WVS Gift Guide for the Hunter in your life

As you all know, the love of my life Cody is a outdoors-man/hunter…although, put a spider in front of him and he will prove that label wrong.  For this gift guide, I am going to let you in on a little secret…Cody tells me ALL YEAR ROUND what to buy him and all I have to do is listen in on his conversations with his hunting group, the conversations with his friends, and with his uncle Pierre – it’s his only pastime (other than me). I am not eavesdropping…Well, I am, but only to find out how I can spoil him, because that is one of my favourite pastimes!

See? favourite pastime!

First, I will address fashion. In every hunter’s wardrobe, camo is a staple: real tree camo that is! Everything and anything: t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, hoodies, under armour, socks, boots, jackets, EVERYTHING!! This year, my eyes are on reversible camos, which go from winter to fall hunting. They are essential and very practical to closet space, when you think about it. Instead of having two sets of bibs* taking up all the room in the closet that should be for everyone’s coats, there will be plenty of room with these oh-so-fancy pants!

Those hunters are fashion forward! Such thinkers!

If you are budget savvy, then this next option is not for you! Two years ago I bought Cody a new excalibur bow, with the help of our friend Jeff, because, let’s be honest, I would go for the prettiest ones, which may work like crap. Cody had been handed down a bow from his uncle, which had seen better days. He had been talking about upgrading it and adding on a new scope to help him see better, and tweaking it to get a better shot out of it. I thought with all the upgrading he would be putting into it, why not just get a new bow? I asked Jeff if he could help out with finding one on sale, that is still a great bow, which he did. I got a picture about a week later, telling me to BUY IT – so I did! If you are to take anything away from this post, it should be do research! My form of research is the many men in my life who LOVE hunting and love Cody. All of Cody’s friends who he grew up with are thankfully interested in the same hobby, so having them as my experts is where I start. Not only will they help me find what I am looking for, but they also help me with the lingo, so when it does come time for me to purchase any one of these items, I sound like I know what  I am talking about!  The look on Cody’s face when he opened this gift was PRICELESS! This year he has been dropping hints for a new gun, but I didn’t give in this year, even though this would be right up my alley for spoiling. There is always his birthday, then the wedding.

I don’t think this is the exact model, but I can’t tell the difference. That’s where you get your researchers to help!!!!

If you have not noticed a trend, everything is real tree camo. In our area, Sail, which is an outdoor store, just opened up. At this point, Cody has not made me go into the store, so I am not sure if this is going to be the greatest thing ever because I will no longer have to travel far to get his gifts, or the bane of my existence because Cody will have a better chance of getting more “just because” presents.

Hunters require tags for every season in order for the ministry to hunt legally (this excludes waterfowl, which have other ministry limits) and they can be purchased at Canadian Tire. A great gift idea would be a gift card for their tags for the season. These requirements are Ontario-based, but I am assuming that the same concept would be across Canada and the US; however, they may have other requirements. Most people may think that gift cards are impersonal, but to me giving Cody a gift card for any one of his favourite stores to get himself all set up for the season is one of the best gifts you can give a hunter. In Southern Ontario, that includes TSC, Canadian Tire, Sail, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, which are all larger box stores that a gift card would be great for. Cody has some local favourite outdoor stores, little mom and pop shops that he visits frequently, but again do research so that you can give a gift and give back to your local small shops!

Enjoy the shopping season, and try to spread the holiday cheer!

~ Jacqui

*Bibs are the the pant sets of camos, which are worn over the shoulders. They pretty much look like snow pants for hunters…Okay, they are snow pants for hunters.

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One last day

Today for most is back-to-school – new backpacks, sneakers, clothes, pencils, notebooks, lunch bags. But for us it’s the last day of vacation.

At our local school, the new junior kindergarten students start via appointment with their parents throughout the day, getting used to the classroom and the teachers, being reassured that babies will be okay and the teachers are awesome and fun will be had. We did this last year with our week-old Isaac, watching Sophie find the reading area and the house centre and the blocks and the paints and the water table and all of the exciting things she’ll do. And then we went home to wait for her full first day, which would be the Thursday of that week.

This time we have a senior kindergarten student, someone who is experienced and accomplished, who is counting the sleeps until she can go back to school and see her friends and her teachers. Someone who now knows her mom is boring compared to the action-packed curriculum she got used to last year. Someone who makes us prouder with every moment than we could ever imagine.

She's standing on a stool at the kitchen sink...because she CAN.

She’s standing on a stool at the kitchen sink…because she CAN.

Her first official day back-to-school is tomorrow, so today Ben has taken the day off and we are spending one last day of routine-less freedom enjoying the quiet and excitement, doing fun things like laundry and playing Super Mario on Ben’s old Nintendo 64 system. One last day of summer.

It’s also the last Tuesday following Labour Day that we won’t have to go to school. Next year, Lillian will be the Junior Kindergarten student with an appointment on the Tuesday and Sophie will be in Grade 1 full-time-all-the-time right from the hop and our life will look entirely different again.

The girls learning about the merits of each Disney princess. Hitting the books early.

The girls learning the merits of each Disney princess. Hitting the books early.

We’ve already started working with Lillian’s speech therapist about the ramp up and transition to school next year. We’re considering this time, this final year when Lillian is a child of classless freedom, as the sprint to school, the final leg in a race we’ve been running since she was born, one that was punctuated with hearing aids at 4 months old, a cochlear implant at 13 months old, and amazing us with her smarts and tenacity THE WHOLE TIME.

So beautiful and awesome. Makes my heart hurt.

So beautiful and awesome. Makes my heart hurt.

I can’t even begin to think about this fella starting school.

Isaac is helping do laundry...with his TEETH.

Helping do laundry…with his TEETH.

The thought of being home alone with him next year is already wigging me out. I oscillate between worry about not being interesting enough for him alone at home and excited for all of the free time I’ll have during his naps in the afternoon. (Do I watch The Social or write my novel or nap…decisions, decisions!)

For today, though, the focus is on being in this moment, this last gasp of vacation and summer sun, of lazy days and schedule-free living. Today is about silliness and family-ness.

LOVE this man.

LOVE this man.

It’s about being kind and being slow and relishing in now, because tomorrow starts early and ends late and is the beginning of the next leg of our journey.

Selfie in PJs! SO sexy.

Selfie in PJs! SO sexy.

Because today is one last day, and we’re going to summer vacation the crap out of it!

To all those going back, good luck! Have fun! BE SAFE! And look for us tomorrow as we join your ranks again.

~ Julia