After the summer off, basketball season started back up this past weekend. Our Saturday mornings are now booked for the next 8 months.
It was really fun to see all the kids again, and we had quite a new faces as well. I'm really excited about this year.
Several of our older players "graduated" up to JV so Caleb and a couple of other kids are now the oldest players on the team. I think it is going to be a great season for Caleb. I predict that he makes his first basket this season. He is so close.
Benjamin likes to work on his b-ball skills as well.
We just completed our first week of homeschool for 2014-15! We started our school year a little bit early this time. I switched Caleb's curriculum this year from My Father's World to Tapestry of Grace. MFW was very much an "open and go" curriculum while TOG requires far more preparation and scheduling. I'm very excited about TOG but I knew there would be a steep learning curve (for all of us) so I wanted to get an early start. I didn't want to feel rushed right from the beginning so we are easing back into the routine of school.
Our "First Day of...." photos.
First he turns NINE and now he is in THIRD grade! Someone stop time please.
And this one...in KINDERGARTEN! I'm so excited to see what this year brings for him. I chose MFW Kindergarten for Benjamin plus he will join in with Caleb on some of the TOG activities.
My boys working together.
Cutest thing ever: Benjamin open and closes his mouth as he cuts with scissors. Adorable.
It was definitely an easy week for all of us. My goal for this year is to "relax". I think I'm going follow a more "year round" schedule instead of following the ISD calendar. The Tapestry of Grace curriculum is so rich and full of different things that I don't want to rush through anything in an attempt to wrap up our year by June. I love that I can do that. I love that I can set our schedule however we want. If we are getting burned out, we can take a break. We can do whatever we want.
We finished off our first week of school with a nature walk.
Caleb holding an ant lion (those weird looking bugs that form funnels in the sand).
Catching grasshoppers for our "bug jar".
I'm really excited about our school year. The boys will have one day a week away from home. I found a local church that has a wonderful program specifically designed for homeschooled kids. It's kinda like a co-op meets a Mother's Day Out. The boys will have a couple of classes, recess, p.e., lunch...kinda like a typical day in public school (just way more relaxed and only 5 hours). Caleb still misses some things about public school and I think this once a week program will fill that void for him. I think the boys are going to really enjoy it....and just maybe, I'll enjoy a few hours by myself.
I'm still trying to wrap my brain around this but apparently Caleb, my first born, turned 9 years old this past Saturday. As a parent you know it's coming, your kids will grow up. Every birthday seems like a reminder that my time with my kids is passing all too quickly. It's so bittersweet. Sigh. Since you can't stop the birthdays from coming....you might as well celebrate them!
Caleb woke up to a decorated kitchen table.
We always do birthday donuts.
This year we decided to do a low-key, easy birthday party for Caleb. He loves the water so we rented a cabana at Hawaiian Falls Waterpark, invited a few friends, and had a day of fun in the sun. It was perfect.
He's 9 people. Nine. Seriously, how did this happen?
Having some underwater fun with his buddy Kohen.
He wouldn't let us sing "Happy Birthday". Said he was too old for that. Oy.
This little cutie had a blast as well.
This kid knows how to eat a cupcake. Even got a little on his arm.
Well that's one way to do it.
We had a great day celebrating 9 years of the awesomeness that is Caleb.
I think I've mentioned before that Caleb absolutely loves birds. He loves looking at birds, reading about birds, talking about birds. When we go to the library he chooses 700 page books about birds. He's incredibly passionate.
This is a favorite of his. I finally bought him his own copy. This book has 170 different birds, over 400 pages. I can randomly flip to any photo and Caleb can tell me the name of the bird. It's incredibly hard to stump him, he gets it right almost every single time. It is mind blowing.
When Caleb heard about a somewhat local Raptor Center that has about a dozen different birds of prey, he was beside himself with excitement. He was desperate to go and see these amazing birds up close. So, we took the boys yesterday. It was a bit of a drive, over an hour, but it was well worth it.
A quick (and rare) family photo as we waited to see the raptors. I love my family.
Front row seats!
Caleb couldn't believe he was getting to see some of his favorite birds up close. Seriously, the kid was in bird heaven. I think he even impressed some of the staff with his vast bird knowledge.
The birds of prey we got to see. It was really cool. This was so much better than seeing these birds in a cage at the zoo. Most of these birds have been injured and can't be released into the wild.
Checking out their wing span.
They had different household items out so we could see what the different birds weigh. An American Kestrel only ways about as much as a roll of toilet paper.
This photo makes me laugh. It looks like Benjamin has a Great Horned Owl sitting on his head.
Catching grasshoppers to feed to the Mississippi Kite.
Benjamin feeding the Mississippi Kite. He loved that he got to do this.
This past weekend we took the boys to the Children's Aquarium at Fair Park. None of us had ever been so we thought it would be fun to try something new.
With my boys outside the aquarium. For some reason Caleb puts me in a head-lock every time we take a pic together.
The aquarium was so cool. They had touch tanks available so you could actually put your hands on some really neat creatures. I can't believe we have lived in the area our whole lives and have never been here!
Checking out a 75 year old, 200 pound snapping turtle.
At Sting Ray Bay you could actually touch sting rays. It was so cool.
Caleb loved it. I think he would have stayed there all day petting sting rays.
Benjamin did touch one sting ray....that was enough for him. He loved watching them though.
The large viewing tank was a big hit with the boys as well.
I love the look on his face.
Jelly fish kiss.
After the aquarium we decided to walk around Fair Park. Again, I can't believe we have lived in this area our whole lives and have never been here!
Trying to sneak up on a pigeon....he didn't have much luck.
He couldn't resist zooming down this ramp at full speed!
Caleb actually took this photo. He did a pretty good job.