I am still getting into the flow with Laura and the kids but one of the things I am really enjoying is the fact that the whole clan is not about TV and Wii. They have both, but life at the house there is more about when the next "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" book comes out then the latest movie, or video game. It is a family of doers which is worthy. This weekend we have a huge amount of stuff on the plate. First off we are going shooting. Michael the oldest is just getting into hunting and this will be his 2nd season and first in AZ. My friend Gerhard has agreed to help sight in his hunting rifle and we are bringing everyone along including Grand Dad to help. After that, we have a date with Nick, to build and launch rockets.
We head out to the desert and find Gerhard has already set up the range. The road out is a hoot with the little ones in the back.
After some formal introductions, Gerhard takes Michael under his wing and starts the lesson. My man has been a hunter for 40 years, knows more about this part of the world than most, and is amazing with kids.
For his age, Michael is an amazingly patient and accurate shooter. You would not think he was 14 most of the time. Gerhard cuts him no slack though when it comes to doing things the right way. The drills are realistic and fun.
Meanwhile, Colyn is also working on learning the basics.
Though most of the time she is in my blind reading Robin Hood.
Ahh the joys of being a grandparent! And I think her face is priceless in this picture. Jackson can be seen in the background hitting targets over 100yds away with a 22 too.
Jackson is a worthy shot too. And he didn't shoot his eye out.
The day though belongs to Michael and his deer rifle. He is having a blast!
Laura waiting for a chance to shoot. She looks good with a gun in her hand.
Remember folks...I am not a liberal...I'm an armed socialist
You have to love a woman that can hit a target, and cook a mean Talapia!
But alas we need to head back into town to meet Nick and transition from Shooting to Rocket making. Weekends are short and there is so much to learn!
Nick arrives soon after we get home.
We quickly get down to having a design meeting and talk about what it is we are building and the launch schedule. Laura, Nick and I agree to manage the NASA like Budget leaving the kids to work with Nick on the design of the rockets and launcher.
The initial Design Review
Colyn absorbing the plan and making sure we know what each critical step is going to entail.
I don't think Von Braun took this level of detailed notes.
Nick surrounded by his support staff works to make sure all materials meet spec.
Construction then proceeds in CleanRoom 1. Colyn and Jackson do a really good job of sharing.
Rigorous Quality Testing is done to meet the design spec sheet.
Next it is on to CleanRoom 2 for some work with chemicals to bond the launcher together. Colyn manages to stress that it is ok to be a girl working in Science.
Again it is a total team effort here.
After the work in Cleanroom 2 is complete it is back to Cleanroom 1 to work on the rockets and the launch mechanism. This is our test capsule that will become part of the launch trigger. Colyn is so focused here.
These guys have the right stuff!
As heavy construction continues, safety rules get a lot stricter and we all don safety glasses
Michael has assumed a reserved roll in the build and is working on cleaning the guns from this mornings shoot.
We take a break for the evening and agree to regroup the following morning at 0730 to finish the rockets and launch. Morning comes and the staff is already hard at work even through breakfast.
Even the Chief of the whole facility finds time to get her hands dirty as she drinks her coffee.
Wildcat 1 is ready for launch.
Mission Control Leader Purzer at the ready. Laura's house is in the background.
Only thing funner then a rocket is a squirt bottle
But as liftoff gets closer everyone chips in to make launch a go. Michael being the oldest gets to test fire his first. He also babysat for us last night.
The results are spectacular!
Everyone now hustles to get the next rocket up into the air.
Not sure if Colyn likes the rocket flying over 50 feet into the air more then getting drenched by the water it uses to propel itself. Either way it is a worthy morning!
Jackson's Cola Rocket is next up.
Reentry is about 50 yards away.
He is happy.
The Junior Astronauts taking a moment for the press.
And one very happy Launch Manager.
All in all a great day!
See you all down the road