we go that he will like Disney enough to want to stay there.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A New Bear Story

Adam has had a "bear story" since I met him.  It was about when he was 18 and a bear hunting guide, and has always been entertaining.  But this summer, he got a new bear story, where he was the actual shooter.  He, of course, tells it better in person than I tell it.  But here is the gist of the story.  

 So over the months of July and August we started getting reports that there was a bear on Caribou Lake (one portage to the east of Clearwater Lake where our resort sits) and at the end of Clearwater Lake.  When you go camping, you are supposed to hang your food in a pack in a tree so the bear can't reach it.  Seems like a few people were too lazy and there were some people (no one who outfitted with us) who came out of the woods that had their food eaten by a bear.  It kept going on and the bear became less and less scared by humans, and more into getting food.  It even rolled one bear barrel off.  Many people couldn't scare it away from their campsite.  
One day the head of law enforcement in Superior National Forest stopped by.  They had been out looking to see if these "reports" were accurate.   They told Adam that they were out hiking and looking for the bear, and when they got back to their boat, the bear had found them.  It was in their boat, eating their Subway sandwiches.  The would have removed (shot it) it, but there were some hikers who just came out of the woods, and they didn't want to do it while they were there.  So they left after the bear left, and stopped by our lodge on the way out.  We offered them some lunch sandwiches, which they gladly accepted and said it was the DNR's job to handle it, and they would recommend that it be taken care of.  
The next day a man went missing on the Gunflint Trail and all the crews were tied up with that and taking care of the bear got put on the back burner. I also will mention here that at some point a bear got into our laundry room one night and ate all our decon.  For about a week after that we didn't hear any more stories for a while.  We thought maybe the rat poison did the job.  But alas, the reports started coming in again, and we figured either the bear got over being sick, or there was more than 1 bear, or decon just doesn't do anything to bears.  
Well, finally the Forest Service called one morning and said they were closing all the campsites on Caribou Lake, and they were headed in with motors and possibly the "Beaver Aircraft" to solve the problem.  They came in for 3 days.  The campsites were closed and they couldn't find the bear. So they deemed there was no bear activity and opened the campsites again. 
Then one morning, a particularly busy morning for outfitting, we woke up and came downstairs and there was a huge mess out side in the parking lot and on the outfitting building porch.  We do a trash run every night after dinner so all our garbage's are empty when bears come at night, but a group had a late night campfire and carelessly dumped their trash into the outfitting porch trash can.  Upon finding the trash can, it found the door to the outfitting building was not shut tight, and it came in, busted the door to the food room and got into some stuff like the marshmallows, candy, and coffee single packs, and busted some shelves.  Fortunately it didn't get into the packed food(other than the smores stuff) for the 3 groups we had going out in the morning, and it didn't go in further than half way into the room.  It was a mess to clean up, but it could have been much worse.  
That day the bear came back in the daylight.  We heard Mike (one of our staff) yelling from the laundry room.  We went up and the bear was in the laundry room with him.  When we got it out, it was hanging outside of the food room.  It wasn't scared of us.  Adam only has a .22 gun so he went and got it and got up on the roof of the outfitting building, and tried shooting a nearby tree to scare the bear away.  It ran into the woods.  We figured it would be back since it had found the mother load.  We were right. 
A few hours later, I was checking a group of women into the bunkhouse and when we got there there was a mess of garbage on the porch and one of the screens in the doors broken down.  The ladies promptly asked if there was a room in the lodge, to which I said yes.  I came back to tell Adam that the bear had gotten in the bunkhouse and into the garbage's there.  He had been out asking neighbors to borrow a "real gun"  Way too many of our neighbors had a gun, but no shells.  We finally found some ammunition, and Adam went out to wait for the bear to come back again.  We didn't really want to shoot the bear, but we decided it was enough when it started getting into buildings where people sleep.  Of course it didn't come this time, and Adam came back to eat dinner and we had church that night in a cabin.  After church we came back and one of Erik's dogs started barking, so Adam took the gun and went back to the bunkhouses.  Mike was up there and pointed the bear out.  He found the bear trying to get into an unused staff unit.  Adam knelt down and took a shot with Mike behind him.  The bear turned and ran straight at him. Mike ran in a serpentine fashion to the showerhouse and Adam shot again as he was backing up.  The bear took into the woods and died somewhere.  Adam figures he would have had 2 more shots before it got to him.  (didn't he think, what if i miss?)   My brother, Brian who was up working with us, found the bear later, and there was a shot just above the collar bone and his paw.  We figure the first went in and punctured his lung.  So after we finished work for the night and all the check-ins, we took the kids back to the bear to show them.  It was a medium size black bear that was probably 250 lbs.  They thought it was pretty cool.  Brock didn't  stop asking us to tell him the bear story for weeks.
We called the DNR Conservation officer the next morning.  They asked if it was in our freezer, we said no...we didn't know the protocol and didn't want to have a legal issue with shooting a nuisance bear.  It had been hot and had gone bad at this point and they came and got it and took it away.  They said next time to dress it, and take care of it, but just call them to let them know.  We have also had quite a few forest rangers say thank-you for taking care of the bear, and they haven't had to fill out a report or had a problem since.  
Well that is the story, I'm sure Adam will be happy to make it better in person if you ever ask him.

PS.  We will be using all our Cabela's points we have saved up to buy a "real gun" with real bullets, so if anyone wants to go gun shopping let Adam know. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Summer 2013

Our Minnesota spring/summer/fall was a great one.  Lots of things happened.  Time just seems to blow by, so here are the top 10 things in no particular order from this year in Minnesota:

1.  Ady caught her first big fish. Adam took me, Ady and my cousin Cameron paddling on Caribou Lake in the spring when the small mouth bass were spawning.   We all caught big fish that day.  Ady caught a couple fish and ate all the treats and declared herself bored.  Well, Adam could have gone hours more, but we told Ady if we caught 3 more fish we could go home.   Well, she sat right up and put her pole back in the water and viola!  She caught a huge 4 pound plus smallmouth bass all by herself.

2.  Adam shot a bear.  Not by choice.  This was a problem bear, and the Forest Service, DNR, and Cook County police Dept thanked him. It's a longer story than that, but I'll post that later.

3.  This summer's northern lights were spectacular!

4.  The Haddock's all came out and had a wonderful family reunion.  Everyone was able to come except Blake who was stationed in Bahrain.  We fished, saw waterfalls and even saw a moose, relaxed, went to the lighthouse on Lake Superior, canoed, camped, completed a puzzle, had campfires with marshmallows, geocached, hiked to bluffs with beautiful lookouts, played with cousins and we wore ourselves out!  Thanks to everyone for making the long trip to enjoy the beauties of northern Minnesota!

5. One of our very kind neighbors who live on the lake gave the lodge a hand-carved wooden totem-pole to replace the existing one that was falling apart.  This was a big surprise and a very nice gift that took a lot of talent and must have taken a lot of time.  We had an unveiling ceremony to which many friends and neighbors came and we had a very enjoyable evening.

6.  Adam spoke at the Wooden Boat Show.  He was invited to be a guest speaker and talk about the lodge and it's history and how it impacted the Gunflint Trail and surrounding area.  We both snuck away from the lodge and I teased Adam on the drive in to Grand Marais asking how many people he thought would come.  He said he'd be pretty happy if 15-20 or so people came.  I thought he was being optimistic, but I was wrong.  It was standing room only.  Adam had several people crying during his talk, and several people after came and thanked him since it was so good.  People came up all summer and mentioned they'd heard him speak at the Wooden Boat Show.

7.  We hiked all over in the Fall!  We went on the Centennial Trail, to Deer Lake and to Gogebic Lake.  We went as a family in Sept when things finally calmed down enough for us to slip away a couple of afternoons.  Deer lake and Gogebic lakes are one portage from Clearwater and the leaves were turning.  It made for some great fall photography.  The Centeniall Trail is further up the Gunflint trail and is an old abandoned mining place which used to have a railroad grade.  It was a beautiful hike as well.  Plus we found loads of blueberries that day and Brock did his impersonation of being a black bear eating blueberries right off the bush.

8.  We achieved being ranked #1 on Trip Advisor and we have over 100 5-star reviews. Anyone in the hospitality field knows how hard this can be.

9.  There was a lost hiker.  A mom had flagged a boat down to bring her in and ask for help to find her son.  Jack, one of our seasonal staff, and Adam took off with some water and snacks and started running the trails to see if the boy was to be found.  Jack finally found him and met up with the rest of the party.  It was a big relief.

10.  We took a small vacation at the end of the season to Lutsen.  Our outfitting manger was getting married at the lodge and offered us to leave and stay at Lutsen Resort and go ride the Alpine Slide.  We had a good time staying on Lake Superior, riding the alpine slide and gondola, swimming at the lodge, and playing disc golf and 3-par golf at the resort, and of course eating at the the nice restaurant on site.   It was a much needed break and getaway.

Monday, November 11, 2013

I married a storyteller

Sometimes I give my husband a hard time for his storytelling.  I've heard some of his stories more times than I can remember.  I've left the room a few more times than that.  But when Adam tells a story, he is very good and very animated.  After 3 summers in Minnesota with customers and campfires, I can guarantee that when he tells a story, people listen and love it.   I still love it, sometimes I just don't need it repeated, but I still love that he is a great storyteller.  There are 2 little ones in our house that love it too.  I think you'll be able to tell by their expressions when I snapped a few photo's of the nights story telling before bedtime.
Here is Adam's impression of R2D2.
Here is Adam playing C3PO.

The kids love hearing their Dad tell stories, and watch out, cause they might just be taking after him.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Brock is 3 years old

Friday was Brock's third birthday.  For most of the day he did not want to be 3.  He kept telling us that he is still 2.  But Ady kept telling him how much fun it is to have a birthday and then we took him to a store to pick out a cake(we are moving and busy so we didn't bake a cake) and he picked out chocolate cupcakes with green frosting(Brock loves green).  Then when he saw that we had some presents he changed his mind and decided that having a birthday wasn't all bad.  
Brock was able to blow out 2 of the three candles on the first try.  However, when he took a breath to blow out the third candle Ady had decided that she was tired of waiting to eat her cupcake and blew out the third candle from across the table.
Brock seemed to be pretty happy with his presents.  He got a couple of matchbox cars(one was a Batman helicopter) from Ady, a transformer from mom and dad, another transformer (one for 3 year olds) from Grandma and Grandpa VT, a book from Grandma Clark and a Buzz Lightyear from Grandma and Grandpa Haddock.  He loves all his new stuff.  He has been sleeping with them in his bed the last few nights.

I thinkBrock's favorite thing he did over the weekend was mow the lawn with Grandpa.  He was grinning the whole time, and told us all about driving the tractor!
Here he is, 3 years old and doing his best "Bob the Builder" imitation.

Friday, March 15, 2013

March Update

Life at our house has been busy.  I've been traveling a ton lately for work (California, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Minnesota in the last 6 weeks).  This week I've got an exhibit for the lodge at the International Sportsmen's Expo in Salt Lake.  We have our dates picked to head back to the lodge next month.  Kasey has been busy making shirts and playing basketball.  Her church team won the stake tournament and the first round of region play.  Brock is getting to be more trouble than we thought possible.  He is extremely independent and sometimes downright mean.  However sometimes he does say the funniest things.  The other night he was saying the prayer at a meal and it went like this. "Heavenly Father, thank you for today, thank you for our family.  Thank you for-hey dad, did you know I have my head bowed?".  I quickly told him that I had noticed and thanked him for remembering to do that, then asked him to continue.  He did.  "Please bless the food- hey dad, did you know that condors always have their heads hunched over like this?  I like to do it so that I can be like a condor.  I like condors they are big and kinda scary but I like them".  Before I could figure out how to respond he continued. "Please bless mom and Ady-hey dad, did you know that condors live in the desert and eat dead animals?  I learned about them when Diego had to rescue one.  Did you know that Diego is an animal rescuer?".  This time he expected a response.  My response was, "are you finished praying, I'd like to eat."
Ady is doing really well in school.  She has finally decided that she likes to read.  A couple of nights ago she picked Green Eggs and Ham for her bedtime book.  We have read this book probably a thousand times in the last 5 years.  But this time was a first for us, Ady decided she wanted to read it to me.  It took at least 25 minutes, but she read the whole thing.  I've never thought that much of a 62 page book, but she had Brock mesmerized and you could tell she was very proud of herself, probably almost as proud as her dad was when she finished.  Kasey was gone to a basketball game, but I am sure that she will get her turn now that Ady has decided that reading is fun. 
We took our annual trip to the Ronald McDonald house a couple of weeks ago.  This year the kids had collected 3 jars of pop tabs (no we didn't drink that much soda, we collect them at the resort).  They were very excited to give them so that some sick kid's families could be helped.  Each time we go there, it is both a scary reminder of our ordeal with Brock's heart, but also a nice reminder that there are wonderful people out there trying to help.  I know that Kasey and I will be forever grateful to all the people who helped us out at that time and will forever marvel at the strangers who stepped in during our time of need.  I'm glad that the kids like to collect them and it gives us a chance to talk about our blessings and why we help others.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

2013 Wrestling Season

As most of you know, we live in Minnesota in the summer and Utah in the winter.  Part of the reason we live in Utah in the winter is because I help out my Dad with his school's wrestling program.  I hate the bus rides, and some of the shenanigans the kids pull, but most of the time I enjoy working with the students.  I enjoy getting a workout and seeing the young men improve as the season goes along.  All told, this was my 6th season helping out with a high school wrestling program and probably my most memorable one.  When we bought Clearwater Lodge I asked my parents to come out for part of the summer and help us with the kids.  They were gracious enough to come up to Minnesota for two months and played with Ady and Brock while Kasey and I ran around all day trying to figure out what lodge owners are supposed to do.  Along with helping with the kids, they also pitched in and worked.  My Dad did things like build canoe racks, docks and tons of little fix it jobs.  So then when he asked me if I would be willing to help him with his wrestling team I thought I should oblige.  

So last year we moved to the Salt Lake valley for the winter and I headed over to Summit Academy High School each afternoon.  Summit was a brand new school and of the 16 kids that showed up to practice the first day only one had ever seen a wrestling mat.  None had wrestling shoes and I could tell it was going to be a very long season.  Usually with any sports program you have some returning upperclassmen that show others the ropes and provide some interior leadership.  Well, we had no seniors on the team, one junior, 3 sophomores and 12 freshmen.  And let me state this once more, only one had ever seen a wrestling mat in their life.  So we started at square one and tried to teach these kids how to wrestle.  The school didn't even have a wrestling mat, so we ordered some mats that were more for gymnastics than wrestling and they didn't have the proper mat markings.  So upon arriving at our very first wrestling tournament, I took the kids down to the mats and showed them the out of bounds lines and starting lines.  Needless to say, we weren't exactly impressive at that first tournament.  

By the end of the season we had improved, a few of the kids had one a jv match or two, but nothing to brag about.  This year we had more kids show up, got a real wrestling mat and had about half the team even show up the first day with proper footwear.  My dad and I sat down one evening after practice that first week and talked about preparing the team to wrestle in varsity tournaments this year.  I was thinking how are these kids going to handle wrestling at the varsity level and can we keep them from getting depressed as they get beaten when my dad asked me "how many do you think will qualify for the State Tournament?"  My answer was probably two(the two that had transferred in from another school).  He said he wanted to make a goal and have the team work for the goal.  Then he said he would give them a reward if they got the goal and let them shave his head for a school assembly.  We made a list of all the wrestlers that we thought had a remote(extremely remote) chance at qualifying.  There were 9 kids on the list.  So the next day at practice my dad announced that if 8 kids qualified for the state tournament they could shave his head.  We wrestled a few teams, got beat by scores like 63-8 and 69-10.  Went to a several tournaments, mostly got pinned in the first round.  Then we had a couple of injuries and even lost one senior to bad grades.  Well I was thinking that his hair was safe.  We kept pushing the kids, and working with them.  Even had a couple of team movie nights where we tried to show them an inspirational sports movie.  So February rolls around along with region/divisional qualifying and we take 17 kids.  One of the more talented wrestlers then gets disqualified before the tournament begins.  So now the team enters 16 kids.  Two days later, Summit Academy had qualified 10 of the 16 kids for the State Wrestling Tournament!  The day before heading off to State, the school had an assembly and here are the results...
 The side and back

The front and sides.  Ady and I decided that he resembled Professor Ludwig Von Drake.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Kasey and I decided to be crazy and go on a vacation without the kids.  We were able to get my parents to take the kids for 10 DAYS! while we headed south to Belize.  It was awesome.  We spent a day and a half in Guatemala and the rest of the time in Belize.  We visited 6 Mayan ruin sites, Xunantunich, Cahal Pech, Caracol, Altun Ha, Lamanai and Tikal.  We also went to the Rio Frio Cave and the Actun Tunich Muknal Cave.  We spent a day on San Pedro Island and another day on Caye Caulker snorkeling.  The trip was incredible.  While we would not recommend anyone visit Belize City, we would recommend visiting the rest of Belize.  Our favorite area was the Cayo District with all the ruins and caves.  One of the caves had old Mayan pots and even skeletons!  When we were at the ancient ruin sites they let us climb pyramids and even go into some of the tombs.  Having traveled in Mexico and Guatemala before I was surprised at how different Belize seemed.  I suppose that having everyone speak english(Belize's official language) was part of that.  We ate fresh tropical fruit(dragonfruit, pineapple, papaya, banana, watermelons), watched monkeys climb around in the trees, and layed in a hammock loving the warm weather.  Since the trip was too awesome to give every detail there are too many pictures I created a video on youtube.  Check it out!