Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fishing Post, by Samuel

The fish of childhood;  The Bluegill.:)
Here we are over halfway through 2012 and I still have to put a post about last years fishing success.  With part of this summer gone and a whole summer besides that has gone unrecorded I've got some serious work to do.  I decided to put our latest big fishing trip on here as well although it isn't from 2011.  I will probably try to put up another post later on my thirteenth birthday fishing trip which ,the plan is to go camping at Stonewall Jackson Lake.  Mean while, here is the best of the JAS(Jones Angling Society.)
The second biggest bass I've caught; 1 1/2 pounds and thirteen inches long.  Getting there but not quite.
An early morning Cheat lake Green sunfish.

This ugly fella was a huge milestone in my humble angling career.  A wonderful17 inch catfish caught out of a 1 acre pond.  I think it weighed like 1 1/2 -2 pounds.  It was a fighter by nature and gave me quite a tussle for it's size.  (Although I did have a bad reel with the drag set way too light.)
One of a couple of hefty six pound or so bass that were being kept in an aquarium in Pittsburgh with several walleye for company.  Who asked those skinny  recluses to share a tank with hallowed American sport fish?!
This a picture from our most recent full sized fishing trip (To Stonewall Jackson Lake) and it is of a lure owned by Benjamin.  It's called a prop bait and this particular prop bait is called a Heddon tiny torpedo, and it is in a frog pattern(D'you follow me?).  The small propellers at the back of the lure spin in the water and emit noise and vibrations to all hungry bass and other game fish.  
This is Ben with a keeping sized eight inch bluegill that voraciously took a night crawler. That was like a signal for us because up till then we had ignored the spot where he was fishing, when we cast bobbers and night crawlers out there we were pulling in enough bluegill to sink a boat.  The place produced so many fish that we ran through at least four dozen night crawlers and were almost aching from pulling in the feisty sunfish. 
This is from the same spot.  This was Calvin's first fish and it was extraordinary because up til then we had caught mostly bluegills.  This was a large green sunfish that was probably big enough to eat, but we let it go.
Still at that spot and it was still producing large fat bluegills with incredible consistency.  This is dad with a small one.
This was a different area of the lake that was very different from the other.  It produced a large spotted bass as well as this small Largemouth that Will caught off of a night crawler.  Ben was still churning out fair sized pan fish from a spot on the steep bank and sat there for at least a half hour hauling them in before we left.  We have already caught several nice fish as well as new species this year.  For new species we have caught our first Yellow Perch, our first Rock Bass, And our first Smallmouth Bass.  The biggest fish of the  last few months were two huge 10 inch bluegills caught in a catch and release pond and a nice fat 18 1/2 inch catfish caught by me at the same spot.  That one weighed an estimated three pounds.  I also caught another thirteen inch bass on the river that is now in the freezer, with several other deceased victims of our effective angling strategies.  We have already had an outstanding year as far as angling goes and are contemplating fishing in a tournament or two next year.  Hope to write again soon about the JAS.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Math, Lunch, Tintin & Cookies / *Everyday Life*

 This has been an unusual summer.  We have actually added to the school load and have neglected much of the normal summer activity we usually engage in.  This is due to: 1)moving this school year and losing a lot of time, 2)a new baby arriving this fall, also causing a certain amount of school time lost, and 3)younger kids ready to move up a level and get going on some new curriculum. 

 Not much is different for Sam and Will.  They are doing some catch up on a few subjects that they are a little behind on.  But Ben has started grammar and we are trying to fly through the first year curriculum to get him started on the second year for this upcoming school year.  He was suddenly *ready* to take off this spring and so we are schooling away.  Also, I ordered new math curriculum for he and Calvin.  After years of using the same math for all of the boys, I finally re-invested and got Saxon.  So glad I did.  I had avoided it because it is so involved.  Now I see that I just need to put in the time because it is so worth it and the results are astounding.  They are loving it.  I started Calvin and Ben at the same level because I wanted Ben to re-learn certain things, properly.  Because of this we are also trying to get a lot of this done so that Ben can catch up and be at his capability level as soon as possible.  

And Amelia.  :)  She can't stand to see all this school going on and not be included.  She was SO ready that I couldn't put it off anymore.  We ordered her Kindergarten phonics and the first level of Saxon math for her to start.  Yes, she's loving it and I am full-up-to-my-eyebrows with lessons with children this summer!  
The pictures show everyone jumping in on a math lesson using their new *balance*.  One of the delights and benefits of Saxon is the heavy use of math manipulatives.  So hands on, so much fun.
 Lunch for Eli.  (In his "new" chair)
 Ah yes, peanut butter finger food.  Usually indicative of a nap next. 
Just watching an episode of an old, animated Tintin series on Netflix, on the computer.  A fun treat.
 Cookies.  For a picnic.  Thanks, Will!  And great job including your little brother who had a wonderful time!
Our rule is that if you cook it, you get to taste some at the end, if you want to. Yum!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Power Outtage/Fire Pit

When a big storm swept through our area several weeks ago, leaving thousands of people without electricity, we were briefly included in that number.  Our power was off for almost exactly 48 hours.  Several of our friends from church, who live further south than us, had no power for 5-7 days.
For us, it was a little bit like having a spontaneous camping trip.  We quickly finished up the firepit that we had started forming and gathered wood and brush for our first fire in it. 
 He looks so big here.  He loved the fire, of course.  :)
 We put together foil packets of ground meat and vegetables, cooked them in the fire, then ate out on the deck. 
And then finished it off with s'mores.  Might as well make it fun!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Happy 35th Birthday, Peter!

 "Halfway to 70!"  says Peter about his birthday.
One lucky guy, or rather blessed man.  :) 

 And the traditional scavenger hunt for the gifts.

William is the one who enjoys riddles, writing and games in general.  He spent a good bit of the afternoon writing all of the clues and setting up the hunt.  What a great gift to his dad!  Here's the first clue he wrote:  "Your first clue on this paper abides, I'll give you a riddle to solve.  Where dogs get burnt and ground beef sizzles for mercy on my racks.  Steel, iron, that's what I'm made of, and fire flickers in my maw.  What am I?  If this riddle goes unsolved, you will not gain what it holds."

 He's found another one.  

 He's ready now to open his cards and gifts.

A card from Cecily.  Actually, I believe there were three.
 A gift picked out by Millie.

Next is Calvin.
 And Benjamin.

A gift card from his parents-in-law.
 And books.  Now to get some time and quiet to actually read....

Cake to finish it off.  How happy it made us all to celebrate Peter's birthday with him.  He means so very much to us.

Monday, July 2, 2012

My Friend

My friend Kellen.  And her son, Zane.  I like them a lot.  The end.