Hay

When we lived in Charlestown, Farmer Frazier would bring us our hay as round bales, deposit them in the pasture, and we’d be good. Here in Scottsburg, we have our own hay field.  Because we don’t have a tractor to move round bales, we have Farmer Todd put up our hay in square bales.  First he cuts the hay, rakes it into rows, and then bales it.

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As the hay is baled, we load it onto the pickup truck and bring it back to the barn.  The boys sit on top so no bales fall off, so they don’t have to walk, and because it’s cool.

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Then the hay is put onto our borrowed hay elevator…

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where it rides up to the hayloft…

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and someone takes it off the hay elevator.

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Once the bale is on the floor, the “pushers” push the bale over to where it’s being stacked up.

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You have a couple of “stackers”, bigger guys who are taking a break from riding the truck, who take the hay bales and lift them up to their place on the stack.

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And last, but not least, you thank all of your friends who came and helped you, before you sit back and admire your full hay loft.

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Hay is exhausting, but it’s pretty important to keeping the goats happy and healthy all year-long!

Brett

Colorful Bedrooms

When they painted our bedrooms, we were that much closer to living in our bedrooms. We still needed carpet, lights, switches, trim, doors, and a whole lot more, but the rooms were very colorful.

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Which made all of us beyond excited!

Brett

 

 

Building Forts in the Woods

My children tend to be very creative and make use of existing materials when they want to build something.  So what do we have in abundance around here?  Dozens and dozens of empty coconut oil buckets.

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We usually take them to a local place to recycle.  But apparently the boys got “inspired” and decided to put them to a different use.  So they dragged them into the woods.

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To outline a fort that they eventually want to construct.

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And they made flags out of garbage bags.boys building forts_blog_3

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And added some pallets.

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I’m not sure what Jade thinks of their plan.

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But I know that Jim isn’t too pleased with them “littering” our woods.  I think he’s given them a couple of days  and then they need to clean it up and use downed tree limbs instead!

PJ

 

 

Boys Will Be Boys

Boys will be boys – they will turn straws into fangs:

Boys will be boys – they will play in the mud:

Boys will be boys –  they will wrestle anyone that will let them:

Boys will be boys –  they will play football as much as they can:

Boys will be boys – they will do dangerous things, like shoot arrows:

Boys will be boys – they will climb the tallest things they can find:

Boys will be boys – they will play with castles and knights as often as they can:

Boys will be boys – they will love everyone that comes their way.

 

Brett

Suspension Bridge

During our entire visit, Colter had been begging for us to hike to the Suspension Bridge, on the Sheltowee Trace Trail.

Sheltowee Trace is a 282 mile trail.

And Colter wanted us to hike to the suspension bridge on it.

282 miles.

I was not that thrilled. 

But Dad did a little research, and found out that the bridge was only about a half a mile from one of the places you can get on the trail. So on our last full day, we drove there to hike it.

It was an OK trail, as trails go. Unfortunately, there was poison ivy everywhere. And because of all the wind/rain there were a bunch of trees down blocking the trail.  But the boys actually liked scrambling over the trees.

It was quite an adventure trying to get Jade (my hiking buddy) through all of that. Thankfully we were walking with Mom, Dad, and Indigo.

On most of the trails we hike, the older four boys run ahead (mom says it’s a guy thing). This time, they all ran ahead, but they waited for us to show us this:

Yes, that is a pile of swallowtail butterflies. There were some black swallowtails, yellow swallowtails, and some zebra-tails. At least, that is what Emery told me.  It was really cool. Butterflies kept coming, and going. We are not exactly sure what they were doing, we just know that it was really pretty.

This is what we look like on most of our hikes. Dad goes ahead, checking for more poison ivy.  I hold Jade’s hand, trying to prevent her from going off the trail. (On one side was massive amounts of poison ivy, on the other side was a very swollen Red River.  I keep Jade’s blanket over my arm (so it doesn’t drag in the poison ivy) while Indi and Mom bring up the rear.

And most of the time, we can’t even see the boys. Every once in a while we will see the flash of a red shirt, or the back of a head. But that is about it. Until we reach our destination.

Then the boys decide they want to do something stupid. I’m not sure why. Probably because they are boys.

They decided that they all wanted to hang, by their feet and hands, on the suspension bridge.

I will never understand boys. Here Colter decided that he was going to stand up on the railing. I just don’t get why he thought that would be awesome?

On our way back to the Hulk, we saw Chimney Top Rock. Indi and Jade thought that it was really cool that we hiked all the way up there!

 
When we got back to the house, Mom told us all to strip, leave our clothes, shoes, and hats by the washing machine, and go wash every square inch of ourselves to make sure nobody got poison ivy.  Mom was really mad at herself because she forgot to pack the jewelweed soap that we make for poison ivy. 
 
I got to take the little girls in the shower with me. Guess what?
 
Colter took all of the hot water. 
 
I’m not kidding. We had lukewarm water for the first thirty seconds. Then it went to chilled, then freezing. Have you ever had two little girls in the shower with you, you have to get them completely clean, and somebody else took all the hot water?
 
Trust me, not fun. I ended up wetting them, and then soaping them, rinsing them, shampooing their hair, not putting in the conditioner, rinsing them completely off, and then giving them a towel and telling them to go get dressed while I washed myself. 
 
They were smart.
 
They put on their bathing suits.
 
I got dressed. 
 
They went and sat in the hot tub. 
 
I sat, shivering on the couch, hoping that my sweater would get out of the dryer soon. 
 
I think that Colter was the only one who was really happy. 
 
He got to go to the suspension bridge. 
 
He got to have a hot shower. 
 
He got to go in the hot tub. 
 
Oh well, at least I got to get some exercise and enjoy the pretty trail!
 

Brett

Surprise Vacation, Day Two

After our exciting day, most of us slept well. Actually, everyone except me. LOL

So when we all woke up, we ate breakfast and unpacked. The night before Mom had promised the boys that she would teach them to play pool, since there was a pool table in the cabin. So Mom and the boys did that, and the girls and I unpacked more stuff, and cleaned the kitchen from breakfast.

When we were done with all that, we headed out to go see the Natural Bridge. When we got there, we saw that the chair lift did not open till 10:00, and it was only 9:00.

Since we had an hour on our hands, we decided that we were just going to play in the parking lot (Mom even thought to ask Ms. Gretchen to get balls and outside play stuff).  But as we were parking, Mom saw a sign about black bears.  When we drove over to read it (we didn’t walk b/c it was still chilly out), we noticed that there was a trailhead right there.

Mom decided that we were going to do the trail instead of playing in the parking lot, because the sign said it was only a 3/4 mile trail.

Along the way there were a lot of “step-rocks” as Jade calls them. Indigo especially liked the ones that had “pixie dust” on them (they were sparkling). The little girls loved the step-rocks!

There were lots of opportunities to have photo shoots.  Actually, there were a lot of good places for photos, but finding the boys, who always ran ahead, was not so easy.

Then we came to the crossroads. We could turn around and go back to the chair lift, or we could walk another mile to the natural bridge.

We walked.

All of the boys had run ahead, and were exploring several nooks and crannies. You know, carefully checking for poison ivy, barging in to “make sure there were no bears around”. The one problem was, that after climbing up off the trail, they had to get down.

Emery slipped.

He ended up sliding down on his butt, through the mud, getting his pants very muddy, giving himself a wedgie, and making all of us laugh our heads off.

Then Indi and Jade wanted to take a picture with Mom and Dad in the “cave”. So I took one for them.

And then Jade saw this really cool looking swirly rock. She wanted a picture with that too!

And then we saw the natural bridge. It was huge!! If you look closely, up at the top, you can see Colter and Emery’s heads.

 
We let Dad have a moment to just soak up the beauty that was all around him. Then we took the opportunity to  get a couple of good shots of Mom and Dad. 

Dad wanted to get in a back shot. Good advertising he said. 

Then Indi and Jade wanted portrait shots too! Indigo gave me a nice sweet face.

And then Jade came with  typical Jade face.

I think it is pretty cute!

All of the boys decided to pass the time while Mom and Dad were still on the bridge by having a huge Numbers Game tournament. (Thanks a lot, Trevor and Emily!)

Jade got bored, and decided to play in the dirt.

After we were all ready, we took a few more pictures, and headed for the sky lift.

When we got off the chair lift, we went to the gift shop and bought some fudge. It was really yummy (but not as yummy as our goat milk fudge)!!

I am so glad that we were able to visit Natural Bridge. It was so beautiful!

 

Brett

Another Surprise!

My Mom is an amazing Mom. She loves us, takes care of us, and even manages to find the energy to cook up, not only one surprise, but two! (Here is the first surprise)

On Dad’s birthday, we all woke up at about 8:30. Mom called Ms. Gretchen and she picked up donuts for us (we had been too busy to make breakfast birthday cake).  We had a meeting at 7:00 that night, so we got our work done and left at about 3:00 to go and play before the meeting.

First we went to Pizza Hut – yummmm!!!  Then we headed to our possible new property.  We explored some, marked the dogwoods and red-buds (Dad’s favorites), and planned where things would go. When we were done, it was almost 6:00. So we all put on our white “Goat Milk Stuff” t-shirts and headed to our meeting.

After the meeting, we all got in the car and got buckled while Mom and Dad talked to Lincoln (our Realtor). Hewitt went to the back of the Hulk to get, and eat, the leftover donuts.

As we were driving home, I heard Mom tell Dad to drive past our exit. He said OK. I was keeping an eye out, and as soon as we passed our exit I asked Mom, “Hey Mom, where are we going?” She said, “south”.

I tried several more times, but I could not get anything out of her.

We got down to Clarksville, and Colter looked up from whatever he was doing, and said, “Dad, did you know you passed the exit?”

Mom said yes.

He asked where we were going. Mom said, “South”.

Then all of the other boys tried.

Emery:  “Mom, where are we going?”

Mom: “South.”

Fletcher: “Mom, where are we going?”

Mom: “South.”

That happened several times. Then we started asking questions. She replied, “Not telling.” (or other things like that.) It was driving the boys nuts.

(OK, it was driving me nuts. )

We were almost into Louisville when she said, “Now I will answer some questions”.

She was shot with a volley of questions, the most frequent one being “Where are we going??”

She answered a few questions, and then said that she would answer more later.

By now it was dark. Mom answered some more questions, including “How long till we get there?” The answer was about 2 hours.

Then Emery asked if he was going to have to milk the goats. I can see why he was worried! It was 9:00, and Mom said two more hours… Then getting back… We had already been driving a half an hour… Yeah, I can definitely see why he was worried!

Mom said no, Bekah was milking. Emery heaved a HUGE sigh.

Then he asked when we were going back home.

Mom: “Not answering that yet”.

After about a half an hour Mom said she would answer more questions. We all asked, “Where are we going!?!?!”. I think we wanted to know. 😀

Mom (finally!) told us that she had rented a cabin in KY for Dad’s birthday.

Then we all asked how long we were going to be there.

Mom: “A week.”

“Ummmm… Mom?!? We have no clothes, toys… We don’t have what we need, Mom!!!”

OK, none of us said it, but we were all thinking it! LOL

So I said, “Hey Mom? We did not pack.”

Mom: “Ms. Gretchen and Mrs. Hedges packed for you.”

Me: “Where is it all?”

Mom: “In the back.”

Me: “It was not there when we left for Scottsburg.”

Mom: “Ms. Gretchen drove up and put it in the back while we were in the meeting. “

Me: “Oh! That is why you would not let me go get my book!”

Mom: “Yep!”

A little later…

Mom: “You did not see it when you got the donuts?”

Me: “I did not get the donuts, Hewitt did.”

Me (in my mind): “Which is why none of us heard about it… “


We ended up getting to the “Cedar Palace” a little after 11. We would have gotten there sooner, but Mom and I had to go to Kroger to get groceries. It was 5 minutes to 11, and they close at 11.

When we got there, the doors were already locked. Mom caught the attention of a cashier, and asked him if she could get milk. He let her in, and said hurry!

Mom had me running around the store fetching things.  Go get this, and go get that. Back and forth. This way and that way. We heaped a shopping cart in 4 and a 1/2 minutes! It was pretty cool. We got to the checkout, and I could not stop panting. I was just trying to catch my breath. And find my legs. See, after two and a half hours in the car, and then running just about as fast as you can for 4 and a 1/2 minutes… It makes your legs feel like rubber.

So we got to “the cabin” (Jade asked that we call it “the cabin” after we kept making her think that we were going home home when we said we were going home) and started running around laying claim to the bedrooms. I was pretty lucky. I got a king bed. Of course, I had to share it with the girls, but still! I quickly unpacked all of our stuff, (with all of the shows we do I have gotten pretty fast at that!) and crawled into bed.

Jade woke me up like 7 times that night. How?

With her feet, head, and arms. Oh, and the back of her hand. You know, if the back of her hand was a fly swatter, and there was a fly on my nose, she would have killed 3 or 4 flies that night!

Next morning I woke up and ate. After everyone was awake and had eaten, we all got ready to go hiking. We were going to do Natural Bridge. It was AWESOME!  Pictures coming soon…

It was a great Birthday Surprise!!

Brett

Why???

Why do boys like to do things the uncomfortable/difficult way?

For instance…

Why do they like to wear the footy pajamas that have holes in them? (Even though Mom told them they should be put in the trash…and they have others that they could wear).

Why do they like to lie down on the bottom of the Sam’s shopping cart? (Those things hurt! I know because I was so tired I tried to do it once… and it was very painful).

Why do they go outside to take a picture of the snowman that they built, with no shoes on their feet? (They said it was fine, that they were only out there for a minute. I know that MY feet would have been frozen just touching the porch!!)

Why do they like to get a drink out of the refrigerator water dispenser this way?  (The first time I saw them do that, I flipped. I got so mad! But you know what? It works really well when your cup is dirty and you just want a small drink!)

Why do they like to put their jeans on backwards? And not zipped? (OK, that was just Hewitt one boy who shall remain nameless).

And there is no way that we let him run around the house like that all day.

Nope.

Not happening.

Ok, maybe…

Know what? I don’t think I am ever going to understand boys. I mean, I know that they just have to do some things, or something is incredibly wrong with them. You know, like:

  • Do something dangerous as often as possible
  • Go chase each other around the yard like tomorrow is never coming
  • Try to get out of cleaning their room

But then there are the other things that they do, (that are not necessarily bad).

Like making scary faces at everybody:

And loving ice cream. (I think that just about everybody is guilty of that one, boy or not!)

And their love of fighting! Is it just me, or do boys with many brothers love fighting more then those with few or no brothers?

And what about their love of tight and small spaces? (Or is it just that I’m claustrophobic?)

And I don’t know about other boys, but my brothers love, and I mean LOVE, to show off their muscles. And they have a pretty darn good amount of them too!

And I don’t think that there is anything that they would rather do than ride a roller coaster. They love, Love, LOVE roller coasters!

But you know what? (And I think that Mommy and Indigo will agree with me on this one) I think that the best part about my brothers, is that they love, Love, LOVE us too!

I love you boys! (Even when you think that I don’t!!!)

 

Brett

Do You…

Do you like to play in the park?

My brothers do:

Do you like to watch the others, if you are too small to play?

Jade does:

Do you think that Daddy is a loon for taking pictures instead of playing?

Emery does:

Do you think that you are going to catch better if you stick out your tongue?

Fletcher does:

Do I think that there is any chance that anyone will catch this throw?

Nope, I don’t.:

Am I going to have fun anyway?

Definitely:

Does you think that Greyden will actually catch the ball?

Probably:

Do you think that Jade is going to fall asleep in that very uncomfortable position?

She very well might!

I love going to the park, and I think that my brothers do too! (Actually, I know that they do. I just can’t ask them to verify that statement b/c they are at wrestling practice.)

BTW – Remember how Dad was the champ in our contest? Well, all of the children are very sore from that… but Dad can barely walk!

Brett

 

 

PJ adds: Yes, everybody else is limping or complaining about how their calves and shoulders hurt.  Not me!  I feel great.  I wonder if that means that I’m smart for stopping or just lazy?

What Do You Do?

When your legs are so sore from climbing up the sledding hill 20 thousand times, what do you do?…

…You read a book:

 
 

When it gets to dark to be outside, what do you do?…

… You play charades.

(In this photo, the boys had some confusion about whether they were making soap, or making soap.  LOL):

(The girls were having a tea party.):

When you get tired of sledding down the same hill, what do you do?…

… You make a smiley face on a tree!:

When you want to do something with your nephew, what do you do?…

… You become Kings of the snow pile!:

When you all get hungry, what do you do?…

…You have a big party, of course:

And when the day is done, everyone is gone, and you are VERY tired, what do you do?…

…You fall asleep:

Brett

Keeping Busy

We got about 3 inches of snow in the past couple of days. So the boys and I decided that it was perfect time to try out all of our new snow gear.We played around for a while. And then we decided to build a snow fort. Then we decided to build TWO snow forts. One for us, and one for some friends that will be coming over soon.

Ours is an awesome fort that had water poured on it every night. So now it has turned to ice. It also has a tube inside it, making it solid. It is basically a tube stuck inside a pile of ice. The boys were so proud of themselves LOL. Here is OUR fort:

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You can see the black ribbed pipe in the front of ours. The 2 blue water drums, (which the boys played with in this post) are the borders of our fort. This is the back view. You can see the “enemy” fort in the distance (across our driveway).

Here is the back view of the “enemy” fort. The front of the “good guy” fort is across the way:

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Notice the cubbyholes that are for storing “ammo”. Fletcher was rather proud of those. The first fort that we made for our friends was hollow. The boys built a fort, and then, with their hands, scooped out holes all through-out it. The result was a fort that, if sat on, would tumble to the ground. Whereas OUR fort, you could dance a jig on, if you did not slip off it! 

I vetoed the hollow fort. The boys, on careful review of the problem, decided they did not want to get labeled “cheaters”. So we rebuilt the “enemy” fort. It is now a big pile of snow that has been sat on a little bit.

Here is the side view of the two forts. Notice the bin that we used to haul snow:

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We had a lot of fun building these forts. Now if only they will last till our friends get here! Probably not. 🙁 It is supposed to get up to 40 degrees tomorrow! That will feel warm! LOL

 

Brett

Woody

One of Daddy’s friends from elementary school was going through Indiana, so he decided to stop by. Dad was excited to see him again, because they had not seen each other in about 25 years! Woody got here around 2:30 on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

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The kids loved Woody. Indigo was all over him, especially when she saw this app on his phone. You talked to a cat, and it said your words back to you, but in this contorted weird voice. She had so much fun with that:

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We then ate some leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner, and then the boys wanted to play tiger:

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In case you did not know, Tiger is a game where the boys try to take down whatever poor man took their challenge. If the man, (in this case Woody,) could hold all of them to the ground at the same time, for 3 seconds, he would be declared the winner. But if they could pin him to the ground for 3 seconds, the boys would win. This time, the boys won.

Then they played with the weird cat app again:

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Then it was time for bed. Woody told the cat, “go to bed little girls”. Then the cat said in it’s weird voice, “go to bed little girls”. The girls were not happy with Woody then.

We were leaving the next day for the PA Christmas show. When I woke up that morning at 7:00, Woody was folding up all his blankets (he slept on the couch). We had breakfast, then we loaded all of our suitcases into the Hulk. We had a tough time fitting it all in there:

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Everyone was getting in the car when an 18-wheeler showed up with a shipment of 50,000 bags for the soap. So all the boys got back out of the Hulk, and dragged all the boxes up the driveway:

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After we were done with that we had to give hugs all over again. Hewitt got a little excited that we were finally going:

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That night we stayed at a hotel near Pittsburgh. We only brought in the necessities.  Blankets and computers. We wanted to get out of there early the next day, so we did not bring any extra stuff in. The girls were Everyone was really tired:

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Mom and I were kicking ourselves when we realized we did not bring in a hairbrush, or our toothbrushes, or anything. It is really hard to feel clean when you have not brushed your hair and your teeth. When we woke up, Mom and I both ran to find our toothbrushes.

We still had a four hour drive to get to the show to set up.  At our last stop before we got there, we were going to the bathroom. Mom and I helped the girls out of the car, and walked in to find the boys all gathered around … Woody, who was on his way to Philadelphia! The boys thought that it was cool that we met up 24 hours after we parted ways.

Those were three pretty good days. I’m so glad we got to meet Woody. We had so much fun, and all of us really liked him. Thanks for coming out, Woody!

 

 

Brett

An Easy Day

It’s Saturday and beautiful outside.  The children did the internet orders and then they all disappeared. LOL  I can’t say I blame them.  I’m blogging and then I’m probably going to join them. After all, I may go outside and discover them doing something like this:

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I’ve already gotten my soap work done. The orders are done. Emails are answered. Voicemails are returned. I also ordered some limited edition fragrances – frankincense and myrrh for Christmas and chocolate fudge for Valentine’s Day.  We’ll see how many people want to smell like chocolate.

Jim’s taking advantage of the last of the warm weather to prepare for winter.  The outside goat automatic waterers need to be brought in for the winter.  The indoor waterer is leaking, so he’s repairing that as well.  Plus he got me another electrical outlet in the old festival room so I can make my liquid soap in there now. And I’m sure he’s doing other stuff I don’t know about.

But whatever he’s up to, I’m sure it’s all good stuff. So I’m going off to join the children and play around with them!

PJ

 

 

Barrel Racing

We have several rain barrels that we use to…
collect rain, of course.

The only problem has been that we haven’t had any rain in two months and the barrels were just sitting there empty.

So the boys decided to put them to another use:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Remember the movie Pete’s Dragon where Nora and the tavern guys all walk on the beer barrels until they explode?  I think the boys are hoping to get good enough to someday do that. 

Here they are in action:

This is why I rarely buy them toys!

 

 

PJ

Football Fans

We love watching NFL football games on television. The children know most of the rules to playing football from watching these games. But they’ve never been to a live game to watch it in person.

Since Charlestown High School was in the sectional tournament at home, and we didn’t have a soap show scheduled, we decided to take the children to the game.

The children were enthralled and so excited to be there.  But they also said some really funny things.

Hewitt“>Hewitt loved watching the football game, but it was really funny when he left the bleachers, walked down, and stood for a good 10 minutes just staring at the cheerleaders. Isn’t he a bit young to be fascinated with cheerleaders?:

The boys were totally enthralled with the game and were concentrating very hard. At one point in the game, one of our players was injured badly enough that he had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital. The boys were all contemplating ways of “paying back” that bad guy (ok, that was