Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Project 15 to 15: Day 15

For the final day of this project, I wanted to share what has been one of the BEST parts of my day for many years now: the drive home from school.

Each day on the way home from school, Wonder Boy goes down his class list and tells me about his day. He lets me know if he has any homework and then tells me about anything especially cool or unusual that occurred during the day. He's been giving me this "daily report" since first grade, I think. It started as an exercise to get him to talk more and to make it easier for him to write personal tales at school. But it has become a little shared ritual that I truly cherish.

It dawned on me today that I only have a year of this left! Next year when he turns 16, he will be able to get his driver's license. And then he'll be able to take himself to and from school without me. I don't know how I will possibly fill that time once he is on the road by himself, but for now I am just going to enjoy the report while it lasts. Hopefully we can come up with a new tradition once he takes the wheel for himself.

In looking back to 2015, I wanted to share this snap taken on Thanksgiving Day:

We grabbed this picture at a park in my hometown while we were visiting for a family Thanksgiving lunch. We got to town early and took the opportunity to stop by this park to kill some time and grab some photos while we were all dressed up. I just love his easy smile and the "thumbs up" that has become his signature gesture.

And with that, this little project has once again come to a close. Tomorrow we will light the candles and sing the songs to celebrate another year for our favorite Boy.

Here's to hoping that 15 is the best year he has ever known!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Project 15 to 15: Day 14

We're nearing the end of this year's birthday countdown project and I have really been enjoying it!

For Day 14, I wanted to highlight another musical part of the Boy's life: his piano

Wonder Boy loves his viola, but I have to admit, what I love to hear him practice is the piano! I don't care what time of day or night he wants to play - if he's in the mood to play, I'm in the mood to listen! His skill has grown quite a bit over the last few years and it is a true joy to listen to him play. He's not a big fan of jazz, but he loves classical music and some ragtime as well. Honestly, I don't care if he's just practicing scales, it's all music to my ears!

In looking back to 2014, I wanted to share this snap of the Boy at the start of a summer camp on the campus where his dad and I work:

There is so much I love about this snap. This camp started a string a summer camps that has truly brought Wonder Boy a lot of joy over the last few years, for one thing. And it opened his eyes to University life. He's talked about college since kindergarten, I think, but there was something about attending classes on the TAMU campus that really awakened that desire in him. Right now, he says he wants to go to college right here at dear, old TAMU, which is where his dad and I both went to school. It would give me great joy to share that with him some day. But I really and truly just want him to go where his heart leads him. And I know Wonder Dad feels the same way.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Project 15 to 15: Day 13

On Day 13 of this project, the Boy decided all he really wanted to do was chill.

Having a "chill day" at home is pretty high on the Boy's list of favorite things. But I never know exactly what that will entail. Some days it's spent cuddling in the couch with his pups. Other days, he parks himself in the computer room and only comes out for meals. For today, he mixed it up a bit. We enjoyed some family movie time. He got lots of snuggling in with his pups. And he spent a good bit of quality time with his computer. But to close out the day, he went upstairs for a bit and enjoyed a bit of Playstation time. A little fun and games to wind down the weekend sounds like a good plan to me!

In looking back to 2013, we see a bit more ... animated ... version of Wonder Boy:

This snap was taken during his free-running/American Ninja Warrior phase when every object around him was a physical challenge! And while I'm glad that I am not losing my mind watching him "body prop" his way up the stairwell, I do miss this outlook on life. We could hardly go anywhere without him trying to jump up on or over everything in sight. He could still do it today if he wanted, but these days, it's just not very cool to do that out in public.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Project 15 to 15: Day 12

It's Saturday and that, of course, means more soccer:

I've been trying to come up with the right words to express what I am thinking today. While this is another action photo of my favorite son playing his favorite game, there is more to it than that. Bottom line: this was not the Boy's best performance on the soccer pitch. And at the end of the game, when we piled in the car to head home, Wonder Dad and I both knew that he would soon be asking for our approval.

And sure enough, we hadn't even cleared the parking lot before he asked,"So ... what did you think of the game?"

It's hard to be a parent in this situation. We enjoyed the game. His team came away with a win this week after losing a close one last week. So we understood the Boy's desire to celebrate a little. However, we all knew that the Boy didn't deliver his finest performance. So we did what we could ...

We told him that we were glad that his team won, but then we pointed out a few things that he could have (and normally WOULD have) done better. We were able to tell him how he improved over the course of the full game. And let him know we were looking forward to next week's game.

We could tell that he was not hearing what he really WANTED to hear. But we also want him to know that when he asks for our opinion, we are going to give him an honest assessment.

Our hope is that he will then realize that when we do praise him that he will understand that he has truly earned it.

In looking back to 2012, I get to share a special snap of the Boy and I at a friend's wedding:

This was our first dance together outside of the privacy of our own living room. Wonder Boy was TEARING UP the dance floor that night and didn't hesitate to ask every lucky lady that he knew to join him on the floor! As for me, I was happy and honored to be his preferred partner, even if it meant Wonder Dad and I didn't get a chance for a dance all on our own. There's plenty of time for that. On this night, the three of us danced and danced and just enjoyed the festivities!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Project 15 to 15: Day 11

For Day 11 of our big birthday countdown, I wanted to brag a bit on the Boy's organizational skills:

It's a simple little thing, but he uses a note pad area on his phone to mark which classes do/do not have homework. There is enough room to also title the assignment and even add a due date. It's simple and to the point. Nothing flashy, but incredibly useful! I have been so proud of the effort the Boy puts into making sure his academic responsibilities are met. And I am so glad that he found something, all on his own, that works perfectly for him!

In looking back to 2011, we see the Boy acting out his adrenaline seeking behavior once again:

This snap was taken a few days before the Boy's 10th birthday with one of his best judo buddies beside him. The 2 of them raced to the top of this climb a number of times that Sunday morning before the crowds made the lines too long. And when they weren't on this wall, they were racing go carts or smashing bumper boats. It was a very fun day for us all!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Project 15 to 15: Day 10

Well here we are on Day 10! We've made it double digits into the project this year and only have a few days left. I am enjoying it every bit as much this year as the past two years. And so far, Wonder Boy has been pretty supportive as well.

Today we feature the Boy with his boy:

When I look at this snap, I think Wonder Mutt looks like either a ballerina or a great white shark - I can't make up my mind. I'm pretty sure if we could read his mind, he would identify more with the shark than the ballerina though. Wonder Boy and the Mutt have a very special relationship. They share a room. And Wonder Boy was telling me just this morning that every night, the Mutt settles down on his doggy bed in such a manner that he always has an eye on the Boy. I think that is just PERFECT. The Boy will literally drag the Mutt into the computer room with him or up on the couch for a good cuddle. The Mutt is always under the Boy's foot at the dinner table. The two are just meant to be together!

In looking back to 2010, we are back to another martial arts snap. This time from the Boy's muay thai classes:

This was taken just a week or so before Wonder Boy started the 3rd grade. It turned out to be a real blessing to have him in the muay thai classes as his 3rd grade year was, unfortunately, the year he would have real struggles with a classroom bully. His years in martial arts had taught him plenty of ways to AVOID a fight and he did his level best to follow through with that. But when push finally came to shove and he had taken his fill, it also taught him how to stand up for himself. And even better than that, Wonder Boy's years in martial arts taught him how to stand up for those that cannot or will not stand up for themselves. This is one of those characteristics that make my heart swell with pride. With his academic life taking more and more of his schedule, we've had to temporarily step away from martial arts. But I hope that these are lessons he will carry with him always.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Project 15 to 15: Day 9

For Day 9 of our count down to Wonder Boy's 15th birthday, I wanted to highlight his love of music with this snap I took during his viola practice of the day:

I've shared it many times here, but the Boy has developed a real love of music, especially classical music over the past 4 years or so. His dad and I are both music lovers and have played all manner of music for him since he came into this world. But things really took off when he joined the orchestra in 5th grade. He enjoys orchestra. It's his biggest social activity. But it's also a means of expression for him as well as a personal challenge. This morning on the drive to school, he was telling me about some of the advanced students in orchestra - those that he admires and aspires to emulate. I have been so pleased that he made the commitment to stay with orchestra into high school and hope that he will continue with it as long as possible.

In looking back to 2009, I stumbled on this photo of the Boy at a judo belt test:

Oddly enough, as part of this yearly project, I haven't shared many judo photos. For many years though, judo (and other martial arts) was the Boy's biggest confidence booster. What he lacked in size and strength, he made up for with determination and dedication. There were/are so many gifts from being involved in the martial arts for so many years. But for me, seeing the Boy grow in self confidence and in his ability to focus on a desired goal (like earning a new belt or mastering a particular technique) was the best part. I am thankful to every coach, sensei, instructor, and partner he had during his time in martial arts. I hope they all know that he carries a part of them with him where ever he goes.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Project 15 to 15: Day 8

It's Day 8 of this project now and I am kind of hoping that today's picture and post will help the Boy and I do better about one adjustment he's been having with the start of high school - remembering to wear his student ID on Mondays!

It seems like such a simple thing. And Tuesday through Friday he does a GREAT job of remembering to wear it. But there is just something about the rush of Monday mornings that lends itself to him forgetting his ID. Thankfully, he can get a temporary ID name tag printed without penalty once he gets to school, but it is something we are both trying to be better at remembering!

In looking back to 2008, we see the Boy at his elementary school's fall festival working on his cowpoke skills:

This photo makes me laugh because, while the Boy doesn't consider himself "country" by any means, he is most CERTAINLY a very proud son of Texas! For many years he swore he would never, ever, ever leave Texas. Of course, we killed that plan by taking him out of the state to Colorado (with a stop or two in New Mexico) on vacation. And I'm happy to say that he has come around in his thinking when it comes to venturing out of state from time to time, but he will tell you openly and often that Texas is home. I'm glad the Boy loves his home state so fiercely, but I am also very relieved that he is learning to appreciate other places as well. Now, I hope that when the day comes that he willingly leaves home that he doesn't go so far that we fail to see him regularly. But I also hope that he gets to see as much of this world as possible.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Project 15 to 15: Day 7

We've made it to the end of the first week of this project and today I was able to grab this snap of Wonder Boy with his best girl, his puppy princess, Tori.

I love that the Boy loves his dogs so much. He has a "puppy alarm" set on his watch so that he never forgets to feed them in the evenings. He plays with them, he helps us bathe and care for them, and he makes sure they are bundled up warm and snuggly when he can't be there to cuddle with them. Watching him wrap up the dogs in one of his favorite fuzzy blankets is one of those things just makes me giggle. He treats them like his little babies. And they just soak it up! In the summer, when he is away at camp, they miss him terribly. And though he loves going to camp and being out on his own a bit, I know he misses them too (so we text him regular photos to keep him connected).

In looking back to 2007, we get another glimpse of our junior adrenaline junkie in his element:

This snap was taken a few weeks after his 6th birthday on a special family trip to Sea World in San Antonio. We all had a great time on that trip! The boy got to pet dolphins and manta rays. He laughed his head off at the silly antics of the seal and sea lions show. He was amazed by the acrobatics of Shamu. But the highlight of the trip was this Shamu roller coaster built just for kids his size. I think the 2 of them must have ridden that coaster about a dozen times - long lines and all! And to this day, roller coaster rides at theme parks are one of the Boy's favorite special treats.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Project 15 to 15: Day 6

Day 6 is here and I wanted to show you where you can most often find Wonder Boy these days: at his computer.

When in doubt, we know to go looking for the Boy at his computer. Sometimes he's working on school assignments. Sometimes he's pounding out a new program (he's working on making his own scientific/graphing calculator program right now). Occasionally we'll find him drawing on his Wacom tablet. And every now and then, he's just watching Youtube videos for fun. I am not sure if it is a generational thing or just a Wonder Boy characteristic, but this is his happy place. And since he, more often than not, uses his time for learning and expanding his mind, it's hard to begrudge him the time he spends on-line.

As we flash back to 2006, we see our Boy on his 5th birthday with his first favorite teacher:

The Boy has been blessed with an abundance of caring educators from preschool all the way through to his first year of high school. But this special lady was the first teacher who really connected with him. When he was at the height of his super hero phase, she let him wear his mask to class and even let him sign his papers as "the Dash" as long as he spelled it correctly. She encouraged him to express himself openly, regardless of what others might say or think. She played such a huge role in preparing him for the start of his academic career. She "graduated" from preschool with the Boy's class and we lost track of her for a number of years. But I am thankful that we now see her regularly around town.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Project 15 to 15: Day 5

Day 5 is here and so is the start of fall soccer! Whoop!

For a few weeks it looked like we might find ourselves without Saturday soccer for the first time in 10 years as the local rec league was short on players for Wonder Boy's division. The league kept registration open a bit longer and encouraged others to join in and in the end everything worked out. And I am so relieved that it did! I really enjoy watching the Boy play! This game was a tough one. Both teams were pretty evenly matched. The heat and humidity eventually took its toll though and Wonder Boy's team wilted a bit faster (they had fewer players to rotate on and off the field). And in the end, the guys in blue came away with a 4 to 3 loss. I think they show a lot of promise for the season to come. And the weather man is even promising a slight cool front for this week's game!

Our look back to 2005, brings a BIG smile to my face!

The boy and a book! Even today that is a pretty typical sight, I'm pleased to say. Curious George has long been a serious family favorite. We watched George on TV, we saw his movie, we read every book we could find, and we listened to the movie soundtrack in the car. We still have these books stashed away in the hope one day we'll get to share them all over again.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Project 15 to 15: Day 4

It's Day 4 of my favorite photo project, but unfortunately, I'm quite a bit under the weather and just didn't get around to taking a snap for today. So instead, I'm going to back up about a week or so and show this little snap I took while visiting with friends recently:

There is so much I love about this little snap - mostly the fact that it is just filled with laughter. I sometimes worry that, being an only child, Wonder Boy might have trouble fitting in when we are around large families like this one (our two closest sets of friends have 4 and 5 kids each). Wonder Boy has a number of cousins, but not any that live close by so we don't see them regularly. But it really is something I have never needed to worry over. The Boy seems to do well with older and younger kids alike. And in this instance, both brothers got a kick out of the big boy who didn't mind getting down on the floor and playing with them.

In our look back to 2004, we see the Boy and his dad at a traveling carnival that had come to town:

Like most kids, Wonder Boy loved the flashing lights and colorful sights of the traveling carnival as it set up in the mall parking lot each fall. And even better were all of the adrenaline inducing rides! This particular ride was pretty tame, even for a barely 3 year old Wonder Boy, but he loved it regardless! I still think about this evening when I see the carnival set up in the fall. Now days, the Boy sees the carnival as a "kiddie" thing to do, but he's still an adrenaline junkie at heart - he just prefers to get his kicks white water rafting or full sized theme park roller coaster rides in lieu of this simple airplane ride.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Project 15 to 15: Day 3

For Day 3 of this project, I wanted to highlight how much heavier the Boy's load has gotten now that he's started high school:

It has amazed me how much more he seems to have to shoulder (literally) each year. Every day finds him carting around his backpack with notebooks, text books, and lunch box, then he has his viola, his binder (with the rest of his school supplies), and quite often there are extra projects and supplies that have to make their way back and forth between home and school as well. To top it all off, the Boy's school is pretty big (by my standards). It's easily twice as big as the high school I attended, maybe even more. It has 3 stories and a ground floor. And the Boy's schedule is such that he doesn't stay on the same floor for any 2 consecutive classes. Before the year started, I might have worried about him not having a PE class this year. But he spends so much of his day running up and down those stair cases that I don't have to worry about that at all! He doesn't seem to mind the load. And he does have a personal locker and an orchestra locker to help with the load during the school day. But I know a lot of kids skip the locker all together and just carry everything everywhere. I guess that is good practice for when they move on to college.

In looking back to 2003 I'm going to share a big laugh with you all:

WHAT A MESS! I don't recall the specifics of exactly what led up to this massive cereal explosion on the kitchen floor, but for some reason the Boy was left momentarily unattended not long before bed time. And in that short span when no one was looking, he managed to spy his favorite cereal of the day (Kix) on the counter. I'm not sure how he reached it - he must have jumped. But reach the box he did! And after reaching it, he proceeded to empty it out on the floor for easy access. He ate his fill until the shock of it wore off enough for us to pull him out of the middle of it and let the dogs enjoy one HECK of a late night snack! It took us QUITE a while to find every last little kernel of Kix, even with the help of the dogs. I swear they kept rolling out from strange places for days! But as frustrated as I must have felt that night, I can't help but laugh now when I see this snapshot. Just look at his face - he didn't see a thing wrong with what he had done. And I suspect a big part of him was just proud of himself for getting that snack himself. Little bugger!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Project 15 to 15: Day 2

It's day 2 of my favorite project and today we look at another aspect of the Boy's personality that I truly admire - his creative side:

He gets on these creative kicks from time to time and I always try to soak it up when he does. He has some talent. Currently, he is enjoying sketching "impossible shapes" (think M. C. Escher) and some of his favorite fictional characters (like Deadpool and Bart Simpson). I love how he dives into his interests. He will watch tutorials on youtube, spend hours with his sketch book or wacom tablet on the computer, and some days (like today) he jumps out of bed having dreamed of something else he wants to try.

In looking back to 2002, we see Wonder Boy and his dad just a few weeks after his first birthday:

Even today, the first hour after Dad gets home from work is just about the best time of the day for our little family. Back in the day, the boys would hang out in the family room reading, wrestling, and doing all things boy before we had to jump into the routine of dinner, bath, and bedtime. These days it's more about going over whatever the Boy did at school or camp or whatever during the day and planning out our evening activities. It's still a great time though and I look forward to it just as much today as I did back in '02.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Project 15 to 15: Day 1

Woo Hoo! Today marks the start of my absolute FAVORITE photo project of the year - the photo countdown to Wonder Boy's birthday! As he is turning 15 this year, we start 15 days out.

This is one of the 2 white boards in Wonder Boy's room. Both boards are covered in equations, school notes, or programming functions. I tell people all the time that math comes to him like breathing and it is something I seriously admire about him. I love math as well, but what I love most about this aspect of the Boy's personality is that it's more than just school stuff for him. He wants to know how it works and WHY it works. He likes the theory behind the numbers and why they work together they way that they do. And that is something that I truly admire!

In looking back to 2001, we see our Wonder Boy at about a month old in one of his favorite places - the bouncy chair!

He was, in general, a pretty happy baby. He craved physical contact, but he was quick with a smile and was not really very shy (that came later). But this chair was one place he didn't mind letting go of us and hanging out long enough for us to grab a bite to eat, run a load of laundry, or maybe even grab a shower. We loved to get down on the floor next to the chair and watch him giggle as it bounced him around. Looking back at this snapshot, I can still hear that sound in my head and it is something I will always cherish.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Mission: Middle School - Accomplished!

Just like clock-work, another school year has come to a close. And with the close of this chapter, a new, BIGGER one is on the horizon. Today, our Wonder Boy completed his time in middle school and now moves on to the exciting world of high school!

I think, over all, this has been a good year for him. There were some hiccups along the way, of course, but on the whole it's been a very successful year, especially on the academic side of things. The Boy is looking forward to a summer of cuddling with his pups, dashing off to one camp after another, and then a family vacation to tie things up before facing the new challenge of starting his freshman year of high school.

Here's to hoping this summer will be all he dreamed and that high school will be just another chance to earn success!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Magic Moment

So you might have noticed I have cut down the number of soccer posts I share. It's not that soccer has taken a back seat in our lives, no sir. In fact, you will still find us - 2 nights a week and almost every Saturday through the Spring and Fall - sitting sideline to watch our favorite soccer star.

But for one thing, it's nice to show other parts of our lives. And for another, the older he gets, the more I realize that a lot of these are Wonder Boy's stories to share - not necessarily mine. And I think that is just something we all face as our children grow and become more and more independent. I do try to hit the highlights though.

And then there are moments like this one that I want to make sure and capture for those days when my memory starts to fade.

Here's the set up:

It's an absolutely beautiful day for soccer - crystal clear skies, cool breeze, 10:30am start time - just PERFECT! In the last meeting, the teams played to a 2 - 2 tie. They are very well matched with both being very fast and athletic with a number of quality skilled players. But this time, both teams barely have enough players to avoid the forfeit, meaning everyone on the field will have to play the whole game without a rest. So no matter what, this is likely to be a very different game.

I was both right and wrong about that last statement. It WAS a very different game from the first, but it was still a very tough, evenly matched game like the first time around. It may have been the most exciting soccer game I have ever watched Wonder Boy play!

The Boy's team gave up an early goal and went into half time still trailing 0 - 1. My heart was in my throat as every shot they took was handled by the other team's most excellent goal keeper. I was so worried that Wonder Boy's team would come out frustrated to start the second half and let up on their attempts. But I need not have fretted. They came out charging hard to start the second half and eventually wore the keeper down and evened things up. It looked like the tides had turned and the Boy and his team managed to take a 2 - 1 lead at about the mid-point of the second half. I held my breath as both teams fought to keep possession of the ball. And with about 5 minutes left in the game, the other team evened things up. I thought for sure we were headed for ANOTHER tie.

But THEN ... with just 3 minutes of game time left, Wonder Boy made his move - streaking ahead to chase down a pass from his teammate. He dribbled through a tight crowd and let loose a hard shot, low, just to the right of center on the goal. With all the stops the other team's keeper had made, I thought for certain he would get to this one too. But things came together in just the right fashion and the ball not only slipped through, but actually slid right between the keepers legs!

Talk about the crowd going wild! Wonder Dad and I yelled until I thought I would lose my voice! Talk about a truly proud parent moment!

The Boy and his team buckled down and weathered a ferocious flurry from the other team who did their level best to tie things up in the short time that remained. But on this day, the boy and his team came out on top! It was one of the BEST soccer moments our little family has ever lived!

But let me tell you WHY .... yes, there is something truly special about scoring, especially in a tight game like this. And scoring the WINNING goal is another level of amazing! But it really goes much deeper than even that.

You might recall me mentioning that in the fall we moved him to a different division. He *should* be playing in the u14 division, but we really wanted to challenge him, so we moved him to the u16 division. He has missed only 1 practice through both the fall and spring (due to an orchestra concert). He has never missed a game. He has played his heart out every time he has hit the pitch. And we have seen his game really grow through this process.

But one of the biggest struggles for him has been to earn the trust of his teammates. And in this game ... we saw that trust come through in spades! Wonder Boy has scored a number of goals through the fall and this spring, but this ONE GOAL seems to perfectly illustrate his efforts to me. And getting to watch that like we did ... well ... as a parent, there is just something truly special about it. To know the efforts that go into the moment truly heighten the experience.

I know I'm gushing. And I'll stop now. But it was a moment that I want to share, a moment I want to keep.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spring Break '16

This year the University didn't give us as much time off as last year, so we had to table plans for a long trip until this summer. However, that didn't stop us from trying to cram in as much fun as possible for our spring break this year.

For the first couple of days, Wonder Boy got to enjoy some quiet time with the dogs while we were stuck at work. He was a great help around the house and I know the dogs enjoyed the extra cuddle time with their favorite teenager.

When we were finally ALL done with work and school, we started off our break with a trip to Buescher State Park in Smithville, TX for a family hike. We were a little disappointed to find out that many of the trails were closed due to damage from wild fires last fall, but we still managed to find a couple of trails that were still open and enjoyed breaking our hiking shoes back in. The areas of the park that were open were quite beautiful and maybe one day we'll come back once all of the trails have re-opened. However, for this day, it made for a much shorter hike than planned.

SO ... we changed out of our hiking clothes, donned some comfy shorts, and took off on a side trip to La Grange, TX. While there we were able to hit up a few of our favorite antique shops and a really awesome gourmet kitchen shop called Le Petite Gourmet Shoppe. While there we picked up some supplies we couldn't find at home and even got a recommendation on where to get a tasty lunch - Reba's Pizza & Deli. And it did not disappoint!

The next day, we stuck close to home to take care of some much needed yard work. I know, you can't exactly call moving a yard of bull rock and a half pallet of St. Augustine grass "spring break fun," but it was work that needed to be done and the yard looks so much better after our efforts.

To reward ourselves after a day of manual labor, the following day, we ventured over to the Sherwood Forest Faire in McDade, TX. A cold front moved through the night before, so while we were swatting mosquitoes and wearing shorts while in La Grange on Thursday, come Saturday we were in jeans and jackets all day long. It really made for a nice day! It wasn't so cold that it was uncomfortable to be outside and since it is rare that it is actually cold in March, we enjoyed the fresh spring air while enjoying the festival. I always enjoy the bird show and this show was no exception. There is just something about owls that always draws me in. We also had some tasty treats, got to see some fun shops, and pretty much just strolled the grounds all day long! Wonder Dad and I both got pulled on stage for various performances, but by far my favorite performers were the jugglers. We saw 2 different jugglers and both were funny and fun! Even Wonder Boy enjoyed their sense of humor and was in awe once the fire entered their acts. I really hope we can go again next year!

We rounded out our spring break with a rest day at home for a movie marathon. And while it was not the grand adventure we had the year before, this spring break was a much needed time of renewal for us all. Wonder Boy is quickly closing out his 8th grade year. He's got some tests coming up and some pretty big projects too. Wonder Dad and I are about to start our busy time of the year, so it was so nice to slow down for a few days. We got to get out and explore some. We got some work done around the house. And we did it all together as a family.

Color me one happy momma!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

the silly side of the street

So the thing is this ... life with a teenager in the house is a constant roller coaster ride of emotions and attitudes. I know a lot of that can be blamed on hormones, changing sleep patterns, stress at school, and all those wonderful things about puberty that I have mostly put well behind me in the past (where it all belongs).

On the whole, Wonder Boy has not been a difficult teen (KNOCK ON WOOD!) as of yet. And this is not one of those posts where I am going to complain. In fact, I'm here for the opposite.

I'll admit - I often forget that the Boy is just that ... a B-O-Y. He's still just a "big guy in training" even though his wiry frame towers high above me. He's got a lot of living yet to do and until then I need to remember that he can't be expected to react in an adult manner 100% of the time (heck, I hope those around me remember that about ME!).

And one of the true joys in our family life is when the Boy lets down his guard and "reverts" back to the kid-at-heart Wonder Boy we all know and love. We got to enjoy one of those moments this evening. It was nothing truly noteworthy - a family game of toss the Frisbee in the driveway as the sun set on a rather warm January evening.

Even before I pulled out the camera, Wonder Boy was hamming it up for his dad and I. And it brought such a smile to my heart that I had to catch a few moments to hold onto after the sun sets on this lovely day.

I truly love this side of our Boy. Sometimes he pushes the envelope of how much silly I can handle in a single sitting, but on the days where he gets the balance just right, it's a true thing of joy. We all laughed. We all joked. We all soaked up some vitamin D. And we all went back inside feeling like a family at peace.

I can't think of a better way to close out this day, this week, this month.

Thank you Lord!