Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kindergarten Wrap-Up & "Cool Summer Days" ahead

Well, Caleb is officially a first grader! What?!  This has been such a great school year for him.  This time last year I was so worried about our decision to have Caleb repeat Kindergarten.  I read on the internet that kids who repeat kindergarten are more likely to end up in prison.  Caleb is far too cute for prison.  So I was convinced that Caleb would live a life of crime all because we had him repeat a grade.  Sometimes Google is evil and makes parents second guess their decisions.  But prison or not we knew that Caleb just wasn't ready for 1st grade.  This is definitely not the case now!  This boy is so ready for 1st grade.  He is an exceptional reader.  His writing and spelling have improved dramatically.  His confidence and independence have soared this year.  His social skills have developed by leaps and bounds. And he has made real friends this school year, something that I'm not convinced happened last year.  He just seemed so much more connected this year.  What a difference a year makes people.

The past couple of weeks have been busy with music programs, award ceremonies, and end of the year parties.  Here are a few pictures from the last couple of weeks as Caleb wrapped up his time as a Kindergartener.

"Babes on Broadway": A Kindergarten Musical

Caleb receiving his "I completed Kindergarten" certificate.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE his teacher.  She is fantastic.

My soon-to-be-first-grader and I.

Yesterday was the end of the year party and both boys got to enjoy a snow cone.

And both boys made sure to suck up every last drop.

For fun, let's see how much Caleb has changed this school year.
Other than losing a couple of top teeth, I don't see a huge difference between the beginning of the school year and the end.  Spiky hair is the same.  Glasses are the same.  Adorable face is the same.  Awesomeness is the same.  His rockstar status is the same.  I don't know, maybe he does look a little bit more mature now.  He definitely looks like he is ready to take on first grade!

Okay, now this next picture is going to make it appear like I am very creative, crafty, and just plain awesome.  None of that is true (well, except for the awesome part- I am pretty awesome).  Anyway, I stumbled upon the Mod Podge Rocks! website (did you even know there is an entire website designated to all the wonderful and creative things you can do with Modge Podge!?)  I found this pendant idea and I thought it would make a cute gift for Caleb's teacher.  I used the school logo and it came out pretty cute.  And, wait for it, I even made this cute little gift box!  Again, this has nothing to do with me being creative, I got the idea from someone who is actually creative and crafty.

A couple of weeks ago the realization that summer was upon us nearly knocked the breath out of me.  I had a brief panic attack.  Both boys.  Home.  All day.  Yikes, what's a mom to do!  I spent hours searching the web for simple, easy, and most importantly, cheap things to with my boys over the summer.  I found a ton of great ideas but I wanted a way to organize it all.  Caleb and Benjamin have always enjoyed our Advent Calendar that we do every December and I thought it would be fun to do something similar for the summer time.  Lucky for me, a creative mom out there came up with this:

I did the paper version, but she also has another one for those of you that like to sew. It is hard to tell from this picture but each cone is a little pocket that you can slip a piece of paper in.  I've typed up a bunch of different activities and crafts for the boys and I to do over the summer and each morning they will be able to pull the paper out of the cone to see what the activity is for that day.  So cute right?  Wish I had thought of it myself but thankful that I didn't have to because some other awesome mom did most of the work for me!  I'll share some of our activities here on the blog with links so you can do them with your kiddos if you want.  

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day with Granny and Paw Paw

We took advantage of the long weekend by driving out to spend some time with Granny and Paw Paw.  The boys always enjoy going out there and we haven't been since Spring Break so a visit was long overdue.  As soon as we got there, Benjamin asked to play with the trains.  Paw Paw used to work for the railroad and he has a couple of keepsakes from that time, they really aren't toys, but Granny and Paw Paw are nice enough to let Benjamin play with them.
He played with these trains all day, taking breaks only to eat and go outside.

Eating is always something we do plenty of at Granny and Paw Paw's house.  She made fried chicken, fried okra, corn and squash that was straight from their garden.  And we brought some very yummy homemade vanilla ice cream.  A feast indeed.

Enjoying his bowl of ice cream


I don't think he could open his mouth any wider!

It must have been pretty tasty.  The boys practically licked the bowls clean.

After stuffing our bellies, we went outside to visit some of the local wildlife.  
Cute little baby goat.  I want one.

All the goats came running when Paw Paw pulled this tree branch down so they could munch on the leaves.

Benjamin found a stick.  A really big stick.

Paw Paw is a bee keeper so Caleb got to get up close and personal with a honeycomb...minus the bees.

 And no visit to Granny and Paw Paw's is complete without a ride on their golf cart.

The highlight of the day for me was driving out to a huge (and I mean huge) field of giant sunflowers.  It was gorgeous.  I have never seen anything like it.

This picture doesn't even begin to capture the number of sunflowers.  They seemed to go on for miles.

Granny and Paw Paw.

Seriously HUGE sunflowers.

We had a great time with Granny and Paw Paw.  The boys had so much fun and were absolutely exhausted.

Benjamin didn't last 5 minutes on the car ride home.  Just way too much fun for a 3 year old.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sled Hockey

Last August Caleb had the opportunity to try Sled Hockey for the first time.  He loved it and I knew that if we ever had the chance to take him again, we would.  Well today was that day.

I don't know who was more excited, Benjamin or Caleb.
Benjamin insisted on wearing Caleb's horseback riding helmet in the car on the way to the ice rink.

Caleb on the ice.

Benjamin replaced the horseback riding helmet for a ice hockey face mask.  He wore it the entire time.

A big smile.

Benjamin was very anxious to see the Zamboni, he waited patiently by the door hoping to catch a glimpse of the "ice truck".

Benjamin got a few minutes on the ice with daddy. 

Caleb sportin' his new "That's how I roll" t-shirt.  Love it.

The boys had fun at sled hockey.  They are actually offering sled hockey every Saturday afternoon for the entire summer.  I doubt we will take Caleb every single week but I predict we will go several times.  It will be a nice way to cool off during the miserable Texas summer heat.  It is absolutely freezing in the ice rink.  Brrr.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Driveway Daredevil

Ever since we took Caleb to the "Life Rolls On: We will skate again" event, he has been begging Glenn and I to let him race down the driveway in his wheelchair.  Yesterday afternoon Caleb got his wish.

I don't think he is having any fun at all.  What do you think?

He would race down our driveway at about 53 miles an hour, zoom across the street into the neighbor's driveway, turn around and come back up our driveway.  Repeat.  Over and over.

Caleb would purposefully throw all of his weight backwards onto the wheelie bars causing them to scrape across the concrete.  Terrified me every time.

It was tough getting back up the driveway.  Especially after a dozen times.

Thankfully little brothers can lend a push when needed.

Benjamin would race down the driveway with his bubba, sometimes getting too close to Caleb which would make Caleb veer sharply, causing this momma to have a heart attack.  One time Benjamin fell and scraped his knee.  I asked him what happened and his reply: "I fell off my skateboard."  Now the boy didn't actually have a physical skateboard but the one in his imagination was real enough.  :)

Caleb definitely gave me quite a few scares yesterday.  I had multiple heart attacks and my stomach dropped to my knees on more than one occasion.  I had to keep telling myself to let him be a boy.  And he had fun.  A lot of fun.

A quick video

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Surgery, Sandbox, Sunglasses, and Seiko

Sometimes I can't think of a creative title so I come up with really random stuff like the title for this post.  I know it is a bit of a reach but at least I'm consistent with the use of words that start with "S".  Anywho, let's move on to the purpose of this post:

My sweet Benjamin is having surgery tomorrow to repair an inguinal hernia.  It shouldn't be a huge deal, outpatient, no hospital stay expected.  But since anesthesia is involved there is some element of risk.  As his mommy, I am a bit nervous but I'm confident that everything will go fine.  Benjamin can't eat breakfast tomorrow morning which could be a problem as this kid likes his breakfast.  And he usually eats a very big breakfast.  I don't imagine he is going to be thrilled when we tell him he can't have his daily bowl of oatmeal in the morning, followed-up by a bowl (or 2) of cereal.  He's going to be grumpy folks.

Here are a couple of pictures from today.  Benjamin insisted on wearing these giant "Life Rolls On" sunglasses and my very old (from high school) Seiko watch while he played in the sand box.

You can't hear him but he is making really cute car driving noises right here.

Love him.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Kickin' Off Summer Bash

Yesterday was the annual Kickin' Off Summer Bash, sponsored by Rise Adventures (a local adaptive sports organization).  Rainy weather threatened to ruin our fun but we decided to take the boys anyway.

Sometimes I worry about Benjamin taking a backseat to Caleb.  We do a lot of things and go to a lot of events that we wouldn't do if it weren't for Caleb.  Benjamin is along for the ride.  But then I realized that Benjamin is getting to do a lot of things that he wouldn't get to do if it weren't for his big brother.  And Benjamin is having FUN!
The first thing Benjamin wanted to do yesterday was go for a ride in the kayak or canoe.  Not sure if they were kayaks or canoes...I don't know the difference.

Waiting patiently for the kayak/canoe

Out to sea with daddy
 (technically it is a lake but "out to lake" doesn't sound as good as "out to sea")

For some reason, Caleb didn't want to ride the kayak/canoe but he did want to ride on the boat.

All smiles on the boat

Benjamin's face cracks me up.  Love that kid.

Father and son

Caleb even got to help steer the boat.  He thought that was pretty cool.

After the boat ride we headed over to the petting zoo.
Benjamin loved the bunnies.

The boys had a great time and we are so lucky to have events like this in our area.  They also had adaptive water skiing and jet skis but Caleb still has some restrictions since his surgery so he couldn't try those events.  Maybe next year.

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