Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sunshine and Bees

Can you believe that we are here in June already?! Time flies. Seems like it was May one day and I blinked and up popped June. Well, I guess it did. Anyway, only 3 more days of school for the boys until summer break. I can't wait!

There are so many things on my To-Do list with the boys. Parks, library trips, mini golf, museums, zoos, aquarium and Inner Harbor in Baltimore, and many other things. Filling in the "off" times are the times that the boys will be outside enjoying the sunshine. That is, if T-man can get over his fear of bees.

Bees. Buzz. Buzz. If he spots one across the yard, in the neighbor's yard, or thinks he may have seen one go flying by, he is in the house quicker than you can say BZZZZZ. Lightning legs. His feet have wings. Whatever words you use to describe the speed, he is Speedy Gonzalez.

Speaking of Speedy...the boys love the old Looney Tunes cartoons. It is a frequent show that we put on for them. As my dad says, "way back in the way back days..." 2001 to be exact, he taped as much of the June Bugs that was on Cartoon Network for us while Hubs and I were on our honeymoon. I believe we have 10-11 tapes. Good thing we still have a working VHS/DVD combo player! We need to get the Tunes put on DVD for future viewing before the tapes wear out or the player begins to not work.

J-boy was on a field trip last week that was a walking tour of our town. He was at the fire station, the community center, the veteran's memorial, "town hall" building, the library and another 2 places which I forget. He LOVED the library. The librarian showed all the kids where the chapter books are, the books for the younger brothers and sisters who she "knows they will all be reading to over the summer" and explained the working of the library. I have a form to take in with me tomorrow to make sure I filled it out properly because J-boy desperately wants/needs(!) his own library card. If it helps him be interested in reading, we're all for it!

To do what we can to prevent the dreaded summer slide, I will be working with the boys on reading and math with science thrown in for good measure. Since our vacation this year will be taking us west, I am putting together a couple unit studies on the places we will be visiting. (Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills National Forest, Badlands National Park, Bighorn National Forest, Yellowstone National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Million Dollar Highway - Colorado section, Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods.)

I'm including reading of course, but throwing science in which will be pretty easy considering the topics! J-boy is interested in keeping a travel journal anyway so I'll be encouraging him to keep it up and add some "school-ish" notes and things. I need to find a cheap camera that the boys can use that will hopefully allow them to document the things they are interested in to add to their journals. They want to draw some plants, do some leaf/bark/stone rubbings which will add art to the mix and you know that I will find a way to get some math in there as well. I have my fact sheets ready to be printed which will help a lot.

We are all looking forward to getting on the road for the road trip. We usually have a good one about every other year or so. Our last big trip was back in 2010 so we're over due in a way. We flew out to Seattle and rented a car to visit 9 different National Parks/Forests. Lot of time in the car but everyone LOVED it.

Also during the summer, T-man will be getting some reading tutoring and we are still working on getting the list of teachers who will be the grade 2 tutors for reading in hopes of getting J-boy some help. My main goal for this summer is to have fun with my boys, and with daddy when he is not working.

My other goal is a bigger one. The summer is my chance to "prove" that my relationship with the boys is good enough for me to be a homeschooling mama, which I would dearly love! I have lots of ideas which the boys have approved and a lot of fun ideas so that they won't realize they are learning as much. Got to make it fun. This is an area that I could use prayer in specifically. I believe whole-heartedly that I can do it. Proving to hubs and the boys that I can will be the challenge. There are some behavioral issues on the boys part and a temper issue with me. Everyday is a challenge to breathe in, breathe out, not yell and get snippy. The boys and I have a deal. When mommy starts "seeing red" I am supposed to let them know before I blow my top and they will do whatever they can to keep me from having steam out the ears. When they start really pushing it, I am supposed to let them know as well and give them fair warning and a split-second, no nonsense, hopefully no yelling, reprimand and/or punishment depending on the situation. If that makes absolutely no sense, it is probably because it is nearly 11:00 pm and I'm shot.

Busywork activity books and puzzle books for while we're on the road along with their precious toys, of course. I also will be hitting up the Dollar Store and getting quite a few new things to bring out when the "old" toys are getting boring and they don't want to color or count certain colored vehicles, or any of the other car games we play. Secret stash needs to be hidden, and hidden well for the ride back home too to prevent their daddy and I from going nuts and wanting to drive off the edge of the road.

One of our trips, on the way home T-man screamed and was flailing his arms and legs the entire way from I-83 in York to our house in Mountville. Not the greatest distance but just try it with a tantrum-ing 3 year old. Seems A LOT longer than what it is.

We have been picking up tricks and things since we take the boys to the Outer Banks in NC nearly every year. In fact, it seems that this year will be the first time in six years that we will not be going there. Our first year was back before T-man was even born, in 2006. That was the year we needed to get out of the area and just be a family after we lost Aaron. Our family favorite place to vacation. We rented a house - the Shore Boy - which was on the Sound. Beautiful! Peaceful. Fun. It was what we desperately needed and more than we hoped for. We've been back to the OBX every year since. We usually stay in different houses but usually within the Avon/Salvo/Waves/Rodanthe area.

Anyway, I need sleep.

God's blessings to you, my friends.