Friday, July 23, 2010

AAS&T Camp: Day 6

Well, J-Mav's first AAS&T experience is complete. He had a blast except for that little blip. He wants to do it again next year. We'll see if he's ready to go as an overnight camper next year. I overheard the director telling someone they may not bring the camp to GMU next year, in which case J-Mav will likely HAVE to go as an overnight camper because the camp will be too far away to do as a commuter. But that's a long time away. We will have to wait until January to see when and where the camps are. :)

He didn't see us when he marched by in the parade, but he was all grins when he spotted us in the auditorium while we were waiting for the closing program to start. He was in the slide show several times, even though, as a commuter, he was unable to participate in any of the evening events. I got a picture of him with his counselor, and then we went to the curriculum fair to pick up all of his stuff.

From Egyptology, we brought home an adobe brick, an Egyptian mask, a mummy, a pot, and some other thing that I don't know what it is. And from Zoom, Swoosh, Blast, we brought home several different airplanes.

Fun times. Successful camp experience. :)


"It's not a hot flash, it's my own personal summer."

Ba ha ha! I need to remember that one for when it's my turn...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Adventure Camp: Day 4

Keeper Boy spent the days in the wilds of West Virginia. OK, maybe not the wilds, but he did spend the day in a cave, crawling, climbing, and exploring. He said it was very cool, but that he didn't like seeing the beedy eyes of the bats that reside there.

Tomorrow is the last day of camp for him. It's outdoor survival skills. Don't know about learning to build a fire on a day when the temperature is supposed to be over 100 degrees without figuring in the heat index...

AAS&T Camp: Day 5

Another great day at camp for J-Mav! Yay!!

Hubby picked him up and they met Keeper Boy and me at Red Robin for dinner. J-Mav was SO excited about his day and about receiving his camp paddle. Everyone receives a paddle and the kids bring their paddles back year after year and earn different stamps on them. J-Mav earned two this first year: Generosity and Commitment. Keeper Boy was jealous... he hasn't gotten the Commitment one yet. Maybe this year...

Tomorrow is the last day of AAS&T camp for J-Mav. Mostly it's just the "parade" and the closing ceremonies.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Adventure Camp: Day 3

Rock climbing! Keeper Boy had another great time today. They went rock climbing in Great Falls, and he successfully scaled a 50-foot rock face. He said it was a lot of fun. He made it all the way up only on his first attempt. Two subsequent climbs (on two different guide ropes) ended part of the way up for various reasons. He really liked the repelling down part, too. :)

Tomorrow: Caving in West Virginia!

AAS&T Camp: Day 4


J-Mav had a great day at camp! He participated in the skit (as one of the dwarfs, not as Mickey Mouse) and even admitted it was fun. He made some jar in Egyptology that the ancient Egyptians used to store organs when they died. Blech. And he made a balsa wood airplane in his other class. During sports time, he apparently hit a home run while playing whiffle ball and drove in two runs. He talked from the time Hubby picked him up until the minute he fell asleep. And he ate a second dinner at home last night again.

Tomorrow is the last full day of camp. Friday is just the morning. Here's hoping for another great day!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Adventure Camp: Day 2

I was worried about today at Adventure Camp. The last time Keeper Boy attempted kayaking, it was at our friends' house in Annapolis in the Chesapeake Bay. He was terrified and he screamed and sobbed and demanded to get out of the kayak. It was not a pretty site. At all.

Flash forward two years to today, and Keeper Boy is supposed to spend all day on Bull Run in either a kayak or a canoe. You can see why I was worried about this particular day of camp.

But he was all grins when I picked him up. Said it was awesome. Loved the kayaking, and was laughing about how he fell out of the canoe and then tipped his two canoe-mates while trying to get back into the canoe.

He got to swim some rapids, though he cut his hand pretty good while doing so. Even that didn't damper his enthusiasm for the day. Phew.

Tomorrow: Rock climbing!

AAS&T Camp: Day 3

Houston, we have a problem.

When Hubby went to pick J-Mav up from camp tonight, he was met by the camp director. Uh oh. Apparently J-Mav has had some problems today and yesterday (which we didn't know about) with being physical. Arguing with fellow colony members and some pushing and shoving. And the upshot is that if he can't get it under control, he will be invited to leave camp. Sigh.

Once we got past the sobbing and crying and blaming everyone else, we think it boils down to three things:

1. He's tired. 8:30am to 7:30pm is a long day.

2. There's a skit that the colony is supposed to do tomorrow. J-Mav has the lead part. He told us he doesn't want to do it. He's embarrassed to get up on the stage.

3. He's very competetive.

I promised him I would stay and talk to his counselor tomorrow morning about switching parts in the skit so that he has a lesser part. He said he'd like to be one of the seven dwarfs because they just stand there. Currently he's Mickey Mouse.

And we talked about keep his hands to himself. Another kid apparently told J-Mav he didn't know how to play soccer and he took offense to that. Rather than walking away, he shoved the kid. Apparently something similar happened on Monday.

Other than that, he had a great day in his classes again. Tomorrow is a new (and hopefully better) day!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Adventure Camp: Day 1

Keeper Boy is doing Adventure Camp this week... how fun!! Today was the first day, and he had a great time. They went to a local place that does adventure camps, outdoor retreats and team building activities, and overnight camps. He did ropes courses, zip lines, and got to know his fellow campers and counselors.

Tomorrow: kayaking and canoeing!

AAS&T: Day 2

MUCH better today! I dropped J-Mav up at 8:30am and Hubby picked him up at 7:30pm. He talked about his day the entire way home and repeated everything for me once he got home. He loved his classes. He's taking Egyptology in the morning and Boom, Swish, Blast! in the afternoon. He made a brick in Egyptology and a rocket in Boom, Swish, Blast! Apparently they "launched" their rockets (made of paper) with straws. Pretty cool. He had lunch and dinner there (and another dinner at home... uh oh, I think he's growing again), and also played Frisbee Football. Great day. Thank goodness!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

AAS&T Camp: Day 1

J-Mav had his first day of All Arts, Sciences, & Technology Camp today. This is the camp Keeper Boy has been attending for the past three summers as a sleepaway camp. J-Mav is getting his feet wet this year as a commuter camper. He's two years younger than Keeper Boy was the first year he attended...

First day is really to meet your counselor, get to know the other kids in your colony, figure out where your classes will be during the week, and eat dinner. Drop-off was at 3:30 and pick-up at 7:30, so it was a short day.

We expected an excited kid when we went to pick J-Mav up. Instead, we had a mopey kid who said camp was boring and they didn't do anything. Uh oh.

We explained that it's more fun when the classes start (tomorrow)... I hope that's the case for him!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

That was fun!

On the eve of Hubby's birthday, we decided to go to The Melting Pot for his birthday dinner. Keeper Boy was most excited. He's been there twice in his young life and loves the whole fondu experience. J-Mav seemed fine with it when we told them that's where we were going. But then it was bedtime. All the wackiness happens with J-Mav at bedtime. He holds in all of his insecurities and fears and they all come out in a ball of sobs at bedtime.

So Hubby comes out from his turn at tucking J-Mav in on Sunday night and says, "[J-Mav] is totally stressing about going to The Melting Pot and cooking his own dinner."


Turns out he must've thought he had to go into the kitchen and MAKE DINNER, like he sees us doing at home. But he didn't want to do that. He doesn't know how to use the stove. He's not allowed to touch sharp knives. On and on.

Hubby tried to explain to him about how he would put his food on a big fork and put it in a pot of broth and that's all he would need to do to cook it. I don't think he got it, but he agreed to go. Good thing, because he was going whether he wanted to or not. :)

Flash forward 24 hours and we arrive at the restaurant. J-Mav is now a little excited... although I think it's more because of the obnoxious, sparkly, "The BIG 40 balloon" he has toted along to the restaurant -- and the gift he has to give his Daddy -- than because of the restaurant at this point.

We ordered the full dinner, so we started with the cheese fondue. He liked that, and there was no cooking involved, so we were all good. He had some bread, apples, celery, and carrots. And he tried both of the cheeses we had on the table, though he preferred the cheddar over the Wisconsin Trio, which had blue cheese and green onions in it.

Next was the salad course. Neither of the kids even got a salad. Ours were good though. :)

And then it was time to cook. He still didn't quite get it when the waitress brought out the food. He said he didn't want anything because, well, raw meat and seafood isn't exactly appetizing to look at on a plate. I think he thought he was supposed to eat it like that. Eew. We gave him all the raw broccoli and mushrooms (instead of putting them in one of the pots of broth) from one of the orders and he started munching on those while we explained how to cook the food. He agreed to try a piece of chicken and Hubby showed him how to put it on the fork and put it in the pot. After he saw that one come out nice and cooked, he was fine. He tried everything... even the Ahi tuna, which he was a little leary about because it was red when it was raw. But he loved that. He ended up eating several pieces of it. And he tried shrimp! This is big because (a) he's tried it before and hasn't liked it, and (b) it was GREEN in its raw state because it was some kind of island lime shrimp. I think they died it a little. *I* didn't even try the shrimp... there was enough other yummy stuff and I just had a little trouble getting past the fact that it was green. Keeper Boy had no problem eating my portion of shrimp (and Gma G's portion of steak).

Anyway, J-Mav really liked everything and had a good time once he figured out what the cooking entailed.

He didn't eat too much during the chocolate course. I don't know if it's because he was full from the entree course, or if he's just not that huge of a fan of chocolate. I suspect it was a little of both. He gets the ambivalence over chocolate from his Dad. It's certainly not from me. :)

So, J-Mav's first experience at The Melting Pot was a good one. He had fun and wants to go back. We told him that's a restaurant you go to only once in a while. He wanted to know why. Because it's EXPENSIVE! He said, "what, like $20"? If only... if that was the case, he could go cook there all the time!

Monday, July 12, 2010

40 years ago today...

Forty years ago today, my amazing husband was born amid heart-breaking circumstances. His father had died eight months prior without knowing of the amazing little toe-headed son that would make him a Daddy. It's not hard to see why my Hubby is the man he is today if you look at his mother. She, herself, is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. As a 20-year-old widow, she could've decided that having and/or raising a child on her own was too hard. Instead, she gave him a wonderful childhood, deep-rooted values and morals, and a little brother along the way. She gave him the chance to cross my path on a marching band field in Bowling Green, OH 19 years later.

Forty years ago today, I did not know my husband.

Forty years ago today, I was not even a glimmer in my parents' eyes... but I would be in a few months. :-)

But 20 years ago. That's a different story.

Twenty years ago today, Hubby and I had been dating for about eight months. We have now been together for more than half of both of our lives. That's a strange thought, but not a strange feeling. If feels perfectly right.

I am blessed to have such an amazing husband. I know this. I also know I don't always show him how great I think he is. He adores his mom, and is very close to his younger brother. He is not the kind of person who thinks housework and raising kids is a woman's job. He doesn't hate his in-laws. He kills random bugs that appear in the house so the kids and I don't have to. He goes to the beach with me every once in a while, even though it's not his favorite place to vacation. He voluntarily sleeps in the guest room if either he or I is sick. He even puts the toilet seat down most of the time. :-) He became a hockey fan in college because I was... and now he plays... I'm married to a hot [beer league] hockey player! ;-P He is one of the best Daddys I know. Our boys adore him (even when they say they don't). He's sensitive, patient, and, well, just amazing.

I love him as much now, if not more, than the day I said "I do."

Here's to the next 40 years! Happy birthday!

Friday, July 9, 2010

And they're off...

Gma G is on her way here for her "baby's" 40th birthday. She'll be here through Tuesday morning, and there is much excitement in our household as it's been awhile since the boys have seen Grandma. :)