Archive for February, 2012

Stones River 2012

February 28, 2012

We recently took advantage of the beautiful weather to take a field trip.  The plan was to go to the Headquarters of the Sons of Confederate Veterans called Elm Springs and then to go hiking at Stones River National Park.  We left a little later than I had hoped, but that is normal for us.  It does take a while to get everyone ready.  We headed out to Elm Springs.  We got there, found out how to enter the place and asked if tours were available.  We were told, “Not today.”  There was a big event that week and the house was filled up with tables and chairs.  We will have to come back.  We did go to the shop and it was quite nice.  On our way to the shop we passed through the library.  After a little shopping, we asked if we could check out the displays in the library.  They had a model of the iron clad ship CSS Tennessee.  It was impressive.  There were  a lot of details in that little model.  There were a lot of other things as well.  The little children’s’ favorite part by far was the bathroom.  They had an old toilet with the tank up on a pole and you needed to pull the chain th flush.  Veronica nearly fell over because the flush was thunderous!  Sadly, I did not get a single picture.  But, I’m sure we’ll go back there again.

We went on to Stones River National park.  In a past life, one of my favorite hobbies was hiking.  The last several years that has been difficult with so many littles.  We attempted it again.  We did one of the “scout hikes” that was about 3 1/2 miles.  Along the way, Kevin found a honey tree which was a cedar with a hole.  There were a lot of bees in and out of it.  There are also some neat gorges in places that were found.  Before we hiked, we went in the museum, picked up some Junior Ranger books and watched the 8 minute movie.  We need to go back just to see that again now that we have walked around.  We ran out of time.  It amazed me that everyone made the hike well.  Vincent slept most of the time in my back back.  Veronica did have to be bribed to do that last quarter or so with a reward of a granola bar.  It was quite encouraging, as it looks like we’ll be hiking more this spring.  However, Veronica was a bit traumatized.  She says that she does not want to go back and told me, “Actually,  you can leave me home next time.”  We went to the cemetery.  The children noticed that all the federal were buried there.  They forgot to ask about the Confederates.  We know that at Shiloh great pains were taken to bury the Federals in individual graves while Confederate bodies were disposed of in mass pit graves.  But, I digress!

It was a beautiful day, so please enjoy the pictures!

At the start of our hike…

Kevin on a rock!

At the “Slaughter Pen”

While her siblings were working on their Junior Ranger books, Veronica was ready to play there for the rest of our visit.  Unfortunately, we had little less than half the hike left.

Being sworn in as Junior Rangers at Stones River.


February 20, 2012

John & Philip Rivers 1

John has waiting a long time to meet…(who is that blurry man?)

San Diego Quarter back Philip Rivers.

Last night Joe and John went to hear both Philip Rivers and Deacon Alex Jones speak at a men’s conference.  (Doesn’t John look small there?  He’s actaully taller than me!)  Both John and Joe said that the speakers were excellent.  After the speaking engagement, they hung around to see if they could meet Mr. Rivers.  John didn’t want to “bother” him, so Joe went and asked to get a picture.

As parents, we would like to thank Philip Rivers for being such a wonderful role model, not only football player, but Catholic husband and father.

John’s Super Bowl XLVI Preview

February 2, 2012

Once again we have John’s expert preview of the Superbowl this year, 2012.  Although he doesn’t have much interest in this one (doesn’t care for either team), he’s on the ball with his commentary.

**Edited to add… I have nothing to do with the ads below.   As a matter of fact, I didn’t even know they were there until we looked at the post on Joe’s computer.

Without further adieu….

Super Bowl XLVI Preview

by John Vogel

This year, I must admit, we have a great match up.  Super Bowl XLVI features the New England Patriots, best team in the AFC, facing the red hot New York Giants, supposedly the worst team in the NFC to enter the playoffs this season.

The Patriots (15-3) defeated Tim Tebow and this “Orange crush,” 45-10, and then the Baltimore Ravens, 23-20, in the AFC Championship.  Tom Brady was one of the two quarterbacks to defeat Dan Marino’s 27 year old record for the most passing yards in a season as he tossed for 5235 yards and a 2nd career best 39 touchdowns.  (His career best is an NFL record of 50 scores.)  The Patriots have a reliable running back, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who in the past 3 years, has not fumbled in his NFL career.  Wide receiver Wes Welker lead the NFL with an astonishing 122 catches.  (The record is 143, held by Marvis Harrison, an ex-Indianapolis Colt.)  Welker also had his 4th career 100 reception season (tying an NFL record held by Harrison.)  Welker also took those catches and gained an AFC 2011 best 1569 yards.  (The NFL record is 1848, held by ex-49er Jerry Rice.)  As if that is not enough, the Patriots have 2nd year tight end Rob Gronkowski who caught 90 passes for 1327 yards, and an astonishing 17 touchdowns (4th best in NFL history, best for a tight end.)  Super Bowl XXXIX MVP Deion Branch returns to the team after being a clutch receiver in Seatle.  The defense though, is not impressive.  It allowed 323 points this year, 10 more than last year.  The net difference, although (thanks to the offense) is 193 points, which means the offense scored 513 points (all this does not include the playoffs.)  Earlier this season, remember that the Giants did beat the Patriots 23-20.

As for the Giants, Eli Manning, brother of Peyton, has proved his boast correct:  He is an elite NFL quarterback.  Manning himself threw for 4933 yards and 29 touchdowns during the regular season, and found himself a new favorite target; second year free agent wide receiver Victor Cruz.  Cruz made 82  catches for 1536 yards, an NFL 3rd best and a league high 18.7 yards per reception.  Another fact is this guy wasn’t drafted.  Hakeem Nicks racked up 1143 yards receiving this year as well, so this passing attack is talented.  The running game flopped in the regular season, but running backs Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs have renewed their attacks and combined for over 400 yards in the past three games.  But the real strength of this team lies in the defense.  Defencive linemen Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Unameria have been incredible.  They have combined for 32 sacks, Jason on top with 18 of them and 80+ tackles.  The linebackers were better than average, and the secondary intercepted a second NFC best 20 passes.

I expect Tom Brady to struggle through the first quarter, but get an idea of the defensive schemes, and attack all through the second half.

The Score

New England      20

New York            23

The MVP:  Quarterback Eli Manning, 300+ yards

Please leave your predictions and comments below!  Thank you!