Sunday, June 23, 2013

Summer Lovin'

Ok, I think I spent enough time last week getting some rest.  :)

First of all, Topsail Beach, NC is amazing.  Truthfully, though, I haven't met a beach in North Carolina that I didn't love.  My boys had such a great time, too.  I will say, there's no place in all the world that is more calming to me than the ocean.  Just standing there, seeing endless water--it's a reminder for me that I'm just one person on this earth and to embrace my time with my guys.

Oh, no!  Jaxon is buried!!

My middle guy will just sit and wait for all the
waves to crash around him.  He loves it so much!

Adisson digging his hole.  It ended up rather big!

This one is my favorite.  Jaxon FINALLY touched the water, as long as Daddy held his hand.  And there's Z on the left enjoying the waves, and Adi on the right with his boogie board (his favorite thing to do).  Such a wonderful day.

So there was our trip in a few photos.  It was a quick two days but it was needed.  Sadly, I got sick while we were there and was pretty miserable.  And the cherry on top of that mess was being badly sunburned.   Awesome.  My bathing suit is a halter top so I have a VERY defined "V" that is hard to cover up. :)

The rest of the week was spent resting...because I'm tired.  My treatment was supposed to be last week but I cancelled it to go to the beach.  And I'm pretty much paying the price for it now.  Ah well...what can you do?  This weekend was also pretty much a bust because Adam isn't feeling so great now, either.  Of course.  But we did get some things done around the house.  We're expecting company this week for a few days and I'm determined to have the house in tip top shape.  Also, how does it feel like we're still moving in when we've lived here for 5 months?  It's like I'm still trying to find a home for everything and put everything in its home.  It's stressful.  But we're getting there.  Plus, I'm trying to talk Adam into building the boys an indoor climbing wall...because wouldn't that be the COOLEST THING EVER?!

We still did lots of learning last week.  The ocean is a very busy place to learn.  :)  We talked about how it's amazing that in all of earth and space, we were lucky enough to be on the coast.  We discussed reading goals and summer book clubs.  Because we live way out in the sticks, we likely won't be joining a real life book club or taking reading logs into stores that are forever away.  Instead, we're looking into some online book clubs that sound really neat.  Since Z-Wally is still learning to read and improving his reading comprehension, his books will mostly be read to him, but he'll be practicing.  Plus, I'm totally down with offering a sweet reward if reading goals are met.  

Oh and because I want to share a tiny glimpse into what my incredibly hectic week at Day Camp looked like, here is a picture of my super sweet Tiger Den.  On Friday, we had a clown come out who does face painting and brings her own inflatable for lots of jumping fun.  She does AMAZING face painting and that will be my second cute little guys with painted faces.  

This week, one of my most favorite people in the world is coming by to visit for a few days...before she and her amazing family leave for several years in Germany.  I'm trying to stay excited about getting to see them...and not be sad that they are going so far away and I won't get to visit with them for a very long time.  But we've been separated by distance for longer than we were close by each other, that's how Army friends are, I guess.  I love her so much and I can't wait to see her and the family.  Even if for too brief a time.  

On top of all mom says she's coming to visit in one week.  We'll see.  :)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Yay! It's Over!!  If there was a word that would mean extremely exhausted, it would describe me.  This past week was Day Camp.  We got up and ready and left the house everyday at 6:45ish.  Everyday, we were among the first people there to set up and the last people there to clean up.  It was a very busy, hectic, chaotic, fun, silly week.

We ended up with around 70 Cub Scouts (plus a dozen or so Scout Buddies, which were their little brothers and sisters).  As a Camp, we made crafts like a miniature first-aid kit, which came in handy several times, a popsicle stick bird feeder, a mason jar terrarium (super introduction to ecosystems), and leaf rubbings.  Each boy had the opportunity to learn how to shoot a BB gun and a bow and arrow.  My two Scouts enjoyed archery so much that we've been searching for a beginner compound bow set for them.  We all learned skits and songs and worked on achievements toward advancement.  It was a very productive and fun week.  But, I'm glad it's over!

My week of Scout activities didn't stop there, however.  On Saturday, we hosted our yearly planning conference.  Leaders from our Pack met up here and we planned out activities and events for the upcoming Scouting year.  After our planning meeting, we had a going away party for some great volunteers (who are moving to Alaska).  When all was said and done, it was after midnight when we got to bed.  No complaints from me, though, because I always appreciate adult interaction!

Now, we're getting ready to leave again.  We are leaving for a quick two day trip to the beach.  Few things in life make me happier than being with my guys in the ocean.  Adam loves the water, Adisson will spend the day on the boogie board, Zander will sit on the sand and let the waves crash onto him for hours, and Jax will avoid the water at all costs while he plays on the beach.  And I can't wait.  When we spend time traveling and visiting new places, I can't help but think about how awesome it would be if we could pack up our stuff, jump in an RV, and spend some time traveling, learning, seeing (we could totally be a roadschooling family), but reality reminds me that we're married to the Army.  I suppose they move us around enough anyway.  :)

When we get back home, and I can try to find some semblance of order, we'll get started on our summer learning plans.  The boys will focus on reading and math this summer.  Adisson will be working on finding books by homeschoolers and his multiplication facts while Zander strengthens his reading skills and addition facts.  My plan for Jaxon is to find a way to teach him the alphabet without him screaming at me (he really dislikes the Alphabet Song).

Ok, it's time for us to get finished packing and get out the door.  Here's hoping I can get some cute photos to post for next time.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

It's Time for Day Camp!

Tomorrow starts our week of Day Camp.  In some ways, it feels like we've known about the camp situation for more than three weeks.  In other ways, it feels like we found out about it yesterday.  Either way, tomorrow begins a very busy week.  Our van will leave the driveway at 6:30 AM.  That's soooo early for us late sleepers.  We'll be home around 5:00, so almost twelve hours out of the house.  I suppose I can handle the long day, but that's not my biggest concern.  My biggest concern is Jaxon.  I LOVE my three year old very much.  But he's a bit difficult, when he's in a good mood.  Lack of sleep, however, is not going to send him to Good Mood World.  I'm really stressed about his behavior, even more than the lack of planning time we've had to put this together.  Sigh....

So, we're a week into our summer vacation.  Woot!  :)  Last week, I think it rained every single day.  Week one of summer was spent inside refereeing fights.  Awesome, right?!  The boys didn't have to do too much school work last week.  In between some Minecraft and Lego Star Wars on the computer, Adisson squeezed in a few hig pig games and he also got to play hangman.  Zander practiced some math with these super neat Wrap Up's.  They are shaped like a key and you wrap a string around them to practice your math facts.  It's hard to explain but I saw them at the conference and thought they looked interesting.  I was just going to buy the multiplication ones, but I decided to go with the whole set and I'm so glad I did.  Zander really likes to "play" with them and he does so well...I just love it!

On Saturday night, we had our Cub Scout Advancement Ceremony.  The boys are advanced to their next level so they can start working on their new rank.  Adisson's in a Webelos den which is a two year program so he pretty much just advanced on to the second year (but it's his last as a Cub Scout so still important!) but Zander became an official Cub Scout.  And it was just precious.  I snapped a few pictures but I'm not so good at the photography.  Adam's going to clean them up and I'll get them posted.  (Oh, he also got a few shots of them fishing last week that were just AMAZINGLY cute and I can't wait to show everyone!)

Now that Zander is a Cub Scout, he can attend this awesome Day Camp I've been helping plan.  I'll be his Den Leader this week and we're really excited because I've got some cool stuff in store for the boys.  We'll be making a bird feeder, leaf prints, having a mini plant lesson when we build our own terrariums, and best of all...learning to shoot BB guns and bows and arrows.  :)  Adisson will be there, too, busy in his own den, doing his own thing. 

I guess that means I've got to get to bed, get some rest and hope I can convince Jaxon to not get us escorted off of the property due to obnoxious behavior.  .....if only I were kidding.  :)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

School's Out!

WOOOOO HOOOOO!!!!  School's out for summer! School's out forever! :)  Not really, I was just caught up in the lyrics.

So, it feels weird to be so excited about school being done for the year.  Because it's not done.  It's never done.  We are constantly learning and we're always doing educational things so to say "We're done with school now!" isn't really accurate.  But the end of the school year means to me that now we can have fun with learning without the pressure of learning.  During the school year, we follow a schedule, we have boxes to check, lists to cross off, things to do.  During the summer, however, we get to do all kinds of really neat stuff that we don't always have time to do.  And it's so exciting!  I suppose you can add that to the pros and cons of homeschooling!

Last week, my boys worked on and finished their annual achievement tests.  They were long (not too long but made longer by grumbling) and they were sometimes a little difficult.  And it was sometimes hard for them to understand why I couldn't help them when they needed help.  But they are done!  Tomorrow, I'll be mailing them in for "grading."  I'm so happy that part is over.  Sooooo happy!!  I think they both did pretty well and I'm happy with their performance already, regardless of the scores they get back.

This week, we're doing some fun stuff!  The most exciting thing we'll finally be working on is dissecting owl pellets.  Adisson has wanted to do that for several years and for whatever, it always gets pushed to the side. I've promised him that we will finally get to work on those owl pellets!  I picked up three of them at the NCHE Conference and we are ready (well, as ready as you can be) to pick apart owl vomit.  What a way to learn about food chains!

We'll also finally be getting our summer fun list organized.  We got some great ideas jotted down, but we're making a small poster of the plans we have made so we can cross them off when we do them.  Plus, this year we're making a summer memory board.  I saw it at the conference and I'm anxious to get ours started.  Essentially, you save ticket stubs, trinkets, postcards, etc. from the places you visit or the things you do and they all get tacked onto the memory board.  I think it will be neat to see how our board fills up this summer!

Learning, however, is not stopping.  Adisson will spend some of his summer reading, reviewing math facts, learning through geography games, and working on Scout achievements.  Zander will continue his reading practice and FINALLY be able to start working on his own Cub Scout achievements as he became a Cub Scout on June 1!  He's SO excited!  Jaxon, God-willing, will spend his summer becoming acquainted with the toilet.  :)   This Mama wants to ditch the diapers!

Right now, I'm so over-the-top busy helping to plan next week's Cub Scout Day Camp.  We had another meeting this evening and I came home not feeling so great.  I quickly realized that probably had something to with the fact I hadn't eaten in 9 hours (I hate being so busy I literally forget to eat).  I had some food but I'm still tired so it's off to bed for this lady.  I have a lot I want to get done this week, and no, I'm not forgetting that I promised the boys we'd play with puke.  :)