Man o man, where did I leave off? My sister and her Dick have come and gone... another hilarious visit to jot down in the memory book of our lives.
Two weeks later we enjoyed a weekend in Noel, Missouri for the annual Chicken Coop... and outdoor steel dart tournament filled with camping, drunks and darts. Not to mention the occasional drunk streaker running through camp. This thing has been going on for almost 30 years, and Andy and I are proud to say this was our second year there, just the beginning of another Coop family. We were introduced to the Coop by our friend Chris, who has been a Coop family member since he was 17 when his father Leon took him. They are truly Coop legends and a blast to party with. Leon wasn't able to make it this year, the first one he's missed in over 17 years, but Andy kept the spirit going with Bloody Mary's every morning. He learned from the Master himself, Leon, and everyone really enjoyed them. So much so, Chris was a blithering idiot Friday morning by 9 am. The guys decided to take a bath in the river, bar of soap and all. Andy managed to make it out of the water before his balls shrunk to nothingness, but Chris on the other hand, barely made it up the bank, crawling on all fours, slobbering and laughing so hard he almost choked. I know CPR, but I sat back and laughed. Besides, he's a big ole country boy and there was no way I could drag him up the bank.
I played in my first steel tip tourney this year and I had a blast! I brought my tequila to the dart tent (looks like a huge circus tent with 30+ dart boards all lined up) and ended up playing until the wee hours. When I was put out of the tourney, Andy was still in and we didn't leave the tent until 4 am. Then we were up at 8 getting ready for the kids tournament. I'm pretty sure we were still hammered, but I don't remember much of that morning.
I also learned to "chalk" this trip. Because they are all steel boards, there are no fancy bells and whistles that tell you the score. You have to have a semi-sober person at the board with an erasable marker jotting down every mark on the white board... mind you, there are 4 guys behind you, drunk, with sharp, pointy, steel-tip darts hurling them at the board next to your head. Talk about anxiety! I turned into a completely tequila-induced state of dyslexia. Not a good thing when there is money on the line. All the guys were very nice and hollered out their numbers to me b/c for some
We ended the 4-day weekend on Sunday with the annual auction. Each year, the Coop families bring an item to be auctioned off and all the proceeds go to a charity. Come to find out, the charity is actually a Coop family who is in need of financial help. That gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling... and next year Andy and I plan on having something nice to donate to the auction. I think the Coop will be a tradition Andy and I will have a for a long time.
Another two weeks goes by and we are camping at Canton Lake for Father's day. This is the lake where Andy grew up. This is the lake where his grandparents lived, where his father took him and his brothers and sisters camping and fishing and hunting. This place has a million memories for him. The kids all had a blast and we enjoyed the company of Andy's brother and sister-in-law. Kye, the sister-in-law has taken me on as an apprentice to be an "expertive camp woman" and with her help, I'll be in tip-top shape before long. Andy carried the Leon Chicken Coop Bloody Mary tradition on to the family camping trip and everyone really enjoyed it. Sunday morning after we were all packed up and ready to leave, Andy took us on a tour of the lake and shared his most prized memories at the lake with the kids and I. He was totally nostalgic and it was a nice cherry on the Father's Day cake; we all got to see his face beam with pride and joy as he shared his childhood with his family. I hope we can continue the tradition and make this a sacred place for our kids, and one day they will share it with their families.
And that brings us to today! Andy started his new position on Monday. I'm so truly proud of this man. A year ago when he transferred to Headquarters, he said there was more opportunity for advancement... and boy did he find it! He's definitely moving up that corporate ladder and I couldn't be more happy for him. I think he secretly wants to be a Trooper, but I know the training is what holds him back... he doesn't want to be away from his family that long. They have strict no communication rules, and I don't think he'd be very compliant. So, to avoid that, I think he's unconsciously finding a way to reach his goals another way. Either way, I'm going to support him every step of the way. He's an amazing man and totally deserves it!
The kids and I went yesterday to have family pics made. Andy's ex-wife has a cousin who works at Moto Photo and she gave us a hella discount. No sitting fee (and there were 5 of us) plus 50% off everything I bought. Cool huh? I got 13 sheets for just over $100! The kids looked fantastic and did all their cutest cheesy smiles and poses without getting beat! I get to pick them up today after 5:30 and I can't wait! I'll have to scan them in and post them, hopefully tomorrow.
I think that about sums up the last month of our lives lol. It should be nice and quiet (HA) around here until I go back to school July 8th and we don't have anything else big planned until our end of July trip to Florida. We are driving this year and taking the two older girls with us... that should be an entertaining road trip. Then we are taking my sisters two kids home with us from Florida and keeping them for a week. So the ride back will be TWICE as fun as the trip there lol. I guess I should start looking for a luggage rack or I'm going to end up strapping kids to the roof of the minivan.
Hope everyone has a wonderful week! I'm going to try and read up on some blogs that I've been missing out on for the last month!
Oh -- update on the possible adoption: The lady isn't quite ready to give him up yet, so we are sitting that one on the back burner. She knows she's got the option of a loving family if/when she gets to that point. Thank you all for your feedback on that one, we certainly needed an outside view!