Thursday, June 23, 2011

Basketball Camp

Conner got to go to basketball camp at BooBoo and Yogi's again...and this time Micah got to go, too! They stayed in Glen Rose with BooBoo and Yogi for the whole week, and Josiah and I got to come see that last day of basketball camp. It felt a little weird and kind of cool - they were having camp in the same gym I used to play basketball in during junior high. It's been redone, of course, and now it's named for my late 8th grade history teacher. (At least I think it was 8th grade.) Crazy.


It's amazing how much they can learn in a few days like that! They practiced all kinds of stuff, including shooting baskets,

and dribbling - even in formation around cones! (I don't think Micah could dribble much at all before basketball camp!)

 
They were so excited to see Josiah that even let him sit with them and their friends at snack time - and had to let him sit in the middle because they both wanted to sit by him. :)

Then we ended the week with a couple of handfuls of blue ribbons. Awesome!

Thanks, BooBoo and Yogi! We can't wait to see what these boys will do with all of their skills someday! post signature

Monday, June 20, 2011

Micah's Gift Party

For weeks now - really, I think I can say months - Micah has been asking me to have a "gift party."

At first, this meant that everyone would be making a gift for everyone else. And he had a pretty large guest list. The thought of pulling off a party like this just about sent me into a panic - that's called Christmas, isn't it? I'm only supposed to have to do that once a year, right?!

As I tried to explain this to him and help him come to a little more feasible idea, he decided that maybe everyone should just bring a gift for Micah. Ummmmm...Micah...that's called your birthday.

Finally, we decided that maybe everyone who came to the party would both bring a gift and go home with one.

But by this time, there were about three weeks of school left. With all of our end-of-the-school-year craziness in full swing, I told Micah that we would have to wait until school was out.

So the date was set for June 17th. We set a menu of s'mores and water bottles (with various Crystal Light/Kool-Aid mix-ins). We set a gift limit of "homemade or Dollar Store variety." We got on evite and sent invitations to nearby family and friends. We went to Dollar Tree and picked out gifts. We went to the grocery store and got our food. We set up tables outside and a safe place for a fire. We blew up balloons and made signs.
(Micah sounded out and wrote this sign with only a small amount of help. We're so proud of him!)

And after counting down the days...and then the hours...finally it was time to start counting down the minutes.

It was pretty much what you would expect - a group of people, some old friends and family,
others strangers to one another, having a good time outside talking. Roasting marshmallows,
eating s'mores, and getting sticky.
When it was time to exchange gifts, we let the kids draw numbers to decide which order they would get to pick gifts from the table. They were so excited and so eager, they all seemed to like what they got, and it was just fun to watch them enjoy themselves.

Several of the adults participated, too. We just let the kids pass the gifts out however they wanted to. I was so proud of all our grown-ups, they were so frugal and creative! There were veggies from gardens, baked goods, homemade CDs, coupons, and more. So, so, fun.

I would love to say that when it was all over, Micah went to bed with a smile on his face and the satisfaction of knowing that he threw a great party. Because he did throw a great party. But instead, he went to bed in tears.


I won't go into the details, because I think that the main problem was that he was very, very tired. But when it was all over he was saying, "It felt like the world was ending, God is crushing my heart and I'll just be sad forever until I'm like 8 or 9. I just put all that work and it was all for nothing. I don't even like my present." Poor kid.


But he was better after a good night's sleep - and he's already asking to have another gift party... :) Thanks for being such a cool kiddo, Micah!


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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ravioli Wednesday

When I started teaching preschool on Tuesdays and Thursdays last September, lunch/afternoon naps were an issue. School was over at 12:15, I had to stay for a litle while to clean up, then I had to feed Micah and Josiah, get Josiah down for as long a nap as possible, and then leave to get Conner around 2:40.

My solution was to just pack lunches for the boys. That way they could eat while I was cleaning up, and then Josiah was so tired by the time we were on our way home that he almost always fell asleep in the van. He usually got to sleep for about an hour and a half before I had to wake him up to go get Conner. It was a pretty perfect plan.

But Micah went to school on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. By the second week of school, he decided that he really liked eating lunch in my classroom, and when that second Wednesday rolled around and we headed home for lunch, he was NOT happy.

I tried to explain, but he was set on eating lunch in my room every day that he went to school. Finally I told him that he could have ravioli (a recently discovered favorite at the time) for lunch at home, and that it wouldn't work very well in a lunchbox. That seemed to fixed everything.

So now, ten months later, even though school has been out for a few weeks, we are still having ravioli for lunch on Wednesdays. I think there have only been about two Wednesdays that I have forgotten - one during the Christmas holidays, and one just last week. But both times he eventually remembered and "got on to" me. :)

On that day back in September, I had absolutely no idea that "Ravioli Wednesday" would become the animal that it is today...but it has worked like a charm! And left some pretty cool memories. :)
(And today we even invited our stuffed animal friends to eat with us!)
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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Nose-to-Nose

It's summer. And the wellsbrothers have been fighting. A lot.

Tired of time outs and similar punishments that just haven't been cutting it, I finally remembered the stories that Bret used to tell about what his mother did with his brother and sister. So I decided to try it: when two of them just can't seem to get along, they have to stand "nose-to-nose." That's right. Stand with their noses touching the person that they can't stand at the the moment. I set the timer for one minute. And if they still can't get along, I increase it to two minutes. And so far I've only had to go as many as three minutes one time. Usually though, one or two minutes does the trick, and I don't get much more fighting. From that pair. For that day. But hey, that's something, right?!

The other day, it was Micah and Josiah going at it. I don't remember what it was that they had eaten last, but for their rather sensitve noses, the smell of each other's breath was more than they could handle. They both started gagging and yelling about how much the other's breath stunk. So thinking that might be punishment enough, I stopped the timer early. But they continued to fight. Until I was ready to put them nose-to-nose again, not caring if they puked all over each other. Maybe that would work. I made sure they were in the kitchen where it could be mopped up easily (no, I don't know why I didn't think to put them outside!), and set the timer. They gagged and cried and gagged some more...but we made it through the two minutes with no actual puke. And hallelujah, we got a break in the fighting!

Today it was Conner and Micah fighting. We were in the Mr. Ron and Mrs. Debbie's swimming pool at the time, so I made them get out and stand right in front of where Ron, Debbie and I were sitting and talking. Micah was in tears, and Conner was close. But my sweet friends and I couldn't help but laugh. And then we saw Josiah in the background, clearly enjoying the show, and there was no more hiding our laughter. Which in turn made Micah and Conner end up laughing. And when the timer went off, somehow all of the anger had been completely replaced with laughter and Conner and Micah not only stopped fighting but began to play together nicely. It was beautiful.

And though I know better than to expect it to work that way every time, it did give me the important reminder that laughter is often the best medicine. And if it takes standing nose-to-nose to make them realize how silly they're acting, ok. I'll do it. And I'll try to make them laugh about it. And maybe - at least sometimes - one minute will stop the fighting and at least temporarily heal us with laughter. It's worth a shot, isn't it?!

(I didn't quite catch the full scene, you can't see Joey's michievious little smile, and Conner isn't crying anymore, but you get the idea!)



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