Thursday, July 31, 2008

Trap Shooting Phenom

In the world before cable TV and 212 hours of programming many of the "lesser" Olympic events were never viewed by more than the few fans in the stands at the venue. One of the events that doesn't get much hype is trap shooting.

Trap shooting is a sport in which men and women shoot at "clay pigeons" (pottery discs) that are launched into the air by a machine. It simulates that flight of birds and the quick aiming and firing necessary to game fowl.

This year 21 year old Corey Cogdell is competing in Women's Olympic Trap Shooting after winning the U.S. trials in the sport. Born and raised in Alaska she started shooting at the age of 3. After her mother passed away when Corey was only 9 years old, her father raised she and her sister on his own. Corey immediately took to hunting and has bagged lots of game (including a moose) over the years.

She didn't become interested in competitive shooting until she joined 4-H and tried trap shooting for the first time. Before long she had a new hobby and was practicing non-stop. She began shooting competitively at the age of 19 and set her sites on the 2012 Olympics in London.

After competing internationally for only 2 years Corey was totally shocked to have won the trials and qualified for the games in Beijing. Corey has more hunting experience than most of the other competitors even though they have more competitive shooting experience. She is by far the youngest member of the team but she can obviously hold her own when it comes to trap shooting.

Corey Cogdell is someone to watch.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Kinley is Two

I can barely believe it but my baby is two years old now.

We didn't do much for her birthday since she isn't really old enough to know what is going on any way. She celebrated at the same pool party that Cainan did two weeks ago and then we had another pool party on her actual birthday.

She had a cheesecake with two candles in it and even managed to blow one of them out without catching her hair on fire. She loved all of her presents; especially her pink pom-poms, toy pots and pans, and cash register. But her favorite gift of all is the 88 cent generic Magna Doodle that we got at Wal-Mart.

We picked one up for each of the kids after seeing how much they loved playing with the ones that my sister keeps in her car for her girls. Our plan was to keep them in the car to entertain them on trips, but they have all loved them so much that they are begging to bring them in the house and play with them.

Considering that we are on vacation it is good timing that we've found a fun, cheap toy to keep them occupied in the car.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Beijing: Who to Watch

You’d have to be deaf and blind not to know that Michael Phelps is swimming for 8 golds this summer to add to his collection of 6 from Athens, making him the most decorated swimmer in Olympic history. Oh yeah, and he's only 23 years old. He is the greatest swimmer in the world right now and you won’t find anyone, of any nationality, that will refute that.

But did you know that there is a 41 year old woman swimming for 2 golds? One in the 50 meter freestyle and one in the 100 meter free? This will be her 5th Olympic games…and she skipped two of them! Her name is Dara Torres and she is approx. 20 years older than most of the women she is swimming against. She smoked everyone at the trials and has a good chance of bringing home the gold again, at least in the 50. Oh yeah, and did I mention she has a two year old daughter and competed in a meet 3 weeks after giving birth?.

Dara Torres is somebody to watch.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Manic Monday

Sunday, July 27, 2008

In Absentia

I'm going to be gone for the next two weeks. We'll be on vacation for a week and then I will be in Mexico on a mission's trip with my church after that.

I've got blog posts scheduled to post in my absence and then when I get back I'll catch you all up on the details from the trips.

See you on the flip side.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Let the Countdown Continue

Well as you can tell by the countdown clock the Olympics are only 13 days away. That means we are starting to get excited around here. Well…I’m starting to get excited…everyone else is pretty oblivious.

Lucky for me VBS coincides with the first week of the games. That means 2 hours of uninterrupted Olympic viewing each night. Yippee! And rest assured there will be plenty of viewing opportunities. According to Sports Illustrated, NBC is offering 212 hours of coverage a day. Yes, every day.

If you don’t have NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, or USA maybe you can catch some events on Telemundo, Oxygen (did anyone know NBC owns that?), Universal HD or NBC even carries enough clout to get the IOC (International Olympic Committee) to schedule the finals of several swimming events and gymnastics in the morning Beijing time so that they will air live in primetime here in the states.

(Let me just tell you, that is a big deal. #1 The IOC doesn’t just change things like that on a whim, #2 it makes it so much better for us. Otherwise, as happened when the Olympics were in Sydney, Australia, you have to be very careful not to watch any news coverage or listen to the radio because they end up telling you the results of events that you plan to watch on TV later that night. It really kills the suspense.)

Anyway, I love the sports at the Olympics but I love the stories behind the athletes even more. So I thought that some of you who have not been watching the various Olympic trials and following the athletes yet this year might enjoy a little background on some of the lesser known participants in Beijing.

Look for athlete bios and fun facts in the coming days in a series called “Beijing: Who To Watch”

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Just because he's proud of himself for mastering a new skill...

Just because he wanted to....

Just because he can...

Just because...

Ryker untied the baseball cleats that have been tied all season and retied them himself just before the game.

(They came untied halfway through the game, but hey, it's a start.)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Summer Fun

I have a really good excuse for not posting anything yesterday.

I was being mugged, robbed, exploited and ripped off!

Yeah, you guessed it. I was at Six Flags.

I went there voluntarily, and only because I had free tickets, but it still makes me mad that they are out there scheming how to get even more money from families out to have a little summer fun. Here is a breakdown of the various costs of going to Six Flags:

Parking: $15 and a 2 mile hike for regular, $18 for preferred, no free areas

Locker Rental: $11 for the smallest size

Tube Rental: (Yes, if you want a tube at the water park you have to RENT one. They do have free ones floating around but they only let a few out and you have to stand in line to wait for them before you can go on a slide. If you have rented a tube of course there are no lines.) $8 or so, not sure because I didn't rent any

Lunch: $20 for one hamburger and fries and a child's popcorn chicken meal, no drinks

Rides: Included in the price of the ticket, right? Nope. Not all of them. There are now a few rides that you have to pay to ride. $20 to be exact for one session on the trampolines and slingshot rides.

Other great things about Six Flags:

You are not allowed to take food inside. Old ladies that check your bags upon entry will throw it away if they find it. Bored teenagers that check your bag will mumble something and pass you on through with all of your junk food intact.

They have a few sand beaches in the water park instead of the customary concrete ones and all of their landscaping has wood mulch around it instead of rock. How very organic, right? How very dirty is more like it. All of that sand and mulch gets tracked out and washed out on to the sidewalks where you have to walk on it all day. Then it washes off of your feet into the water. Nice, huh?

The speed slides open 2 hours after the rest of the waterpark, and only then if enough of the bored teenage workers show up to man them. (A bored teenage worker actually explained this to me.)

There are some rides that do not allow you to take any personal items on them, even if you hold them etc. Some of them have little tubs at the entrance/exit to put your things in while you ride. The ones that don't charge you a $1, 1 time usage locker fee.

In conclusion:


Holiday World is a holiday themed amusement and water park in rural southern Indiana. It is very family oriented and is more fun than any other amusement park I have ever been to.

Our family has always loved Holiday World. (The school only gives free tickets to Six Flags, unfortunately or we wouldn't even darken the doors.) It is the polar opposite of Six Flags.

Parking is free, and includes a shuttle to the front gate of the park.

Soda is free. Yep, just refill your cup at the drink stations all day long.

Sunscreen is free. Yep, just squirt a handful out any time you pass a pump.

Tubes are free and in abundant supply.

No need for lockers. We haul all of our stuff around in a wagon and leave it in a central location. We have never had a single item stolen.

Awesome water park with lots more rides and fun kid play areas than Six Flags.

Adult tickets at Holiday World cost the same as a kids ticket at Six Flags.

I will say that the roller coasters are not as thrilling as those at Six Flags and there aren't as many of them but my kids won't ride any of them anyway. There are plenty of other great rides (Scrambler, Tilt-o-Whirl, Octopus, Swings etc.) that they enjoy.

If you've never been to Holiday World you should really try it some time. You can check it out HERE. Holiday World works for me!

For more great Works For Me Wednesday tips go to Rocks In My Dryer.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Manic Monday

Sunday, July 20, 2008

All Tied Up

It may have been Cainan's birthday but Ryker is the one that reached a milestone this week. He can now tie his shoes all by himself.

Yes, he is 8 1/2 years old and going into 3rd grade. No, he had never tied his own shoe until yesterday.

I'm such a bad mom. He always wanted velcro shoes (because he didn't know how to tie lace up shoes, as it turns out) and I was happy not to have to waste time tying his shoes all the time. Even his baseball cleets we tied once and then he just slips them on and off. I was just plain lazy.

Then yesterday we were at a yard sale and there were some really nice Eddie Bauer shoes on sale for $1. Ryker goes through 3 pair of shoes a school year, so the more cheapie pairs I can get the better. They were the right size and the right price but Ryker didn't want them. He instead picked up a pair of velcro shoes that were still nice but a little more worn. I asked him why he didn't like the nicer ones and he admitted that he liked them a lot but that he couldn't tie shoes so he wouldn't be able to wear them.

I felt like an idiot. So I bought both pairs of shoes and promised him that I would teach him to tie with no problem. He said he had tried before but that it was too hard. I don't know who tried to teach him, a friend probably, but they must not have done a very good job.

A few hours later we were in the car and I took the opportunity to teach him how to tie his new shoes. I tied one as a demonstration while he copied my every move on the other shoe. It took all of five minutes and he had it down. He then mastered the art of double knotting the laces about 30 seconds later and that was it. He was so proud of himself and so excited.

I never even knew he cared. He never acted like it bothered him at all that he didn't know how to tie his shoes. But when I went in to kiss him good night later that night he said, "I'm so glad I can tie now." Then he continued, "I didn't think I could do it because it was so hard the first time I tried it when Daddy tried to teach me. I guess you are just a better teacher."

Ah, hah! Now the truth comes out!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Cainan is Five

Yesterday Cainan had his 5th birthday. When Daddy measured him he had grown a full 2 inches since last year.

We celebrated with a pool party at Uncle Greg's house (since it was also a party for Blair and Kinley). He had a great time swimming and horsing around with his cousins and friends.

Of course he wanted an Indiana Jones themed party so we made a cake with a giant Rice Krispie boulder rolling down on top of the fleeing Indy. He loved it!

He was thrilled with all of his presents (mostly Indiana Jones things), especially his whip. Overall it was a long, but really fun day.
Happy Birthday Cainan!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Bickersons

At Grandma and Grandpa's Place.....

there was always a lot of bickering. Not because Grandma and Grandpa didn't love each other or get along but because Grandpa's favorite past time was aggravating Grandma. He loved nothing more than getting a rise out of her.

Grandma's classic response to to one of Grandpa's jibes was to say, "Now Bill Hayes.....then she would go on to explain all the reasons why he was wrong/unreasonable/ridiculous/etc. I don't know how many times I heard this exchange in my life. But one of the funniest was one that I only heard about later because I wasn't there at the time.

A family friend told us the story of one morning when he went over to buy some hay from Grandpa. After they had loaded his truck Grandpa invited him to come in to the house for a cool drink. As they stepped through the back door and into the kitchen Grandpa whispered conspiratorially, "Watch this."

Grandpa then proceed to go into a mock tirade. He commented loudly to his neighbor, "Look at this. Can you believe it? I had to get out my own bowl this morning. I had to poor my own cereal. Naomi wouldn't take care of me."

At that Grandma came flying out of the bedroom (in a genuine tirade) screeching, "Now, Bill Hayes!" Of course when she saw Ken standing there she was mortified. Ken reported that she immediately adopted the sweetest tone of voice and simply said, "Oh. Hello Ken."

Of course Grandpa thought it was hilarious. He probably chuckled about it all day long.

On this Day in 1979: My Mom, Dad and I were on the second day of our trip to California by car. My sister and my Grandma Kagy flew. Grandpa chased a cow around the pasture trying to remove a wire that was tangled around it's leg. (No word if he was successful or not). Grandma picked green beans and Great Grandma and Great Grandad snapped them. My aunt Amy taught at Bible School and my uncle Shannon hauled wheat to St. Louis.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


On the way in to town last night we spotted a doe deer with twin fawns standing along the side of our road examining some trash that had been thrown in the ditch by some careless passerby.

After all of us commented on how cute the little spotted babies were Ryker chimed in with, "Yeah and did you see that? They wanted some Bud Light." *chuckle chuckle*

Well, I guess it was inevitable. If you watch enough TV, especially St. Louis Cardinal's baseball, you're going to find out about Bud Light. As I was mentally formulating my age appropriate anti-alcoholic beverages speech, I heard some further explanation coming from the back seat.

"You know, those Bud Light sodas. Like on TV. They wanted to drink some soda." *chuckle, chuckle*

Crisis averted...for now.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Precious Memories

I've decided to start a new series on my blog called "At Grandma and Grandpa's Place". I was inspired by the following post by my sister a couple of weeks ago:

There are some things I’ve been wanting to record about my Grandpa Hayes who passed away last December, but just haven’t gotten around to it. Here’s the first installment…

He loved to tell jokes and funny stories. His favorite one to tell about me actually says a lot about him. How mischievous he could be. How he had a soft spot for kids but loved to rile adults (especially women)… The event actually happened when Eric was in the hospital for his burns and Grandma and Grandpa were babysitting me and Crystal. Mom had thought Grandma and Grandpa might need a break, so she arranged for Grandma Kagy to go to their house and pick us up for the night. I guess I balked at the idea of going with Grandma K. and Grandpa obviously didn’t want a break from us, so he planted the idea in my little 3-year-old head that if I threw a big fit when Grandma K. arrived, she might not take me with her! Sure enough when Grandma Kagy came to pick us up, I threw a big one. Grandpa laughingly tells how I ran screeching back and forth on top of the back of the couch, refusing to go with her. She had to leave there without us… after having made the 35 minute drive to gather us in the first place! I, of course, have always thought the story funny but looking on it now as a mom myself, I can imagine how miffed my mom and Grandma K. must have been! He’s a guy, though, against whom, I would imagine, it was hard to hold a grudge.

Grandpa also loved talking about the “old days” and, of course, had kept some antique items. One of which was his mother’s old butter churn. He kept it down in the basement (a vaguely spooky place full of old things where just about the only thing for a kid to do was to write on the chalkboard that hung on the wall). He had warned Eric, now fully recovered from his burns and around 5 or 6 I would guess, not to play with the butter churn, but I suppose Eric didn’t listen because he ended up breaking it.

Grandpa says my dad brought Eric to him and said, “Eric has something he needs to tell you.”

“I broke your butter churn,” and as Grandpa quotes Eric he speaks in a small, little voice with head down turned.

“You broke my churn!?” Grandpa bellows intimidatingly.

Eric, evidently put on the defensive by Grandpa’s reaction, counters boldly, “I thought it was plastic.”

And Grandpa always breaks out laughing at this point, I assume at Eric’s boldness and again at the idea that anything that old could have been made of plastic.

So, once a week (not on a set day) I'll be recording some of my own memories about life at Grandma and Grandpa's Place. I'm also blessed to have my Grandma's diary from 1979 so I'm planning to include some excerpts from that as well. I hope you all enjoy a look into the not so distant past.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Manic Monday

Thursday, July 10, 2008

New Stuff

Check out the new stuff on my sidebar.

I'm sure you've noticed my Olympic countdown widget. Isn't it great?

There is also a Spanish Word of the Day that will help you increase your Spanish vocabulary.

Don't forget my Reading List and the accompanying book reviews too if you are interested in finding some good reads.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Why Me?

Why can't I be the one that...

doesn’t even know when the property taxes are due?

leaves the mayonaise out on the table?

never shuts the car door, garage door, screen door, bathroom door?

just throws my dirty clothes on the floor knowing they will magically be cleaned for me?

doesn’t care if the house is locked at night?

never buys a gift for anyone?

doesn't carry a checkbook, band-aids or chapstick?

sleeps soundly through every single night?

doesn’t know the date or time of any event and yet someone always gets me ready and has me there on time anyway?

Or as Hillary Swank said in "P.S. I Love You":
“Why do I have to be the mature adult who worries? Why can’t I be the cute Irish guy that sings all the time?”

Someday (probably when I'm old and senile) I'll be the cute Irish lady that sings all the time. I can't wait...well I wouldn't mind putting off the senility for a few more years.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


1 sleepover campout

6 boys

5 hours of sleep

0 blog posts

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Conversations on the Way Home From Church

Mom: So, what was your lesson about today, Ryker?

Ryker: Well, we actually talked a little bit at the beginning about Transformers.

Mom: Why did you talk about Transformers?

Ryker: Because our lesson was about how God can transform us.

Cainan: (in awe and wonder) How does God transform us??!!

Mom: (realizing that Cainan is picturing God ripping us limb from limb as he twists us into new robotic creatures) Transform just means change. God can change people's hearts.

Ryker: Yeah. Like he makes us want to be good and obey him.

Cainan: (slightly disappointed) Oh.

Ryker: Now do you understand?

Cainan: Yeah, most of it. I understand all about the Transformer part I just don't understand about the God part.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Patriotic Pestering

Here is the Fourth of July version of harassing your older brother.

Rykie Doodle
(Sung very sarcastically to the tune of Yankee Doodle)

Rykie Doodle went to town

riding on a pony

Kissed a girl on the lips

then ate a pepperoni

Friday, July 4, 2008

Lessons From Ditto-Land

This week we hired a babysitter and I spent one day out working with Brian to help him finish a construction project he was doing. It involved painting. Brian does not paint.

Anyway...working with Brian means two things. Huge fountain drinks from Motomart and Rush Limbaugh....two things I avoid when I'm on my own.

The fountain drinks are ok. I love the little pellet ice, but I could live without the soda. The Limbaugh on the other hand...ugh! I don't disagree with what he says necessarily, in fact I agree with a lot of it, but its just that arrogant, know-it-all attitude that drives me crazy. But this time he actually had a story that did interest me quite a bit.

He was talking about how these high gas prices are hitting everyone hard and he played a sound bite from an interview with a gentleman who was lamenting all of the changes he has had to make in his life because of the outrageous gas prices. This gentleman said that now his wife takes the subway to work everyday, they don't let their teenage daughter drive her car around just for fun anymore, he walks to work and they just keep their car in the garage and use it for emergencies.

Hello! You lived close enough to walk to work? Your wife had mass transit available to her? Your daughter was just driving around for no good reason? This is why we need billions of gallons of oil a year! This is why we have cities full of pollution! This is why our environment suffers! Here are three people who did not even need to drive cars at all who were driving them every day just because they could!!!

What is wrong with walking, taking the subway, staying home? This is not a sacrifice. This is common sense. This is good stewardship of your own resources. This gas crisis is a good thing if it teaches people these truths.

Note: This was not the point Rush was making by the way. He was saying that Democrats enjoy the oil crisis because it mostly adversly effects the working middle class in the Red states. Whatever.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

One, Two, Three, Four

This week we had a specific challenge for WFMW. We had to come up with a recipe that uses 5 or less ingredients. One, Two, Three, Four was the first thing that popped into my mind.

It is a yummy and completely unhealthy dessert. The name is also a reminder of the recipe. Here it is.

1, 2, 3, 4 Dessert

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
4 eggs

Mix the four ingredients together and spread 2/3 of the mixture onto a cookie sheet. Dump 2 cans of pie filling on top of the mixture and then drop dollops of the reserved mixture on top of the pie filling.

Bake at 350 for 30 mins.

Nothing could be easier.

For oodles more 5 ingredient or less recipes head over to Rocks In My Dryer.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Sally Lunn Batter Bread

For Kitchen Tip Tuesday I thought I would share one of my favorite bread recipes. This one is super easy. As a matter of fact I handed Brian the recipe card last night and he made the bread from scratch with no help from me and it turned out great!!! He had never made any kind of yeast bread's that easy.

Sally Lunn Batter Bread

1 pkg. active dry yeast
1/2 c. warm water
1 c. warm milk
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/4 c. sugar
2 t. salt
3 eggs
5-6 c. flour

In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, butter, sugar, salt, eggs and 3 c. flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Do not knead!

Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Stir the dough down. Spoon into a greased and floured 10 inch tube pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to wire rack. Serve warm with honey butter.
For more great kitchen tips and recipes click here.