December 18, 2014

"The Stars at Night are Big and Bright..."

Last week, Derek's company sent him on a hunt for his show, Bowhunter. He joined the Bowhunter Magazine Equipment Editor at an outfitter "Deep in the Heart of Texas" near San Antonio, Texas, closer to Sonora, TX.

He traveled with a couple camera guys (Derek was only hunting this time and didn't even have to run a camera) and arrived at the ranch, a 16,000 acre low fence ranch.

They were hunting whitetail deer, axis deer and wild hogs.  There were rules about the age of any buck you shoot, the outfitter wanted them to be at least 4 1/2 years old.  It's up to the hunter to determine this by the size and shape of the body.  The first morning Derek passed up this whitetail buck because he wasn't positive on the it's age, and really hoped he wouldn't regret it later.
(Spoiler Alert: He did!) 

He saw animals, but nothing he was looking for. 

He called me to update me and talk a little when he could.
To do so, he had to climb this water tower to have enough cell service!

Apparently the view was good.  :)

 And on day two of three, Derek got a hog.
Mostly because it spooked away the buck he was hoping to get!
Derek's tip to hunters: "Don't pass on the first day, what you would gladly take on the last day."

We were happy for him, and really happy to see him when he got home.

And the boys were thrilled he brought home part of an axis deer antler.

We had something else to share with the boys that night too...
We read a riddle to reveal a surprise.  But they didn't guess it as fast as we expected.  Ha!

We had fun 'breaking the news' to them, and after the shock wore off, they had lots of sweet questions and they can't wait until June!   (The due date is June 22nd.)

December 16, 2014

Trimming the Tree

It took a couple days, but we finally got around to decorating our tree.
Derek helped get the lights and star on.

Then the boys went at it with ornaments.


While I untangled more and handed to them of to them.

...which left glitter everywhere.

There were periodic breaks for snacks and to watch Daddy get ready for his hunting trip.

We don't have a fireplace so we hung stockings on the shelf. 

Not perfect... but perfectly DONE!

December 15, 2014

Trekking with a Tree

After we saw Santa at BPS, we headed over to Lowe's to grab a Christmas Tree!
(The cheap/easy way this year)

We looked around for the one we wanted to take home.

And then we quickly choose one when the employees urged us to hurry since they were closing the garden center doors in a few minutes... ha. But we found this one and it would work just fine.

Derek set it on top of the car.

Then Cooper helped tie it down.

He was pretty happy about his first time doing this job.

Tied down or not, it was rolling around a little.  Or maybe we could just tell it was since we could see it through the sun roof.  So Derek opened the sun roof and held on to it when needed... ha.

We got home and rearranged the living room just slightly to make room...

And Derek carried the tree inside.

The boys helped get it in the stand.  Derek was a good sport. His annual quote about his task is: "This is such a mess."  :)   And after last years tree trauma, I was just hoping it didn't tip over.  Twice.

While Derek finished, the rest of us moved on to hot cocoa.

Or at least whipped cream.

And applying tattoos acquired from Santa.

Tree up, standing and ready for decorations!

But it was bedtime so that would have to wait.

December 12, 2014

Bass Pro Shop Santa

We had a busy week, but squeezed in a little trip over to our Bass Pro Shop.
Because Santa's wonderland had arrived!!
Cooper started out the fun by driving a remote control truck.

Next up target practice.
(With Derek while I waited in the line to see Santa)

Miles gave it a try too.


And when I was near the front of the line, they joined me.

Miles ran toward Santa when it was our turn.

But stopped short when Santa said it was time for a cookie first. :)

He called them onto his lap and they got some serious Santa time because the photo paper had run out on the people before us and it took quite a while for them to change it.  Cooper and Miles gave Santa quite a list in the amount of time they were given!  And talked about all kinds of other things.

Then they smiled for the camera.

Said goodbye to Santa and posed again while we waited for our photo to print.

Then we headed over to the carousel. 

Where Miles picked a black bear to ride on.

And Cooper chose a polar bear.

There was more target practice.

And craft/ornament making.

Which Miles tried to burn in the fake fire.
  
We browsed the store a little too.

Played with guns.

And said Hello to Bonnie Blue.

And Miles wanted to buy this stuffed possum.
Um, no.

It's officially Christmas season, we've seen the BPS Santa!